Body Control Pilates®

Pilates Newsletter and Gallery celebrating 20 years in 2023

2024 PILATES TIMETABLE Zoom class information Zoom class timetable Home exercises

Last updated January 2024

Strengthening and toning the body.

Developed over 90 years ago by Joseph Pilates

Pilates exercise and body conditioning helps to:

  • strengthen and tone muscles
  • improve posture, flexibility and balance
  • relieve stress and help you relax
  • relieve joint and back problems
  • enhance health of your mind and body
  • create a longer, leaner, stronger body

The exercises target the core postural muscles to balance the alignment of the body, putting less strain on the joints and internal organs. It ensures the correct muscle recruitment pattern is used for each particular movement. It focuses on both the mind and body, helping to relax and create a sense of wellbeing and energy.

Pilates classes

Email or call:

Gillian Burn – 07831 526531
John Spencer – 07970 598080

Enquire about a class

Gillian and John

Gillian has been involved in exercise and health promotion for over 30 years. She trained as a nurse, midwife and health visitor and has an MSc in Exercise and Health. Before the pandemic Gillian delivered personal development training to companies around the country and is an author of several books. Gillian’s focus is now mainly with Pilates helping her clients create a healthier mind and body through Zoom and face to face pilates and the occasional healthy chocolate making workshops! Gillian trained with The Body Control Pilates Academy in 2003, Europe's leading professional body. She is registered as a Level 3 Exercise Teacher with the Register of Exercise Professionals.

John has an exercise and sports background and has coached sports people over the years near Windsor. John trained with The Body Control Pilates Academy in 2003. He is a Level 4 Specialist Instructor with the Register of Exercise Professionals and a certified Back4Good® Practitioner and Backcare professional. He focuses on general pilates and specifically for individuals with back issues.

They were both rowers when then discovered Pilates. They undertake regular continuous professional development with the Body Control Pilates Association which provides access to leading specialists worldwide to maintain standards in Pilates exercise and current knowledge. They are also registered with the Society for the Pilates Method (SPM) founded in 2020 to ensure that Pilates teachers have access to the full body of work through their pilates member organisation.

Gillian and John live in Clanfield and are kept busy in-between Pilates providing a taxi service for their 2 teenage children to and from their school activities and sports in Petersfield. They also help the local Hounds for Heroes charity looking after occasional foster dogs. They love walking in nearby Queen Elizabeth Country Park and Butser Hill with views over the South Downs and the Isle of Wight. They enjoy visiting their beach hut on Hayling Island.

What our clients have to say...

  • Thank you John for spending the time and sharing your expertise with me over the last few years. I have really enjoyed my sessions, even though sometimes the sessions were tough! You are able to tailor the session to our specific needs and always vary the session to make them bespoke.

    SN, Taplow

  • You do an amazing job juggling the technology with Zoom, I am full of admiration. Excellent class today. Thanks

    Zoom client

  • It has been a pleasure getting to know Gillian and John over the last 4 ½ years, so a great shame to see you move away. I will miss my weekly class hugely. I’d like to say that I am now finely tuned as a result of your classes. I am better tuned that I have been in a long time and have enjoyed being pushed by John, amongst some great company.
  • Thank you so much for your continued support during these crazy times

    Zoom client

  • I attend Gillian's pilates class regularly and have seen a great improvement with my posture and my stiff and often sore back... In my line of work as a Foot Health Professional, I do a lot of bending and carrying heavy bags in and out of the car putting a lot of strain on my back and knees. Gillian has shown me how to improve my core and suggested exercises to help me on a daily basis. She offers a very personal service and always makes sure that you are doing the exercises correctly and at your own pace. I can highly recommend Gillian and she is a lovely, warm, approachable and professional person who is always very interested in your well being and making sure that you reach your true potential.

    Private client, Taplow, April 2014

  • It is the end of an era! I have really enjoyed John’s classes and the benefits they have brought me, both physical and social. The Pilates classes run by John have been fantastic for me, significantly improving core strength and posture and my awareness of how to protect against injury. In particular, long-standing back niggles are now a thing of the past. John’s classes are relaxed and informal, with a variety of exercises (they are not formulaic) and challenges geared to the needs of his students. Highly recommended.

