By Dian Mills
There are only so many power walks a health-conscious pregnant girl can take before visions of variety start dancing in her head. My visions took flight recently when I heard about the prenatal Pilates classes offered by Core Pilates NYC, a terrific studio in the Union Square area of Manhattan. The idea of any prenatal exercise that didn’t involve extended bundling up and braving of the elements sounded like heaven, so I quickly signed up for both their tower and props mat classes – especially designed for the mommy-to-be.
Established in 2002, Core Pilates NYC is one of New York City’s best and most recognized studios, specializing in classical Pilates apparatus sessions, group classes and teacher certifications. At first glance, the studio looks like a big, bright, airy two-room apartment. Then the genius of its layout comes through. Every Pilates apparatus one could possibly need is strategically placed throughout the space, allowing for a large open area in the center for floor and ball/balancing work. Multiple private and group sessions can be harmoniously held at once, without ever feeling crowded.
The studio’s website describes their small-group, hour-long props mat class as a “jungle gym for moms-to-be.” They’re right, it’s definitely that much fun! We used all kinds of Pilates props (magic circles, foam rollers, big and small balls) as well as light weights, mixed with burn-inducing mat exercises and stretches that felt like delicious full-body sighs. The instructor, Rachel, is a long-time Pilates devotee who recently designed the class after having her own baby.
A few days later, it was tower class time! Just as burn-inducing as the mat class, the fun here was in working with the springs, bars and straps of the tower itself. Kelly, our instructor, was so charming and funny that she almost kept my mind off the burn. Almost! An hour of Tower left me invigorated and more than a bit wobbly (the good kind).
Both classes perfectly balanced challenge and safety. I sweated and burned like crazy without ever feeling unsupported, unsteady or anything less than confident. For somebody whose center of gravity is currently so far off kilter that she trips over her own self, that was amazing! Rachel and Kelly are absolute professionals whose attentiveness and approachability elevated their classes and my comfort level.
In addition to achieving and maintaining great all-over muscle tone, Pilates’ focus on core strength reinforces the abdominal, back and pelvic muscles that are integral in ensuring that pregnancy, labor and recovery are as comfortable as possible. As hard as it can be to summon the oomph to exercise when your body is busy building a tiny person (or tiny people if you’re blessed with multiples!), it’s amazing how much even occasional workouts help to boost your stamina and ease all those aches and pains that seem to pop up everywhere. The staff at Core Pilates NYC are absolutely worth trusting with your precious oomph!