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The Foot Collective: Toe Spreaders now available in Studio!

The Foot Collective is a brand that has set out to change the way we view our footwear and the health of our feet. All the information below was directly taken from the information on their website, if you want to learn more, click here

“When most people hear of someone walking around barefoot they think of little kids or hippies. Yes a lot of “hippies” are commonly barefoot and they’re onto something (no offense to hippies, they live a type of life more people need to strive towards). Spending time barefoot and wearing natural footwear that might look a bit different is about escaping the crappy footwear that dominates the global footwear market today.

Poor footwear is a major contributor and in most cases the direct cause of problems with our feet. Most shoes are too narrow (the main cause of bunions), have a lifted heel (which shortens our calf and limits ankle mobility), have supportive arches (which weakens your natural arch forming muscles) and steal away the ability of your feet to sense the ground below you because of a thick layer of cushioning (which isn’t necessary and in fact is harmful to how we walk and especially how we run).

If you have foot pain (including bunions, sore feet, foot cramps, plantar fascitis or osteoarthritis to name a few) and are not currently using natural footwear you can guarantee its a big reason why you have the pain. Second only to hip problems caused by sitting and their effect on foot stability (will touch on this later), what you put on your feet is a major determinant of your foot health and the quality of your movement. Modern footwear is killing our feet and the biggest part of changing that is understanding your feet and how they should function. Don’t prioritize fashion at the expense of your foot health.” – The Foot Collective website.

 

 

KW Art of Fitness has decided to help solve some of these issues by bringing  Toe Spreaders into the Studio. Curious to learn more about why you will benefit from having Toe Spreaders in your life? Read more below from The Foot Collective:

What they do

“To put it simply, toe spreaders spread out your toes. Most modern shoes compress the front of our feet and squish our toes together. After enough time spent in narrow footwear the foot starts to change shape and develop a deformity to adapt itself to the shape of your footwear. These deformities not only look strange, they can have some serious effects on foot function resulting in pain and problems down the road. 

The Foot Collective

Just like the fingers on our hands don’t touch each other when relaxed, our toes should have spacing in between them (like the foot on the left pictured above). As our feet start to look like the shoes we put them in, the toes compress against each other and in some even start to overlap. This change in toe alignment, especially of the big toe is what creates bunions for many.

When the big toe drifts towards the rest of your toes, the powerful flexor tendon now starts to pull it more and more inwards which bows the first metatarsal further and further out causing worsening bunions over time

The Solution? Restore optimal toe alignment with to spreaders.” – The Foot Collective Website 

How to use them

“Start by using your toe spreaders in small doses and progressively increase how much time you use them for. Start with 1 hour per day and add an extra hour each week until you are comfortable wearing them for a long period of time. After regaining some initial mobility in the tissues between the toes, you can start wearing them at night when sleeping or even inside your shoes.” – The Foot Collective Website 

You can currently purchase Toe Spreaders in Studio for $20 tax included. Or purchase The Spreaders along with a tune up ball for $30 tax included. 

 

Above information was taken directly from The Foot Collective website. 

Body Harmonics on Demand: Pilates Anytime/Anywhere!

Wishing you had the time to get in an extra workout per week?
But don’t have time to make it into the Studio?

We have an amazing option for you, that will give you access to the style of Pilates you enjoy at our Studio!

Body Harmonics is the company that keep us ahead of the curve as Pilates Instructors and we are so excited to share it with you through their new on demand portal. 

To learn more, or to register so you can practise your Pilates at home click here! 

Another option is to visit their YouTube Channel here

NEW Classes this Spring

You asked, and we listened! This Spring, we are adding two new Reformer group classes to our schedule on Thursdays!

Reformer Class

Thursday 60 minute Reformer at 9:30am

&

Thursday 45 minute Reformer at Noon

If you are interested in securing your spot in either of these classes please email us at theboss@kwartoffitness.net – hurry there are only six spots available in each class!

Reformer – is a type of Pilates performed on the most popular Pilates invention, the Reformer. Its sliding carriage is powered by human effort (the arms, legs and core) and the adjustable springs regulate tension and resistance. Cables, bars, straps and pulleys allow exercises to be done from a variety of positions.

News Years Sleep Resolution – GET MORE SLEEP

Did you know that a good nights sleep is just as important as your healthy eating habits and exercise? That doesn’t mean waking up after 6 hours, but instead, getting at least 7-9 hours a night. 

