Hello my sweet Shitters!
A few days ago, I went on what can only be described as a guilt run. And a brutal one at that—highly do not recommend running at 4pm in the summer and/or ever. (Though if you are gonna run, do yourself the favor and invest in Asics—they only make the ugliest combination of colors possible, but I promise they will save your knees and shins.)
I used to run a lot more a few years ago, but the combo of moving to LA (a truly terrible running city) and literally always getting injured pushed me to find other kinds of exercise that worked better for me. Luckily for me and my wallet, over the past EIGHTEEN months, I’ve discovered that a lot of the ones I like best can be done from home. (COVID or no COVID, I have been converted to home workouts and there is no going back.)
I’ve already told you about my love affair with Peloton’s yoga classes—Anna Greenberg is easily one of if not THE best teacher I’ve ever tried, and I’d take her class for the playlists alone—BUT I’ve never really shared my favorite “spots” online for pilates (Peloton pilates sadly sucks).
I feel like most people who haven’t tried pilates think it’s crazy hard and generally unapproachable and only for rich moms. That’s probably because of reformer pilates, which involves forking over a non-insignificant sum to venture into rich mom territory atop a complicated-looking contraption that takes at least a few classes to start to get the hang of. But mat pilates—the version without said contraption—is a good workout and VERY easy to start/do from home.
I hop between a lot of platforms/instructors (one of the many benefits of monthly subscriptions that cost less than a SINGLE in-person pilates class), but one that I always come back to is B the Method by Lia Bartha. I am OBSESSED with Lia. Her vibe, her workout, her mauve wall/color scheme, her actor husband who played Riley in National Treasure, her long socks that I immediately purchased and wear constantly. Ob-sessed.
IMO, she’s a great person to start with if you are newer to Pilates. Her method is low-impact and for the most part accessible for beginners (she’s got tons of tutorials on her app for true newcomers). Her workouts are relaxing and so is her voice, which you never realize is a big thing until you take a class where that is NOT the case. And her cueing is specific and easy to follow, with lots of modifications if you have knee/wrist/shoulder issues. And as a bonus, her classes don’t require an immediate hair wash/shower situation, so they’re very easy to fit into a busy day.
Back to the point about this being relaxing. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a crazy intense workout, and this is perfect for those days. Sometimes my anxiety is racing, and this helps me slow down and get back to normal. This isn’t one of those workouts where you emerge after 60 minutes drenched in sweat and on the verge of passing out, but I find that I come back to this more often because I’m not dreading it or terrified by how hard it will be. I usually feel refreshed and energized after—the same way I do when I finish a yoga class.
You are probably thinking “sounds like a nice way to relax, but does this actually *do* anything…?” YES, dear reader. GLAD YOU ASKED. I too was initially skeptical, but you feel these movements in your core (almost immediately!), your thighs, your arms, and your glutes. After class I feel longer and leaner, even if it was just for 30 minutes (another critical COVID discovery—I LOVE a 30 minute workout). As you have probably figured by now, I really do not have enough good things to say.
Lia livestreams a few classes a week and has hundreds between 15-60 mins saved on her app, along with a weekly schedule for everyone paralyzed by the thought of having to pick from that many videos. The app is $17.99 per month or $160 for an annual subscription with a free 7-day trial. With a price like that, I feel like I get my money’s worth even if I use it twice a month, but I’m usually there more often than that.
You don’t need much to start doing her classes—just a mat (you already know this one is my favorite) and a pilates ball. You can find cheaper versions, but I highly recommend the BPA and phthalate-free ball she made. She also includes small wrist/ankle weights in some of her classes with the caveat that they’re always optional, but I love adding them. The 1lb Balas are my weights of choice (I have them in white and love), and the price on Shopbop right now is the lowest I’ve ever seen. If you don’t have equipment but want to get started, you can also search “no props” or “no ball” on the app. Those are also nice for when you’re traveling.
I usually pick my classes from her curated weekly schedule (Monday’s was perfect), but I love a cardio flow class or a 30 minute series. If any of this sounds up your alley or you are remotely curious, seven days is a nice lil trial, so give it a whirl and let me know what you think! In the meantime, I will be doing extensive research on your white tee recommendations (still taking them, so please send my way!).