Meet Your Merchant: Offering a different type of workout for the North Shore

Colleen Moore
Special to the Sun
Courtesy Colleen Moore Founder and owner of Tahoe Pilates Co., Alison Franco.

KINGS BEACH, Calif. – The basin’s newest Pilates studio offering group and private classes for all levels is nestled in a cozy little North Shore cottage offering a view of Lake Tahoe.

The studio, which opened in July, is owned by Alison Franco, who moved to Tahoe from Denver last year.

“Denver is a Pilates mecca,” explained Franco, who’s been practicing Pilates for the past 10 years.

When Franco and her husband relocated to Tahoe, she decided to open her own studio, abandoning her background in finance.

“I try to keep it really small and intimate,” Franco said of her studio, which is a quaint white and red building set back from North Lake Boulevard in Kings Beach.

Franco describes Pilates as a “highly efficient mind-body exercise method, or practice.” A growing practice that’s gaining popularity nationwide, Pilates is suitable for all ages and genders, as programs can be modified for all body types. The only requirement at Tahoe Pilates Co. is clients be 18 years of age to use the equipment.

The studio has Peak Pilates studio grade equipment, complete with reformers, a cadillac, Wunda Chair and leg ladder barrel. All classes are four people or fewer, giving each lesson a private feel. The studio also offers private lessons.

Private lessons are great for people who have a specific ailment or goal they want to reach, Franco said. For example, if someone has a hip problem, Franco can focus in on the hip and perform exercises to strengthen that area of the body.

It was an injury that led Franco herself to practice Pilates. While skiing years ago in Colorado, Franco fell and broke her leg.

“I just loved it,” said Franco, adding that she felt stronger after each work out. “I really wanted to help other people in that situation.”

Franco said her training has been classical, via Romana Kryzanowska’s lineage. Kryzanowska is a Pilates elder and one of Joseph Pilates original students. Years later, Franco is now a Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher (PMA-CPT).

Her studio offers several different levels of classes, including beginner, intermediate and advanced. For newcomers to the practice, Franco recommends a private lesson, as this will help people earn the proper form and technique, and also allow them to develop goals.

Franco explained that there are many positives to practicing Pilates, including maintaining mobility and taking a break from daily life. And while Pilates has no cardiovascular aspect to it, it does build lean muscle tissue and enhance weight loss.

“It’s a clean slate,” she said.

Pilates is also ideal for preventing injuries, as it increases overall strength and flexibility.

“It gives you February legs in November,” said Franco, referring to the big skier and snowboard crowd in Tahoe. “(Pilates) is not just for pro athletes.”

To schedule a group or private lesson, call or visit Full booking is available online. Franco encourages those who are not sure if Pilates is for them to schedule a one-on-one complimentary class to get started.

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