An Interview with Mindfulness Pilates expert Bev Densham
If you’re anything like me, you are always looking for quick ways to make life easier, happier and less stressful. Running Tickled Moon and juggling everyday life can quickly take its toll on my mental and physical well-being, if I don’t take some time out for my own self care.
So with January being the worst month for mental health and with children’s mental health issues on the increase, I was delighted to interview Mindfulness Pilates expert Bev Densham for this month’s Tickled Moon blog. Bev has a remarkable life story, having cheated death on 2 occasions. Her life story and work have been featured on BBC Radio and in numerous national Newspapers, Magazines and Podcasts. She has written a bestselling book “I Talk to Angels” and she was the winner of the Practitioner Award in the Janey Lee Grace, ‘Janey Loves Platinum Awards 2022’.
As well as running her Pilates practice, Bev has some top tips for beating stress – including ‘Stress to Calm in 1 Minute’. She has also created her very own ‘Happy & Calm Cards’ for both adults and children – read on for more on all of these AND a stress-busting FREE gift.
So without further ado:-
Bev Densham, please introduce yourself…
“I’m a Mindfulness Pilates teacher of over 24 years and Author, having graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sports Science. Two near death experiences and divorce guided me to heal and inspire others.
For the first 16 years, I had a successful Pilates studios in Hertfordshire. Since re-locating to Dorset I have opened an online zoom studio to inspire and help others with meditation, mindset, journalling and positive affirmations.
My current work is focusing on helping reduce back pain and helping lawyers working through stress to calm. I created the Mindfulness Pilates podcast and I am the founder of the ‘Happy & Calm Cards’ and ‘Happy Kids Cards for Children’, to help your children and you live happily ever after.”
What inspired you to start promoting a healthier way of life?
“I’ve always been passionate about sport and exercise, however it was a severe road traffic accident in Australia which led to me training in Pilates. I was cycling to work and was hit by a car, my helmet smashing the windscreen of the car, wrist shattering on the bonnet and back landing on the road. This led to an operation to plate my wrist with 5 screws, followed by post traumatic stress, panic attacks, anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue.
Pilates had a huge effect on my mental and physical recovery and after the accident I really wanted to help others in this way.”
With all that you’ve learnt and experienced, what are your top tips for stress relief?
“What I discovered was that there’s a formula of 7 main ways to help anyone who wants to to reduce stress and that’s 7 one minute tools! So I’ve taken the Pilates out of the classes and broken it down into tools that can be both used as a 7 minute morning routine or as 1 minute tools to use throughout the day, to feel more resilient and stronger, or to recover from a peak of stress.
Last year a lawyer approached me after high levels of stress and we worked together one to one for a short 3 week programme, this made the world of difference to them and I’m now teaching their entire law firm ‘stress to calm’ classes at the desk both sitting and standing.
Stress manifests in so many ways – it can be a headache, tension, tightness and stiffness in the muscles. It can make us feel anxious, moody and snappy and affects our mental health negatively, if not looked after daily and regularly.”
So how do you get from Stress to Calm in 1 Minute?
- “Start by sitting or standing with good posture, close your eyes, relax your arms by your side.
- Take 5 relaxing breaths in and out. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth and relax.
- Then to energise yourself and to bring more happiness, confidence and success, open your eyes, smile, place your hands in a fist and punch your arms in the air 10 times, repeating the positive affirmation ‘well done’ either silently or out loud.
- Repeat this exercise anytime you are stressed, at the desk, at home or even out in nature or want to energise & feel more positive.”
Tell me about your ‘Happy & Calm Cards’ for adults and children…
“The ‘Happy & Calm Cards’ are 52 positive affirmation cards to bring you more happiness, confidence and calm to your life every day.
You can pick a card on your own, or with a friend or family, at any time you like – you can start or end your day picking a card. They can help you express how you feel, improve your mental health, journal and relax.” You can find out more and order them here.
“The ‘Happy Kids Cards’ are 52 positive affirmation cards designed to bring more happiness, confidence & calm to children’s lives & you.
They come with 10 fun ways of when & how to use the cards. These work really well when you pick a card daily together and talk about what the message means. The card’s message can give the child a chance to talk about how they feel – it’s a tool you can use everyday during the good, challenging, & sad times of life, to help with mental health.” More about the Happy Kids Cards and to order them can be found here.
And what would you recommend to an older person to keep themselves mentally and physically fit?
“I would recommend to them exactly the same tools – it doesn’t matter what age you are, in fact age is irrelevant when it comes to Mindfulness Pilates and working through stress to calm tools.
I teach my Mum who is 82 years young and just helped my Dad re-habilitate after his hip replacement and he’s now back on the golf course playing golf age 84. They practice these tools daily.
The great thing is the exercises can be adapted as a beginner, but as you progress you get stronger each week – how great is that? My Mum and Dad are role models of this. There is no excuse, just inspiration and motivation, and my job is to teach in an excellent and inspiring way, to motivate you to practice everyday – just 7 minutes daily can get good results.”
What are you most proud of in your life?
“I have overcome great adversity, not just in that road traffic accident, I nearly died giving birth to my son after a pre-eclamptic fit. I have also suffered from domestic abuse, with psychological and emotional abuse that resulted in me calling the police and social services taking me and my 3 year old son away, as well as having other severe health problems.
So probably what I’m most proud of is that we survived, but not just that, we healed (eventually), thrived and have created tools along the way to help others in their life and work. I’m very proud of my determination to live my dream life and help others the most with both the Mindfulness Pilates and stress to calm teaching.
What final insights or tips would you like to share?
“ENJOY your life everyday, if that means going for a walk by the sea, in the park, in the woods, do it. If it means going to a coffee shop for a cappuccino and journalling, do it, if it means plunging in the sea, like I LOVE to do, do it, in fact take time for YOU everyday.
Have fun and smile on the journey and ensure most importantly that there is harmony in your home, if not seek professional advice and be honest about whats going on.
I’m proud to be a Mum of my son Sammy who is now 17 years old and my most important job! I’m so glad we found light at the end of the tunnel, I have enormous gratitude for that.”
FREE GIFT from Bev
Here’s a FREE 3 minute morning routine for you – a healing meditation and Pilates to ease back pain, reduce stress & start your day strong, happy & calm. To access it, sign up here.
Learn more about Bev at…
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