JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER MOTM

From left to right; Anoo Solomon, Dora Cheung, and Jaime-Lynn Cloke

Anoo Solomon
I have been attending the studio for almost one year 2-3x per week. Due to nerve damage from a surgery 2 ½ years ago I had been undergoing multiple unsuccessful treatments from many specialists and a guinea pig for medications with awful side effects and was looking for a more holistic way of dealing with chronic pain. I had been looking for a therapeutic exercise type program that would help me to find better ways of coping with the pain on both a physical and emotional level. Pilates provided me with immediate relief from the distress my body was under. For the first time in years my pain was alleviated while in my sessions. At first it was just during the sessions and I also was getting acupuncture done at the studio as well and started to notice the long lasting effects. I would come to the studio in pain and leave feeling 100% better. I also noticed my mood improved and was dealing with the emotional stress of the pain more productively. The experience has been life changing and I am so grateful! Stacey and all the staff have made the experience so enjoyable.  

I work in an office and sit at a desk all day long so I incorporate pilates as much as I can! From breathing techniques during high pain moments to stretching and moving to prevent strain. I also was advised by my Dr that I was 1 ½ inches taller at my last appointment J I am much more aware of my posture and have always been bad for slouching but clearly I am doing something right to improve.

Dora Cheung

  1. How long have you been attending classes at studio zee pilates?
    I started attending sessions as Studio Zee, September 2014. 
     
  2. What first brought you to the studio or to practice pilates?
    Anoo had done some research and found out about the physiotherapy treatment program. She had so many positive things to say about everyone at the studio, that I thought I would give it a try. 
     
  3. How has pilates impacted or changed your life and how you feel?
    Pilates has made me feel stronger and more confident in myself. I'm more aware of my movements and correct myself when I notice my posture is off. Coming to the sessions regularly allowed me to stay committed and I noticed the changes in my body - strengthening and toning my arms, my legs and most definitely my core. In addition, working with Beth, Alex and Alisun during these sessions were fantastic because they were encouraging, and were able to explain why we were doing exercises to help work certain parts of our body. They are personable, and became such a joy to see in a weekly basis.
     
  4. What do or did you do for a living?  Have you carried over your pilates practice in your day to day (improved posture, core engagement, alignment, balance, stability, body awareness, ease of movement, proprioception etc.)?
    I work in an office, so about 90% of my day is sitting in front of a computer. Before Pilates, my shoulders would hunch over, and my neck was constantly sore from sitting improperly. With Pilates, I was able to change my posture and like I said, I was more aware of my body and readjust so that I'm sitting properly. The soreness in my neck, and shoulders have eased.

Jaime-Lynn Tillotson

  1.  How long have you been attending classes at studio zee pilates?
    Since November 2014.
     
  2. What first brought you to the studio or to practice pilates?
    A friend recommended it for migraine relief.
     
  3. How has pilates impacted or changed your life and how you feel?
    Since starting pilates, I have fewer migraines and feel much stronger overall. 
     
  4. What do or did you do for a living?  Have you carried over your pilates practice in your day to day (improved posture, core engagement, alignment, balance, stability, body awareness, ease of movement, proprioception etc.)?
    I work in an office, where I sit most of the day. Pilates has made me much more aware of my posture while sitting and standing.  I am also much more conscious of my shoulders- before starting pilates I had pain in my shoulders and upper back, this is now minimal because I am more aware of my body and notice when I tense.  I am more aware of my core, and try to engage as I do other activities, like cardio.  Pilates has also helped me to sleep more deeply.  Pilates has definitely improved my health and wellness.
     
  5. Community involvement (did you join a club or participate in one of our events)?
    Not yet, but I highly recommend pilates to friends and family!

JUNE MOTM

Our June "Client Spotlight" goes to Martha Fulford!  Martha has been coming to the studio since this past January. Since she started Pilates her neck pain is gone, her overall strength has improved, she participated in the 30 class challenge and she is continuing to come to the studio 2-3x/week. She is extremely dedicated and looks fabulous! As pilates instructors this is why we love to teach.  Thanks for motivating all of us with your hard work and self improvement! 

1.  How long have you been attending classes at studio zee pilates?
I started going Pilates in January of this year.
 
2.  What first brought you to the studio or to practice pilates?
I injured my neck last November while putting in a few last minute bulbs in my garden.  It was dark, cold, and I was working with a flashlight.  I wanted to get them in before the predicted frost.  In hindsight, it was a rather silly thing to be doing and I ended up with a pinched nerve in my neck.  I did get physiotherapy but realized I needed a lot more in terms of core strengthening and neck stability exercises.  I did some research on what might help and decided to give Pilates a try.  I started with the reformer classes and once my neck began to improve, I also joined in the mat classes.

