October's Equipment feature: Foam Roller

A love…hate relationship in the making.

We use these wonderful tools to challenge our balance and core stability. By adding an unstable surface you automatically recruit the core stabilizers to keep you from falling off!!!! The core stabilizers support you when you’re standing tall, walking, running and even sitting. They help improve your posture and protect your spine. Not only can you use the roller to improve your posture but many use the roller for myofascial release…self massage. Ask Carolyn how she encourages her massage clients to use the roller for just that. Enjoy using the roller in creative ways this month in your classes and also in your home practice.

September 2018 30 Day Challenge. Mark your progress!

September 30 Day Challenge

Before and After markers of your abilities. There are 8 in total. Do the ones you want and share your results.

1.        Ab Series – see video on facebook or YouTube here https://youtu.be/BPFyDVBgNLU

a.       This are a series of 5 classical abs exercises.  Watch the video and choose the options that challenge you but you are able to keep your back still (with a small grape size space under your belly button)

2.       Side Bridge Series – see video on facebook or here on YouTube 


a.       Side Bridges are the unlimited for  building a strong core.  On your forearm or your hand, lift a leg or keep both legs down.  Now form is more important than the length of your limbs. If you feel more on your forearm likely that is where you should be.   When things feel easy, we are often not doing them right!

3.        Standing Knee lift – see video on facebook or YouTube 


a.       This is about rolling the moving leg bone back in the hip socket to release hips. Yes, you read that right, do movement to create release.  The standing leg is going to burn as well.  I suggest 10 knee lifts and go as high as you can without moving your back to the front, to the side (keep your pelvis facing forward) and alternating forward and side.  This will mean you will do 40 knees lifts in total.



4.       Straight leg lift.  You can do this with a band or without. Keep your pelvis neutral (don’t let your low back touch the ground) and lift you leg up to the ceiling or as close as you can.  With the band or strap it will be easier so try it without first and grade yourself.  How high did you get?


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5.       Sitting with legs extended. See picture below.  You want to be right up on the bones that you sit on.


6.       Sitting down test  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tdtHWURId0

7.        Start standing, now lie face down and get back up. Do this 10x. Now do the same thing coming to lie face up 10x. Watch me do it here!  https://youtu.be/Cq7IkAum2Ww

8.       Pick another personal challenge and share with the group!


Instructor Highlight: Sarah Kelly

What do you love about Pilates?

There are so many reasons I love teaching Pilates and also how Pilates makes my body feel. To narrow it down to one answer I would simply say... I love how Pilates makes me feel strong! I can run, climb, jump around with my girls with ease!

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What has Pilates done for you?

Pilates has given me a better understanding on how our incredible bodies works. It has taught me ways to not only strengthen my own body but my children’s bodies as well!! It makes me feel empowered!!!

What do you love about working at Pilates In Guelph?

Easy...I LOVE my clients!! On days when I feel blah and not as pumped to work (we all have those days) I think of all the lovely people in my classes and BAM!! The blahs are gone. They truly are the best clients an instructor could ask for.

Sarah teaches

Mondays 9:30 Reformer Precision Flow, 10:30 Core Reformer and 12:00 Reformer Precision

Wednesdays 9:30 Core Reformer, 12:00 Mat Dynamic

Thursdays 5:30 Dynamic Duo, 7:15 Reformer Precision 8;15 Core Circuit

Friday 9:15 Mat Vertical, 10:30 Core Reformer


Instructor Highlight: Carolyn Dehu RMT



Teacher Of The Month



I am a Pilates Instructor and a Registered Massage Therapist. I've been part of the Pilates in Guelph teaching team since 2011 and began offering massage therapy at the studio in 2015. I received my Pilates training from Body Harmonics, a Canadian company that teaches contemporary Pilates. To date, I have been trained to teach on the Mat, Reformer, Cadillac and Chair. This summer I will complete my training on the Barrels and I have plans to write my Pilates Method Alliance test this winter to achieve our Industry's standard in full certification. I am currently participating in a mentorship study under Katrina Foe, a 2nd Generation Master Pilates Instructor who received her training from Pilates Elder Lolita San Miguel. The purpose of this mentorship program is to deepen and develop my personal and professional practice skills as well as focus training in Pilates customer service and education.

 I am returning from maternity leave this May since the birth of my second child. Life has gotten very busy, and Pilates has been my Oasis both mentally and physically; something I'm sure many of our Clients can relate to. My classes are heavily influenced by the principles of Pilates and tend to be structured with deliberate progressions. I incorporate my knowledge as a Massage Therapist into each session to help deepen my Clients' appreciation for how a consistent Pilates practice can improve their spinal health, joint mechanics, stress levels, facial function and muscle tone. My goal as an Instructor is to help you achieve steady and consistent progress in your own personal practice, and to help instill in you a curiosity and passion for making Pilates part of your daily life. I also hope to be a resource for our Pregnant Clients, teaching prenatal classes and answering questions about how to approach Pilates during this stage in their lives.


You will find me teaching classes on Saturday mornings at our studio in downtown Guelph and treating massage clients during the week at Motion Plus Physiotherapy in the city's south end. I can always be reached at carolynrmt@pilatesinguelph.com. Happy International Pilates Day

Carolyn teaches Saturday morning

9:00 Mat Flow

10:15 Reformer Dynamic

11:15 Reformer Precision

Spiky Domes "Magic Domes"

May spiky domes

Or should we say “MAGIC DOMES”

I can’t say enough about these little porcupines!! We love these domes for releasing tension throughout our entire body. These domes have been nicknamed by many of our clients “Magic Domes” as they have been very successful at alieviting pain in the feet, hips, lumbar spine, thoracic spine and even the head!!! These tools are also wonderful to train balance and build core strength. Find out in class this month how we can use one, two and even three of these domes to make your workout not only challenging but also fun!!!  Check out the videos and try them. We are positive you’ll fall in love with them as well.

Mini Parasetters


The feet are an important factor in your body’s overall health. The MINIS™ fix many problems, and are pleasurable - almost like a foot massage! Created by PMI and Marika Molnar, PT, LaC, MINIS™ are used by various ballet companies, including the New York City Ballet, to rehab and stretch their strained feet. Wether you are an athlete or just love to wear painful shoes, MINIS™ are a retreat for your feet.

MINIS™ help with:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Stress fractures
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Flat feet
  • Loss of balance
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Heel Spurs


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April Instructor Highlight - Paula Skimin

I received my Mat Certification in 2006 from Body Harmonics studio in Toronto. Since
then I have taught both Mat and Private classes.

I have a background in dance and am still able to perform and teach thanks to Pilates.
Pilates has given me new insight into the mechanics of the body. It has increased my
body awareness not just in my own dancing but of the students I teach as well. It helps
me move throughout the day in guidance and knowledge.

I credit Pilates for a career that can often be short lived and feel very lucky to have discovered it. Pilates is a continues reveal as its benefits of the repertoire are so deep. I look forward to
uncovering even more through studying the reformer this year.

It is a pleasure to work at Pilates in Guelph with all these talented and generous teachers and lovely clients.

March Matness Day 31: Pushup

Push up.   Some may think, putting the push up at the end is rather easy.  Those people likely do slopy pushups.  The pushup in Pilates is beautiful.  The elbow bend retracts the shoulder blades to allow for the protraction and engagement through serratus anterior (something that is very hard for most of us to do), then you hinge at your hips, control with your torso (while not moving your hips) and walk your hands through upward rotation to your feet.   Now you have a spine stretch, to recoil the back body fascia and lengthen through the front.    Really the movement is magic and feels that way too.

Primary focus:  Full body integration

Secondary focus: Full body integration :) 

March Matness Day 30: Control Balance

Well you can likely guess what this exercise is about, Control and a little balance.   Sometimes, we just need to move, and control balance gives us that movement.  Don't think so much, you have prepared your body, reach and stretch your spine and limbs and just move.  

Go ahead, you deserve it.  In the video, Sarah is doing a modification on the reformer.  Get the reach and the control using the springs and straps then transfer to the mat.

Primary focus:  Control

Secondary focus:  Stretch and balance

March Matness Day 29: Rocking


Rocking.  There is a video and a picture.  The picture shows me doing rocking on an exercise ball.  A nice variation and way to train the opening of the front body.  The video shows rocking.  Watch the head, ideally the rock comes from an activation of the legs, arms and torso.   My body likes extension and it likes this but my shoulders need a good warm up  before it can happen.

Primary focus: Opening the front body

Secondary focus: Stretch and control

March Matness Day 28: Seal and Crab

To be honest, I rarely do these.   I tried to get my 6 year old to do the video but she is in a phase of saying 'no' so I was out of luck.  They are fun.  They require control and well crab, done well, shows the strength of your neck (and we all need stronger necks, though this is not the exercise to make your neck stronger).  

Primarly focus:  Lengthening the back body

Secondary focus: Control

March Matness Day 27: Boomerang

By the time we get to exercise 27, we are strong, our bodies are working together and we need some challenge.  Boomerang is all about control, while maintaining the stretch through your spine, arms and legs.  It feels beautiful and looks beautiful.   Get out of your head, do it quickly then slow it down and find the control.  

Primary focus:  Full body Movement

Secondary focus: Control 

March Matness Day 26: Twist

Day 26 we have the side bend.  Love it and incorporate it or a modification in every class.   Now the man complaint is the wrist.   Shorten the leave, press your forearm, wrist and entire hand into the mat to build the stretch through the shoulder and waistline (yes you heard me, it is shoulder strength but also waistline line support which leads to success in this exercise).   Bent knees to feel waistline and do it over and over again.  Take a rest and do it some more

Primary focus:  Lateral System Support

Secondary focus:  Arm, Shoulder and waistline integration

March Matness Day 25: Side Kick Kneeling

Side Kick Kneeling.  If you are looking for lateral system, this is your exercise and it is fantastic.  I try to incorporate this exercise into almost all levels of classes.  There is the gluteus medius activation and the opposite waistline activation. Then there is the supporting leg and the activation of deep external rotators as well as a massage of the femur head in the hip socket, that can initiate cramping while creating space, mobility and strength in the hip.

Primary focus:  Lateral System

Secondary focus:  Deep Femur massage in hip socket

March Matness Day 24: Leg Pull Back

Leg Pull Back.   With this exercise, people are challenged by the range of motion required in the arms to be behind the body and hold weight.  And the ability to be strong through the entire length of the legs, then moving to one leg support.    Sarah is demostrating with her knees bent. This allows for the chest opening without the intesity of long legs

Primary focus:  Shoulder girdle range of motion

Secondary focus:  Strength and support through the legs