Practitioners

Agathe Girard

As a contemporary dancer, Agathe has developed a deep, hands on understanding of the body. She has also been practising body conditioning, pilates and yoga for many years, which have given her further insight as well as different perspectives from which to observe and learn from. In her Stretch and Strengthen sessions, she uses various exercises, depending on the needs of the client, so rarely sticks to one particular technique.

Stretch and Strengthen sessions are for everyone, from beginners to advanced, from rehabilitation post injury to specific training. Whether working with someone with a limitation (e.g. injury, natural wear and tear, reduced mobility, etc) or someone with a fully functioning body, Agathe aims to help people work at their full potential. Exercises may be on the mat, seated on a chair, seated on a ball, working with weights, working with a resistance tube, or simply using your own body weight and resistance - whatever is needed and necessary.

Exercises may range from learning to engage your core muscles to core strengthening, increasing power in the legs, strengthening the ankles, spine mobility, freeing up the shoulders, strengthening the hips and improving balance as well as deep stretches and using the breath, always with alignment and control at the back of your mind.

One of Agathe’s key messages is “concentration without tension” (which is sometimes easier said than done!) as well as learning to exercise in an optimal and efficient manner. Understanding how to exercise - stretching or strengthening your body in a mindful way - will free up your body and lead to more effective results for each exercise. Agathe spends time helping people build a deeper understanding of their body: how to exercise and stretch in a sound, effective and safe manner. It's about empowering individuals which in turn should assist in injury prevention, as well as increasing wellbeing.

During your first session, Agathe will discuss your condition with you, what you hope to gain from the sessions and establish a plan to help you reach your end goal. She will guide you through exercises aimed at assessing your posture, overall strength and flexibility. At the end of this initial consultation, you will be prescribed some exercises to practise at home (notes will be provided) and, depending on your personal circumstances and needs, your session plan going forward will be agreed.

A couple of simple exercises to try:

Exercise 1:

  • Stand, feet parallel, hips-width apart.
  • Engage your core, gently lifting the pelvic floor (without tightening buttocks or tensing chest and shoulders).
  • Breathe in to prepare and on your breath out, slowly start rolling down through your spine.
  • Start by dropping your chin to your chest, rolling down slowly, pushing your belly button in, arms and shoulders dropped and relaxed, head dropped so the neck is also completely relaxed, bending your legs as you roll down so the stretch is in your back rather than your legs.
  • Go as low as you can and take a few deep breaths at the bottom and (here you may want to slightly lift the torso, keeping your back round, when you breathe in and let it relax down on the breath out).
  • When you're ready to roll back up (ideally on a breath out), strongly suck your stomach muscles in as you start rolling up.
  • Keep your shoulders, arms and head relaxed. Stretch your legs as you roll up so they're straight when you're back upright. Your head should be the last thing to come up.
  • Repeat 4 times.

Exercise 2:

  • Again, standing feet parallel, shoulder-width apart.
  • You're going to do some pelvic tilts, forward and backward, in this position, with your legs slightly bent the whole time.
  • Hands on your hips, scoop your stomach muscles in and rotate your pelvis backwards so you’re pulling your tail down - this should result in a flatter lower spine.
  • Then tilt your pelvis forward which should result in a larger inward curve of the lower back.
  • Then find your neutral spine position, halfway between the two.
  • Repeat a few times.
  • Think about moving from the waist down so as not to involve your shoulder and upper back!

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If you wish to find out more information on our practitioners or any of the services we offer, please feel free to contact us and we will gladly help you.

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Agathe GirardAgathe Girard

As a contemporary dancer, Agathe has developed a deep, hands on understanding of the body. She has also been practising body conditioning, pilates and yoga for many years. In her Stretch and Strengthen sessions, she uses various exercises, depending on the needs of the client.

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