Thankfully, for every huge impersonal mat class on a gym's group exercise schedule there are centers like Chicago River North Pilates, where knowledgeable instructors are more concerned with proper alignment than how many people show up.
Located in a business building around the corner from the Chicago Brown Line stop, the small space includes a small "office" (a desk, a chair and a loveseat) and basic studio. While owner and instructor Katy Lush is serious about quality over quantity, she offers every piece of equipment necessary for a complete Pilates and gyrokinesis regime: reformers, a few benches, a cadillac, a ladder, gyrotonic machines and a bevy of mats, balance balls and Pilates rings. Lush also offers a training and certification program for students looking to take their love of the method to the next level.
Classes: The center focuses on private, duet and trio lessons but also offers small reformer (up to four students) and mat (up to six participants) classes a few times a week. Calling to reserve a spot is wise as the reasonably priced classes ($15 for a drop in session) fill up quickly.
Extras: Location, location, location! The clean space, hardwood floors, exposed brick and awesome views of downtown somehow seem to make the pain lessen.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson