Entries in Business Ideas (67)
by Lauren Charlip
We’ve noticed several Pilates group equipment circuit classes pop up lately, so we decided to rustle up the instructors who teach them for a closer look at this new trend. Some teach just one circuit hour a week and some base a large chunk of their business on group circuit work. Each has their own unique way of running things. A few themes did emerge among the instructors we spoke to: They all agree that multiple-apparatus work allows for a deeper, more well-rounded experience for the client, and that a circuit class is an affordable way to reap those benefits. They also stressed the importance of previous experience on the Pilates equipment for clients before they join a circuit class; the more machines involved, the more complicated the skill set. For more details on how different studios and instructors are adopting this format, we’ve provided five takes on Pilates equipment circuit training from around the country.
Chicago Pilates instructor Laurel Silverman teaches out of her home and rents space at One Mind Body & Being to teach group classes. She hit upon the circuit idea when only one client showed up for her Reformer class and she realized she could move her onto other apparatus. Because that client had mostly Reformer experience, the difference in the work was readily apparent. Silverman noted her client was making new connections and that it was much easier to gauge her strengths and weaknesses. “I started thinking clients who are only able to afford Reformer classes are being done a disservice without access to other equipment,” Silverman says. She began to spice up her Reformer classes with a new apparatus exercise here and there. “Clients really took to the idea. I first started incorporating one exercise that we would circuit through, then we would talk about it and compare,” Silverman says. “It was amazing to see changes when they got back on the equipment that they’re used to.”
By Nicole Rogers
It’s been a little more than a year since Pilates-Pro.com reported on a Pilates collective forming in the San Francisco Bay Area in August 2008, but in that short span, something seems to have taken hold. Other regional collectives have surfaced across the country, and the Bay Area group—which quickly ballooned to the state level—is now taking its program national. These collectives were inspired by a desire to build Pilates community spirit or a local Pilates network, and some, on a more pragmatic level, organized for a shared business advantage. For all, the rewards of sharing information, comparing notes and pooling resources are only beginning. There is, after all, strength in numbers.
We were able to catch up with a few of these groups to bring you this update on grassroots-style Pilates organizing. Read on to find out what the various Pilates collectives are up to now.
Support for the Business of Pilates
The Bay Area Pilates Collective, now known as the United Pilates Collective, was one of the first to materialize. It started in 2008 when Tracey Sylvester and Nancy Myers, owners of EHS Pilates in San Francisco, thought to hold a mixer for Pilates studios in the Bay Area. “We invited trainers and studio owners within a 25 mile radius to chat about business, and it was immediately obvious that there was a need in the community for this kind of support network,” Sylvester says. She and Myers, as business owners, saw a need for studio owners and independent contractors to share information, such as where to find a lawyer who understood the Pilates business or where to get good liability insurance.
Our semi-regular rundown of Pilates news from around the Web. Enjoy!
- On her 22nd attempt, Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Abby Widmer finally found the financing to open her own Pilates studio. “I almost felt like I’d hit a dead end, but I still tried to get my name out…then lucky number 22 pulled through for me,” she told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. She broke even for her first month on day two. Kudos to Abby!
- The Age, Melbourne, Australia’s daily newspaper, ran this excellent piece on Pilates and back pain—a great discussion of what can go wrong in unskilled hands. Here’s the subhead: “Building core strength has been hailed as a way to prevent back pain—but beware….”
- There’s just no cheating when it comes to breathing, Washington Post fitness writer Vicky Hallett reminds us. The Providence Journal is running her fantastic exploration of breath in exercise which details what happens when people tune in to their breathing.
- Read about how one Danish study showed that exercise fights chemotherapy fatigue here, on Web MD.
- It’s official: women’s gyms are a fitness industry trend. Here’s a quick nationwide roundup.
- Paws-ilates: Yes, that’s Pilates with your dog. Now on video…it was only a matter of time! View the gory details here.
By Lauren Charlip
Not only is Pilates for Pink a way to raise money for a great cause, but it has given two Los Angeles studio owners—with studios mere blocks away from each other—a reason to come together and put a new spin on the program.
Maria Leone and Shari Berkowitz both own studios with teacher-training programs, a rare occurence in any neighborhood. Leone owns Bodyline, a PhysicalMind Institute certification studio, and Berkowitz owns The Vertical Workshop, and directs Power Pilates’ West Coast teacher-training program. Together they’re putting on programming for Pilates teachers that will raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Pilates for Pink this Sunday, October 18.