3.  How has pilates impacted or changed your life and how you feel?
Within six weeks of starting Pilates, the neck issues had pretty much resolved.  However, that was enough time for me to get me hooked on Pilates.  I feel much healthier and have more energy during during the day.  I have also noticed that I am sleeping much better.  I don't know if I actually look any different but I certainly feel better.
 
4.  What do or did you do for a living?  Have you carried over your pilates practice in your day to day (improved posture, core engagement, alignment, balance, stability, body awareness, ease of movement, proprioception etc.)?
Though my neck injury occurred while gardening, it was being aggravated by computer work or reaching and bending in certain ways while at work.  I think Pilates has made me much more aware of my posture and movement.  I bought a stability ball that I was planning to use while working at my desk at home.  Unfortunately, our dog took a major dislike to it and has attacked it repeatedly.  On the gardening front (where it all started) - I have been able to garden this summer with no difficulty and much improved stamina!

5.  Community involvement (did you join a club or participate in one of our events)?
Not yet.  But I have been highly recommending Pilates to anyone who asks. 

MAY MOTM

This Month, our May "Client Spotlight" goes to Elizabeth Parker!  Elizabeth has been coming to the studio since February, and has already been feeling the difference in her body.   Elizabeth is one of our hardest working, most conscientious clients, and proof that with dedication and strong work ethic it doesn't take long to discover the changes Pilates can make for you.  Elizabeth has a few things to say about all her hard work, and like so many of you! is an inspiration to all of us!  

  1. How long have you been attending classes at Studio Zee Pilates? 
    I started private lasses in February of this year. 
     
  2. What first brought you to the studio or to practice pilates?
    I started classes because I wanted to feel stronger, have more energy & take some time out for myself and my fitness level.  I was nervous about starting as it has been a long time since I took time for my own fitness regime - the staff was so supportive & encouraging from day one that It was clear I had made the right choice. 
     
  3. How has pilates impacted or changed your life and how you feel?
    I am a great deal stronger than when I began.  I have greater awareness about my posture & certainly much better posture.  My legs are stronger, my core is stronger & I have a lot more energy.  Riding my bike is easier and more enjoyable again.  I also feel that my regular classes help to keep stress levels down.  Focus and attention in class and working hard serves as a reset for my mind and body it seems.  No phone, phone calls, work for one house while I concentrate on the muscles and their work. 
     
  4. What do or did you do for a living?  Have you carried over your pilates practice in your day to day (improved posture, core engagement, alignment, balance, stability, body awareness, ease of movement, proprioception etc.)? I am a real estate agent and tend to work much of the time. How it crosses into my work: I think about my posture and core while I am driving (which I am called on to do a lot) also when I am up and down stairs I concentrate on proper movement as I do with standing, walking and sitting at my desk. I take mini breaks in the day to breath and align myself, tighten my core, move the scapula, tighten the muscles - it seems a great balancing tool.
     
  5. Community involvement (did you join a club or participate in one of our events)?  I participated in the 30 class challenge. Doing group classes and private lessons - the challenge kept me motivated to complete the 30 classes in the time allotted.  It was a challenge and it was terrific!
Andrea

Our April Client Spotlight goes to Andrea Costantini!  Andrea has been an amazing part of our SZP community for the past 2 years.  He has been dedicated to his practice by attending classes 2-4 times/week, and has noticed significant changes in his body with a stronger core, better balance, more flexibility, and more endurance while performing in the sports he loves.   Andrea pushes himself in the more challenging classes, including most recently, Barre class!! Andrea is inspiring with his  "give it all" attitude and not letting anything stand is his way for the next challenge!  His partner Marie is also a dedicated Studio Zee Pilates client, they both take turns watching their baby so the other one can attend classes at the studio.  It’s so amazing to see couples dedicated to helping one another out to achieve their fitness/wellness goals.   Way to go! 
 

  1. How long have you been attending classes at studio zee pilates?
    I’ve been attending classes for 2 years, I started about a year after moving from Toronto to Hamilton.
     
  2. What first brought you to the studio or to practice pilates?
    My partner Marie. She kept trying to get me to go for years, but I didn’t think it would be much of a workout. Wow was I wrong! I finally caved and tried some private classes to see how it felt and I was pretty much hooked after that.
     
