LEEDS CITY MAGAZINE CATCHES UP WITH KELLY AND SUSANNE FROM NORTH STAR PILATES
KELLY STEPHENSON: Certified Stott Pilates® instructor, certified level 1 NKT practitioner and level 3 personal trainer.
SUSANNE WHARTON: Certified Stott Pilates® instructor and founder of North Star Pilates Studio
Can you tell us about yourselves and your exciting new business venture in Leeds?
Well we have been teaching Pilates for around 16 years between us. I (Kelly) trained first as a Personal Trainer with the YMCA, London. Susanne trained with STOTT Pilates in London, then I did the same. We both come from corporate backgrounds and as this is printed I will still be there, hence us opening this space in Leeds, I get to finally escape my 9-5!
We have both felt so many benefits to doing Pilates and have done other diverse courses associated with movement. We have both suffered with lots of back pain over the years, so we understand the issues people have when they come to see us. We look at the body as a whole when looking at dysfunctional movement patterns and bring in our other training from our tool box we have built over the years!
Pilates has often saved us when times have been tough in the past. Just giving yourself that one whole hour. Just you, in your own space is so precious. We have done a lot of developmental work on ourselves these last few years, working with business and life coaches and we understand the pressures of modern life. It’s why we have gone into retreats, we ran our first one last year in Ibiza and plan on doing others in the UK and abroad. The brain often goes into overwhelm. Stress and anxiety is on the up and having suffered both of these I feel I can help people. Pain is also often associated with stored negative energy in the body, so being able to release this energy is crucial to reducing pain.
Susanne opened the studio in Wakefield 4 years ago and has done an amazing job with it creating a beautiful calmingspace. We know Leeds very well and love the city. It’s our adopted home after moving here from Scarborough years ago. We spend a lot of time in Leeds and got married here in 2015! So this seemed the next logical step for us. We are very excited to have a space on
the 17th floor of The Pinnacle building as it offers something a bit different for people. It’s very smart and has amazing views across Leeds and it’s easily accessible for everyone in the city. Whatever we do we do it well, so we are looking forward to making the Leeds space somewhere that people want to come to, where they will feel relaxed and leave feeling energised.
Is Pilates for all abilities and can you offer personal training and group sessions for office workers and other such groups?
Yes absolutely, Pilates is definitely for all abilities! Our passion is helping people to move better so they feel better. People often get scared to move after an injury, so we love helping them get that confidence back to move again. Our space in The Pinnacle is designed to focus on 1:1 private sessions, it’s all about YOU! You get our undivided attention, are individually assessed, we tailor exercises to suit your body and we build a relationship. All whilst having fun! The sessions can incorporate Mat based exercises and Reformer. The STOTT Reformer is a smart piece of equipment using resistance based exercises. It can be used to add challenge to a movement or it can assist people.
We are currently looking at spaces in Leeds to offer classes, so watch this space. We have a Facebook page called North Star Pilates, so as we evolve we can let everyone know. If anyone has a space available to use for classes by all means get in touch with us as we love teaching classes as well.
If you could help train one famous person who would it be and why?
Great question. There is a lot to choose from, but we both agreed Oprah would be A-mazing! We are strong woman ourselves who are wanting to help and empower other woman. I mean she is one of THE most influential and powerful women in the world who came from nothing! Imagine what working with her would be like, what conscious conversations you would have during the sessions. The adversity she has overcome in her lifetime to be where she is today and to help others like she does. She cares about people deeply and so do we so working with her would be a dream.
What do you do to relax?
Susanne: I have a daily meditation practice, just completely stopping helps to clear my mind. I think it’s easy to get caught up in always thinking we need to be ‘doing’ things when actually giving ourselves time and space to ‘just be’ without distractions is such a beautiful gift. I love to be creative with my Pilates and movement practice and make use of all the awesome Pilates equipment. I will often be found hanging upside down somewhere in the studio! I love food (and wine!) so the ever increasing restaurant scene in Leeds is just perfect.
Kelly: I’m the same in that I like to just stop on occasions. I find this helps calm me and re-energise me. I like to eat out in nice restaurants and I like the dance scene. There’s something about just letting yourself go for a few hours with like minded people on a dance floor listening to great music. I also love holidays, sunshine and the beach, who doesn’t!
If our readers are reading this and thinking this could be the right practice for me what would be the next step?
Well we would love your readers to take advantage of our opening offer for March & get a 20% discount on a block of 5 sessions. We believe that 5 sessions gives so much benefit to the client and they will start to feel a real difference to their bodies with what we teach them.
Of course if anyone has any questions they are more than welcome to email us on leeds@ northstarpilates.co.uk with their contact number, I appreciate sometimes a conversation is required, especially if that person has been in pain. It’s only natural they may feel a little apprehensive, if we don’t feel we can help them we will be honest with them and refer them on. We are very experienced, the people of Leeds are in safe hands.
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