Expert Advice: The Pilates & Yoga Studio at Home with Cassie Piasecki

Health and Wellness have always been at odds with hectic lives of most individuals.  Carving out an hour to meditate, to stretch, or work out often times comes at the sacrifice of something else just as important (100 cupcakes for your oldest's school bake sale for example).  The reality is that oftentimes we simply give up on taking care of our bodies and instead taking care of our to-do lists.

Pilates Studio by Susan Appleton Architecture.  Photo by Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA.

Pilates Studio by Susan Appleton Architecture.  Photo by Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA.

Sunroom studio by G. Steuart Gray, AIA.  Photo by G. Steuart Gray

Sunroom studio by G. Steuart Gray, AIA.  Photo by G. Steuart Gray

The installation of specialized studios at home, designed for everything from Kick-Boxing and Spin exercises to Pilates and Yoga, gives individuals the freedom to no longer have to make the choice between one or the other, giving them a space which works on their own time.  But with such a highly specialized space, just how does one go about ensuring that it is the ultimate in functionality?

Bringing us insight into the Pilates and Yoga Home Studio, we've enlisted the help of Newport Beach based Instructor Cassie Piasecki.  I'm certainly feeling more relaxed already!


DCM: When it comes to incorporating a Pilates or yoga studio into one's home, what are the first considerations to think about?

CP: There are four important things to consider when planning your fitness space - Noise, Light, Space, and a Private Entrance.

NOISE: Ideally the studio should be someplace in the home that is quiet.  If you are in your moment of Zen you don't want to hear the Vitamix!  On the flip side, you also don't want to be the noise maker.  If you put a treadmill in a space that is located above a baby's room, well you get the picture.

LIGHT: There is where big windows play an important part.  Looking out of a picturesque window while meditating is a luxury.  If the space is dark, be careful the location of overhead lighting.  During Pilates and yoga, you spend a good amount of time on your back.  If there is a spotlight shining in your eyes, it is going to be distracting and uncomfortable.

SPACE:  I think that people underestimate just how much space they will need surrounding each piece of equipment and, in the case of Pilates equipment, you also will need a higher ceiling for some of the apparatuses.

PRIVATE ENTRANCE: As an instructor that travels to client's homes, it is so nice to have a private entrance to the designated fitness space.  This allows me to enter without having to ring doorbells at 5am and traipse thought the house with a barking dog at my heels.

Yoga Studio by Sogno Design Group.  Photo by Langdon Clay

Yoga Studio by Sogno Design Group.  Photo by Langdon Clay

Seattle based Pilates studio Leitz Pilates.

Seattle based Pilates studio Leitz Pilates.

DCM: How about equipment?  What factors should a homeowner use to determine how they should equip their home studio?

CP: When it comes to furnishing the studio, it is worth investing in gym quality equipment versus equipment made for the home.  "In-Home" equipment is definitely lesser quality and often not able to be repaired.   If you spend a bit more for good pieces, not only will they work better and last longer, but the manufacturers often make replacement parts should anything need to be repaired.

My dream Pilates/yoga/fitness space would start with a small, wood floor area that three people could practice yoga and meditates.  I would purchase a Pilates Reformer/Cadillac combination apparatus as well as a few accessory Pilates pieces. A treadmill, ballet barre hung on a mirrored wall and a rack of dumbbells would complete the area.

The gym at Stockholm's Ett Hem Hotel.  Photo by Maja Sten.

The gym at Stockholm's Ett Hem Hotel.  Photo by Maja Sten.

Pilates Studio in the home of Gweneth Paltrow

Pilates Studio in the home of Gweneth Paltrow

Pilates Studio by Susan Appleton Architecture.  Photo by Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA.

Pilates Studio by Susan Appleton Architecture.  Photo by Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA.

DCM: What are the big No-Nos in Pilates and yoga studio design?  Are there any features or elements that one should avoid entirely?

CP: As I mentioned earlier, overhead lights are a BIG no-no.  I had a client who would get migraines from the lights over her Reformer.  We ultimately worked out in the dark.  It was awful.  Lack of space is also a big no-no.  Bumping into things and not being able to get to full extension while performing exercises because you may hit a wall are never good.

DCM: What are those added extras that really make a home Pilates or Yoga Studio special?

CP: Those big windows to look out of while practicing yoga are pretty LUXE.  Being able to open some big doors to a garden would be magnificent!  A wet bar stocked with water, fruit and the beloved Vitamix for a post-workout smoothie would be heavenly.  One of my favorite clients had a spa connected to her studio.  There was an infrared sauna, steam room, and massage area.  That was High Class!

Pilates Studio in Oxfordshite by 3rdSpace

Pilates Studio in Oxfordshite by 3rdSpace

DCM: And because I have to ask everyone, what is YOUR definition of luxury?

CP: After writing this piece, I'm going to have to say that having a home Pilates Studio with a private trainer is a luxury.  Do you know anyone?

Just in case you're curious as to what a "Reformer" is, take a peek at the following link for great photos.  The Reformer


Cassie Piasecki | www.ItsMeCassie.com
Cassie is simply super woman.  Her early entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in a string of successful endeavors including Orange County's only award winning nail salon The Nail Lounge and Shoparazzi, a business devoted to celebrity inspired shopping maps.  To further her message of fitness, health, and wellness, Cassie went on to receive her Pilates Method Alliance Certification, instructing proper method at Villa Pilates and Yoga as well as teaching indoor bicycling at GRIT Cycle.  Cassie is also planning her 2015 Parisian sabbatical where she'll be guest teaching Pilates at a studio in Saint Germain des Pres.
GRIT Cycle | www.gritcycle.com | 1731 Santa Ana Ave., Costa Mesa, CA
Villa Pilates & Yoga | www.villapilatesandyoga.com | 501 31st Street, Newport Beach, CA

For more Pilates inspiration, check out Cassie's Health & Wellness boards on Pinterest by clicking the Link Here.


DCoopMedia did not receive compensation for this post. Photos courtesy sources listed and may not be used without permission.