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In addition to Dru Yoga, Power Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga, Tai-chi, Belly dance, Sit Fit! and Mindful Movement, the Isbourne is proud to diversify in its range of movement classes and hosts a challenging new physicality class: Fitness Pilates.

These classes, run by newly affiliated Isbourne Tutor and fully qualified Pilates instructor Zoe Whitmarsh, will take place every Wednesday, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm, from Wednesday 2nd October.

For the moment Zoe only runs Fitness Pilates at the Isbourne once per week, but this may change in the future. These classes with limited room for attendance may fill up very quickly. There won't be room for everyone, so don't hesitate to book your place in advance and as soon as possible. For more info and bookings  CLICK HERE.


 What is Fitness Pilates? How is Fitness Pilates different?


Fitness Pilates is a modern, research-based group fitness class, created for the apparently healthy adult. 

Fitness Pilates utilises all of the principles and includes many of the mat work exercises of traditional Pilates, but with modifications, diversifications and updated exercise prescriptions to provide a controlled body conditioning program appropriate for the general public.

Fitness Pilates attacks the roots of bad posture by toning little-used muscles groups in the abdomen, torso, upper and lower back, while incorporating a slow breathing technique to energise the body. Fitness Pilates moves are also designed to work the muscles of the whole body (abdominals, lower back, thighs, buttocks, calves, arms, shoulders) and to gently lengthen them. The result is a body that is properly aligned and at less risk of injury. It is a no- impact class suitable for men and women of ages, levels and abilities, is a good way to relax and unwind and is also weight-bearing exercise so helps to prevent osteoporosis.


About Zoe Whitmarsh :

At the old age of 9 Zoe started gymnastics and loved it so much that she was soon entering competitions and winning some of them.  At the age of 15 she was a member of the GB squad and at 17 she was competing as a GB International Gymnast.

She never knew what Pilates was when she was a gymnast but she now recognises that the conditioning part of their practice was very similar to that of Pilates exercises done today.

Back in 2002 Zoe became an aerobics instructor and went on to gain qualifications in aqua, body pump, circuits, gym instructing and personal training.  Due to having various knee operations she decided to progress her career via the the mind/body route and has recently passed her Yoga Diploma and in 2009 qualified as a Fitness PILATES instructor.

Zoe also has qualifications in anatomy and physiology, First Aid and holds relevant insurance and public liability for teaching.




Taster Week, from 2nd until 8th September, is an ideal way to get a feel for an Isbourne course and try it out without financial commitment, typically in hour-long introductory sessions.  The enticing range of 22 Tasters includes Healing, Meditation, Singing, Pilates, Mindful Movement, Deep Tarot, Guided Shamanic Journeying and Family Constellations, as detailed below. Come and give one a go, meet the course tutor, and see if you feel inspired to explore further!   

Cheltenham Healing Group – Sue Rabbich and Alison Ensor                                                  

Monday 2nd September, 7.20am– 9.00pm

Come and enjoy a sense of inner peace and tranquillity from a healing session with volunteer members of Cheltenham Healing Group – the perfect antidote for today’s stressful world. (Opening meditation at 7.20pm, last healing at 8.20pm)


Meditation and Mindfulness: Finding Space Between the Thoughts – Katherine Buxton             

Tuesday 3rd September, 6.15pm – 7.15pm       

This workshop is designed for those who have some experience of meditation but would like to sit with like minded people to deepen their practice. We will explore mindfulness and loving kindess meditation.


Intention Tapping and Meditation Group – Wendy Beresfrod                                  

Tuesday 3rd September, 7.30pm – 8.30pm

This Taster for the weekly group is open to anyone interested in taking part in some fun and relaxing exercises to de-stress the body and mind. Get your mind into a positive state, increase your inner awareness and enhance your connections with others.  


Realistic Pilates (Morning and Evening sessions) – Pennie Shonk           

Wednesday 4th September, 10.30am – 11.30am and 5.30pm – 6.30pm 

Realise your potential with Realistic Pilates! Allow each of your muscles to do the job that they were designed to do, rather than the job that they have learnt to do through injury or bad habit. Never has the phrase ‘minimum effort, maximum output’ been more relevant! Discover the amazing benefits of Realistic Pilates for yourself.


Meditation for Beginners – Lesley Hodges                                                                                         

Wednesday 4th September, 12.30pm – 1.15pm

Are you thinking of learning to meditate? Take this opportunity to experience how you can achieve a sense of calm and cope better with the stresses and strains of your busy life. Join Lesley for a taste of relaxing meditation to learn how this lunchtime course for beginners can benefit you.


