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Change Your Life

Hey Y'all,

It's Keri here. I wanna share a story with you. 

I started doing Pilates in my late twenties and it changed EVERYTHING.  I was already pretty physical, going to the gym about 4 times a week doing a combination of strength training and cardio.  Those workout weren't changing my body in any way though and they were leaving my joints tired and painful.  As a gal with rheumatoid arthritis that was concerning. So when my mother suggested I try Pilates with her I said 'fine,' though a little reluctantly. I, like a lot of people had misconceptions about Pilates. I  thought it was a workout for women over 50, bored housewives and b list celebrities.  Thats the thing about preconceived notions, they are usually hella wrong.

What I discovered was that Pilates is for EVERYONE.  Within two weeks I was hooked. Within a month I had given up my gym membership and within two months everything changed. I lost inches and gained muscle weight;  my posture improved; I slept better and had more energy and focus; I looked forward to going to the studio because there was a supportive community and,  I knew I was going to enjoy my workout and feel amazing after class.  At the time I was a server and long shifts on my feet were causing a lot of back pain. That went away as my core got stronger.  My joints hurt less and less and and felt stronger and supported. The biggest change was with my relationship with my body. I have had arthritis since i was four. I had come to get used to pain and I was pretty disconnected from my body as a result, like 'i just didn't want to deal.' Pilates made me curious about my body, and 'the body:' how it works, how it moves and ,all of its wondrous functions.

I was amazed at how taking an interest and creating a connection could change how I felt both physically and emotionally.  I remember being in class one day and my knee, which was the main sight arthritis, was hurting.  I had a conversation with it. I said 'listen, this movement is really safe, we are doing a good thing for you here buddy so can you just ease up a bit surrender?' Guess what? It did. That was an aha moment.  I realised there was some real truth and power to Joseph Pilates' claim that "it is the mind itself that shapes the body." 

I digress, because this is not a story about how awesome Pilates and movement is, you all ready know that for yourself. This is a story about finding myself. 

After 8 months of practicing I decided to do my teacher training. I was, at that time, pretty unclear about what I wanted 'to do with my life,' and it was causing me some grief.  My best friend had recently completed her 200 Yoga Teacher Training and I saw what it did for her soul. Even though she didn't plan on teaching she just seemed so much more grounded and happier.  So I thought ' *&^% it, what do i have to lose?' I had no visions of being a teacher, I had no idea what to expect. I just knew that this practice had started to change my body and my life and I wanted to explore that further. 

I mean y'all know how this story goes now.  I wouldn't be here writing to my beautiful community of Muses if I hadn't fallen further in love in that training.  It was a real shock to me, but I learned that anatomy made me excited and that I loved teaching.  I had always wanted to be a writer and teaching Pilates allowed me to explore the use of language and metaphor and to indulge my creative side.  I was also very academic at one point in my life and Pilates, dissecting movement and the body satisfied my analytical mind too. I value deep and meaningful interactions with people. There is no doubt that the connections you make with people when you are exploring body and movement are sacred and invaluable.  The most meaningful for me though was discovering that moment when you see you have may have made a difference in someones day, maybe even in their life. That, that is the heart of teaching. 

My point is this.  You don't have to make a career change and become a Pilates teacher to get value from a teacher training. You might realise that teaching movement is your dharma or you might not. You will unearth a lot though.  No matter the outcome the journey will change you.   You have nothing to lose from learning about how your body works, how to move it safely, functionally, creatively. You will discover how to communicate better and how to teach and you will gain more confidence in your practice and in life. Those are skills that are invaluable no matter where the road takes you. This is a promise from me to you: This training will make you get closer to and understand yourself more. You will move body, mind and heart.
 

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Get to know your teacher- Leslie Hopkins

If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Leslie before then your life in incomplete.  She's basically the funniest weirdest gal around town who teaches a slow, sneaky, burny class and is Muse's biggest anatomy nerd- and we got a lot of anatomy nerds.  Leslie recently started a masters in Occupational Therapy, so when she's not teaching a kick ass Pilates class you can find her cadavering (her newest favourite activity), eating chips and studying. Here's a few other things you may not have known about her. 

Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Leslie was brought to you by the letter O. 
Born in Ottawa, grew up in Owen Sound.  

What is your favourite tv show?
Buffy The Vampire Slayer 

What song do you wish could be playing everytime you walked into a room?
Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A Lot (mostly wishful thinking) 

What moves you?
Music, wine, travelling, dogs, and especially the combination of all of those things together.  

Who/What is your Muse?
Chicks that slay. 

When were you happiest?
Cuddling in bed with people and animals that I love.  

What motivates you?
I've had the amazing opportunity of working on a therapy team at a pre-school for children with disabilities. The children I have worked with me are pure inspiration and motivation for me in my personal and academic life.  

What does your practice regime look like?
My practice is more sporadic than I'd like it to be. It looks like the "snack time" version of working out. I pop onto a Reformer machine for ten minutes before a class. Or I hop on my mat mid study break for 30 minutes. When I'm lucky to have the time I get to take a class at Muse and loooove when I make the time to do that.  

What is your favourite muscle?
I'm a hog so I'm picking two...the Obliques (external obliques and internal obliques). I love the way they feel when you're working out. I also love what they do for my spine when I rotate. 

If you could be something else what would it be?
Unicorn. 

Ocean or Lake?
Ocean. 

Where is your favourite vacation spot?
Oliphant, Ontario. I was spoiled growing up minutes away from this beach. It's got an epic sunset.  
What is your spirit animal?
Unicorn. 

What is a ritual that you do?
I'm a life long learner, and anytime I take an exam I always spend a bit of that morning on my mat.

What brought you to movement?
My sister and I have been dancing since before we were in school, we danced a lot together. In high school my sister bought her first Pilates Video and we would follow along on her bedroom floor. I'm also happy to say we are both still dancing and doing Pilates (many, many years later). 

Whats you favourite snack?
Chips, Chocolate, Candy (so healthy).  

Whats your favourite meal?
Thai basil noodles.  

What is in your purse?
Granola bar crumbs, granola bars in their entirety. Old paper receipts that I'm "saving". Chapstick, sunglasses, wallet, and keys. A random dog poo bag, 'cuz you never know.  

Five Random Facts
1. I absolutely love making lists.
2. I have to set my alarm clock to a palindrome.
3.  I have had a giant tattoo covered up with an even more giant tattoo.
4. I love the smell of vanilla.
5. I have always been able to do the splits. 

Motto
If you can't change the situation, you can still change your reaction to it. 

Piece of Advice
If you feel like swearing do it, it feels fucking great. 

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Exercise of the Week: Teaser

We are kickin' it old school with this one.  We've taken a lot out of the classic repertoire in our modern pilates classroom but this one makes the cut! Why? Because it's awesome. Its safe, its challenging. it works your whole bod, abs abs abs, back, inner thighs, shoulder stabilisers, psoas, did we mention ABS.  And of course endurance. If You can do five of these babies back to back you can run pretty much run a marathon. And it feels so damn good when its done.  Don't worry we aren't gonna throw you into it right away. We want to set your bod up for success so there will be a lot of prep - read: abs abs abs- to get you into it.  Its one of those exercises that makes you feel the burn but also a lot of accomplishment. It's gonna make you stronger, taller and more even more kick ass than you already are!  It also looks really pretty as shown by our own Olivia Yung.  

Wanna know more. Come to class and we'll tease (pun so incredibly intended) this one out. 

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Seasonal Transitions, Top 5 Beauty Tips From Our Friends at Province Apothecary

We are huge advocates of customization + tailoring your beauty routine to suit  skin's needs as the seasons change. Educating clients on how to adapt their skincare regime effectively is at the forefront of what we do! Here are Holistic Aesthetician Cassandra Bradshaw's top 5 tips for taking care of your skin this season. 


