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What they said......

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Did you know that I am scared of going on fairground rides??

I don’t particularly like swings, and I once got seasick after a barge holiday (I kid you not!). However, if I have HAD to do something like that, I temper my nervousness by looking around at who else is doing it. I figure that if a small child is going on the spinny fair things, that it will be ok for me to do it. Or I see other people going on boats without a worry, I think well it might be safe. And I think if someone chooses to work on an airplane every day, then it must be safer than it looks….

And so, I manage my fear by what is known as “vicarious experience”. This is when you watch someone else doing something, and think, well, if they can give it a go, then maybe I can.

There now follows, a couple of stories from some people like us, who have tried the Café and have found that it wasn’t as scary as they thought it would be. It’s ok for me to say it, because I am the tutor you think, and have been doing this for years…so if you want to hear about “normal” people doing the Café in the hope that it gives you the confidence to try. Then read on x.

Genevieve Major

My name is Gen I am 42, I have 3 children (9,10 & 23) I work full time as an Account Manager for corporate risk insurance. We live in Derbyshire. I am on my 4th cafe now and I love them. I started in October 2022 when I was at my heaviest with no energy, aching joints, poor skin, feeling generally really low and old before my time and needing to make a change but not really sure where to start. Rachel helped me nearly 25 years ago when I was at Aber lose weight and get fit following the birth of my son. I was so glad she had started virtual classes during Covid. Rachel’s passion and enthusiasm for health and well-being is so infectious I love the variety Hiit on a Monday night is such a great start to the week and Pilates has helped my physical and mental health so much. Who knew I would be lifting weights! I love the health education side too and learning about how to support your health from the inside out. Rachel really is so knowledgeable, and you can always go at your own pace. I have really built up over the 4 cafes and it really has been life changing. I am so grateful to cafe for getting my life back in my 40’s and embracing the changes that are happening to my body and improving my health span as well as my life span x.

Wini Davies, 65, retired Professor of German

What made me join? My main motivation was wanting to be fitter – in the last few years before I retired, I'd been so busy and tired that I'd lapsed into a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle, and I really wanted to change that and be able to say honestly to people who asked what I did in my spare time that one of my interests was keeping fit.

What have I got out of the Cafes? The main attraction for me is that I can do the exercises at home, in my own time. I'm too self-conscious of my lack of co-ordination to enjoy classes in leisure centres, etc., so this is perfect for me. I like the fact I can watch a class online before actually doing it, if I want, and get the moves clear in my head. Rachel is an excellent teacher. She makes sure she films herself from different angles so we can get the moves right, and she also ensures there are different levels of difficulty. One of the classes I most enjoy is one I wouldn't have ventured to join in real life, i.e., the weighted workouts. Another of my favourites is standing Pilates. I have benefited enormously not only in terms of improving my fitness, especially upper body strength and balance, but also in terms of improving my confidence to push myself a bit further each week and to learn to listen to my body and trust in its ability to respond if I go outside my comfort zone.

What would I recommend? The beauty of the Cafes is that there is a wide variety of classes on offer - as I mentioned, my favourites are weightlifting and standing Pilates. I also like the shorter sessions like the conditioning workshop or mat work Pilates – they can be fitted easily into a busy day and give you a sense of achievement. I have also got a great deal out of Rachel's talks on a whole range of topics from nutrition to anatomy. I warmly recommend signing up and tasting the variety that is on offer – I'm sure there's something there for everyone.

June Wells, age 64, retired teacher, wife, mother, nannie. Keen walker, horse rider and traveller.

I joined Cafe life in 2020, during lockdown when I could no longer do my Pilate lessons in the local village hall. At that time whilst I was able to walk our two dogs from home and considered myself reasonably fit and active, I really did miss Pilate's. It gave me a daily focus and I could exercise the whole of my body which I believe to be so important to one’s health and wellbeing as we get older.

The Cafe is incredibly good value, with so many different sessions to choose from, provides flexibility to suit everybody's needs, with a range of different sessions throughout the week, I particularly find the early morning sessions useful, they really get you moving and wake you up ready for the day ahead but also dip into the evening sessions when time allows. Rachel makes the sessions fun; I have a permanent smile on my face during fizzy workouts!! And she is so knowledgeable.

Diane Deakin

I'm Diane, 55 and a subtitler.

