Spotlight on… Dawn McCarron
1. Describe your Pilates journey – why; who; how?
I decided to train as a teacher of mat Pilates in 2010 which was one of the best decisions that I have made so far during my 25 year fitness career. I can safely and effectively train my body every day using the Pilates method without any risk of injury and I have even taken the method off the mat and into the gym! Most recently I have also trained to teach with Pilates equipment and I’m looking forward to training clients on the reformer. I’m a Pink Ribbon Exercise Specialist for breast cancer rehabilitation and am trained to work with clients with Osteoporosis – I passionately believe that there are no limitations to exercise, only benefits, whatever your age or state of health!
2. Which is your favourite class to teach?
I love the simplicity of the mat – just body weight and small pieces of equipment, such as the roller, which offer the challenge of core stability and the ability to focus on the alignment of the spine.
3. What’s your favourite exercise?
I love all of the Pilates repertoire but I particularly like the roll up due to its versatility and ability to modify it for all levels of ability.
4. What do you bring to your class that makes it unique?
My ability to offer a different challenge to all levels of student in an environment that always feels fun and never feels like exercise.
5. How often do you practise?
I practise Pilates daily, even on holiday, all that is needed is a small space and no equipment is required. Daily movement is imperative for health and well-being so choose something you enjoy.
6. You’re also a Yoga teacher – how do the two complement one another?
Both practices are mindful and are focused on breathing whilst moving, albeit in different breathing patterns. I have found that my Pilates students develop a more stable and more focused yoga practice with the core strength that Pilates brings but does not in any way contradict each different discipline. They sit together in true harmony.
7. Top tip to get the most benefit from your Pilates practice?
Firstly, before moving into any Pilates practice, awareness of the breath is key. I teach this at the beginning of all of my mat Pilates classes as it builds a strong mind-body connection followed by an effective practice.
8. What would your advice be to beginners?
Learning ABC (alignment, breath, control) will stand you in good stead for a strong and effective Pilates practice. This should be learned and practised at every Pilates session or class, no matter what your experience – to read my blog post on this, click here.
9. How do your workshops/courses enhance students’ practice?
Once you have completed the Pilates Foundation Course and the Pilates method is learned, the Pilates exercises are secondary and can very quickly be built on to increase complexity and intensity as your strength and stability improves.
10. How do you relax at the end of the day?
I love to cook and most evenings I enjoy a family meal with my husband and three grown up boys, sharing our day’s activities. This is then followed by curling up on the sofa with a good book – I’ve earned it after all?!
Dawn McCarron teaches Mat Pilates; Pilates Stretch; Pilates Glow & HIIP (High Intensity Interval Pilates) at RHY – check out the timetable here to see when you can join her. In 2018 she’s also teaching a number of courses including the ever popular Pilates Foundation; Pilates for Tight Guys; Ski Fit; Gentle Pilates & Pilates Improver – for more details & to book your place click here.