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  • Instructor Newsletter 16th January 2014

    IMG_5640I’m writing this week’s newsletter from Pakalolos bar in Hout Bay, Cape Town, as Jayne and I are filming new training DVDS for our NOVA workout which we created for Virgin Active South Africa. It’s been over 35 degrees as we have shot the DVDS outside on an upstairs roof terrace, so I am absolutely burnt to a crisp.  But as nice as that seems, I left the UK on Friday with everything crossed, hoping and praying that Choreographytogo and Fitness Pilates websites would be able to be salvaged from a very savage hack. Luckily we have got the sites back up and running, which has been a huge relief. Again, thanks a million for all of your patience and understanding as I know so many of you have been dying to download videos and book onto courses.  But everything now is back up and running, which is fantastic.

    Checking out the SA Fitness scene is always something I LOVE doing whilst over here and big news is TacFit – Tactical Fitness. It is a bit like Crossfit BUT a more strategic, tactical, periodised and systemised style of fitness.  It’s intense, aggressive and is set to sweep South Africa and probably the globe very soon as certifications and courses are gaining popularity. It has a large underground following, which is spreading via word of mouth and social media. Check out and have a look.

    But by far the most popular class in the whole of SA has to be indoor cycling. Across the 108 Virgin Active clubs over 1/4million members take part in indoor cycling classes per week. How phenomenal is that. Due to the outdoor lifestyle and, of course, the amazing weather and jaw dropping landscape you see serious cyclists out and about from as early as 5am.

    A new (or not so new) piece of kit that is pretty cool is the Indian Club Belles. The training courses for these are also gaining a cult following and are also part of the TacFit training.

    New Music

    New Year always means new tunes for your classes and Pure Energy have produced some monsters for your January classes

    Mash Up 3
    Mind Body 21

    I’ve tracklisted and worked on both these releases and you can pick these up on digital download and CD. I highly recommend these if you are ready for some cool new vibes for your Fitness Pilates and Freestyle classes and pick them up on the Pure Energy website.

    Social Media Trends for 2014

    As our social media platforms continue to evolve and nudge us towards a more commercial element, Twitter has introduced advertising which has the potential to revolutionise the way we promote our fitness businesses   All social media platforms start out as a free service, then as users adopt the platform, the owners begin to work out ways to monetarise the service.

    Think Facebook. Then came along Facebook Business pages, then came along sponsored stories, then Facebook adverts. As Twitter moves into this advertising realm I notice Starbucks, who are OUTSTANDING at harnessing the power of social media, have introduced “Tweet a coffee service” which allows the Starbucks app user to buy a coffee for someone via Twitter simply by tweeting @Tweetacoffee to @ (insert Twitter user)  This is only available in the US, but could you imagine, we could Tweet a class or Tweet a Workout and offer a free class to potential customers – TEAM, this has huge potential for the Fitness Industry and promoting our classes and services.  I’ll be ustilising Twitter advertising this week as I do think it’s soooo hugely underused by Fit Pros and Facebook is OVERUSED and very saturated with Fitness promotions and messages. #excitingtimes

    So make sure you get your head around Twitter it is such an important tool in the Fitness marketing mix.

    The Rachel Homes Podcast

    Totally inspired by Mortys podcast I have been working on the technology and the new Rachel Holmes Podcast will be launching as soon as I get back.  I am SO EXCITED about doing it will be fitness, finance, fashion, fun, food, PLUS marketing, choreography, class content  and Im just booking all my new guest in. Watch this space for launch dates.

    Level 3 Pilates in London

    Our first course of the year is next week and you can still book a place on the course if you are quick and teach one of the most popular classes on the timetable. Click here

    Extreme Self-Care Is The New Black!

    Wow, didn’t that New Year get off to a great start, everyone eager to lose their Xmas puddings (literally and physically) and lots of people making promises to themselves that 2014 will be their ‘Best Year Yet’.  You probably worked out lots of strategies to help your clients stay on the straight and narrow but…….what about YOU!  Who’s looking after YOU so that you can enjoy your business and your life optimally?  This year, I made a pledge of EXTREME SELF-CARE to myself on every level of my life and these are my top strategies, I hope they inspire you.
    Rachel has been talking a lot of Meditation and Affirmations, basically connecting to your higher self all throughout your day.  For me, Meditation and prayer have been a transformational tool in my life and quite literally has given me the softest iron-will ever!  If you think you don’t have time to stop and get quiet….you probably really need to.  The busier you get, the more you need to prioritize stopping and re-connecting to something more powerful than all the worldly stuff.  Eckhart Tolle’s wonderful book, ‘The Power Of Now’ is a great start to place if you are looking to go a little deeper in this area.  He also has lots of on-line resources too.  Incidentally, if you ask anyone who is doing REALLY WELL what their habits are, I think you will find that MEDITATION, QUIET TIME, DEEP REFLECTION AND PRAYER are all things they do habitually.  Your men tal strength and forbearance is your most powerful asset in life and business.  An unshakeable confidence and belief in your abilities is PRICELESS.  This is my

