Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


A Pilates Gem in Pasadena

We need to hear from you.
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Tucked onto a side street in the Playhouse District of Pasadena, Zoe - A Pilates Studio, is so inconspicuous that I drove by twice before noticing it. Marked only by a small sign, the unassuming exterior belies a light, airy space with state-of-the-art equipment and a focused, intense tenor. And the atmosphere is no accident; when it comes to Pilates studios, this, says owner Zoe Marcus, is "the real deal." A former ballet dancer, Marcus has been running the studio since 1995, and emphasizes
that she adheres strictly to the Pilates method. "It's mental and physical conditioning," she says, meaning that it's as much about focus and concentration as it is about proper positioning and engagement of the core. No slouching and haphazardly plopping onto to the machines; first align, then prepare, then sit. Without this intensity, she says, Pilates "might be fun, but you're not going to learn the technique."

Over the course of an hour session with Marcus, as I engaged muscles that had never before experienced so much as an accidental clench, I began to see what she meant. Hovering tentatively over the Pilates reformer, she pulled my navel up, pushed my shoulders back and instructed me to look down. "Now push your feet away, engage your powerhouse and don't let your shoulders move." I did one repetition and realized that the mat classes I had relied on up until this point were but shoddy preparation for the real thing.

According to Marcus, this type of training has benefits that extend far beyond swimsuit season. "Pilates should help you outside of class," she says, from standing in line at the grocery store to sitting at your desk. "You're learning how to use your body efficiently." And for people who practice regularly, she continues, "Pilates is part of life."

Zoe - A Pilates Studio offers private, semi-private and group classes, and for more advanced students, open studio. In May, the studio will be celebrating it's 14th anniversary, and is now offering a 10% discount to new clients.

Zoe - A Pilates Studio
21 South El Molino Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

Most Read