First Class Checklist

So you decided to book your first session… now what? Starting something new always comes with a little uncertainty. From knowing where to park, what to wear and what will happen when you walk through the door, it can be a lot. Don’t worry though, we are here to guide you on what you can expect from coming to a session with us. 

What to Bring

We recommend bringing a water bottle with you, we do actually work up a sweat in Pilates! If you have not purchased one of our intro packages prior to your first session, please come prepared with cash/check or credit card.

What to Wear

Something that you feel good moving in! Typically you’ll find our class goers in yoga pants/capris, men in gym shorts with bike shorts underneath, a comfortable t-shirt or tank top that is not too baggy and socks. If you forget your socks, don’t fret, we have some available for purchase in the studio.

Parking

We are very happy to tell you that we have available parking to the side of our studio. Spaces that allow for three hours use, no worry of running to any downtown meter before your session. 

When to Arrive

When visiting the studio for your first time, we recommend arriving 5-10 minutes early. This will give you time to use the washroom if needed, sign our waiver and be on time for class. Before you book your session you will be able to talk with staff about any body limitations, concerns or goals. If you would like extra time to discuss with your instructor prior to class, we recommend arriving closer to the 10-minute mark.

What to Expect 

When you walk into our bright studio you will be greeted by one of our instructors, and showed the lay of the land. After this, you will be asked to sign our waiver, disclose any injuries or pain that you may be experiencing, and potentially be given some modifications before class. You will be introduced to our awesome clients, they really are the best and we don’t mind bragging.

Class

Once class begins you will be guided through your workout, any springs or equipment used will be explained to you, no need to guess your spring tensions. If any questions arise in class, do not hesitate to ask! If you don’t feel comfortable asking just yet in class, make sure to check in after with one of our friendly instructors. 

The most important thing to remember is to have fun! Movement does heal, but it also just feels good. We hope to have you leave the studio feeling better than when you arrived. For more information on how to start training with us, head to our Group Classes or Private/Duet Sessions tab.

Hope to meet you soon!

Cheers

-Jennifer


My Ride or Die

We all have that handful of exercises that either always has our back, or has transformed our bodies. I like to refer to these as my “ride or die” exercises, the ones I practice regularly, and honestly could not live without. Now before we get into these exercises, let’s just note that I still practice all of the Pilates exercises and sequences. Often times the exercises we dislike most, or the ones we need the most; however, this is another topic for another day. Without further adieu, here are my top, could not live without, must do regularly exercises.

The Roll-Up, is there actually anything that feels better than a well articulated spinal movement? No, no there is not. Not only does the roll up provide a stretch for the entire back of the body, it also strengthens the powerhouse, challenges your control and activates the whole body. There are so many ways to do the roll-up, with props and springs, however I prefer the traditional exercise in its natural form.

Single Leg Stretch and Double Leg Stretch, I mention these two together as they are like the peanut butter and jelly of my abdominal series. Without the two of them, the series would feel lackluster. Single leg stretch is a great warm up for the work ahead, focusing on the dynamic reaching of legs while engaging the entire back to switch them. Double Leg Stretch feels so good, just as it sounds! Reaching all limbs away from each other hollowing out your center, only to rejoin in a tight little ball.

Spine Twist, wringing out the body one exhale at a time. I find twisting rejuvenating, it’s a nice way to wake the body as much as it is a way to check in with your body. When practicing with proper alignment we can really feel the difference from side to side. This awareness helps me move with more purpose in my other exercises. I prefer to practice Spine Twist seated with legs extended, using either a power circle with one pad on my sternum or with hands behind my head. Those pesky arms always try to do the work for you!

Side Lying Leg series, this series is just too good to break apart, so why should I? The entire series works on stabilizing the hips, finding our two way stretch, strengthening our power house and creating long lean muscles. For those of us not familiar with the full classical series the following are practiced in sequence; Front and Back, Up and Down, Passe, Circles, Inner Thigh Lift and Circles, Scissors, Hot Potato and Bicycle. Although it seems like a long series, when practiced in a flowing pace it should take no more than 2 minutes to complete. 

The Teaser, this is the last exercise on my list, but by no means is it my least favorite. I love the Teaser, I love it on the Mat, I love it on the Cadillac, I love it on the Reformer, I love it on the Chair, I love it on the Spine Corrector, I truly do love it everywhere! The Teaser is one of the most challenging exercises for the powerhouse, it requires complete control over mind and body. This exercise is always a great way for me to check in with my progress, the stronger I get, the more effortless the Teaser becomes.

Those are my five “ride or die” Pilates exercises. What exercises would you have on your list? Comment below, I would love to know!


Cheers

-Jennifer


Why I practice Pilates everyday...and you should too!

