Testimonials from Signature Pilates students

In your own words…

At about week 36 into my pregnancy, I had discomfort in the “groin” area. I couldn’t walk and lie down without feeling discomfort. I felt miserable, especially since I was carrying so much weight on me already and the discomfort made it worse. Gynae said it could be caused by babe’s position and weight. I thought maybe I was carrying too much (i.e. laptop and files) just a couple of days before feeling the discomfort, and have somehow hurt myself. A friend of mine recommended that I tried pilates to help aid the situation. I was skeptical but called Yvonne anyway. I had nothing to lose especially since I was home bound and waiting to “pop”. After 2 sessions, I started feeling better already and have learnt to use my core muscles to carry my weight. It made the last stretch to labour more comfortable, especially getting in and out of bed! Now that the bun’s out of the oven, I intend to resume pilates (how, I’m not sure yet!) to further strengthen my core muscles. Thanks Yvonne for helping me, and especially for making house calls in my desperate moments. 🙂

– Karen Lim, 33, HR Consultant

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I was suffering from a stiff right shoulder for good 9 months in 2007 as a result of golfing, I was undergoing some physio treatment for 3 months, while the treatment eased the stiffness but the overall recovery was not in sight. It was then my wife Catherine n my sister Elsie who were practicing pilates with Yvonne recomended me to try out pilates. It was the first time I came across the word pilates, anyway, in order for me to go back to golf I was prepare to try anything. I must say I was a bit sceptical as the exercise looks sissy (I personally doing weight quite regularl), to my amasemant the exercise is toughter than I thought; it emphasises on building up the core muscles through proper breathing to balance up all muscles. 

I then started with Yvonne on pilates; having to know that I have a stiff right shoulder she tailored the exercise to concentrate on the shoulder, the stiffness eventually disappeared after a couple weeks into the pilates; I then continue with pilates for almost 2 years, unfortunately I have to stop due to my heavy work schedule, but I still pratice the principle of pilates whenever, I do my other sports/exercise. Of course I am back to playing golf once a weeks. Thanks.

– Tony Ng

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Since teenager, I hurt my lower back without paying much attention to healing.Relapse happens very often and ends up laying in bed during spasm days with anti-inflammatory and pain killer medication.

Heard of pilates reformer classes a long time ago but don’t know the benefits till I sign up a course since beginning of this year.  Went through 1 month of classes and I realized that I’m more aware of my body and muscle movements to prevent injuries. Over the months, I am able to have better control of my abdominal muscles during carrying out chores. Even my deep breathing has improved. 

However, I’ve lost 10 lbs over this 9 months period since my muscles are leaner and longer with shed-off fats, instead of thick and firm muscles from gym-ing.  

I’m glad Yvonne has helped me achieved my objectives with many more benefits to come I’m sure.

– Judy Ho, 48, Homemaker

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Scoliosis & Pilates Exercise. My son was born in 2002. Since birth, I noticed something different about his back. I noticed the imbalance of the back muscles; one side is thicker than the other side. When I asked the pediatrician about my son’s condition, he didn’t give me any conclusion. As the age grew, I noticed the imbalance in the shoulder level. Until September 2006, I brought him to visit Orthopedic for further checking, only discovered that he has Scoliosis, which means crooked spine. From the X-ray, the deviation is about 16 degree. Doctor’s advice was to do swimming in order to balance up the back muscle and come back to monitor the spine every six months.

Since I do my Pilates every week, I brought him along with me. Hoping that Pilates exercise can do wonder for him. Amazingly, the Pilates exercise focuses the fine muscles which hold the spines; it is the cure for Scoliosis. From the X-ray film taken in January 2008, the condition is very much improved. These films are attached. The period of exercise was just few months, since my son started the exercise in April 2007. It gave me astonish feeling about the benefit of Pilates.

I came across some serious Scoliosis condition which requires surgery to correct the spine; I thank God that my son can gain maximum benefit out of Pilates exercise. I strongly believe that with qualified Pilates Trainer, Pilates not only can be used as core muscles training, but also a form of exercise that rehab many injury and spine problem.

