Just as trendy on the outside as it is on the inside, New York Pilates is taking over The Hamptons workout scene one town at a time. As you walk into any of their 4 Hamptons studios, you’re met with a mirror shaped like one of those trendy New York City bar signs that lets you know what time happy hour is this week, except there’s a New York Pilates logo on it and no $10 margaritas in sight. All Hampton’s locations of NYP are fitted with a welcoming and fun aesthetic right from the start, but don’t get me wrong, I was very intimidated walking in on my first visit. (What isn’t intimidating to try for the first time.) Inside, your instructor greets you, checks your name off the list, and you’re free to enter the workout room. Inside there you’ll find the reformer machines lined up to choose from. Before getting into Pilates, I had never taken a single class or stepped foot on a reformer machine.
The best thing I did during that first class was tell my instructor that I was a beginner as soon as I walked in. She was able to give me extra instruction during the class to perfect my form and show me the ins and outs of the machine before we started. The reformer machine itself is similar to a sled, held in place by hooks of different resistance. Take all hooks off, and the carriage moves seamlessly on its own. Leave one yellow hook on for little resistance, one blue hook on for medium resistance, or one red hook on for strong resistance. The room is dim but intentionally lit only by colored light bulbs, making each class feel less like a workout and more like a concert or bar.
If you’re like me, and working out isn’t exactly your favorite activity, this little detail made for an entirely different and interesting experience. The hardest part of working out for me is figuring out what to do in the gym and how long to be there, which now I realize is why so many people enjoy taking classes – no wait time for a machine or gym intimidation; someone’s there to fix your form and push you to get those last 10 reps in just when you think you’ve run out of juice. One of my favorite parts of discovering Pilates was that it is so easy on your joints and previous points of injury. Designed to be a low-intensity, muscle and core-focused workout, you’ll find there’s no jumping or running involved. That’s not to say that it is any less intense or endurance-based than the aforementioned, but it breeds a different type of strength. (Trust me, you’ll be surprised how such little but strategic movements can make you sweat just as much as 20 minutes on the treadmill.)
Each exercise requires deep focus on your balance while performing repetitive movements, which allows you to work towards building mental and physical stamina the same way you would while running long distances or sprinting intervals but just by taking a different approach.
My favorite part of each New York Pilates class is the intention that your instructor encourages you to set at the beginning of each class and reminds you of at the end. It’s like having your own personal cheerleader there to boost your mood and champion your little wins.
If you’ve been looking for a push to try something new, here it is. See you there!