Sit Fit! – Jo-Anne Hale                                                                                                                 

Wednesday 4th September, 2.00pm – 2.30pm

Lacking energy or fitness? Maybe recuperating from illness, injury or an operation or feel a little unsteady on your feet? Try out this chair-based exercise class with a qualified specialist exercise instructor and enjoy strengthening and toning your body to inspirational music. It’s not known as “the most fun you can have sitting down’ for nothing!”


Mini-Sing Taster – Nina Chandler                                                                                                           

Wednesday 4th September (15 minute time slots), 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Are you terrified at the thought of singing out loud, or not sure if you sing in tune? Whether you got put off at school or your family tell you to keep quiet, this is the opportunity to ‘Find Your Voice’ in a non-judgemental environment. Learn the the secrets of singing and gain confidence; no need to read music, just bring yourself!


Tuning the Chakras Through Sound – James D’Angelo                                                                   

Wednesday 4th September, 7.00pm – 8.00pm

James will be providing opportunities to experience using vocal vibrations of vowels, consonants and seed sounds that have a definite effect on the vibrations of the whirling chakras, enabling the person to express the positive qualities that each represents. 


How to Create a State of Flow and Peace in a Fast Paced World – Anthony Peters

Wednesday 4th September, 7.00pm – 8.00pm

For every one of us, life is passing us by at greater and greater speed. This introduction talk will provide the signposts for you to create a state of flow in your fast paced world and create an inner sense of peace. Learn how to cope, concentrate and remain optimistic, make any activity an enjoyable one and truly experience your life before it passes you by.


Mindful Movement – Jo-Anne Hale

Thursday 5th September, 2.00pm – 2.45pm

The theme of this new monthly group is ‘connection’ – finding a deeper connection with your inner self and with others through playful and exploratory movement. Here we’ll dip into the delightful possibility that we can make better friends with ourselves and enhance our communications with others.


Deep Tarot – For Self – Richard Abbot

Thursday 5th September, 6.00pm – 7.00pm

Use the Tarot to change your world – right now. We will work with a fast, innovative 3-card method that is guaranteed to change the way you go about the rest of your day. It will show you how Tarot is far more than a tool for prediction, but one for profound self-realisation and true transformation.                                                                                                                  


Your Creative Life – Kim Fleet                  

Friday 6th September, 10.30am-11.30am

Want more creativity in your life but not sure how? This taster session will look at what creativity means to you and show you how to build more of it  into your life.


Passages of the Spirit: Making Sense of the Soul’s Journey – Lois Hastings                         

Saturday 7th September, 11.00am – 12.00pm

Have you ever wondered what you are here for? In this taster, Lois will explore ways of discovering exactly that. Using her gentle form of guidance she will encourage you to dig deep within yourselves as she inspires you to find out even more about your soul’s journey.


Guided Shamanic Journeying – Mandy Pullen                                                                                  

Saturday 7th September, 11.00am – 12.00pm

Guided shamanic journeying gives you a taste of the world of shamanism. Come along and have a go – it’s similar to guided meditation but more ‘shamanic’. There will be an opportunity to ask questions about shamanism and to find out about the Learn the Shaman’s Journey workshop in November.


Hypnotherapy Training – Hilary Norris-Evans                                                                    

Saturday 7th September, 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Curious about becoming a hypnotherapist? Come to a brief mind widening open hour where you can experience hypnosis and find out more about this career path.


Online Marketing for Therapists – Graham Boston                                                                         

Saturday 7th September, 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Your online presence needs to be as professional as you are. Discover how a variety of free online tools such as Weebly, Mailchimp, LinkedIn and Twitter can help you bring in more clients and engage effectively with existing ones.


Live A Life You Love – Carrie Rose                                                                                                                          

Saturday 7th September, 1.30pm -2.30pm

Do you want to have, be, or do more in life? In this taster you will begin to look at what your heart longs for, what’s stopping you from achieving it and what steps you need to put in place to start creating a life you love.


Family Constellations – Kate Collier                                                                                                      

Saturday 7th September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Have you ever wondered what Family Constellations is about? Come for a short taster to experience representing another in an embodied, mindful way for healing and self-development. There will be some paired work and a short constellation as a group. Bring friends and family along!


Conscious Living – Rose Todd                                                                                                                   

Saturday 7th September, 3.00pm – 4.00pm

In this Taster, Rose will give you an insight into her powerfully informative and practical advice gleaned from her years of experience in consciously creating the life of her dreams. Introducing the Law of Attraction and how it responds to you, Rose will show you how to start becoming happy, confident and successful, the person you deserve to be!


Body Symptom, Soul Messenger –  Claire Seabrook                                                                       

Sunday 8th September, 10.00am – 11.00am

Do you have a health problem that just won’t go away? Claire will show you how your symptoms carry an energy that is trying to emerge and be lived in you. An experienced mind-body practitioner, Claire helps people gain long-term relief from chronic symptoms and get the joy back in their life.


