Pilates Plus – Yorba Linda

This morning I travelled up to Pilates Plus to take a “Mega Reformer” class from a good friend, Natalie Da Rosa. It wasn’t what I would call traditional pilates, instead they incorporate the “Lagree Method”. Traditional pilates is hyper focused on every minute detail of your movement, which is wonderful but can also leave you wanting more. Lagree simplifies the movements to maintain proper form and gives you a killer workout through slow methodically times exercises. It was Awesome!!

 1) Space/Facility:  This small boutique studio, opened two years ago, and has a very chic upscale feeling to it. White brick walls, polished concrete with a few pops of color, it is a very clean space with 10 “mega reformers.” The upbeat modern music motivates you when those movements get tough!

 2) Quality of Instruction:  the queuing of the exercises adequate for a beginner as well as for someone advanced. My friend Natalie just received her Pilates certification, and so with this class I was intending to support her and check out the studio, and it was awesome! I think Pilates in general does a really good job training their instructors – I have found that the instructor training is usually spot on in tePilates rms of queuing, biomechanics placement, and overall structure for the client.

 3) The workout itself: Lagree Pilates is the method, it is low impact and easy on the joints, but it will push your muscles hard. It is focused heavily on lower body and core exercises, and they burn out one limb before moving on… so you will do 8-10 exercises of 60-90 seconds all on one leg before you rotate to the other leg.

4) The friendliness of staff: Jamie is the owner and is very involved in every process of her studio like client intake and teaching. Everyone is extremely friendly, its definitely a community vibe, all the members seem to know each other very well and chit chat before and after the workouts. 

Vertical Pilates- Mission Viejo

This morning I headed to Vertical Pilates in Mission Viejo for my first private session. After the 30 minute free intro session I had last week I decided that, for this pregnant mama, this was a workout worth investigating more!

Their tag line is “Vertical Pilates engages the mind, the muscles and the heart.” These workouts are performed in an upright position with focus on posture, it is pilates standing up! Makes sense doesn’t it? I mean we stand or sit in an upright posture more then half of the day.

Vertical Pilates is a new studio and is the brain child of Zeena Dalla, a well known pilates expert in Southern California. CoreAlign is the only method of pilates used at Vertical Pilates.The emphasis on upright posture is designed to improve posture, balance, and functional movement. Developed by a physical therapist, the exercises facilitates musculoskeletal rehabilitation by stimulating core stability muscles to fire in perfect timing while performing challenging exercises. While CoreAlign is offered at a few pilates studios around town, Zeena is the first to focus on this method exclusively.


1) Space/Facility: Located in an office building off Avery and Crown Valley in Mission Viejo, the space has big windows on two sides making it light and bright.

2) The studio is very small, intimate, and private. Sessions are either private or offered in small groups of 4-6. There really isn’t very much music played, and if it is it’s soft and soothing, mostly because you really need to concentrate on each movement.

2) My trainer was Jan and she was great!  A former dancer and a pilates instructor for the last several years, she was excellent at instructing us step by step on the movements, as well as keeping us moving all together in a rhythm that allowed us to control the movement but also challenge our bodies a bit.

3) The workout: I would say that for prenatal fitness, this is a must. I was able to get an incredibly effective core workout without flexing my spine (crunches are uncomfortable when pregnant). I would also say there where quite a few people rehabbing long term injuries. Pilates itself is a wonderful, effective, and gentle system of fitness, great to get strong and firm, and the fact that this one is up-right doesnt change that. In fact, I think it enhances the workout.

4) The friendliness of staff: Great staff, small so you know everyone.

The breakdown:

Equipment: CoreAlign vertical pilates machines

Style: small group all in one training – everyone follows the same workout with modifications for those that need them, as well as private sessions.

Levels: I was placed in a group for very beginners, and loved it. I would imagine other groups allow for further instruction and advancement.

Child care: not offered

Average age of participant: 40 plus


28570 Marguerite Parkway

Suite 200

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

ph: 949-464-VERT (8378)


Review: Barre3 Laguna Niguel

I had a wonderful workout this morning at the newly opened Barre3 in Laguna Niguel. Their tag line is “where ballet barre meets yoga and pilates.”

Considering this pregnancy has had me on bed rest for most of it and even put me in the hospital three weeks ago, I am incredibly proud of myself for getting through this workout. While most instructors will start with an advanced movement and then give an alternative move for the beginners, Jessica, the instructor,  taught the entire class in “beginner” mode until everyone was settled in the movements then she would let you “layer up” and advance the movement to the difficulty of your choice. I love this! It doesn’t alienate the beginners, and actually empowers everyone in the class.

So lets get to the review!

1) The studio is brand spanking new, clean, and full of light and clean lines. It’s is very inviting and welcoming! The music was upbeat and fun, not exactly what I expected for the blend of barre Pilates and yoga but it actually worked really well.

2) The instructor was awesome … her explanations of the movements were clear and concise, not too much anatomical jargon, but clear talk to help you engage your thighs, core, and upper back. The movements were mostly done in 40-50 reps with lots of “holds” and pulsing in between. No big movements, nothing jarring, and no impact. But never fear you will feel the burn!

3) The workout itself uses high reps and isometric holds to achieve muscle overload and fatigue and so while you’re not moving a lot, you’re moving properly, and in a way that counts. It blends one barre movement seamlessly into a yoga pose for holding and then back into barre. The floor work is very classic core pilates and you will feel your midsection burning in all the right areas!

4) When I walked in I was greeted by none other than the owner, Nikki! She checked me in, rang me up, and then she went over the basics –  where to put my stuff in the lockers out front, where I could find a complimentary towel, and where I could refill my water bottle. All of the other clients there to workout were very friendly.

This is a one room adorable studio located next to Whole Foods Market in Laguna Niguel. The drop in price is $20, or they have class passes and a monthly unlimited membership for $160 on auto-renrew.

The Breakdown:

5 stars for sure!

I will be back!

To learn more go to www.barre3.com and search for the Laguna Niguel location, or you can call 949-328-9633.