by Jo Ann Graser
In early August I attended a five-day dissection workshop called “Fascial Anatomy Summer School” that provided a deep dive into the inner workings of the human body. The lab-based workshop consisted of an intimate exploration of fascia and its relationship to other structures in the body.
The course was held at the Institute for Anatomical Research in Colorado Springs and was led by Dr. Carla Stecco, an Orthopedic Surgeon from Padova, Italy. Dr. Stecco is an expert and innovator in fascial research and has taught all over the world. She is slated to be a keynote speaker at the Fascial Congress in Montreal this Fall.
Each workshop day began with a lecture on a specific topic and then we would head to the lab for hands on exploration. The amount of material we covered in five days was quite overwhelming and it’s still taking me time to process everything I learned. I want to give you all some snippets of information that I found interesting and relevant to the work we do together in the studio (and hope you do to). I realize the bulleted items below represent a huge information dump. Take your time to digest it and please reach out to me with any questions or comments.
The points below are some key take-aways from the course, if you aren't into all of the details, just check out the bolded text:
The exploration I was gifted through this workshop was life-changing and incredibly moving. Our bodies are such marvels of design and function, and it was an honor to be allowed such access and opportunity for learning.
by Jessica Schmidley
It’s March, we’re still in winter, and many of us are still trying to get on track with those resolutions we made at the beginning of January. We see clients every single day who want to improve their health and body composition in some way, but they overcomplicate it.
“I just need to stop eating sugar”
“I’m only going to eat between 10am and 6pm”
“No more carbs”
Or any combination of those. These concepts seem simple in theory, but they require cutting out entire food groups, specific timing of when we can or cannot eat, or eliminating certain macronutrients (carbs/protein/fat). We also end up demonizing food, which just hurts our relationship with food in the long run. Food is fuel. There are better options and worse options depending on your goals, but that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate those things you enjoy forever.
What if we looked at it from a different perspective? What if instead of focusing on what we need to cut out, we focus on what to add in?
Most Americans eat a diet that is high in carbohydrates and fat, and low in protein. Protein helps many of our major body systems function effectively, most importantly helping us to grow and maintain muscle tissue.
Why is muscle important? Quite simply, when we talk about metabolism, muscle is a huge part of that. Muscle even at its resting state requires energy. The more muscle we maintain on our bodies, the more calories we burn daily without even lifting a finger. Plus as we age we lose muscle mass, so a diet rich in protein plus regular strength training is super important.
To get more protein in your diet, aim to have a good quality protein source in each main meal and at least one of your snacks. Sources like lean chicken/beef/pork, seafood, eggs, yogurt/Kefir, cottage cheese are good places to start for the bulk of your protein intake. Protein also takes longer for your body to digest and requires energy to digest as it moves through your digestive tract (meaning you burn calories just to digest the food!). Protein also helps to keep you full longer in between meals.
You can also supplement with protein powders/bars, beans, grains like quinoa and nuts but try not to make these your only sources of protein.
To put it simply, most of us don’t get enough vegetables in our diet. Vegetables add fiber and nutrients that our bodies need, and don’t get otherwise. Vegetables also help to fill you up with generally low caloric values. Basically, your stomach feels full because the vegetables take up a lot of space but don’t add a whole lot of calories to your daily intake.
Adding more vegetables to your daily meals can be challenging for some, and may take a bit more planning if you don’t usually do it.
Start easy, buy pre-prepped vegetables or salad mixes from the grocery store. Many stores like Heinen’s even have pre-cooked veggies that only require reheating at mealtime. Another great option that we utilize often is frozen veggies! Many come in microwave friendly bags, all you have to do is heat for a few minutes in the microwave, add a little seasoning and you're ready to go. I prefer frozen veggies to canned (better flavor and texture, and less salt), but that’s just me.
Once you’ve gotten into the habit of eating more veggies, branch out! Seek out new plant based recipes, different ways to sneak veggies into the foods you already eat (for example, whenever I make meatloaf of meatballs I chop up carrots, spinach and mushrooms to get more nutrients), or just new methods of preparing and cooking vegetables to bring out their best flavor and texture. Or, I’ll sub part of a higher calorie food for vegetables, like cutting my pasta portion in half and adding vegetables like zucchini or spaghetti squash to make up the other half.
Ditch the scarcity mindset:
Focus on adding more protein and vegetables to your diet and you’ll find you reach less for the other stuff. Fill your plate with good, nutrient dense foods most of the time. Feed your body what it needs and then enjoy those other foods in moderation.
When I was a kid, we always had to do our chores and homework before we could watch tv. It’s kind of like that. Eat your veggies and protein first and you can still have those other things in moderation once you’ve given your body what it needs. Beyond that, listen to your body and your hunger cues. Most often, once you’ve gotten those good protein and nutrient sources squared away, you’re naturally not that hungry for those things you were focused on leaving out!
Cutting out entire food groups or macronutrients usually only makes us want them more anyways. How will you ditch the scarcity mindset and improve your health this year?
by Jessica Schmidley
January is the time when everyone starts thinking about resolutions. I consider resolutions to be just another type of goal, just like I would set for myself throughout the year. All too often we see clients give up on goals before the end of January. This year, let's commit to changing that by making better goals to begin with.
