Latest News

Zoom into lockdown with Pilates & Barre- we’ve got this !

You may have woken up this week with a new sense of dread because of the latest lockdown news but we are in this together and can get through this¬†ūüí™

Thank you¬†for coming along to our Zoom¬†classes, reading my emails, working hard and having fun.¬†The class chats and banter are still fantastic and make the sessions even more special . The funniest so far is being when one of our teachers was kicked off zoom for 10 mins, got back into class to find the attendees chatting and drinking wine/beer in their separate abodes ! That takes “grab a drink ” to a new level !¬†¬†ūü§£

As it gets darker and colder it is so important  to work on your health and fitness, to keep your immune system high and to concentrate on  your mental health and keep a positive attitude. On the plus side  the Autumnal colours have been stunning this year and Strictly is back on for my annual dose of sequins !

So, the good news is¬†we are going to continue with our online Zoom classes plus add an extra Monday evening barre class to help ensure we get a good mix of exercise . The lockdown offer continues, which we’ve been running since the first wave , of ¬£10 which secures your place in your regular class but also enables you to come to the other classes on offer at no extra cost:



7pm Pilates intermediate/advance

8pm Barre -* new class with Claire*


7pm Pilates improvers

8pm Pilates intermediated/advanced


1030am Barre


Watch out also for some fitness challenges in lockdown ( on Facebook page ) and also please don’t¬† forget about your wellbeing and mindset. I first read “Mindfulness in a Frantic World”¬†¬†7 years ago and it had such a positive impact on my outlook ( I am re- reading at the moment!) . Also the apps Headspace and Calm are fantastic for a short re- focus, re- boot on a regular basis .

Any questions please contact . We hope to see you online in class and also follow us on Facebook ( Herts Pilates) as I will be putting more content up over the coming weeks.

Take care, stay strong and keep smiling


Wild and Wet but Spring is just around the corner..

Having just returned from a long weekend in wet and slightly wild Wales I am now looking forward to more Spring like weather.
Driving through Crickhowell, along roads which had morphed into rivers and fields into lakes really portrayed the power of nature.We love the Brecon Beacons with its wild and unforgiving landscape which is why the army were also out in force training – it looked a bit like the Who Dares Wins SAS programme on Channel 4!

So the good news is the mornings and evenings are getting lighter which means more time outdoors to walk the dog, go for a run, walk more and do some gardening or just generally get more Vitamin D! Hooray!

Class wise- we have a 6 week block of Pilates and Barre starting next week 24th February.

We look forward to seeing you in class.

Goodbye Dry, Detox January- Hello Fun, Fit February

So it’s February already and there may still be snow lingering but at least the mornings and evenings are getting lighter and the snowdrops are starting to appear.

We at Herts Pilates HQ have survived dry January, detox January (no sugar, dairy or caffeine) and feel fighting fit to face February (with the odd glass of wine in front of the fire).

It is amazing though how a few changes including drinking more water everyday, increasing daily exercise, cutting out the snacks and re-tweaking your mindset can have such a positive effect on your well-being. Now I know lots of people join the gym, have new resolutions, start dry January but as an individual effort they may not last long or have a huge impact. Putting them together eg more daily exercise, steps, no snacking, cut back on coffee, 5 minutes a day meditation (look at apps HeadSpace and Calm) can have a massive positive effect. It really doesn’t matter if you have an off day or can’t stick to something rigidly- small changes offer big rewards.

So, go on give it a try and remember with fitness and well-being it is not just the outcome that we focus on but the journey along the way.

Be Inspired By Strictly…

At Herts Pilates HQ we love Strictly Come Dancing… the razle, dazzle, amazing choreography and dancer’s journey.

This year Johnnie Peacock in particular has been a complete inspiration! Having never danced before and being the first Paraolympian on the show, and always wanting to be treated equal – he has been fantastic. He really does show that if you put your mind to it anything is possible.

So like us if you have been struggling with the early mornings since the clocks changed, are dreading all the Xmas to do lists, have piles of paperwork that just seems to move around the house , don’t worry! Sit down have a cup of tea and think about what is possible today in the timescales and in your mindset. If you don’t want to tackle the paperwork today don’t do it- tomorrow you may wake up feeling ready for it! If you are feeling rundown then don’t go out on a 5km run today, instead try some relaxation or meditation.

