trying reformer pilates for the first time

In college, I was all about getting out of my comfort zone –especially when it came to working out. When I stopped doing high school sports, I knew I had to figure out a way to keep working out fun. So I made it a goal to try new activities every year. One quarter I did yoga, another quarter I did ballet. I also took hip hop classes and learned how to partner stunt (even though I never actually cheered). One of my favorite workout classes I ever took was Pilates.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve continued to run and go to the gym but I’m finding myself wanting variety in my workouts. So when Seattle Pilates Collective reached out and asked me to collaborate, I was so excited! I’ve been wanting to back to Pilates but I was a little nervous about the reformer (the intimidating machine that wasn’t present in my first Pilates class). Before we get to my Pilates experience, let me tell you about the Seattle Pilates Collective…

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reformer pilates - seattle pilates collectiveSitting on the carriage of the reformer - reformer pilates

So what is Pilates?

The Seattle Pilates Collective describes Pilates like this: “Technically, Pilates is a method of exercises that is low impact, with a focus on strength and flexibility emphasizing proper alignment, core strength and muscular balance…  It is the conversation and relationship you have with your body. It’s taking time out of your day to focus on how you feel, check in with how you’re moving and hopefully let your body teach you something new about yourself.”

To me, Pilates is a workout that focuses on strengthening both your body and mind. I love how Pilates shows me new ways to move and challenge my body while also improving flexibility and core strength.

What is the Seattle Pilates Collective?

The Seattle Pilates Collective is a group of instructors focused on creating a space that makes Pilates more approachable, supportive and fun. The Seattle Pilates Collective aims to inspire, motivate, and educate their clients as well as encourage them to kick some ass and have a great workout.

Reformer Pilates - Scissor Kicks - Leg Pilates workouts Reformer Pilates - Seattle Pilates Collective - Arm Pilates WorkoutsReformer Pilates - Seattle Pilates Studios

Who founded Seattle Pilates Collective? And where are they located?

Nathalia and Jake! They found Pilates 10 years ago and founded the collective together. All the instructors with the Seattle Pilates Collective are focused on building a welcoming community. They are also super nice and take the time bring you up to speed in the classes. You can take group Pilates classes at the Seattle Pilates Collective Greenlake studio and private Pilates lessons/duet in their Ballard studio.

Now that you know who Seattle Pilates Collective is,

Here is a recap of my private lesson and first group class:

Seattle Pilates Collective Private Lesson with Rachel:

Nathalia and Jake recommended that I work with Rachel for a one hour private lesson before starting the group class. Since I’ve only done mat Pilates, I’m glad the offered this option. I honestly really enjoyed my one hour private Pilates session with Rachel in the Ballard studio.

She introduced the Reformer to me for the first time. I was really intimated by the Reformer at first– a traditional piece of equipment that is made of a bed springs, pulleys, and weights. The Reformer allows the user to add weight and resistance to their exercises. Rachel led me through changing the weights/resistance, using the straps for both leg and arm workouts, and even showed me exercises with the box on top of it. It was truly a unique, personalized workout experience. And I appreciated that I could ask questions 1 x 1 without feeling embarrassed. I was so excited that I learned how to navigate and manipulate the the Reformer during our lesson!

Seattle Pilates Collective - Seattle Fitness Blogger - Seattle SportsSeattle Pilates Collective - Nathalia helping Emma's Edition Nathalia from Seattle Pilates Collective - Assisting Emma's Edition

Reformer Pilates Group Class with Jake:

After my private lesson with Rachel, I was ready to take on my first reformer group class with Jake. The Greenlake location is absolutely beautiful! It was spacious and light and airy in the studio. I was grateful that I was introduced and worked on the Reformer before the class. I felt way more comfortable working with the carriage, adding and removing weights/springs, and using the pulleys. I really liked how the class sizes were smaller – I felt like we got the attention we needed to confirm if we were doing the exercises correctly or not. The class pace also moved smoothly and I didn’t feel like we were rushing through the exercises.

Seattle Pilates Collective Studio in Greenlake

Greenlake Seattle Pilates Collective Studiobeautiful pilates studios - pilates reformer workoutOverall, I had great workouts with Seattle Pilates Collective.

I highly recommend Pilates if you’re looking to change up your workout routine or even just want to try something new! Right now Seattle Pilates Collective is offering 20% for either a 4 or 8 class package for any new students. Check out their website here! Thank you Seattle Pilates Collective for inviting me into your beautiful studios!

If you are interested in trying out Pilates, here are a few tips:

1.Don’t be afraid to set up a private lesson. One on one instructor time will help you ease into Pilates -especially if your nervous to try it in a group setting. An instructor can go over the foundations with you too!

2. Don’t be afraid to try Pilates. I think there’s a lot of fear around the Reformer machine. I personally was intimated by the Reformer before actually doing workouts on it. Honestly, it’s just an exercise machine that’s there to give you an all body workout.

3. You wear socks to Pilates. There are actually Pilates socks that help you not slip during workouts! I haven’t invested in a pair yet but I do need to find a pair of Pilates socks!

4. Pilates is great for strength building, core strength, and alignment. If you want an alternative to running and lifting weights, Pilates is a great cross training workout!

Have you tried Pilates before? What are your tips for trying Pilates for the first time?

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Photos: Karya Schanilec

*This is a sponsored blog post made in collaboration with Seattle Pilates Collective and all my opinions are my own*

Thank you for reading!