It's been awhile since I visited a new studio in Seattle so I jumped at the chance when my friend, Lindsay asked me if I wanted to join her for a pilates session at Inspire Seattle. I happen to follow them on Instagram and have been dying to visit them so I was excited to give it a try. (Note: They are available on Class Pass)
We took our usual 7:00 AM Cycle class with Heather and then headed over to Ballard for an 8:50 AM class with Rebekah. Inspire is located right on NW Market at Market and 17th. Parking was super easy since it was fairly early on a Saturday (but we did have to pay to park). You wouldn't necessarily know that there is a pilates studio there unless you were looking for it, which I kind of liked. It was discreet enough and you can only see the lobby from the street.
When you walk into the studio itself, there is a reasonably sized sitting area with a check in desk and a little bar that serves kombucha. The space is open and modern with a nice, fresh feel to it. The studio itself is in an area behind the front desk that is separated by a wall allowing for the class in progress to have a lot of privacy. I was grateful for the separate space since we were about 20 minutes early. It allowed us to hang out and chat without disturbing the class or feel as though we were staring at them.
The waiting area quickly started to fill up and as the previous class wrapped up, the instructor came out to greet us. The first thing I noticed about Rebekah was she has a sense of focus and determination. Things I don't usually pick up on right away with instructors until I have had a chance to experience their class. This, in itself, should have been a warning for me!! She greeted everyone she knew by name and given the 10 minute turn around between classes, was ready to get us moving.
She greeted Lindsay and I when she heard we were new and asked us a few questions. She asked if we had taken a Lagree class before and if we were familiar with the mega former. Fortunately we were familiar with both but if you are new to either (or both), I'd recommend you try to take the first class of the day or the first class in the afternoon. Asking an instructor to give you the run down in less than 5 minutes can be tough.
When you walk into the studio itself, the space is stunning. One wall hosts cubbies and some art work while the opposite wall hosts floor to ceiling mirrors. The restrooms are located in the back and the room itself fits 10 reformers. The decor and the lighting give the room a fresh, open feel which immediately made me feel happy.
Rebekah kicked off the class by having us start on the back of the platform doing some core work. Right out of the gates, I knew this was going to be different. We used the same types of springs that I have used in the past, but we spent a lot of time at the back of the machine (opposed to the front). I don't know if it was that or the fact that I had just finished an hour of Cycling, but everything was MUCH harder than I remember. Simple things like bear crawls, plank to pike and lunges had me shaking like crazy.
We started out spending about 5 minutes on core and then moved to legs. This is usually an area that is easier for me (core and arms are MUCH harder for me). I definitely shake along the way but not until the end of the workout. With Rebekah, I was shaking within the first five minutes of our leg exercises. And when I say shaking, I mean my entire leg was shaking for the ENTIRE time we did our leg exercises. It was BRUTAL. It was tough pushing through it physically but even harder mentally. I literally wanted to sit down and get off the reformer and we were only 10 minutes into the class. Fortunately, Rebekah is a seasoned instructor and it shows.
She circles her way around the room so you won't go more than 4 or 5 minutes without seeing her and she is a woman on a mission! Her cues are clear and she does a good job of transitioning you from one move to the next. The thing I love the most was that she was very hands on. She would come over and make adjustments to help ensure your form was right. I appreciate an instructor who does this because I cannot always see myself in the mirror and sometimes you think you have the right angle or have your hips lifted but you don't know until the instructor comes over and tweaks you a bit. When she isn't walking you through an exercise or providing form tips, she's encouraging and positive - calling everyone by name. She also had several modifications for a few of the Moms to be in the room - always a good thing.
We wrapped up the class with arms. One part included triceps pulls that progressed through three different levels. I will never forget looking down at one point and seeing drops of sweat falling from my face onto the reformer. I don't think I have ever sweat so much in a pilates class!! It was SO HARD. So hard that 10 minutes after class, I went to take a picture with Rebekah and my arms were shaking so hard I could barely smile!!
This class is a MUST! If you're new to pilates, just be prepared. You may want to start easy but it is so worth it. I definitely plan to go back... although I think I need a month to recover from the first class with Rebekah!!