So, don’t worry/panic if you can’t tackle everything in one go. Prioritise in relation to how you feel and urgency of the task in hand and ensure you have time to rest as this time of year gets a little crazy! If you you are starting to look at New Years Resolutions think about Johnnie Peacock and aim high and above all enjoy!

3 top tips to prevent stress and anxiety… it is time to focus on you!

So the kids are back at school, everything has ramped up, and you are already juggling work, school, home, dog etc! So lets try and stop that feeling of ARGHHH!! before it even comes..


1)Build in some relaxation and respite into your daily routine…

With the digital world it become sharder to switch off but you must! Be it kicking off your shoes and walking in the garden (barefoot?), having a cuppa in peace and quiet, listening to your favourite song, doing a crossword. Just stop, breathe, do it and enjoy it!


2) Move..

This is not just from A to B but actually move and get your heart rate up! We all know the benefits of exercise, lowering stress hormones eg cortisol and releasing happy endorphins , so build regular exercise into your routine(has to be something you enjoy!) Remember every little bit counts from switching your chair to a swiss ball(core stability), to taking the stairs and not the lift, to parking further away- it all helps.


3) We Are What We Eat..

Ditch the white bread, crisps and coffee (worsen stress) and pack a healthy lunch and snacks- vege sticks and hummous, nuts to snack on, sweet potato with feta (quick lunch)


Self care is so important as life is often so hectic and challenging. Don’t just think of it as an annual holiday with a few mini breaks thrown in. Take time out every day- even if just 5 minutes. It will pay off big time in the long run!

It’s time to Spring Clean You!

Yes the sun is starting to shine, the trees are budding, birds are singing and the lighter days and evenings puts everyone in a better mood. I don’t know about you but I always go into spring cleaning mode at this time of year- cleaning out cupboards, numerous trips to the local dump, bags to local charity shops and generally trying to feel more organised. This is all great for your house and helps to de-fog the brain but let’s focus on you and your body a bit more now before the summer comes:

Top Tips for Feeling Energised

  1. Keep hydrated- try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and if possible ditch/switch caffeine for herbal teas
  2. Swap processed meals for cook from scratch scrumptious meals. This takes a little bit of organising initially but you will feel much fuller for longer.
  3. Get organised for “me” time- 5-10 minutes a day of quiet time does wonders for your thought process. You may just sit and focus on breathing, read a book, have a cup of tea (herbal:) just try and clear your thoughts rushing around
  4. Plan a routine-Get up 10 minutes earlier (no excuse now its lighter) and practise 10 minutes of Pilates to start the day feeling fab!
  5. Get out and about- don’t sit at your desk for lunch, walk the longer way to work, park further away from school- whatever it takes to get walking and aim for minimum 10,000 steps a day (ideally 12-15000)

So let’s do this and start your journey to feeling fab for summer..


Banish the negative commitee , have confidence in yourself and go for it!

“What” and “If” are two small words but¬† powerful in the English Language

What if I can’t do it? What if it doesn’t work? What if people laugh?

These all plants that seed of doubt in your head and introduces the “negative committee”.

But what if you flip it around..

What if I can do this? What if I succeed? What if everyone loves it?

Life is generally crazy and chaotic but it’s also so good to step back at times, out of your bubble and realise we are all human. We may get over whelmed, have lots to juggle, doubt ourselves and can make mistakes and that’s fine.

Look at the Oscar’s for a classic example of this and how gracious the La La Land team were.

So, don’t worry if you feel over whelmed. Just stop, step back and try and get some clarity in what you are trying to achieve. Stop procrastinating and believe in yourself- whether that be to start running, re-decorating a room/starting a spring clean in your house, planning an amazing holiday or having a career change.

Banish the negative committee, have confidence in yourself and go for it!

Are You ready to make 2017 the year for YOU? Book Pilates via Our App, FitBit links for Class and introducing new S.H.A.PE Online

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas break. It is such a special time of the year to spend time with friends and family and remembering loved ones. We had an amazing few days of hosting, eating, drinking, singing, dancing and much laughter at our house. This was followed by a pyjama day on the 27th!

