The first time you see someone using a Pilates reformer, you’ll wonder what the heck is going on. You’ll blink, look back, and yes… someone is tethered to a sliding bench adorned with ropes, pulleys and springs – in public. Yet this is the true origin of Pilates, dating back to the 1920s. “This is my thing,” explains Georgie Kennington.
“I was a chronic sloucher,” Georgie explains when I ask about her journey into Pilates. “I’m tall, my height made me shy and my posture gave me a constant tension headache,” she continues. In an effort to strengthen her core and resolve her posture issues, Georgie’s osteopath suggested she try Pilates. “I went into my first class with a headache, and left without one,” Georgie explains. Having previously enjoyed netball, tennis and many other sports, in addition to being a cellist and singer, Pilates brought everything together.
Georgie was hooked. She trained and taught full time in London before taking a maternity cover position teaching full time in Cannes, bringing her to France. Her first winter season in Morzine yielded Georgie a husband and a full time base in our valley, which she now calls home. “Pilates brings both a healthy body and a healthy mind,” Georgie believes.
“It’s a joy to pass this on to others from my new Pilates studio at the Hive in Morzine.”
But back to the reformer. What does it actually do? “A reformer is a piece of Pilates apparatus with springs to offer resistance but they also support and challenge your body,” Georgie explains. “It’s weird to look at, I know!” The reformer aims to teach you what to feel in your body while you’re doing Pilates. It’ll help you improve your mat work, and you’ll feel lengthened after using the springs to stretch and guide you.
Within her new, dedicated Pilates space on the first floor of Morzine’s Hive, Georgie has installed over ten pieces of Pilates apparatus, from a reformer to a wunda chair, from the Cadillac to the spine corrector. “This was a big investment for me, but the Hive will become the hub of all things health and fitness- related in our valley, so it felt like the right time to share my passion further,” explains Georgie. “And people will finally understand what I’ve been banging on about!”
A Pilates reformer is particularly useful for those recovering from injuries. “You shouldn’t be loading through your joints if you’re injured,” says Georgie. “With the reformer you’ll bear no weight, preventing further injury whilst at the same time offering up a really solid workout, using your own body weight and the springs as resistance.”
It’s Georgie’s aim to make her reformer apparatus accessible to everyone. She’s therefore planned a collection of classes for all, from absolute Pilates beginners to those experienced on the mat but seeking progression. Either on a one to one basis, or in small groups, Georgie is dedicated to sharing the joys of the reformer and other pieces of Pilates apparatus with all. “This is my thing,” Georgie repeats. “And I would love it to be your thing too.”
Georgie is in the final stages of opening her pilates studio at the Hive in Morzine. You can follow her progress on Instagram – @studiopilatesmorzine or find more information on pilates classes at georgiekennington.com/studio-pilates-morzine