The key to achieving any goal, is how you create it.
We talk casually about goals all the time...I want to lose 5 pounds...I want to go on a vacation...I want to get a new job. However, wanting doesn’t get the job done. Action does.
If I want to lose 5 pounds, but I never make any changes in my lifestyle that will support that goal, it won’t happen. If I want a new job, but I never update my resume, talk to a recruiter or start applying for positions...It’s not likely that will happen either.
I talk with people all the time who set goals, but give themselves unrealistic timelines to complete them. Look at what you want to accomplish and set a reasonable timeline in order to follow through on that task.
Step One: Time Period
Identify a goal and decide how long the process of achieving that goal will reasonably take (not necessarily how quickly you want to get it done):
These do not have to be health or fitness related. They can be literally anything that you want to get accomplished. Go one week without dessert. Finish a project. Save up a certain amount of money to take that big vacation. These can be related goals or individual goals.
Choose your words:
Consider the words that you use while goal setting. Instead of saying “I want to…” or “Try to…” use the words “I will…”.
Step Two: Actions
List 1 to 3 actions that you will do to accomplish these tasks in this period of time. The larger the goal, the longer the period of time, and generally you will need more actionable tasks to complete that goal.
Step Three: Skills
Part of accomplishing a goal may involve learning new skills. If you want to cook more of your own meals, you may want to attend cooking classes or learn knife skills to help during that process. There are so many good online classes now to learn basically any skill you could imagine, check out sites like Masterclass.
1 Week Goal:
1 Month Goal:
1 Year Goal:
Step Four: Identify Your Sacrifices
“The real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the sacrifices required to achieve your goal. Do you want the lifestyle that comes with your quest? Do you want the boring and ugly process that comes before the exciting and glamorous outcome?”
This article really spoke to me, and I’m already a big fan of James Clear’s work. The want is not enough, identifying what needs to be done and if you are willing to do the work to accomplish the goal is a very important part of the process. Click the link above for the full article if you want to go a little deeper into goals.
Goals can be very powerful. Be strategic, be realistic and identify a few things that you want to check off your list this week, month or year!
by Jo Ann Graser
Are you aware that your nail tech and hair stylist must be licensed, but licensing requirements don’t apply to your Pilates/Personal Trainer/Group Exercise or Yoga instructor? Seems crazy, right? I think so and many in our profession have been working hard to remedy the situation.
The fitness industry is unregulated, which means there are no universal standards for instructor training. The bottom line is that anyone can market themselves as a fitness professional regardless of their level of training. For the purposes of this blog, I will be discussing the steps the Pilates industry has taken to up-level the profession.
Learning movement science, anatomy and program design is a lengthy and nuanced process and cannot be tackled in a weekend. A Pilates teacher needs to attend classroom lectures and workshops, engage in self practice and student teach for many hours to adequately learn to lead safe and effective sessions. This endeavor can take up to 2 years and 500+ hours to complete.
The not-for-profit professional association dedicated to the Pilates field is the PMA (Pilates Method
Alliance). In 2005, to fill the void in credentialing for Pilates teachers, the PMA created and launched the first and only legitimate credential exam which when passed conferred the title of “PMA-CPT” or Certified Pilates Teacher. Fast forward to today, and the Certification program has become autonomous and rebranded as the National Pilates Certification Program (NPCP). The following is taken from their website:
“The purpose of the NPCP is to establish, maintain and promote professional standards, and to award the title of Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher (NCPT) to the comprehensively educated Pilates teacher who has provided evidence that they meet these established professional standards.
For the public, employers, government agencies, and other professionals in allied fields, the NCPT
credential provides assurance that the Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher is competent in the provision of services.”
An instructor must complete a 450-hour comprehensive program of study in Pilates in order to sit for the exam. Once they have passed, they earn the designation of Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher or NCPT. This is the only objective way to ensure that your instructor has the adequate knowledge and experience to lead safe and effective sessions.
Over the last year, we introduced recurring monthly memberships for our Pilates Apparatus and Yoga & Fitness classes.
Having more than one option for your classes has left many with questions on how it all works, and how do you choose which one is best for YOU. We’re here to clear that up with the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
What is a punchcard/package?
A punchcard or package is a one time purchase of 10 or 20 sessions of either Pilates Apparatus or Yoga & Fitness classes. The classes are added to your account at the time of purchase and you can book up to that many classes in our schedule (10 or 20).
All packages expire 6 months from the date of purchase.
Packages allow the client the flexibility to book as many or as few classes per month as they like, they work best for clients who want flexibility in their schedule and/or travel a lot.
What is a monthly membership?
Monthly memberships are based on each calendar month and charged by an auto debit on the first day of the month. Whichever size you choose (6, 8, 12 or 20 sessions per month) will be deposited into your account on the first of the month. You may book your classes anytime within that month. You may add more sessions at your prorated membership rate if you find you need more in a month, however any unused sessions at the end of the month may not be carried over.
Memberships offer a lower price point per session, great for those who attend regularly and know they will use a certain amount of sessions each month. As a perk for our members, we are able to reserve your preferred time spot in upcoming months for you, just stop by the front desk and we’ll get you setup.
Here are the pros & cons of each:
Month to Month Memberships
For all current pricing information, click here.