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"When I came to Lesley 18 years ago, I had three small children and a lower back scoliosis. I was rarely out of pain. Even worse than the pain was the way in which my back dominated and limited my life. Like so many sufferers, I lived in constant dread of the moment when my back would 'go' and weeks of pain and immobility would follow. Following an MRI scan at a hospital, a consultant told me that nothing could be done and that my condition would steadily worsen. A tough thing to be told at 32.
Luckily, he was wrong. After just a few sessions with Lesley, I found myself moving without pain. 18 years later, my scoliosis has improved to the point where my osteopath (who I rarely see these days) says she can barely detect it. At 50, I'm far more supple than I was at 30 and, though my back does still occasionally give me problems, I know exactly what to do to make it better. I actually find my scoliosis interesting rather than frightening, and I really enjoy the stronger body that Pilates has given me.
But Lesley's uniquely holistic approach and technique go beyond the physical. All the people who teach for her are exceptional – inspiring, intuitive and caring - and the atmosphere in the studio is one of intimacy, support, humour and calm. I never leave a session without feeling lifted, both physically and mentally and there have been many times over the past 18 years when my sessions in her studio have been far more than just exercise – they've been a kind of sanctuary too."
'Whenever I'm broken, Lesley fixes me !'
20 years ago I came to Lesley Ackland after having sustained damage to the discs in my lower back. Over the years I have continued to 'rush in first, think later' and this has resulted in a succession of torn ligaments and muscles - and each time she has patiently restored me to the best health I can be.
Most recently I have developed osteo-arthritis in both my knees and wrists, and once again Lesley has devised a programme of exercise which allows me to continue to live and enjoy my life.
Lesley is inspirational and has an innate understanding of both the body and the personality she is dealing with. She is unique in the care and attention she gives to all her clients and is, quite simply, the best in her field."
"The difference between attending Lesley Ackland's Pilates Studio and attending a standard pilates class is the difference between buying a suit off the peg and a Saville Row suit. An off the peg suit will be serviceable but it will not be made to measure. A bespoke suit will require a number of fittings and many adjustments but it will fit perfectly and it will last. I keep coming back to Lesley as she has made my body the smartest it can be and I am now confident that it will last a lifetime!"
"It's like she can tell what's wrong with you the minute you walk into the studio before you even say anything. She has an expert eye and identifies what exercises each individual client needs to eliminate pain in their backs, hips, shoulders legs etc., or just to make their body more beautiful if they don't have a specific problem"
I've seen countless people over the years arrive on crutches or walking sticks or bent over to one side etc., and they all improve hugely under Lesley, Nick and Sandra's care.
Lesley has a track record at curing many common problems such as frozen shoulder, sciatic pain and various back and hip problems, as well as knowing exactly how to help people with scoliosis live pain free."
"Lesley Ackland is an extremely fine pilates instructor. Her methods are not entirely conventional, but her results are astounding. I trained as a Pilates teacher with Lesley 14 years ago and I continue to develop my skills. I spent 10 years running my own pilates studio in West London. When Lesley asked me to join her team in Covent Garden, it didn't take me long to decide. To work with such an inspired and eclectic teacher in the Pilates field is an honour and a pleasure. Lesley can read the body at a glance. Her skills in rehabilitation are evident in the success stories of the clients who have been coming to her for many years (www.lesleyackland.com) I have now been working with Lesley Ackland for several years. Moving into our new premises at The Bloomsbury Space this year, has been a great development for the business and a wonderful space where clients can practice."
"For the last twenty two years I have attended Lesley`s studio every week and enjoyed her individual guidance and carefully thought out regimes. These sessions have been adapted continually to my particular needs. With her exceptional empathy and insight I have been able to maintain a confidence and flexibility of movement. Her encouragement has given me a sense of physical well being as I approach my eightieth year."
"I came to see Lesley originally 20 years ago with a whiplash injury that both osteopaths and physiotherapists had failed to sort out. I was in considerable discomfort and limited in flexibility and mobility. Under her instruction the exercises she gave me resolved the problem quickly and relieved of the discomfort, I became active and fit again. What had started as therapy had evolved, once the problems went away, as a fitness regime. Lesley`s teaching had me hooked, I was impressed by her profound technical knowledge and how through her sympathetic analytical approach to each of her individual clients, she recognised their specific exercise requirements. I have continued attending over the last 20 years because her teaching continues to develop and grow. The new Venue in Bloomsbury is spacious and calm giving the classes a sharper sense of focus and concentration."