You read the title right, I practice Pilates every single day. As an instructor, we tend to be pretty over the moon with Pilates, and why shouldn’t we? We get to see first hand what this intelligent movement system does for the injured, the athlete and the novice. From strengthening our breathing, being able to reach our toes and getting back our height, Pilates is pretty powerful.


Now when I say I practice Pilates everyday, I don’t mean hour long sessions; granted some days are full sessions, others might just as well be 5 minutes long. These daily sessions over time, help build up your stamina, reinforce the movements from your studio sessions, and help you in general feel better.


Doing just 5 minutes of Pilates everyday doesn’t sound so bad now, doesn't it? Break out your mat or towel, and get started today with the hundred. Make sure to keep your arms pumping vigorously above your stomach, about a ruler length distance. You can keep your head on the mat, have it lifted, legs bent, or out long, just make sure to breathe and pump!

To find out what my ride or die Pilates exercises are… stay tuned for our next blog!

Cheers

-Jennifer


Source: http://www.doverpilates.com/blog

Pilates showed me my strength by working with my weakness.

There are many thoughts good and bad on whether Pilates works:

  • It’s too easy

  • Too hard

  • Best thing ever

  • Fixed my back

  • Hurt my back

  • Too boring

  • Too much work

  • Great for strength training

  • Horrible for strength training

But really… aren’t these the excuses we give to ALL exercise? No matter what the type?

Ultimately, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.  If you think Pilates won’t help you and you are unwilling to do the work correctly… Congrats! You’re correct!

It won’t.

If you believe it can make you feel better and you put the work in, then it WILL help you.

I was introduced to Pilates not knowing too much about it, except for trying videos that I thought were way too easy… because, it turns out, I was doing them wrong!

 I walked in feeling good about myself; I worked outside and got lots of exercise and have always prided myself on being a strong individual. I went to a beautiful studio in my new home town, and I was excited and ready to prove my core strength!

Everything goes great at first. Eventually, we get to an exercise called a roll-up…no problem! I rolled up and rolled back down did it a bunch of times because you do everything as fast as you can right?

Noooope!

The instructor looked at me, and she didn’t even start with how quickly I was trying to do the exercise (that conversation came later). Instead, she asked if I noticed that I rolled up towards my left side before reaching for my toes. I didn’t know what she was talking about, so she showed me.

And it was true! I leaned my whooooooole upper body to my left side to start the roll up and evened out once I was almost up. Turns out, due to my mild scoliosis my body wanted to lean to the left and let that side of my body do all the work.

We ended up spending a bunch of time correcting my left side leaning and slowing this lady down to do the exercises right!

Doing this made the exercise so much harder to do… and I LOVED it.

I could feel my abs actually working very hard to get me from the ground to a seated position without any back pain or weird curves!

Pilates has given me a gift. It has taught me to move my body in a safe way allowing me to build the muscle I need to strengthen my body. I no longer have low back pain flare-ups that had been ongoing since I was a teenager.

It’s that I now know how STRONG it is possible for me to be! When we are moving with concentration, focus and purpose, we can ignite muscles in the way they were MEANT to be used.

And that, my friends, creates a stronger, healthier, HAPPIER body.

-Nadine

Source: http://www.doverpilates.com/blog/2019/5/28...

Why every runner should be doing Pilates

We all know that Pilates strengthens your core, but did you know that its other benefits could improve your run? Pilates offers more than meets the eye, from better posture to more supple muscles, it is a full body conditioning system.

 Posture is crucial for runners, good posture can lead you to increase your distance as well as alleviate back pain post running. One of our favorite posture series is rowing; each exercise builds on the other to provide strength in our postural muscles. In turn, this makes good posture effortless, even when performing exercises that require maximum effort.

 Stamina, if you’ve got it running feels like a breeze, if you don’t it can be hard to keep up. Stamina is one of the three components that are incorporated with every Pilates movement along with strength and stretch. Throughout a Pilates program you will be challenged to flow from one exercise to the other with less and less rest time. This in turns builds up our stamina, which is one of the most important factors for an endurance runner. Without stamina, and or pacing, you’ll find yourself getting easily winded. To combat this, a regular Pilates practice will promote a steady stride, deeper breathing and uniformed muscle use.

 Let’s talk about core strength, it’s what Pilates is known for, but why is it so important for runners? Having a strong core means stability, which leads to increased body awareness and improved running efficiency.  Stability is crucial for runners when in compromising terrain such as up hill, down hill or trail running. Having a stable center means you’re able to move better, keeping an even stride and working with correct foot placement. You hold your posture with ease, a strong center helps work together with our postural muscles to maintain our posture in compromising activities. Lastly, stable cores help increase your efficiency by allowing for diaphragm expansion and deepening your breath to power up your movements.

 If you are someone who would love to shave off some time, add a few more miles, or even just feel better after your run… head to your nearest Pilates studio to receive expert instruction on your new best strength conditioning exercise. 

- Jennifer