Reinventing the workout wheel could be a hit or miss, but with ChaiseFitness, Pilates gets a welcomed remix.
As co-founder Lauren Piskin puts it: “I wanted to get Pilates off of its back and bring it into the modern upbeat vibe of New York City.”
The veteran figure skater set up shop in a private studio in the city’s Upper East Side with the help of her ballerina daughter, Rachel, creating a mixture of ballet, Pilates and aerobics for a challenging routine that’s rated E for everyone.
On a sunny fall Monday morning, I trekked to the 92Y for instructor Jolina Javier’s class. As a current ballerina for the Broadway classic Phantom of the Opera, the bubbly Filipina was the ultimate #fitspiration with her cheery demeanor and lean bod, a product of dancing since she was a toddler.
With bungee cords dangling from the ceiling, golden exercise balls and a fitness chair equipped with resistance and a bar to push down with either your feet or hands, the dimly lit room looked more like a jungle gym than a fitness studio.
Before class began, I learned the basics of the Reinvention Method: making sure my shoulders dropped as I placed my hands in the shape of mittens into the bungee handles. I felt my back muscles shift as I raised my arms up and down during each move (this technique was also perfect for stretching).
Focusing on keeping my core engaged helped me lift my legs and butt during specific sequences.
We worked our tush muscles during a segment dedicated to ball work, even incorporating the chairs and bungees for a total body workout. Weaving in pliés and alternating oblique twists, the exercises felt familiar but with a slightly better burn. The quality time with the equipment also added a different dimension of fun to strength training.
Soundtracked by jams from Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan and Katy Perry, the upbeat energy was contagious. Javier’s one-on-one attention to each of the five students in attendance also helped keep our moves on point.
While I had taken a week off from the gym prior due to a crazy work traveling schedule, getting back into the groove with a ChaiseFitness class was exactly the mental and physical boost I needed.
Get more familiar with ChaiseFitness by heading to their official site and watching the clip below.