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Pilates COREterly

Spring 2012

From the Studio

CoreAlign: The Next Step

by Nancy Myers

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in our 2011-2012 catalog.

Every once in a while something comes along and changes your life. This is how Pilates has been for me. For years and years Pilates has given my soul arms and legs that allow me to teach and connect with my clients and I never could have imagined more. Then one day, while visiting Balanced Body in Sacramento, I saw one of the original prototypes for the CoreAlign and managed to talk them into letting me borrow it. Why? Because I thought it showed promise—it looked interesting.

A few days later, I was hooked and the best part was how well the CoreAlign integrated into my ‘Pilates brain’ and practice. As a gait therapist, the concepts behind the CoreAlign make total sense. Taking the Pilates principles to standing helps demonstrate to clients how they can apply those principles to daily activities like walking.

Initially, I worked it slowly into my Pilates classes—about ten minutes at the end of each session. I showed them that what we had done on the Pilates apparatus could be transferred to the CoreAlign, in upright functional positions and, again, put into daily movement.

A Difference Maker for Clients

For one client in particular, the CoreAlign was a life-changer. Harriet had badly fractured her ankle in three places from a fall, and was walking with a cane. She had contacted me at the studio to do home visits because she couldn’t drive. Once I started working with her I realized that she had pretty much run her course with physical therapy. It was now really about fear— she didn’t want to fall again.

I tried to coax her into coming into the studio and trying the CoreAlign. I knew her progress would be so much faster if she would just try this. Her husband finally agreed to drive her over, and being a body worker, was interested in watching the session. When she came in she was still walking with her cane. And when she first got on she was very cautious as it is an unstable surface—but I told her she had the ladder, that it was a safe environment, and that we would go slowly.

Not only did she make it through the entire first session, she hopped off, walked up to the front desk and made more appointments—without her cane! Her husband was flabbergasted: “Did you see that? She just walked out
of here!”

The CoreAlign gave her so much confidence to move correctly, even in one session. It was absolutely
life-changing.

(continued above)

Not bad for business either

We decided to run CoreAlign classes as a separate business from Pilates so we could track it more easily and see how long it would take to pay off the machines (5 in all). Then we started running social marketing promotions, offering discounted classes to the general public. Living Social was particularly effective for our target audience.

The results were staggering: 850 people took advantage of the first Living Social offer. Over the first year, we were not only able to pay off the machines, but maintained 350 new clients unique to CoreAlign. It has been a big revenue generator ever since!

The funny thing is that it was a harder sell to my 47 Pilates trainers. I had about ten who were on board from the onset, but many more were not sure about how to incorporate it into their practice. One of the ways I got them involved was to develop Pilates on the CoreAlign. This was an important bridge to introduce a new piece of equipment into the Pilates studio. And it really does integrate nicely into a Pilates studio. It's now been a year and a half and all my instructors are on board and signed up for classes.

I’m excited about where the program is headed. Only a year and half ago no one had heard of the CoreAlign and now it has totally transformed my business.