My Pilates teacher jokes in class that we shouldn't feel tired; after all, we're mostly lying down. But Pilates is hard, and I find that his jokes help me smile and take my mind off my straining abs. That's one way of saying that the atmosphere of a class truly matters.
At JK Zen, the atmosphere was, "We're all in this together," and students helped one another out with positions and equipment. Several students were regulars and made me feel at home.
JK Zen Fitness, 116 N. Robertson Blvd., Suite 807, Los Angeles, www.jkzenfitness.com
Aura: Juliet Kaska (the JK in the title and a trainer to several actors) has a small, modern studio in the heart of the chic Robertson Boulevard shopping district. Still, the women in class were friendly, and not all had perfect bodies. It's a warm and welcoming place.
Effort: If you want to work muscles that don't normally get used, Pilates will do it. It also helps keep me thinking about posture for days afterward, which is good. Getting set up on the equipment is just about the only break time. There are various levels available, including prenatal.
Style: Serious, but with the idea that we were all treating ourselves well by showing up for class.
Cost: $35, with discounts for multiple-class packages. Parking is $2 for two hours, so there's time for a latte or window shopping after class.
If you have suggestions for classes, please let me know by email or Twitter (@mmacvean).