Gumbies Ambassador Series: Pilates with Nicola

When some people hear the word “Pilates”, they might tend to think that it’s a simple kind of exercise, or that it’s the same thing as yoga, or that it’s just for women. These are all completely false presumptions - and we’re here today to dispel those misconceptions and show you how Pilates can be a total life changer.

Of course, while we at Gumbies are experts on adventure, comfort and easy living, we aren’t as clued up on Pilates. So, we teamed up with one of our wonderful Gumbies Ambassadors, @nicolaclarepilates.

Hi Nicola! Where are you right now?

I’m at home in Sussex planning some classes in my little studio space!

Have we caught you pre or post Pilates today ?

Post. I Always plan my classes post Pilates to get some inspiration and feeling for the movements I’d like to share! Plus the focus for the class, you can shift a class completely by focusing on different aspects of exercises 🤙🏼

How did you get into Pilates?

I trained as a professional dancer at @elmhurstballetschool and danced professionally for 6 years before settling back in the UK! I couldn’t give up movement as it’s such a huge part of my life, so decided to train with @merrithew Stott Pilates as an instructor! I have now been teaching for over 15 years and still love how the practice can change bodies!

Why Pilates ?

I had done a little Pilates at dance school to compliment my dance practice and felt it was the natural progression for me. I had once liked the idea of becoming a physiotherapist but this was halfway from dance through to functional movement exercises which seemed perfect.

With the winter months ahead of us sounds like a great way to exercise at home. What advice can you give to anyone wanting to get started ?

I think lots of people started exercising at home during this pandemic and there are so many channels online and locally to get into movement that works for you! I think it’s great to try different teachers and find something you enjoy! I would always suggest Stott Pilates trained instructors however ! It’s important with Pilates to FEEL your movements rather than focus on what it looks like, keeping your limbs correctly aligned and patience practice and perseverance is key. I love how Jo Pilates incorporated breath within his work, it definitely helps your body connect and flow in the right way!

We know you love our Gumbies Slippers, which ones do you have and why do you love them so much?

I especially love my Gumbies (Outback's) for their width as it’s so important to keep your feet healthy. It’s interesting that Gumbies’ soles are made with recycled rubber as I often say to clients that they must treat their feet and footwear like the tyres of their bike or car. They connect the body to the ground and therefore posture develops from the foot upwards. So many postural problems start from the foot, and it’s important to keep toes wide and not to squeeze the natural arches of the feet into something that’s fashionable. Good posture will never go out of fashion!


Pilates really is an all-encompassing form of exercise, working wonders for you wherever you sit on the athletic spectrum. If you’re interested in getting involved, why not check out Nicola’s Instagram page where she posts poses and exercises as well as insight into her life as a Pilates instructor!