​​   Core Connections

Pilates, Yoga & Barre Wellness Studio

I started classes with Tuula in April of 2011. I had opted to have surgery for a herniated disk in my lower back in December, and due to my own lack of adequate recovery, it did not take. My lower back pain was as bad as ever and I was feeling pretty hopeless. Not willing to go through surgery again, and getting un-satisfactory results through physical therapy, I decided to try Pilates. The first few classes kicked my butt (those of you who take Tuula’s Friday class know what I mean!) but I could feel myself getting stronger within the first two weeks. Now after almost a year, I have pain free days almost every day. Pilates has changed my life. I feel so blessed to have been able to take this journey, with Tuula cheering me on at every milestone I have reclaimed my life, and changed my body, mind and spirit. I have found my core connection-balance for life! Katy W., Rapid City, SD
~ Katy W., Rapid City, SD

Whether I’m rock climbing when it’s warm, skiing when it’s cold, or running and biking year round, I stay pretty active outside. Tuula’s Pilates focused class never ceases to be a real challenge which compliments that lifestyle in an enjoyable way. Both mentally and physically, she teaches and reinforces techniques I find myself using in every sport. Since I’ve stuck with it, I’ve not only found myself making consistent gains across the board, but I feel healthier in general! And while I’ll tell anybody how fun her classes are, make no mistake about it, Tuula is one of a kind and if you bring it she has the ability and know-how to push you as hard and far as you’re willing to go.
~ Forest B., Rapid City, SD

Tuula has an amazing gift—when you are in her presence, it’s a peaceful, easy feeling…and then she gets you to work harder than you ever thought you could! I appreciate that Tuula has cared enough to build a personal relationship with me. She is genuinely interested in my well-being. She brings with her great leadership and encouragement. It’s amazing to me that I can have such a relaxed spirit while working so hard in her class!
~ Gena M., Rapid City, SD

Where do I begin? My entire life I have been active and in shape. The last few years I have let “life happen” and it got in the way of my physical goals. I thought I was too busy to workout. When I was proposed to in June of last year, I knew that I needed to do something different. I approached Tuula in late fall and asked for her help. I asked her for a “diet plan”. “A diet is not the answer” she told me, “this is about lifestyle changes”. Come to “New Year - New You”. She said, “I will help you, but you have to be dedicated if you want results”, she said. From that day forward, there was no looking back. Since January 2012, I have lost over 20 lbs, over 21 inches, and most importantly, I lost 4 wedding dress sizes, and went from a women's to misses. I have more confidence and I feel like myself again. Tuula is a wonderful friend and an amazing inspiration to many people out there. I will always be grateful to her in more ways than one and I will continue this journey with her right by my side!
~ Leilani, Rapid City, SD

The stretch class is refreshing and leaves me feeling rejuvenated. In the morning, it starts my day off feeling energized and positive with more energy to face the new day. I’ve also found that stretching is fantastic for pain relief on those days when my body needs it. I’ve come to look forward to the stretching class and what it does for my body, mind & soul. Thanks to Tuula!
~ Pam F., Rapid City, SD

I have to admit that the first time I worked out with you I was a little bit apprehensive, but after our first workout together I found that your warm positive personality and energy left me craving for more after each workout. The empowerment I felt after each workout was amazing, I couldn’t believe how much stronger I was getting and your positive comments made me know I could do so much more than I believed I could. You even got me jogging again, and after the age of 40 I didn’t think I would ever jog again. You really made me realize the strength I had within myself and I thank you for helping me realize my own inner strength. I also appreciated all the nutritional information you gave me. It was always helpful and you were always giving me ideas to get out of the same old pattern so I was never bored with my diet. You are truly the greatest!
~ Sara V., Rapid City, SD

Tuula’s personality is contagiously fruitful! Meaning she has so much compassion, peace, and joy in her heart and she sends that out to her students while just leaving you wanting more! Her classes are consistently challenging me behind movements I think I can do, yet she has the ability to break down exercises and stretches that anyone can learn. She motivates me to really push thru to that point where you just think you can do no more, but at the same time she is respectful and encouraging to where you are in your practice today. She encourages you to just do your best today, be in the moment and have fun.

~ Lisa R., Rapid City, SD


Tuula is friendly, happy, encouraging, dedicated, inspirational, hard-working, and FIT – all of those attributes describe her. During the four years I’ve known and worked with Tuula, she has been an inspiration to me. She constantly encourages her students and workout partners to keep trying, to keep working, and to never give up. Her classes are filled with a positive, friendly atmosphere that welcomes newcomers. She is dedicated to living out a healthy lifestyle and her well-rounded exercise programs improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. Because she practices what she preaches, she is an example for all who know her. Her knowledge, positive attitude, and gentle encouragement will help anyone achieve that next level in their personal fitness journey.
~ Lynn B., Rapid City, SD

I love the stretch/yoga class in the morning. It awakens & energizes my mind & body.
~ Stephanie H., Rapid City, SD

Oct 2011
I have a very hard time relaxing. After Yoga stretch my nerves, muscles and mind are in a very calming state. I have periodically taken my blood pressure sometime during that day and it will be at an all time low for me. I have done strenuous exercise in my past and I feel that this is so much better for me . Thank you for your teaching and kindness I appreciate it very much !

Oct 2012
Tuula,
I want to let you know how much I appreciate all that you have done for me over the past several months. Since I started doing Pilates with Core Connections my posture has improved and the strength I have gained is tremendous. I have the onset of osteoporosis, my doctor and chiropractor both told me this is an excellent program to help control this from further damage. I haven’t felt this good in my mind and body for a very long time and I have you to thank. You are a great instructor, through you knowledge and encouragement you give people hope and a new way of life !
Thank you again, :)
~ Martha L., Rapid City, SD

I have been working with Tuula for a couple of years now and she's one of the best coaches I've ever had. She's very sensitive to the abilities of the group and never brings them beyond what they are capable, but challenges right to the edge. She's also very aware of injuries or other limitations and will give substitute or modified exercises in their place.
~ Mike L., Rapid City, SD