Back at Work or in Hibernation? If you are now back at work well done you- hopefully it is a quieter time of year to catch up on any outstanding work and just generally get organised for the New Year. If you are still in hibernation mode having lazy mornings walking around with severe bed hair, watching Christmas classics and trying not to stand on random bits of Lego- well done you too. It’s a great time to re-charge batteries and have some important downtime.

Did you get a fitbit tracker for Christmas? Or want to book classes even quicker with our Pilates Mindbody App?

You can sync the MINDBODY¬ģ app with your Fitbit¬ģ activity tracker to quickly access data on your classes, appointments, and enrollments. The app will show active minutes and calories burned during your workout, as well as heart rate data if you have a compatible device. Plus, it will retroactively sync with past workouts-even if you’re new to the MINDBODY app. Download the Pilates Booking App¬†¬†¬† Don’t forget to book your regular classes , (spaces filling up fast) We are running extra evening Barre and Beginners pilates from the 16th January too. Book Pilates and Barre classes via or the app

Here we come 2017..

Looking forward now to 2017 its time to really focus on you and turning your awareness to your mind, body and fitness . It’s about thinking about the little things that help yo live your life to its full potential. A written goal really helps to pave the way…

This might be starting the year having a real sort out at home- streamlining your wardrobe to feel less cluttered. It may be eating more fruit and veg, or to cut down on food wastage with more innovative healthy recipes. Or ensuring you have important “me ” time. Write out your goal(s), several times on post it notes and stick it various places around the house eg drink 2 litres water a day, cut out caffeine, 15,000 steps as day. It really helps!

Finally do you fancy joining me on my New Year journey?  S.H.A.P.E online:

Strengthen and Tone
Healthy Recipes
At Home
Pilates Based Workouts
Energise You!

Starting 9th January- once all festive food is out of house!

*Daily motivational emails from me- no slacking

*Info including nutrition, time management, lifestyle, home workouts

*Brand new Pilates, barre, tone and strength exercises you can do at home (daily 10 mins)

* Easy, quick and easy healthy recipes

*Guaranteed to increase energy levels, tone, change body shape (no scales required- they are only for fish!)

Join my journey- starting 9th Jan- 2 weeks- £45 includes all home workouts, personal fitness and nutritional advice from me as well as heaps of lifestyle tips.  Click here to find out more and book The best way to start 2017.   Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year.


Many thanks Claire and the team

The Christmas Countdown has begun….

Can you believe it is December this week?

Don’t worry though , you still have time to get ready for those Christmas parties.

Come along to our St Albans Zumba and shake it, move it, burn it off! (new start time 7.45pm- can sneak in a bit late if helps:) Or come along to a Barre Class trial. Check out  Class Timetable

We only have 2 classes left before we break for festivities so really hope you can come along either tonight or next week on the 5th December.

NB there will be a hint of Christmas songs next week (only a little:)

Look forward to seeing you either tonight or 5th December (then we break until classes start back on 9th January

**St Albans Pilates and Barre classes run right up until 21st December:)**


Are you feeling SAD? Banish the winter blues…..

When the days are grey and the nights are long its hard sometimes to not let the dark affect us. SAD or “winter blues” are common in lots of the UK population and its often hard to stay on track with your fitness, health and well being. All your summer good eating and activities can go out of the window as you crave carbs, sugar and the sofa.

SAD is linked to reduced exposure to the sunlight which can cause a part of the brain called hypothalamus working properly. This in turn may affect:

– melatonin production- hormone that makes you feel sleepy
– Serotonin production- hormone that affects appetite, sleep and mood
– bodys internal clock- your body uses sunlight for various functions such as waking up so lower levels of light disrupt yur body.

I suppose the easy answer is to emigrate for the winter ūüôā

However, not always possible (!) so I hope these tips below will help to banish any winter blues too:

1) Pack in the Vitamin D. Eat more: salmon, fresh tuna, mushrooms, organic vegetables and just vegetables in general!

2) Take regular exercise to kick start the happy hormones and raise your spirit and motivation.

3) Get as much natural sunlight as possible. Get out for a walk at lunchtime, open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.

