Our Path

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

― Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha

Mercedes Schindler (our CEO) always dreamt of having her own studio, in which she could drive for the highest standards and implement a unique, compassionate ethos for both clients & teachers.

Her partner, Rupert Ratcliffe (our CFO) encouraged her ideas and helped to expand the vision more than five years ago.

Initially, Physique was due to open at a large space in central London, backed by a group of investors, but securing the venue fell through. The duo, undeterred, went back to the drawing board and decided to start small and build a business in their local neighbourhood.

After searching for over a year and a half, the budding entrepreneurs found the space in Olympic House, Ladbroke Grove, and made it Physique’s home. 

The timing was less than perfect, however, as Mercedes was pregnant but they could not pass up the opportunity. 

Rupert used his skillset, as a Chartered Surveyor, to acquire the Lease and project manage the refurbishment. Mercedes hired teachers, curated the classes and managed almost every aspect of the business – all whilst growing a human!

Physique opened its doors last Summer, when Mercedes was 8 months pregnant (amazingly she carried on teaching until 2 weeks before giving birth to their little boy Raffael!). 

Months of hard graft followed as the dynamic pair & new parents were pushed to their limits. But Physique started to grow organically into the place Mercedes had envisioned. 

Mercedes started building a new client base – in addition to her loyal, regular clients – and the word spread to local residents & workers. 

Many excellent reviews and articles in leading magazines followed as the business started to build real momentum. 

Then COVID-19 struck and Physique was forced to temporarily close its doors and take the business online.

Rupert & Mercedes know that they face a challenging time ahead but cannot wait to open their doors again, for clients to have a little sanctuary in the chaotic madness of central-west London.   

Physique has big aspirations – to be a place of physical & mental support for the local community and beyond – and this is only the beginning of our journey.

In life, the path is rarely smooth – as we learn to deal with fresh challenges and let go of things we cannot control – but “smooth seas do not make good sailors”! 

We hope you will join us and as Mercedes always says: “no matter how hard, you just gotta keep moving.”

  • I have been taking lessons with Mercedes for well over a year now and for the first time in my life I am achieving the fitness and body shape I have always strived for. Mercedes is an amazing teacher, kind, funny but also the consummate professional with workouts that challenge, entertain and set you up for the day. Come rain or shine, I wouldn’t miss my workout for anything.

    Lizzie D

  • Ballet Sculpt has totally transformed my post pregnancy body and strengthened my core and over all body. The classes are fun, graceful and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough!

    Rowena W

  • I have taken many different classes in different places and even different countries but I can say with certainty that Mercedes teaching is truly unique. Her dedication to her students, her creativity and charisma is what makes her classes so popular. Mercedes has been helping me to get back in shape after having a baby and the progress in just a few weeks since we started has been amazing! She always makes me work hard but I cannot thank her enough because that feeling of seeing your body transform is like nothing else!


  • Mercedes Schindler is simply the best. Her Barre Sculpt class is friendly yet disciplined, open to all ages and levels. You will see results pretty much immediately, as your body becomes stronger, more flexible and changes to a beautiful athletic form. I would highly recommend this class and Mercedes to anybody, wanting to improve their heath, fitness and general wellbeing.

    Deborah G

Physique Challenge

We challenge anyone who thinks that lifting heavy things in the gym is not as difficult as using your own body weight & light weights in a targeted fashion.

If you take an advanced class and are not challenged we will refund you!

Book your first class