Swagger: Circle Pilates with Erika Lieschen

Swagger: Circle Pilates with Erika Lieschen

Circle Pilates is one of Gymbox's specialist Pilates classes taught by the unique visual artist Erika Lieschen. "You'll feel sexier, stronger, leaner and more alive" she says.

Hi Erika, tell us about Circle Pilates

Circle Pilates is Pilates with a prop. This prop can be squeezed, pulled, pushed, held, and used in a variety ways in relationship to your body to strengthen physical awareness and even comfort you in an assisted hamstring stretch.

You say on your website that movement 'unlocks your inner brilliance' - how so?

From the moment we enter this world we are faced against challenges and what appear to be locked pathways. It is through experience and movement that we learn how to overcome these challenges and unlock pathways. Movement is integral to our existence, be it large, small, wide, or narrow. The spine is a beautiful, magical, and intelligent design that informs our every sense of being. It houses the mysteries and secrets of so many histories. I believe by learning how to move our spines and in turn our bodies, we can interact in this world and connect with others in a more wholesome way.

In how many diverse ways can Pilates help keep a body healthy?

'Keep' is an interesting word. To keep something, we have to let go of something else. I believe Pilates teaches us how to notice health in our body which can influence a healthy body with these noted benefits:

Increased body awareness

Increased energy

Improved balance and co-ordination

Better circulation

Healthy joints

Muscle flexibility

Improved general well-being

Reduced stress and anxiety

Improved self-esteem and confidence

Increased sense of stability

Improved understanding of your body's anatomy – muscles, bones, organs and more!

And in what ways can it help keep a healthy mind?

Whole body health, whole body commitment, and breath. Those are the three guiding principles of Joseph Pilates. By exploring movement mindfully we are nourishing a healthy mind with creative and curious juices.

Can doing Pilates regularly help people cope with their stressful busy lives?

Yes. Pilates is a practice. Practice takes time. Time that is separate from other 'times' and obligations. Practice Pilates and stress will dissipate through the act of giving back to yourself in a whole body and whole minded way.

What are the benefits of doing Pilates in a group setting?

Group Pilates is a great way to get moving as a beginner, intermediate and advanced mover. The group environment offers a certain type of energy that is unique in every class because every person that walks through the studio door is arriving as they are that day. Basically, it's a great environment full of energy, fun, and opportunity to learn something about you.

What would you say to Pilates skeptics out there?

Come and join me for a session. Everyone will have their own experience and my role as a Pilates instructor is to support you in a positive and safe environment of movement. I am always keen to hear students' thoughts and feedback on how I can improve their Pilates experience.

You are a runner also - how can regular Pilates help with running performance?

From my own experience of coming to Pilates to improve my athletics, I found Polestar Pilates' guiding principles were both comprehensible and applicable to improving my running by releasing my hip flexors, strengthening my glutes, and helping me run faster for longer. Those principles include:

1. Breathing

2. Axial Elongation & Core Control

3. Organization of Head, Neck, and Shoulders

4. Spinal Articulation

5. Upper Extremity & Lower Extremity Alignment and Weight-Bearing

6. Movement Integration

You have an MFA in Fine Art, how do the words of visual arts and Pilates work together?

I enjoy educating people in movement with visual and direct imagery. I'm sure my training as a visual artist does have quite a role in my ability to express how to move like fluid or describing anatomical structures to be spiraling and adopting space. The body is a beautiful creation and engineered space. We can choose how to see that space. How much more visual can that get?

Is this an unusual approach for a practitioner in this field?

Maybe. Pilates and creatives do mesh well together. I see quite a number of artists, athletes, and expressive people on a one-to-one basis. Each of us brings our own peculiaritiesto the session. I suppose that makes for quite an unusual experience.

How can a member expect to feel after leaving one of your sessions?

Invigorated, tingling, feeling taller, more animalistic spine, sexier, stronger, leaner, more alive, and without a doubt physiologically shifted from 60 minutes prior to their session with me.

Book into Circle Pilates - Tuesdays - Holborn @ 1315-1400 / Wednesdays - Old Street @ 1815-1900