This weekend, my BFF (best fitness friend) Elena and I had a chance to use our Living Social coupons to try out a new-to-us Pilates + yoga studio, Pilates for Life. I bought these deals back in October for Elena’s birthday (which is actually in September – I’m not known for punctuality when it comes to birthday cards and gifts), and with the April 26th expiration date looming at us, I knew we needed to use these soon.
We decided on a Saturday morning Beginning Pilates class. After a 7-mile long run Saturday morning, I was really itching for a good yoga stretch, but I can always use a good core conditioning workout. To me, Pilates is more core stability focused than stretching/muscle building focused. Most of the moves are done on a mat, focusing on keeping your abs tight and pulled in, as if someone was punching you in the stomach. The moves are done very slowly and meticulously with very few reps. You will most definitely feel your abs shaking when doing the majority of the moves. Think ballet moves – I feel pretty graceful when I’m doing Pilates.
Example of the Pilates Hundred exercise – source.
Neither Elena or I are new to Pilates – I’ve done several videos and even a Reformer Pilates (which incorporates a pulley bench/machine) class at Elena’s gym/former place of employment, so I was afraid beginner would be too simple, but I left pleasantly surprised.
Our instructor Jennifer was amazing – very knowledgeable and more than willing to help us and make sure we were doing exactly what she was wanting us to do. It also helped that there were only 4 people in the class – including us. We had a lot of individual attention, which was extremely helpful to make sure my hips/lower back/core were all staying in alignment.
Not only did we do a lot of mat exercises, we also did some great wall and what I would call a bench exercises. I loved the wall exercises! I really hate laying down to workout (I don’t really know why), so the wall exercises were an excellent change of pace than normal mat Pilates.
Overall, I thought the class was great! I didn’t feel like I got a great workout. I really didn’t feel a lot in my abs/core, but I can tell you from the next day, my HIPS were KILLING me! I definitely needed some hip stretching/strengthen, especially with my tight runners hips. And you know, my hips don’t lie…
[Sorry, I had too.]
We have 2 more sessions left on our coupon, but figured out we won’t be able to go back together until the end of April. If the classes were a bit cheaper, I would probably go more often and also try out some yoga classes (I’ve never done a yoga class – only DVDs), but again, a little too expensive for my liking. But, I am definitely looking forward to another great Pilates session come April 19th!