Take Control: Zest, Health and Happiness Over 40 – Abi Holgate                                             

Sunday 8th September, 11.00am – 12.00pm

Would you like to have more zest and feel healthier and happier? Are you fed up of feeling tired, low, bored, stressed or unhappy? Then discover the secrets of True Zest so that you have more energy, feel healthier and sleep better as well as being more confident and improving your relationships, allowing you to have more fun!


Are You a Potential Healer? – Sue Rabbich and Alison Ensor                                                     

Sunday 8th September, 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Have you ever thought you might be a healer? Whether you are an absolute novice or have had some sense of energy flowing from you when around others in need, this session will help you take that next step to discovering where your path may lie.


For more information about Taster Week and to book your place on any Tasters, visit or call 01242 254 321

How do we sustain ourselves when faced with challenges?

As life continues to present us with challenges, the need to sustain and strengthen ourselves becomes increasingly essential.   At times it is not uncommon for us to feel depleted, exhausted or even burnt out when facing such challenges.  Furthermore unfulfilled goals can leave us feeling frustrated, disheartened and disappointed.....

The Isbourne prides itself on its diverse range of quality yoga classes. The Centre hosts some of the best yoga teachers in Cheltenham for regular classes to keep you strong, supple, energised, radiantly healthy, and balanced in body, mind and spirit. 

In July, the following yoga classes are available, ranging from Mellow Flow Yoga and Dru Yoga to Pregnancy Yoga.

Mellow Flow

Ally Umpleby offers Mellow Flow Yoga as a popular way to integrate restorative and dynamic postures, deep breathing and “body listening” into a calm flowing practice. The focus is on building up core strength, flexibility, balance, concentration, mindfulness and breath control. Suits both those just discovering yoga as well as those with more experience.

You can drop in to two Thursday classes on 4th and 11th July (7.30pm-8.30pm) and Ali also offers a 5 week course 1st-29th August. For more info CLICK HERE.

Pregnancy Yoga

Ally also teaches Pregnancy Yoga. Suitable for women in all stages of pregnancy, these gentle classes reduce aches and pains typically accompanying pregnancy, and include special breathing techniques, opening the hips, connecting with your baby and helping to prepare the body for birth.  A safe and nurturing environment is provided. 

You can drop into two Thursday evening classes on 4th and 11th July (5.30pm–6.45pm). For more info CLICK HERE.


Dru Yoga

Karan Walsh’s Dru Yoga classes help to increase energy levels, prevent and manage back pain, alleviate stress levels, calm the mind and profoundly relax the body. Enjoy the flowing sequence of movements and asanas of this graceful, yet potent form of yoga. Karan is a Full Member of Dru Professional Network (DPN).

Classes run on Tuesdays, 9th July- 6th August, in mornings from 10.30am-12.00pm, and also in the evenings from 6.30pm-8.00pm. For more info and bookings CLICK HERE (mornings), and HERE (evenings).

Come and get into shape, rediscover your zest for life and awaken your Inner Yogi!  For more information you can call the friendly Isbourne Team on 01242 254 321 or visit

On the eve of her Isbourne workshop next month, leading writing coach, mentor and author Julia McCutchen shares wisdom for creating Space for Conscious Creativity

Scientists and spiritual teachers around the world have been pointing towards a powerful phenomenon that is gathering pace as we head deeper into the 21st century. Individually and collectively we are waking up and remembering the truth of who we are – spiritual beings having a human experience.

As we become increasingly conscious (self-realisation), we open to deeper levels of creativity (self-expression), and ultimately our role as conscious co-creators emerges.

From the earliest times, sages and mystics have shared an abundance of secrets and systems for attaining a conscious state of being. Even the simplest approach of paying attention to the flow of the breath in and out of our body is a powerful way to still the chatter of the everyday mind and open the way for deeper levels of awareness to arise.

As we increasingly open to there being more to life than meets the eye, we discover a naturally occurring creative impulse that seeks conscious expression in the world. Making space for conscious creativity is to do with honouring that impulse for the highest good of all and reaping the immense rewards of conscious and creative living – even if we don’t usually consider ourselves to be creative people.

 Core Principles

Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at the core of what creativity is. Wikipedia defines creativity as a phenomenon whereby a person creates something new (a product, solution, work of art) that has some kind of value. Of course the definitions of ‘new’ and ‘value’ vary dramatically from person to person.

Essentially, creativity is about bringing something into being that didn’t exist before or reshaping something that already exists into a new form.

