Tag Archives: neurology

Mel Collie | I’ve got tight hips though

Mel Collie | I’ve got tight hips though..she said..

Don’t think of a pink elephant


Did you just think of a pink elephant?

Now look around you for something blue, just blue. Take a few seconds.

Did you see something?

Now look around you in the same area you looked before, for something red.

Did you find something? Did you notice the red object when you were looking for the blue object?

Now tell your back its tight and stiff. Move, rotate, look over your shoulder, how does the back feel when you tell yourself its tight and stiff?

Now tell your back its loose, free, can move like its just been oiled, it has no muscles, its just the ribs which float around the spine.

The words other people tell us about ourselves , are powerful.

We listen, take them on board, and become them.

an image of a herniated disc can create more pain

an image of tight muscles can create more pain and tightness than we actually have

Our brains are remarkable

However, tissues and muscles have no pain. None. Its the brain that creates that pain.

Through words, memories.

So the next time you say you cant do something because you have tight hips, you are sending and reinforcing the message to your brain that you really do have tight hips, it will ensure that you move less, because it is only interested in your survival, in ensuing that you survive the next moment.

If that means it has to slow you down, it will. Even if that leaves your frustrated. It doesn’t care.

So, watch the words you use.

You will have danger words – like tight, stiff, rusty, inflexible, hot, too bendy

Or money, debt, diet, restriction, deadlines at work, meetings, budgets(yes, even every day words like those can create pain in the body)

Sometimes it can take a while to dig deep and notice what your danger words are, because they have become a habit over the last few years.

Scientists now agree that pain happens when the credible evidence of DANGER to your body is greater than the credible evidence of SAFETY to your body.

Safety words create pleasing images that help calm us, release tension and relax, which allows our bodies to move freely with less pain – the words are different for everyone – Oh, you want to know what are mine?







Chocolate cake

Lemon drizzle cake (mmmmmmmmm)




Light blue


Manchego Cheese & Serrano Ham



Simple words like these, and theres a few more in my head, can help create a feeling of comfort, happiness, wellbeing, which creates good vibes, which heal and help movement.

Feeling frustrated, angry and tight…well…doesnt..let go of your danger words, and see what changes.

Do you get it?

Now try it yourself






Mel Collie | Think You Are A Failure?

Mel Collie | Think You Are A Failure?

Most days I speak to other women who play it small, keep things quiet, afraid to shine their light.

Because they are worried what other people will think of them, but also, worried that they will fall flat on their face, fail, and then be laughed at.

Thats one reason that I kept playing it small when I moved to a new location in North Wales, UK, as a Pilates teacher, I met another Pilates teacher with a successful business a couple of miles away, just outside the village, but because I believed she had better Pilates equipment than I and that she was trained through a very strict and well connected Pilates school, I felt that she was better. I played it small. I got what I thought I deserved, which was…no clients…for weeks and weeks..

That left me feeling useless, a failure, with no purpose.

My partner then had a serious infection in his foot. In hospital , they wanted to take his foot off..he’s a climber, and that would have changed a lot of stuff for us, but having a very strong and different way of looking at life, probably due to his life of studying Physics and eastern mysticism, he quickly recovered and looked at whatever was to happen to him as an opportunity, not a failure.

That woke me up! Wow, if you can look at a serious implication of having a foot off as an opportunity, then I could look at not having any Pilates clients as a lesson, an opportunity, so I did. I changed my thinking. I changed my expectation , and the things changed around me.

Is my business as successful as it was before I moved here? Nope, nowhere near, but that took 5 years to build, and I’ve only just started here.

Have I changed the way I teach Pilates? yes I have. Ive slowed down. Ive used my spare time to study the brain and how it affects movement, pain, mobility, flexibility, strength. I used to train anyone, now I just train very small classes for specific types of clients, women who have lived with pain for more than 2 years, aged 30 + and find larger exercise classes intimidating. The sessions are a mixture of gentle modified Pilates, laughter, brain hacks to help reduce pain fast, self esteem boosters and accountability. Not your average class, but then Im not your average teacher.
Am I happy? Yes, most definitely, my days are free to be curious, and one of the things I have is a curiosity of the world, how things work, why things are the way they are, what a sunrise looks like by the lake, what a sunset looks like on the beach, what reflections look like through raindrops from a leaf, what Autumnal colours look like in the woods by the lake, what the view is like at the top of the mountain and what can you overcome within yourself along that journey. Ive taken up photography, invested in a proper grown up camera with proper lenses, a bright Orange (LOVE that colour!) rucksack, with proper compartments for those lenses and camera stuff…and sweeties for the long walks…(photos are on my website: www.melcollie.co.uk  and Flickr too! Very posh! )

What is your curiosity? Follow that and you just may find your passion.
Mel Collie



Beginners Pilates Classes for posture, self esteem , fun, support, reflection and of course, the obvious core strength are now happening in Llanberis, North Wales.


Mel Collie | Does Your Brain Have A Day Off?

Mel Collie | Does Your Brain Have A Day Off?

One of my favourite habits is falling asleep on the sofa, but last night, we watched an awesome move “Snowpiercer” I was all set o nod off until it got nasty, that woke me up, the character played by Tilda Swinton kept me awake, she was seriously a sick woman.

Anyway, this morning I was reading a book by David Butler on the Sensitive Nervous System, and particularly loved the phrase ” Your brain is turned on all the time”…read that again…ALL the time.

Its not something thats activated when you are doing something you find interesting. Cells are always active.

Take this moment right now, as you are reading this, now pay attention to your right hand, what is it touching, what colour are your socks, now pay attention to your left hand, whats it touching, whats the colour of your hair, how warm are you, how thirsty are you, what position are you feet in, how long have they been in that position?

Thats just a few little things that you are doing but don’t always feel, as we have many many inputs, they aren’t always turned on, or we would be bombarded with so many input, but the brain computes all of them, it just decides which ones you are responding to right now.

Your brain is continually looking for information, all the time. One of the phrases you will have heard is to “use it or lose it”. This is always said in the fitness industry referring to your muscles and levels of stamina. However, its also relevant to your brain.

When we have pain, we move less, in anticipation its going to hurt us even more, but in tuen , that ensure we do have more pain as we stiffen up and do less, variety and quality of movement is gold dust for a healthy and switched on brain, whatever age you are.

Loving what you do in your life, and helping others, makes an impact too.

So, to conclude for a healthier body as we age


  1. Move more
  2. Feed your brain with movement, good lung function
  3.  Love what you do for increased wellness and mental agility.

A healthy spine is a young spoke, you are only as old as your feel, use it or lose it..all of those saying mean something.

What one thing could you change today to help your future self, as its what you are doing now that shapes it.

Mel Collie


Need some help and accountability? Come to a class. I run 5 a week, so theres a time you can make.

Classes in North Wales October 2015. Book here:  https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie