My Story

The first time I encountered Pilates, I was in middle school. I saw an ad for a Balanced Body reformer in Dance Magazine, and I knew in that moment, I wanted to do Pilates. However, it would be over 20 years before I’d get the chance! There weren’t any studios where I grew up, plus I was busy with dance, music, and being a teenager. From dance I moved to kung fu, and after an injury, to yoga. A group mat Pilates class at my favorite yoga studio was my first opportunity to try the method.

While a mixed-level group mat class didn’t have the glamour of the magazine pictures of athletic people on reformers, I could see right away how Pilates was helping me heal from yoga and martial arts, and ongoing aches and pains from car and workplace accidents. I’d also found a teacher I could connect with: Georgia Shaw, who is classically trained, but also a renegade who knows when and how to deviate from the system. She gave me an unorthodox deep dive into the method, and I’m grateful to have gotten to work with her.

I was just starting to get serious about Pilates when the pandemic hit, studios closed, and in-person privates weren’t happening. I didn’t have any equipment at home, and felt lost. Georgia persuaded me to be part of the first Peak Pilates online basic mat certification. At first, I resisted. I’d already done graduate school twice. I had started teacher training certifications in ballroom dancing, kung fu, and yoga, only to drop them. I had decided I was just going to be a Pilates practitioner, not a teacher.

On the other hand . . . I was stuck at home and looking for ways to keep up with my practice from a distance. So I signed up, telling myself I’d just get the basic mat certification, and that would be it.

Of course, we all know how that went. Two years later, I’ve completed my Level 2 Comprehensive certification with Peak, under the tutelage of Nancy Gwinnell Hurd and Mark Gates. Although I’ve moved to St. Louis, I plan to complete my Level 3 Comprehensive Certification back in Austin in 2023.

The Corner Reformer

I started The Corner Reformer a few months after moving to St. Louis. My partner and I bought a beautiful brick mixed-use building on a corner, and it’s where we both live and develop our respective businesses. My goal is not just to teach, but to develop resources and programming to support long-term practice.

The first aspect of my business is developing practice and study trackers for teachers in training. I made early versions for myself during my teacher training programs, and when I shared them with classmates, I realized that other people were seeking those kinds of resources as well.

My vision encompasses more than just private lessons and useful printables. I am fueled by those early days of the pandemic, when I couldn’t practice in the studio, but also could not afford to buy equipment. I am working to develop programming that helps you bring a DIY approach to your practice, including building, maintaining, and repairing your own equipment. I look forward to the journey that lies ahead.

My Other Projects

If you wonder what I think about when I’m not thinking about Pilates, check out my other sites:

Allyson Whipple at the City Museum in St. Louis.
Allyson Whipple with members of her teacher training cohort.
With my Level 2 cohort

The Corner Reformer

The Corner Reformer offers resources to augment your Pilates practice, whether you’re a new student, a serious practitioner, or a teacher.