Armed in Lycra and not entirely sure what to expect, I headed off to give Pilates a try first. As someone who hits a rather grubby gym all week, the allure of two stylish studios, each featuring its own kitchen with a large wooden table to encourage everyone to sit down and relax, made it such an inviting space.
Stepping inside both the Pilates studio on Sherborne Place and the Yoga studio on Rodney Road in Cheltenham, I was pleasantly surprised to find a space that felt like a friend’s kitchen, albeit a very trendy one.
What was apparent though, is the need to make time in your day to put your phone down, switch off from the world and just focus on the here and now.
Optimistically throwing myself into an intermediate Pilates mat class to start with, I headed up to a beautiful light and airy studio. Complete with vaulted ceilings and gorgeous wooden flooring, the space set the tone for a great first session.
Guided expertly by our friendly tutor Jess, my class had just five other people which meant we were all given support to perfect our form and get that little bit more out of the moves.
Using a soft ball under our backs, to support our ribs and in between our thighs, the class worked a whole variety of muscles and focused on improving core strength and posture throughout. Working on breathing and lengthening the muscles, the session was something completely different to anything I’d ever done.
I’ll be the first admit when the owner of the yoga studio, Ian, kindly booked me into Forrest Inspired yoga, I had to do a quick Google to see what he meant. But, as soon as I arrived, I was met by the warm and friendly Celia, who combines her work as a doctor and yoga teacher in this fantastic class.
Adaptable for all abilities, Forrest Inspired yoga focusses on breathing, strength, integrity and spirit and was deeply relaxing. Celia led our group, which featured complete novices like me, to pro-yogis who have been attending for years, through a series of postures and provided a more advanced option for those that wanted it.
Celia’s impressive skills and knowledge really showed as she led us through the moves and explained exactly what benefits it was having on our bodies. A real highlight for me was forming the Savasana at the end, a pose where you lie still on your back with a blanket and lavender oil to really feel completely in the zen.
Whether it’s yoga you fancy or if you’ve always wanted to try Pilates, there’s a suitable class for everyone as both studios offer pregnancy classes and sessions suitable for the elderly too.
For more information, visit cheltenhampilatesandyoga.co.uk directly.
By Sophie Bird
Thursday 11 April 2019
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