1. Oil-based skincare
It's no secret that we're obsessed with oil. Using oil-based skincare products acts as a preventative measure against dehydration and dullness. All skin types and conditions can benefit from using this form of skincare, especially during Fall when common formulations (gels, foams) can be overly drying and irritating. Some people are afraid of using oil on their skin, as they believe it may lead to breakouts and congestion. The opposite is true, as oil actually prevents and clears acne. Oil products maintain hydration levels within the skin, keep our PH levels balanced and impart a natural, healthy glow. Use an oil cleanser every night to easily remove makeup and reduce excess oil. Especially if you are dealing with dry, dehydrated, cracked or flaking skin, oil will be your best friend!

Recommended product: Moisturizing Cleanser + Make Up Remover

2. Layering

Fall is all about layering - sweaters, scarves, and your skincare! During the hot humid months of summer, we tend to use less products on our face as added moisture is not always necessary. In the colder, drier months of fall I recommend using a face serum followed by a lotion or balm on top. The face serum will penetrate to the deeper layers of your skin, and the lotion or balm will protect the top surface. This is a great way to protect your skin from becoming dehydrated, chapped and irritated by harsh winds. I bike a lot through the city, so I prefer a beeswax based balm as it really seals in the moisture!

Recommended product: Protecting & Restoring Face Balm

3. Exfoliation
Exfoliation is an integral part of a skincare regime any time of year, but most importantly during the months that we notice more flakiness on the top surface. Since our skin's can be more sensitive during the colder months, it's important to use a gentle but effective exfoliant. Province Apothecary's oat + green tea based exfoliator will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and refreshed.  Try to exfoliate every 3 days and your skin will thank you with a youthful, natural glow and radiance. 

Recommended product: Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator.

4. Seasonal eating
With regards to our holistic approach to beauty, I always recommend following a seasonal and local diet whenever possible. Fall is the time of harvest - with so many nutritious local fruits and vegetables available to us at farmers markets throughout the city, it's an easy time of year to eat seasonal! Eating seasonal works well with our body's digestive system and boosts our immunity, thus providing a positive effect on our outer skin. A healthy digestive system will show on your skin by reducing inflammation and blemishes. Warming, grounding foods like squash and pumpkin are in abundance. Try this recipe for Healthy Pumpkin Pie Squares!

5. Movement practice
It's easy to feel more energized during the long, sunny summer days, but it's imperative to carry that energy through to Fall, and cultivating a regular movement practice is a key way to do so. Wether it be attending a yoga or pilates class at the gorgeous Muse Movement studio, getting outside on the waterfront trail for a morning bike ride, or jogging along Dundas West after work hours - whatever activity you choose is sure to bring more vibrancy and life to your skin. 

By: Cassandra Bradshaw

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Transitions

There's no question: fall can be a really hard season on our both our bodies and our emotions.  As we move into colder weather, new routines and, intense transition, we need to find ways to stay sane, grounded and make sure that we are taking care of ourselves.  Tried, tested and true, movement always helps. But what about changing your music too? We've got a new playlist that is sexy and cozy like autumn but also light and happy to help you keep your mood that way. These songs will help you transition through exercises and poses and into fall, smoothly.  Keep dancing. 


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Asstassic A Playlist

Many moons ago I used to teach a class by the moniker Asstastic. I recently rediscovered this playlist and had a little giggle and a wiggle. And sure enough these tunes will get your booty moving.  Hope you enjoy!


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An Oldie But Goodie

Found this in the attic. So excited. This is what we'll be listening to at the Studio. Among others but can't share them all at once. ENJOY. DANCE. MOVE. 

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Amanda on the Reformer

Here's a little taste. if you haven't tried one of Amanda's classes you should. She is so stoked to be teaching reformer and she's darn good at it.  Full of knowledge and creative and awesome for the body tricks up her sleeve Amanda's classes are challenging, mindful and fun!

Amanda is teaching a 6 week Pre- Registered morning reformer class.

Fridays, 9 am May 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5 and 12. 

