ESP Wellness Center is a little oasis, tucked away from the busy, traffic-filled streets of Los Angeles. The studio is light, airy, clean and accentuated with wood floors. It’s a place you would want to retreat to after a long week at the office, or a well deserved break from your family. The center is located on Montana Street in Santa Monica; one of our favorite neighborhoods in LA. The area has that “je ne sais quoi” and just the right mix of young 20-somethings, hip stores and delicious bistros.
ESP generously extended an invite for the Rush49 team to come in for a free Pilates lesson and tour. We gladly accepted the invitation.
Pilates is a topic we have heard discussed by super moms with fantastic abs, but we figured their physique was some mixture of diet, genes, and a serious Whole Foods addiction. Not to mention the training equipment (or reformers) look like 21st century torture tables. To be honest, they look terrifying. But after arriving to the ESP center and being put at ease by Jill and Parvati (ESP trainer and founder), we began to relax and enjoy the experience.
After one class with Jill (cute as a button and very knowledgeable) we we’re hooked! The day after our session, we felt muscles we didn’t know we had. Pilates targets those impossible problem areas: stomach, lower stomach, thighs, butt, and underarm jiggle. It sounds insane, but we could visually see a difference in our stomach definition after one class. Ok super moms you were right, we are converted, all hail Pilates.
But the day wasn’t just about resigning ourselves to modern-day torture, it was also about getting to know the ESP team in their natural habitat. The team was gracious enough to answer a few questions from the Rush49 editors. Here is what we found out:
Why was ESP founded?
Best friends and business partners, Erika Shay and Parvati Shallow, were inspired to create ESP Wellness Center by their mutual friend Ethan Zohn’s battle with Hodgekins Lymphoma. Erika and Parvati witnessed what Ethan was going through with his illness and they were determined to create a space where clients would be able to escape the hectic pace of their daily lives and get back in touch with their bodies through fitness, health and wellness. They built ESP on a foundation of personalized service and fitness & wellness services that focus on alignment of body, mind and spirit.
What makes ESP the best Pilates studio in LA?
ESP offers New York style classical Pilates on Gratz equipment. Our instructors have all gone through a rigorous 6 year Pilates training program under Romana Krysanowski, Joseph Pilates’ original apprentice, and are extremely knowledgeable in rehabilitation, working with injuries, pain management and proper alignment. We have 5 convertible Gratz Cadillac (reformers)and are able to train clients on both machines in order to give each client the most efficient workout for his or her body and time.
Your team is in terrific shape, what do you eat for breakfast (the most important meal of the day)?
On a typical morning, you will find Erika and I making our way over to ESP from Pressed Juicery with our Green Juices for the day. But sometimes when it’s overcast or if we are traveling, we crave a more substantial breakfast. We are both crazy about “egg sammies” – scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese on sourdough bread. On hungrier mornings, we’ll head across the street to Marmalade Cafe and hit up the breakfast sandwich over there. It’s pure, indulgent comfort food.