Class Action: Beginner Reformer at Re:AB Pilates

Precision and personal attention reigns supreme at Brooke Siler's powerhouse studio for old-school Pilates.
The Reformer room at Re:AB Pilates on Bleecker Street.

Re:AB Pilates, founded and operated by alignment guru Brooke Siler, is a powerhouse studio for old-school Pilates. It’s tucked away on a quiet strip of Bleecker Street, and the subtly decorated, open rooms filled with mats and Towers and Reformers have high ceilings that almost encourage you to stand up straight(er).

Siler and her team subscribe to the Classical Pilates doctrine, which means they stick to the original teachings of Joseph Pilates, and precision and form are paramount. You can really see this in the Beginner Reformer class, which is a good option if you’re looking to break into the discipline, or are a Pilates vet but just want to refine and perfect your Reformer practice. Makela Spielman, who was the first instructor to be certified by Siler in 2006, leads it, and it’s capped at four people for individual attention.

Spielman introduces a basic sequence of Reformer moves, like stomach massage, where you sit on and move the carriage forward and back by drawing your knees up to your chest using your abs, and leg circles with your feet in the straps and your back on the carriage. And she alters moves and sequences to match the flexibility and body of each client. For me, Spielman modified the second set of pelvic lifts to accommodate for my longer waist.

Like most Pilates classes, you shouldn’t expect a Top 40 workout playlist (in fact, no music plays during classes at all) or a face full of sweat. Instead, the focus on alignment and stretching complements a week of running and boot camp (and heavy handbags). I left feeling longer, bendier, and more relaxed, and standing taller and straighter for the rest of the day. —Jamie McKillop

Who’s it for: Pilates neophytes, practitioners looking for lots of attention and feedback, those looking to perfect their form

Re: Ab Pilates, $32 per class, 33 Bleecker St., Suite 2C, btwn Lafayette and Bowery, NoHo,

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