A new pilates studio has opened at the doorstep of Highland Park.
Located at the intersection of McKinney and Harvard avenues, KIVA Pilates is looking to make a difference in the life and health of those who walk through its doors.
Pilates has been transformative for KIVA Pilates founders, Janine Ferris and Meagan Malloy, two experienced instructors who bonded over their love of the life-enriching practice and the desire to share it with others in a supportive, peaceful environment.
“KIVA is a sacred chamber—a place of healing, community, and transformation. That’s what Pilates means to us,” Ferris said. “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.”
“KIVA Pilates builds strength, increases stamina, and improves flexibility so our students can do whatever they love to do–golf, tennis, running, swimming, spinning, or just plain living–better. When you connect your mind to your body, your body can do amazing things.”
Ferris said since Pilates is central to the duos live, they wanted to open a studio 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.
The studio hosts a serene, light-filled second-floor studio at the Y at 4919 McKinney Avenue and has a treehouse-like view of Knox-Henderson where it meets the Katy Trail. Space is divided 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.
The studio is in its “soft opening” phase, with a formal opening and dedication planned this month.
Surrounded by homes, condos, retail, offices, dining, and bars, Malloy notes, “We took a page out of the books of nearby establishments— including a speakeasy.
“We’re using our first months in the space to take the pulse of our clientele and deliver the schedule of unique classes that meet their needs and fitness goals. We love getting to know our clients and complementing the rhythms of their days.”
KIVA Pilates currently offers 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.
Mat and equipment classes are available for the novice Pilates student and experienced enthusiasts.
When students start focusing on the core, or “powerhouse” that is fundamental to Pilates, there’s a new awareness that all muscles are connected through that core, Malloy said
“With a stronger core, you can run faster, your yoga is on point, and overall, the rest of your workouts improve,” she said. “Plus, by working in small groups or one-on-one with a Pilates instructor, you can learn moves that mimic and improve performance in your sport of choice and everyday life.”
KIVA founders Malloy and Ferris left the corporate world to become instructors, and their understanding of business informs their approach at KIVA. A certified instructor for more than six years and problem-solver by nature, Malloy had an epiphany that led to the design of a new piece of Pilates equipment that effectively combines two pieces of classical equipment into one innovative unit, allowing better access to the stretching and strengthening tools.
Available exclusively at KIVA Pilates, the patent-candidate KIVA STRONG BARS unit combines the smooth moves of each traditional piece into one dynamic station of power that helps users find their core in a whole new way.
“Both our new clients and Pilates aficionados are loving it–and getting great results,” Ferris said.
While Pilates is a discipline, at KIVA it is delivered through fun, challenging, unintimidating and energetic classes and insightful instruction, whether in classes or in one-on-one sessions. Lightness and humor are a part of their philosophy at KIVA and in life.
“We laugh a lot,” Malloy said. “We’re here to ensure our clients get the most out of their practice—we’re serious about that—but it’s a positive and supportive environment where you’ll be able to grow.”
For a limited time, KIVA is offering first-time class-goers an introductory free session. Schedule online at KIVAPilates.com
Find them online on Facebook: KIVA Pilates; Instagram: kivapilates.