Pilates Spotlight for January 2015 is on... Christina Serra
About 3 years ago, my sister-in-law invited me to join her Reformer class at East Street Pilates. At first I was hesitant as I had previously only done at-home Pilates Mat DVDs and had never actually been to a studio or worked on a reformer. I was nervous about trying something new and about being in an environment where I thought everyone was going to be a “pro” at Pilates. To my surprise, that was not the energy of the studio at all. The instructors were very welcoming and I noticed that not everyone was at the same level of fitness. The Reformer classes are four people or smaller which enables the instructor to be very accommodating to each person. They are able to tailor the workout as much as possible so that you are still challenged but able to stay within your own capabilities and I never thought I would receive that in a group Reformer class. All of the instructors also take the time to make sure you are in proper form and really educate you so that you become more confident in the movements. Within the first couple of sessions at the studio I was completely hooked. I started attending one class a week, then two and now I’m up to three times a week; a combo of Jumpboard and Reformer.
Previously I had always worked out in a gym, doing cardio and weightlifting, and have even hired a personal trainer. When I first began incorporating Pilates into my routine, my personal trainer even noticed a difference in my overall posture, balance, and strength. The work I was doing in Pilates helped me to perform better and enhanced the sessions with my trainer. Although my results with the personal trainer were good, I eventually gave up the trainer and left the gym, as I was beginning to get “bulky” muscles which is not was I was aiming for; I wanted long, lean, toned muscles especially in my arms and legs. After 3 years of attending Cara’s classes, I now get compliments on the muscle tone in my arms and not just from my peers in class, but from friends, family, and co-workers. I also notice a vast improvement in my overall flexibility, balance, and core strength. My legs and core are stronger than they have ever been and I have Cara and the team at East Street Pilates to thank. By far the greatest benefit I get from Pilates is the “inner zip” I feel in my stomach/core after a session on the reformer. To this day when I’m on vacation or traveling and away from the studio, I try to get that same tightness by doing core exercises like planks, sit-ups, etc, but nothing works except Pilates. As soon as I have one session after a long break, I sit taller, stand taller, and I swear my stomach loses at least an inch!
The other added benefit of attending group classes are the great people I’ve met and the friends that I have made. The best part about the Reformer classes is that we usually end up laughing and conversing for the majority of class and before you know it, you’ve had a great workout and the hour has literally flown by. I always look forward to my Pilates classes and truly believe that the cost is well worth the results. I can honestly say that Pilates is now part of my lifestyle forever.