Pilates For Feet

Ballerina Project

Feet have a key role to play in achieving balance in the body.  With twenty-six bones, thirty-three joints and more than a hundred muscles, ligaments and tendons in each one, the foot is a marvel of engineering and yet it is often overlooked by anatomists and medical students, indeed by all of us. When our feet go wrong then we pay attention to them.  Only when they stop working properly do we appreciate what they do to keep us upright and move us around all day.

According to anthropologists, the development of the arches of the feet allowed us to step into our humanity more than two million years ago. It is the evolution of this part of our anatomy more than any other that enabled man to walk upright, freeing up our hands and our brains to focus on other more complex tasks.

Footprints of two people walking in the sand

Feet not only provide insight into how we developed as humans, they tell the story of our overall physiological health. When the foot hits the ground, everything is affected. Conversely, an imbalance in the pelvis places strain on the knees and ankles, which can be seen in our feet, even when they are not weight bearing.

When we run approximately half the energy used in each step is stored in the elasticity of our Achilles tendons and released via the arches of the feet. The arches, two along the length of the foot and one across its width, also bear our weight. They are necessary for strength, just like the spans of a bridge. Without the arches, the feet can’t support the weight of our bodies.

The feet need to be flexible in order to reduce the impact of postural imbalances and to improve stability when we move around. As we age the foot becomes less flexible increasing our susceptibility to ankle sprains, knee and hip pain, and to falls due to poor balance. Similarly, repetitive movements such as walking and running, inappropriate footwear and a sedentary lifestyle, can all contribute to a loss of flexibility in the feet.


Tension in the feet can affect the legs and hips. This is because the muscles of the calves run all the way down into the feet. These in turn connect via fascia to the muscles of the upper leg and hip.

To address this tension and inflexibility, Melissa now incorporates foot exercises into the Pilates classes she runs at The Wellbeing Studio and the Complete Health Clinic in Clevedon. The exercises, using special textured balls are easy to do and feel good.  Doing them at the start of the Pilates class helps maintain proper foot alignment for the rest of the session, which improves the recruitment of the muscles in the hips, pelvic floor, and abdominal area.

Burning Man Festival Marco Cochrane sculpture

New Tuesday Evening Pilates Class

Ballerina Project

To meet the increasing demand for our classes, Embody Pilates now runs two group sessions on a Tuesday evening, from 18.15 to 19.15 and then straight afterwards from 19.15 to 20.15.

Like all the Pilates classes on our weekly schedule, they are suitable for all ages, sizes, abilities and fitness levels, and take place at The Wellbeing Studio in the heart of Clevedon.  Click the following links to find out where the studio is and to have a look inside the studio.

The cost of a block of six group Pilates sessions is £50. The classes can then be taken as and when you’re available. No booking required.  For those who’d prefer to pay for each class individually, the cost is £10.

Embody Pilates’ weekly schedule of classes now looks like this:

Monday lunchtimes, 12.30 to 13.30
Tuesday evenings, 18.15 to 19.15
Tuesday evenings, 19.15 to 20.15
Thursday lunchtimes, 12.30 to 13.30
Thursday evenings, 18.00 to 19.00
Saturday mornings, 10.00 to 11.00

Thank you to all our clients for supporting Embody Pilates by coming regularly to class and for recommending us to family and friends.  This is so valuable to us in attracting new people.

Ballerina Project

The Wellbeing Studio

The Wellbeing Studio logo

After the move at the beginning of January, Embody Pilates is now nicely settled in its new base, The Wellbeing Studio in Clevedon. Founded by Sara Anderson in 2011, the studio offers a range of complementary therapies provided by a host of qualified, experienced specialists:

Personal training with Sara Anderson
Nutritional therapy with Sara Anderson
Counselling with Paul Welcomme
Hypnotherapy with Emma Charlton
Dietetics with Jackie Wilson
Reflexology with Victoria Gazzard
Holistic massage with Kerry Westwood
Pregnancy massage with Victoria Gazzard
Pilates with Melissa Mann from Embody Pilates

The treatments and counselling take place in the therapy room…

The Wellbeing Studio therapy room

The Wellbeing Studio therapy room

The Pilates and personal training take place in the main studio and in the adjacent, state-of-the-art Star Trac studio…


The Wellbeing Studio Star Trac studio

Follow these links for details of pricing and how to get in touch with The Wellbeing Studio and the individual therapists who work there.

