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Take two experts, a stunning studio and a convenient location and you get balance in Tooting, says Georgina Blaskey.
On a wet summer’s day, I made my way to Balham High Road and into the safe hands of Chloe Upson, owner and instructor at Revive, a yoga and Pilates studio. A gem of peace and positivity near Tooting Bec, the entrance is calm, decorated with palm-patterned cushions and accents of gold. With a flickering candle scenting the room and creatively designed cubby holes and bench seating in this compact space, I cannot help but ask Chloe who planned this interiors scheme. “Me!” she replies with a smile. I’d be smiling too if I had her flair.
We go down the stairs and into the basement studio. Again, the space is pretty yet purposeful, cocooning and calming. I’m enjoying a one-to-one, bespoke session but classes are available as well. Once I’ve told Chloe of my body’s various ailments, we start a set of postures and flow from gentle to slightly more strenuous. Throughout Chloe corrects my body, from the tips of my fingers to my ankles and toes, making sure I’m aligned and safe, incorporating breathing techniques to maximise my ability to reach into a posture. With a background in specialist MSK physiotherapy, I know I’m in safe hands. After the session I feel relaxed, stretched and restored. I’ve moved my body in the way I wanted, to revive rather than tire.
Upstairs I meet Elaine Tomkins, a highly respected therapist who is currently head of massage training at Neal’s Yard. There are various treatments available but I choose The Revive Facial, a highly specialised and innovative offering that targets muscles in the face, jaw, neck and scalp. As a night-time teeth clencher, this was what I’d been looking for. I went into the treatment room, which is restful and calm, and as Elaine gently massaged my neck and jaw, temples and scalp and I felt the tension melt away. My jaw was another story though. She put some gloves on put her hands into my mouth, releasing tight knots which, whilst is did make my toes curl, provided instant relief. Every treatment is bespoke, however, so it’s worth noting that this is what I had for a specific issue – the same treatment for someone else wouldn’t necessarily involve such a procedure. I’ve been back again since to have my jaw released and been delighted with the results. It’s a highly complicated technique that Elaine has spent over a decade finessing so if you suffer from this problem, know you’re in the best of hands.
I left Revive that rainy June morning feeling like I had an entire day at a spa, without leaving my postcode. It’s a refuge of holistic healing in our busy lives that’s close, cosy and comforting. The people there take care of you, leading you to take better care of you, so you leave genuinely feeling revived. Never has a studio had a more fitting name. Whether it’s a re-balancing yoga session or a restorative facial, Chloe and Elaine are inspiring to be around and experts in their individual fields, creating a dream team in our doorstep.
NappyValleyNet readers can enjoy 50% off the first class for all students making it £7.50 and 20% off Elaine’s treatment.