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MEET YOUR MERCHANT: New way to work out

BRIAN DUGGAN
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com
Jim Grant/Nevada Appeal
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Roberta Marquis was in a funk.

In September, the owner of Tree House Pilates had decided to go on a sabbatical to think over her career. The life-long “yogi” was looking for something new to add to her six-year-old pilates studio in Carson City.

“I was in St. Johns for two months on sabbatical, typical ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ ” she said. “How can I make this fun? If I’m not enjoying it, how can anybody else enjoy it?”

One morning, Marquis got up to do her yoga and pilates for the day, but decided to forgo the rules that govern yoga and pilates. She said she came up with a version of her own.

“You just get on that floor and feel,” she said, adding, “so that’s what kind of hit me, it’s like it’s time to step up and be all of you and not just half of you.”

When she returned to Carson City two months later, Marquis took over the former Kula Kula Kula studio next door to her pilates studio and is now offering a new class called Key to Longevity for $10. She wants it to be open to all age groups and physical abilities.

“The Key to Longevity is a movement celebration of stretching, pilates, yoga,” she said. “So it’s everything.”

Besides her class, Marquis’ studio includes other instructors like Steve Yochum, who offers a “kick ass yoga” class, Becky La Sor who offers Hatha yoga, Bonnie Lafave who does mat pilates and Anael Sawyer who offers bio-flow and balance, agility and flexibility classes. The studio also shares space with New Beginnings Skin Care and Massage.

Marquis has been doing yoga most of her life ever since she and her mother would do it together in front of the TV. Eventually, Marquis ventured into other styles of fitness and stretching.

Over the years, she also has worked in many jobs from computer repair to ski lift repair to massage therapy.

It wasn’t until 2000 when she considered making fitness her career path.

“I was taking a girlfriend’s yoga class at Walley’s (Hot Springs) … and she looks at me, ‘I love how you do my yoga, will you teach for me?'” Marquis said. “And that started 10 years ago.”

She opened Tree House Pilates in Genoa six years ago and moved the business to Carson City five years ago. And despite the economy, business is stable.

“I stay steady, I’ll lose one, gain two,” Marquis said, adding the studio attracts about 50 clients a week. “People are affording their health right now, they may not have their insurance. So what do they have left?”

As for her most important lesson since opening her business:

“I think it’s really listening to your clients,” she said.