Pilates Birmingham AL
I love pilates, in particular, reformer pilates! I am in no way a workout fanatic, so it is meaningful when I say I actually love a particular workout. Read on to learn more about pilates and to find the best places for pilates in Birmingham, AL.
By Kate Zills
Pilates in Birmingham, AL
The Wellness Passport
So I hate working out. Like hate it. I usually have to trick myself into getting a workout (think dance class, trampoline park, roller blading, etc.) So when I say I actually love a type of workout AND have stuck with it for a year and a half, that means something. I found pilates by way of The Wellness Passport in the fall of 2021, and fell in love!
(Side note: The Wellness Passport gives you 8 weeks of access to different fitness studios and wellness businesses throughout Birmingham. It’s perfect for you to try out different fitness experiences to find your favorite workout. You should definitely check it out this year - the next 8-week session is this fall, so follow the Wellness Passport on IG to keep an eye out on when the passports go on sale.)
Let's get back to pilates...
What is pilates?
Pilates is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “an exercise regimen that is typically performed on a floor mat or with the use of specialized apparatus and aims to improve flexibility and stability by strengthening the muscles and especially the torso-stabilizing muscles of the abdomen and lower back”. It is a low-impact exercise that forces you to focus on the mind-body connection. Read on to learn more about why I love pilates.
Why I love pilates
1. Pilates is a stress reliever.
One reason I love pilates so much is that it requires my entire mind to focus on the movement at hand to properly execute the pilates exercise. When this happens, I am unable to think about anything else going on outside of this exercise, so the stress literally melts away. It’s different from the thought process that happens during high intensity workouts. During those workouts, I am also forced to only focus on the task at hand, but my body goes into a fight or flight response as I’m out of breath. I found that I often left those types of workouts more stressed than relieved. During pilates, my mind is in a relaxed state as I focus on the mind-body connection from an intentional state of mind. It is an intentional part of my day that I look forward to, and it has countless mental as well as physical benefits.
2. Pilates provides variation.
I love that pilates is not predictable. Every class, every studio, and every instructor all bring something different to the table. I particularly love reformer pilates, because it feels like one big jungle gym workout. The reformer uses springs to add resistance to pilates movements and provides greater variety.
3. Pilates is low impact.
I love that pilates is a low-impact exercise that can be performed at all stages throughout life. It provides a foundation of mobility, flexibility and strength that carries over into everyday life.
favorite studios for pilates in Birmingham, AL
Convinced to try pilates? Check out my favorite studios and personal experience with pilates in Birmingham, Al.
1. Provision Studio in Homewood, AL
I can’t sing Provision’s praises enough. I met the owner, Margaret, through an entrepreneur group a few years before I tried her studio through The Wellness Passport. She is a hard-working, strong female entrepreneur who truly cares about your experience at her studio. Provision offers a variety of classes, including cardio, weights, bounce, and others, but the reformer classes are my favorite by far. Each instructor cares about you, and brings a different element to each class. They were there for me during my miscarriage, and I will be forever grateful for that. Try Provision. The first class is free - you won’t regret it!
2. Essential MVMT + Pilates in Vestavia, AL
Stuart started Essential MVMT + Pilates in Vestavia in 2021. I met Stuart while taking photos of her studio and fell in love with her classical pilates classes. Stuart deeply cares about each person who walks into her studio and believes you can find healing and joy through movement. Essential offers a variety of pilates classes for different experience levels, yoga classes, and even private classes. View Essential’s schedule and check out their latest intro special here.
3. MPower Pilates + Cycle in Mountain Brook, AL
I first tried MPower through The Wellness Passport, and I remember saying, “there is no way you can do these classes on a regular basis and not be toned”. Y’all, I was dying, but in a good way :) MPower uses the Megaformer method of pilates which combines elements of Pilates, cardio and stability training. Their website describes these classes as the following: “the most innovative and aggressive approach to full body conditioning and MEGA calorie burning (up to 800 calories/ class)”. I would absolutely agree with that statement. Megaformer Pilates offers a different twist on traditional reformer pilates, and I would recommend trying it if you are looking for a more intense pilates workout. MPower also offers cycle classes at their studio. Check out their new member specials!
I hope you loved learning more about pilates and a few of the studios offering pilates in Birmingham. I will always encourage activities that lead to lower stress levels and a more-balanced lifestyle and will continue sharing anything that has helped me live a beautiful and simple life. Check out these studios, and let me know what you think.