April 15, 2021


The torment of a shooting/tingling pain that starts in your butt and can run down the back of the leg, all the way underneath the foot to the big toe.  The pain point can stop anywhere along this nerve trail and can be very intense.  It can feel like a muscle cramp or even that someone is just poking you in the same spot without release.  It is caused by the Sciatic nerve being caught (pinched) at a joint or through a tight muscle.  It can then cause an inflammation of the nerve sheath which can add to the pain levels.

Sitting down for some people aggravates it, so it’s important for you to work out what it is that’s causing more discomfort and do less of that for starters.

I generally advise against stretching out the gluteals (your butt) if sciatica is present, because it can sometimes make symptoms worse.  The Sciatic nerve is already being ‘pulled’ and while stretching might be the action you are craving, it is only going to pull on the nerve more.


Well, I’m glad you asked!    In a nutshell, you need to:

  • Sit better (if you must sit, or vary the way you sit eg; sit on the floor so you are forced to move more often)
  • Stand better (I teach you how to do this in every class setting on my timetable, so no excuses)
  • Walk and move more (but you need to learn how to stand better for you to be able to move and walk better, so you can sort of see how these things are indeed connected)
  • Create space for your Sciatic nerve to move.  You only need a micro-millimetre (ok, I am not sure this is an official measurement, but you get the idea) of space.  So, activities which stretch your spine – hanging from the monkey bars for 20 secs everyday (even better if you can hang from your knees….DON’T FALL), hanging on an inversion table, poses such as Child’s Pose etc.
  • Strengthen your glutes (a huge role in relieving pelvic pain, sciatica and sneeze wee is building yourself a strong butt, which incidentally is linked to walking better – you see – I can find a tenuous link to everything!)
  • Release your hamstrings (particularly if sneeze wee is something you suffer with – it tells me your pelvic floor is possibly too tight…..but that is a topic for another blog post)
  • Teach your core to switch on reflexively (which means you don’t “draw it in” all the time, or at all – you let it anticipate and adapt to the load you’re asking it to bear), and finally
  • Learn to breathe better (because you can’t get a reflexive core, if you’re not breathing into your ribs, and breathing better can also help pelvic floor/core synergy too)

And, there you have it!

That’s quite an extensive list as you can see, but you’ll know that if you’ve ever asked me a question that goes along the lines of: “What exercises are good for….?”  I rarely if ever answer it by listing my “go to” exercises, because I look at the body as a whole unit, and just sending you away with 4 movements to do in isolation isn’t going to relieve your symptoms.

You’ve got to take some responsibility for your pain and actions going forwards too, you see.  You need to make the appointment to get checked out and then begin the rehab process to feel better again.

If you’re concerned that any symptom you’re suffering with is not going away, it’s probably time to get in touch with me, don’t you think?  If I need to refer you on, I definitely will.

See you at the studio soon,
Kari “I no longer have Sciatic pain” Harrold xx


January 8, 2021

Do you get a sore back sitting all the time?

We talk a lot about the position of the spine in relation to the pelvis in Pilates.  But do you take this info into your daily life?

During 2020 we found ourselves sitting more.  At a desk or table, on an inappropriate chair, or with the laptop literally on our lap while lounging on the couch.  Yes, I know you do it too!

We seem to now have a condition I am calling the ‘2020 Back’.  Not only is our back stiff and sore but the back of our legs, upper back and shoulders and even the neck have taken the brunt of our bad sitting posture.


So, what can we do?  We have to sit for work, right?  Right.  But there are things we can do to combat this.

  • Get up and stand as often as you can. Even better…. get up and move around!  Do ten deep squats, swing your arms around for 5 seconds, do a standing roll-down (touch your toes) …. Just MOVE.  You see, the thing with our body is that it is designed to MOVE.  Some people use standing desks, great, but we also don’t want to be standing all day, particularly if we do not have the correct standing posture.  Sitting all day shortens and slackens muscles that we then want to have at their optimal best and this is just not going to happen.
    • Set an alarm for every 30 minutes and stand for 2 minutes when it goes off
    • Every time the phone rings, stand up for the call. Or if it rings too frequently, only stand when a particular person calls (like your boss, or assistant)
    • Put items you need on the other side of the room – filing cabinet (do we even use them anymore??), printer/copier etc so you have to get up to access them
  • Be aware of your feet. Have you crossed your legs or your ankles under the chair? If so, be conscious to that movement and uncross them.  By crossing your legs, you are lifting one side of your pelvis and leaning on the other thereby shortening some muscles and overworking others.
  • Have you slouched down into your chair? Ideally, we should be sitting in a neutral position, but this can sometimes be hard work. By placing a rolled-up towel under your bum but behind your sitz bones (the boney part of your bum) and allowing the chunk of your bum to be in front of the towel on the chair, you will be tilted into a neutral sitting position which is not only easier to hold but will alleviate many of the aches, pains and stiffness associated with sitting.  (See pic below)
  • Lift up your monitor. Looking down at our screens, whether it’s a computer or a phone etc, promotes a forward head position which causes strain on our neck and shoulders.  Put some books under your screen/monitor to lift it up to eye level and take the pressure off.
  • Massage is a prevention. Most people wait until they are so sore that they can’t move properly before seeking someone for a massage etc.  As a massage therapist of 25 years, let me tell you this…..If you get regular massages by a quality therapist your incidences of pain and stiffness will decrease markedly.  I no longer massage but I do see someone for a massage regularly.  This helps me not only with my sciatic and arthritic pain but also aides with lengthening the muscles which have shortened throughout my daily activities.


Most of all, BE AWARE.  Be aware of the position you put your body in.  Take control to gain control.


Using a towel to help tilt the pelvis when sitting
Using a towel to help tilt the pelvis when sitting



Movements to do to help reduce the symptoms of bad sitting posture:

  • Pelvic tilts – pull your abdominal muscles in and up to create a tilt in your pelvis. Then relax.  Try to only use your abs, not you glutes (bum) or drop your ribs….just your abs.   Do this nice and slowly for 30 seconds
  • Deep squat position – not ‘squats’ as an exercise but as a position. Stand with your feet apart (and turned out if you need to), heals down, bend at the hips and knees until you are all the way down.  Hold on to something if you need to and lean your body weight onto your heals as you try to get your shins (between your knee and your ankle) as vertical as you can.  Put your arms/elbows on the inside of the legs/knees.  You can then use them to help push apart the legs and open the hips – if you can, if you are still attempting to get your heals down don’t worry about this part).  Hold this for 40 seconds.
  • Shoulder activation – swing your straight arms around in circles. Forwards, backwards.  Not too fast, remember to take control of the movement so you avoid further damage.
  • Twists – stand with your feet apart and firmly planted. With hands on hips slowly rotate to one side.  Use the shoulders to help pull the ribs around but keep the hips facing forward.  Make sure you look to where you want your upper body to move to.  Start to speed it up a little but not too much as you want to keep control of the movement and not use momentum.


December 14, 2020

It’s nearly Christmas!

Scroll down to see our New Years Resolution Sale!
Hello Pilates People,
Well, what a crazy couple of weeks!  It feels like as soon as we get up and running, we have to pause again for Christmas.
I do love Christmas time though and I am so excited to have my family all (well, almost all) together for a day of crazy Christmas fun and overeating.

As you know, I recently requested some help with deciding which days the studio should close over the holiday period.  If you completed the survey, THANK YOU, it was a tremendous help.  The main decision to be made was whether we would be open the first week of January 2021, and the responses were coming in at approximately 50/50…….but then we were informed that Bridge Road will be CLOSED from the river up to Church St for two whole weeks (Jan 2nd – Jan 16th).  During this time they will be creating significant noise as they replace the tram tracks and repair the road (working 24/7 at excessive noise levels).  So, I decided that we will take off the first week of January 2021 and hope that by the second week they have moved further up the road towards Church st.

Christmas Timetable
Up to and including Wednesday 23rd December – Classes as per schedule
Thursday 24th December – Closed
Monday 11th January – ReOpen with Pre-Covid timetable

Did you know that hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is a fear of long words?
As the saying goes “A change is as good as a holiday” and we all know that holidays haven’t happened for a long time!  To keep you on your toes (not literally!!  For the sake of your pelvic floor health, don’t do that) the timetable will be changing in January.  As there will be more people returning to the workplace, the times will be reverting to the earlier start in the morning and later start in the evenings.  Please check the timetable below for clarification.  We will also be returning to the pre-covid way of providing classes according to experience and skill level.  Therefore the classes will be sectioned into Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.Level 1

– Think of this as the beginner level. There will be full explanations of each exercise/movement and demonstrations to help you.  While anyone can attend these sessions, as they will give you the foundation of the Pilates method, they are more geared toward those starting their Pilates routine or those practicing for under 6-8 months.  (and by that I mean starting an AUTHENTIC Pilates routine rather than the fast moving bootcamp style sessions offered elsewhere)Level 2 – More of a ‘step-up’ than Level 1.  Ideally for those who have the basic understanding of the Pilates method and don’t require alllllll the info given in Level 1.  It will be assumed that you have the basic control and activation required and are wanting to build on that. After 6 months of regular classes most of you are in the Level 2 zone.

Level 3 – You need to be approved for this session as it is purely for those who are at an advanced stage of their Pilates practice.  We work on inversions and dismounts, and practice exercises/movements which require a solid knowledge and activation of core strength and stability.  This session is not suitable for those requiring modifications due to injuries etc.  Due to this, if you book into this session without being ‘approved’ I will contact you to reschedule your class.  If, prior to the covid closure, you were approved for the ‘Intermediate’ sessions then you are automatically approved for Level 3 now.

Level 1& 2 – Just as it says… it will be a class suitable to everyone (including Level 3)

Pregnancy – I don’t really need to explain this session, do I?  hahaha

Solo sessions – Private sessions for you, alone or with a friend, where we an focus on your specific needs, complete a postural assessment and discuss what you need to work on the help strengthen and align your body.  OR… you may just want exactly what happens within a class but without other people there.