Want to know what happens to your body when you don’t have good sleep habits? Watch this youtube video with Matthew Walker. 

Scary, right? Don’t worry! We are here to help and inspire you on a new journey to healthy sleep patterns. 

sleep

This January join us for a sleep-a-thon! We are challenging you to SLEEP MORE.

  • Every week, write down your weekly total of hours slept. We will have a place to record your hours in the Studio (the more the better!) 
  • Receive tips, tricks and stories on all things sleep through social media, our blog and in Studio. 
  • Stay motivated with our thermometer that we hope to collectively rise on a weekly basis. 
  • Share with us any changes you feel throughout the process to be a featured story. 

Excited yet? We are!

Let’s work together in 2019 to make more time for self care and an early bed time. Healthy change happens when we allow ourselves space to be curious, to educate, to bring our attention to ourselves and move through a process.

Why we shut down: Part II

It’s approaching that time at the studio … season transition, also known as: studio shutdown.
 

This seasonal transition is going to be for two weeks **gasp**shock**

Could it be true? Do we dare, you ask?

Art of Fitness

On, June 22, 2018, we posted a blog on the benefits clients could experience via our scheduled studio shutdowns simply by creating their own change in routine for rest & recovery. Why we shut down: Part II, will give you more insight into why a small business would dare take time away.
 

Inspiration was found a couple of years ago after reading an article, ‘Time Off Helps You Thrive in Life and Career.(2016,Huffington Post,By Caroline Dowd-Higgins).

What stuck in my mind is the statement “Be the Boss Who Sets a Good Example.” The article explains how our behaviour sets an example for others around you. That in fact, you should “honour your vacation time, that others will follow suit and enjoy their vacation time without guilt or concern.”
 
This article sparked in me a slightly unique business plan that I felt compelled to implement. Scheduled studio shutdown represents a plan that clearly provides for clients access to instructors that ‘walk the talk’ of the commonly used phrase: work/life balance.
 
So, great your instructors ‘get to’ take time to refresh, revitalize and reset mentally, but what’s in it for you?
 

Here’s what’s in it for you:

  • The studio goes through a deep clean thanks to Terry’s (featured in the video!) energy & elbow grease, her amazing attention to cleanliness detail never fails to impress.
    • Everything is taken off shelves to be cleaned, ceiling fans are wiped down, and of course all the regular twice a week vacuuming and floor mopping.
  • Equipment maintenance: springs, attachments, hinges, bearings, general upkeep.
    • Scheduled studio shutdown is when it happens.
    • Every time you use the equipment in our studio you can feel safe that all parts are in working order, seriously those springs could be dangerous!
    • Watch a video of exactly what Steph does on our Instagram or Facebook account!  
  • On the surface work life balance for your instructor certainly feels like it’s all about us. However, it’s a real WIN WIN situation — ever wonder why it seems that your instructors love what they do?
    • It’s because they do.
    • AND
    • Because we work hard to run a business in a way that respects human natures need for change, rest, reflection.
    • This allows for time to rejuvenate our ability to be teach, inspire and make movement relevant to each individual that walks in our door.

 

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

 

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.

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.  

Approach to Cueing – An Instructors Perspective

Approach to Cueing 

Cueing, ahhhhhh cueing such a mystery you can be!

As instructors we are always thinking about the next step or five steps ahead as we attempt to match the body cues each client gives us with our program intention and flow. We don’t have time to say anything that isn’t important in that moment, we must keep the future concepts in our mind to help create and orchestrate quality movements. There is never a time to Approach to Cueinggo into auto-pilot. 

A strong foundation right off the bat is key, take time to ground, center and bring internal awareness to the clients. After that internal awareness has been absorbed, we move into directional cues that create precise, flowing, strong movements. All the while still applying those “yummy” internal cues from the beginning as a strong reminder of purpose.

In the Breathe Education interview with Courtney Miller, she also talks about purposeful pauses. This sometimes may feel like punishment when an instructor asks you to pause during an exercise. However, the intention is to create an opportunity for the client to collect themselves and draw on the internal sensations of their bodies while the instructor regains control in order to Relayer the foundational cues that perhaps have started to trickle away once the class started moving along.

Last but definitely not least, ‘Rhythm of a Class’ coming tomorrow!