Best Pilates Studio 

Exhale Pilates Studio

Exhale Pilates Studio

Downtown. 360 Concord St., Ste. 200. 723-3334

Pilates, created more than 50 years ago by nurse Joseph Pilates, fuses all kinds of exercise together to create a total mind-body experience. You start with controlled breathing and movements and then you literally work your ass off. Whether it's on machines with ominous names like the Cadillac and the Reformer, or mat classes on the floor using your own body for resistance, Pilates focuses on flow and results in increased strength, reduced stress, and a rocking body. In the last decade Pilates has become pretty trendy (thanks, Winsor Pilates lady), with classes being taught at big gyms and fitness centers around town. Luckily, smaller studios that focus completely on the Pilates technique have also opened. Exhale at V exemplifies this kind of place -- it's intimate, peaceful, and staffed by expert instructors who work one-on-one with clients to help them make that elusive mind-body connection. Pilates requires deep concentration and focused breathing, something you can't always accomplish in a larger, busier setting. At Exhale, they're stocked with all the necessary machines -- reformers, towers, stability chairs, long boxes -- group classes. Instructor Lauren Whitfied says they take a modern approach, working with clients to tailor sessions to specific needs. Exhale is also located at V Health Club, one of Charleston's most upscale clubs, where clients get expert care, great amenities, and validated parking. Pilates is not an inexpensive pursuit --private sessions run upwards of $50 (group classes are much more affordable) -- but what price can you put on health and fitness, right?


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