When NYC went into full lockdown in March of 2020, a deeply unfortunate amount of workers were furloughed or lost their jobs entirely. For those that retained employment, and were able to work from home, there was still the question of what to do with the “dead time” after work and on weekends.
Netflix binges peaked, but for most there was still a desire to be productive. Some of us went a smidgen too far, “I’ll practice piano eight hours a day and compose that concerto I’ve had in my head since 10th Grade; I’ll blaze through Rosetta Stone French Levels 1-4 and finally get that job at the U.N.; I will write the Great American Novel.”
Kudos to anyone who picked up a new skill, or fell back in love with an old one, but there was one thing that was going to be trickier: exercise, and physical and mental wellness.
As anyone who tried to take a jog around their neighborhood wearing a mask during this time can attest; that was a miserable experience. But luckily, technology fused with business ingenuity, led engaging live-streamed online fitness classes to quickly spring to life. And just as Zoom was proving incredibly effective at maintaining all kinds of businesses, it offered an engaged, interactive exercise platform where you could work with world-class instructors, such as Carey Macaleer, owner of Aline Pilates, a renowned studio located in Carroll Gardens, but now accessible to Pilates lovers—or absolute beginners—the world over.
amNewYork Metro had the pleasure of talking to Carey about her COVID-19 business experience.
When asked what her initial reaction was to the COVID business closures, Carey stated, “Going online right away, once I saw COVID hitting, well it threw me out of my comfort zone in the best possible way and in the end has had so many silver linings. One of them was meeting you today someone I may have never had the opportunity of meeting or working with.”
Although not an easy transition, through Carey’s entrepreneurship, Aline Pilates was able to offer the full gamut of Pilates options online quickly; from pre and postnatal to seasoned practitioners, as well as, to my surprise, a large group of students who are recovering from contracting COVID. Pilates, Carey explained, is an extremely effective recovery option for those who have battled COVID, because, “The exercises are infused with stretch, strengthening, but also moves that detox the lymphatic system, an important component to recovering from COVID.” Aline Pilates also covers a wide-range of age demographics: from teens right though to seniors, meaning you are bound to fit in somewhere.
There was an extra element that helped enlarge clientele and gave the studio an added boost. A lot of people are intimidated by Pilates. It’s a practice that has been typecast by glamorous and physically “perfect” celebrities, leading many to feel wary of walking through the studio doors. Some people—myself included—are also perturbed by the Pilates apparatus—as it all looks so terribly complex.
With virtual classes only incorporating mat Pilates, not requiring you to put yourself in a new, potentially intimidating environment—quite the opposite, you’re in the comfort of your home and can always use that magic “camera off” option—Aline’s online classes flourished, and continue to do so. Additionally mat Pilates is just as effective, for most, as in-studio apparatus-assisted work.
As a Pilates newbie, and postnatal, I had the pleasure of taking a class with Carey; a wonderful instructor and vibrant spirit who takes time to get to know you and your physical needs and goals. She made the experience fun, and quirky. So if you want to tighten your core, work on those tiny little muscle groups overlooked by other forms of exercise, and find out how to strengthen your “Pilates lattes,” do the “disco shake shake,”and strengthen parts of your body that you didn’t know existed, or even just try something new, then Aline Pilates online classes could not come more highly recommended.
I was treated to a second class with encouraging and knowledgeable instructor Samantha, who was located in Miami and, again, the experience was unencumbered by its virtual nature. Afterward I felt a sense of calm, physical strength and pride at having tried something I never thought I would do.
Carey’s state of the art studio has now reopened, but her business model is now blended with more options for everyone. I’m fairly certain that after a couple more online sessions I’ll have the confidence to walk through their, as it turns out, exceedingly inviting doors, and make use of their equipment in the more than capable hands of Aline’s instructors.
Aline Pilates is located at 236 Carroll St., Brooklyn, NY, 11231.
Online classes start at $18 with packages, and group and individual options are available, visit alinepilatesnyc.com to book.