Working Up a Sweat: A Review of Sunstone Yoga’s Hot Pilates

sunstone yoga dallas
photography courtesy of Sunstone Yoga

Chelsey Plumlee has quickly become our regular fitness guru. And that’s great, because the most exercise I’ve had recently is getting on and off my bed to find a new Netflix movie at night. (But I did just finish a Vim + Vigor juice cleanse–details coming soon.) When the public relations team for Sunstone Yoga sent me an email about sampling their new hot Pilates “Metal” class, I knew I had to pass. (I’m sure I wouldn’t have survived it.) Fortunately, Chelsea’s braver (and in better shape) than me. Her review:

With 12 studios conveniently located all over the DFW area (and one in Austin), I’m sure you’ve heard of Sunstone Yoga by now. If you haven’t given them a try, I believe it is an experience that everyone should have at least once. After learning that they recently added hot Pilates to their catalog, I hit the Uptown studio to give the new “Metal” class a whirl.

First Five Minutes of Class: With the studio set to 90 degrees and 60 percent humidity hanging in the air, I had the obvious moment of panic when I first entered the room. The instructor talked us through the goal of “Metal” and bestowed a yellow “Focus Wristband” to a student that had reached her 75th class. We began class belly-up for some guided breathing that calmed me down just in time for a hairy, older, shirtless gentleman to spread his mat out inches from mine. My hair stood on end as my personal space issues began to get the better of me.

Middle of Class: We flowed through several circuits of moves that most traditional Pilates mavens would be familiar with. In fact, most of the class seemed to know what was coming before we were instructed to change positions, so I got the feeling that the “Metal” outline doesn’t change often. I transitioned from a ladylike glow to a full on sweat, but I managed to keep up with the crowd. A Chaduranga push-up brought me face-to-foot with the guy front of me and I spent the rest of the series wondering how he could be walking around with a blister that huge.

Class is Over: I took a cue from my classmates and meditated until I felt like I could get up without falling over, then slowly tiptoed down the stairs. As I began to cool off, I realized how great I felt. I drove home with the windows down and the radio up.

Next Day: My core and upper arms felt really tight and moderately sore, which is really all I ask of any workout. I also noticed that my skin felt amazing, but I’m not sure if that was from the cleansing sweat, or the really intense body-scrub I had to use to feel clean again.

What You Love Most: Everyone smiled and chatted away like they were old friends. The lofty studio is uber hip and filled with natural light. The class was challenging, fun, and hit all of my target areas, even if I did have to rub up against strangers to do it.

What You Love Least: After this type of workout I need a shower, or at least somewhere to towel off. This branch has a small room downstairs with one shower, one toilet, one sink and about 15 square feet where everyone tosses their belongings in a pile. If you like your own space, choose another location.

Cost: If you’ve never been to Sunstone, you’re in luck. You can register online and earn a free week of classes with no obligation. Membership varies by location and level (from $29 to $109 monthly) so check out your nearest studio for details and specials.

The Takeaway: A Pilates routine in Sunstone’s heated space really gets your blood pumping so you can pack your Zen, tone, and cardio all in one sweet little 60 minute package. If you have personal space issues (like moi), you probably shouldn’t be working out in Uptown anyway.


  • MaryP2

    I Love Sunstone Yoga!! and have been going for a few years now.

    If you like your personal bubble not to bump into others’ personal bubbles, you should try the Skillman/ Live Oak location.

    Also, if you like a more challenging class I suggest the Fire 90.

    For a more meditative class, the Water is great. The heat and lights are down and the music is up!!

    Enjoy Prospective Yogis!! 🙂

  • Why is the class called “Metal” Pilates? I recently read an article about “Metal” Yoga at a school called Tough Love in Atlanta, maybe in Atlanta’s version of D Magazine, that explained that “Metal” music was played during the class. Please find out and update this story.

  • Elizabeth W.

    For the record, the Sunstone Uptown studio has two showers, two sinks, and two restrooms accessible to women (one is a unisex restroom upstairs). I believe the men’s area also has two of everything. I’ve always found that other members are very respectful of each other’s need to use the facilities; I’ve never had to wait longer than a minute to use anything.

    I can definitely relate to Chelsea’s initial reaction to being so close to other sweaty people in the studio. At first, I felt that way, too. But I quickly grew more comfortable in my own skin, and with other people’s skin! It’s kind of a beautiful thing, actually. My time at Sunstone has helped me to develop a very healthy acceptance of, comfort with, and respect for my own body – and the bodies of others.

    With respect to the Metal class – it is the icing on the cake, as far as the class selection by Sunstone! They have taken great care to develop a well-rounded variety of classes that will cultivate a strong, flexible, balanced body. Metal is definitely the core workout of a lifetime!

  • LJ

    You’re exactly right, the script never changes! The consistency is really great, it allows you to focus on your workout. If you want to switch it up, you can just try another class : )

  • Pingback: 10 Sensational Spring Superfoods | Detoxification do something for you()

  • Pingback: Working Up a Sweat: A Review of Sunstone Yoga’s Hot Pilates - D Magazine | Pilates Videos()

  • Kiki

    I believe that Sunstone began naming their class series following the elements: fire, water, earth…there is no air class, but they sort of followed the same formula with their creation of Metal, Spark, and Wood. The name has nothing to do with the type of music played in class.

    Metal was probably chosen for Hot Pilates based on the characteristics of metal. It is strong, tolerant of heat, malleable, and shiny (like students after class;)

  • Pingback: Lastest Sunstone Yoga Austin News - Health Life News()