Founder Brittany Grignon, courtesy of Session Pilates

Health & Fitness

How Session Pilates Offers a Fresh Take on the Common Workout

And why their classes are constantly filling up.

Since my first class in April, I’ve been addicted to Session Pilates. But I’m far from alone. Booking a class at Knox District studio, which opened just last year, is not a last-minute option (the classes are almost always full), and though the clientele varies, there is one demo you’ll always see: the cool girl.

What defines a “cool girl?” I feel like it’s one of those “if you have to ask you’ll never know” situations, but if I was to try and define it in relation to fitness, a “cool girl” wears chic, shiny or mesh leggings, is able to take her hair down after a grueling class with no problems, chats up familiar faces after class, and always has trendy footwear to sport after she sheds her grippy socks.

A post-workout post to a cool girl’s Instagram is free marketing gold. So how does a studio bring in that sought after business? For Session founder Brittany Grignon, it’s all about creating a welcoming environment, in addition to a killer workout.

“We thrive on connection. Anyone can tell someone to do a pushup or a squat, but it’s so much more than movement. It’s about connecting, too,” Grignon says. “There are friendships that develop reformer to reformer. We take time to get to know people and introduce them to each other.”

Another environment-defining factor: the comradery of the instructors, which is by Grignon’s careful design. “I feel like a lot of people do fitness part-time or as a hobby, so when I started Session, I wanted to create a system where people could teach full-time, and then searched for those real fitness professionals.” Grignon says. Session also rejects the idea of a studio “staff.” Each instructor who comes on board becomes a partial owner, creating a profit-share system and an incentive to work together.

“Teaching can be a very individual experience. You want people to come to your classes,” says Grignon, who has taught Pilates at various studios in Dallas. “We’ve been able to kind of break that competition down and work together. It keeps us pushing each other and collaborating. We often take each other’s classes, which is fun because we’re able to vibe off each other.”

Of course, all the feel-good vibes in the world can’t save a bad Pilates workout. Thankfully, Grignon opted for a fresh approach there as well. It’s not uncommon for Session teachers to throw in some yoga or plyometrics moves into the studio’s high-energy routines. “We’re all quick to say we’re not traditional Pilates. We definitely take a modern approach,” adds Grignon.

A killer playlist is also key to a Sessions workout. “The music was something I felt strongly about on my end,” Grignon says. “If music is going to be there, let’s make it a part of it.” The energetic, often pop-focused soundtrack drives the moves, raising your heart rate and keeping your mind clear. New combinations are called out just before the current one ends, so there’s no time to think about anything except transitioning from one position to the next during the 50-minute class. It’s a perfect, endorphin-inducing way to get out of your head.

Whether or not you identify as a “cool girl” (I have not and never will be able to take my hair down after a Pilates class), Session offers the opportunity to mix up your workout, and might at least make you feel like a cool girl. (Fair warning: it may also be highly addicting.)

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