Tom Myers on exercise & Movement:
“If you can do it slowly, you can do it quickly; but just because you can do it quickly doesn’t mean you can do it slowly.”
Tom Myers on exercise & Movement:
“If you can do it slowly, you can do it quickly; but just because you can do it quickly doesn’t mean you can do it slowly.”
You asked, and we listened! This Spring, we are adding two new Reformer group classes to our schedule on Thursdays!
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 email@example.com – 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.
KW Art of Fitness is a boutique Pilates Studio that believes in going beyond the ‘get fit’ trends. We help clients accept self-responsibility for maintaining their health through education, self-practice, self-awareness and empowerment. We offer private, semi-private and intimate group classes including Matwork, Reformer, Yoga and Spin.
We are highly professional, loyal and deliver stunning work every time. We are constantly learning and staying current to make sure we are bringing the best to our clients. Our team is supportive, inspired by one another, and collaborative in how we support our clients. It is ALWAYS about the clients.
Our Success has blossomed from
Transparency: We give our clients all the information so they can continuously learn about their bodies and see the changes they have created.
Trust: We love to learn and give our clients accurate information that serves them better.
Respect: We join clients in discovering their definition of wellness, health and fitness.
Supportive, inclusive planning: Through active collaboration with other health care professionals we have found the key to continually weaving a delicate web of support for clients.
A Certified Pilates Instructor, taking clients through movement with exceptional instruction and dedication.
Who you are
Growing your career and future at KW Art of Fitness is within your hands and here is how you’ll succeed:
Why KW Art of Fitness?
Our snowmobiling, kayak adventuring, and beer drinking reformer class dreamer Pilates client is always up for a laugh in class; and yes she still works her ‘buns’ off while being funny.
My name is Jayne Amy, I am 64 years old this year, happily retired, and a grandma.
I first went to a Pilates Matwork class about 10 years ago with my sister-in-law just to try something new. I had always done aerobic classes and wasn’t sure I would like a slower pace exercise. Turned out I really enjoyed it. I have had back issues over the years and found Pilates greatly improved my back.
I started at KW Art of Fitness about 8 years ago just before they moved into their current location. As a promotion when they moved they offered a free half hour session. I choose to try the reformer which had caught my curiosity. After that there was no going back. I love the reformer class and credit it for helping me maintain an active life style.
I attend a reformer class once a week as well as do an aquafit class twice a week. I enjoy snowmobiling in the winter months and in the warmer months swimming and do some kayaking on calm waters. HaHa.
Line a large plate with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium pot, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Whisk in the sunflower seed butter, cocoa powder, and maple syrup until smooth. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
Add the oats, coconut, chia seeds, and salt into the pot and stir well until combined. The mixture will be thick, dense, oily, and gel-like (from the chia seeds), but this is normal. Swear.
Using a retractable ice cream scoop (approximately 2 tablespoons/30 mL) or simply a spoon, scoop the dough and place the mound onto the plate, leaving a bit of space between each cookie.
Place the cookies in the freezer to set for about 10 to 15 minutes, until firm, or simply chill in the fridge if you have the patience.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze them for up to 4 to 6 weeks. These cookies have the best texture/flavour straight from the fridge (rather than the freezer) so I prefer to store them in the fridge.
Laura comes into the Studio twice a week for Matwork and Reformer classes. She ALWAYS has a smile on her face and brightens the classes with her positive energy! Anyone who takes classes with Laura knows she makes class fun; with her witty comments and her life stories. Read more about Laura below.
I am married with 5 children and 7 and counting grandchildren. I am retired after a wonderful career in teaching mostly spent in JK/SK. There was never a dull moment and they always made me laugh.
I started coming to the studio when Liz Fryer suggested it to our book club. I think that was about 7 years ago!? I have always enjoyed physical activity and attend Zumba classes several times a week. I love the dancing even though I am often doing the wrong choreography. Do what brings you joy, right?
I started Pilates for a couple of reasons. Many members of my family have osteoporosis and I wanted to do as much as I could to keep my bones healthy and strong. I also like the toning, strengthening, flexibility and stability that Pilates can develop. I enjoy the classes and the people I have met along the way.
I am looking forward to being back in classes as 2019 unfolds.
Last week, we hosted a workshop on stretching for strength. For those of you who missed it, here are a few takeaways:
Pain: Observing someone else – which is the constant job of a manual or movement therapist – how am I to know when things are unpleasant and emotional or too much? How do you know when sensations are going to far?
“A sensation accompanied by the motor intention to withdraw” Tom Myers
Pain consists of three types: “pain that enters the body”, “pain stored in the body”, and “pain leaving the body”.
What’s in a feeling?
Muscle Spindle: is a proprioceptor, a sense organ that receives information from muscle, it senses STRETCH and the SPEED of the stretch.
When you stretch and feel the message that you are at the ENDPOINT of your stretch the spindle is sending a reflex arc signal to your spinal column telling you not to stretch any further. This sense organ protects you from over stretching or stretching too fast and hurting yourself.
Golgi Tendon Organ: is a proprioceptor, sense organ that receives information from the tendon, that senses TENSION.
