Meet your Pilates Teachers: Katsura Isobe

Our Pilates Teachers

We’ve been very lucky with Pilates teachers at Pilates Central.

Katsura Isobe is the longest-serving Pilates teacher at Pilates Central, having joined 13 years ago in 2006. It was through her love of dancing that she first encountered Pilates. “As a dancer I had some injuries such as sprained ankles and lower back problems and Pilates helped me recover,” says Katsura.

Pilates Taught Me

“It taught me a different way of moving my body without straining it and made me a better movement and voice performer.” Originally from Tokyo, Isobe trained in dance at Ochanomizu University in Japan before coming to Britain to further her knowledge of dance at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Qualified Pilates Teacher

“In the UK I discovered Pilates is a big part of dance training and I was so fascinated by it that in 2006 I qualified as a Pilates teacher at the Alan Herdman Pilates Studio.” She has had a rich and varied career, combining teaching dance improvisation with being a guest lecturer at the Tokyo Ballet Academy and the University Campus Suffolk, qualifying as both a Craniosacral therapist and a Somatic movement educator and facilitating workshops at BlindAid.

Performance Maker

Katsura, who has appeared at the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells and Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre, is still an independent dance artist and performance maker. “I do a lot of experimental stuff in unusual venues, creating works with artists from different disciplines such as fine art, fashion, music and technology.

Fascinated with the Body

“I have always been fascinated with the body, movement and its expression.” She still greatly enjoys her work at Pilates Central. “Nearly every time I come in I get a nice surprise such as people not feeling pain any longer, it’s those small things that keep me going,” she says.

Pilates tips for everyday life

She also has some tips for those wishing to extend Pilates into everyday life.

“Simply lie down on floor to see what your body wants to do. Be in touch with it. I do Pilates at home whenever I need to organise my body and mind. I like the meditative aspect that allows me to breathe fully and to quieten busy chattering in my head.”

“You might try hip rolls bending your knees together and rotating from side to side, or a chest opening exercise lying on your side and lifting your arm up to the ceiling, then reaching further towards the floor, or a pelvic tilt with knees bent and tilting and lifting the pelvis up through the spine.”

Without making a song and dance about it, we feel very lucky to have Katsura here in Islington.

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