New Early Evening Pilates Class

To meet increasing demand for Pilates classes in the evening at The Wellbeing Studio, I’ve now added a new 1800 session on Mondays to the weekly schedule.

From today, the full timetable of thirteen classes is as follows:

Mondays: 12.30-13.30, 18.00-19.00 and 19.00-20.00
Tuesdays: 18.15-19.15 and 19.15-20.15
Wednesdays: 10.15-11.15 and 11.15-12.15
Thursdays: 12.30-13.30, 18.00-19.00 and 19.00-20.00
Fridays: 09.30-10.30 and 10.30-11.30
Saturdays: 10.00-11.00

The classes are small – no more than nine people in each session – so booking is essential.  If you’d like to secure a place, please contact me.

Look forward to seeing you in class.

To close, here’s Paul Buchanan with the title track of his album, Mid Air. I’m playing this a lot at the moment. Standing in mid-air, something to aim for with our Pilates…


August Bank Holiday 2018 Class Timetable

The August Bank Holiday is just around the corner so here’s how the Pilates class timetable at The Wellbeing Studio will be affected by the last Bank Holiday weekend before Christmas (I know, I said the C word in August.  Bad me)…

  • Two classes on Friday 24th August at 0930 and 1030
  • No classes on Saturday 25th August
  • No classes on Sunday 26th August
  • No classes on Monday 27th August

The usual timetable will resume on Tuesday 28th August with two Pilates classes at 1815 and 1915.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.  If the class you normally attend is not running over the August Bank Holiday period, perhaps you’d like to book into another one instead.  Please contact me if you’d like to check availability.

Finally, we lost Aretha Franklin last week so to close, here’s how I like to remember her, rocking a mucky pinny and slippers in the cult classic movie, The Blues Brothers.  Think!  Take it away, Aretha…


UPDATED Natural Cleaning with Essential Oils

For a completely natural method of cleaning the mats, blocks and other equipment after each Pilates class, I’ve developed a spray using 100% pure essential oils.

I’ve consulted with an aromatherapist and chosen a blend of essential oils to produce a cleaning spray which is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-septic.  Unfortunately it isn’t anti-aging, but I’m working on it!

The full list of ingredients (UPDATED with quantities):

  • 230 ml of distilled water
  • 3 teaspoons of witch hazel
  • 5 drops of orange essential oil
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 7 drops of tea tree oil

We’ll be using the new non-toxic spray with extra large, super absorbent biodegradable paper towels, which can then be thrown away after use.

If you’d prefer not to clean your mat, blocks etc after use for whatever reason, no problem.  I’ll happily do that for you.

Summer Holidays

Summer means holidays and therefore changes to the Embody Pilates class timetable in June and July.  I’ve organised my leave into two short breaks rather than a long block of time away.  This ensures there will be some classes available on each of the affected weeks.

So, there will be no Pilates classes on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 20th to Monday 25th June inclusive
  • Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th July inclusive

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.  If you’d like to come to one of the other classes running during the affected weeks, please let me know.

To close, a top tune from Bjork, who is performing at The Eden Project on Saturday 7th July…


New Pilates Socks in Stock

I am often asked what socks I recommend to do Pilates in.  My answer every time is toe socks, and not just when you come to class.  I wear them most days.  Why?  In the same way it’s hard to use your fingers when you wear mittens, it is also very difficult to use your toes properly in conventional socks.

Below is a slightly corny video highlighting the benefits of toe socks.  For those who like a corn-free, bulleted list, here you go…

Why Toe Socks Are Good For You

  • the separation of the toes brings greater awareness of the feet.  In other words, it helps your brain talk to your feet better and move them correctly;
  • using our toes and feet more effectively promotes good posture and improves balance;
  • being able to move the toes more freely improves the circulation in the feet and as a result, helps them keep warm better and naturally;
  • toe socks help prevent the growth of bacteria, which can lead to unpleasant odours, Athlete’s Foot and other fungus related problems;
  • separation of the toes helps to avoid friction between them and the blisters that can result.


Unfortunately, toe socks can be much more expensive than regular socks.  For this reason I’ve bought a stock of them, which are now available to buy at below the recommended retail price.  I’ve chosen the brand of socks I wear most days and have done for many years, so they’re well-tested.

I have stripy turquoise socks (see image of the actual sock at the top of the page) and plain black ones (actual sock shown in the photo below).

The toe socks are:

  • unisex;
  • very stretchy ensuring a good fit for sizes UK 4-11, EU 35-46;
  • made from 90% cotton and 10% elastane;
  • machine washable just like conventional socks (at 30°C with like colours);
  • thin enough to fit into all types of shoe;
  • easy to put on;
  • seam-free for greater comfort.

The cost per pair from me is £6.50.  The usual recommended retail price including postage would be £8.25 so a decent saving.

I’ve chosen toe socks without a grip sole because in class we do a lot of sliding of the feet along the mat.  I’ve found that grip soles tend to inhibit this movement and in some instances, make the socks come off.

