Regular readers will know that I love trying out new things so when Clare Goodwin from Body & Spirit invited me along to one of her ‘Roll and Relax’ workshops in January, I jumped at the chance.  Having attended some of her regular pilates classes in Edenbridge last year, I already knew that I enjoyed her teaching style.

Clare has a deep understanding of her subjects – Pilates, meditation and body rolling – yet still appreciates the pressures we all have on our daily lives and comes up with ideas of how to combine some of her techniques into our already busy schedules.

As well as teaching regular Pilates classes in Edenbridge, Hever and Cowden, Clare also runs workshops and you don’t need to be attending her classes to come along to these.

This particular workshop was held at St Luke’s Parish Room in Chiddingstone Causeway, a very relaxing setting with views across the countryside and on the edge of woodlands.

There were 5 of us in total which gave enough space around our individual exercise mats.  I was glad that we didn’t jump straight into the activities as I’d had a very busy morning so it was nice to have the opportunity to simply wind down for 10 minutes with a cuppa and have a chat with the other attendees before getting started.

Clare started the session by taking us through the elements of the workshop, explaining what the activities would do for us.  We started off with a meditation exercise to help relax our minds and bodies and raise our internal awareness.  

I will admit that whilst I know and understand the benefits of meditation and mindfulness (paying attention in the present moment) and I do think how I must take a break in my day and just ‘be’, I somehow still never manage to fit it into my schedule.  This is one of the benefits of coming along to a workshop such as this is that you are giving yourself time to just ‘be’.

The equipment Clare had provided for the session was a selection of different sized Yamuna balls which were used in a number of ways to stimulate the bones, tendons and muscles, creating length and space in the body and helping to relieve pain and stress.  For each moment we were given, Clare would demonstrate first and explain the types of sensations we would most likely feel after each exercise.  She would then go around the room to make sure we were happy with carrying out the various exercises, making adjustments to us if necessary.

The final part of the session involved further meditation and I found this much easier than the first time as I was feeling so calm and relaxed and good!

This year why not take some time out for yourself and try one of Clare’s workshops.  You can find a full list of dates and prices on Clare’s website at

As featured in Issue 105 – March/April 2020