You can register here


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Playlist: Spring 2015

This one will help you come out of hibernation mode, greet the longer days and sunshine and get you clapping your hands, tapping your feet and moving your body!


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Guest Teachers

We are so excited. On Saturday April 11th we have TWO Guest teachers to give you an amazing movement experience. 

Introducing: Mara Richardson, who will creatively move you through transitions that connect you to body and spirit in Yoga Flow at 10 am, AND; Emily Love who will work your body hard but mindfully in Pilates Flow at 11:15am. 

Without further ado....

For Mara yoga, is a daily practice of surrendering to the power of now and honouring one's truth. Mara's teaching style is an artistic flow that inspires a curiosity about the body and invites an internal feeling of awakening. Mara believes in the value of slowing down, to cultivate strength and understanding. Students can expect to be given helpful alignment cues - that connects a line of communication between mind, body, and spirit. With a passion for dance and music, Mara teaches a slow pace flow with heart felt rhythm! 

Mara is a graduate of the 500 hour yoga teacher training, and 40 hour restorative teacher training  at Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Studio. Mara's teachers are Pat Harada Linfoot, Scott Davis and Jesse Enright. Mara has mentored with Scott Davis and is currently mentoring with Pat Harada Linfoot. She is deeply grateful for their continuous gifts of knowledge, wisdom and support.

Emily is a life long athlete who started practicing Pilates after experiencing a back injury which led to chronic pain. Pilates changed the way she approached fitness, especially through the mind body connection it encourages. The detail and focus of Pilates not only challenge the body athletically, but encourage correct movement patterns to preventing and rehabilitate injuries. Emily also loves how it translates to every day life, and can especially help improve performance in so many sports like tennis, running, golf and cycling.

Certified in Mat Pilates from Body Harmonics, and TRX certified Emily loves to challenges her clients while encouraging technique and body awareness. 


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Post Pilates Protein

Recipe: Whitefish with Tomato, Capers and Arugula.

This is a great (and easy) recipe for a post pilates protein packed dinner. The recipe is brought to you by Nutritionista and Pilates lover Andrea Sarjeant.  You can find more of her healthy AND delicious recipes here.

The fish gives you that protein punch, which is needed to repair your muscles after an asstastic and abtasstic Musemovement workout. The greens provide you with alkaline and anti-inflammatory chlorophyll, which is needed to combat the oxidative stress that working out puts on your bod. 

Eat this on its own and feel virtuous post-workout, or pair with a glass of crisp white. Enjoy! 

1 large fillet (or two small) white fish, such as whitefish, halibut or cod

8 cloves garlic

8 kalmata olives, pitted

1 tbsp capers (optional)

Handful cherry tomatoes

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

2 lemon wedges

4 big handfuls arugula or spinach

Handful roughly torn Italian parsley

Preheat the oven to 350. Drizzle olive oil in a baking dish and place fish on baking dish. Arrange tomatoes, capers, olives and garlic. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and a grind of pepper overtop and place in the oven. Bake until fish is flaky and tomatoes are about to burst, 10-15 minutes. 

Divide arugula or spinach among two plates. Top each with half the fish, tomatoes, garlic, olives and capers if using. Sprinkle some parsley overtop, serve with a lemon wedge and an extra pinch of sea salt and pepper. Serves 2. 

Bon appetit!

xo

Keri and Andrea

 

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In Her Own Words

I have a friend, her name is Caitlin.  Like all the ladies that I have the pleasure of meeting and knowing both in friendship and in my work she is strong and beautiful, intelligent, complicated,  feisty and real!  Caitlin, who grew up as an athlete has spent much of her adult life struggling with her weight. In the last year has lost a whopping 100 pounds and has rediscovered her inner athlete and goddess.  She started coming to MuseMovement is the first month of the studio opening. She mentioned that she was in the maintenance stage with her weight and was nervous to stop almost obsessively going to all the combat and cardio classes (not to mention her Jillian Michaels videos) she had been attending that had helped her lose the weight and come back to her body.  I offered Caitlin a free month at MuseMovement Studio, confident in the guarantee of a regular practice of both yoga and Pilates. I wanted to show her what it could do for her body in this maintenance stage and perhaps in relieving some of that internal fear.  It has been a delight and a pleasure watching Caitlin's practice develop. She brings a determination, and eagerness to learn, to her practice that is both inspiring and contagious.  Caitlin has successfully maintained her weight but something else, something magical happened as well.   In her own words.....

“Communion urges us to come again and again to the place where we can know joy, to come and to celebrate, to join the circle of love” 

-Belle Hooks. 

"Who wouldn’t want to try as many yoga and Pilates classes as time would allow over the course of a month?  To be honest, a year ago, I would have said no.  Largely due to a discomfort I felt, a feeling of disconnect between my mind and body.  The person I am now, said yes, and cannot say enough about what I discovered at MuseMovement Studio. 

I have found a space to come again and again to access communion between mind and body, and to feel a sense of community.  Let me explain, because there is a backstory.  After a year of hard work, of using my body as a tool, I have lost close to 100 pounds and reached my goal weight. I have regained a healthy relationship to my body by remembering how to use it, to tame it, in turn rediscovering my inner athlete.  I spent a year driven by mind over body, a relationship of domination you could say.  What was missing is the opportunity to find communion, an experience of mind in unity with body.  I was reaping the benefits of improved health, but I had not experienced the sensation of harmony, one that accesses spirit.  Ultimately, and with great joy, this is what I have discovered at MuseMovement.  Now, I can safely say that it is my happy place, and I urge you to come and know this joy too.

Housed in the Artscape Youngplace, a building bustling with community and creativity, the MuseMovement space itself has a simple elegance and warmth reflective of the owner herself, Keri O’Meara.  There are art installations adorning the halls that seem to change weekly, encouraging patrons to leave with food for thought. Whether enjoying a morning class under beaming natural light coming through the windows, or whether delighting in an evening class under luminous candlelight, a view of the C.N Tower in the background, I find a welcoming energy in every class. 

The reception one feels is not simply about the space, it is about the wonderful teachers who inhabit it.  In my month of discovery of all that MuseMovement has to offer, I was guided in my practice by skilled women, whose teaching styles are diverse in tone yet share a common mood.  Each teacher has energy and style all her own, while keeping the atmosphere of grace and warmth that is MuseMovement’s vibe.  

Against likely the richest soundscape you’ll have the pleasure of hearing in any studio, I tried a variety of yoga and Pilates mat classes offered at the studio, and treated myself to the experience of reformer classes that open a whole new level of enjoyment. I challenged myself in different ways, from Yoga Flow or Pilates Flow classes in which the movement is more dynamic, playful even, to Yoga Deep or Pilates Deep mat classes in which the movements and poses are longer held to access stability and a deeper opening up.  I have found that I really love the mat class called Harmony, which blends the two practices, drawing on Pilates exercises to prepare for yoga poses.  Whatever the class, I was sure to experience a rewarding workout.  Having kicked up some heat, and calmed my mind, I would leave feeling a sense of wholeness.   The coolest experience, though, is definitely found in the reformer classes, which include a Cardio Reformer class.  The ability to add resistance and weight in the workout adds challenge and precision, and the machines are sleek and so fun to use, which makes the workout feel like a treat for yourself, one you want to commit to making part of your ritual. I am not the only one who loves the reformer classes, and demand for them is high, so I encourage you to sign up online to ensure a spot.  

In all the classes, I was encouraged to learn about my body in more ways than one, again because of the guidance of skillful teachers.  I revelled in Keri’s knowledge of anatomy and her ability to share this in a manner that is accessible to the new student, to use it to help us to visualize how to access the muscles in movements and stability in poses.  I was guided to use my body as an entrance point in opening my mind and spirit, using breath to create calm or verve.  The teachers all have a way of creating a safe space that encouraged me to move in ways I didn’t think possible at first.  In taking healthy leaps in the movement of my body, I was able to open my mind to what I was capable of doing – I was reminded of how thought can impede or inspire action, and MuseMovement inspires you to know joy in mindful effort to stir your body.  In doing this, in turn, you get to celebrate your spirit – creating a sense of communion that rejuvenates – one you can take with you beyond the studio. 

