Joseph Pilates, was born in Germany in 9 December 1883.  He created a unique form of exercise. Originally called Contrology.  His father was a gymnast and metal worker and he trained his son in a few disciplines including bodybuilding, ju jitsu and gymnastics.  By the time he was 14 he was very strong and proficient gymnast.  

It is now under debate whether Joseph was a sickly child, but there is no doubt that he had a very creative mind. As such he created a appartus to use for rehabilitations, using a stable hospital bed frame and springs for resistance and strengthening the body.  He developed exercises  which helped gain tone, connection with core stability and body control.

I had the pleasure to originally train with Alan Herdman, Gordon Thompson and more during the 80s.  I found that as a trainee dancer, that it would be inevitable that I would at some point sustain some sort of injury. In preempting this possibility, I sort out how to maintain my fitness and strength without gaining heavy muscle tone.  Pilates was the exercise I stumbled on, as well as swimming.

Here I am over 30 years later, finding that I am calling on my pilates training to gain that same stability.  I have a slight herniated disc and facet joint instability, which sometimes can cause serious problems, a combination of  regular Pilates exercises, yoga and swimming.  I am able to maintain flexibility,  strength and stability.  Pilates is what I find myself more and more turning to alongside, swimming, yoga and some weight training.

I have revised my previous training and have now trained with  Stott Pilates mat work and reformer to Intermediate level & Advance levels.


Arlene will be teaching at the following centres (book directly with Contour Pilates) suspended until further notice

Contour Pilates, Loughton IG10

Wednesdays 9.00 

Highams Park

Friday Essential Pilates mat works for beginners and improvers


Friday afternoon: 1-2.00pm

You can follow the link to book online for drop-in  or discounted 4-week block basis.  Book online.

Post natal pilates 11-12.00noon on fridays £13 drop-in or £48 for block of 4.

Term starts in September.  Sessions will be online.