Having recently moved to a new location in the centre of town, Anissa Germain’s BORA Studio has taken things up a level in their new three floor studio. Daniella Gavin caught up with her in the new premises to discuss wellbeing, osteopathy, and what’s on the horizon for the upcoming year…

THIS is very different to your last studio. What’s it like having all this extra space?
We are thrilled to have relocated. I had my eye on this building from the very beginning and to have gone from a single studio room to three floors feels incredible. I’ve hired five new amazing members of staff as, and the move allows them to run fitness classes downstairs whilst I have this [first] level for reformer machines and my osteopathy practice. The upstairs area is primarily for well-being purposes; we provide, hot stone and sports massages in addition to running fitness classes.

Has the move had any effect on the classes you are able to offer?
It’s allowed us to offer so much more. We are open six days a week and classes are running constantly. Group classes run from 8am until 1.30pm, and then start again at 6pm. In between those times, I run private reformer classes of one to one or one to three. The reformer classes are still the most popular and having the machines here is a large part of our appeal. There aren’t many places around here with top of the range equipment like this and they’re crucial in my osteopathy work.

Tell us about your osteopathy work…
I’m now on my fourth year of my osteopathy training and that’s my primary focus. I specialise in rehabilitation and working with injuries, whilst the other instructors cover fitness training. The reformer machines are the main apparatus we use for rehabilitation and they can help anyone, of any age, with any injury. They look scary, but they’re
honestly not.

Do you find a lot of people are nervous about using them initially?
All the time but yet they quickly realise there is nothing to worry about once they arrive. If
someone tells me beforehand that they are nervous, or even if I can sense it on the phone, I will suggest we do a complimentary 30-minute session where we can just play around with the reformer machine and get to know one another. We had an 85 year old lady call up yesterday and she will be coming in for a relaxed tour and chat to help ease her worries.

Is getting to know your clients a big part of what you do?
Definitely. I’ll always make an effort to understand someone’s medical history and personal requirements before we start any sessions. Classes are very small, never
more than eight, so it’s always catered to whoever is attending – even more so with the one to one and smaller sessions. If you’ve never done anything fitness related before, you can be sure we will get to know you and will cater to your needs and track your progress with you. We can find the right class to suit you. We actually do a special class for clients aged 65 years and older twice a week.

Do people need a membership or can they pay as they go for your classes?
In my experience, monthly membership isn’t as popular as pay as you go. Now, you can pay as you go or you can buy lessons in bulk. Most people choose to buy either ten or 20 classes that they can use throughout the year as and when they please. You can book all of this through the MindBody app that we are registered with, so there’s no need to bring payment to the studio. It’s very rare to have anyone who comes along for a session and doesn’t return for more.

And how is the sportswear range going?
Things here in the studio have been doing so well that we’ve had to separate the clothing line from the studio. The clothing, however, all has the BORA logo and is approved and tested by me to ensure it is perfect for Pilates. We are on second production for the range now and I’ve loved being a part of it I always wear the clothes myself when I’m training.

And what does the future hold for Bora?
The staff are always asking me to buy new equipment as there’s so much that we want to be able to offer our clients. We have been looking into classes like aerial yoga, for example, and we are due to start a pre and post natal class soon. We will be starting to run bi-weekly yoga classes from February, which is very exciting as we will have a new teacher coming to join the team. Although we will always be a Pilates’ studio, I’m aware that many of our clients would benefit from the yoga classes. It’s not about stealing yoga clients from anywhere else, but the three floors here mean we really do provide an all-round service where we can offer a bit of everything. We will also be having more osteopaths join me in the team this year.

86 Mount Pleasant Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RT

07402 666 847 anissa@borastudio.co.uk