I recently spent a quick weekend in Atlanta with my childhood girlfriends and was given a great tour of the Buckhead neighborhood's juice bars, restaurants and studios. Within the past ten years or so, Atlanta has stepped up it's game in the health and fitness industry. One studio I feel compelled to highlight is CORE. CORE is a Pilates and Gyrotonics studio, created by Jessica Gowen, with the goal in mind of delivering an education- focused, positive environment. And she most certainly acheived this at CORE. Jessica's team focuses on ongoing education in this ever-changing industry, and as a result attracts and retains the best trainers in the area.My friend, Mary, and I were treated to a duo session on the reformer taught beautifully by Kimberly Cook. This was Mary's first experience on a reformer and Kimberly flawlessly worked back and forth to deliver both of us our needs. And let me tell you, I need a little more Pilates in my life. It can be so easy to zone out at the gym or on a run, which serves its own wonderful purpose, but working on these machines requires constant body and mind awareness and participation. Zooming in on the exact set of actions your body needs to execute the movement makes the world around you disappear for an hour and you can be completely focused on your body. Pilates also challenges me, personally, to work on my flexibility and posture, two of my goals for 2015!!
After our session I had the opportunity to ask Jessica a few questions about the studio and her background.
City Skinny: Is there a type of Pilates CORE focuses on with clients?
Jessica Gowen: Yes, we teach classical Pilates. That is, we teach the method as it has been handed down from Joseph Pilates to his proteges. Most of us were trained by second generation teachers who apprenticed under one of Joe's teachers. While we teach classical Pilates, we are also mindful of and inspired by the ongoing discoveries about healthy movement and exercise. We work closely with physical therapists who send us their clients for Pilates to complete or sustain recovery from an injury, but we also work with plenty of other people who want better posture, less backpain, and more strength and stamina for their day-to-day activities.
CS: What is the biggest change you hear clients talk about noticing when regularly training in your studio?
JG: They simply feel better and stronger in all ways (physically, mentally, emotionally), and that shift often creates a cascading effect for other positive lifestyle changes.
CS: Who or what is it that inspires you?
JG: The quotes we have on the walls in my space are my inspiration from Joe and Juliu.
"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness."-Joseph Pilates
"Everytime exercise should be a creative and delightful experience."-Juliu Horvath
I'm also inspired by my clients and the profound changes they make in their overall health and wellness because of their experiences with Pilates and Gyrotonic movement. Those changes come to people who commit to the work- they show up regularly, they are present and engaged in their sessions, and they believe in the possibility of movement being life changing.
Finally, I'm inspired by my team and their passion for their work. They are committed to the clients they work with, developing strong bonds over time (often times over years) to support clients in meeting their goals, no matter how large or small.
I asked Jessica what the future holds for CORE. The plan is to continue the in-house teacher training along with their partnership with The Pilates Center and their incredible iTPC program that Jessica describes as being one of the "best teacher training programs in the world" through an on-line learning environment paired with their hands on training. And it goes without saying that this studio will continue to give the best experience to their clients that they possibly can.
CORE embodies what fitness should be; positive, inspiring, welcoming, educational. Jessica and her team are the perfect example for all fitness professionals and the perfect example in what the consumer should expect from the studio they choose. It is our job, as instructors and trainers, to be on top of our continuing education and to be supportive of our clients to give them the absolute best shot at success. And the client should not accept anything less!