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Doing Pilates while having radiation! Karen's story :)

Karen attends our South Studio and has the most inspirational story! Not letting cancer stop her, she is still attending classes regularly, with a impressive 225 classes this year alone - WOW !

What made you want to start doing Pilates?

During lockdown, I practised yoga at home, prior to lockdown I joined a yoga studio that I loved, however it closed during Covid. I was looking for yoga and stumbled upon Pilates Haus. At my physio I had used a larger machine with a similar idea. I actually saw my physio at a few Pilates Haus classes.

So I knew Pilates would be awesome for both my body and mind. I am an over thinker so doing pilates is a way to stay present and in the moment.

The timetable is great and it made it easy to decide to join.

I love the fact that I have choices and that pilates is on everyday and there are yoga options. Once I started I was hooked, I could feel how beneficial the classes were for my body - the entire body is worked and kept balanced each side. I love that my weaker side is being worked equally. Plus. I love the positive energy of Pilates Haus and its inclusiveness.

How long have you been coming to the studio?

I joined not long after the South Studio opened but there have been gaps in my attendance due to holidays and health.

Pilates Haus has keep me sane and happy during my uterine cancer diagnosis and radiation treatment.

It has been so Important to feel and be just like everyone else in the class. I even attended the 6.15am class on the day of my major surgery at

Prince of Wales Sydney. I am absolutely certain pilates helped post op. I was given a massive bag of painkillers and didn’t take one!

I also came to the 6.15am classes before each radiation session and it sure helped.

What is your favourite class to come to?

I absolutely love Ilana’s classes, she is the first instructor I met when I started. She is firm, clear, super knowledgeable and her classes work the whole body beautifully. I also love Elise’s classes, her friendly vibe and no holds back attitude makes me do things I didn’t think I could.

Actually, I think all the instructors are great and bring something different to the plate.

What changes have you noticed since having a regular Pilates and Yoga practice?

For me it’s about a healthy mind and body and that is what regular Pilates and Yoga practice do. I am super pleased about how pilates has helped my knee that doesn’t have cartilage - it has really strengthened the muscles all around the knee

and keeps it strong and healthy. As a kid I was hit by a car and pilates has really, really helped my pelvis and lower back.

When you’re not sweating it up at Pilates Haus where could we find you?

I live in Shellharbour Village so I’m always out and about in the village or over at the marina. I'm a children’s author so you’ll find me in local cafes and down by the Harbour and the beach writing.

I love travelling and exploring the outdoors and people watching. I'm hoping my new picture book Our Shellharbour will be out next year. It’s locally produced - written and illustrated.

I am waiting on the gorgeous illustrator Kera, and not rushing her.

Our Shellharbour celebrates all the incredible natural spaces in Shellharbour with kids. The beaches, rainforests, lake, State Park, Marina.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to try Pilates but not sure where to start?

It can be daunting doing something new, especially when you see the machines and everyone else knows what to do.

Take a big deep breath and just do it. I would start with a Flow One class and build up. It won’t take long and you won’t look back.

Pilates and yoga are kind to your body and good for the soul.

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