How has Lockdown changed our Pilates & Fitness Business at The Studio in Menston?

After teaching in a Studio in my garden for 35 years I decided to expand and moved into Kirklands, our local community centre as they were refurbishing and leasing rooms.  I was lucky enough to lease three rooms on the first floor and set about making it a beautiful space for our Pilates and Fitness business.  We launched the new space in April 2019 and gradually increased the classes we ran during the year. 

Sadly the Covid-19 Lockdown put a hold on all our plans and we took the decision to temporarily close in February 2020.  Not being familiar with Zoom it took me a while to decide whether to try and teach using this online platform, but as time marched on it was clear we would not be going back to face to face classes for some time.  So I emailed all our clients and about 65% of them agreed to join us on Zoom. The rest of our clients were either ‘zoomed out’ from their work meetings or simply did not want to embrace the Zoom experience, which I totally understand. The Zoom classes have been running successfully ever since and fill the gap until we can return face to face.  It’s great for me to stay in touch with clients and they love a chit chat at the beginning of the class and can see how everyone is. Quite a few of them, including me, meet up for walks. 

As I was not running courses or teaching it was an opportunity to reflect on how my business would develop in the future.  Not everyone knows that I also run training courses for trainee Pilates teachers and aquanatal courses for Midwives.  Sadly, these courses all had to be cancelled as well.  I thought long and hard about what I loved doing most and that is teaching my clients in my Pilates Studio so that is where I have decided to focus my efforts for the future.

So how have I changed and what will I be doing? Being a small business in the community I was awarded a grant from the council and I decided I would invest this on our new website.   Hopefully, you will find that the website is more interactive and it enables you to pay and book online and download videos.  The new website is a work in progress and we are adding new things to it weekly.

My daughter Becky has expanded her teaching at The Studio and we have increased the style of classes we run. Becky will be teaching new Barre classes as well as our new Mummy Fit Programme, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Pilates.  I will be running a new programme of fitness and Pilates including specialist classes in rehabilitation, back care and a new Walk and Talk group. I will also be videoing sessions to put on YouTube and on our website. Clients will be able to join in classes whenever they want and exercise at their convenience.  We understand that sometimes busy lives mean that it is not always possible to attend a set class at a specific time. We also have a new Yoga teacher, Michelle, who will be starting classes on Zoom and then progressing to face to face classes when we return to Kirklands.

We are updating our Facebook Page and plan to teach ‘live’ classes.

During the lockdown, I have been running ‘free’ classes to help people in the community keep active and socially engaged. These have been so well received and appreciated.

We hope all these updates and changes will enhance your experience and enjoyment of The Studio. We pride ourselves on high standards, small personal classes and a friendly down to earth approach.

Hopefully, you are as excited as we are about the future.

Christine

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