I-S Xperience Sky Pilates: No more rage against the machine

If you’ve ever been creeped out by the idea of being strapped to a machine and being completely at its mercy (okay, maybe it’s just us…), Pilates is a pretty good way to face that fear. We got our introduction to this popular body conditioning system at I-S Xperience: Twist and Turn.

Housed in Liat Towers, Sky Pilates is actually a pretty tranquil space even though it’s on Orchard Road. We loved that it was spotlessly clean but not clinical, thanks to the warm lighting, the pervasive, relaxing smell of chai, and the chatty, smiley instructors. Things kicked off with a briefing on Pilates, explaining its focus on core strength. Admittedly, we used to think “core strength” was just a nice six-pack plus the ability to do crunches without crying—but according to the instructor, core muscles go deep down below the surface, so they comprise everything holding our innards in and protecting them from the vagaries of the world.

…. And then we got on the machines. Fortunately, instructors were on hand to make sure we didn’t rupture anything, and it turns out the machines, while not immediately intuitive to use, were easy to get the hang of using, even though we’re closet Luddites. They were basically sliding platforms connected with adjustable springs that facilitate resistance exercises, the hardest bit of which was constantly making sure our bodies were aligned well enough to “balance a teacup” on our lower abdomens.

Another part of the exercise, Gyrokinesis, involved deep, controlled breathing and what looked and felt like seated interpretive dance as we “rowed boats” and “pulled on our boots”. Silliness be damned, it felt liberating to just move and twirl around like hyperactive kids forced to sit on stools.