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It’s been a while since we last posted on here due to a few unrelated issues, but we’re back and ready to write about businesses and people who are doing well in the area.

We run a monthly feature which celebrates a business man and woman in Bristol who are doing great things.

This month’s business woman of the month is Leanne Copley. Leanne owns Sona Pilates (Facebook page) (Website) which has been running for 18 months, and in her own words, said this about her business…

“Back pain, alignment, rehab, toning, balance, strength and flexibility are just a few of the many leading physical problems we regularly hear about these days.

Thankfully, Pilates can support your discovery and development in all of these areas and more!

Sona Pilates offers 1-1, 2-1, small group and corporate Pilates classes in the Bristol and Bath area.

We seek to enable our clients to reconnect mind and body, and find efficient movement in enjoyable settings.

Whether that be in the studio, the comfort of your own home or even in the office at lunchtime. Now is the time to invest in your physical and mental well being and find the joy in movement with Pilates.”

I recently spoke to Leanne about running her business. Here’s what she said.

How did you get into starting the business?

I was suffering from various injuries and suspected arthritis in my knees from my previous career as a dance teacher.

Pilates had always been the key in the past to rejuvenating the body, easing the pains and giving me a real sense of wellbeing.

I was always interested in training and took my Polestar accreditation whilst also a full time teacher.

Opportunity then came knocking at my door when two good friends, also Pilates instructors, offered me work!

It was the sign I needed to take the leap, leave education and launch my Pilates business supported by the classes they needed me to cover and teach at that time.

What is the most rewarding part of running your own business?

My clients! Seeing them reconnect with their bodies and find ease and joy in movement fills me with such gratitude.

Being part of their lives and self-care is an honour, from recovering from injury to training for a pentathlon, they fill my days with variety, challenge and share their goals and successes with me too.

What has been the most difficult part of it?

The business side of it all can keep my mind constantly racing and guessing and questioning, whereas the actual teaching is almost intuitive and part of who I am.

It is difficult at times to not compare yourself to others in the field, but I remind myself that my aim is not to be like everyone else and my new journey is just beginning.

Any plans to expand in the future?

I would love to have my own equipment studio, maybe even wellness centre in the future.

For now, the plans for the next 6-12 months are to develop local wellness days and weekend retreats.

Any advice to young people in the area looking to start a business?

Talk to others already doing it, be inspired by the success of those who went before you and know that the fear of what could go wrong should never overshadow the excitement and opportunity for what could go right.

What’s your favourite thing about Bristol?

I love this eclectic city for its vibrant culture, theatre, restaurants and people. It has never felt overwhelming like other cities can and offers so much more in terms or quality of living, opportunities, leisure and creative collaboration.

It welcomes you and that’s why you stay.


Thank you so much for answering our questions in such detail Leanne, and we wish you all the success for your amazing business!

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