about your teacher

Movement optimist


‘Movement optimism’ is a term coined by Greg Lehman, a Canada-based physiotherapist, chiropractor and strength and conditioning specialist – read more about his movement philosophy here.

Central to this philosophy is the belief that there is not one ‘right’ way to move. You may need to make movement adaptions based on your current body or physical demands, but there is no one ‘correct’ way to move and no solid evidence that particular postures or ways of moving the body are associated with less pain or physical damage.

There are many, many factors impacting our experiences of movement and movement problems – stress, sleep, nutrition, feelings and emotions, past experiences of pain – as well as habits, postures and tissue damage.

Movement optimists believe that with the right approach, you can probably do ‘that thing’ whatever it may be. It might take rest, modifications, strength-building or tissue development, but no movement is out of bounds and no movement is ‘wrong’ or inherently dangerous.

Every body is different. Every experience of movement is different. Let’s give it a try, I believe you can probably do ‘that thing’.


I tried to get into exercise for many years before I cracked it, finally achieving a regular practice at the age of 35. It’s one of my life’s greatest achievements, more important than any of my educational qualifications or professional successes. The benefits have been utterly profound.

I practised as a student for six years before qualifying as a reformer teacher, attending over 1000 small group classes with around 20 different teachers. I’ve learned something from all of them. I still attend classes around 6 x per week, both in-person and on Zoom, so I understand reformer classes from the inside out, both as a teacher and passionate student.

I qualified as a reformer teacher to share my love and enthusiasm for this machine, as well as the knowledge I have acquired over my years of practice.


I trained for many years following the model of movement perfectionism that is inherent to many Pilates and reformer classes. Aligning my joints just so. Making everything straight before I exercise a body part. Correcting minor variations in movement to make the action look neater, tidier, more in keeping with the idea of a perfect body or perfect expression of movement.

I no longer believe this is ‘best’ way to move, but it’s a hard practice to shake off. It takes real mental effort to let my body move in the way that feels right for its structure. But doing so has brought me past the plateau I had reached with reformer.

I’m developing new muscles, feeling stronger, gaining new range of movement. I am learning to move with the freedom and joyful abandon I had as a child. Learning fun, challenging new moves has injected my reformer practice with new life and I am excited about the new shapes I can make with my body.


I aim to teach exercises that are interesting and challenging in some way, rather than following a particular school of reformer teaching. This includes a mix of contrology and other historical reformer, classical, contemporary and anything else I can find.

I prize functional movement over form, new motor learning over fine motor control. Your joints move in multiple different ways and directions out in the real world, so why not train that way on the reformer?

I will do my best to teach you multiple different ways to move on the reformer, but that will look different for different people. If one knee turns out a bit more than the other, then to me that is not a problem that requires correcting. We all have different knees, perhaps that is the best way for you to move your knee.

I will also give you the space to learn and explore particular movements in your own time, rather than jumping in to dictate every step of the exercise. Working out new choreography and moving your body in a different way might not come to you instantly – but the more autonomous you are in this process, the more likely this information is to stick.

We are often instructed to turn our attention inside our body, to focus intently on every sensation and muscle movement happening to us. But contemporary research shows that this does not improve the quality of movement or result in the most development. In fact, it is by turning our attention out of the body – focusing on the machine, the room around us or other visual imagery – that we are able to go further, develop quicker, make greater gains.

Please get in touch if you have any questions – always happy to help!