Marketplace: Salt Pilates finds a strong core in Park City
Studio aims to help town’s athletes get to the next level
July 21, 2017
Throughout her life and a career as a dancer, Rebekah Stokely's body was her paintbrush, an ultimate tool of human expression. Keeping it in peak physical condition was critical.
After having children, however, she found that returning to pre-baby shape was difficult. That's when her friends, fellow dancers, recommended she try Pilates because of how the exercises focus on improving physical strength and flexibility throughout the body.
It didn't take long for Stokely to see results. And as soon as she did, she was hooked.
"I tried it and got addicted and was able to get my core back," she said. "It all kind of evolved from there."
In the time since, Stokely has become an evangelist for the benefits of the popular form of exercising. She's even made a career out of her passion, opening Salt Pilates, a studio in Redstone, over the winter along with investor Diana Scardilli. For Stokely, a former NFL cheerleader who takes pride in her fitness, the joy comes in helping others realize how transformative Pilates can be, even for athletes who are already in great shape.
"It's a mind-body connection," she said. "You're connecting to the body as a whole. It's very different than anything else you do and any sport. You're really using the entire body and all muscle groups at once to make the movement."
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Stokely was inspired to open the studio after moving to Park City from California. She and her husband fell in love with the town's laid-back atmosphere and recreational opportunities, but she quickly noticed there wasn't a Pilates studio offering the kinds of workouts she'd become accustomed to in her home state.
Pilates, she explained, can be customized to several intensity levels, ranging from light — such as for physical therapy — to intense. Workouts in California tend to be closer to the latter, and she saw an opportunity to expose Park City to that philosophy. The studio puts on classes for beginners, but many of its offerings are geared toward people who are looking to push their bodies into new territory.
"There was not anything here that was like the California style of Pilates," she said. "So we wanted to bring more of the West Coast style of Pilates here — more contemporary and more built for the fitness of the athletes in this community."
So far, Park City has embraced the studio's exercise style, and Stokely said she's not surprised, given the number of serious athletes who live in the area. It doesn't matter whether they're skiers or mountain bikers or lacrosse players — Parkites are committed to getting peak performance out of their bodies, and the kinds of intensive workouts Salt Pilates offers can help them.
"I knew, leaving California, that it wouldn't be the same," she said. "But I felt like this was such a great chance for so many athletic people here who need this but didn't have it."
Following her clients' progression and seeing them achieve their physical goals is the biggest reward for Stokely, who described owning her own studio as a "dream come true."
"At the start, you meet somebody and see where they're at," she said. "Then they make slow progress, and one day it clicks and they're so much better. When you see the changes and how it's affecting their life — and they have such a good, positive energy — that's the reward."
Salt Pilates offers a variety of pricing and membership options. Individual rates begin at $30 for one class and go up to $600 for a 30-class package; memberships range from $99 a month for four classes to an unlimited package that costs $3,600 for the year. Patrons can also choose from private-session packages.
Stokely recommends clients attend three classes per week, but people who are active outside of Pilates can still see results from two. The benefits of Pilates begin to diminish with workouts that are less frequent than that, she said.
"If you're doing one day a week, it's like your restarting every week," she said. "It's kind of like if you diet one day a week. It's not going to work. You come back every time and are like, 'I'm not progressing.'"
1675 W. Redstone Center Drive
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