Two Dallas women who want to spread the gospel of Pilates as a life-changing practice have opened a new studio in a groovy space near the Katy Trail. Called Kiva Pilates, it's a serene, light-filled, second-floor studio that has a treehouse-like view of Knox-Henderson where it meets the popular Dallas trail.
Founders Janine Ferris and Meagan Malloy have put as much thought into the space as they have about how they'll teach clients to love Pilates like they do.
“Kiva is a sacred chamber — a place of healing, community, and transformation," Ferris says in a release. "We practice Pilates the way it was intended — as a complete system of movement that always challenges one to improve. We help focus the mind to align the body. And when a body is aligned, it can perform at its best."
Ferris, a native of Alberta, Canada, and Malloy, a lifelong Texan, are longtime Pilates practitioners and instructors who bonded over love of the discipline and the desire to share it with others in a supportive, peaceful environment, they say. Location was key, as was availability of classes and training.
“Since Pilates is central to our lives, we wanted to establish Kiva in an area where people work and live, so it’s convenient before heading to the office or errands, during the lunch hour or school hours or after classes, on the way to the trail, or before heading out on the town or home for the evening,” Ferris says.
They have divided the space between a loft-like aerie for group classes and a window-banked room filled with Reformers and Pilates equipment where private and small group lessons are held.
They offer morning, afternoon, and early evening classes Monday through Saturday, along with private and semi-private group lessons — ideal for beginners or those who want to develop an understanding of the exercises and equipment used throughout the studio and the philosophy behind it, they say. Mat and equipment classes are available for the novice Pilates student and experienced enthusiasts, they add.
“We took a page out of the books of nearby establishments — including a speakeasy — and we’re using our first months in the space to take the pulse of our clientele and deliver the schedule of unique classes that meets their needs and fitness goals," Malloy says. "We love getting to know our clients and complementing the rhythms of their days.”
First developed as full-body rehabilitative care after World War I by German expatriate Joseph Pilates, his namesake resistance training exercise is today practiced around the globe, using principles and equipment the founder designed. After Malloy and Ferris experienced improvements in health, fitness and well-being from Pilates, they left the corporate world to become instructors, and their understanding of business informs their approach at Kiva, they say.
They even offer a little something extra in their modern studio: a piece of equipment that Malloy invented.
A problem-solver by nature, Malloy says, she had an epiphany that led to the design of a new tool that combines two pieces of classical equipment into one unit, allowing better access to the stretching and strengthening tools. It's called Kiva Strong Bars (patent pending) and is available exclusively at the new studio.
“Both our new clients and Pilates aficionados are loving it — and getting great results,” Ferris says.
The studio is in its “soft opening” phase, with a formal opening and public dedication planned for February 4. A grand opening event will take place from 5:30-7:30 pm that day. It will include tours, equipment demonstrations, a chance to meet the owners, hors d’oeuvres, and a champagne or Kombucha toast.
For a limited time, Kiva is offering first-time classgoers an introductory free session; schedule it and upcoming workouts through their website.
Kiva Pilates is located at 4919 McKinney Ave., Dallas; 214-238-2495.