How were you introduced to Essentrics and why did you want to begin teaching it?
When I was still teaching Pilates out of my home, a client of mine had a friend in Montreal—after one of her privates with me, she said “I need to show you pictures of my friend on Facebook, she lives in Montreal and has been doing some class called Essentrics.” When I looked at her before and after pictures, I could not believe what I saw. She was long and lean, and her body looked very balanced like a dancer. I immediately Googled Essentrics and watched some videos. I have to admit, when I first watched the video clips online, there was a disconnect for me; I had a hard time understanding how these seemingly simple, slow movements could produce the body that her friend had.
We were just about to move our Pilates studio out of my basement and to our first commercial space and I was looking for other classes that would compliment Pilates and would make sense to have in our studio. We ordered a few consumer DVDs and the Level 1 and 2 Teacher Training packages. We began to workout in my basement and within in days of starting out training we could feel our bodies change. We were hooked!
In September of 2010, we started with three Essentrics classes on our schedule—we now have triple that amount and they are all usually waitlisted. People cannot get enough and we have physically run out of space to add more. In Summer 2015, we will be opening our new expanded location that will allow us to add many more Essentrics classes to our schedule and we will also be adding Aging Backwards classes this fall.
Do you find that Essentrics and Pilates complement each other?
Completely!! What I love most about these two classes is that many of the concepts in Pilates and Essentrics are similar. The fact that the health of the spine is central to both – the eccentric muscular focus, posture, joint range of motion are similar makes the Essentrics language very easy for our Pilates clients to understand. They ‘get’ how to find the deeper work that traditional exercise and personal training has a hard time teaching a body.
I also love the parts that are different about the two modalities: one example is the overhead reaching movements [in Essentrics] where we allow the shoulders to lift in order to create space between the ribcage and the pelvis. In Pilates, we would be more focussed on engaging the latissimus and serratus muscles and lifting the arm, but not shortening the space between the ear and the shoulder. My team is great at teaching our classes and highlighting the similarities and the differences.
Does Essentrics bring in a separate clientele or is it the same clientele who take all the classes at your studio?
We have clients who now come to us to do Essentrics because of a family member, friend or co-worker that is coming to the studio and taking the class. Also, since the Aging Backwards documentary, we are getting more people inquiring about these classes.
We train many hockey teams and our University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team and they all do Essentrics as part of their training with us. There is something slightly gratifying about being able to easily complete a 5-minute arm track when these athletes are crumbling – BUT – they quickly feel and see how much stronger and flexible they get in a fairly short time!
What are your short/long term goal in terms of teaching Essentrics classes and having Essentrics offered at your studio?
Like I mentioned above, we are moving to an expanded studio this summer – our 9,000 sq foot studio is going to bring the worlds of mindful movement and clinical therapies (physiotherapy, massage therapy and chiropractic) under one roof. At the hub of these rehabilitation/health prevention services is movement, in addition to Pilates and Pilates-based classes our Essentrics offerings are a huge part of that. We want to launch Aging Backwards classes this fall, we want to continue to grow our Athletic Training program and Essentrics is a central piece to that.
We would love to have Miranda come to Saskatoon to deliver level 3 and 4 training to our team.
Our Aging Backwards book club was a huge success – Saskatoon loves Essentrics!!!