New Thursday Lunchtime Pilates Class

Penny farthing megaphone

We have an announcement.  To meet increasing demand, starting on the 12th February, Embody Pilates is introducing a new Thursday lunchtime Pilates class to its weekly schedule.  The hour-long session begins at 12.30 and, as always, is suitable for all ages, abilities and fitness levels.

Like the other four Pilates classes we run, it takes place at The Wellbeing Studio in the heart of Clevedon.  Click the following links to learn how to find the studio and to see what it looks like inside.

The cost of a block of six group Pilates sessions is £50. The classes can then be taken as and when you’re available. For those who’d prefer to pay for each class individually, the cost is £10.

So, from Thursday 12th February, Embody Pilates’ weekly schedule of classes will look like this:

Monday lunchtimes, 12.30 to 13.30
Tuesday evenings, 18.30 to 19.30
Thursday lunchtimes, 12.30 to 13.30
Thursday evenings, 18.00 to 19.00
Saturday mornings, 10.00 to 11.00

Thank you for choosing Embody Pilates.  We very much value all our clients.

To close, something to amuse.  Here’s a sign Melissa came across recently that suggests the slave trade has hit the high street in Bristol…

Ladies for sale

Pilates Gift Cards

Gift boxes

Suitable for all present-giving occasions, we have Embody Pilates gift cards available to buy as follows:

  • £10 gift card to treat someone to one group Pilates class
  • £40 gift card for one private Pilates session
  • £50 gift card for six group Pilates classes
  • £80 gift card for two private Pilates sessions
  • £120 gift card for three private Pilates sessions

The recipient of the group Pilates class gift cards can choose to attend any of the group Pilates classes that take place on the weekly schedule at the studio in Clevedon.  The private Pilates sessions can be arranged at a time to suit the individual and can take place either at The Wellbeing Studio, or at the recipient’s home if they live in Clevedon or the surrounding area, whichever is the more convenient.

Below is the front cover of the gift card…

Gift Card Front

And this is what it says inside the card…

Gift card inside left Gift card inside right

To treat a friend or family member to one or more Pilates sessions at Embody Pilates, you can either buy a gift card from Melissa when you next attend class, or alternatively, email Melissa using the contact form with details of what kind of card you’re interested in purchasing. The card will be hand delivered if you live in Clevedon.  Alternatively, if you would like the gift card sent to you or the recipient, a postage fee will be added to the final cost.  Payment is either in cash, by bank transfer or via Paypal.

Pilates, the gift that keeps on giving…

Inside The Studio

For those who are thinking about joining one of Embody Pilates’ weekly open-to-all group classes held at The Wellbeing Studio in Clevedon, here are some pictures of the inside of the studio where the hour-long sessions take place…

It’s a lovely space to do Pilates, warm in Winter, cool in Summer with plenty of natural light for those morning and lunchtime classes when we’re lucky enough to have some sunshine…

There is also a relaxing waiting area where clients can gather before class…



For a virtual tour of the facilities, check out The Wellbeing Studio’s video.  It provides a useful peek behind closed doors…


Here is the weekly schedule of group Pilates classes we run at The Wellbeing Studio.  They are suitable for all ages, abilities, sizes and fitness levels:

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
Saturday mornings: 10.00-11.00

There are no membership fees.  You can pay-as-you-go at £10 per class, or just over £8 per class if you pay the up front price of £50 for six classes.  These can then be taken over however many weeks rather than consecutively.  Please let Melissa know you’re planning to come to a class to be 100% sure of a place.

Embody Pilates operates from The Wellbeing Studio in Clevedon, which is located next door to Six Ways Sports shop on Alexandra Road.  For clear directions how to find us and where to park, click this link.

We look forward to seeing you.

The Wellbeing Studio logo