When you lift weights, the Golgi tendon organ is the sense organ that tells you how much tension the muscle is exerting. If there is too much muscle tension the Golgi tendon organ will inhibit the muscle from creating any force (via a reflex arc), thus protecting you from injuring yourself.
Cerebellum: (latin for ‘little brain’) receives information from the sensory systems, the spinal cord, and other parts of the brain and then regulates motor movements. The cerebellum coordinates voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech, resulting in smooth and balanced muscular activity.
So What? Your neurological system can get it’s wires crossed and you can ‘feel tight’ and not be tight, you can feel restricted not because the joint’s in danger but because the Golgi tendon THINKS/FEELS it’s in danger because the muscle spindle and or Golgi tendon never returned to it’s “happy” shape.
Release for Range
• Gives the body a space and time to recalibrate it’s systems and or to regain their structure
• The cerebellum needs you to pay attention, investigate, it needs to be fed information
• Allows the body to take in and establish the changes movement & manual therapists give
• Release is developed in the space between how far and how much — in other words before the muscle spindle or Golgi tendon needs to shut you down
Creating release in your body takes an investigators mind.
Dynamic Neutral: Learning how to experience where a joint can create motion without influencing how your body weight sits in space before you started the motion We can’t teach you what to feel we can only teach you how to feel. Instructors try to find words that give you opportunity to explore how to weight sense, find fluidity and or focus on the space between where the motion begins and how the motion travels through you
Body Weight: ‘The force exerted on a body by a gravitational field’; ’our ability to stand upright depends on the tension between the force of the body and the pull of gravity’ (Laban)
Space: When we move we ‘push some space out of the way’ and the area we just vacated is filled with more space. (Laban)
Gather and Scatter: (Newlove, Dalby, 2004:112)
• Gather: taking up the least amount of space possible; this consists of ‘bending all of our joints and curling up into a ball’.
• Scatter: when we can stretch all of our limbs into a star like position, stretching even our fingers, to extend our Kinesphere
• It is important to remember that we don’t only gather or scatter our whole body but individual body parts as well
• Generally in movement we are doing both, using opposition to create stability in order to increase mobility and balance
Kinesphere: “The sphere around the body whose periphery can be reached by easily extended limbs without stepping away from that place which is the point of support when standing on one foot” (1966, Laban p.10) (visual image: DaVinci ‘)
Kinetic Force: how much energy is required to move in space
• Find time to investigate what midrange is in your body.
• Before you move, create a sense of ready throughout the entire body, gradually build up the sense of ready until you have gathered your weight and then move.
• Remember coordinating your body actually takes a great deal of intelligence, skill, patience and investigation, avoid taking it for granted or relaying on others
Words are powerful. However – just for the record – lets remember that we make them up, along with all of the stories we then create around these words. But are they an expression of anything authentically our truth?
One of our greatest gifts is our imagination – to make things up. Just watch any child at ‘play’. This capacity was hard-wired for all of us when we arrived, created and creative. The rest is merely conditioning. Anything that removes us from a sense that life is wondrous, though not without the inevitable scrapes and bruises, is simply not our truth – merely inherited knowledge of what life ‘should’ be.
If your life isn’t working for you, check in with yourself and listen closely to the words you are telling yourself – both about yourself as well as about other. Take time to simply be with what is really happening – it takes courage to be vulnerable. But in being openly honest (vulnerability) with ourselves, we gain access to our only true power.
Do you ever wonder? Yes, simply just be with and muse, wonder, get Zen. It is like a cat merely resting languorously in the sun. Can you imagine if you were to establish a practice of ‘no word’ and just listen, without attachment, to the sound of silence? If there is speaking, still listen for the breaks in the flow of words. Like music, the meaning is established or discerned in the ‘no sound’ as much as in ‘the sound’.
Although words are powerful, it is equally true that the space of ‘no words’ or silence, or truly listening is also profound. We are always so busy – not only speaking or listening to others speak – that we too often forget to allow for the space of no words. Just listen.
Why do you make words mean so little or so much?
What might our world be like if we spent more time communing in silence and ‘listening’?
Light has a different quality at the beginning of day in the early winter morning than in summer. Have you noticed? Nature sounds different in spring than in winter – have you noticed? What is the sound of silence to you? There is beauty, magic in this kind of attention – an attention that does not rush in to describe, or worse, ignore altogether.
Words are powerful but so is the sound and healing presence of silence. Have you tried it?
You, darkness, that I come from
I love you more than all the fires
That fence in the world,
For the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
And then no one outside learns of you.
But the darkness pulls in everything-
This poem by Rainer Maria Rilke reminds me also of words, like the fires in this poem – and ‘no words’/silence – being like an enveloping darkness.
I love the melodies of words, ‘tis true. However, I fear that we miss the beauty that waits in silence. This is especially so if we get caught up in a mindless barrage of words, labels, and a need to be the gong or in a throng, absent of silence and listening.
What if we could speak mindfully, listen for the music, making space for, at the risk of being vulnerable, silence.
What if our true power – vulnerability – lays in our willingness to be with the no words, or silence as much as in the spoken words?
