Wellness Wire
Friday, April 13, 2012

Class Action: AntiGravity Pilates at YogaWorks

Fitness classes follow fashion. The city’s gyms and studios constantly launch new “It” classes. In Class Action we dish on what we’re trying, or what we really want to. And please tell us what classes you’re excited about in the Comments section, below!

AntiGravity Pilates

This month, YogaWorks launched AntiGravity classes at its Upper West Side location. And while suspended yoga is nothing new (the hammock is now used in classes around the world), the studio is the first to host AntiGravity Pilates.

Class starts with a suspended inversion: “The full-body, zero-compression inversion aligns the spine and allows for effortless decompression,” says Jill Drappo-Harvey, a master instructor and co-creator of the method. I could literally feel my body lengthening as we dangled.

Then, you do traditional Pilates mat, Reformer, and Cadillac exercises that have been adapted for the hammock. The big thing I noticed? The hammock helps to prevent cheating.

Take, for example, the Hundred. When done on the floor, it’s really easy to use your hip flexors instead of your abs. I’ve always experienced this, and I definitely felt the hammock helped me hone in on my core muscles. Similarly, having your legs suspended in the hammock during stomach massage sequences eliminates the tendency to let your leg muscles do the work. I could really feel my core working to stay stable.

In the end, the novelty feeling of the hammock makes it hard to imagine the class as a go-to workout. But, I walked out feeling taller and perfectly aligned, and there’s a fun factor that could benefit anyone’s exercise routine.

Who’s it good for: Pilates buffs looking for a change of pace, yogis yearning for core strength, workout omnivores who love to try creative fitness classes.

Book it or skip it: Book it.

YogaWorks, 37 W. 65th St. (between Columbus and Central Park West), 4th Floor, $25 per class for members or non-members. For the class schedule, click herewww.yogaworks.com 

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