Introducing yet another Brilliant Client

We would like to introduce one of our clients, Judith, who participates in weekly private sessions with Stephanie.
 
Judith brings with her a playful and curious attitude, warmth for all those who cross her path at the studio and has been the long time source of Stephanie’s intrigue into the ‘Art of Cueing.’ Judith and Stephanie will be exploring words and their potential together through an upcoming monthly blog: “Mind Your Words”, a punny play on the British phrase “mind your step”; “mind the gap”; “mind your head”; because we are if nothing else funny like that.
 
Judith
 
A few words from Judith:
 
We need the accountant on board to definitively answer the question of how long I have been coming…I believe it may be around a ‘bakers dozen’ of years but honestly I could say it has been a ‘lifeline and a life time’. The reason I say this is because in the intervening time since becoming acquainted with Stephanie and the studio, I have become acquainted with my body and fitness in an entirely new way – nothing short of being ‘reborn’? In this process, I have had the joy (not without its frustrations, I might add…) of relearning what is fitness, my body, and how the body functions in its beautiful, natural and powerful design.
 
At  the time of joining the studio, I had been working with a great massage therapist who enjoyed boasting (appropriately!) about the amazing things she was getting from classes with Stephanie. I was unable to resist the promise of ‘what else was possible’. I joined. and, all I would add is that “excellence begets excellence”:) Whats not to love about this!?
 
I have always loved being active but I had never learned how to deeply appreciate the process from a disciplined approach that begins with honouring the body rather than the intended outcome, in that order of priority.
 
Being active over the years included running, skiing, yoga, Tai Chi. Qi Gong, horseback riding, walking, cycling, and several attempts at trying to learn how to swim…oh well, forget the swimming – LOL.
 
Fitness with Stephanie has led me to an entirely new way of knowing: my body, myself, healing, spiritual connections, weaving my outside world into my studio workouts and vice versa – just for starters.
As a practicing “Guide to all things Great (I work as a life coach and psychotherapist), I have through this journey also come to realize how central the body, emotions, the mind are all interconnected to a healing journey. Therefore, I have now also become certified as a Yoga Teacher and am exploring how to weave this into the healing journey for others. WOW! You may catch a glimpse as to why I say this is nothing short of being “reborn”. Thank you Steph and all who make the KW Art of Fitness a great experience.”

People who you’ll bump into at our Studio

So you’ve met our instructors but who else helps us make the studio brilliant?

We would like to introduce one of our clients, Steve Knipping, who has been coming for the past 5 years, 3 times a week, participating in reformer classes, spin classes and privates sessions.

Steve brings with him a warm and ready sense of humour, always has a motivating, albeit funny, word for other participants and he has this remarkable ability to connect golf lessons into potential real life lessons.

Tell us a bit about yourself Steve: 

I am 54 years old and have been married for 34 years to Lianne. We have two daughters, Lauren and Danielle. Lauren is a registered dietitian, married and lives in Boston; Danielle is a registered nurse and lives in Hamilton.

I am a partner at WalterFedy – a consulting architectural and engineering design firm in Kitchener. As a  senior project manager I am primarily involved in land development projects and client relations.

How long have you been coming to the Studio?

I’m going to say 5 years but I’m not 100% sure; neither is Steph as she can’t count nor is she overly aware of time. 

Why did you start coming to the Studio?

I initially came as part of a golf/pilates combo lesson. I had signed up for golf lessons with Rob Hannah and it included some sessions with Steph.

At one of the classes we did some exercise that completely “released” my back and that made me think I might be on to something that could help me. I had been looking for something to help improve my fitness but most things I had tried just seemed to aggravate some of my past injuries – bad back, bad shoulder, rotator cuff issues, hip issues. Pilates seemed to be something I could do, challenge myself, get in better shape but not hurt myself. I started with one on one training with Steph, which I still do, joined a group Pilates class and also joined a spin class.

Why do you keep coming back?

I like the small class sizes. The atmosphere of the studio is focused but relaxed and encourages a balanced approach to fitness and life. The breaks between sessions are nice and help you recharge and keep things fresh. The instructors are all great, as well as the other clients. There is a common element to the instructors and clients with respect to values and general approach to life. This makes it easy to blend in together during the group classes whilst having space for personal modifications when necessary.