    No: 1 self-care habit.?
    Find an EXPERT and fast-track yourself or out-source!  Stop faffing around with Pintrest, Google+, computer stuff, finding plug-ins, designing flyers, skipping from on textbook to another to learn something that will take your business forward.  Find someone who is AWESOME at the issue who can teach you or help you fast.  Doesn’t matter what it is….GET HELP, PAY FOR HELP, GIVE THE WORK TO SOMEONE ELSE or DO AN IMMERSION but either way STOP FAFFING AROUND AND WASTING TIME!  This will clear your mind/headspace for the important stuff you need to get done.  On my own self-care team, I now have a VA,
    Tech-Guy, Artwork Lady, Cleaning Lady, Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher and money well-spent.  I’m buying ME TIME and it’s worth every penny.?

    Stay in the light!  If positivity is your go-to emotion at all times, eventually moany people will give you the dodge…fab!  Curate your superstar team of ‘can-do & YES’ people and keep them close.  The energy and life-affirming elevation you can get from people who are only focussed on the YES is beyond belief.  You are totally taking care of yourself when you purposefully control who is in your life.?

    Commit to TOTAL AUTHENTICITY this year – present to the world just the ONE YOU!  Living a totally authentic life where the same ‘you’ turns up all time to everything is such a big one for many people….wear what you want, talk how you talk, get a little messy in public, show your weirdness, show your brilliance – WHATEVER!  Pretending to be something you are not is such a burden – drop it in 2014 and feel the relief. ?

    Women – GET HELP!  OMG, if I see one more post about working women (yes, you!), most of them with kids (that is a job in itself), doing housework, I will scream.  If you earn more than a cleaning lady per hour (and I hope you do!) you should not be doing housework…..imagine what you could do with this time….a nap, paint your nails (coming to this bit), read a book, go for a walk –ALONE, write a blog, communicate with your clients, network locally.  I beg you to free yourself in 2014.  So many women do housework and resent it, it’s a thankless task.  Do you think you family cares who does the cleaning and ironing and I bet they wouldn’t even notice if you did get a cleaner.  Get rid and buy a little ME TIME for self-care!?

    Heels, hairdos and war-paint – get out of that spandex girl!  Soooo many of us are wearing that stuff when not working or working out! NO!  Part of my extreme self-care is to have a regular manicure/pedicure….ALWAYS wear my make-up ALWAYS, get my blooming heels on and wear ‘lady clothes’ as much as possible in 2014.  One of the bonuses of this work is that you probably have a banging body, get it out and enjoy it!  Taking care of yourself means that you take time to appreciate all your hard work and your body right here, right now!

    If you’re into Women’s Wellness, Health and Headspace……I’d LOVE you to join myself, Rachel and lots of other brilliant presenters at my Women’s Wellness Summit on 1st and 2nd March in London.

    Check out all the details at or connect with me if you are a Pregnancy/Post Natal, Women’s Wellness Specialist there too.

    Top Tips for Marketing your classes by Rachel

    1.Send your flyers out with the Royal Mail – This is quite an expensive way of getting your flyers out but they are guaranteed to be delivered. I always use the Royal Mail service and get great results.

    2.Speaking – Offer to speak for women’s/business.  In fact any group that wants to hear about health, fitness & nutrition. Speaking gigs are AMAZING for elevating your profile and spreading your message.

    3.Social Media – I’ve written countless articles, but I do suggest as well as Facebook and Twitter you start to get into Instagram or get someone to do it for you?

    4.Cross  Promotion with local takeaways – Pop down to your local takeaways and see if you can put an advert on the back of their menus. We always save take away menus, so great to see your classes while peeps are chowing down on chicken tikka masala

    Ramp up your mailing lists – send out great regular newsletters to your list and build up your newsletter list every day.

    Creating From Connection
    By Jo De Rosa

    I love this phrase as it really sums up what I do.
    Meditation creates a connection to me at my most raw and naked self…like I take off the outside layer of problems, conditioning, judgments and expectations, and just sit with who I am on the deepest level. I call it my ‘essence’, and my essence is with me from birth until death, a constant force that drives and nourishes me. And I can only access connection/essence when I am calm and at peace with myself, and the easiest and quickest way I have found of dropping into it through meditation.

    What Drugs Taught Me
    Through my years of searching for chemical highs, I came to realise that in fact meditation gave me what I had been longing for: a connection to a space in my head that was pure ecstasy. And the really, really amazing part was that not only was there no hangover, but I could reach this undiluted high at any time.
    So when I meditate in the morning and find connection to my essence, and go off into my working day:


    Wow, it blows me away reading the words! And this realisation has literally changed my life.
    It is all about intention. What thoughts you are putting out there into the world, and how those thoughts are multiplying and developing into exactly what you create (consciously or unconsciously).
    It’s like a key that unlocks your potential to each day: you either unlock yourself or you don’t (most people don’t know HOW to).

    2014 Intentions
    What you saw last week was a breakdown of how I prioritise my day, and how important meditation is to me. As a yoga teacher it is becoming more and more apparent that it is the meditation that is the clear winner for me, rather than the physical practice. Of course the postures are still important, but not AS important.

