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Torture that is actually kind of fun

Mar 15, 2012

I haven’t done pilates since college, so when I signed up for a class at Fuse I was pretty nervous. I knew I needed to give it a try because my core is pathetically out of shape and bikini season is swiftly approaching.


I didn’t know what to expect because Fuse is a different kind of pilates studio. This is apparent the moment you log onto their website — fit, lean urbanites doing all kinds of crazy poses on a jungle gym, in front of Ben’s Chili Bowl and other DC locales. Mariska Breland is the head instructor and developer of “fuse” pilates, a method that includes yoga and non-traditional exercises set to music.

But the most interesting element of fuse-style is that no class is choreographed. Rather, instructors take requests from students before each class and arrange the exercises around them. Listening to the testimonials of Mariska and her partners, Roxanna Hakimi and Sormeh Youssefieh, Fuse Pilates may be the greatest form of exercise for the modern professional.

While I can’t say I did a good job (my abs trembled for an entire hour and I was the loudest breather in the class by far), I can say that I didn’t give up, and I have to give props to Mariska for her music choice (never heard any of it before, but the beats were quite motivating) and her patience with each student. Although my abs – and gluts, thighs and even ribs – hurt for days afterwards, you’ll see me back there again.

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