  3. How has pilates impacted or changed your life and how you feel?
    I rowed in high school 20 years ago and that was probably the best shape I’ve ever been. Pilates has made my body, especially my core, stronger than that. My balance and flexibility are far better than they have ever been…but they still have a long way to go! :) In general I feel like pilates helps me to do a variety of physical activities better (running, swimming, hiking), it improves my posture while sitting at work and is great for helping me carry my son around.
     
  4. What do or did you do for a living?  Have you carried over your pilates practice in your day to day (improved posture, core engagement, alignment, balance, stability, body awareness, ease of movement, proprioception etc.)? 
    I am a software developer for CanadaHelps, so I sit a lot. Having better posture and a stronger core allows me to handle that better. I also switch to a stability ball at some points during the day and will even stand at a taller table for periods of time. I think one of the best things about pilates is that it is teaching me body awareness, so I can tell when I am stressing out or fatiguing part of my body and that little alarm bell goes off in my head and tells me switch what I am doing.
     
  5. Community involvement (did you join a club or participate in one of our events)? 
    Marie and I are both founding members of the Mustard Seed Co-op and we are also considering getting involved with SAGE at Strathcona school when our son Kees is old enough. In general though I find a lot of my community involvement time is eaten up with taking care of my one-year-old son and working.
sonja

Our March Client Spotlight goes to Sonja De Pauw!  Sonja (who just happens to be instructor Alex’s Mom) has been an amazing part of our SZP community for the last 2 years.  She has been dedicated to her practice, and as a result has noticed significant changes in her body. She not only participates in classes at the studio but she encourages her family members to join her!  Both of her daughters do pilates, and most recently her husband has been attending classes with her. We love to see families working out together!  Hopefully Sonja will inspire you to get your loved ones out, no better way to spend time together than being active!
 
1.   How long have you been attending classes at studio zee pilates?
I have been attending classes at Studio Zee for approximately 2 years, but I have been practicing Pilates for about 10 years.
 
2.   What first brought you to the studio or to practice pilates?
My daughter tried out the studio first and came back with glowing reports. She is now a Stott-certified instructor and teaching at Studio Zee. It was also through her that I was initially introduced to Pilates and its long history. I have always tried to keep active somehow, at busier times of life less successfully and other times more so. Sometimes I have committed to leading activities so I had to show up! Having survived the aerobics of the 80’s (I know that really dates me), I really appreciate the structure and safety of Pilates, not to mention its benefits as a mindfulness type of activity. I also really value the Stott training for Pilates instructors. I have trained with instructors who taught a different pilates method at other studios, but they were never as knowledgeable.

3.   How has pilates impacted or changed your life and how you feel?
PIlates keeps me moving, literally, and makes everything better. You can't enjoy any part of life when your body is tired or aching or painful.  
 
4.   What do or did you do for a living?  Have you carried over your pilates practice in your day to day (improved posture, core engagement, alignment, balance, stability, body awareness, ease of movement, proprioception etc.)?
I manage research projects at McMaster, currently in the area of cancer in adolescents and young adults. I sit at a computer all day, and it's always busy and sometimes pretty stressful. Having had repetitive strain injuries over the years related to sitting all day, I really value what I have learned about my body that helps me avoid them. I was pleasantly surprised recently to discover how strong I am, when we had to move furniture around as our house was being painted. Maybe the best thing though is being able to spend as much time tending my garden as I want. Before I started Pilates I was finding I could only manage a couple of hours before my back started hurting too much to continue. Now I can stay out from dawn to dusk if I want.
 
5.  Community involvement (did you join a club or participate in one of our events)?
Life is a bit too busy right now for the community involvement I used to have. I am a big fan of CityKidz though and appreciate that Studio Zee has supported them in the past.

Our February Client Spotlight goes to Elizabeth Harrington!  Liz (as we like to call her) has been an amazing part of our SZP community.  She has been a dedicated “pilatier” by attending classes at least 3-5 times/week and she's an avid runner. She not only participates in classes at the studio but recently since she’s been on maternity leave she has been cleaning the studio 3 times/week.  The studio has never looked better!  The next time you see Liz say “Hi”! She's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet and is truly inspirational. 
 
How long have you been attending classes at studio zee pilates?
Just over 2 blissful years.
 
What first brought you to the studio or to practice pilates?
A foot injury lead me to Pilates. I was hesitant at first, not knowing if I was going to get the same 'workout' that I was use too.
 
