5 minutes with: Marina Huxley

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Our Pilates instructor Marina talks staying in touch – with ourselves, our bodies, and nature – and the unexpected positives that have come out of the pandemic.

Marina Huxley Pilates Teacher Watergate Bay Hotel

Where did it all start?

For years, I worked as a PA in music law in London. Sitting at a desk hunched over a computer took its toll on my body, and a physio suggested I try Pilates. I was hooked from the first class. Pilates became a part of my life and I trained to become a teacher.

What does Pilates do?

It strengthens the deep core muscles that support your spine, to maintain good posture and avoid back pain. It teaches you to move with control and awareness, recruiting the correct muscles. It improves flexibility, co-ordination and balance. And it’s for everyone – you don’t have to be flexible, or a fitness fanatic.

How does it make you feel?

In a class we work the whole body, from top to toe. You leave feeling taller, stronger and more energised. You can forget about everything outside the studio and focus on yourself for an hour. On your body and your mind; your breath and your movement.

Pilates Breaks Watergate Bay Hotel

How important is nurturing that connection to our bodies?

Extremely. We place huge demands on them. We’re so busy, we don’t notice always the little warning signs our bodies give us – or we ignore them. We need to pause, tune in and pay more attention. We need to start showing our bodies some love.

How has social distancing impacted your classes?

The pandemic has impacted our lives in so many ways but I choose to focus on the positives. I’m teaching mainly online classes now so anyone can join, from anywhere in the world. I have re-connected with some old clients who had moved away from Cornwall, some of my friends from London are now able to join my classes, and I've even had some join from Australia. I’ve also found that people who were previously coming to one class per week are now signing up for two or three per week online – and really noticing the benefits, which is wonderful. I’m also now able to take online classes and training with teachers from anywhere in the world – so my own practice is benefiting too.

Pilates Active Breaks Watergate Bay Hotel

What about your face-to-face classes?

We follow social distancing guidelines so class sizes are smaller, everyone has their own dedicated mat space and there is plenty of room between clients. Between classes the space is thoroughly cleaned and ventilated and clients use their own mats. It’s really important to me that people feel comfortable and safe in my classes.

What do you do when you need to get away from it all?

I spend time with my husband. I go for walks with my beautiful bulldog, Ronnie. I go to the beach or up to the coastal path and look at the ocean. I go for coffee and cake. I cook with produce from our allotment. I read. I do Pilates! I try to make sure I get out in nature every day. It slows me down and gives me perspective. It makes me a better teacher, definitely.

Pilates Breaks Swim Club Watergate Bay Hotel

Marina Huxley leads our ocean-facing Pilates Active Breaks, our next two-day practice is 10–12 September 2021.

Building core strength and boosting energy, these two-day breaks offer a mix of pre-breakfast energiser classes, designed to mobilise the body from head to toe; a selection of focused workshops, including core stability/ abdominals, healthy hips, toned arms and shoulders, spine extension, and a focus on feet; free afternoons; and gentle classes to end the day and prepare for a peaceful night’s sleep. Suitable for beginners and experienced Pilates practitioners alike.

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"Teaching at Watergate Bay is a real highlight. I can't think of a better location to do Pilates - listening to the sounds of the seagulls and the waves is so calming, and the view is unbeatable! My aim is to help you improve and refine your Pilates practice, or if you're a complete beginner, to give you the best possible introduction to this incredible method of exercise. I want you to leave feeling relaxed, lengthened and above all, happy and rested."

Active breaks at Watergate Bay run at various dates throughout the year and also include swim clinics, coastal fitness and yoga breaks.

Active breaks