- I took a Pilates class at a referral-only studio in Los Angeles next to a famous influencer.
- The experience was intimate and relaxed, and I really enjoyed my time there.
- The workout was tough, but the instructor supported me through every move.
With a clientele of celebrities like Hailey Baldwin Bieber and Kendall Jenner, as well as rumored course prices of up to $500 for a one-hour private session, I knew I had to know what the fuss was all about. After taking a course, I understand why everyone loves it.
The studio is big and beautiful
I booked a class with Levi at the studio’s original location, the pool house of a beautiful, very large house outside of Westwood Village in Los Angeles. Upon arrival, I found no signage or indication of the much talked about studio. In fact, I had to knock on the front door to even know I was in the right place.
Levi directed me to the backyard and I walked up the stairs to the spacious, clean studio with open windows that offered an elevated view of the greenery, making it feel more like a small treehouse than a Pilates studio. The space has a small entryway with shelves for accessories and supplies, two reformers – often touted for their price of nearly $10,000 — and a small space in between for Levi to instruct.
Class started, and it took me less than five minutes to realize how hard it was going to be, really difficult. I am recover from an injury, so I wouldn’t consider myself in shape for sparring, but I’ve been working out with a personal trainer and have been weight training four times a week for the past three months. I’ve also done my fair share of mat Pilates classes, so I didn’t expect to struggle as much as I did.
The intimate setting allowed for the attention I needed as a beginner
Fortunately, Levi and my classmate, the TikTok celebrity and Forma Regular Pilates Addison Raewere incredibly encouraging and assured me that the first time was difficult for everyone.
We went through a flow of precise exercises that worked the whole body, starting with standing arm exercises using the upright reformer support, then moving to the cart for variations of crunches and leg raises that were so difficult, I was shocked to be able – awkwardly – to complete them.
The two-person class offered the one-on-one attention I desperately needed, with Levi adjusting my form and sometimes all of my movements throughout the class in a way that was helpful, not daunting.
In true LA fashion, we discussed zodiac signs and aura colors, and it became clear that Levi’s ability to form personal relationships with his clients, in addition to tough workouts, was an element. essential to the success of the studio.
Conversations took place between sets, and Rae asked Levi who she would still like to have in class. I wasn’t surprised to hear her say Gisele Bündchen and Beyoncé, but I was surprised to hear that she liked having athletes in the class.
When I spoke to her later, she said her studio was less about a celebrity hotspot and more about creating a safe space and support system for people in the industry, adding that ‘she wasn’t looking for people to come one time, take a picture in the selfie mirror and leave – she wants people who want to be part of the community.
Despite all the stars she’s taught, she admitted she still gets starstruck sometimes teaching people she looks up to, like LeBron James.
I don’t know if it was the amount of concentration required by the workout or the easy and comfortable nature of the class, which was a lot like hanging out with a small group of friends, but the class flew by. I was shocked and only a little relieved after finishing my final set.
Although there are several Forma Pilates locations in Los Angeles and one in New York, it’s always difficult to get a referral for an in-person class, so Levi created a online platform which allows anyone to try the Forma method with minimal equipment for $50 per month or $450 per year.