Post Natal Home Visits – A specific program for mums who feel they need help strengthening their core and pelvic floor.  I work with women from 4 weeks postpartum onwards and, while its not specifically Pilates, we have a lot of success in reducing the symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (sneeze wee, pressure, lack of strength).

Book Here

Are we holding our annual
New Year Resolution Sale???
As of Boxing Day, December 26th, we will have 15% off our Bronze (5), Silver (10) and Gold (20) packs.
You can purchase as many packs as you like, but BEWARE
We already have over-generous expiry dates on our packs so it is up to you to get into a routine and ensure that the sessions are all used within that time.Sale will only be available from Dec 26th – Jan 3rd and will not be extended.
What’s the bad news, Kari?
Well, I am glad you asked!  The bad news is that for the first time in the history of Richmond Pilates, the cost of the packs will be increasing as of January 4th 2021.
Don’t worry, it will not be a huge hike in cost but will be an increase nonetheless.Also, the pack expiry dates have usually been a quite flexible, but Pilates is a method, a process, and should be practiced regularly so you can reap the rewards.  You wouldn’t attend a weight training session once every couple of weeks and expect a change in muscle definition, would you?  And Pilates is the same, probably even more so.  To feel and see the benefit of Pilates the recommended practice is twice a week.  That being said, those who attend consistently once a week also benefit, it just takes a little longer.  Attempting to strengthen your core or alignment by coming in sporadically or inconsistently won’t work.

The expiry dates are there to help prompt you into establishing a routine. so, from now on, there will be a firm date with no extensions  (unless there are extenuating circumstances).
Check your pack when purchasing so you don’t get caught out.

Well, there you go!  Herein concludes yet another well crafted and articulate newsletter from yours-truly.😜 🤪😜 😜 🤪 (don’t worry…I am just entertaining myself)

BTW….these emails are my way of communicating with you all.  You agreed to the studio’s Terms & Conditions when signing up which includes accepting these emails.  You are welcome to ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of this email but you will then miss out on all the latest news from me….and I am an absolute DELIGHT so why would you want to do that??

I’ll pop back into your inbox just before Christmas but in the meantime I look forward to seeing you at the studio soon.

Happy Hundreds💯


December 1, 2020

Have you made it back into the studio in the past three weeks? If not, why not?😜

Remember during lockdown how you told yourself that you’ll get back into Pilates as soon as the studio re-opens? Hmmm? Well, that’s now, my friend, and I am waiting to see you!

The last three weeks have been amazing! How good does it feel to be actually out and about again?!
We have had a whole bunch of new members join us and I have loved getting to know everyone. Plus, all of our returning members are so happy to come in, the vibe of the place in so positive and fun….I can’t wipe the smile from my face!

I need your help!

Now that we are allowed to go on road trips and the Victorian borders have re-opened, it leads me to wonder how many of you will be around in January 2021.
Initially, I have planned on closing the studio for the first week of January, but after our long lockdown this now seems unlikely.
So, I have created a short survey that I would love you to complete for me.  It will give me an idea of how the timetable may be affected during the holidays (and beyond) and I can adjust it as needed.
The link to the survey is here and it will only take a couple of minutes to complete.  I would greatly appreciate your help xx

Did you borrow equipment (mat, hand weights etc) from the studio during lockdown?
If so, can you please bring them in with you this week?

Don’t forget that as part of our COVID-19 policy, socks are to worn at the studio.  If you forget to bring some, you can purchase them from the studio (new shipment just came in today) for $10 each.
Gloves are also required as it is near impossible to disinfect the reformer straps prior to the next class.  We were using disposable gloves but the affect on the environment was horrendous 😩, as a result, we now have cotton gloves for you to purchase for $4.  Obviously these are reusable but also much more user friendly than the latex gloves.  You are welcome to leave your gloves here if you think you may forget to bring them but you are also free to use your gloves from home, if you have some.


Direct Debit Memberships

Did you know that you don’t have to come up with a lump some of money to purchase Pilates packs?
The memberships gets deducted from your bank account, or credit card, each week and you can choose from either a two session per week pack or a three session per week pack.  There is a 6 month commitment on sign-up and you can pause it for 14 days at any time.  Of course, the week between Christmas and the new year is also paused as we are closed.

The reasons why the Direct Debit Membership is soooo amazing

  • You set it up and then forget it.  The payment is deducted from your account automatically so you don’t have to worry.  If your payment is denied, the system will try again in 24 hours.
  • The commitment to two or three sessions (your choice) is a good motivation to attend Pilates even when motivation is running low.
  • You are getting Pilates at really good rates for an ongoing time.
  • You get to spend time with ME two or three times a week….and I am a DELIGHT!

The reasons you may decide the Direct Debit Memberships may not be for you

  • If you don’t use the allocated number of session per week they do not roll into next week
  • You will not benefit from the Class Pack ‘sales’ which happen a couple of times a year
  • You have major commitment issues and cannot imagine yourself signing up for 6 months.  Besides….. you think you may be moving to Timbuktoo in 3 months anyway.


That’s all from me today!
I hope to see all of you at the studio really soon.