Neighborhood Fitness: Gramercy Pilates
Neighborhood Fitness: Gramercy Pilates

A short stroll past Gramercy Park from Stuyvesant Town will bring you to Gramercy Pilates NYC. Located upstairs at 39 E. 20th St., the stress-busting, core-toning fitness firm promises to take your New York stress and get rid of it in a New York minute. Pilates is about exercise with your body in mind, but your mind attuned to your body, too. 

Pilates Basics

Building on the work of Joseph Pilates, the German-born innovator who brought Pilates to New York City in 1926, Gramercy Pilates NYC strives to apply the basic movement principles established by Joseph all those decades ago. 

Every exercise Gramercy’s trained teachers take you through, and every repetition, is designed to build your body individually. You are first assessed for alignment, posture and general physical development. The exercises strengthen your core, increase flexibility throughout your body, and realign your posture so you hold yourself with the long, lean suppleness you see in classically trained dancers. 

Dancers have the lithe, elegant bodies they do because much of their work crosscuts the efforts of Joseph Pilates, and you see that tradition carried strongly at Gramercy Pilates NYC. 

Pilates Steps

Imagine having less stress, better posture, fewer injuries, and more energy. Your instructors will guide you through essential steps, in which body, mind and spirit gather to help you become a stronger, calmer, better you: 

  1. Centering—Physically focusing on the center of your body, the power core between lower ribs and pubic bone
  2. Concentration—No distractions! Full mind and focus on the muscle control of every exercise is necessary; every movement is deliberate, conscious and complete
  3. Control—You completely control muscle movement throughout the exercise, using calm, deliberate movement with conscious thought on every body part
  4. Precision—Proprioception (the complete awareness of body position) keeps you mindful of body alignment, posture, and direction of motion
  5. Breath—The lungs are a bellows, coordinating the movement of your body with the full breath control of your lungs
  6. Flow—Emphasizing the fluidity and flowing movement so characteristic of circus performers (Joseph Pilates’ background) and dancers, Pilates exercises are meant to move gracefully and easily. 

Gramercy Pilates NYC’s Staff

Co-owners Ernie Fossa and Tommy Reichling head an enthusiastic group of 17 additional trained Pilates teachers. Their backgrounds are as varied as their clientele: circus performers, runway models, school teachers and more all bringing their life experiences and understanding to you, the grateful client. They make certain to closely observe your body to ensure you are performing each exercise with control and precision. Pilates exercises are less about innumerable repetitions and more about core-strengthening control. 

The instructors will work with you to create a personal fitness program for your needs, whether it is stress reduction, improved posture, core toning or better muscle control. 

The Studio

Gramercy Pilates NYC has a refreshingly simple studio filled with light, open and green to remind you of the neighborhood, not a gym. The studio is open Monday through Friday from 7 in the morning until 9 at night, and weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You can sign up for classes, from Pilates beginning basics to cardio classes that provide surprises and variations on the basic Pilates workouts. A typical day may see more than a dozen different classes, with single equipment classes priced at $40 ($23 for mat classes) or monthly unlimited classes for $350. Invest in three private classes for $225. The studio recommends staying with a level for five to 10 classes before moving up to the next level. 

Gramercy Pilates NYC is at 39 E. 20th Street, and can be reached at (212) 727-7896, or contact them online