I LOVE Paragon Pilates, Alderley Edge

24 Mar 2022

Perhaps you’re already a Pilates devotee and already well aware of the many benefits of Pilates. Maybe a friend or physio recommends Pilates to alleviate back pain or increase flexibility. Either way, the minute you meet Charlotte Hodges of Paragon Pilates you know you’ve come to the right place – and the right person.

Charlotte exudes knowledge and enthusiasm, all wrapped up in warmth and reassurance plus the admirable ability to put someone at ease, instantly. Charlotte’s belief in Pilates is based on evidence – her own experience. She KNOWS Pilates works because it worked for her.

Charlotte Hodges

Charlotte Hodges, Paragon Pilates

Her Alderley Edge Pilates classes are based at the stunning Neon PT, the bespoke private gym on Brook Lane. As well as Alderley Edge, there are also classes in Chelford, Knutsford, Henbury and online via Zoom. Classes are small, plus private 1-2-1 sessions are also available upon request.

A History of Pilates

About a century ago, Joseph Pilates said: “My method develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong posture, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit”. Joseph Pilates endured countless childhood health issues, including rickets, asthma, and rheumatic fever. Years of ill-health fuelled research and experimentation until he determined that improving physical fitness was key to better health. He began to try various forms of exercise, including yoga, dance, self-defence, skiing, gymnastics, resistance training and even wrestling. He took aspects of each and developed Pilates. His aim was to create an effective exercise system that focuses equally on strength and flexibility.

Pilates, Alderley Edge

The proof of the pudding is always in the eating, and he demonstrated success of his Pilates method on himself, then began teaching others. In the 1920s he headed to America and, with his wife Clara, founded a studio in New York. He taught his method – then called Contrology – for many years. These days, even the NHS talks about the health benefits of Pilates.

Pain and Problems? Try Pilates

Pain and problems are caused – and exacerbated – when joints are misaligned, and muscles are at the wrong length. Over time your body and brain become used to this and so these misalignments continue unchecked. Pilates involves movements that improve muscle and joint mobility, core strength and alignment. Correct posture is restored, so natural movement returns, and wear-and-tear is minimised throughout the major joints in the body. This focus on posture, alignment, core control and joint ranges of motion is where Pilates differs from other types of exercise.

Pilates blocks

Charlotte discovered Pilates as she sought relief from agonising and debilitating upper back pain in her early twenties. Hunching over a desk for long periods was the cause and Charlotte realised her posture was poor. Despite being so young, her mobility was badly affected. She began to search desperately for a solution to relieve the pain, improve her posture, and hopefully recover some movement. She tried many different approaches – acupuncture, physiotherapy, sports massage, MRI scans and painkillers – before discovering Pilates. With regular practice, Charlotte realised Pilates solved all three problems. Her spine became more mobile, and as a result, the pain lessened, and alignment was restored. At first, Charlotte considered Pilates a potential solution to chronic pain. In fact, Pilates changed her life, personally AND professionally.

Gold Standard Pilates

Such was the power of Pilates and the improvement to Charlotte’s life that she decided to train with Body Control; the highly respected Pilates organisation founded by Lynne Robinson, dubbed “The Queen of Pilates” by the Times, and one of the world’s best-known and respected Pilates teachers. Body Control Pilates is deemed the gold-standard in the industry. The intensive Body Control training and qualifying took two years of study and practice, which also covered anatomy and physiology in depth.

Body Control Pilates

Now Charlotte aims to help people change their lives as she changed her own:

“I founded Paragon Pilates to offer a range of classes, each designed to mobilise the major joints in the body, improve alignment, reconnect the body with the breath, restore muscle tone and develop core strength. I am pleased to offer classes across several locations in Cheshire during the daytime and evenings, allowing clients to attend a regular weekly class that works for them. Online Zoom classes and private one-to-one sessions are also available. Alongside general classes, I have a special interest in chronic pain, working with clients to find the underlying cause and to get them back to enjoying life”.

“Alignment is everything: moving with good posture allows us to keeps our joints functional and healthy into later life. Our bodies are designed for the pelvis, ribcage and head to be vertically stacked one on top of the other. If there are misalignments, this is going to over and underwork different muscles in the body and create imbalances.”

Nor does Charlotte rest on her laurels. She continues to train and practice and will never stop aiming to learn and improve. Regulation in the industry isn’t essential, but Charlotte’s committed to a new initiative to ensure best practices and to reassure clients they’re in the BEST hands.

Pilates for Posture

Sedentary jobs and desk work have created a perfect storm of lower back pain. Lockdowns and working from home have made the situation even worse. Sitting all day has a major impact on posture. But what can you do to help prevent this? Regular Pilates practise! As Charlotte says, “motion is lotion. If you don’t move it, you’ll lose it”. Pilates is low impact yet highly effective. It works on safely improving and readjusting your alignment, correcting muscle imbalances and strengthening the core. There are mental health benefits too – better posture can deliver a huge confidence boost. Another big plus is that Pilates is for anybody and everybody. It is entirely adaptable to fitness level, age, mobility and so can be a steady workout or a more demanding session. Pilates involves flowing movements that mobilise all major joints and strengthen the core, along with breathing technique, alignment and posture.

Pilates class

Everything to Gain with Paragon Pilates, Alderley Edge

What do Charlotte’s clients gain? At the very least, Charlotte’s classes offer an hour away from the stress and strain of everyday life. A whole hour free from chaos. Pilates also improves mindfulness and quality sleep. Pilates keeps joints functional and healthy, encouraging a full range of movement.  And it’s not just for people in pain. Prevention is so much better than cure – though Charlotte says she’s never known anything NOT helped by regular movement. One class a week is enough to make a difference – though two will make that difference happen faster!

Your first class with Charlotte is FREE so there’s literally nothing to lose. However, like Charlotte, you could gain EVERYTHING. You could get your life and mobility back and be free from pain. Wouldn’t you LOVE that?

To book a class or find out more about Paragon Pilates, use the links below.



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