Stretch to the Limit

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LiveMetta Newport Beach_Kylie Burkhouse
LiveMetta Newport Beach, a new Pilates studio | Photo by Kylie Burkhouse

Discover how Ythy Farnsworth makes Pilates fun for all levels at her LiveMetta Newport Beach studio.

By Jessie Dax-Setkus

 

While Pilates mat work is pretty approachable, tackling the reformer can be an entirely different story. Luckily, Ythy Farnsworth and her husband, Chris, who together own LiveMetta Newport Beach, make it easy and fun to master this fitness apparatus.

The local studio launched in 2022, two years after the owners left their prominent careers behind in favor of living their fitness dreams—just in time to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, the family-owned business operates six yoga and Pilates studios throughout Orange County and Long Beach, including one in Laguna Beach that opened last year.

Serving as a second home to its members, the Newport studio is a place to unwind and build community. Farnsworth shares what to expect during a LiveMetta workout and why Pilates is great for those of any fitness level.

 

How did you get involved with Pilates?

Ythy Farnsworth: LiveMetta is actually a second career for both of us. Chris left his career as a litigation attorney and I left a career in health care to team up to chase our small business dreams. … When the Pilates studio where Chris trained to recover from a serious accident—he fractured multiple vertebrae and ruptured discs in his thoracic spine—came up for sale, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a life change. … Our overarching mission to spread loving kindness, or metta, is what keeps us excited each and every day.

LiveMetta2-credit Vince Trupsin
LiveMetta owners Chris and Ythy Farnsworth | Photo by Vince Trupsin

When and why did you decide to open a studio in Newport Beach?

YF: We entered Newport Beach by taking over a Pilates studio that had been here for several years, Core Reform Pilates. With wonderful existing clients and a fantastic team of instructors, it’s been a wonderful transition for us. We rebranded to LiveMetta Pilates in September 2022 and we’ve grown a lot since then by updating our studio and placing a focus on creating … [a] home away from home for each of our clients that walk through our doors.

 

What classes do you offer at the Newport Beach studio?

YF: We offer a complimentary reformer orientation class for anyone new to Pilates and then … a progression of classes, from easier to harder: Reformer Foundation, Reformer+, Reformer Sculpt and Reformer Power. We also offer a fun, cardio-infused class called Cardio Core, which includes interval jumping on reformer cardio trampolines. Our classes are taught by the best of the best Pilates instructors. We also offer a robust Pilates education program … [with a Stott Pilates curriculum], often referred to as the Ivy League of Pilates education due to its attention to detail and deep foundation in functional anatomy.

 

What are the main differences between Pilates and yoga?

YF: Yoga and Pilates are both popular mind-body practices, but they differ in their origins, principles and focuses. … Pilates was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, initially as a form of rehabilitation and strengthening for injured soldiers during World War II. It has evolved into a modern practice for everyone that focuses on building core strength, stability and muscular endurance through controlled movements and precise alignments. It … emphasizes a mind-body connection to improve posture and … body awareness.

 

What should a first-timer expect from one of your classes?

YF: All students—first-timer or not—should expect to enter each of our beautiful light-filled studios to be greeted with warmth, love and kindness. We pride ourselves in ensuring that our offerings are inclusive of everyone in every shape, color or mindset that may be joining us in. One of our team members will immediately support you as you find what offerings will best fit your life, goals and schedule.

 

Proper Pilates

Try this top-notch workout gear, which is sold in local stores, for your next session.

DicksSportingGoodsDuffel
Fit all of your equipment, clothing and accessories in the Nike BRASILIA 9.5 PRINTED LARGE TRAINING DUFFEL BAG, which even has a zippered pouch to separate dirty items from the rest of your gear, $52, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fashion Island. (949-640-1107; dickssportinggoods.com)
Aloha Collection water bottle
Quench your thirst with water that stays ice-cold throughout your workout, thanks to the insulated MIZU WATER BOTTLE, made with stainless steel and a wide mouth opening, $52, at Aloha Collection, Lido Marina Village. (949-434-3816; aloha-collection.com)
LiveMettaSocks4
Maintain proper hygiene while also keeping a solid grip on the reformer with the Arebesk GRIP SOCKS, which feature a patented design to increase traction with extra silicone on high-contact areas like the heel and ball of the foot, $18 and up, at LiveMetta Newport Beach. (949-646-8600; livemetta.com)
VuoriBlackBra
Made sustainably with recycled materials, the ALLTHEFEELS BRA from Vuori is designed for medium-impact workouts, with a comfortable scoop neck and ultrasoft, breathable BlissBlend fabric that is perfect for working up a sweat with Pilates, $58, at Vuori, Fashion Island. (949-706-6067; vuoriclothing.com)
LW5FARS_026375_4 lulu leggings
No matter which exercises you’re doing on the reformer, you’ll want to be comfortable in your movement, so snag the FAST AND FREE HIGH-RISE TIGHT from lululemon; these sweat-wicking leggings offer weightless coverage as well as large pockets and a drawcord for cinching to the perfect fit, $128, at lululemon, Fashion Island. (949-749-4693; lululemon.com)
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