Whether being moved to feel those lovely happy tears evoked by endorphins, or to feel that good muscle soreness the next day, I found that I was regularly checking the schedule to see how quickly I could return.  In the end, my experience this month, and this kind offer from Keri O’Meara, is by far the best gift I have ever received – one I am grateful to have been in a place in my life to accept.  So whether you are new to yoga and Pilates like me, or practice regularly and are looking to make a new studio part of your routine, I urge you to come to MuseMovement; it is a wonderful space where you can commune with your mind and body, experience warmth of community, and find great joy. "

-Caitlin Burgess

 

 

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New Playlist- MuseMovement Harmony

This was the first MuseMovement Playlist I made so I hold it very dear to my heart but wanted to share it with you all.  I made it lying in bed with the flu a couple of weeks before the grande opening of the studio.  It lifted my spirits and made me so excited to move. I hope it does the same for you. 


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Artscape Illuminated

When people walk into MuseMovement Studio for the first time there are, across the board, two initial remarks or variations upon them. These are:  “what a beautiful studio,” AND “this is such an interesting building, I’ve been meaning to come for a while,” OR “ I didn’t even know this existed, what is it exactly?”

Artscape Youngplace is one building among many across Toronto, belonging to, and being transformed by, Artscape, "a non- for-profit organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities through creative place-making."  While all of these projects are pretty spectacular, Youngplace is particularly special to MuseMovement. Located in what Vogue Magazine names as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, Queen West, (and bordered by the vibrant Ossington Village) "Artscape Youngplace is a community cultural hub…, with 75,000 square feet of space devoted to artistic inspiration, learning, growth and expression." 

The building was once a public school. Fun and intimate fact- a school that my step bother and sister attended. In 2000, the Toronto District School Board shut the school down because of low enrollment. The building sat empty until 2010 when Artscape took it over. It is very relevant that the neighbourhood and it's various community's had a lot of input into what would go into this building. In it's own words, "Artscape Youngplace nurtures creation, learning and collaboration through innovative programs, experiences and events in an inspiring, social environment in order to strengthen and grow our community."  And this is palpable when you walk into the building.  It feels accessible, like a place where you will run into friends and neighbours, a place you want to explore and hang out in, that has something for

everyone and where you will be sure to leave feel inspired. 

The building was renovated and resorted but still has the appearance of an old school. But not a school that you drag your feet to, one that your are excited to go to every day, to learn and discover. And there is lots to discover. Every three weeks or so new exhibits are put up on each floor. The Koffler Gallery on the first floor has longer running exhibits and even the stairwell walls are home to changing artists creations.  In keeping with this spirit MuseMovement has dedicated one of it walls to display the work of various local artists. We had to save the other walls for handstands, legs up the wall and other inversions- after all, these inspire creativity in the mind, heart and soul.
 
This is just the tip of the iceberg though, there is so much happening at Artscape Youngplace.  And its not just that there is cool stuff to look at on the walls.  The buzz of the building is created by those inside it as well. It's the couple that bring the paper and their two dogs and sit in the Coffee Pub on the Mezzanine every Saturday morning; it's the Youth from Sketch (SKETCH is a Creative Enterprise Hub in Toronto engaging young people homeless and on the margins, ages 16-29.) practicing their performances in the hallways; it's the pop up markets in the flex studios; it's the university students hovered over their laptops soaking up the free wifi in the Urban Lounge; it's the kids filtering in to attend their hip hop dance class or myriad of other weekend and after school programs and activities; it's the new moms and babies coming to the College-Montrose Children’s Place drop in centre or gathering together for a tea; its the creative programming and planning going on the third floor where Luminato has its offices. And of course, It's people coming to get their yoga and Pilates on at Musemovement Studio, where we have built our own little community within the larger Artscape and Queen West neighbourhood community. 

