Shelly Carter has been teaching at Pilates Central since the summer of 2019. She discovered Pilates 15 years ago while in India, “leading a bohemian life of studying music and meditating.”
No Exercise Other Than Pilates
She sustained an injury while swimming, which resulted in her having “very little mobility in my neck for a number of weeks,” recalls Shelly. “After receiving chiropractic treatment I was told to do no exercise other than Pilates. I’ve been hooked ever since. I had an x-ray ten years later and the clinician found no evidence of trauma whatsoever. So I know I’m doing something right! For a number of years I continued my yoga practice side-by-side with my Pilates, but as time passed I phased that out and it’s now Pilates all the way for me.”
Growing up in Hong Kong
Carter grew up in Hong Kong with her Chinese mother and English father. She fell in love with Nepal after a sixth form trip and went on to study Indian classical music at Bananas Hindu University in Varanassi, India, learning to play the tabla, a classical Indian drum.
“I Love my Work at Pilates Central”
After her injury Shelly trained in Stott Pilates matwork in 2013 and with Alan Herdman in 2016 and has since taught Pilates in both the UK and India. “I love my work at Pilates Central, and I really appreciate the clients’ autonomy here and really understand their exercises. I’m a workshop junkie, and I love augmenting my existing knowledge and sharing what I learn with clients. I get endless satisfaction when they return after their previous session feeling better in themselves, either by having more awareness of their bodies and the way they move, having greater ease of movement, or being pain-free again.”
Pilates tips for everyday life
As for advice for incorporating Pilates into one’s daily routine, Shelly, who has just completed a Masters in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at Roehampton University, has these tips: “I have a set of exercises I do religiously 4-5 times a week, so if I were to make a recommendation it would be from amongst these. They are: pelvic tilts, the arrow, book openings and ab preps. Being able to maintain dynamic equilibrium is important, especially as we grow older, so I practice standing on one leg. I use a wobble cushion for an added balance challenge.
“Many clients report a greater awareness of their posture. In a similar way I’m mindful of the way I walk and stand. For short periods of time during my day I focus on things like how my heel strikes the ground, and how that action translates through my foot and up my leg to the rest of my body.
“After all, walking’s a most fundamental use of the body, and bringing my attention into myself allows me to feel more connected to my body and calmer in my mind.” One swimming injury has helped her develop a lifelong love of Pilates. After her Indian sojourn we’re very pleased to have Shelly here in Islington beating the tabla drum for Pilates.