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Early life movement patterning

Photo Credit: Conscious Baby Blog

Early life movement patterning is crucial in the development of proper movement later in life. While it may be obvious for children who have had something happen to them that impairs their movement (i.e. accidentally broke a leg) that prevents them from moving regularly, it can affect how they move later in life.

Therefore, it is not surprising that early in life children need to learn how to move properly. In fact, it is something that they learn 1) by observing us upwardly mobile adults, and 2) via their own experience as their muscles begin to coordinate with their brain how to prop themselves up, crawl, and eventually walk.

While we know that this early movement is important, we live in a society that actually encourages the premature propping and walking of babies. Many parents will prop their children up into sitting positions (without proper support) or will try and get their children to walk. This may not seem to be such a bad thing, but it may force the baby to proceed through various movements before its brain or muscles are ready.

The Conscious Baby blog released this post earlier this month on how a baby learns to get themselves to standing and the importance of them working through the movement. It turns out that babies use what is called “measuring” where they will orient the distance between them and the floor using tactile sensation. During this phase, the muscles are developing strength to stand while the brain is becoming accustomed to what it feels like to have the head so far away from the ground- a daunting feeling for a baby whose balance may not be the best yet.

The blog covers various techniques a baby uses to measure including orientation from face to floor, object targeting, and early movement. As the baby continues to move and practice moving, the brain, particularly the primary motor cortex and cerebellum, are getting better at planning and performing movements.

This is a key period for movement development, so next time you see a baby, watch and learn how these amazing little people are teaching themselves how to orient and move in their little world. Pretty amazing!

Prenatal Pilates with Steph

There she is!  The beautiful & talented Stephanie who will be teaching our Prenatal Pilates classes.  Read a quick bit about her below:

Stephanie’s love of movement began early in life with dance. It was in her contemporary dance training at Les Ateliers de Danse Moderne de Montreal that she was first exposed to the Pilates’ method. Through her personal Pilates practice she realized the profound benefits of the work as her own body transitioned out of chronic pain. From there, Pilates became an integral part of her personal well being. As a teacher, Stephanie seeks to be a guide in helping her clients find a new awareness of the body through alignment, and a deepened understanding of their own physicality both in and out of the studio. Stephanie is continually looking for new inspiration as an instructor. She enjoys a rich practice of her own in Pilates, dance, yoga, and workshops in various movement modalities to further her along in her journey as an instructor.

Prenatal Pilates

We are excited to announce that we’ll soon be offering Prenatal Pilates with Stephanie.

Pilates is good for you ALL the time, but it’s especially beneficial during pregnancy because it strengthens abdominal, back, and pelvic floor muscles.  Having a strong core supports a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery, and helps prevent injury.

The Pilates method is ideal for exercise during pregnancy because it’s adaptable – exercises can be modified as your body changes so that you’re always getting what you need out of your session.

Interested?  Contact us by phone or email for more information.



See you at the Studio!

New class for parents AND babies!

We’ve got an exciting new program starting up at The Movement Studio — Danielle is offering a new workshop called MUMS & BABIES! Developmental Movement Patterning. (Don’t let the name fool you, Dad’s are welcomed, too!) Continue reading »


Soups are comfort foods that warm you up on a cool evening. Make soups such as leek and potato, cauliflower or broccoli thick and creamy with substitutions for traditionally-used creams and butters. Try substituting 1% or 2% milk for cream in recipes and stir in several tablespoons of yogurt or sour cream just before serving. Add a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt to each bowl of soup when serving, which when stirred in, makes for a creamier taste experience. You can also add pureed potatoes, white beans or cauliflower to thicken your soups. Note that potatoes tend to dull down flavours so make sure to add fresh herbs to potato soup bases to sharpen taste, and hold back on the salt.


Winter Foods

Fall and Winter Foods

When fall and winter arrives, many of us crave warm, cozy, comfort foods, especially given the recent weather we have been having. This can cause anxiety for those who equate these choices with lots of calories. Rich, saucy foods are indeed typical for the season: creamy mashed potatoes, gravies, cheese sauces and stews. But these foods aren’t the only way to get that comfort food feeling. There are ways to reduce the calories, but not the flavour of these traditional foods, making them health-inducing, not guilt-inducing. Here are a few ideas to get you cooking in a more healthful way this fall and winter.

winter squash

winter squash

Cooking Differently

Make creamy mashed potatoes by using Yukon Gold potatoes, low fat sour cream and a small amount of salt and butter or margarine. The yellow colour of the potatoes will give a buttery appearance, and the sour cream will lend a creamy texture, but without the fat of butter and cream.

Yummy Roasted Root Vegetables

There really is nothing quite like the smell of food roasting in the oven to fill your home with warmth. Take your favourite root vegetables and chop them into 1 inch (approximate) cubes. Place them in a glass baking dish and coat them with the following marinade:

4 TBsp olive oil

1 TBsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp coarse salt

1 tsp oregano, thyme and rosemary

Yams, sweet potatoes, fennel, sunchokes, any colour potato (including blue), turnip, parsnip, carrots, onions, garlic are all great choices for this recipe:


roasted winter veggies

Let sit for 20 minutes then cover dish with aluminum foil and place in a 400 F oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and leave for 10 more minutes. It may take up to an hour to cook your vegetables depending on which you chose, but keep turning them with a spatula to ensure they don’t stick to the sides of the dish.

Welcome Caroline Rechia! Our Nutritional Consultant

Caroline Rechia is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with over 10 years experience in consulting and working with diverse clients, including the Vancouver School Board and Canadian Cancer Society. Caroline believes that the right food choices can make us healthier and happier. She provides personalised nutrition strategies to help clients achieve goals such as weight loss or gain, manage food allergies and intolerances, or adopt a healthier diet. Having recently had a baby, Caroline is very interested in helping pregnant women and new moms eat properly and instilling their kids with great eating habits.

New! Nutrition Page


Check out our nutrition pages.  Great tips for new moms, recipes for seasonal eating, and holiday treats, including healthy chocolate recipes.  Yes, they do exist! All info provided by Caroline Rechia, RHN, our Nutritional Consultant and owner of Chocolibrium.

Baby Loves Beets

By Caroline Rechia, Registered Nutritionist



I learned a lesson today about not passing your own food issues on to your child. I hate beets but a good friend gave me a beautiful, fresh golden one from the market this weekend, so I decided to bake it up. Why waste good food? And perhaps this time I’d like them.

I peeled it, chopped it and poured a balsamic vinaigrette over the pieces. At lunch I warmed up the beets and as I began to add some herbed goat cheese to the bowl, my Baby Bug noticed what I was doing and went ga-ga over them. I had to give her some as she was kicking up a storm. Although I’ve been feeding her off my plate for weeks no, I never planned to offer her beets. I find they taste like dirt so why on earth would she like them? She adored them and couldn’t get enough. And why not? Baked beets are sweet and have a lovely texture.

You can tell she’s loving them! From now on I’ll just let her try anything that’s baby-appropriate without considering first how I feel about the food.