We sent our new editorial director,  Ani Palen, to Pilates for the first time. Here’s what happened.

As someone who has worked out just twice in the last four years, I was a little apprehensive about my first-ever Pilates class. I’m going to be 100 percent honest here. Prior to today, I had zero knowledge on the subject. And even though everyone else in the studio seemed to be getting along just fine gliding along on their reformers,  I was nervous when I walked into at Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon.

Sal Anthony, who was kind enough to give my fellow Spa Week Daily coworker and I a private session, picked up on this right away and set out to put my worries to rest.

The 75-year-old trainer has been on the Pilates game for 30 years, “I’ve seen it go 100 percent mainstream,” he explained as he kindly realigned my shoulders, head, arms, and back on the Cadillac, a very 50-Shades-of-Grey-looking machine. As described by Pilates Cadillac, “There are so many elements to the machine: leg springs, arm springs, fuzzy loops to hang from, a push-through bar to stretch you out, and even a trapeze.”

While he helped me channel my nervous energy outward and awaken my core, Anthony explained that strength, coordination, focus and balance are the key to Pilates, and if you think about it, life really. After totally nailing a backbend (with the help of two people) we moved onto the reformer, a much more zen looking piece of equipment.

It was here where I started to feel the pent up energy leaving my body with every movement, and that’s not hyperbole. I can be a little high-strung, as New Yorkers are prone to be, and somehow Pilates knocked the tension right out of me.

When the session was over I felt completely refreshed, relaxed, and in tune with my body.

I highly recommend everyone give Pilates a try at least once in their life, if not for the toning and strengthening, then for the overall well-being and focus.

Check out Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon located at 190 3rd Avenue, New York, NY. Pilates classes start at $30. They also offer Gyrotonic, Alchemy in Movement, and Yoga classes.

What’s the best workout class you’ve ever taken? Tell us in the comments section below!

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