What other fitness, sport or outdoor activities do you participate in?

My big passion (and frustration) is golf, but I also enjoy cycling, curling in the winter as well as snow shoeing. Once I retire I would like to add another Pilates class to my routine.

Meet Steve – The Studio Plant Man

Ever wonder how the Studios plants stay hydrated and oh so healthy?! Learn about the man behind the Studio plants… 
 
Steve
 
Where does your love for plants come from? 
 
When I was 13, living in Bracebridge, I went to Lake of Bays to my grandparents summer resort to work.  My responsibilities included helping my Uncle Ross. He had his own Green house and planted renowned flower gardens on the property of Point Ideal.  I developed an interest in flowers and tried to learn more from him although being a klutz wasn’t an asset!  After three summers at Point Ideal I went to work for my dad’s construction company in Bracebridge and helped around our family home with the flowers and vegetable gardens etc.  I was always fascinated in what could become of just a little cutting, seed or bulb.  
 
Then in University, our neighbour had a Hibiscus that she needed to part with and I took it to London in 1974.  It became fun to have “a plant” – not something most of my friends really cared about – and I was determined to keep it alive.  I was successful and in fact that original hibiscus is growing happily today in Forest hill although it has almost taken over 1/3 of the room that it is in.  
 
I found after seeing my hibiscus slowly loose leaves etc, that you have to repot these plants quite regularly.  To do that you remove about 1/3 of the root ball and about 1/2 – 2/3 of the foliage.  This made a tremendous difference and of course I had the material for more.  You normally have to soak 3 or 4 stems in water for a couple of months to get possibly one new plant.  I like the challenge! 
 
Tips from the Plant Man
 
If you really want to have plants I would always recommend that you learn about them and have a real interest in their survival.  I find plants soothing and invigorating at the same time.  Determine what kind of sunshine you have available in which windows in your home and decide what you will place plants on.  Be careful about staining or damaging hardwood floors or carpet.  
 
I find growing plants very rewarding and I can see them as a motivator to move and care for and keep happy as I “mature”.  It really is a great feeling to find that Christmas Cactus that you hauled into the basement after the last blooming and then brought out actually budding up and preparing to display once more.  Also to have an orchid that blooms and blooms on 3or 4 ice cubes a week, gives a sense of achieving artwork. (Although it is hard on the Scotch on the Rocks supply) 
 
I believe people have to like the plants they place in their homes and be motivated to keep them happy.  For first timers, go to nurseries and see what you like.  Then if you know anyone who has plants try and mooch.  Much better price point and the competitive “I made it grow bigger than yours” can add another element.  
 
Remember if a plant pot is light to pick up that is a good time to water.  
 
Hibiscus

Register for Summer Classes!

It’s that time of year again! Summer classes will begin on Monday July 2. 

Summer 2018 AoF header

Summer Classes: Monday July 2 – Friday August 24, 2018
Monday classes (7 weeks), Tuesday – Friday classes (8 weeks)Classes cancelled Monday, August 6, 2018

If you’re a returning client and have already let your instructor know you’re coming back you’re already enrolled.  Otherwise you can enroll here.

Transitional Season Break: Monday August 27 – Friday September 7, 2018

Downloadable Printable Schedule 
Online Schedule

Cancellation Policy: Gentle reminder of our 8 hour cancellation policy for group classes and 24 hour cancellation policy for private sessions.  When we receive sufficient notice, you will receive a credit for your class or session.  Otherwise, the entire cost will be processed as if you were in attendance.

E-Transfer Payments: Please note that we do accept e-transfer payments to ‘steffipilates@me.com’

Why do we shut the studio down between seasons?

What are the benefits for you as a client?

As everyday people, we are constantly being bombarded from many sources to continuously strive towards our health and fitness goals. So much so that we miss the fitness paradox: In constant striving we neglect a key ingredient that is the foundation to our quality of life and the success of our goals: REST & RECOVERY!

Putting in place our transition week was to reinforce the concept and empower our clients to own and enjoy rest and recovery, it is well deserved and should be honoured. Why does your body need to FULLY recovery and restore itself? The article written by, By Daniel Duane for Men’s Journal, in the Huffington Post does a great job explaining why recovery is so very important.

So, as us smartie-pant Pilates Instructors like to say when you let us know you are feeling your muscles during a workout … You are welcome, this time not for the burn but instead for the Studio ‘forced’ shut down.

“Taking a long break doesn’t mean getting overly friendly with the couch, but stay away from your familiar workout routines, the getting ‘fitter’ part comes while you eat and rest. The body repairs tissue damage, strengthening the heart and other muscles, restoring depleted fuel reserves and getting better at transporting oxygen throughout the body. This makes your body a little more efficient and stronger than before.” – Daniel Duane, Men’s Journal, Huffington Post

 

PALEO CRISPY CHICKEN NUGGETS (NUT-FREE!)

PREP TIME 10 MINS
COOK TIME 10 MINS

TOTAL TIME 20 MINS
YIELDS 3-4 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts or tenders cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons bone broth
  • Avocado oil or spray (bring out bottle!)
 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and bone broth (please make sure the bone broth is defrosted and in liquid form)
  2. In another bowl, mix together flours and spices so everything is evenly combined
  3. Heat your cast iron skillet or grill pan of choice with a generous layer of avocado oil (if you want to make this recipe lighter, use spray but they won’t be as crispy!)
  4. Using a fork (I used two) take a piece of the chicken and dip it into the egg and bone broth mixture, letting the egg drip off a bit
  5. Then take that piece of chicken and dip it into the flour mixture, pressing it down to make sure the flour is coated all over
  6. Add chicken to skillet and cook on medium heat
  7. Repeat for each piece of chicken and add more avocado oil occasionally to make sure the pan is always greased!
  8. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce, over a salad, in tacos, anything!
  9. *These will stay good in the fridge for about 5 days, reheat in oven or over greased skillet

adapted from:http://rachelmansfield.com

 
 
 
 

Get to Know: Katie Cameron Sullivan

Katie began working at STOTT Pilates Studio in Toronto as the Studio Marketing Coordinator where her passion for Pilates grew. She is now certified in Pilates through STOTT PILATES and Yoga through, The Yoga Alliance of Canada.

During classes and private sessions she uses her knowledge of the human body to correct injury, work with errors in alignment, reduce stress and most importantly, to have fun! She uses classical Pilates movements combined with her own twist to keep classes interesting and beneficial. Her philosophy is education and inspiration, as a teacher, she hopes to empower clients and offer them the knowledge and direction to live a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Katie wants to help you discover the strength within yourself.

Katie

1. What is on your bucket list? To experience as many different cultures around the world as I can
2. Where did you grow up? Waterloo, ON
3. What food can you not live without? Peanut Butter
4. Pool or Ocean? Ocean 100%
5. Last concert you went to? Zac Brown Band
6. How do you take your coffee? Black or with almond milk
7. What is your sign? Scorpio
8. Which sound instantly puts you in a good mood? The Tragically Hip coming on the radio
9. First thing you do in the morning? Coffee!
10. What are your pet peeves? Standing on escalators
  • STOTT Pilates Certified Instructor – Matwork & Reformer
  • Yoga Certified – Yoga Alliance of Canada
  • Anatomy in Motion – Body Harmonics
  • Yoga & Ayurveda – The Yoga Conference
  • Pilates Matwork – Tula Yoga Spa (Yoga Alliance of Canada)

We’re a little Different from Other Studios…

Art of Fitness

 

  1. Don’t worry about a Pilates mat, water, or a towel – we’ve got you covered!
  2. Class shouldn’t be easy. If it’s easy, you’re doing it wrong. No, really, you are. If it felt easy, ask a teacher to show you how to work harder. It’s always possible to work deeper in an exercise.
  3. If you want to take a class and it’s full, get on the wait list. You have a pretty good chance of getting in!
  4. Class is all about you. Request what you want to work on. Request what you don’t want to work on. Ask teachers to stay after and give you pointers. They’ll do it.
  5. If you forgot something just ask us – it’s likely we will have a stash somewhere. aka – hair ties, water bottles etc.
  6. Notify the teacher of any injuries or medical conditions. This helps us know how to give you modifications. You are the boss of your body! Never do an exercise that doesn’t feel or sound right to you. It is perfectly acceptable and expected to honour where you are at and rest for a few moments if the class is moving in a direction that is not appropriate for you.
  7. Have fun. There’s no reason for Pilates to be so serious. We’re glad you’re here and hope you enjoy the energy of our studio.
  8. Ask questions. As Instructors, we love to talk and are passionate about why Pilates is great for you – so don’t hesitate to ask about a certain exercise or sequence.
  9. We are always here for you – email us with concerns, questions or feedback.
  10. Turn off your cell phone. This enhances your experience and is a polite gesture to your fellow students.

