So you think you can stretch? Don't let the women who can fold themselves as flat as an envelope in Eddy Rioseco's Pilates class put you off if you're a beginner. You're in good hands with Eddy, who's taught both mat and reformer Pilates for six years. The benefits of the physical fitness system developed by Joseph Pilates are well known among health professionals, and Eddy adheres strictly to the methods that increase flexibility, strength, endurance and coordination. But what makes his classes different from the usual listen-and-do-as-I-say routine is that Eddy's classes are chattier than a gaggle of seventh-grade girls. The room sounds more like happy hour at T.G.I. Friday's than an exercise class — except your abdominals are burning. “What you carry in your personal life as well as current political and social events hangs on to your body. What better way to truly let out all of the nonsense in your head and heal yourself?”explains Eddy. “I teach private Pilates in my home studio and it also becomes a little bit like you're on the couch.”

—Libby Molyneaux

LA Weekly