For those that would like the benefit of toe socks but with extra grip for certain exercises, e.g. balances in standing, I have in stock Pilates cover socks available to buy too.  I sometimes wear these over my toe socks, for warmth as much as the extra grip.  Lots of people wear their Pilates cover socks on their own.  Here’s what they look like…

They normally retail at £12 per pair.  I have a limited stock of the slate grey ones (actual sock shown in the pictures above and below) available for £8. Deal!

The Pilates cover socks are:

  • one size;
  • made of a soft, sweat-wicking cotton blend;
  • grip panel on the sole;
  • low-cut heel and toe with cross strap across the foot;
  • machine washable (at 40°C with like colours).

Want to buy a pair?  Two easy options.  You can buy the socks from me when you come to class.  To secure a pair, you might want to contact me before the class and I will put the socks aside for you.  Alternatively, if you’re Clevedon-based, you can contact me to arrange to pay online and I’ll deliver the socks to your home within 24 hours of purchase.

To close, here’s Little Feat, Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt…yes, I’m really spoiling you…


GDPR and Your Privacy

Today the General Data Protection Regulation known as GDPR came into effect.  GDPR gives each one of us extra rights about how our personal data is used and means organisations have additional obligations to fulfil in this area.

In the light of GDPR, here is Embody Pilates’ new Privacy Policy…

What information do we ask for, why and where do we keep it?

As a client, Embody Pilates holds your name, phone and email details. This is so that you can be contacted about your bookings and any changes to the class timetable. When you first have a Pilates lesson at Embody Pilates, you are asked either in person, over the phone or in an email for your relevant medical history. This information is used to help guide your Pilates practice. This information is not maintained as a hard copy. Any emails from you containing this information and any subsequent teacher notes made by Melissa are held on two secure electronic devices accessible only by her.

Who can access your information?

You can ask to see the information we hold about you at any time. Only you and Melissa at Embody Pilates can access this information, and it will only be used to help Melissa guide your Pilates practice and handle your bookings and payments.

We do not share any of this information with any third party. If you are under the care of another practitioner, i.e. a doctor or another health professional or physical therapist, you are encouraged to pass on any relevant information about their findings or care to Melissa yourself, rather than Melissa speaking to them directly. This is unless of course both parties have your written permission to share relevant information.

What is your “right to be forgotten”?

You have the right to have your name, phone and email details removed from the system at any time. Please contact Embody Pilates if you want this to be done.

What are you agreeing to when you use Embody Pilates’ services?

By attending Embody Pilates’ classes you are agreeing to the use of your data as described in this policy.

Electronic mailings

When you first attend a class, Melissa will ask your permission to email you occasional updates about, for example, new classes or merchandise or the latest health and well-being news considered relevant to you. You can withdraw consent for Embody Pilates to contact you in this way at any time, independent of us holding the information we need to serve you as a client. To stop receiving such electronic mailings, simply reply to one with UNSUBSCRIBE MAILING in the subject heading.

Still awake?!  This might help…




Road Test – Matcha Tea

I’ve been road-testing matcha tea since December 2017.  The claims about how beneficial matcha tea is are hard to ignore…

  • High in the antioxidants needed to help clear the body of harmful chemicals
  • Boosts memory and concentration
  • Increases energy levels
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Fortifies the immune system

Hype is all well and good, but what about the reality?  From a personal point of view, drinking a mug of matcha tea every day for the past six months certainly contributed to me avoiding the many coughs, colds and flu viruses that did the rounds over the winter period.

And scientific research seems to go some way towards backing up the claims too…

  • A study found that matcha tea contains 137 times more antioxidants than common green tea, and three times more than any other recorded green tea to date;
  • Matcha is unique to other teas in that it contains abnormally high levels of L-theanine, which has been shown to improve brain function;
  • Findings show that the combination of catechins, caffeine and theanine found in green tea, and in the highest concentrations in matcha, were responsible for a suppressive effect on body weight increase and weight loss;
  • Another study shows that the green tea catechins found in matcha may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases;
  • Japanese research has found a correlation between regular matcha tea consumption and the maintenance of healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The above science-based evidence suggests it’s at least worth giving matcha tea a go as part of a healthy, balanced diet.  If you do decide to try matcha for yourself, I’d recommend going for a high quality, organic, ceremonial grade tea.  Warning – good quality matcha tea is not cheap.

I’ve tried a number of different brands and my top three so far are:

  1. OMG matcha tea, which is available online from Planet Organic or, rumour has it, from Sow and Arrow due to open soon in Clevedon;
  2. Kineta matcha tea, which is available to purchase from them direct online;
  3. Vivid matcha tea, which is available from larger Tesco and Holland and Barrett stores or online. Note: as of the date of this posting,Tesco in Clevedon has Vivid matcha tea at the discounted price of £5.55. Bargain!

To close, here’s Belly who are playing SWX, Bristol on the 9th June…