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Keep it moving with Tetbury Pilates

05 May 2021

The Studio

Has lockdown got you thinking about new hobbies you might want to take up once restrictions are lifted? One local business in Tetbury, home to our Steepleton community, is raring to open their doors once again to their clients and welcomes anyone who has been thinking about trying a new form of exercise.

We caught up with Clare Richardson, the owner of Tetbury Pilates, to discuss all things health and fitness and to learn more about the classes she runs.

Hi Clare, please could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be a Pilates instructor?

I grew up in Northumberland and moved to Wiltshire with my husband over 20 years ago to follow his flying career with the RAF. I have a degree in modern languages and worked in the financial sector before having children. It was at this stage I quickly realised that a corporate career, children and a husband who was away so much with work was not conducive to a happy life! I have always had an interest in movement and spent much of my time as a child and teen practising gymnastics, athletics and martial arts.

A dear friend of mine had decided to train to teach exercise and I was one of her chosen ‘victims’. She then developed a deeper interest in Pilates and again she practised her teaching skills on me. It felt quite familiar, and I realised I had already done some Pilates back in the nineties, it just had not been labelled as such. I loved it so much I researched training myself and decided on STOTT Pilates due to the stringent nature of the course and the focus on the wider application of Pilates in injury prevention and rehabilitation. 

How did you come to form Tetbury Pilates?

I have always loved learning, researching and attention to detail. My Pilates training was challenging, I embarked upon it just as my youngest child started school, it was a great way of carving out some time for me again. I was able to study and juggle my family’s needs and as I started teaching I could control when and how often I worked. When my husband left the RAF and we looked to buy our own home we focussed on the areas around Tetbury, Malmesbury and Cirencester. We knew within moments of viewing our current home that it was the right place and as we walked around the garden, through an overgrown area, suddenly a little garden with a well appeared. This is now the studio garden and that view creates such a wonderful atmosphere in the studio.

How have you found navigating lockdowns over the last year?

Well it has certainly proved a challenge!  We moved to online teaching for both groups and private sessions and many clients have been taking part in those. However, our most popular classes use the larger Pilates equipment and this not something that could be transferred to an online platform unless the client owns such equipment. Most of our group classes have a maximum of 6 clients and we work a great deal in a one-to-one setting to help those who are injured or experience conditions such as osteoporosis. 

We are so excited to be opening again for private appointments with our full range of classes starting on the 17th May. We run several different types of classes including Barre, which is like standing Pilates, this class is a cardiovascular workout and strengthens the entire body, improving posture. TRX is another which is a resistance training class using straps and your body weight. We also run Pilates Matwork classes where we often add in some small props such as flex bands to help clients ‘feel’ the movements correctly. Another popular class is the reformer/equipment which is the type of class that is most beneficial for people over 55. More details and the full range of classes can be found on our website.

Is Pilates is a practice that you can enjoy at any age?

Absolutely, Pilates is for everyone and is like medicine for the body as well as the mind. I am constantly amazed at the difference it makes to people’s lives. My youngest client is 8 and my eldest 92.

What is your favourite thing about your work?

The people and sharing their journey whether they are a horse rider looking to up their performance, a busy mum looking to relieve stress or an injured client we help to walk again. I also love convincing the sceptics who perhaps find their way here due to a friend or spouse dragging them along, often they end up the biggest converts!

What is it you like about Tetbury and the surrounding area?

The diversity of businesses. I find it amazing how many local people have started up their own businesses and how creative many of those are. I love the randomness and quirky nature of the towns and many of the people too!

We are based centrally in Tetbury on Chavenage Lane just near the recreation ground. It’s a wonderfully secluded studio with a private garden and views over the fields beyond.

Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping active to give our Pegasus community?

Move often. Take ‘movement snacks’ during the day as little and often makes a huge difference. Take opportunities to walk up and down stairs, park further away from the shops so you walk more. Try to move your spine in all directions every day (unless a medical condition such as osteoporosis means this is unsuitable). By that I mean flexing (forward curve), extending (backward curve), side bending and rotating. We teach people how to move effectively with the use of imagery to achieve a far greater impact. Research clearly shows that the best methods of exercise are those involving the mind. The effect is anti-ageing for both the mind and the body.

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If you’re looking for a home in a vibrant community with exercise classes and plenty of amenities on your doorstep then contact us to find out more about the homes available at  Steepleton. For more details about Steepleton or to book a viewing please call our sales team on 01666 848219 or email [email protected]