– Ting Sing Moh for Ting Zhi Han (son), 7

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Our son has High Function Autism, which is a form of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Since he was a toddler, we could already see the signs of concerns: severely limited eye contact & relational interaction, awkward mobile movements, and limited vocal pitch & verbal communication. Our home life & parenting philosophies have undergone major changes since our realisation that we have a Special Needs child…

Therapy is a big part of our Darma’s life as he opens up to the ‘neurotypical world’ around him. I met Yvonne through church, and I was introduced to the idea of physiotherapy through Pilates. Physical therapy helps stimulate neurological connections in the brain – with amazing results for many Special Needs children. Darma has improved greatly in verbal communication, mobility, and relational interaction since he has participated in this eclectic therapeutic schedule — pilates, art, and diet change (gluten-free/casein-free).

I am ever-amazed with Yvonne’s ability to connect with our son… it brings tears to my eyes even as I write. Darma is a boy who engages the world largely through his imagination, and Yvonne knows just how to see through his eyes & speak his language. In my experience, this is a gift that few people have… Thank you, Yvonne, for being a part of my son’s life. You are truly a blessing to our family!

– D. Mirawaty for Darmawan (son), 7

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I started Pilates because I felt that I have poor posturefrom spending  too much time working on computer, carrying my children and also breastfeeding when they were younger. My upper back  and neck felt stiff most of the time. A friend introduced me to Yvonne and I was impressed by the result she has achieved. She is older than me, but her body posture is great, well balanced and she stands up tall.

During Pilates lesson, I don’t do much exercises but every movement counts. Even though I am not consistent in going for my lessons, the result had been obvious to me. The migraine which I used to have regularly for years is pretty much gone by now, due to my overall better body posture. I have also developed greater strength and stamina, which has carried over to all areas of my daily life.

My personal instructor Yvonne Kuang is perfect for me. She encourages me to work hard, but safely. I get very encouraged by her passion to make it work for me.  Obviously, to achieve good result, one should practice at home. My journey with Yvonne continues as I look forward to improve my core muscle and overall well being. Thanks Yvonne for your patience!

– Liz Wong

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My daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 11 years old during a routine check out on June 2006.  She was referred to an Orthopedic surgeon and was found to have a curvature of 25 deg.  The surgeon’s advise was to ‘watch and observe’.

In October 2007, another x-ray was taken and her curvature had worsened to 31 deg.  The surgeon advice was still to ‘watch and observe’ and by March 2008 it was 41 deg!  

This was when I decided that I needed to look for alternative help instead of waiting around doing nothing.  Being a Christian, my first reaction was of course to pray earnestly and seek God’s direction  and wisdom.  God in His miraculous and gracious way lead me to 2 very important people – a Chiropractic doctor and a Pilates Instructor!

In April 2008 she started on weekly Pilates and chiropractic classes.  In June 2008 she was also fitted with the SpineCor brace too.

She was at first resistance to the Pilates classes because it was difficult to work on her weak muscles but  thank God for her Pilates teacher Yvonne who knows how to handle her.  To encourage her, Yvonne even did some hip hop/modern dances with her after classes sometimes.  Yvonne also prayed with her occasionally which I appreciated a lot. 

Over time she began to take to the classes well and in the last six months her core strength has improved tremendously.  Her posture has also improved.

In August 2009 she had another x-ray taken and her curvature has improved by 6 deg! I believe it will still continue to improve and I thank God for connecting us with these specialized people who has not only helped her tremendously but encourages her along.

– Kelly Goh for daughter, 14

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Thanks from a fellow Pilates instructor. Well, I believe in faith and I also believe that everything (or incidents) always happen in the right time and right place. My name is Tracy Taulier; I am a Pilates instructor. How do I get to know Yvonne… long story – but I will try to cut it short and straight. I heard about Yvonne through my girlfriend, Snow. I was stuck after the Pilates course I took about 1 and 1/2 years ago. The course was excellent but too much for me in terms of the information and knowledge of the muscles of the human body. I was lost but luckily I met Yvonne; she guided me through and eventually I managed to pass the exam with flying colors. Not only that, she also taught me how to create programmes for clients with different postural issues. Honestly, I learned alot from her, and I am lucky to have her as a friend who always listens to me – not only about postural issues, but also about my personal problems. We always find time to chat – about muscles (ofcourse) and problems we encounter during sessions. And the most important thing is that we support each other. Thanks, my dearest friend. I’ve appreciated all the help and support throughout the months!

