UPPER EAST SIDE — The founders of ChaiseFitness don’t take exercise sitting down. But they do encourage working out with chairs.
Lauren and Rachel Piskin designed their signature fitness program around a modernized version of a Pilates Chair. Also like the traditional Pilates chair, the Reinvention Method incorporates a system of overhead bungee cords to increase resistance and encourage good form.
Now the mother-daughter team is bringing their program — a combination of Pilates, ballet and aerobics — from their Flatiron location to a new studio in the 92nd Street Y.
The Y “has offered Pilates for many years, but ChaiseFitness’ revolutionary Pilates method is unique, and we think that it will appeal to our diverse group of exercise enthusiasts,” said Stacey Eisler, Deputy Director of 92Y’s May Center for Health, Fitness and Sport. "It's a very exciting new partnership."
According to Rachel Piskin, the 92Y initiated the relationship after visiting the Flatiron studio.
“They came and took a few classes and really fell in love with the program and the passion and story behind it,” The 26-year-old said.
Lauren Piskin, 53, the owner of the successful Physicalmind Pilates studio, was already developing the Reinvention Method when her daughter Rachel left her career as a dancer with the New York City ballet. She retired largely due to health reasons, one of which was weight gain.
“I was trying all of these different workouts and nothing was really working until my mom started me on this program,” Piskin said. “With this, I was able to take the weight off and get my dancer’s body back, but I’m even stronger.”
They worked together to refine the program, which includes three chair-based classes and one ballet-inspired workout.
In the Reinvention Class, students may be asked to get into Pike position, placing their hands on the chair and their feet on a pedal. As they press their feet up and down, students also hold on to bungee cords, which provide extra resistance and keep their bodies in proper form.
Ballet Bungee is the only class that doesn’t incorporate the chair. Instead, students use the system of overhead bungee cords to perform pliés, tendus and other ballet-inspired moves. Piskin said that the bungee cords are even better than the barre for developing a long, lean dancer’s frame.
“The bungees provide an unstable surface, which forces your core to really engage,” she said.
Small class sizes also allow instructors to really pay attention to each student and encourage proper form, Piskin said.
The Flatiron studio serves about 500 clients each week in classes of up to 12 people. The new studio can accommodate up to 15 people once and is open to both Y members and the general public.
Classes cost $33 for a single session or can be purchased in packages at a slight discount.
ChaiseFitness at the 92 Y will host a grand opening party this Sat., Feb 1. Babycakes Vegan Bakery and BluePrintJuice will be on hand with treats. Guests will have a chance to win giveaways from ChaiseFitness and Athleta.