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Raising the Bar in the Magic City 

Meet the owners of Alabama’s first BODYBAR Pilates studio 

Katie Hubbard and Kayla Jackson met five years ago when Katie and her husband moved from Florida to the Magic City. It did not take long for the two to become friends and, soon enough, workout buddies. Both women agreed they wanted a lower-impact workout and opted for Pilates. It was a new adventure for Katie, who had previously been an avid runner, and an old favorite for Kayla, who had loved Pilates in college but stopped in recent years. 

At first, the two friends drove to various studios around the Birmingham area in pursuit of their workout of choice. Then, one day in 2021, Kayla had a revelation. “I said, I want a Pilates studio closer to where we live,” she says. “I called Katie and suggested my idea – I had a location in mind and everything!”

The two opened the doors in July 2023—after overcoming the hurdles of commercial real estate, they joke—to what would be Alabama’s first BODYBAR Pilates, located in Cahaba Heights. The studio offers the brand’s unique variety of workouts and an activewear boutique in the front of the space. Classes at the studio fall into two categories:  “Athletic” and  “Balanced.” There are classes for everyone, regardless of where they are in their fitness journey.

“You have the ability to start out on a very basic level, to increase the intensity level at your own pace, and to get a completely different workout when you’re ready,” Kayla says. 

Because of the various classes available at BODYBAR, the studio tends to draw participants of all ages, abilities, and athletic levels. Blair Cooper, who started attending BODYBAR despite her insecurities about a recent knee injury, was pleasantly surprised when she fit right in with the other welcoming beginners. “I heard a new Pilates studio was opening, and I figured it was a great time to give reformer Pilates a try and hopefully get past the workout slump,” she says. “I can’t say enough good things about this studio and the wonderful instructors.”

Another BODYBAR regular, Marie Pridgen, was recovering from a kidney transplant when she made what she calls the best decision for her overall health and fitness. 

“My very first Instructor was Marcie, and she was very methodical with my situation,” she says. “She guided me to what type of class would be best.” 

Inspired by the community’s enthusiasm regarding their first Cahaba Heights location, Katie and Kayla intend to open another studio in Hoover, located in Knox Square – and soon, others across the state. Both agree that fostering relationships is important to their business model, and they’re heartened by the number of regulars who have discovered genuine friendships in BODYBAR. 

“We’ve built a community with the Cahaba Heights location, and we plan to build another community with our next one in Knox Square,” Katie says. “We love how we’ve been able to bring that community to our space.” 


  • Elizabeth Barber
  • Marcie Munnerlyn and Megan Adams
  • Marcie Munnerlyn and Megan Adams
  • Marcie Munnerlyn and Megan Adams
  • Elizabeth Barber, Marcie Munnerlyn, and Megan Adams
  • Elizabeth Barber, Marcie Munnerlyn, and Megan Adams
  • Elizabeth Barber, Marcie Munnerlyn, and Megan Adams
  • Marcie Munnerlyn
  • Marcie Munnerlyn and Megan Adams
  • Marcie Munnerlyn and Megan Adams

Businesses featured in this article