– Tracy Taulier, 34, Pilates Instructor

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The History: Spondylolisthesis… Back to my schooling days, I was active in sport. I like athletic, basketball, swimming and badminton. Due to my active lifestyle, I got lots of sport injury. The most serious injury is spondylolisthesis. I got it while in my secondary school days. I felt very pain at my lower back when I fell down during my long jump practice. It took me few days to rest and I came back to normal active lifestyle. At that moment, I didn’t aware of the seriousness of the injury. I went to see Chinese Medical practitioner for traditional acupuncture and massage. Maybe due to my younger age, I can recovered from the pain but didn’t aware of the broken vertebra.

The Treatment: Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Massage

The pain keeps on haunting me while I was in my varsity life. As I keep on doing sport like gym workout, taekwondo, basketball and have a chance to represent varsity in the annual sporting event, the varsity issued me a letter to go to see the doctor in General Hospital KL. The treatment I received on that day was physiotherapy and infra red heating. But it doesn’t work at all. So, I give up that useless treatment.

After graduation, I heard of Chiropractic is good for bone disorder, therefore I went for this treatment for about 2 years. It cost me a lot of money but the pain is released after the session but come back a day or two later. Likewise, I went for traditional Chinese massage and acupuncture again but the result also not convincing at all. 

Now, I can feel the pain is so severe that it affected my normal life. At one point of time, I almost fell down by the roadside while I was walking due to the numbness of my legs. It alarmed me! Then I went to see Orthopedic in GIMC, it was the first time I saw my own broken vertebra, it is L4 and L5 that give me problem. The degree of deviation is about 30 degree, therefore the doctor advised me to do operation to fuse the broken vertebra. Since it is an operation, I was very cautious and went on to check my condition in internet. From internet, I found lots of information about spondylolisthesis. Even in US, the doctor will use screws and rod to fuse the L4 and L5 so that the vertebra will not press on the nerve. To my concern is that, once the operation is fail, that I might have the chance of paralyze. That was too much cost for me.

Pilates: The advantages of Pilates

When I first came into the Pilates studio, I don’t have any confident in it. I know my condition, my failed treatment and last resources, which is operation. I don’t believe that Pilates exercise can do any better that any of these. Due to my wife’s urge, I give it a try. I told myself, if Pilates failed me, I can still have the chance to operate my back. From the beginning, I struggle through out the sessions. It is totally a rehab for my weakening lower back muscle and core muscle. Pilates is a total stranger to me, but thank God that, after these two years, I have strengthened my core muscle, my back muscle, correct my body alignment. I still experience pain and discomfort at my lower back, but now I can do proper core exercise and stretching to ease the pain. Every morning, Pilates exercise became the part of my routine before breakfast. Pilates exercise has reduced my lower back pain and I live as active as before.

With the core strength, I go back to gym, which I like it since the day I was born. I do 200+kgs for my leg press, and 100+kgs for dead lifts. It was something I have never done before, but with the correct positioning and strong core muscle, I did it. Now, I came back to my badminton, of course with proper warm up.

The Conclusion and Advice

I think the most important thing I gain from Pilates is the normal life I enjoy now. It doesn’t matter if I can’t lift 100kgs barbell in the gym, but it does matter if I can’t walk in the street. It does matter if I am wheelchair bounded or bedridden. Pilates never cured my spondylolisthesis but enable me to live a normal life after such injury. Final piece of advice, go to the class with Personal Trainer that has the knowledge of rehab and have patient, Pilates will never change your condition in few months. Give reasonable time frame to Pilates and must practice at home in order to reap the best result in shortest time. It is indeed a wonderful discovery for me that Pilates can do to an injured person like me.

– Ting Sing Moh

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I took up pilates for a few years now, with period of rest in between when my schedule gets busy. I was introduced to pilates by a friend and was first skeptical about it. Nevertheless I proceed to sign on since I do have this constant on and off shoulder pain. The results so far:

I learn that very different body movement involves the use of different body muscle. If use correctly, the movement is easy and even difficult position movement can be achieved. Most importantly the body doesn’t hurt. Up to now, I have learned to engage the proper core muscle to achieve effective results. 

I learn to carry myself properly by always remembering good and correct posture. You feel a sense of tallness and lightness when your walk and stand in a proper correct posture.

I learn to breath correctly when I am engaging in certain exercise. By breathing in/out correctly, it makes certain exercise movement easy and possible and I do not get tired out easily.

