Chamber Member Spotlight: Kokopilates Pilates Studio

Kokopilates Studio owner Theresa Wilson with instructors Kathy Gursky and Heather Quinn. Courtesy/CofC

CHAMBER News:

Kokopilates Pilates Studio has offered private sessions and small classes for five years at 967 Central Ave., a few doors away from the Motor Vehicle Department.

Theresa Wilson owns Kokopilates. The studio space is nicely appointed and fully equipped with the full suite of Pilates equipment and TRX suspension training.

During the pandemic, Wilson was able to spend time on the business side of Pilates in lieu of working on class planning. Her 1,400 square foot. studio has always been larger than necessary so giving some serious thought to bringing in a couple more instructors and expanding the class offerings seemed sensible.

With COVID restrictions relaxed and clients vaccinated, Wilson approached Kathy Gursky and Heather Quinn about teaching at Kokopilates on alternating days from Pilates.

Gursky transitioned from a dedicated yoga student to a trained yoga teacher at Los Alamos Fitness Center, where she taught a mixed-level vinyasa flow-based class at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

During the COVID closures she switched her noon classes to an online (Zoom) format. With the new partnership with Kokopilates, Gursky can now hold those noon classes in a hybrid format, allowing students to attend in person at the studio or online as their schedule permits.

Gursky also is adding an in-person Yoga Basics class (10:30-11:30 a.m. T/Th) for students new to yoga or who prefer a slower-paced class.

And for her final 1:15-2 p.m. T/Th class, Gursky offers a chair-based session that is completely online, for students who do not want to move down to the floor for their exercise.

Gursky used the COVID closure year to complete her 500-hour teacher training with YogaFit as well as earning several 100-hour certifications for teaching Active (Senior) Adults, Women and Warriors.

Quinn taught Saturday morning yoga almost since Los Alamos Fitness Center opened and developed a very loyal following.

She is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher with a specialty in trauma sensitivity. In recent years, she had added a Monday night yoga class, too. During the COVID closure, Quinn started teaching Zoom yoga at 5 p.m. most days.

Her traditional 10 a.m. Saturday yoga class adapted to Zoom, including the community time that follows afterward, where students and teacher enjoy a cup of tea, a snack, and discussion. Also, during the COVID closure Quinn trained to teach barre, so that everyone could get some strength training, too. Her 5 p.m. T/Th barre class has moved to a hybrid format taught from Kokopilates.

After a year of using a random assortment of furniture for balance, the students are quickly taking to having a fixed barre for more weight bearing. Stay tuned for more hybrid classes from Quinn on the schedule.

We hope to have her rock-asana yoga classes at some point! In the meantime, she continues to teach yoga and barre on Zoom, including a seated barre class for those with mobility challenges. Offering Pilates, yoga, and barre in one studio is such a natural collaboration.

They all emphasize postural alignment, balance, mobility, and connecting mind and body. Strengthening and lengthening muscles while stabilizing the core is a common theme throughout all three of these disciplines.

Adding any of these to your daily or weekly routine will promote a strong, healthy and active body.

All classes are booked online through www.kokopilates.com. Pilates is taught Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturday mornings. Yoga and barre are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Pilates

Pilates equipment exercises use spring resistance to improve balanced muscular development and mobility. Flexibility is not necessary but with time, you will discover your muscles and spine becoming more pliable.

Reformer classes are the favorite among the Pilates classes. Other equipment used includes the Cadillac (trapeze table), Tower (half trapeze table), Pilates chair and Ladder Barrel.

Each apparatus has a repertoire of exercises designed to increase movement through multiple planes.

Muscles contract and relax with the spring action of the equipment; the core is engaged to stabilize the body on the equipment; body position can be standing, seated, kneeling, prone, supine, or side-lying; each Pilates session is a full-body workout that will enhance the way you stand, walk, and move through your everyday activities.

Yoga

Prepare to walk into a class that will strengthen the body with the use of traditional poses, invigorating vinyasa flows, twisting and balancing sequences, core engagement and restorative supine postures to slow down and reset.

Yoga helps build flexibility in the body and resilience in the mind as we learn to focus our breath and posture during poses. Due to the adaptability of yoga through modifications, it is possible for everyone at every age to do yoga, especially with the use of chairs. As Quinn tells her students, all bodies are yoga bodies!

Barre

Barre class is a workout technique inspired by elements of ballet, yoga, and Pilates for dancers and non-dancers!

The class focuses on cardio, strength training, and stretching, rather than perfect dance technique. It focuses on low-impact, high-intensity movements designed to strengthen your body, unlike most other workouts.

They are designed to be a full-body, muscle endurance workouts focused on balancing the body. Each muscle group is fatigued through small, targeted movements, high numbers of repetitions, and light weight or resistance.

With elements of classical ballet exercises, isometric movements, balance and posture training, core conditioning, and flexibility work, in one hour you will get a full-body workout that is fun, safe, and appropriate for all ages and abilities.

You’ll leave feeling long, lean, and graceful, but with no dance experience required!

For more information about classes or the studio, use any of the following: www.kokopilates.com; kokopilates@icloud.com; 505.412.0633.

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