East County wellness spa adds fitness suite.
It was December of 2015 when Cheri Christiansen opened Four Pillars Wellness Spa in Lakewood Ranch with expansion on her mind.
She knew as word of mouth spread, her spa eventually would outgrow its 1,500-square-foot space at Suite 221, 8209 Nature's Way.
So as Christiansen walked around her new Four Pillars fitness studio in Suite 203 at the same address, it was not a surprise she was thinking into the future, to the time when she would need to expand again.
"This always has been part of my vision," Christiansen said of the 1,500-square-foot studio that will offer yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and body sculpting, among others.
The second suite also will house Christiansen's office, which was forced out of the other suite to free up more room for massages, facials, acupuncture, energy healing treatments, skin care and integrative wellness.
Christiansen said it will take time to grow the yoga and fitness end of the business, which has been open a little over a month.
"The hardest part is getting people to know we're open," she said.
Four Pillars raised awareness about its wellness spa offerings when it first opened by holding workshops and presenting guest speakers. An example is the workshop on May 21 led by certified hypnotist Shana Rosenthal of Four Pillars and acupuncture physician Rene Ng. The presentation will involve addictive disorders, how they affect the body and why addictions form. It will demonstrate how hypnosis and acupuncture help manage the disorders.
Likewise, she is trying ti educate the public about embracing yoga or Tai Chi, or any of the other fitness offerings.
"This new space will allow us to do more with mind, body and spirit," Christiansen said. "Yoga is a big part of natural wellness. It's about breath and movement and that is what keeps our bodies healthy. The aerobics cycle is about deep breathing.
"We are doing the education right now, why this is good for you. Then once they come in, they get excited."
Christiansen is so confident the fitness offerings will take off that she has hired 11 yoga instructors.
"Some of the classes we offer are for beginners," she said. "Others have a nice, warm flow."
Her own flow involves filling up her new studio. Eventually that will mean one thing.
It will be time to expand again.