How has pilates impacted or changed your life and how you feel?
Pilates truly is a practice, just like any sport. The more you do and the harder you push yourself, the more you can challenge yourself and the better you get. What Pilates offered that was different was a full body conditioning routine that didn't result in bulky muscles - something I am very good at building. After two years and one baby, I'm leaner yet just as strong as I've have ever been.

What do or did you do for a living?  Have you carried over your pilates practice in your day to day (improved posture, core engagement, alignment, balance, stability, body awareness, ease of movement, proprioception etc.)? 
Currently on maternity leave, and away from my desk job I have incorporated Pilates into my day to day life. When not at the studio, I find myself practicing barre at the kitchen counter, pulling my shoulder back while I breast feed and engaging my pelvic floor as I drive.

Community involvement (did you join a club or participate in one of our events)? 
I did the Summer Sizzler Cleanse... I Loved it!

Rachel and Dominique have been coming to Studio Zee as a Mother and Daughter duo for the past two years.  Rachel says “I can't imagine life without it!”

When asked what first brought her to the studio she said “My sister was getting married, my bridesmaid's dress was sleeveless, 'nuff said. I had also done some recreational Pilates during my undergraduate degree, and had really enjoyed it.” 

How has pilates impacted or changed your life? “I have so much more energy, and find myself so much stronger in my everyday life. It (and by it, I mean they, because it has a lot to do with all our wonderful instructors!) has also helped to motivate me to completely re-prioritize my health, and pursue a healthier life on all levels. It's also something that I do with my Mom, which is, I think, a really great way for us to spend time together. It's also the only form of formal exercise I've ever found that I really enjoy, and have remained committed too.

Have you carried over your pilates practice in your day to day (improved posture, core engagement, alignment, balance, stability, body awareness, ease of movement etc.)?  “I work for the provincial government, and I find Pilates really helps me minimize the impact of long days in front of the computer, and the stress of commuting to Toronto.”

What’s your community involvement?
“I have done some of the Pilates in the Park classes with proceeds going to CITY KIDZ Hamilton, and I have participated in a special workshop on Imprint, which were both great experiences.”


Dominique Says - “I think I've tried just about everything out there, from the "Twenty Minute Workout" to TAI BO. I've joined gyms and the Y and have a collection of workout tapes to rival Cinema 1. They all had positives, but it was hard to stay consistent. 

I've wanted to do something with Ra for a long time and when she suggested pilates at Studio Z two years ago this spring, I was thrilled. We've been doing 2 semi-private sessions a week with few exceptions. 

I can't say enough about our instructors, Stacey, Karina and Alex and, more recently, Beth. They are great advocates for pilates and exceptional, skilled teachers. In two years, I've never been bored, their repertoire of exercises is varied and seemingly unlimited. Regardless of how tired I may feel when I arrive to class, I am unfailingly feeling better by the end of the session. I think the semi-private sessions have enabled Rachel and I to keep working at our technique so we continue to improve our strength and get the greatest benefit out of class. In the semi-privates, our instructors can also tailor the lesson to any areas we want to focus on, including any aches or pains. I am constantly amazed that a sore neck can feel so much improved the following day.

It'll be a challenge to summarize all the benefits I've gained from pilates in a limited space, but I'll mention the areas of my life that have improved significantly. To begin with, I've suffered from a severe case of whiplash since 1981. When I began class, I needed to support my head for the 100, now, I rarely do. I've had bad knees since high school, walking upstairs was a trial and I couldn't kneel to garden... not good, as we have a half acre lot and huge gardens, which had really deteriorated because of my knees. This past summer, I worked 2, 4, 6 and even 8 hour days in the garden, besides helping out Rachel with her new gardens and my mom with her gardens. Incredible! Being aware of engaging my core made hefting 3 cu. foot bags of cedar chips very manageable. I'm only 5' 1", so this is challenging! Increased upper body strength was also a factor. You cannot imagine how great it felt to, A, be that productive and, B, get the grounds back to looking as I like. And,as for stairs, not a problem.

Studio Zee offers many great programs, though time makes participating as much as we'd like difficult. We did participate in Pilates in the Park, which was enjoyable and had the added benefit of helping others. We did a workshop on breathing technique with Ashley which I continue to try to draw on and, I've just purchased a class flex pass and am hoping to get to the studio three times a week.

