Body Harmonics has been part of The Yoga Conference and Show pretty much since the beginning. We’ve always loved it! But this year we really had a ball—literally!

I hadn’t been at the conference for a few years for one reason or another, so it was exciting for me to attend again. I loved meeting all the people, especially folks who had not tried Pilates before.

I taught some of the Core Ball classes we offered on the trade show floor. When I introduced Body Harmonics, I called us the renegades—the only Pilates studio in a sea of yogis! But I also hastened to add that what we do at Body Harmonics is help people learn or relearn how to move optimally, to change movement patterns so people feel freer and move with greater ease and comfort.

That’s what we promote in our teacher training workshops and programs too. For this reason, what we offer is a perfect adjunct to yoga and any movement practice. Delivering that message was part of our goal at the Yoga Conference & Show.

We have always had a booth with manuals and props where we talk to people about our different studio and teacher training offerings. This year we added clothes—comfortable and stylish workout clothes that we have been selling in our studios. They were a huge success—especially the tops with the skeleton on the back!

Next to the booth, we also had a demo area with two reformers, a chair and small props. Here, we encouraged people—especially those unfamiliar with Pilates—to try the equipment.

This was one of my favourite places. It was such a kick to see people’s faces light up as they felt the tug of the springs on the reformer or met the resistance of the pedal on the chair. One fellow was so excited, he asked “Why don’t gyms have these machines?!” Different vibe, for sure, but so heartening to hear a gym aficionado appreciate Pilates so quickly. Maybe real men do Pilates after all!

One of the most exciting changes for us this year was the large reformer and Core Ball “studios” adjacent to our booth and demo area. They weren’t actual studios, of course, but big spaces that were marked off by waist-high fabric dividers. Having these spaces allowed us to offer classes right on the trade show floor. What an opportunity—and great exposure. The classes allowed us to offer a direct experience to whole groups at a time!

The theme for the classes was “core”—a term that is both generally familiar and a central Pilates principle. The classes allowed us to demonstrate how much we need our core—not just our abs, but all our core muscles—to work against the resistance of the springs on the reformer and the instability of the ball in the mat classes.

We had space for 14 participants in the reformer classes and 20 people in the ball classes and ran 9 ball and 9 reformer classes over the weekend. That means we introduced between 250-300 people to a new way of moving! And because we were in plain view on the trade show floor, more than one passerby jumped in and asked to join the class in process!

The experiential effect of the demo area was magnified with the classes. Both were great, but the classes underscored the power of experience. In our case, having the space and a ready audience made it easy and memorable!

Here’s to the Yoga Conference & Show—an amazing event and a fantastic way for us to meet and work with other movement professionals. If you attended, we’d love to hear your impressions.