A Remodeled MNTStudio Brings Chicness To SF Fitness Community

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The private pilates room upstairs at MNTStudio
The private pilates room upstairs at MNTStudio

Sometimes beauty is found in unexpected places. Such is the case with the transformed MNTStudio in SOMA. Nobody likes to walk around Brannan Street in between 6th and 7th, but fitness fans should make the trek to the neighborhood. The new workout boutique is well worth the trip—it’s clean, gorgeous, and welcoming—a hidden gem in a worn-down part of town. A variety of pilates, barre, and yoga classes are offered in the upscale renovated space.

Elaine Hayes
Elaine Hayes

MNTStudio was originally founded as Mint Studios in 2013 by pilates lover Elaine Hayes. The Bay Area native developed her own special program that incorporates athletic techniques with traditional pilates moves. The resulting workout achieves faster and better changes in the body. It also helps the class-goer burn more calories. It’s a unique approach that’s quickly-paced with moves that are constantly changing and flowing from one to the other. Hayes created her style of class for pilates, yoga, and barre and personally teaches all of MNTStudio’s instructors.

The fitness studio's mantra is move, nourish, transform
The fitness studio’s mantra is move, nourish, transform

Earlier this year, MNTStudio underwent an upscale renovation and rebranding. Now the fitness center is known as MNTStudio— the MNT stands for move, nourish, transform, which is the philosophy and mantra of Hayes’s brand. The studio offers group and private power reformer, reformer bootcamp, advanced reformer, pre/post natal reformer, mat, vinyasa, and barre. MNTStudio also has an on-staff nutritionist who works one-on-one with clients and holds monthly group discussions to ensure that all members achieve their healthy lifestyle goals.

Natural light floods the barre classroom
Natural light floods the barre classroom

What makes MNTStudio stand out from the crowd? The fresh new space. Designer Cassandra Crain and architect Adriana Daringa of ADBC Architecture added a dedicated lounge area, more bathrooms, and upgraded amenities. The decor feels more like a chic women’s club or interior designer’s office than it does a workout studio. One wall is covered in a sophisticated marble wallpaper and another has air plants arranged in a geometric pattern. The studio is two floors: downstairs is the reformer room and upstairs is a bright group fitness room. Crain and Daringa were delighted to discover skylights that date back to the 1920s hiding underneath an acoustic ceiling. The original ceiling, with exposed beams and skylights, fill the studio with plenty of natural light—an element that is often missing from some fitness places.

Chic decor at MNTStudio
Chic decor at MNTStudio

Two private pilates rooms are also upstairs along with four-changing rooms and a shower. MNT has an adorable nursery space where children can play—supervised by a regular MNT childcare provider—while mom takes a class. Overall the MNT studio has tripled in size, going from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet. Hayes says that with the expansion she hopes to “be able to offer our growing, dedicated community more opportunities to get into the classes they love, have more space to connect with one another outside of class, gather for wellness-focused events and just linger a bit longer in our little urban refuge.” Take just one class at the new MNT and it’s easy to see that Hayes has accomplished her mission.

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