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Sarah Sykes

Pilates Instructor

I'm a York based Pilates Teacher qualified with Body Control Pilates and Balanced Body

Whether you are a beginner, improver or experienced client, come and join me in either online, in class or private session

Move more, smile more!




Sometimes you meet people who change your life for the better...…

Those people are called Pilates Teachers!


  • Qualified with Body Control Pilates

  • Level 3 Award Pilates & Bone Health

  • Level 3 Award Pre & Post Natal Pilates

  • Level 3 Pilates & Health Considerations for older persons

  • Back4Good® Practitioner (Low Back Pain specialist)

  • Balanced Body Reformer Teacher

  • Balanced Body Chair Instructor

  • Balanced Body Trapeze Table/Cadillac/Tower 

  • Balance Body Barrels Instructor

  • Body Control Pilates Supervising Teacher

  • Aerial Pilates coming soon



If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got….

Before becoming a Pilates Teacher, I was a Chartered Accountant (shhhh don’t tell anyone….). It was incredibly demanding and stressful at times and inevitably over a decade this took its toll on my body and I began to suffer with the effects of Psoriatic Arthritis. I’d fallen out with my body and my body had fallen out with me. It wasn’t just physical; the psychological aspect was huge too. I no longer wanted to go out, as a result I began to move less and less. The less I moved I found the less I could move.

Now the benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing and if I knew then what I know now I would have kicked myself up the backside and made myself move.. But it’s not always that easy is it?

After a lightbulb moment in my life a number of things happened to change the course of events. This led to me changing my diet and at the same time my medication also improved. After a few weeks I felt I could possibly maybe move a bit more, so I started swimming. I then found I could move even more so I started using the gym. My self-esteem improved too so I figured I’d join a local Pilates Beginners class. Turning up for that first class was one of the toughest things I had ever done but little would I know what a massive effect on my life that decision would have!

It became a welcome escape from the demands of the world as well as making some very interesting positive changes to my body. My joints were starting to ease, posture was improving, muscle strength was improving and I was starting to look very lean and toned!  Something about Pilates resonated deeply within me and before I knew it I’d gone from doing one class a week to three! I was hooked! My body felt amazing and was getting stronger and transforming with every session. My instructors were kind and encouraging. I didn’t feel awkward or embarrassed even when I got some of the exercises wrong or found them impossible to do. So, after a while, I don’t like to boast but I got rather good at it! Practice makes perfect……

Whether it was fate or not one of my instructors was a Body Control Supervising Teacher and she suggested I start the Teacher training program. I thought she was mad, crazy to think that I could be able to do such a thing!

I went home told my partner and he said why not? Thought he was crazy too until I got to thinking….I suppose I could just to enhance my own knowledge and execution of the exercises. So, I did! Before I knew it, I was enrolled on the Body Control Matwork training course. I won’t lie, it was tough. Lots of tears and tantrums and an incredible amount of hard work. Hours and hours of studying, and practicing. Starting my own supervising teaching was scary, standing in front of a qualified teacher and 12 experienced clients trying to tell them to move their bodies in certain ways was hard, in fact my tutor had to tell one of her clients to guard the door in case I tried to escape! Training in London was even scarier! But I did it, and I did it well. I passed with flying colours and then proceeded to sign up for every training course going to better my knowledge. In fact, I’m still doing them it never stops!

In doing all this I started to realise that I could help people by sharing this knowledge and helping them to help themselves. All sorts of people, not just gym bunnies. The great thing about Pilates is that its accessible to all, even broken people like me…or rather like I used to be!

I enjoy teaching all backgrounds, all levels and experience. My particular interest of course will be injury and rehab as well as lower back pain. I work closely with Physios, Osteopaths, Chiropractors & other Health Practitioners assisting with rehab after their treatment and as part of their ongoing treatment.

Given my own health background I understand the different challenges we all face. Together we will gain confidence to move.  It will be hard work but it’s also relaxing and above all I like to have fun so let’s do that!

All of these experiences, all of the wonderful people I have met along the way – teachers, and clients alike have made me into the instructor I am today. I hope I can help bring Pilates into your world and allow you to experience it and enjoy it just as I and many others have.

Oh, and you know those earlier Instructors I mentioned? I’m privileged to call each and every one of them my friends – they are all amazing people. I love them all – you know who you are!

Thank you in particular to Regan at York Pilates Matwork & Janet at MI Pilates for their helping in getting me here. Not forgetting the most wonderful teacher of all, Tina. She taught me so much and I still find myself quoting various phrases of hers in class, some of which aren't necessarily always the most professional, but most definitely are the most appropriate! She also donated to me Walter the skeleton who takes pride of place in my studio, he has a pet parrot skeleton, I cannot wait for you to meet him!

"Everyone is the architect of their own happiness" Joseph Pilates



Physical classes run at: 
- Sand Hutton & Claxton Village Hall  
- Heworth Trinity Church Hall 
Zoom online classes are also available

Private Classes and 1:1's based around York

Group Sessions

Zoom Classes:

Monday 6.00pm

Tuesday 6.30pm

Wednesday 10.45am

Monthly Calm & Relax and Stretch classes

Physical classes

Thursday 4.30pm & 6.00pm


Friday 9.30am

Sand Hutton

Must pre-register

Private Session


a private lesson

"Just had a brilliant reformer session with Sarah which was full of giggles" (and hard work Sarah hastily adds!)"
"Had an amazing Pilates class this morning, thank you"
"It's been another brilliant week, and ending on a high with a brilliant session with Sarah Sykes"
"Thank you so much for your gentle & fun introduction to Pilates"

Get In Touch

M: 07540 061349



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Change happens through movement & movement heals

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