And that my friends, is just a little bit about Artscape. Hope that makes it a little clearer and or entices you to want to come check it out. It really is something that you have to experience to understand its awesomeness. 

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MuseMovement will be holding a free drop in Yoga class (4:30 March 12th) for all levels as  Part of Artscape Youngplace's RECESS -a community open house featuring
Art * Live Music * Creation * Conversation * Performance * Arts Market * Food & Drinks
Thursday, Mar 12, 2015, 4:30 – 10:30 pm. 

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PLAYLIST- Summer Soul Yoga

Here is a new playlist for you all to enjoy.  It was made for my Soulful Summer Retreat this past summer. So, may you dream of yoga by the lake, the sun embracing you, long hot days and sensual summer nights while you listen. 

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xo

Move body, mind, heart...

-Keri

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Synchronicity and a New Teacher

Six years ago my dear friend, Helen, did her 200 Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Space here in Toronto. It transformed her. I saw a woman who had been anxious and a bit wayward, gain confidence, and focus, and demonstrate deep passion. At the time I was doing a lot of Pilates and was really interested in how it all worked. Seeing Helen post-YTT was the push and the inspiration I needed to take the plunge and sign up for my Pilates teacher training and I have not once regretted that decision. I remember, so clearly, thinking if this is the certainty a training can bring- thats it’s so tangible I can see it’s effects on my friend, then I really have nothing to lose. Those years ago (and the habit lingers as I am sure it does for many of us) I was so ready to dismiss my desires because they did not fall into some idea of what I thought my life ‘should’ look like. But seeing Helen’s growth fuelled my desire so much I could no longer ignore it. Once I made that decision the Universe opened up for me. I experienced real synchronicity, all signs pointed to ‘this is the right and best decision.’ And it was, as any one who sees how excited I get when I teach can attest to.  That summer, after Helen finished her training and just before I did mine,  we  had a blast.  We would meet every day in the park, with other friends and we were just so happy being and hanging and giggling, and there was plenty of yoga in the park, especially airplanes, we loved airplanes. We still do. 

Helen took her life in a different direction and decided not to teach and actually ended up as a reality television producer. We’ll save that story for another time. But her path brought her back and she recently completed her second YTT, this time in Costa Rica. This time around Helen is ready and excited to teach. And I am so delighted to announce that she will be joining the MuseMovement team. Again, it feels like the Universe is lining up. The woman who inspired me and encouraged me to dive in, do my training and become a teacher is now teaching at my studio. I feel blessed, so incredibly blessed. 

I tell this story as a prelude to an introduction to Helen but also as a reminder to do what it is you are passionate about. If you put out there in the world what it is you want from it, from life, it will come back to you- it may be unrecognizable and not what you expected, but it will come back to you and you should grasp it if you are ready and not force it if you aren’t.  Movement will help you do this. Movement brings clarity and helps make our dreams palpable. I don’t want to preach or sound like I am reading lines from an Eckhart Tolle classic, but just remember that when you move your body, you move your mind and your heart opens right up- as do possibilities.

Helen believes this as strongly as I do and her enthusiasm shows in her teaching. You can check out her gentle, yet challenging, Yoga Deep Karma classes (drop ins only $10)  Wednesday at 7:45 and Sundays at 4:30. Without further ado:

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Helen Manley
Having completed two 200hr teacher training programs Helen can’t wait to finally start teaching. In 2004, anxious and barely able to touch her toes, Helen walked into her first yoga class and a love affair began. Ten years later she’s found strength, flexibility and peace through her practice and believes wholeheartedly in the healing power of yoga. As a result of her own physical and emotional journey, she is an approachable and compassionate teacher.  Having studied under the guidance of Kathryn Beet, Patricia White and most recently Paula Tursi of Reflections Yoga NYC. Helen’s classes promote stability, acceptance and strength on and off of the mat. Through her slow yet challenging style her classes are designed to encourage expansion and release in body and mind.

Welcome to the team Helen. We look forward to meeting you on the mat.


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