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Pilates, yoga or barre?

Looking to step up your fitness regime to include yoga, pilates or barre, but not sure where to start? Luckily we know the best studio's in Surrey - and what they do best.

The benefits of yoga, Pilates and barre are well documented – strength, flexibility and mental clarity – but working out which one will suit you best can be tricky.

At Muddy, we’re big fans of all three and have been working our way throughout the county to find the best studios and instructors to help get you into your grove. Ready, steady, STRETCH!

Pilates for women

Sara Rounce at the Wellwoman Fitness Foundation specialises in Pilates for women – and is an expert in Pilates for pregnant and post-natal women, menopausal women and women recovering from cancer. She offers one-to-one classes and small studio classes at her studio in Beacon Hill as well as general Pilates classes in Haslemere, Hindhead and

SUP yoga

Coming to a river near you, SUP (stand up paddle board) yoga is the newest addition to the yoga world. I’m very keen to give this one a go – when the weather warms up! Great for your core but also for your mind as doing yoga outside and on water is very contemplative. Dee Opp Yoga runs classes and workshops from her private riverside studio in Lower Sunbury. She also runs a variety of workshops including a hiking and yoga experiences, mother and daughter classes and classes for men only.

Mat pilates

A newbie to Pilates? This is a good place to start – the first ever Pilates studio to start in Surrey, set up by Zoe Hodgson. Now Zoe Hodgson Pilates has studios in Esher and Surbiton offering gentle, intermediate and intense mat classes, as well as a beginner workshps, dance classes and luxe bootcamp and a host of other services including nutritional advice, essential oils and mindfulness workshops. Muddy’s own Alice Ridsdale has been a regular here since she was a teenager.

Hot yoga

Woman rolling yoga mat

If you you need to get hot and sweaty to feel like you’ve done a workout hot yoga could be for you. Typically both Hatha and Vinyasa style classes are offered in a hot studio where temperatures are a balmy 38-42C with a humidity level of around 40%. Red Hot Yoga in Guildford offers classes for all levels and abilities at its unique Hot Room, a studio especially designed with start-of-the-art heating system to create the perfect hot yoga environment. Hot yoga will help you detox, and get more stretch out of your muscles. Go to class well hydrated and expect to sweat! As well as its hot yoga classes, Red Hot Yoga also offers a range of other yoga classes including Vinyasa, Asthanga, Yin yoga, pregnancy yoga and Anusara yoga.

Pilates for pain and rehabilitation

No, we’re not talking the ‘no pain, no gain’ variety of exercise. We’re interested in managing pain with a combination of Pilates and physio. When my daughter injured her back in a minor riding accident, we called upon CoreFitPhysio in Westcott near Dorking, which specialises in physio-led Pilates. It’s a boutique style clinic that’s quite unlike any other physiotherapist I’ve been to – far less clinical with a warm, friendly and holistic approach. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here. Every client is individually assessed and gets a tailored treatment. There’s a fully kitted out reformer studio, and classes that are either one-to-one, one-to-two or small classes of three or four.

Yoga for teenagers

From teaching self-acceptance to creating balance and calm, there’s no doubt yoga is good for teenagers and tweens. Emily Davies of EmPower Yoga in Oxted specialises in yoga for children and teenagers – as well as offering adult classes, workshops and yoga parties. Her classes are a fun and playful fusion of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga help you feel fitter and stronger on the inside and out.

Reformer Pilates

If you find Pilates a bit slooooooow, Reformer Pilates could be the ticket, a machine that looks torturous with its pulls and levers but has an incredible effect on the body. You can find it at the Core studio in Cobham which offers reformer classes as well as the higher-impact jump reformer classes. I’ve tried this, and trust me, you can feel the burn. Brilliant for a total body workout.

Yin yoga

Ebb and Flow Yoga in Farnham has been around for only a couple of years, but already it’s established itself as the place to go when your body needs some TLC. It’s a a beautifully relaxing space with the feel of a luxury spa, that’s also super friendly and welcoming so that even if you’ve never tried yoga before, you’ll feel comfortable. There’s the usual Vinyasa and Ashtanga as well as Pilates and barre, but you can also go for super-stretchy yin yoga – a deeply relaxing class which will help you release tension in the body through deep stretches and long holds. Run by mother and daughter duo, Katy and Jill, Ebb and Flow also run workshops, events and yoga retreats throughout the year.

Springboard Pilates

A variation on Reformer Pilates, Springboard Pilates is a little more dynamic and faster flowing, yet with the same gentle super-effective results. This Pilates alternative is offered at The Pilates Suite, in Farnham, alongside a range of other classes and one-to-one workshops including reformer and mat Pilates, and barre concept. Run by former professional dancer, Kirsten Harle, The Pilates Suite is a beautiful private studio surrounded by woodlands. They also offer teacher training courses, if you’re thinking of going down that road.

Rocket yoga

Energetic and invigorating with roots in the Ashtanga yoga system, rocket yoga is designed for the yogi who wants to move. It’s fast paced, practised against an uplifting soundtrack and designed to challenge all levels of fitness. You’ll find it at Ride Studio in Cobham whose clever concept has all your fitness needs catered to under one roof – so there’s also cycling, boxing, Trx, circuits and body sculpt classes.

Pilates at home

What do you do if you can’t make it to a regular Pilates class? Answer: have the Pilates come to you. Adele Smyth who runs Purebody Pilates Thames Ditton offers one-to-one Pilates sessions in the comfort of your own home – ideal for anyone with a small child or those who can’t make it to a gym or studio. Sessions are tailor made to your needs and you can team up with one or two friends if the one-on-one feels a bit intense. Adele – a former dancer – also runs weekly mat Pilates classes as well as barre and ballet bootcamp in Thames Ditton. She also offers sports massage.


Can’t decide if you love Pilates or yoga more? Then barre could be the answer.  Mixing elements of both, plus dance, the classes at CYC:D in Haslemere are set to vibey upbeat music and will give you an energising and targeted workout which is hard on muscles but kind on joints. CYC:D is also a cycle studio, offering spin classes as well as HIIT classes and yoga and Pilates.

Find more ideas here

WellbeingYoga, pilates & barre

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