Spring is coming! really!!

Join me on Mondays at 10:00 am or Thursday evenings at 8:30 pm for TOTAL BARRE™ A full hour of heart pumping and muscle burning exercises to music. Drop-ins $20.00 or use your Pilates card. New participants are welcome and no previous experience required.

Let’s dance
Monique

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Photography © Merrithew Corporation

Olympic Fever

I am a big fan of the Olympic games! You can be sure that for the next few weeks my boys and I will be watching all sorts of sports events that typically doesn’t interest me.
There’s just something really special about the Olympics that brings out the best in those athletes. I will be working out more and probable a little harder over the next 17 days that’s for sure. I will be incorporating lots of quad exercises this week in my classes, along with skiing type movements.

I feel inspired!

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Better abdominals this year!

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Abs Abs Abs!

I have declared that February is ab month at Pilates St Vital. Throughout February I’ll be focusing on the abdominal muscles in all my classes. We’ve done an excellent job over the years recruiting the transverse abdominals, a thin layer of muscle that spans the whole abdominal cavity from the rib cage to the pelvis.  It is the deepest ab layer and the only abdominal muscle which runs crosswise. This is your best lumbo-pelvic stabilizer. Next are your internal and external obliques which stabilize the spine globally. It can also flex, rotate and side bend your torso. Finally the rectus abdominus or AKA the six pack. It primarily flexes the trunk.

In order to recruit and strengthen all 4 layers of abdominals you must perform abdominal exercises in different planes and with a variety of loads. If you are in my Pilates class in February be prepared to execute some of the following exercises.

Don’t know what these exercises are?   Come to Pilates class and I’ll show you!

ON THE REFORMER  HUNDRED          SHORT SPINE     BACK ROWING     SIDE TWIST SITTING STOMACH MASSAGE          SHORT BOX  COORDINATION TENDON STRETCH CORKSCREW   ON THE CADILLACROLL-DOWN                   AIRPLANE           PUSH-THRU ON BACK WITH ROLL UPTEASER 1, 2, 3, 4, 5TWIST WITH PULSES

PORT DE BRAS

SIDE BEND

TWIST AROUND THE WORLD

PUSH-THRU BAR SPRINGS FROM ABOVE                      SIT-UP COMBO

SIDE BODY TWIST

To stronger abs for 2014!monique_signature

Welcome 2014

Beat the winter blues

Winnipeg temperature this morning is -36 degrees! I don’t want to leave the house but I must find the motivation to get things done.

Exercise is one of the best ways to combat the winter blues. Monday morning I had a group of 25, hand on the barre doing squats and pliés to the beat. This new class is TOTAL BARRE™ and the most fun I’ve had in years. TOTAL BARRE is a mix of Pilates, cardio, dance and strength training providing an intense full body workout with choreographed movement patterns set to music using a ballet barre and an array of props. Come solo or round up a group of girlfriends and be ready to have a blast this winter– no dance experience required!

Bring high energy and a smile when you join me on Monday mornings at 10:00am starting January 13th

totalbarre_headerPhotography © Merrithew Corporation

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

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MELT to a pain free posture

melt logoMonique is excited to bring MELT to Pilates St Vital. The MELT Method is a simple self-treatment method that combats chronic pain, improves performance, and decreases the accumulated stress caused by the repetitive postures and movements of everyday living. MELT was created by manual therapist Sue Hitzmann, based in New York City, and it’s now being taught across the country to groups and individuals by instructors trained by Hitzmann

The MELT Method is the very first Hands-off Bodywork® method developed for the general public as a self-care tool to prevent and relieve chronic pain. It’s an affordable addition to any wellness or fitness routine. Melt and pilates classes will start in September. Days and times TBA.

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Mindful Monday

Pilates and the power of  BREATH 

Joseph Pilates said, ‘Breathing is the first act of life. Our very life depends on it. Millions have never learned to master the art of correct breathing’. as published in Professional Fitness UK, Spring 2008

Why do we need to breathe?

All cells in your body require oxygen. Without it, they can’t move, build, reproduce and turn food into energy.  You get oxygen from breathing in air which your blood circulates to all parts of your body. Like fuel for your car, proper breathing ensures that enough oxygen flows to fuel muscle action.

Breathing in Pilates

The STOTT PILATES® breath pattern involves inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth with slightly pursed lips. This technique facilitates full expiration and should allow the release of unnecessary tension in the body, particularly in the neck and shoulder areas. It encourages breathing into the lower ribs three dimensionally. During inhalation, we focus on expanding the ribcage sideways and backwards.  During exhalation, we cue the activation of the deep support muscles by engaging the transversus abdominis first and then the oblique abdominals.  Proper alignment of your body, having all your bones in the correct place, allows the diaphragm to move freely and uninterrupted. Pilates restores that neutral alignment and helps you get strong enough to maintain it.

Conscious breath is a powerful tool to accentuate movement, to fuel the body for strength and stability, or even to calm anxious nerves in moments of high stress. Learning how to breathe properly is one of the benefits of Pilates which will enhance your mind and body connection, allowing you to reap the full benefits of any physical activity.

Just breathe,

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Yoga on a reformer!

Not a Yoga person?

Neither was I until I was introduced to ZEN•GA™ - Vinyasa on the Pilates Reformer, brought to you by the people at STOTT PILATES®

I’ve spent a lifetime studying dance and the art of teaching it, thinking I had found my passion. Many years ago I stumbled on a Pilates class and was immediately taken by how athletic it was and yet artistic at the same time. Pilates also flowed  just like a dance class and was choreographed to work from the center of my body outward.

Recently, I stumbled on ZEN•GA™, something even more intriguing. Vinyasa is a generic term that refers to any type of vigorous yoga exercise derived from Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa on the reformer is a fascinating blend of yoga inspired movements performed on a Pilates reformer to provide support to the Vinyasa postures. By holding postures against the spring-loaded resistance of your reformer, you will engage every muscle, enhance mind-body connection and increase your range of movement like never before.

This new class combines the flow of dance, the form of Pilates and the mindfulness of yoga. What could be better…

Join me Fridays at 11:30 or Sunday at 11:00am starting June 7th

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STOTT PILATES® photography © Merrithew Corporation

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Try the latest fitness craze!

BARRE

Barre class with Monique starting Monday  – Drop-in $25.00

Total Barre™ is a high-energy program that focuses on cardio, strength, flexibility, stamina and dynamic stability by combining elements from pilates, ballet and jazz. Get in on the Barre craze with Monique this summer. No previous dance experience needed. 
Mondays 8:30 to 9:45pm
8 week session, $180.00
June 3 to 29