When I first started going to the gym years ago, I joined Lucille Roberts because I didn’t want to work out around men. The gym was intimidating enough without adding the grunting men who are side-eyeing you into the equation. After that, I switched to Crunch but mostly took classes because I was still a bit intimidated. These days you can find me at the gym grunting along with the dudes returning their side eye with resting bitch face. I’m no longer intimidated by the gym but even so I still really like going to classes sometimes. Group classes are a fun way to switch up your workout and try something new. Going with friends can make them even more fun. That way you can laugh together as you fumble over choreography and make faces at each other from across the room.
Lucky for me three of my closest gal pals and fellow performers, Ginger Twist, Vada James and Stockholm Filly, have been on a fitness kick lately so we’ve started taking classes together. Recently we purchased a deal at New York Pilates of 3 reformer classes for $70. I’ve always been curious about pilates since the mat class I used to take at Crunch. I had very little idea what the reformer was or what to expect when we got there.
In the first class, everything felt a little weird and half the time I was wondering if I had my feet the right way or if my shoulders were far enough away from the shoulder blocks. The instructor passed me numerous times and told me to soften while touching my rib cage. Soften, like butter? How does one even soften their ribs, I was clearly missing something. Most of the class was spent doing various ab work on the reformer and extending our legs out from the foot bar. At one point we were told to grab the straps from behind our heads and put our feet into them.What was this contraption?! I felt a bit like I was in some sort of ancient torture device. Somehow, despite all these awkward movements I didn’t seem to break a sweat for the entire class.
I ended up taking a Reformer 2 class for my third class of the package. Ultimately, I felt like it was much more of a workout than the Reformer 1 class. We did some more difficult ab movements, leg adductions standing on the reformer as well as using the straps to do some shoulder work. There were more awkward movements and positions but they challenged me and that I enjoyed. I knew I was going to be sore the next day. Overall I still felt like I was missing the foundation of how to find my neutral spine and engage my core correctly. As it turns out I wasn’t doing it correctly at all, which I found out later. Oops.
I liked adding Pilates into my normal workout routine. I felt it gave me a light workout while stretching me out at the same time. I left all of the classes feeling a bit taller and more aware of my core. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and aesthetic of New York Pilates. Everything was bright white and clean lines. Both instructors taught well and seemed personable. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I’m glad we purchased the package. I definitely want to return to another Pilates class and do more work on my alignment and core but I don’t know if the classes at New York Pilates were the best fit for me. I think I’ll stick to something with a smaller class size or more one on one until I master the basic Pilates moves. I’ll also do my best to remember I don’t have to break a sweat to be working my body!