I joined the Cafe as I was unhappy in myself, and I knew I needed to have some regular exercise routine but lacked motivation and kept putting it off. Being able to join in live sessions (or catch up later) from home is what attracted me and knowing Rachel's teaching style encouraged me to join.

Since joining the Cafe I've got fitter, more toned and improved my strength, but I've also gained knowledge from the very informative talks as to why certain things help certain areas in our bodies, whether that be physically or mentally. I'm certainly much more positive and happier in myself too.

I would recommend joining and giving the cafe a go. You choose when and how many sessions you'd like to try per week all from the comfort of your own home and its insane value for money! Rachel is such an inspiration, she's motivating, and I'd say her positivity oozes through the screen, whether I'm exercising or listening to a talk. It's a fantastic online community. Diolch yn fawr Rachel!

Gill Baldwin

I'm Gill, 67 years old and owner of a small dog- friendly campsite in Cardigan Bay. I first 'stumbled' across Rachel &the Cafe whilst on FB looking for some pelvic floor online exercise. What a lucky stumble! I joined the Cafe and have since been on all others! I have learned so much from the Cafes as Rachel designs each one with a specific focus, but then you gain so much from all the sessions, whether that be actively as in stretching, strengthening, Pilates, Tai Chi, weight training, relaxation, or passively following her well researched science-based motivational sessions.

The Cafe is a friendly, safe environment, where you can just 'do you' and dip in whenever you want, whether that be when Rachel is live, or at a later time to suit you.

What is remarkable is that, although the Cafe is online, you feel as though you are being guided as Rachel always offers modifying alternatives for those with specific health issues. The Cafe is part of my life now.'

Hazel Jones, registered blind

I have been taking part in the online classes for a while now, since look down. I just needed to do something then to motivate myself, instead of doing the `walking`. And I was looking after my sister would have a stroke, so doing the Café classes online kept me moving and focused on my well-being as well

As being registered `blind`, I find Rachel`s classes exceptionally good. The Voice in my head.

She is very clear and precise in the instructions she gives. And she says go at your own pace, but as the classes move on, I can keep up with h her quite well.

The chats, the workshops, there is always something new to learn and lookup on the science of what she is teaching to the class.

I never ever thought I would do weights, but the benefits I am feeling is great, I seem to have more energy, and more movement within my body, and the goes for all the classes I do with her.


Café ‘Medi is a 6-week course of live and interactive classes online, with the ability to watch all the sessions at any time again for the next 12 months on our OnDemand video channel on

The theme for Café ‘Medi is a holistic approach to general health and wellbeing, and specific information on how to improve your strength and flexibility. Being stronger helps your bone density, joint stability, improves posture and eases everyday activity. Flexibility allows you to move more freely, to be able to bend, get up off the floor, reduce your aches and pains and help you relax. Based on sound understanding of fitness principles, this 6-week programme offers you a chance to understand why we need to include activity into our daily lifestyle, and the influences of our food choices, not only on our physical health, but how they can improve our mental health and help protect us from ill health.

The programme will introduce a progressive training programme that you can take part in as a live session or watch at your own convenience. The beauty of the videos at home means you can repeat sessions as many times as you like, watch sessions before taking part, have a choice of workouts to do alone or put together for a longer session. Each workout is designed to meet current fitness guidelines and you will be working with an experienced coach who will motivate you to achieve the best.

Join before the 27th August 2023 and get a 20% discount with code "CafeMedi20"

Cafe Medi 23 - Welcome Pack - Pecyn Croeso
Download PDF • 291KB

Unique to the “Happy Café Hapus” programme is a series of lectures on health and wellbeing that underpin our workouts and nutrition advice. Rachel is a CIMSPA registered Training Provider, A Pilates technical advisor for YMCA Fitness Training and has over 30yrs in the fitness industry as a Coach and Fitness Mentor, her experience provides you a reliable educational approach to fitness and health.

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Aug 20, 2023

Rachel is just the mostest...and I've been a Rachel-groupie for more than twenty years, starting more years ago than I care to remember in Aber Uni Sports Center. And since I'm now back in London, the city where I was born, the on-line classes allow me to carry on as usual. I was 81 last birthday, and I'd be creaky and flabby without her, no question.

Rachel Hubbard BSc
Rachel Hubbard BSc
Aug 21, 2023
Replying to

You are such a superstar Elisabeth! Love being online and being able to stay in touch with you even though you left Aber sometime ago xx

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