    Intention Meditation
    I want to share with you a meditation with an intention visualisation that I do without fail every morning:
    Sit comfortably with your back straight and eyes closed. Become aware of what is going on in your surroundings: what you can hear, the feeling of your breath as it moves in and out of your body, and the floor below supporting you unconditionally; the taste in your mouth; what you can see even though your eyes are closed and any smells that your nose can pick up. Let go of what is going on in your life right now, and allow stress to melt away……
    I remain here focusing on my breath for the duration of the meditation, however long that may be: 5 or 55 minutes, and at the end include an intention for the day (I use an app which sounds 10 minutes before the meditation is due to end so that I can spend that amount of time on the intention). I say out loud:

    “I offer space to people physically, mentally and emotionally to realise their full potential, be happy, be healthy, and be abundant in every way. And I start with myself as what I am feeling inside will radiate outwards. Inner Guidance (insert your business name) takes at least £* per month, every month (insert what your financial goal is) and provides me with everything that me and my family needs to be secure.”

    I love starting my working day in this way! Because all day in the back of my mind I just know that I am creating from this intention….EVERYTHING that I do grows from it, and that is beautiful in my eyes.

    Conscious Evolution
    This has all clicked into place for me over the past year, and in that time I have moved into a £1.5 million house and my business is growing at such a rapid rate that my husband is now also working on it full-time, and we are looking to employ outside help for the first time.
    Inner Guidance just had its 13th birthday so I’ve been doing this a long time, but it is only in the last 12 months that the way the mind works has become crystal clear to me! And now I have become a master manifester and have 2 new goals that I will manifest in the next 6 months….watch this space!
    I am evolving consciously, I know where I want to go, the path is very clear to me. But it is imperative that I keep a connection to my source through meditation.

    Online Meditation Classes
    I have people from all over the world participating in my online meditation classes which can be done anytime, anywhere. The membership is just £12.50 per month and each Monday you receive a new class which you have access to for one week before the next class is delivered. This means you can do the class 3 times per day everyday should you wish, so there is no excuse to not stay connected x

    Facebook:  InnerGuidance
    Twitter:  @Inner_Guidance
    Copyright: Jo De Rosa 2014

    They Don’t Care About Us
    By Andrew Crawford

    1.5m taxpayers fined for filing late self-assessment tax returns in 2011

    “….The taxman handed out a record one and a half million fines to late filers this year, with penalties up 56pc in just five years…..”

    When you STOP and really have a look at that figure and multiply it by the £100 fine, it’s a BIG FAT fascinating number……Look here….

    1,500,000 x £100 = £150,000,000

    One hundred and fifty million pounds

    That’s how much the HMRC are owed (based on the basic £100 fine) on 1st February …..!!

    This cash amount  is likely to crush their bank account with a great big whallop……!!…Do you REALLY think they are worried whether you get your Tax Return in by the 31st January ???

    Do you think there are people in the HMRC doing a budget based on what they expect to come in? Salivating and rubbing their hands together from another successful year..!!?

    My mind went into overdrive…

    Is there a Marketing department who gets a budget which they use to buy media advertising.. ……”Tax doesn’t have to be taxing” …knowing full well that people will still be late…..but it looks like they ‘care’…?

    Things that make you go ummm…!!!!

    I care….so here are my 5 Quick Tips…….. (oh…remember Tax Avoidance is legal). That’s organising your tax affairs to reduce the instance of tax.

    Use up your Personal Allowances. If you don’t use them you lose them….like your muscles. Everyone gets one…..!!
    Consider using the personal allowance of your spouse  or even your child. Remember, they have to do ‘some type’ of work in your business (Filing, licking stamps, hoovering & polishing the office springs to mind).

    If you have a Rental Property, remember to include it. The other alternative is that if they ‘Discover’ that you have one and it has not been declared they will show no mercy…..!!!

    Be careful with 100% Deductions. If you have an item that you are claiming for, e.g. your mobile phone, which has some personal use to it, do NOT claim 100% of it unless it is 100% business.

    Why? If you do and the HMRC discover that there has been some ‘small’ personal use, they will disallow ALL of the expenditure. Your Tax Return is then WRONG. That means there is an error, which means a fine.

    If you are a big traveller, home and away, plane, boat, train, ensure to retain your travel documentation. I know that some operators run a ‘ticketless’ operation, however, print your confirmation which shows the amount you will be claiming including dates and times and who was the traveller.

    Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn………………..Say What….!!!!
    Mr & Mrs Smith….hands up who has ever……..oopps….that’s for another article….!!
    Again, print , file and keep  all paperwork relating to your stay.  Include all associated bills like food, drink and taxi excursions.

    Last Big Tip…………Use the vast resources available from…..

    Because I care…………..


    Think………It ain’t  illegal yet……..but they’re working on it…!!!

    They don’t care about us…………..

    Andrew James Crawford

    Have a wonderful Week
    Love always

    Rachel xx
    Tweet me @RachelHolm

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