Fitness instructor sees interest in classes return post-COVID
Regina Casner, center, leads one of her yoga classes during a recent session. In addition to yoga, the certified personal trainer also teaches pilates, strength and stretch classes. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)
Like many businesses relying on one-to-one contact with customers, a Fort Scott fitness business hit a wall when COVID-19 first found its way into Kansas in March 2020. Schools shuttered their doors, some businesses closed their doors.
There was a great deal of uncertainty about how the virus spread, and while some people took what precautions were thought to work, others were not so careful.
Regina Casner, owner of 1 + 1 Wellness (oneplusonewellness.com), a fitness business that conducted classes, said she had little choice but to quickly shift to online classes.
For Regina, that wasn’t hard to do. Her husband, Matheau Casner, runs Redlogic Communications Inc., a Mound City tech firm whose offerings to clients include building business websites.
And while the online only classes were an alternative in a time of pandemic, they were hardly satisfactory for a woman who has taught fitness for more than 25 years.
Regina got her start in fitness as a high school student when she began running. In college her interest increased when she started taking a step aerobics class in the early 1990s, and that led to her teaching her own fitness classes and becoming a personal trainer.
Earning a degree with an emphasis on recreation therapy and fitness management, Regina earned certifications in yoga, pilates, and spinning as well as adding wellness health coaching to her resume.
She went on to work at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, as a fitness and wellness coordinator for the recreation center there. She also taught and trained people to teach fitness and hired students there to manage the workout area.
Concerns about COVID eased over the summer as the severity of current COVID strains lessened, and vaccinations became more prevalent. And Regina, who had taken a job of library director of the Mound City Library in the meantime, decided to reopen her business. But this time closer to the Mound City area where she lives.
She said that she didn’t relish the drive to Fort Scott to teach classes, and she also thought she wanted to offer fitness options to people who live in and near her rural community.
So she worked out a deal with the owner of Studio 9 Salon in Mound City, and started rebuilding that business on a part-time basis. She said while she has retained some of her students from Fort Scott, the majority now come from the Linn County area.
So far, her class offerings have drawn enough women that some of her classes are full and her space on the north side of Studio 9 is at capacity with those classes. A recent yoga class had yoga mats end to end with not enough room for another participant.
Currently she offers five classes a week, including an online yoga class that students can take at any time. There is also an in-person yoga class, a pilates and stretch class, and a stretch and strength class (great for all ages because of slow movement and work on balance).
And while Regina said that space could become a problem if she adds comprehensive training on pilates that require more equipment, she said she likes the smaller classes because they are more personal.
To learn more about 1 + 1 Wellness, click here to go to her website.