I was born wanting to move and dance and explore my world and my creativity through movement. However, when I was seven I injured my spine. While this may have limited my physical capabilities it did not suppress my love of movement. In fact it lit a fire under my desire to understand how the body functions and my quest to move well and be pain free.
I discovered a Yoga manual about the same time as my injury in a jumble sale, and practiced the movements and meditations in this book daily to help with my pain. I still love Yoga, although being hyper-mobile meant that Yoga didn't help me to stabilise my broken over-mobile body.
I continued to stay as active as I could, although there were times when I was bed ridden with pain. I continued to study Ballet into my twenties partly because I loved it and couldn't bear to give it up.... and as much as anything because I was determined to walk without a limp. My dance classes where next to a body building gym..... so I tried that too. The combination of dance and weights seemed to work better for me than Yoga alone..... and so kettlebells became my friend also.... and yes this is a theme I will try anything and everything to stay moving, strong and pain free.
I was offered a "Harrington rod" (spinal fusion) at seventeen but had this "strange idea" that if I could keep my muscular system strong it would support my battered spine, and was very reluctant to loose the mobility in nearly half my spine much to the disgust of the surgeon. I asked for another year to see if I could rehabilitate myself... he reminded me that he was the expert here and to expect a wheel chair if I didn't follow his advice. I must say that now this is a far less common attitude... I find most surgeons now are happy to support my madcap ideas to dodge surgery.
Then in 1991 when I was living in North London I heard about this "Pilates Studio" to be honest I didn't really know what Pilates was but found I was able to stabilise my spine better and finally started to gain more control over my body and reduce the pain and instability. Although the courses where expenses and I was earning very little. So I would save for several months to pay for a six week block, then would have to give up until I had saved for another six week block. Even with my sporadic attendance the Pilates sessions managed to stabilise me in a way that no other form of movement or exercise had in the past.
I went on to train as a personal trainer and sports massage therapist and with my history I I naturally gravitated towards rehabilitative work and was lucky to get a position within a Physiotherapy unit providing mid to late stage rehabilitation under the supervision of the Physiotherapists.
I finally came full circle and retrained as a Pilates mat work teacher on one of the "Body Control Pilates" first teacher training courses in 1999/2000 with Lynne Robinson, Helge Fischer and Gordon Thompson. Since then I studied both mat work and Apparatus with Kelly Kane in NYC and The Pilates Foundation in the UK. I am also a graduate of the Kathy Grant Heritage Programme and a Madeline Black Method Pilates Teacher.
Unfortunately in 2010 I was thrown off a train in NYC and landed 12 foot down on my coccyx on concrete, the force of this fall shunted my spinal cord up into my brainstem leaving me with a nasty concussion, ataxia and and chronic pudendal neuralgia as well as prolapsing my pelvic organs, primarily my uterus.
I have been fortunate to study with some amazing Pilates teachers including Rebekah Rotstien, Kuan Hui Chew, Elizabeth Larkham, Kelly Kane, Madeleine Black, Mat Mclaughlin.
Being a geek I have continued to study other movement methods as well as advanced study of human anatomy and biomechanics. To this end I have studied with Gary Carter, Tom Myers, Mia Munroe, Erica Hassan, David Zemach-Bernstein and Paul Chek.
My own practice has included not only Pilates but Yoga, GyroKinesis, Kettlebells, TRX, Floorbarre, Static Trapeze, Aerial Yoga, Feldenkrais, Yamuna ..... the list goes on. While I like to maintain a framework of Pilates I enjoy mixing things up with with other techniques to keep you on your toes.
Most important to me is not what you do in the class but what you take home. I want my students to understand their bodies sufficiently to be able to apply what they learn to their everyday life and other sports and activities. To this end I keep classes small enough that I can ensure everyone is working correctly.
Now back in Scotland and as a result of my injuries have specialist in rehabilitation but in particular pelvic floor rehabilitation.
Adore Your Pelvic Floor
I am very excited to have been invited to join the teacher training team for Louise Fields Womens Pelvic Floor programme "Adore Your Pelvic Floor"
I will be providing Louise's clinically based and nationally recognised program to both the general public in the form of the 16 week Adore Your Pelvic Floor programme designed to improve womens pelvic floor health and reduce or eliminate a wide variety of symptoms including pelvic pain, incontinence and prolapse...
as well as teaching Scottish fitness teachers Midwives, physiotherapists and other medical professionals how to safely and effectively help women under their care.
Madeline Black Method Movement Specialist "Encompass" 2018
After completing the Encompass training a second time I can now claim to be a Madeline Back Method Movement Specialist. During this two intensive weeks Madeline generously shares her knowledge and body of work to date.
Madeline work is based in Pilates but incorporates many styles of movement education as well as hands on techniques (particularly Muscle Energy Technique) as well as the latest research on human anatomy and biomechanics.
