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Instructors



Jo Ness

Jo Ness - MCSP HPC

Jo is a fully qualified Physiotherapist and has been working for over 17 years in the profession treating a variety of patients to include Elite athletes, Professional Ballet dancers, amateur sports participants and the general public with complex pain conditions. She completed the training to become a fully certified Modified Pilates teacher in 2003 with the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute.

Jo lives with her husband, daughter, their son and a springer spaniel in Barnsley and loves keeping herself fit by attending Bootcamp sessions, personal training and running. She is aiming to do her first half marathon soon.

In 2006 Jo set up Flex Pilates, originally teaching classes in North Sheffield. Since then the business has expanded to Leeds and Barnsley with people of all ages and abilities enjoying the benefits of this popular exercise.

As well as teaching Pilates classes Jo also works with the APPI as an International Lecturer, teaching other Health Professionals the principles of Pilates teaching, enabling them to take the exercise into their practice. This side of her career has seen her travel to America in 2012 to teach 6 courses to rehabilitation professionals. Jo also travels within the UK, lecturing regularly on 3 different Matwork courses developed by the APPI.

Having just had her second child, Jo has added Antenatal and Postnatal rehabilitation Pilates classes to the Flex Pilates' repertoire, teaching mums-to-be and new mums alike. After struggling with a muscle separation (Diastasis Recti) with her pregnancy, Jo used Pilates to re-strengthen her own core with great success.

Jo is truly passionate about Pilates and loves the way it can help transform an individual's ability to function on a day-to-day basis.



Ali Couzens

Ali Couzens, Physiotherapist

Ali comes to us with a background in dance and over 13 years experience in the fitness industry as a qualified Group Exercise Class Instructor and Personal Trainer.

Working closely with a range of conditions in a gym environment inspired her to re-train as a Physiotherapist, with the aim of better understanding biomechanics and rehabilitation strategies to implement with these clients and future patients.

She qualified from Sheffield Hallam University as a Physiotherapist in 2014, and received a regional award for clinical proficiency during her undergraduate training. Clinically, she's keen to focus on nurturing good exercise technique to ensure better recovery from injury and aid return to sport.

Ali started her Physiotherapy career at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals covering areas such as Specialist Medicine, Cardiothoracics, and Musculoskeletal (MSK) Outpatients, before specialising in MSK to treat hospital staff for a range of conditions ranging from work-induced back pain to shoulder dysfunctions and supporting their return to work post injury.

In 2017 she left the NHS for a role in private practice treating patients for musculoskeletal pain, occupational health issues, sports injuries and postural imbalances, and continues to develop her skills to benefit her patients. She has a strong interest in creative exercise prescription, and is also qualified in acupuncture.

Outside of work she continues to enjoy gym training and dance classes, loves to bake and is keen to explore new places, with Fiji being her firm favourite so far.



Rebekah Cunliffe

Rebekah Cunliffe - Pilates Instructor

Rebekah has been a qualified physiotherapist for over 10 years and has specialised as a senior therapist with Neurological rehabilitation, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, musculoskeletal rehabilitation and has a special interest in post-natal care. Rebekah also has her own business in baby massage/yoga and Pilates.

Rebekah became interested in Pilates following her personal journey with abdominal surgery and most recently c-section after having her son in 2016. When getting herself back to her pre-surgery strength she found that Pilates within the gym just wasn't personal enough for her needs.

She then trained with the Australian Physiotherapy Pilates Institute in 2014. Rebekah has taken what she has learnt and helped herself regain her fitness and also uses her Pilates in all aspects of her physiotherapy career in stroke rehabilitation, Pilates classes and Post-natal care.

Rebekah is married and has a threenager! She used to play high level Hockey as a goal keeper and is ever striving to improve professionally, physically and as a working mummy to the best of her ability.



A portrait of sandie.

Sandie Clough - Pilates Instructor

Sandie is a specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist working full time in the NHS. She graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2008 with a first class honours degree in Physiotherapy. She completed her matwork and class instructor Pilates training with the Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute (APPI) whilst gaining her Physiotherapy degree and has been teaching ever since.