    MK, Taplow

  • I am 58 years of age and in reasonable physical condition. I am really a beginner, but after my first few classes with Gillian at Norden Farm (Maidenhead), I already noticed some very positive changes: Firstly, following an inner ear infection a few years ago, my balance had never really recovered. For example when getting dressed I have had to sit down in order to put on knickers or trousers as I could not balance on one leg. After just half a dozen classes I noticed big improvements in my balance, and I can now hop around to put on my underwear like I used to do years ago! Secondly, I have noticed that I am getting stronger especially when standing up out of a low seat. Previously I found I was having to push myself up using my arms, whereas now I can just stand up. Thirdly, I have noticed much more flexibility in my neck and shoulders, especially when driving I can turn to look further over my shoulder at those tricky junctions. Each of these positive changes are very tangible improvements in my wellbeing (balance, core strength and flexibility), and I am a total convert to Pilates as you have been teaching it, and I look forward to further positive changes. Thank you.

    VA, Maidenhead

  • I have always felt the benefits of regular Pilates exercise on my overall health and well-being. However, I did not expect my doctor's findings at a recent health review. She mentioned that I had 'grown' by half a centimetre and that the curvature of my spine has straightened and lengthened over the past couple of years. All thanks to Pilates!

    Client from group classes in Taplow, May 2014

  • I thought you might be interested in my feedback from your Pilates class. After every lesson, I feel energised and have a lovely relaxing feeling afterwards. Thank you for your friendly classes. I think you are a fantastic teacher. I look forward to your lessons every week. The best thing I have done this year.


  • Thank you for your hard work teaching on Zoom with such good humour

    Zoom client

  • I was about to give up playing the cello due to shoulder pain but thanks to Pilates with Gillian plus my sissel cushion, not only am I not giving up but I'm thinking of buying a new cello!

    Maidenhead client

  • It has been some years since I did Pilates, but now after a year of beginning again I am feeling so much better! It really helps with my well being, both physically and mentally.

    Norden Farm client, 2016

  • I just wanted to tell you how much my mobility has improved and that I have been able to reduce the amount of pain relief for my back problem since I have been coming to your Pilates class at Norden Farm. Thank you considering all of our various ailments and for explaining the exercises so clearly.

    Norden Farm client, April 2014

  • Thank you for your efforts in getting me up to a reasonable level of competence in Pilates. In the last couple of years you have transformed me from being obese and with restricted movement to a reasonably fit, active, stronger and much more flexible individual. I enjoyed our sessions and will miss them. You have inspired me to want to further develop my Pilates skills and I regret that you will not be available to work with me.

    PB, Maidenhead

  • All credit to both you and John for your perseverance in keeping us all fit and well - huge thanks from me, absolutely love the classes

    Zoom client

  • I suffered from regular lower back pain, struggling to get out of bed after a night’s sleep! After several doctor’s appointments, including MRI scans, I was diagnosed with a leaking disc. Options for me were either surgery, with the associated risks, or improve my core strength and stability. After attending the Pilates classes run by John, I have never looked back. John has helped me to improve my core strength, improve my posture and put my back issues behind me. John runs his classes in a relaxed manner which are always varied and tailored to the individual’s needs. Unequivocally, I would highly recommend John Spencer to help you improve your core strength and make back pain a thing of the past.

    SN, Taplow

  • I took up Pilates with Gillian Burn and John Spencer eleven years ago for one hour per week following major back surgery. I am pleased to say I have had no problems since, I feel and move so much better. Pilates is now part of my life with a big reward for a small amount of time used.

    PL, Buckinghamshire

  • I have really benefitted from the classes on so many levels, I am most proud of my physical improvements, core strength and being able to walk better

    Zoom client

  • Thank you for looking after us for the last few years. We both benefited from your classes, we have lost weight, increased strength, flexibility and are much fitter. We liked the challenges you set and had an enjoyable time doing your sessions. We will continue to practice Pilates and hope that our new trainers will get somewhere near to the standard that you set, we will miss you.

    BB, Maidenhead

  • To be honest I have been delighted with the results that I have achieved in Gillian’s class in such a short space of time. I was suffering with lower back pain when horse riding as I became tired and my back always held me up due to my lack of core. After 3 weeks my lower back niggles were only during my riding lesson and not for 2 days afterwards. This just gets better all the time. My instructor was amazed at how much noticeably better my riding has become. Thank you, Gillian! The classes are fun and varied, too.

    Norden Farm, Maidenhead

  • Several years ago I was encouraged by my daughter to join Gillian's pilates class. I had a bad back and the beginnings of osteoarthritis in my hip. After a few months I was more flexible, my bad back was better, and has stayed in good shape, and my hip has not deteriorated. Exercises can be performed at different levels, depending on one’s fitness and expertise and each class is good fun. I can highly recommend Gillian's classes. She is a great teacher.