Gary Carter Anatomy and Movement Course 2017
Fiona is currently attending an advanced Anatomy and Movement course lead by Gary Carter. This 10 weekend course explores the anatomy of movement in relation to practice, movement analysis, 3-D work, and experiential anatomy. The course is designed to encourage teachers to ‘see’ their students more clearly, thus helping with rehabilitative issues. The in-depth study of the latest research in anatomy aims to help teachers take a flexible, intelligent approach to their specific field of movement.
AET level 3 (formerly PTLLS)
Fiona is currently studying towards her AET level 3 qualification. This qualification is geared to those teaching adults a skill. In Fiona's case this is to hone her skill and support her increasing teacher training responsibilities.
Exploration of the book "Centred" with Madeline Black 2017
Fiona had a rare opportunity to participate in a five day intensive study of Madeline Blacks book “Centered” with Madeline herself at the Garuda Studio in London. This Course investigated advanced movement skills that create instant, positive changes in the body. Allowing the participants to experience first hand the techniques in Madeline’s book and discover the latest movement science that informed them.
THE GYROKINESIS METHOD® uses the breath to initiate the core and create fluidity of movement working the entire body through all joint articulations and elements of the movement within the spine, forward bending, backward bending, side bending and rotation. This method is suitable for fit and sedentary, young and old the classes are performed seated on a stool and on mats on the floor. Some of the benefits of GYROKINESIS® exercises include increased corestability, postural strength and flexibility, renewed energy and vitality and a general sense of calm and well being.
Kathy Grant Heritage Training 2014
The Kathy Grant Heritage Programme with Cara Reeser and am one of only sixty people internationally who has completed this course of study. This programme covers the work of Kathleen Stanford Grant, one of Mr Pilates original students. This course has given me a deeper understanding of the original work of Mr Pilates as well as developing my understanding of the movements and biomechanics nessesary to perform this work well.
Pilates Foundation 2013
The Pilates Foundation was founded in 1996 and is the UK's first Pilates Teachers' Association. Their aim to establish and maintain quality and excellence in Pilates practice and teaching. The Pilates Foundation promotes the original works of Joseph and Clara Pilates, including honouring the original repertoire and principles, yet bring current knowledge and research to the teaching of the Pilates Method
Pilates Foundation Teacher Training Courses are renowned for their high standards and comprehensive approach. The Foundations Accredited Teacher Training Providers (TTPs) and the syllabus they deliver recognise the Pilates Method as a full body of work and not as a quick fix set of exercises to be learned and taught by rote.
The Pilates Foundation not only offers one of the most rigorous certification courses in the UK, but requires all its teachers to maintain a level of ongoing study, which has to be shown every year in order to maintain membership.
Buff Bones® 2012
Buff Bones® is a medically-endorsed, full body workout for bone strengthening and balance. It integrates Pilates, strength training, functional movement and rehabilitative exercise to improve the health and longevity of your bones and joints. It’s adaptable to varying levels and is safe for those with osteoporosis.... but don't think for a minute this wont be a challenging workout!!
Kane School of Core Integration
Fiona Studied both mathwork and apparatus with Kelly Kane in NYC.
Kelly offers a rigorous training program that combines both the classical principles of Pilates with a modern, clinical perspective on the human body. The Kane School is known world-wide for its anatomy-based approach, which goes beyond choreography to explain why exercises work. Kelly's style of teaching is very hands on and her students delve deeply into biomechanics, postural imbalances and common injuries. Learning to listen with their hands.
Body Control Matwork 1999
Fiona originally completed her Pilates Matwork teacher training through Body Control Pilates with Lynne Robinson, Helge Fisher, Paul McLinden, Gordon Thompson and Miranda Bass.
Personal Training Qualifications & Training
Kettlebell Seminars UK 2012 Certified Kettlercise Instructor
TRX 2011 TRX Group Training Suspension Training
CHEK 2001 CHEK Certification Level One Personal Trainer
CHEK 2001 Scientific Back Training
CHEK 2001 Program Design
CHEK 2001 Scientific Core Conditioning
SAQ 2000 SAQ Personal Trainer
Body Life 1999 Back School (spinal rehabilitation)
ACSM 1998 Health and Fitness Instructor
Body Life 1998 Cadiac Rehabilitation
ITEC 1994 Gym Instructors Diploma
Raworth Centre 1994 Health and Fitness Studies Diploma
Bodywork Qualifications & Training
London School of Sports Massage 1998 Diploma in Sports Massage
ITHMA 1997 Diploma in Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy
London School of Onsite Massage 1997 Onsite Massage Practitioner
Guy Gladstone 1997 Pulsing
Hydrotherm 1997 Hydrotherm Therapeutic Practitioner
BISI 1996 Four Day Myofascial Training with Allan Rudolf
London Centre of Champissage 1996 Indian Head Massage
Raworth Centre 1995 Body Massage with Anatomy and Physiology
ITEC 1994 Diploma in Anatomy and Physiology & Body Massage
Reading College 1990 Body Massage Certificate