Pilates Sanctuary was started in 2006 by Alice Croucher and Julia Skene-Wenzel with the aim of providing high-quality studio and matwork classes in and around the Clapham area. Agur Arrien took over as co-Director from Julia in 2009 when Julia moved back to Germany to start her family.
The heart of Pilates Sanctuary is our insistence on the highest standard of teaching, an engagement with new research, continued teacher development and collaboration with other practitioners to provide the best results for our clients as quickly and effectively as possible.
People come to us for many reasons, be it to rehabilitate after injury, to improve performance in their sport or dance, to gain tone and strength after giving birth, for an all-round workout, or to find some space for themselves to exercise in a thoughtful, conscious way, away from the stresses of everyday modern life.
At Pilates Sanctuary, the teacher will work with you to assess your individual needs and devise a programme to help you realise your goals.
Pilates Sanctuary has a long relationship with Balance Performance Physiotherapy, one of London’s leading Physiotherapy clinics. Our collaborative work together has developed into specialist knowledge and experience of rehabilitative Pilates for a range of injuries and conditions including serious spinal injury and surgery, hip and knee injuries and replacements and neurological disorders such as MS.
Pilates Sanctuary has a small team of teachers who work closely together to provide the best quality of classes for all our clients.
All teachers have been trained through the Pilates Foundation and adhere to the highest standards of Pilates teaching.
Agur was trained as a classical dancer and taught dance for many years in Spain. She moved to London in 1997 and danced professionally both in Spain and London until 2009 when she had her son. Agur discovered Pilates during her rehabilitation from a shoulder dislocation which occurred during a dance performance in 2004. She was then inspired to train as a Pilates teacher not only to share the benefits she experienced but also to incorporate her love for movement into her teaching.
She completed her Matwork and Apparatus training with the Pilates Foundation UK. She is also a antenatal and postnatal specialist. She enjoys continuous exploration of Pilates both in her own body and with others. She aims to develop people’s understanding and awareness of their bodies while encouraging wellbeing through functional exercise. She has been part of Pilates Sanctuary since 2007 and took on the Co-Directorship of Pilates Sanctuary together with Alice Croucher in 2009.
Alice began attending Pilates classes ten years ago to help with a back injury. Along with the marked improvement in her back pain, what really resonated with Alice was the Pilates approach to movement “whilst managing to stay grounded in Pilates Principles it constantly evolves to reflect current biomechanical thinking”.
Alice went on to train with the Pilates Foundation and then with Suzanne Scott at the Scott Studio. Alice formed the Pilates Sanctuary with Julia Skene-Wenzel in 2006 in order to realise their shared vision of Pilates as being accessible to everyone, regardless of injury, age or fitness level.
Paulo was trained as a professional dancer, with over 18 years experience. Born and raised in Brazil, he began teaching dance in 1988, which led him to open his own private dance school. During this time, he explored the use of visual imagery to promote freedom of movement.
He worked with various dance companies in Brazil and Germany, later moving to London to join Matthew Bourne in the highly acclaimed “Swan Lake”. He went on to play the leading role in “The Car Man” and while working on “Nutcracker!” was invited to teach ballet to the company. This rekindled his passion for teaching. At that time he discovered the Pilates Method, and went on to train with The Pilates Foundation UK to become a fully accredited Pilates instructor.
In 2001, during the last years of my dance training, I discovered Pilates. This technique enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of how movement impacts upon the body, helping me to stay injury free throughout the last eight years of my career as a professional dancer and teacher.
I began my training as a Pilates teacher with Alison Swan, co-founder of the Pilates Foundation in 2009. Since then I have qualified as Garuda Matwork and Apparatus teacher, with James D’Silva.
Among the aims of my class is to develop a strong core that will help to achieve a more balanced body, to move in a more efficient way avoiding any unnecessary tension.
Natasha is a highly qualified Pilates teacher, who trained with Jessica Moolenaar at Laban. She is a member of the Pilates Foundation and her training includes specialist areas such as pre- and post-natal and rehabilitation.
Natasha has a professional background in Contemporary dance which brings a strong foundation in understanding movement mechanics and flow to her teaching of Pilates repertoire. She continues her professional development through weekly yoga and Pilates classes and attending workshops from visiting international Pilates teachers.
With a strong emphasis on patience, care and attention to detail she enjoys seeing her clients develop and improve.
Natasha is excited to be apart of the team at Pilates Sanctuary and looks forward to sharing her knowledge with new and existing clients.
Harriett Bueno de Mesquita
Harriett was born in London, and studied dance from the age of six, specialising in ballet. First introduced to Pilates to improve her ballet technique, she quickly became passionate about studying Pilates because of its benefits to posture, muscle tone, flexibility and fitness.
While at the University of Durham completing her degree in Natural Sciences, Harriett performed with a dance company and taught adult ballet classes for the duration of her time at University. Afterwards she returned to London and began working for the NHS assisting Physiotherapists in carrying out rehabilitation exercise programmes after injuries and surgeries.
In March 2013, Harriett gained her Pilates Teacher Matwork Qualification from the Pilates Foundation, after training for over a year with Anoushka Boone, founder of the Pilates in Motion Studio and herself a pupil of some of the first generation Pilates teachers.
Bingxi Wang is a highly qualified Pilates Foundation Teacher (Matwork & Apparatus) and an accredited member of the Pilates Foundation. She trained at the Trinity Laban Pilates Studio in London. She has a dance and research background with degrees in M.Sc. Dance Science and B.A. Dance Studies.
Bingxi teaches all levels of ability and has extensive experience with a variety of clientgroups including those with Osteoporosis, Scoliosis, Hypermobility, the Elderly, Ante & Post Natal clients, Musicians, Dancers and Athletes. As well as those with Remedial conditions such as Disc herniation, Undefined lower back pain, Frozen shoulder, Knee injury, Pre & Post surgery and many more.
Bingxi is passionate about Pilates and is always updating her skills with the latest techniques. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge with you to achieve your specific goals.