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Is it bad to hold your pee?

How long is too long to hold it in? “Humans should urinate at least four to six times a day, but occasionally, the pressures of modern life force us to clench and hold it in. How bad is this habit, and how long can our bodies withstand it? Heba Shaheed takes us inside the bladder to find out.” – TedEd. Great video showcasing the importance of the pelvic floor and its inner workings. It’s important to maintain a healthy pelvic floor through exercise, Pilates and good bladder habits. Is it bad to hold your pee?






Article via @TEDEd

The Men of Pilates

The men that arrive at the Pilates studio often find their way to our door because a wife or girlfriend suggests it, or from the recommendation of a physiotherapist. Most don’t know what to expect from a session and some come with the idea that it’s going to be easy. Really easy.
Whatever impetus initiated their first step into the studio, the men are always the ones to stick it out for the long haul. 
They begin to understand the important balance between strength and flexibility and how a visually ripped 6-pack does not necessarily equal true core strength. They laugh when they realize that a demonstrated exercise is much harder than they expected and that they can’t rely on brute force to make it happen. Men are the first to ask questions about how they can transfer the Pilates concepts into their daily activities and favourite sports, and always enthusiastically tell you how genuinely great they feel after a session. 
The men of pilates know that it is the groundwork for how they can move through life better and they are often the best advocates for the work that we do. 

The importance of conscious breathing

Breathe in and breathe out. It is what we do all day long without a single thought. The brain has made this an automated process, yet there is a certain power behind learning to breathe consciously. We can slow down our heart rates, let our breathe lead us into a meditative state, and even help relieve health ailments including high blood pressure, headaches, anxiety, and stress.

However, sometimes it can be exceptionally difficult to learn how to consciously breathe, either while laying down in silence, or while moving throughout your day. Exercise programs like yoga and pilates have conscious breathing as a focal point of each movement. You learn to use your breathe to strengthen your muscles and relax into stretches. If we may so say, a great start to practicing conscious breathing!

What are some of the key points?

  1. Learn to breathe deeply. Many of us breathe just with the tops of our lungs. Try breathing deep into the belly and back, like you are trying to stretch out your torso in both directions. Breathe in and out, deeply and slowly.
  2. When you do physical work, exhale when the muscles are required to do work. This will help guide you through the tension.
  3. Relax when you are done with physical work. Take slow, deep, and easy breathes when you relax. Try letting your breathe guide you into sleep. Winding down like this at the end of the day can help to improve sleeping patterns.
  4. Practice regularly!

With so many pilates and yoga places available in this city, find somewhere that suits you and go often! The more you practice, the more natural it will become to breathe consciously.


West Ender Contest!

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Hello Vancouverites!

We have some exciting news! The Movement Studio along with other 4th avenue businesses including Ice Breaker, Beauty Bar, Comor, and Kits Acupuncture are teaming up to offer a $250 gift certificate bundle in a “Reboot your New Years Resolutions” contest! Hopefully just entering this contest will rekindle your passion for sticking to that resolution you were so dedicated to at the beginning of the year.

If you are interested in entering the contest, check out WEVancouver.com/contests to enter.

Lots of love!

-The Movement Studio


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!

The End of Pilates?

The Globe and Mail published an article last week stating that Pilates is a fad and will soon go the way of step aerobics and Jazzercise.

Click here to read the full article.

My favorite part is when it says, “More and more people don’t want to have to work for months getting a handle on Pilates principles like control, breathing, centering or flow. They just want to hit the gym and feel like they’ve got their butts kicked without having to worry about breathing techniques”.

Yeah!  Who wants to worry about breathing?  It’s not like we do it every day all day.  Saying people just want quick results is like saying we should all quit eating for a few days to lose weight.  You’ll get results and you won’t have to think about it!  But wouldn’t it be better to learn how to eat RIGHT so it can become part of your lifestyle rather than just a quick fix?

While it’s true that gyms may be seeing a decline in Pilates class attendance, it’s only because people are moving to studios where they can take classes in the setting Pilates was designed for. No one is going to see results in a 40-person reformer class!  Pilates is based on precise movements that  create dramatic change in the body.  Skilled instructors and intimate class sizes allow for everyone to do the movements properly.

As my grandmother always said… if you’re not going to do it right, why do it at all?!

What do you think?

(In other news:  Jazzercise is making a comeback.  So there, Globe and Mail.)

Walking and Organizing it All

Walking is not something we think about often. That is, how we walk. How a person organizes their body to walk is referred to as gait. Our gait feels and should feel normal to us although it may have changed over time due to any number of factors. What we do all day, our stress levels, emotional states, injuries, clothing, fatigue, weight change, all can have an effect on our gait. This becomes important because we walk throughout the day. Even if it is not much, we must do it to get ourselves from one place to the next. It is a repetitive and yet beautiful system of many movements that coordinate into the activity we call walking. If one movement is compromised, it can affect gait as a whole. Like putting a wrench in our gears. Of course we are not machines, so it is not as simple as that. Our amazing ability to adapt to change insures that we rarely fall down. Meaning that if the body is restricted in its usual way of functioning, it will find another way of functioning. It is important that we do this, but sometimes these other ways, or compensations, become uncomfortable in the long run. If change is needed, we need a keen sense of consciousness to undo our doing and bring strength back to a more harmonious way. Our nervous system will always work towards making what we do most naturally feel normal regardless of the level of tension or lack of support. This can be tricky, because the sensations of moving differently can feel so wrong or lost to us that it can easily overwhelm the sense of ease created by finding more efficiency. Taking the time to understand gait can be a catalyst to a “wake up” in your own body. It is OK to just go, but “how we go” determines where we end up and in what state of mind and body.

Worksafe BC

Here’s what a participant had to say about Karen’s Worksafe BC program.

It’s been almost a year now since I began taking Karen’s class here at the office. When I first began, I was a bit nervous as I really was a beginner in the class and the other participants had many classes under the belt. You made me feel very welcome for my first class. As I continued on, it was clear to me that not only did you have a wealth of knowledge about pilates but also about body mechanics. You not only ensure your students know what the exercise is about, you also ensure that their form is correct to get the most out of the exercise and avoid injury. Anyone can just teach a class, this is your passion and it shows in each and every class. It keeps me coming back! Thank you, Kimberly Kimberly Bosch, Team Manager Employer Service Centre Worksafe BC

Feedback on Danielle’s Somatic Shoulder Girdle Workshop

This workshop for me was WONDERFUL! It was comprehensive and detailed,
yet interesting and practical, allowing me to explore and learn
everything that encompasses my shoulder girdle by touching, feeling,
asking, listening, watching.

I spend about 7 hours altogether sitting in front of a computer almost
every day. I also love playing tennis and try to do so 3-4 times a
week. Needless to say, my shoulders / neck / back suffer a great deal.

Danielle’s workshop allowed me to understand and gave me more
awareness about my entire girdle. I came out with a couple of
movements that I have now incorporated into my regular warm-up before
tennis and stretching afterwards, and do also throughout the day while
I take breaks from the computer.

In addition, I now give more importance and have a different focus on my breathing and posture, and feel I have a better understanding of certain cues when doing pilates, taking a reformer or a chair class, and during regular walking and sitting activities.

Thank you, Danielle!!!!

Rebecca Lau, Studio Client

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