Have a fantastic week and I hope you enjoy your classes. NB Zumba is now at 7.45 pm from tonight (starting earlier- not because of light though:)

Embrace the Autumnal Days and Stay Healthy with Pilates and Barre…

What a beautiful time of year. The trees are starting to turn and we have lovely, bright, crisp days. It’s also time to start piling the layers on, dusting down the slow cooker, digging out the soup recipes and snuffling on the sofa to enjoy a plethora of Autumn TV.

Alas! Please do not hide beneath your layers or melt into the sofa. It is official, (drum roll)….the run up to Christmas has begun! You can’t enter a supermarket without nearly knocking down a stack of mince pies and the top toys for 2016 have already been unleashed!

Don’t worry though we are here to help you stay energised, fit, healthy and sane (!) in these busy times with oodles of classes on offer (and more to come).

The November/December classes are open for booking so please book asap . Some classes have been full with wait lists this term so don’t miss out on your favourite session.

**Newsflash** I have launched our new Children’ Pilates website- Core For Kids. Take a look continuing our quest for strong, healthy kids. The classes are so much fun and popular with parents, children and don’t laugh at my pirate costume! We are also on Facebook

These classes are again very popular this term. Is it because of :
-the cheesy music,
-the focus on glutes, hips and thighs with extra core in the mix,
-or because you in a strange way look forward to not being able to walk down the stairs properly a few days after class?
-also you know they are a great compliment to Pilates.
We are looking into running an additional Monday night barre(8 ish start) Interested? Also if you fancy trying a day class we have Wednesday 9.30am class. Please let me know:
Look After Yourself (please)
Bugs and illnesses love this time of year too so its important to keep fit and healthy:
– drink lots of fluids
– ensure you get a good nights sleep (and make a routine )
– banish the processed food- eat fresh
– cut back on caffeine, alcohol, sugar (yes that is cakes and biscuits)
– Take 5 mins time out a day to think, be still, meditate.
– Set realistic goals you can strive for – whether health, home or work
– Smile/laugh every day
– Compliment someone every day

Enjoy everyday and stay healthy.
Thank you for coming to classes.
Take care

Get Back On It…

Can you believe September is here already! After an amazing summer of sunshine, Olympics, holiday adventures, late nights and epic blackberry picking (what a crop this year!) it is now officially time to Get Back On it…


If you are a parent it is time to get some normality and routine back in your life. The last mad dash to make sure your lovelies have done their homework, realised they had any homework and dusted down their pencil cases..


For all workers it’s that time of year again whereby your commute will just start to take that bit longer and busier again.


For TV viewers it’s the best time of year… it’s time for :

Sparktacular Strictly,  

Poldark Perfection,  

and the return of the Classic… Cold Feet! Can’t wait!


Let the battle of dramas commence between the channels. Perfect entertainment as the nights draw in.


Most importantly it’s time to have a re-focus on YOU. If you’ve over indulged over the summer, got out of routine, deperate to do more exercise on your own or just shed a few pounds before the C word (I am not going to mention it yet!)… then this is the time to GET BACk ON IT! ¬†


I will let you into a little secret.. it is actually a bit of a myth that the busiest time in the exercise world is January, it is not, it’s actually September. This is the month that anyone who is serious about making a difference actually does it and sticks at it… so if you haven’t got sorted yet or its at the bottom of your list, then STOP, re-jig that list and think about YOU…


-Start walking those 10,000+ steps (do it for Cancer research this month) 

-Don’t be so sedantary at work- ensure you have a walk break at least once an hour

-Have walking meetings- its all the thing in Silicon Valley

-Start doing a bit of HIIT workout- walk for 1 min, jog for 1mim, walk for 1 min etc

-Stretch- every day (this is one I am really focussing on myself!)

-Build in 5-10 mins of core strength exercises everyday- ab preps, shoulder briedge, side lying clam, 1 leg circle – so quick and easy to do (watch this space for more of this)

-Book your space in class for barre, pilates or come and try Zumba (for that cardio/core blast combo) 


Let’s do this!¬†


Also very important.. dont forget to cheer on the GB Paralympic team over the next few weeks. Team GB.


We really hope to see you in class over the next few weeks. Pilates and Barre starts this week (5th), you are welcome to come along for a trial of a new class eg barre and Zumba starts back on the 12th.


