A physically distanced return to Pilates

Leone Shaw Tulloch, of LST Pilates, has spoken about the strain of the pandemic restrictions on her business.

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After eight months of running her business completely via video conferencing platform Zoom, Leone Shaw Tulloch’s LST Pilates classes are back – but with a number of changes in place.

She is now running a mixture of classes – Zoom only, face-to-face only and a mix of both.

Leone says that this new way of running her business has forced her to be ‘super creative’ with how she provides her services, something which is yielding some unexpected benefits for everyone.

‘We started back last week and what a joy, for all of us,’ she said. ‘I hadn’t realised how much I had missed the social interaction and how isolated I was becoming in my wee studio at home and I think many of my lovely customers felt the same way.’

While many of her clients enjoyed their Zoom classes and Leone initially thought her business could survive the pandemic by operating in this way, some of her customers could not join her on Zoom and her turnover – like many other businesses’ – has dropped considerably.

She added: ‘In addition, most of my Pilates teaching requires my observation of how people align their bodies and move, and whilst this can be done on Zoom, I don’t get the three-dimensional view of their bodies, and, visa versa, they don’t see me as clearly.

‘Planning to reopen with face-to-face classes wasn’t easy but, as all local business owners will know, you have to do what it takes to keep your customers, yourself and your business safe.

‘With all the new rules, I couldn’t return to my previous venue as it is impossible to social distance. With that in mind, I luckily found a great space at Machrihanish Airbase Community Company.

‘With the help of my governing body, Body Control Pilates, I have been regularly updated with the latest restrictions and safety protocols in Scotland and, armed with this advice, I was able to create a Covid-19 safe space for us to return to practice Pilates.’