Each will be teaching a professionals-only mat class at Bodyline (which will also sponsor its own Pilates for Pink class for clients). Leone, ruminating on how she’d make her third year as a Pilates for Pink host different, came up with the idea of having a guest teacher.
Once again, our semi-regular rundown of Pilates news from around the Web.
- Memphis Pilates instructor Val Russell has taken her practice into the air—literally—teaching aerial dance on a trapeze rig in her front yard.
- Real Pilates owner and Pilates-Pro.com contributor Alycea Ungaro shared her 9/11 story and recession-beating strategies on the Huffington Post.
- Twice laid-off in Silicon Valley, Dmitry Yudin found a new career—and his passion—teaching Pilates. Here’s his inspiring story from the San Jose Mercury News.
- Dan Walton, owner of Portland’s Studio Blue, increased his customer base by 20 percent by taking his website into his own hands and enrolling in a search engine optimization course. “It’s great to know I can do this myself,” he says. “It’s saved me a lot of money.”
- About.com Pilates Guide Marguerite Ogle explored “Reformer on the Mat.”
- If you have an iPhone, are pregnant, and love Pilates, you’re in luck: Apple has released a Pilates for Pregnancy iPhone app, organized by trimester. It’s based on Sarah Picot’s video, Prenatal Pilates, and her Pilates and Pregnancy Workbook.
- Ever wondered how to do Yogilates? Women’s Health offers three exercises from New York instructor Jonathan Urla.
By Michelle Fama
“You live in Los Angeles…but your Pilates studio is in New York?”
People always ask this question when they find out what I do. More often than not, it’s followed immediately by another: “How does that work?” The trick is to organize the studio so well that it practically runs itself.
I moved to Los Angeles for the first time in 2006. My business partner, Kim Villanueva, and I had operated Core Pilates NYC in New York City for three years with much success and decided to launch a second location on the West Coast. I was itching to trade in subways for surfboards, so I packed my life into 15 boxes and bought a one-way ticket. The studio launch required both of us to be in Los Angeles for months at a time, which left the nurture of our three-year-old “baby” on the opposite coast to our admin staff and instructors.
By Devra Swiger
There isn’t much good news these days. Between the high unemployment rate, the dismal housing market and crooked Wall Street investors, some Pilates businesses are facing new challenges. Yet despite the weakened economy, there are still people willing to spend money on Pilates training, but keep in mind the rules have changed. Now more than ever, a client has to really feel that he or she is benefiting from each and every session. This means that client–instructor relationships have to be strong, positive and mutually beneficial.
What makes for a successful instructor–client relationship? How can you make a difference in the life of a client? What can you do to keep the client loyal to both you and the Pilates method? How do we as instructor keep our clients during these bad economic times? Read on…
By Nicole Rogers
Serendipity has played a role at every turn for Debbie Orlando and Ronda Arndorfer. Both women live in Wisconsin, but met through contacts at The Pilates Center in Boulder. Orlando is a graduate of the Masters Program there and is currently a certified teacher for the Masters Program. Arndorfer is currently enrolled in the Masters Program. While training in Boulder, people kept saying to Arndorfer, “You live in Wisconsin and you don’t know Debbie Orlando? You have to meet her!” They met shortly thereafter, and that was the beginning of Pilates on The Lake, a studio that is fast becoming a Midwestern magnet for Pilates teachers in training, as well as a serious but friendly place for locals to get fit—all in a peaceful, lakeside setting.
By Nicole Rogers
Joseph Pilates hoped to reach every possible age and demographic with his method. In this spirit, there has been an increase in Pilates outreach for children in recent years, but lately, we’ve noticed a number of Pilates studios designing Pilates classes for teens specifically.
We interviewed several Pilates for teens teachers to get their insight and advice into developing teen Pilates programs. Most cited personal experience as their reason for starting a teen class – a serious back injury as a young gymnast, a struggle with anorexia in high school, and from everyone, the simple understanding of how difficult the teen years can be in general. These experiences have led to classes that run the spectrum. The classes may or may not be strictly Pilates, but all are places for teens (often girls) to express themselves and explore movement in a safe environment.
By Nicole Rogers
YouTube is probably best known for viral videos, but it can be useful as a grass-roots marketing tool for all kinds of businesses; from large corporations trying to micro-market and create buzz, to small Pilates studios posting video to broaden their audience. Online video allows you to connect to local clientele, as well as to potential viewers around the world. Pilates studios that wouldn’t have dreamed of making a video a decade ago can make use of this technology to post video for minimal cost. YouTube is certainly not the only way to use online video to promote you business, but it is user-friendly and free.
Here are some of the videos by Pilates instructors interviewed for this article. Click the link below the video player to read more.