All class info and booking at 



Go for it this September- it’s time for you!


Take care

Claire and the team

Summer Sun and September Pilates

Summer Holidays are whizzing by ! For those of you that have been lucky enough to have some time off I hope you are enjoying the lazy mornings, ice creams and not having to stick to a daily regime! The Olympics coverage has been immense and really sad it is all over . The stories, heroes, determination and utter brilliance of all the athletes involved is so inspiring and just makes you want to get out and exercise (especially the weather at the mo!).

We are really looking forward to the Paralympics now. Go Team GB!


We are in our last  2 weeks of Summer holidays St Albans Pilates and Barre classes now and then ready to start back with our September timetable.

Classes for next 2 weeks are on a reduced timetable as holiday time:


Tuesday 23rd and 30th August- Pilates 7.30pm class for all levels at the Jubilee Centre

Wednesday 31st August- Barre all levels at All Saints Studios

St Albans Pilates and Barre starts back week of 5th September .

September is often a busy time for new attendees to come to class and I would not want any of you to miss out on your slot.

So, if you haven’t already please book your spaces now for class at¬†.

If you want to try a different class/day/level that’s fine¬†.


As always remember you can catch up for any missed classes within the current course.

Blossom, Bluebells and It’s All For Charity..

So we appear to have jumped straight from winter to summer with the weather, more sunshine please! Nature on the other hand is full into spring with so much lushness everywhere along with breath taking blossom (If you get a moment visit Sandridge road where the blossom on all the trees lining the road looks amazing this year) and haven’t the bluebells been stunning? The dawn chorus keeps waking me up but I don’t mind at all as better that than an alarm clock in darkness:)


The light evenings are great for helping keeping motivated and active, and it’s great to see you all in classes. Monday and Tuesday at Alban City school for Pilates and Monday Maple Zumba, Wednesday ( day and eve) and Thursday mornings at All Saints Studio.


One evening this week I went to watch my old dance department from university perform on tour in St Albans. It was contemporary dance and where I discovered Pilates 22 years ago! Well, the strength and agility of the dancers was magical- pilates personified! I just wish I was 18 again!! Check them out at:


Instructor News


1) It’s For the Children- I am¬†on a mission to raise money for 2 different children causes and walking a whole marathon next Saturday (London to St. Albans – the scenic route!)

This is firstly to help provide an all weather athletic track at Maple School , where Zumba is held. The children already run fitness laps everyday eg y2 run 2 laps, y2 6- 6 laps which is fab!

Also a charity close to my heart Great Ormond Street Hospital who have helped and supported not only my family but many others too.

If you would like to sponsor me, any donation would be hugely appreciated. Thank you.

2) Gabriel is back! Hooray! He has had his shoulder op, looks a bit like Robocop with the contraption he is wearing but is glad to back in class. Thank you to everyone for putting up with me for cover:) It was lovely to see you all in class. Now back to normality!



More from me soon with class updates and latest news.


Take care

Claire X



Were You Blown Away By January?

So, January has blown by and February has sprung upon us!
The nights and mornings are getting lighter, the birds are chirping and bulbs are popping up everywhere to reassure Spring is well and truly on the way.

It’s my favourite time of year when you see everything literally come alive and blossom. For me, this year though it’s a time to take stock…..
Where on earth did January go?
Why did my mental “to do list “not go down,
Despite pretty much hibernating in January why was it still so frantic??
Any of that sound familiar?

Life does whizz by and this is why the very “in” concept of “mindfulness is great. I have to say I preferred it when it wasn’t so mass market and faddy but the principles are still there and something of great interest and belief.
Mindfulness- Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental well being
Check out Head Space App or book and CD “Mindfulness a Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World”
A major plus though is Pilates is great for mental and physical well being- a double pat on the back!
So if you have been neglecting yourself and spinning around like a lone sock in the tumble dryer then STOP!

Yes , now would be a good time.

Have a cup of tea (green tea even better) and think what would I really like to do?
Achieve? Try? Anything new? And then do it, research it, sort it. Today not tomorrow or the next day!
As Paddy Mcguiness (from v cheesy “Take Me Out” Saturday night TV programme – told you I’ve been hibernating!) would say …….. “The Power is In Your Hands”…
Go and make February the F month, not “Fed up” but “Feeling, Fab, Fit and Fantastic!”

