Kirstin Ferrie, 41, is a mum of two from Ilkley, a Pilates instructor who throughout lockdown battled her own professional and personal challenges to be a grounding force for the local community, continuing to support those who need her for both physical healing and mental release. Very much a people person she put her own struggles as a small studio led business and a mum of 2 juggling life aside and set about developing online support for the community, which proved invaluable for many others struggling with their own situations. Throughout these difficult times as she recognised her impact and driving force she found her own passion for her mission deepened and moving mountains set about planning the expansion of her studio side for when lockdown lifted.
Having lost thousands in revenue the financial pressure was on, yet Kirstin invested everything she had built up over the years in her business into creating a new, expanded, even more welcoming space for the local community. As she took stock of life in lockdown, and had the luxury of time to think she gained clarity and realised she wanted to walk the walk of what she teaches her kids – dream big and make a difference in life!
After 11 and a half years already serving the local community in Ilkley she has just expanded into a new two floor Pilates studio, complete with world class equipment, and a new retail outlet within it, in one of the best loved retail areas of Ilkley – Crescent Court, as she commits to ‘coming out of hiding and being a best kept secret’ to being available and accessible to even more people in this prime location.
Seeing first hand that her clients are really appreciating being back in a physical premises, and tapping into the emotional as well as physical support Kirstin knows she made the right move investing in this space, as she focuses on the power of person to person connection and on continuing to spread kindness, creating space and the right energy for people, as part of her in-studio experience, something she believes is not replaceable by online services.
She said: ”Throughout lockdown people were kind – because Covid was a leveller and we were all struggling along together -but many people are still struggling now and the kindness seems to have stopped – not in here. Our clients find kindness here everyday, it’s not hard to be kind when you care about someone’s wellbeing and the community we have here is something really special, everyone helps each other”.
Light, airy and beautifully designed Kirstin was passionate about creating a welcoming space, and with the addition of the a retail space she now also stocks the much loved luxury activewear brand lululemon, a real coup, as this Canadian independent booming brand is not accessible in our region anywhere else – the next closest store being Manchester then London. Kirstin has been a fan of the brand for the last 14 years, and hopes the inclusion of it will bring new faces through the door, opening up the world of Pilates to more people.
She said: “It’s really important to me that I open up the opportunity for wellness to more people and I hope that in having the retail side this will encourage more people to pop in and then they can have a nosy at the studio.”
She added: ”The studio houses world class original Pilates equipment and on first glance this can look a bit strange if you’ve never seen it before, but I want people to come in and have a look and realise this is a really relaxed, calming environment to be in and the equipment isn’t anything to be intimidated by – it’s here to help us reach our goals. We have world class equipment and use world leading techniques, created by the founder or Pilates himself, Joseph Pilates, which helps realign postures, and support strengthening of our bodies”.
Kirstin continues; “I’m hard-wired to help people, I always have been. When I’m helping, I feel like me, and my clients are finding out who they are again and what they’re capable of. Whether it’s getting down on the floor to change nappies, helping them feel more freedom and flexibility or helping them stretch a little further to save goals… it’s all an incredible privilege.”
A passionate Pilates Instructor and the Founder of Pure Pilates 11 years ago, having herself followed a robust journey of training and development having travelled worldwide to learn from the very best, Kirstin is Romanas Pilates trained, following in the footsteps of the creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates.
With over 20 years experience, having taught Pilates around the world, to a long list of impressive clients including well-known names from the worlds of sports and dance, celebrities and royalty; Kirstin is now passionate about bringing the world class Romanas Pilates teachings up North so more local talent has an opportunity to train with them, without having to travel to London to do so.
Kirstin plans on becoming a Centre of Teaching Excellence in the North – where she can mentor and instruct other teachers in the purest Pilates methods. She said: “There are very few Romanas Pilates instructors in the UK, the majority of whom are London-based, but I believe we have some real talent and dedication in the North. I’m determined to build a collective of people who are masterful in their teaching methods but also compassionate in their approach. If we can do that, we can be so much more effective for our communities and provide some outstanding ways to live longer, stronger, more satisfying lives.”
Kirstin is starting with her apprentice Antoinette Brooks-Daw, Principal Ballerina at Northern Ballet, who she is mentoring through the Romanas Pilates training programme – something only accessible via London otherwise, and the hardest programme to complete in the world due to the physical endurance required. She is excited to provide such an opportunity for Northern talent, whom she doesn’t believe is fully supported in the industry.
Kirstin has her own connections with dance, as at the age of 17 she pursued her love of dancing with the Northern School of Contemporary Dance before moving to London, but she was prevented from graduating due to suffering repeated injury and at the age of 20, so she closed the lid on her dance dreams, taking jobs in pubs and gyms whilst she considered a change in direction. Refusing to give up on the love of movement she had been born with, Kirstin enrolled on an apprenticeship with Pilates International, working around London at various studios, before studying and specialising in Romanas Pilates which she has gone on to teach all around the world, working in Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos and the USA.
Romanas Pilates is a classical method of Pilates for has been developed and practiced for over 90 years based around reshaping and strengthening the body, strengthening the core, realigning the body and posture and improving flexibility, without stressing the joints. Stretching and strengthening exercises are done with tailor made Pilates apparatus and exercises are also taught that can be done just with a floor mat, so clients can also experience the benefits at home and the equipment in the studio has been designed to the exact spec used by Joseph. Pure Pilates Studio is the only studio to offer this classic technique in the North of England – there is only one other studio in the UK which is based in London and then the rest are in Holland and the USA.
“Pilates has the power to restore us to ourselves; physically, emotionally and mentally. It’s not just a toning tool or a good habit for exercise bunnies. I believe in the power of Pilates as an holistic rhythm for life. My mission is to give people a sanctuary to learn, work out and strengthen themselves, in a safe space. Pilates positively impacts every part of our lives; emotionally, physically, mentally and even socially as our body confidence soars.”
Kirstin recently worked with Professional Goalkeeper, Simon Moore who played for Sheffield United and currently plays for Championship club, Coventry City, he said; “Kirstin’s passion for her work and her attention to detail in each of our sessions is second to none. The sessions are challenging yet enjoyable and her enthusiasm only encourages you to be the best you can possibly be. A professional footballers career is short lived and I know for certain that the sessions we do together will allow me to play for longer than I could have ever imagined”
You will find Pure Pilates in Crescent Court in Ilkley.