To sum up, for me, pilates is the most enjoyable, most beneficial program I've participated in over the more than thirty years I've been looking. It's the perfect fit. Thank you to Stacey, Karina, Alex, Ashley and Beth. You really are terrific.” 

Well all of us at Studio Zee think you are both super terrific, dedicated and inspiring.   It’s because of your hard work that all of these big changes you have experienced have come to fruition.   We are so happy to see you at the studio each and every week giving it your all no matter what the day throws your way.  It’s not easy coming out to exercise at 8pm at night, but week after week you are both there with big smiles on your face ready for the next pilates challenge.  We look forward to continue working with you, keep up the amazing work team Marsh! 

Congratulations to Ann Holdway our Member of the Month for December 2014!

Ann has been at Studio Zee since its inception 8 years ago, and prior to that she was doing pilates with Stacey.  She started pilates because she liked the idea of building a strong core. Ann says “ I feel it is essential to so many facets of our everyday life.  Feeling a strength of body gives one a mental strength, something well known in the medical profession.  Furthermore, after three children, well let's face it, one' s pelvic floor is not what we would like it to be!!  Much as I adore my children, their effect on my pelvic floor has given me cause for concern.  I believe we have to do the best to help ourselves and this is crucial in our day to day activities.  Pilates is a huge part of this.  No matter the injury, refinements can be made and it is certainly not some competition to outdo the person on the mat next to you.  In fact, the focus is on one's self, listening and breathing and doing the level we are capable of reaching that particular day. I can honestly say that I love coming to class, pushing myself and feeling great at the end.  Crucial to this is the superb level of instruction that we get at Studio Zee.  I feel inspired by it and look forward to the next installment. I hope to be there for many more.  By the way, I am not a religious person, but if, by chance there is an afterlife, I really hope there are great pilates classes up there.  Otherwise, shall be waiting for you guys..LOL”. 

 
Ann’s personality, style and humour have made teaching the classes she attends fun and light.  She’s attended all types of classes at the studio over the years including mat, reformer and barre.  She always comes in with a smile on her face and eager for a challenge.  We have noticed huge improvements in Ann this past Fall with her dedication of attending classes 3-4 times/week.  It’s truly inspiring to see clients like Ann who continue to work hard no matter what life throws at them.   Keep it up Ann!

Congratulations to Julia Holmes our Member of the Month for November 2014.
 
Julia has been doing Pilates at Studio Zee for 5 years now. Her obsession with pilates began after the birth of her two children. She found that prenatal Pilates helped her to maintain strength and continue to feel healthy and strong during her pregnancies. Post-natal, Pilates has been an invaluable form of exercise to help return her body to what it was pre-pregnancy. In fact she says she has become the strongest and fittest that she has ever been. Not only has it helped with her physical health but also her mental health. Pilates keeps her energized and positive when getting little sleep and allows her time to take care of herself, so that she can in turn take better care of those around her. The list goes on! Pilates has also improved her posture, especially while breast feeding and carrying her children, as well as her core strength. Pilates has also strengthened the muscles around her joints - decreasing pain that she was experiencing secondary to joint laxity as a result of her pregnancies. She has even been able to participate in Pilates with her daughter in tow while attending the mom and baby classes.
 
In addition to being a mother, Julia is also an Occupational Therapist. She feels that the experience she has had with Pilates has reaffirmed one of the core beliefs of her profession – that participating in an occupation that is meaningful to you can have an impact on your health and well-being. It has in many ways renewed Julia’s passion on her return to work after maternity-leave to continue to enable her clients to participate in those occupations they find meaningful in the face of injury/illness.

Julia participates in all the types of classes we offer at the studio from mat to barre-none, events, and workshops.  Currently she is participating in the 30 class challenge and is by far kicking butt! Julia’s positivity, hard work and determination is inspiring to all of us here at the studio.  Keep it up Julia! 

Congratulations to Jane & John Paulowich, our Members of the Month for October 2014.  

Jane & John are a happily retired dynamic duo who attend classes at the studio 3-4 times every week and have been coming to Studio Zee for the past 8 years! They love pilates because it helps them to maintain a strong core while challenging their balance which is extremely important.  They both feel physically stronger than before they had started pilates.  At 65 Jane likes to say "I can even keep up in reformer jump class!", which is true and she does amazing at it! Jane has her own reformer so she can continue with her pilates program while she is away from the studio.  Jane helps her condo community learn how to swim, while John hits the golf course. With their pilates knowledge they have a great foundation to help them do the activities they love.  

Way to go Jane & John!