When COVID-19 forced fitness studios and gyms to temporarily close their doors, people found themselves scrambling to maintain some sort of fitness routine. Thankfully, many fitness instructors pivoted to offer online versions of their services. This allowed them to stay engaged with their clients or students, and build that community that so many people crave. Now that the governor has signed an executive order allowing gyms and fitness centers to reopen, it means much more to the team at Studio L2 – Pilates Wellness Center. They were in the midst of moving the studio from its location at Prairie Village Mall, to its sunny new location at 7820 Terrey Pine Court in Eden Prairie, when COVID-19 forced Minnesotans to shelter in place. This opening has been long awaited by both instructors and students. Read more to find out how Studio L2 – Pilates Wellness Center owner, Laura Landgren, was able to maintain an inclusive and supportive culture during the early days of the pandemic, and how she and her team are committed to maintaining safety as they open their doors to Pilates students – both returning and new.
eplife: How did you engage students during the temporary closure?
Laura: We transitioned to mat classes via Zoom pretty quickly after the “Stay Home” order was issued. “Seeing” the majority of our students on a daily basis has helped keep both our students and teachers connected during this unexpected, unprecedented time. We played a bingo game and competed in a daily challenge. We also have bi-monthly virtual “Coffee and Catch Up” and “Quarantini Happy Hour” so we can engage on a social level. This was really important as our students realized how much they missed, not just their teachers and workouts, but each other! Providing a way for our tight-knit community to still share and connect is incredibly important.
eplife: Will you continue offering virtual sessions for people not ready to return in person?
Laura: Absolutely! 90% of our students feel comfortable returning, but we respect the others who have their reasons for not feeling ready yet. Fortunately, our virtual sessions have evolved over the past three months. Besides our mat classes, we’ve added Cardio Strength classes as well as some specialized classes, like Workout in your Kitchen. Those who wish to continue with virtual sessions will have new and exciting workouts that challenge them. We also record all of the live classes and upload them to our Vimeo account, so our students can take a class whenever it is convenient for them.
I’m a firm believer that Pilates is still best done in person, but I’m grateful that we’ve had the Zoom platform available to us. Daily movement is incredibly important…any way you can get it!
eplife: What can students expect the new reopening guidelines to look like?
Laura: I took a course from a Pilates equipment expert on reopening after COVID-19, where I learned a lot about keeping my students and staff safe, as well as my equipment. I researched the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, and learned where to use soap and water in my studio and where to use a disinfectant. I also invested in an air purifier. I wrote out the guidelines, which are posted in the studio. Both students and staff were sent the guidelines and required to sign them electronically before returning.
– Don’t come if you don’t feel well or have traveled by plane in the last two weeks
– Wash hands upon arrival
– Remove shoes before entering studio
– Spacing of students on Reformers
– Teachers refraining from tactile cueing (for the moment)
– Mask wearing on a case by case basis
– Extra time between classes to allow for cleaning of all equipment and surfaces, and to stagger arrival and departure time of students
eplife: At what capacity will you operate at until restrictions are lifted again?
Laura: We’re starting with private sessions in our private training room, and a maximum of 3 people in an equipment class. We’ll continue to increase the class participation as restrictions lift. We only have a total of 5 Reformers at our studio, so our classes will always remain small.
eplife: What does it cost to join the studio?
Laura: If you’re brand new to Pilates, we offer a 30-minute Complimentary Session so you can try the equipment to see how it feels, discuss your wellness goals, and get a feel for the studio. If you want to proceed from there, you’ll take our New Student Special, which is three private training sessions with one of our certified teachers where you’ll learn:
– The Pilates Principles and Fundamentals
– Beginner exercises on all the equipment so you have access to all the classes offered
– How to operate the equipment safely
**This Introductory package is typically $179, but let us know that you heard about us from Eden Prairie Life and we’ll give you a discounted price of $149!**
At the end of the third session we discuss how it’s going and if you feel ready to join a class (i.e. you’re familiar enough with the exercises and cueing so you can be successful, and you know how to work the equipment so you’ll be safe). Sometimes people discover that they really thrive on 1:1 training, and they continue on with Privates instead of joining classes. Either way, we have a membership that will help you reach your fitness goals. Cost per class can be as low as $19 and cost for a private as low as $50/session.
If you’re not a newbie and you’ve been practicing Pilates at a different studio, we offer a 30-minute Complimentary Transfer Session. We’ll discuss your goals, tour the studio, and you can have a quick Reformer session to make sure you’re comfortable with our equipment. If you’re an advanced beginner and beyond, then you’re welcome to join our classes right away. If you’re still fairly new to Pilates and unsure, we’ll start with our New Student Special. In the 10 years I’ve been teaching, I’ve truly found that building this foundation first makes for a successful and progressive Pilates practice.
eplife: If this time at home has you itching to try something new, or you are searching for a different way to increase strength and flexibility, then Pilates may be for you. The naturally small class sizes may put you at ease if you have concerns about proper distancing and equipment use between students. If that isn’t enough to convince you, read what several students said about Studio L2.
It’s a place where. . .
– there’s no body shaming
– you feel cared about by both your teacher and fellow students
– you’re not just a member number or a dollar sign
– all the teachers are professionally trained and certified and are passionate about Pilates
– you feel part of an incredible community of women and men from all walks of life
– the teachers provide lots of variety to keep you motivated and challenges to keep you excited
– you can do fun things like contests and field trips and participate in community events
– you’ll feel your body become stronger and more flexible
– you’ll learn how to move from your Powerhouse and how that can help you with your golf or tennis game or other activities
– you’ll learn true, classical Pilates (Contrology) – how to control your body with your mind
Does that sound like what you’re looking for (and more)? Check out Studio L2’s new space at 7820 Terrey Pine Court in Eden Prairie. You’ll love the natural lighting in the main studio. The lower level has two private training rooms, private bathrooms, and of course, an inviting area to sit and catch up with your new friends (socially distanced of course).
Students sneaking a peek at the new studio location!
Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea before or after your session
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Studio L2 – Pilates Wellness Center can be found at: