Where: Chaise23, 40 East 23rd Street, 3rd Fl, New York, NY
The Verdict on Catherine Scanlon: She Gets the Chair
As noted in my review of Chaise23, its one of my new favorite workout spots in the city. Part of the reason was Catherine - the perfect person to relieve me of my Reinvention Chair virginity. Thanks for being (somewhat) gentle, Catherine. Rounding Catherine up from a 4.5 (where are my previously requested half points management??)
[Click here to review Catherine's class yourself, or check out her RateYourBurn profile here.]
- Such a sweetheart. If Lactic hadn’t already published her “NYC’s Nicest Instructors” post, Catherine would get a look for sure.
- Took the time to explain the ins and outs of the chair to my friend and I (brought a cohort). I had never used any kind of Pilates equipment before (which is due to change soon!) so I needed a soup-to-nuts run down, which Catherine was happy to give.
- Clear, precise instruction. Demonstrated exactly what we should be doing at the front of the room, then moved through the class to correct and assist.
- Acknowledged some of the more awkward or difficult moves. It seems silly when instructors don’t commiserate when an exercise is particularly difficult to execute and it makes students feel a little better to know that the discomfort they are feeling is being experienced by the rest of the class as well.
On the equipment:
- Reinvention Chair is an interesting workout - focused, obviously, on the equipment: the chair itself, bungees that hang down from the ceiling above each chair and a little spiky ball used in the same way that barre classes use playground balls (the ball at Chaise was a little small for my taste, though).
- The chair part is used mostly for balance, but there is a lever on the front that has a knob to adjust the resistance - we stood on the lever at one point, with our hands on both sides of the chair, essentially lifting the weight of our lower bodies into the air, butt first. This is way harder than it sounds and I had trouble preventing myself from slamming into the floor on the way down.
- There are two types of bungees available in the room- one is a higher resistance than the other (you can tell by the color). If you want a higher resistance bungee, make sure to get to class early so that you can claim your spot at one of these chairs.
- I used a heavier resistance bungee - at first I thought “this is going to be a piece of cake” because it didn’t feel like such a big deal. After an hour of pumping the bungee up and down, however, my shaky arms were giving my overconfident brain the finger.
On the class:
- We climbed all over the chair like monkeys. Stood with one knee on the chair while pulling the bungees for an arm workout, stood on top of the chair to do the exercises with the lever I mentioned above, and laid across the chair on our side to work on obliques.
- Great full body workout - I wouldn’t categorize it as cardio but I was definitely sweating more than I do in a barre or mat class. I am interested to check out Chaise’s “Cardio Chair” class to see what that entails.
- I will admit, there were some elements of the class that I found totally awkward, with the full understanding that it probably felt this way because I have never used Pilates equipment before.
- A few times, I just found myself unable to balance correctly, or my body was just not doing what Catherine was telling us to do. It was humbling (and also made me look like a GD jackalo some of the time).
The final word:
I am definitely coming back to this studio. The class was great, Catherine was great, the desk staff was great, basically I want to marry Chaise23, move to Westchester, have kids and commision a Norman Rockwellian portrait of our kids sitting on reinvention chairs around the Thanksgiving table. So, yeah, I enjoyed myself.
From the Chaise 23 website: Catherine is thrilled to join the Chaise23 family! She has been practicing Pilates for many years, but really fell in love after it proved to help her rehabilitate a knee injury. Catherine has always had strong body awareness and a love for movement. She attended The University of The Arts in Philadelphia, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance as well as a Promising Artist scholarship. She had the opportunity to travel to amazing places and work with Carnival Cruise Lines as a featured dancer and co-captain of the dance team.She completed her Pilates Mat and Comprehensive Certification with Power Pilates and is certified in the Reinvention Method. Catherine’s main goal in teaching is to create a warm and positive environment for her students.
Find out more about Chaise23 at www.chaise23.com
Find Catherine on facebook
Follow Catherine on twitter