The word ‘paper’, for example, is derived from the word ‘papyrus’ which was a plant found in Egypt along the lower NileRiver. About 5,000 years ago, Egyptians harvested, peeled and sliced ‘sheets’ of papyrus into strips which were then layered and smoothed, providing them with a flat surface on which to write.

Three thousand years later, the creation of a more refined grade of paper came out of China. Ts'ai Lun took the fibres of bamboo and the inner bark of a mulberry tree, mixed them with water and pounded them with a wooden tool. After pouring the mixture through a woven cloth and allowing it to dry, the fibers created a quality writing surface. The knowledge of this new creation from existing materials quickly spread throughout China and led to paper becoming one of the most significant creative inventions in history.

 Creativity is about expression of all kinds – writing, painting, music, cooking, gardening, decorating the house or choosing what clothes to wear. It also includes how we resolve relationship issues, engage in our work or campaign for a cause we believe in.At its highest level, creativity is the process of shaping essenceinto form. Take the relationship between water and ice. When the temperature of water drops below freezing, it turns into ice. Yet, its essence is still water as you quickly discover when you re-heat it.

 Above all, creativity is a state of being. With a creative mindset, anything can become a creative act.

 What is conscious creativity?

 Conscious creativity is a combination of self-realisation and self-expression. It is about aligning ourselves consciously with the creative flow of the universe and honouring the impulse we all have for authentic self-expression.

Whatever forms we choose to express ourselves in the world, conscious creativity works through the vehicle of our individual interests and talents. If we have an inclination towards writing, for example, our natural tendencies determine what kind of writing we do (non-fiction, fiction, memoir, poetry, screenwriting) as well as the ideas we express, the words we choose and the way we write. Conscious creativity works at every level.

Conscious creativity enables us to reach a deep level of inner truth that lies beneath all of the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what we are – or are not – capable of. This is how we discover our core talents and derive the greatest sense of joy, purpose and freedom that comes from expressing ourselves authentically and making the contribution that only we can make.

 How do we make space for conscious creativity?

 We all have a multitude of commitments and it may seem like there isn’t another minute of the day when something else can be squeezed into our busy schedule. However, conscious choice about genuine priorities is the difference that makes the difference when it comes to finding time and space for what is most important to us.

 Interestingly, the more we open to the energy of conscious creativity, the more time and space we seem to have as we are fully present in each moment. This is important because, one of the fundamental requirements for conscious creativity to flourish is space – in our schedule, in our environment, and most important of all, in our mind.

Despite the best of intentions, many people struggle to find enough time and space in their everyday lives to express themselves as creatively as they would like. Sometimes the solution is as simple as reviewing what we consider to be creative and expanding that to encompass a broader definition of what creativity actually is.

Space in our environment can simply mean a clear desk on which to write or a clear corner in which to paint. It can also mean exploring the vast landscapes of the natural world with a notebook and pen or a sketchpad and pencil.

The highest priority of all, however, is creating space by emptying the mind to hear the guiding voice of our inner truth and to access the richest levels of our conscious and creative potential.

 The Zen Master and the Tea Cup

 There is a well-known story of a Zen master who taught this lesson to a learned man who came to him seeking enlightenment.

The man had studied for many years and knew a great deal from all of the books he had read. He asked the Zen master to teach him the remaining lessons he had to learn in order to understand Zen and reach enlightenment.

The Zen master suggested they should have their discussion over tea and straight away began preparing it. When the tea was ready to serve, he began pouring it into a cup he had laid out for his visitor.

He poured more and more tea into the cup until finally it spilled over the edge of the cup, onto the table and over the edge of the table onto the learned man’s robes. Finally he cried, “Stop! The cup is already full and the tea is spilling everywhere!”

The Zen master stopped and gently smiled at the learned man. “You are like this cup of tea. Your mind is already full and there is no room for anything more to be added. First you need to empty your mind. Then you will know all you need to know.”

There are many versions of this story but the essence remains unchanged: space is required to know the truth, and conscious creativity is an expression of truth in the world of form.

Whatever your current relationship with creativity may be, and whatever form(s) of conscious and creative expression you choose, creating space in your schedule, your environment and especially in your mind will enable you to reap the deepest levels of personal reward and make the maximum contribution to others.

Holistic living is coming of age!


© Julia McCutchen 2013. All Rights Reserved.


Julia McCutchen gives a Conscious Writing workshop at the Isbourne on Saturday 15th June (10am-5pm). For further information and bookings, CLICK HERE.


Julia McCutchen is an author, teacher, intuitive mentor, and the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former publisher of books on spiritual and personal development, Julia teaches conscious creativity, conscious writing and a holistic approach to writing for publication that combines the inner journey of creative self-discovery with the practical steps required for writing and publishing books. She is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication and Conscious Writing (forthcoming). For FREE Membership and resources for writers, visit


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