Sandie likes to make her pilates classes challenging yet achievable, helping to develop clients control, strength and balance. Pilates is all about using the right muscles for the right job to improve posture, alignment and function.

Sandie has completed further Pilates training using all small equipment she likes to make her classes innovative and fun. Sandie has also carried out Pilates training specifically for cyclists.

Outside of Pilates Sandie is a keen mountain biker, regularly swims and attempts (although badly) to dance!

Sandie thinks Pilates is great and should be done by everyone! It is hugely adaptable so can be modified to suite everybody, no matter what age, ability or fitness someone may have.



A portrait of Amber.

Amber Ainsworth - Massage Therapist

Amber practices John F Barnes Myofascial Release, Therapeutic and Deep Tissue Massage, and Sekhem Reiki.

Her passion is Myofascial Release; it's efficancy at releasing pain and holding patterns, releasing physical and emotional trauma while improving posture and mobility: it's just wonderful!

She first came across Myofascial Release whilst completing her Therapeutic Massage training and knew immediately that she wanted to practice this therapy. She trained in Illinois with John F Barnes himself, the father of Myofascial Release. It was as she hoped: life changing and she came back with magic!!

Amber loves the intuitive and free flowing character of Myofascial Release and looks forward to helping you find physical and emotional freedom.

She lives in Walkley with her two lurchers Ray and Jason, and her husband Ben. In her spare time she practices yoga regularly and enjoys walking her boys around Rivelin Valley.



A portrait of Carmel.

Carmel Mach BSc (Hons), MCSP

Carmel is a highly specialised musculoskeletal physiotherapist working both within the NHS and in the private setting for the last 11 years.

After qualifying in 2005 from Sheffield Hallam University, Carmel worked in a variety of community settings including GP practices, paediatrics and learning disabilities.

She has specialised as a senior Neuromuscular therapist for the last 7 years - assessing and treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions and in January of this year she was successful of a Clinical Specialist / Team Leader role.

Carmel has always had a keen interest in both Yoga and Pilates and has practiced both these for many years.

She has attended many courses and continuing professional development including ‘Yoga for Physiotherapist's' and the UK Shoulder conference last summer, and is keen to start a masters in Advanced Clinical Practice.

Carmel enjoys a wide range of activities such as running, mountain biking, yoga and Pilates along with travelling the world.

After joining Flex Pilates last year she is really enjoying teaching the beginners & intermediate classes and enjoys seeing her clients progressing with their exercises as their core strength improves.



A portrait of Laura.

Laura Hewitt Bsc(Hons) MCSP HCPC

Laura has worked as a Physiotherapist for over 10 years, after graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2007.

Her experience has included working in various different settings and countries including England, Scotland and New Zealand, and within a range of very specialist clinical areas including Neurology, Paediatrics and Women's Health.

Laura currently works in Sheffield within Private practice (Spinal Scoliosis specialist) and as a freelance Pilates Instructor. Laura enjoys integrating Pilates principles and exercises into her clinical practice and has been passionate about teaching classes since starting her modified Pilates training in 2013 with the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates institute (APPI). She qualified as a fully certified Pilates instructor with the APPI in 2017 after completing the full matwork series and passing the exam.

Laura is passionate about using Pilates to help people move more confidently and optimally. She currently teaches the Postnatal Pilates classes at Flex. Laura's previous physiotherapy experience of working within a maternity hospital, and having completed a number of continued professional development courses, has meant that Laura is experienced in teaching women during the antenatal and postnatal stages of their lives. Having had two children of her own, she also knows how important safe and specific exercises are to be able to prepare your body for the journey through pregnancy, and for the recovery and rehabilitation after baby arrives.