Silence sounds like the space between night and day,
The glance of love that needs no words,
The full moon rising over the lake,
The morning dew on the quiet grass,
The first rays of the new day’s sunlight,
A mystery too deep for words.
Forgive me…I believe this is a stanza from a poem by Mary Oliver; I neglected to cite its origin. But it is too beautiful to not close with the beckoning sounds of silence.
Gloria comes into the Studio three times a week for reformer classes and a private session. We love her contagious spirit and curiosity of movement (and breathing!). She always puts her best foot forward, and inspires us to find ways to challenge her in movement.
Though I grew up very active (farm girl) I was never involved in sports (farm girl) and as an adult always felt too busy to exercise (full time work, children, volunteer work). And then in the last decade, there were four seniors who required untold hours of support. All I wanted to do when I had a moment was sit on the couch and watch TV or read. In my early 40’s I joined a woman’s gym. Who was I kidding. I rarely got there and when I did I felt completely discouraged. My peers there were 20 somethings and I had no idea what to do. In my late 40s I took up Kung Fu. I loved the fierceness and the discipline and I learned a lot but it was too much too late and unsustainable. I tried hiring a personal trainer to come to my home and design a weight training program for me to do myself. You know how that went.
But in January 2017 I sent a letter to my family anticipating the year and in that moment I decided I needed to do something. Spending so much time with seniors struggling with Parkinsons, Alzheimers and bad falls made me think hard about what I was doing to prepare myself for the years ahead. And I wanted to be able to get off the floor fast enough to keep a lively granddaughter safe!
My husband discovered Art of Fitness three years earlier when he needed help to prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro. He loved it. But I don’t’ respond well to people telling me what to do. By the end of 2016 he had finally stopped telling me to try classes. I decided to interview them. If they were pushy, or intimidating … if I did not feel comfortable … I would move on. My first encounter went very well.
I attend two classes and a private session every week. I find it interesting, challenging, and surprising. I know a lot about a lot of things but I did not realize how important the brain is when exercising. I did not know that I carried as much tension in my body as I do. (PJ asked me to take my tongue out of the roof of my mouth in my first session with her. I had no idea.) I did not know it was possible to breathe into my back. I am still learning how to breathe while holding an ab curl.
I love that my only goal is going to class and improving. (Well privately I do hope that the saggy underarm skin improves but I don’t focus on that.) I love that I just need to get to class and that if I do I will get stronger, my balance will improve and I will learn how to do things I could not do a year ago. Somehow these very capable, congenial instructors know exactly how to push me just hard enough to keep me getting stronger AND more confident. I continue to be amused by what I am doing and how enthused I am about it. Amazing.
Professionals who play the role of being your Guide Through Movement (Pilates, Yoga, Functional Fitness, etc …) use a third person perspective of observing your body from the outside WHILE using our words to construct a narrative that gives you the opportunity to perceive yourself from the inside.
In doing this, we focus your awareness, we create an opportunity for you to practice the skill of conscious attention.
Improvement of your overall body function. Avoid the stress your day to day activities (which include working out) creates in your body resulting in habitual movement patterns that do not serve you. Once a movement crosses into the habitual realm you are giving up voluntary control. Involuntary conditioning decreases your body function or potential function, it lays the ground work for chronic ailments, dysfunctions and leaves you with a rigid body.
Body mapping, intentional release work, creates a space for learning. This learning expands your range of action and your perception of available action, resulting in a greater range of movement, strength and ability. If the skill of conscious attention during movement (sensory-motor system) is practiced through out your life time you have opportunity to avoid the habituating effects of stress.
Two of the ‘guru’s’ of these methods are:
Thomas Hannah: Clinical Somatic Education
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais: Feldenkrais Method
At KW Art of Fitness our base of this concept is drawn from Integrated Movement Therapies (IMT)®, from the Pilates educator Second Wind Pilates Plus, Danielle LeBlanc.
Oh you will.
You must also be willing to first address the practice of perceiving minimal sensation, minimal movement – thus creating new sensory feedback, new clarity of movement. The unknown becomes the known. Undiscovered opportunity of functional strength becomes discovered and you will have access to voluntarily eliciting effortless effort.
It all starts with breath, YUP … breathing again ….
and IMAGINATION ….
Our thinking directs our movements. Your imagination (mental pictures) will cause the deep muscles to come into action. This conscious access to your body is underneath the superficial layers of muscle. Therefore, you will not feel them work in the traditional sense. If, in fact, you get a work sensation then you are doing, not thinking (imagination), thus defeating the purpose.
At our studio we intentionally drop in moments during your time with us to search out these body mapping opportunities. Sometimes we make it obvious, while other times we sneak it in ….
Learn more about how we specifically create these opportunities for you to explore this world of voluntary consciousness through body mapping.
Join us for the workshop: Stretch for Strength, Release for Range.
We are also running the same workshop for movement professionals, which will dive into cuing (using your words) to help elicit this idea in people whom you are guiding others.
Call your pursuit of fitness and function by whichever label suits; just remember your pursuit will be better served if you take the time to also potentiate your efforts exerted by learning voluntary control (fluid, responsive, supple, efficient movement) – Body Mapping …