The Proud Project – New Pilates studio in Chiswick

Images above: Reformer Pilates class

Interview with owner Christina Fell

There is a new Pilates studio opening in Chiswick, right in the middle of the High Rd, above the Mexican grill Chipotle, in July.

Called The Proud Project, owner Christina Fell is proud of it, as it is the first business she has owned and run herself.

“It’s a huge project for me” she says, surrounded by unfinished walls and floors, with new equipment still its wrapping “and I am already proud of it”.

The name is actually an acronym of ‘Pilates right on ur doorstep’ but the name is also meant to inspire us to be proud of our bodies and proud of ourselves for working out:

“My overall ambition is to make people feel a lot better.”

Christina, (30) originally from Liverpool, qualified as a Pilates instructor seven years ago, having worked in property before that.

“I was an immediate convert” she tells The Chiswick Calendar. “I hated PE at school and didn’t take part in sports days but I joined a gym at 22 and talked to a woman who suggested I try Pilates and I was an instant convert, I quickly became obsessed with Reformer Pilates and the instant benefit you get from it.”

She will be teaching both Reformer and mat Pilates as well as Yoga.

Images above: Reformer Pilates studio

Develop your core strength

The studio space is perfect. There is plenty of room, with lots of light coming in from the arched windows facing the High Rd.

I was not the first to remark that the Reformer Pilates machines look like mediaeval torture machines, with the frame for you to lie on to push against and the straps.

“It is daunting when you see the machines but it develops your strength really quickly and gives you instant relief from stress. It’s really good for making you aware of your body. You need to teach your mind to become aware of which muscles you’re using.”

Christina has taught Pilates in Liverpool and in Miami and would probably still be in the States if it weren’t for the small matter of extending her work visa. It was working in Miami which convinced her she wanted to own her own business.

“I landed in London from Miami in 2018 and met a friend for dinner who introduced me to west London. She had a spare room in Shepherd’s Bush and I joined Ten Health and Fitness and worked with them for three and a half years.

“They have a fantastic branch in Chiswick, but there are plenty of people wanting classes so I decided to give it a go. I am really passionate about the benefits of movement for living a pain free life and just your head space.”

Images above: Christina; studio in different stages of construction

Looking forward to being part of the Chiswick community

She has been working on the space for seven or eight months now and has got to know the neighbours:

“Being in Chiswick is a huge bonus. I really want the studio to be part of the community.”

Coming from Liverpool a sense of community is taken as a given, but she says people’s perspectives in London have shifted during the pandemic:

“We thought nothing of travelling an hour to see a friend but when you couldn’t do that and you didn’t know your next door neighbour people realised how siloed their lives were.”

She is not the only business hoping to capitalise from an increase in ‘localism’. She herself does cross-training in Hammersmith and says she would love to collaborate with sports clubs:

“Reformer Pilates gives you increased efficiency of movement, it focuses on your core muscles so you know what movements you should avoid for injuries. It gives you flexibility, mobility and is great for rehabilitation.”

Good to do, in other words, in combination with other fitness programmes or sports such as boxing or athletics.

She also likes to enjoy life:

“It’s not all about having a lean and mean six pack (though I’m pretty sure she has). It’s about balance, lifestyle, living your best life for as long as possible.”

When the studio opens on 18 July she will be offering personal training with one to one attention as well as classes – a Reformer Pilates beginner class for the essentials and mixed ability classes in both Reformer and mat Pilates and for Yoga. Three different instructors will teach Vinyasa and slow flow Yoga.

She will be offering classes seven days a week, from as early as 6:30am until 8:30pm.

Whether it’s the first time you’re stepping inside a gym or you’re a seasoned athlete, her mission is to enable all ages, shapes, genders and sizes to feel confident and comfortable with movement.

Once they are established Christina is looking to rent out rooms for one on one physiotherapy and massage sessions and to broaden the range of classes to include breath, sleep and mobility classes.

Image above: The Proud Project studio entrance on Linden Gardens

Opening offer

The Proud Project W4 is offering the first 100 new members an unlimited 30-day pass for £150, available to purchase now and valid from 18 July 2022 onwards.

30-day pass is available on all in-studio group classes and valid from and including the date of purchase for 30 days and is non-refundable and cannot be shared between multiple members. A member can book one in-studio class per day.  Not valid for one-to-one appointments. A member may not attend any session at the studio without first booking and paying for a relevant session. Members will be charged for a session where cancellation or the rescheduling of a session is not made online or notice of the same is not received in person by a studio worker at least 12 hours prior to the booked time for group classes. Sessions are booked on a first come-first served basis.

Club Card offer

Club Card holders can enjoy a single drop-in session free (usually £30) by using the code PROUDCLUB at checkout on The Proud Project W4 site at any time from the opening date of 18 July.

The Proud Project
227-229 Chiswick High Rd
Chiswick W4 2DX

Tel: 0208 994 1264

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar website

See also: New dance teaching diploma starting in Chiswick in September

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