Most importantly, I do not feel the constant pain in my shoulder anymore. The correct way of engaging our back shoulder muscle especially (which I have never make use of) in our various hand and shoulder movement has helps to alleviate and remove the constant pain and ache.

I strongly recommend pilates because you will be amazed by how the various part of your body muscle which you have never make use of can do wonders for your body and soul.

– Catherine Liew

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I have been working out fairly consistently. I have had injuries over the years so it is very important to me that I work out with a trainer who really know what is going on. I have been really pleased with the training I have received from Yvonne. She is very well prepared, knowledgeable, and really understands the importance of balancing training. Yvonne help me to understand the ‘what’, ‘how’, and most important, the ‘why’ of Pilates. Explanations are precise and the individual attention is great for the one-to-one Pilates training. Thanks to your training and encouragement in learning the Pilates System, I am physically, mentally, and spiritually stronger. I always find the training challenging yet easy to understand. My posture is better and pain experienced in my right knee has been resolved. My core stability and strength has improved. I can now practice Pilates exercise at home and when I travel; Yvonne helped initiate a routine to follow.

I highly recommend the Pilates training. Results are incredible! I always have more energy, flexibility, and awareness of posture when I leave. With all this hard work, I feel myself longer, leaner, and have toner muscles. You will see yourself increase strength, posture, and general well-being – less back pain – with just a few session of training. 

– Angeline Ong, 26 

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When I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy, I had sharp pain in my right buttock (sciatica) and even walking became painful. After just two or three sessions with Yvonne, the pain subsided. Yvonne taught me about correct posture and to use deep muscles that I never knew existed. I continued classes with her until I delivered and did not experience any more physical discomfort. As a result, I was able to keep active right up to my delivery. 

What’s special about Yvonne is her exuberant, high-energy attitude and her genuine care for her clients. She is my most dedicated cheerleader, pushing me to go the extra mile in every class. 

– Shirene Chen

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My Pilates Story. I joined fitness classes for about 7 years in the gym. I did weight training and cardio workout, and also some group classes such as Bodypump and RPM. After giving birth to my third child I signed up personal training session just aimed to fit into my old wardrobes. After about 50 lessons of  weight training, my size had gone down from L to M, but my thighs still remain as L size, no doubt! I still looked very bulgy in my hips, and bulky on my thighs. The worst thing is my knees started to have pain… I thought the pain is caused by aging.

One day my friend introduced me to Yvonne to do Pilates. Before that I was already doing a few Pilates lessons in fitness center. But it was a group class, and I didn’t seem to understand much, even the most basic breathing technique. So I joined Yvonne. When she first saw me she commented I have a lot work to do to improve my posture and alignment, specifically the way I carry myself in gait. After a couple of sessions my knee pains has gone, my thighs and hips don’t look bulky anymore.

Yvonne also helped to train my shoulders as I always have stiffness in them, to the extent I had to have frequent massages often, otherwise I could hardly sleep at all at night. There was one particular session Yvonne had to work solely an hour just to relieve the tremendous discomfort in my shoulders. My pain had gone, I could sleep through the night on that day.

I am sincerely thankful to my friend Frances for introducing Pilates to me, and also Yvonne the dedicated instructor. I really gained a lot of benefits from Pilates.

– Catherine Chan, homemaker

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Before contacting pilates, I learnt and practiced Yoga only. Since 1978, I have been practising Yoga for 31 years continuously. Yoga is a good exercise for its flexibility, balancing and stretching, whereas Pilates emphasized on motion. Ever since I learned Pilates under the guidance of my teacher Yvonne, my body form has improved significantly, so much so that most friends of mine have found the difference and started admiring me. That is why I have told them that I have confidence in Pilates and encouraged them to take up the lessons.

The practice of Pilates has its emphasis on the strength of belly muscles–the ‘Powerhouse’. After learning how to use the strength of belly muscles, I am capable of stretching the joint of my spines one by one upward and downward. Frankly speaking I am still unable to manage the function of the scapular. In fact it is quite difficult to learn Pilates because the exercise has so much to do with different parts of the muscles in the body. The accuracy of movements is of great importance. Therefore, it is necessary for anyone to learn Pilates with the guidance and advice of the teacher. 

In conclusion, I want to mention particularly that my thighs and knees have become much stronger as a result of learning Pilates. Thanking you Pilates!

– Grace Chong, Yoga practitioner

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