Thinking of in the present- book you space in Pilates, Barre class (come to a £5 offer trial barre class too) using our new booking system.

Book Your Class
Have an amazing half term break

Are You Ready St Albans?

All the Christmas treats have finally left the house. It’s nearing the end of January and some sort of normality is back in your life. So, are you ready to get back on it and start thinking about you?

Whether its to feel fitter, be more organised , stretch more or drink more water it is time to focus on YOU!

Little steps go a long way so starting with a small goal is great and often then not too daunting.

It might literally be walking 10,000 steps a day or drinking 2 litres of water and cutting back on caffeine.

Hit those small targets, dream and then focus on those bigger achievable goals.

If you fancy trying something new this year then we have trial classes available for Barre Pilates, a mix of Pilates, dance and strength training See our list of classes   Click here for Barre Pilates

So lets get  going. No matter how small the challenge/change.

Go for it. You can do it!




Have a Happy and Healthy 2016

Wishing all our Pilates, Barre and Zumba friends a happy, healthy 2016

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and enjoying your break with family and friends. We are looking forward to getting back to sessions with some Pilates and barre classes starting 5th January  and the rest the following week of the 11th (including Zumba)

If you haven’t signed up for our Pilates and Barre classes please do reserve/book your space as classes are filling up fast! As always you can book at:

Also if you want to start the year with a feast of healthy recipes. meal planner and daily exercises to practice at home. Come on board our Eat Clean Get Lean Online Plan (now in its 4th year)
Get rid of toxins,bad foods, exercise daily, eat healthy and make you feel and look fab (you will also lose a few lbs too!)

Have a fantastic New Year and looking forward to lots of classes, fun and challenges in the 2016.


Happy Anniversary to us! 10 Years in Business!

Well what a dramatic start to October!

Its been a mix of emotions…St Albans suddenly in the global spotlight , England out of the World Cup and then the fab Bake Off final.


I also¬†have some news…. drum roll please…


We are celebrating 10 years of Herts Pilates


Yes this is the big news! Hooray!

We have been teaching in the St Albans area for 10 years now.


To celebrate this and to mainly say a huge thank you for coming to our classes I am running 10 days of free online fitness, recipes, advice and tips from the 1st November. You will receive updates to check website as you are on the email list(don’t need to sign up again)The website will be updated daily at


Some of you have been with us from the beginning and many for a large part of our journey. From church halls, to school halls to studios we have loved it all and really appreciate all your support- thank you.


If you know of any friends and family that would like to join in  the 10 days of free online fitness then please do pass on where they can sign up.


November classes

Another month is whizzing by and we will be having a week off for half term. Then we are back in the run up to Christmas for 7 weeks of classes to get you all¬†ready for the festive period. (nb¬†Amanda’s Monday is 6 weeks due to¬†school closed on 2nd Nov)¬†Classes start back on the 3rd November. You can book on now at and by the 22nd October to secure your place please.

It’s Time to Sparkle and Shine..

Did you stay up for the lunar eclipse last night? How magnificent the moon looked and some amazing images seen today too in the press.


I am feeling inspired by Strictly Come Dancing (such a high standard this year) and deflated by the rugby this weekend! What can I say! Another shock in the World Cup. Onwards and upwards as my Grandad used to say:)


If you are also feeling inspired by the dancing and starting to wiggle in work, shake your hips in the shops and generally want to shimmer like those sequins then come along to Zumba tonight. 8pm Maple SchoolРcheesy tunes and funky moves (and you really can dance like no one is watching)


Also if admiring the wonderful Darcy Bussell and all the pro dancers and want to get stronger, more flexible and target hips, glutes, legs and tummies then come along to the new Pilates Mat/barre workout fusion class this Wednesday. 9.30am at All Saints Studios. Just need to book at


If you want to book a Pilates or Barre taster class before signing up for the whole course you can also do that on the timetable page.
Enjoy the sunshine and hopefully better rugby results this week (if English!) Must say well done to Wales, Scotland and Ireland too:)



Happy Monday
Take care




ps don’t forget regular updates¬†and¬† tips/news on our facebook page

Also starting to embrace Instagram @hertspilates


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