Get to Know: Kris Witmer

As a client of KW Fitness for many years, Kris has enjoyed the benefits of Pilates while training with Steph. Pilates benefits people of all ages and improves overall strength, balance and flexibility. This is particularly important as we age since Pilates helps our bodies move more efficiently, improves bone density and helps us to avoid injury.

After 35 years of working in the corporate world, Kris retired and is excited to begin this second career – especially since she is so passionate about Pilates.

Kris

1. What is on your bucket list? To remain healthy and active. Continue to explore Europe – Italy, Spain, Scotland, Ireland
2. Where did you grow up? Waterloo
3. What food can you not live without? Vegetables
4. Who is the funniest person you know? My friend Laura
5. What is the best gift you have ever received? Benjamin (my grandson)
6. First thing you do in the morning? Coffee and breakfast
7. What is the one thing people would never guess about you? I have my Grade 4 in piano
8. What’s on your bedside table? A glass of water and my Kobo Ereader
9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Strive for progress (moving forward) rather than perfection
10. What’s the background on your computer? My grandson

 

Rhythm of a Class – An Instructor Perspective

Rhythm of a Class

It is a Pilates Instructors dream to see and entire class moving in a synchronized way however that’s not always the case. Courtney talks about a layering technique she uses, it helps eliminate any uncertainty in a group class setting. Start with the foundation exercise and that is what the baseline is for the clients. She stays at this baseline until all the foundational cues that she is using are being applied by the clients. If the cues are not being applied it tells her that she doesn’t have the green light to move into more complex exercises.

Rhythm of a Class

Once these cues are being applied we can increase the challenge and add another layer, this might mean progression, functional movement, load transfer etc. As an Instructor we need to know that we are able to go together with the clients into more directional complex exercises, not just because the plan was to get there but because the clients are ready to go there.

As an Instructor we always want our clients to have a positive experience creating a sense of accomplishment and desire to come back week after week. When you go to a class and it’s just hard, you get tired, you do so many heavy exercises that your only option is to loose quality, give up or collapse, then the experience is negative as it will leave one with a feeling of having given up on themselves or that you just aren’t good enough, strong enough, fit enough …

What we are looking for in clients is that ‘aha moment.’ During rep one or two the expectations are for the client to “give it a go”, not perfection. Around rep five or six we should see that precision meter go up because the client realizes “oh, that is what you meant.” The next stage we instructors strive to bring into a movement is always the ‘holy crap’, ‘I am getting it because this is intense’ moment.  Now this stage is our fine line, as instructors we want you to feel it however eventually if we play this out to far the client starts to lose their belief in you the instructor if you choose to push them to the point of having to give up or the client chooses to persevere however in the struggle they loose that connection and trust in you. As instructors, we need to watch and observe, and most importantly need to give clients permission to draw those lines themselves as well.

The class or session should leave a client feeling motivated, inspired, curious about what strength and ability they will reach into next. Teaching clients to be light in an exercise when the intensity of that exercise sequence is taking you towards your strength potential, drawing in on your limits, is essential in allowing the clients to create great gains without driving them to disappointment in themselves.

Our voice is powerful, and what Courtney Miller speaks about in her podcast with Breathe Education is that she has a lot of success when ramping up an exercise to ensure that you are softening your voice, have a smile on your face, have a giggle, because we are ‘just doing pilates.’  This helps the client soften the tension and to discover how to use just enough effort to get the extra rep or two with quality and gives a positive note to land on.

To hear the Podcast interview with Courtney Miller yourself click here.