Pilates is a mind body conditioning exercise programme that targets the deep postural muscles of the abdomen & spine to improve overall core stability & posture, whilst improving your overall flexibility, toning your stomach, strengthening your back & lengthening and stretching your muscles.  Pilates’ exercises also encourage you to think about how you improve your everyday movements, & help your body to work at its optimal level at all times.

What is Pilates?

What makes Pilates at St Judes different?

Covid-19 update - Our Pilates classes are currently being taught both via Zoom on Tuesdays for a reduced fee and also in person at Billington Hall (2 classes).  Call us for details: 01525 377751.

At St Judes Clinic we teach clinical rehab Pilates and our Pilates classes in Leighton Buzzard are taught by Moira D’Arcy, Chartered Physiotherapist, who is also a fully trained and registered Pilates’ instructor, certified by the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI)   

The APPI is firmly established as the leading force in the delivery of safe and effective Pilates’ teacher training for physiotherapists, and is now widely recognised as a quality standard for Pilates in physiotherapy. Because of this, clients are provided with the highest standard of care, receive individual programmes to take into account medical and physical conditions, continual reassessments and modifications to programmes and have access to the most recent research knowledge.

There is an interesting article here that explains the importance of going to the right type of Pilates class.

Who is it for?

Pilates suits all ages and fitness levels and is particularly beneficial for those with back or neck pain, poor postures, sports injuries, arthritis, stress-related illnesses and before, during and after pregnancy.  It is particularly beneficial for the prevention and rehabilitation of back injuries, as it retrains the deep abdominal and spinal muscles. As such, it is advantageous to see a physiotherapist for Pilates, as they have a vast knowledge of anatomy and can adapt exercises according to your own individual needs.

If you are pregnant or have given birth recently, please discuss this with our instructor as exercises need to be adapted accordingly. There is an interesting article on how APPI pregnancy Pilates benefited one new mum here:

Isn't it just for girls?  Pilates has a great deal to offer which is highly relevant to men's fitness:

Strength training and performance - Pilates is used to compliment training for a wide variety of sports from long distance running to squash; for those with niggling knees to skiers striving to enhance their performance on the slopes. It is highly adaptable so it can be tailored to meet your needs and the demands of your sports or activities.

  • Reduce your risk of injury - Pilates is the key to improving your core strength, protecting your spine, and reducing muscle imbalances which may lead to injury. It can also play a vital role in rehabilitation post injury; ask your physiotherapist if Pilates is suitable for you.
  • Move well, feel good, and do more - Pilates also works on muscle flexibility. It differs from yoga or gymnastics because the goal is having the strength, balance and flexibility to allow you to move well in your daily life. To feel fit enough to meet the demands of your work, playing with your kids, completing DIY and pursuing your hobbies.
  • Improve your posture and look good! - Pilates pays a lot of attention to the deep abdominal corset of muscles. It not only makes for better posture, which reduces the risk of neck and back pain, it makes you look and feel great.

A recent Pilates review (September 21): "I've been doing Pilates with Moira since 2015 and find it's invaluable for keeping the inevitable age-related aches and pains at bay as well as improving my flexibility and balance. Since the start of the pandemic, classes have been via Zoom but have survived the online transition very successfully. Although not having Moira there in person to push and prod us into shape is a definite disadvantage, in all other respects I've found Zoom Pilates just as good as before, and very convenient on days when I've had to work late! Moira carefully tailors each class to its participants and keeps a very close eye on us all, especially those with particular needs, such as new joiners, expectant mums or those with injuries. She always has several alternative exercises up her sleeve, if needed. Moira is great at explaining the purpose of each exercise and its benefits so I've learned a lot along the way too. As ever, we work at our own individual level and pace (I am the one having frequent breathers between reps). I can't recommend these classes highly enough."


How do I join?

To ensure that you get the most out of attending Pilates at St Judes Clinic, and before you can join a class, you are required to have a 45 minute Pilates’ assessment with one of our Pilates Instructors.  They will assess your suitability for Pilates and modify your exercises according to your needs.  During this assessment, we will take a thorough medical history so we can be made aware of any past or current injuries. You will also be taught the principles of Pilates, including how to achieve neutral body alignment and how to correctly activate your deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, along with several other fundamental Pilates’ concepts.

What are the classes like?

The St Judes Pilates classes are usually booked in courses of 5/6/7 sessions according to the school term. They are extremely relaxed and the exercises are performed to a background of relaxing music with people of all ages working at their own comfortable pace. Numbers are kept small with a maximum of 12 participants.

We currently run classes via zoom on Tuesdays at 1.30 pm.  We hold in-person classes at Billington Village Hall, Gaddesden Turn, Great Billington on Wednesdays at 7.00 pm and 8.05 pm.  (See map here) Free parking is available.  

St Judes Clinic Pilates Missed Session Policy - we all have busy lives and understand that unforeseen events can prevent us from attending sessions.  Therefore, if you have to miss a session you may attend a different class in that block of sessions, if there is room – so you don’t lose money on missed sessions.  If you know you will be absent from your regular class, please let the admin staff know ASAP so we can advise your teacher and arrange a swap session at another class for you if space allows.  We cannot guarantee to fit you in, but we will try! 

 Pilates Class Leighton Buzzard with Moira, Chartered Physiotherapist


What should I wear/bring?

Wear comfortable clothes that you can move easily in – you will get warm so a t-shirt or vest worn under a sweatshirt is probably a good idea. Pilates is done in bare feet so that you can grip the floor or you can wear special gripping socks (we do stock socks for this purpose). Mats and small equipment such as balls, blocks and bands are provided. You are of course welcome to bring your own mat if you prefer. Please bring a small towel and a bottle of water.

What about if I am recovering from injury?

If you are currently a client of St Judes, our physiotherapists will refer you across for Pilates when the time is right for you. Our physios work closely with the Pilates Teachers, bridging the gap between your physio rehabilitation after injury and the progression to the class situation. Some clients will have a cross-over period when they will be seeing both a Pilates Teacher at one point of the week and the Physiotherapist for more hands-on therapy at a different time. Other clients progress smoothly from Physio to Pilates and may only see the Physiotherapist as required. You will require a Pilates pre-assessment whether you have been seen at St Judes or have come for classes independently.

I don’t want to join a class

Some clients prefer a one-to-one Pilates session to learn the concepts of Pilates and receive some individual attention. Alternatively, you may also like to bring a friend or partner with you to share the experience, and cost, in a two to one session.  These sessions are carried out at the clinic, just give us a call.

What do you charge?

Initial 45 minute assessment (mandatory one-off fee) - £50
Block of six 1 hour sessions paid in advance - £78. (Zoom £66)
1:1 1 hour session – £80, 1:1 30 minute session – £40, 2:1 1 hour – £55 (each), 2:1 30 minute session - £27.50 (each)

Why not read more about Pilates in Moira's article here.

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