Away from work Laura lives with her husband, two young daughters, and her cat. She loves to participate in a wide range or sports and activities as a means of keeping active and staying healthy. Since having her own family Laura mainly does Pilates and runs as her means of exercise and fitness, and she likes to participate in her local Park run, as well as Sheffield 10K events. However in previous years (when she had more time! ) she has enjoyed a number of team sports (Netball, Hockey, Touch rugby), as well as badminton and snowboarding (She did live in NZ!).

Laura looks forward to meeting you in the studio at Flex Pilates soon.



A portrait of Cat.

Cat Saelind, Yoga Instructor

Cat is a qualified Hatha and children's yoga teacher based in Sheffield with a special interest in mental well-being.

Cat has been practicing yoga for 11 years and began teaching children's classes in 2016, then trained to teach adults and now enjoys sharing yoga full time in studios, community spaces and in schools.

Cat is passionate about yoga being accessible and holistic. Each class includes mindfulness meditations, physical postures and sequences, and relaxation. Restorative yoga for deep rest is an area of continued study for Cat as well as linking this to mindful practices and breathing techniques for inner calm. She is currently studying for a mindfulness diploma.

Away from the yoga mat, Cat has 2 children and a cat to keep her busy. To keep active, Cat sees a personal trainer who certainly puts her through her paces and keeps her strong and healthy. Walking out in the peaks is a favourite activity on a sunny day.

Cat enjoys music, and anyone who has attended a class will have heard some mantra singing. She believes in the healing and creative power of music, whether it is listening to or creating the sounds.



A portrait of Rebecca.

Rebecca Lee Close, Yoga Instructor

Rebecca 'really' started practicing yoga nearly 20 years ago when she went on a Canadian youth exchange doing volunteer work in India. Since then she managed to continue her practice through use of videos while she worked on ships as a deck officer. When she and her husband decided to move into a more land-based life in Sheffield, she took her yoga teacher training in Vancouver BC where she is from. This offered her the chance to continue to work in a field she was passionate about as there is a shortage of shipping jobs in Sheffield!

Since moving to Sheffield working as a full-time yoga teacher, Rebecca has continued her training into yoga for sports, yin yoga, and alignment based yoga and anatomy. Rebecca now teaches part time while also caring for her new son, Rudy.

In Rebecca's classes you can expect to feel a connection of your mind body and breath as she moves you through postures with focus on mobility through strength and flexibility alignment.



A portrait of Stephanie .

Stephanie Clark, Client Care Coordinator

Stephanie graduated from the University of Chichester with a BA Hons Degree in Dance before being selected as one of 7 dancers from around the world to join their MA Dance Performance Company: Mapdance. Upon completing her year with Mapdance she went on to perform and teach professionally throughout the UK and abroad.

Stephanie always had a keen interest in health and wellness. Safe dance practice was a key element in Steph's daily training and this was carried through to her performance and teaching. The use of different prehab and rehabilitation techniques to maintain a healthy dancer really interested Steph. Injury prevention and rehabilitation of injuries being of specific interest.

Physiotherapy and pilates were commonly used throughout her dance career and helped her to transition from such an active career and lifestyle to something less physically demanding. Therefore, moving in to a new career in the health and wellness industry was a clear and easy transition to make.

Steph really believes in the value of physio and pilates and what they can do to help us maintain a mobile and healthy body and therefore improved quality of life. She went on to work in a physiotherapy and wellness centre in Sheffield as a client care adminstrator and pilates coordinator for 2 and a half years before joining Flex in January 2019.

Steph joined Flex as the Client Care Coordinator to work alongside Jo to support her with the daily running of the business. She is here to provide a high level of client care to all our customers, to make sure they feel supported, happy and are receiving the best client experience possible.

Steph enjoys meeting and helping our clients, she loves supporting our staff to help people reduce their pain and improve their lives.

Outside of work she enjoys going to the theatre, spa and walking in our beautiful peak district.



If you would like to make an appointment or find out more, please don't hesitate to call 0114 4539669 or email on info@flexpilatesandphysio.co.uk

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Location

321-323 Middlewood Road,

Hillsborough, Sheffield,

S6 1TH


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