Today's post is the first in a new style of articles where I'll periodically be featuring small health and wellness businesses local to the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley areas. The idea behind this is to build community among the holistic businesses in the area and to expose more consumers to the amazing services that are being offered nearby. I was lucky enough to get to know Melissa and her staff of wonderful Pilates instructors at Gold Line Pilates in Pasadena, and I'm thrilled to be potting the spotlight on this local business in today's post. Find my interview with Melissa here:
Every business owner has a story to tell! Tell us a little bit about your personal journey and why you opened up Gold Line Pilates.
A long-time Pilates aficionado, I practiced Pilates in a lot of different places, and I instructed Pilates in a lot of different places...big-box gyms, boutique studios, physical therapy clinics, and wellness retreats throughout the United States and throughout the world. Like many entrepreneurs, I always thought to myself, I can do this better.
We often hear about yoga and Pilates in the same breath. Few know the difference between the two. Can you tell us what Pilates actually is?
Pilates is a system that is based on the notion that all movement, all activity, all physicality should originate through core strength. Consider the analogy to a house...if there's a flimsy foundation, the strength of the walls and roof is irrelevant. Pilates is a full-body workout, but the focus is first and foremost, connecting and strengthening the foundation. Pilates focuses on perfect form, alignment, and performing movement the correct way through mindful and sequential muscle recruitment. I'm a huge yoga fan especially Bikram and Vinyasa flow. I find it simultaneously rigorous and relaxing.
You can’t walk down the street in L.A. without passing a fitness studio on every corner. What sets Gold Line Pilates apart from the pack?
In short, our instructors. Gold Line Pilates only hires the most experienced and rigorously trained instructors who create customized programs based on your individual needs and challenges so you can achieve your goals and have a blast doing so. Fixing your back, sleeping better, good arms for a future event, improve your marathon time, recover from hard workouts faster and more efficiently, better posture, prepare or rehab from surgery...Gold Line Pilates instructors have seen it all. It's my personal opinion that many of the fitness studios popping up take a churn and burn approach where the model is big cheap group classes with a focus on no-pain-no-gain intensity. Pilates is not that, and Gold Line Pilates is definitely not that.
What type of vibe/energy/feeling do you want clients to experience when they walk into Gold Line Pilates? And when they walk out?
Walking in to the studio, I want our clients to feel safe to spend much needed time on themselves. At Gold Line Pilates, we understand that we are all spread too thin and that self-care is the first thing to go out the window. A private Pilates session is a commitment to work on yourself both physically and mentally. When walking out, we want our clients to feel better than they walked in...tall and proud, energized, mentally alert, and accomplished knowing that they dedicated time and worked to improve themselves in a meaningful and personally applicable way.
I see that you specialize in private and semi-private sessions. Tell us the value of these versus taking a typical fitness class with 30+ students.
In group sessions, there is always the opportunity to cheat or skate through an exercise (intentionally or unintentionally) that you don't like or you think you're not good at. Honestly, those exercises are usually the ones you need the most. In private sessions, there is nowhere to hide. We often hear the phrase, "I've done group Pilates classes for years but I've never felt it like that before." Furthermore, even the most competent Pilates instructor can't supervise a group class with the attention and care required to practice Pilates with the precision required to do it well. And of course, a group class is generalized whereas a private session is tailored which is a critical difference for anyone who has an injury or physical issue of any kind.
Besides the obvious benefits of losing weight and looking amazing, what are some of the more unexpected benefits of a committed Pilates program?
The biggest benefit of Pilates is the general improvement of your movement overall. That is manifested in many ways in day-to-day life including alleviation, mitigation, and prevention of pain and injury from other potentially harmful activity. Many of us have to work at a computer, sit down (or stand up) for excessive periods of time, commute long distances, travel for work, lift and carry heavy items, etc. It's obviously not practical nor even possible to just stop these activities. Pilates gives you the tools to act with more engagement and strength. One day, you will check the blind spot in your car and notice that you are lifting and twisting with much more range and ease. One day, you will sit in the plane's middle seat and not notice. One day, you will accidentally trip over the curb and catch your balance. And yes, one day you'll sit on your barstool shoulders back with a tall straight spine!
Lastly, what’s your vision for Gold Line Pilates? As business owners, we all have those pipe dreams. Don’t be shy! We’d love to hear (and hold you to them!)
I am a huge believer in small local businesses and supporting our neighbors with our locally earned dollars. I so value personal and face-to-face relationships in our overly virtual and corporatized world. I want Gold Line clients, instructors, staff, and stakeholders to feel that we are all each other's best cheerleaders and champions. I view Gold Line Pilates as a wellness hub where the San Gabriel Valley can train, recharge, and improve themselves and their lives.
Gold Line Pilates is a boutique Pilates studio offering private and semi-private sessions. Our approach to Pilates is highly tailored to every person's particular needs. Gold Line Pilates features top-of-the-line equipment and gold-standard instructors to ensure an excellent and customized Pilates experience for each client.