Two years ago, I would have laughed in your face if you told me I'd be hooked on Pilates right now. At $25 per 55-minute class, you'd have to be kidding me. Well, I'm here to eat some fucking crow today because this shit is absolutely bananas (in the words of Rachel Zoe and, more importantly, my dear friend Devin).
Beside the fact that I started Pilates about a year and a half ago and I'm still walking like a penguin after my class yesterday because I'm so sore, I'm convinced that it's changed my body for the better. My posture has always sucked, but it sucks WAY less now, and I have natural definition in my legs and arms. The whole idea is to strengthen your core, which supports most of the movement and other muscle activity throughout your body. As a result, I now know where my abs are and how to flex my ass muscles--quite an accomplishment I'd say. While I still struggle to get through most of the classes, I walk out of there feeling like a million bucks (mentally-- physically I usually want to cry).
So, there's only one primary problem with this whole program: it's expensive. As a recent college graduate, I haven't exactly had the funds to buy a monthly membership or even individual classes. In preparing for Cabo this spring, I found myself asking, "do I make my car payment this month, or do I try to look like a fucking Playboy bunny by spring break?" Between this and my shopping addiction, my financial health was in serious jeopardy.
I've found two ways to alleviate this problem. First, Groupon-like websites. These usually offer packages of ten classes for $100, which is less than half the price per class that you would usually pay. Studios also typically offer first-time students a discounted rate for your initial group class (ranging from free to $10 or $15). I find that Lifebooker tends to have Pilates packages pretty often. My favorite LA-area studios are Pilates Plus Beverly Hills (Eden Sassoon) and Sweat Pilates in Culver City. I found both using discount sites like Lifebooker and Living Social, but they also have their own promotional and seasonal packages. For example, PP90210 had tax day specials that included a discounted package of individual classes. Sweat Pilates has seasonal promotions as well as "community classes" every week. These classes are $18 instead of the the regular $25, which is really nice when you need a fix!
Long story short, I don't think I'll be testing for Playboy anytime soon (not that I'd really want to, but it would be nice to have the option), but I do feel healthier, more relaxed and more fit because of Pilates. In my mind, it makes up for all of the wine and vodka sodas during the week. Ugh I hate admitting things like this. I sound like an infomercial. Oops, oh well.