    HW, Beaconsfield

  • Following six wretched weeks battling with a badly prolapsed L5/S1, the future seemed bleak. After many sessions of physio and acupuncture, Pilates was the recommended next step towards some form of recovery. I was fortunate enough to find John Spencer, through Body Control Back4Good. After several weeks with John I learnt more about my body than I had from anyone before, and awakened muscles that had long since been forgotten. I joined John’s carefully considered class of like-minded pupils. John’s teaching is calm, encouraging and focussed on individual ailments whilst developing core strength. I look forward to every session and leave all of them feeling more confident in my capability. An excellent Pilates teacher. Highly recommended.

    JG, Marlow

  • At the age of 79 my balance was poor and my joints almost seized solid so I came to John to see if he could help me recover some flexibility and steadiness. After just 3 sessions I was in much better shape, he really does know his stuff and is good company as well. If he wasn’t moving 70 miles away I’d stay with him on a regular weekly basis.

    WP, Burnham

  • For eighteen months I had been suffering from sciatica and had difficulty standing and walking. Following a recommendation to try Pilates and a statement that Gillian was a very good tutor, I joined her 'Beginners Pilates' class at Maidenhead's Norden Farm in September 2015. An MRI scan of my spine had shown stenosis and some spinal curvature; I had had a spinal injection which had not cured the problem; my doctor had suggested that I might apply for a 'disabled badge' for the car, but I just wanted to be able to walk again. I found that the Pilates improved my movement and made me feel better so that a return visit to my osteopath in January was much more successful. I have now added some of the Pilates exercises to my daily exercise routine and am able to stand straight, walk and feel generally much better, thanks in great part to Pilates.

    Shirley, May 2016

  • Many thanks again for all yours and John’s support

    Zoom client

  • Congratulations on reaching your 400th zoom pilates milestone, thank you for all your efforts over the past months

    Zoom client

  • I have been taught by both Gillian and John and love their different styles – Gillian energetic, precise and ruthless (in a good way), John calm, centred and strong. They have both done wonders for my back, and I find my Friday morning class a much-needed opportunity to put on the brakes and just think about breathing, stretching and building core strength. As well as being very good teachers, they are also caring and supportive, and make me feel a part of the group every week, despite me currently only managing to do a weekly Zoom class. Thank you both!

    Zoom client

Read more testimonials

Group Pilates Classes

Jasmine Aurora Photography

Gillian and John have been teaching Body Control Pilates for 20 years to groups and private clients initially in the Windsor and Maidenhead area and their log cabin studio in Burnham, before they moved to the south coast. They have helped many clients have a positive impact on the lives highlighted in the testimonials they have received.

Jasmine Aurora Photography

They moved to Chichester harbour on the South Coast in 2018 and teach group classes and 1:1 sessions via Zoom and in several venues in Hampshire and West Sussex (including Compton, Havant and Catherington). Classes are held most days of the week. Please contact them for class times and availability and see the current timetable attached.

Zoom Pilates Classes

Gillian and John provide a weekly schedule of zoom pilates most days from their home studio.

  • Monday 9.45am, 11am (Gillian)
  • Tuesday 9.45am and 7pm (Gillian)
  • Thursday 11am (Gillian)
  • Friday 9.45am (John)

Clients pay a monthly subscription to join 2 classes each week and access a range of recorded classes.

In November 2022 they celebrated delivering their 1000th zoom pilates class.


Gillian and John use a variety of equipment including dyna bands, Pilates power rings (magic circles), spiky balls, wobble boards, foam rollers, hand weights, soft balls and large physio balls. Clients provide their own mats, soft balls, spiky balls, dyna bands and head cushions. Other equipment is provided and washed between clients.

For more information, please contact Gillian Burn on 07831 526531 or email

Pilates at Home CD

Available to clients who attend classes to complement home exercise programmes.


Clients also have access to a series of recordings (sound only and videos lasting from 15 to 55 mins) providing a selection of pilates exercises and classes for in-between practice.

The range of recordings include:-

  • Arm exercises using weights and bands
  • Standing exercises
  • Gentle stretching
  • Shoulder exercises using a foam roller or towel
  • Leg exercises
  • Full matwork classes

The recordings incorporate the use of a soft ball, band and hand weights. New classes are added regularly.

Pilates for Healthy Backs - Back4Good 'Healthy Back' Class by John Spencer

  • Specially designed exercises to help with the prevention of low back pain
  • Gentle, balanced workouts to strengthen your core and keep your back flexible and strong

The healthy back class is designed to keep backs healthy, whether you already have a back problem or want to prevent a problem occurring. The focus is on managing back conditions enabling individuals to create a more active lifestyle with a structured programme of focused activities.

One-to-one private and small group classes are available. All classes are held in West Sussex and Hampshire.

Men's Pilates

John also runs specific classes for men within the above locations.

For more information, please contact John Spencer on 07970 598080 or email

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