Margot McKinnon Body Harmonics Pilates

Beyond Pilates

On July 18, 2008 I attended my first Pilates class at Body Harmonics with Margot. I’d been teaching for a few years by then, and was part way through the Mat Work program.

From the moment I stepped into her class, I knew there was something special going on.

There was a buzz in the air – people were chatting and they were excited to be in class! There was a cool breeze flowing in from the window. The music was energizing, yet not distracting.

Blue yoga bricks and foam rollers had been laid out on the mats and within a minute of Margot stepping into the room, we had begun to step up and down on the brick.

What confused me was…

  • We didn’t begin with deep focused breathing and intense focus on “finding our core”
  • We started class standing
  • Stepping up and down on a yoga brick didn’t resemble a classical Pilates exercise at all. Not even close!

As we continued to step up and down on the brick in a variety of ways, Margot kept talking about how this was helping our body and making us stronger. At first, it didn’t seem like much work, but after 10 minutes of repeated step-ups, squats and lunges, I felt muscles start to heat up throughout my legs and core. How cool is that?

What’s even better was that I was having so much fun and learning something at the same time!
As the class progressed, Margot took us through many series of movements. Some were Pilates-like and others completely different.

She kept weaving her cuing between two themes: how our foot is important to our balance systems and how our balance systems work with our core.

The class went by so fast and I’d worked so hard, but instead of feeling exhausted and overworked, I felt energized.

In all my years of teaching, watching workout videos at home, attending fitness and dance classes, I had never felt so strong, relaxed and energized as I did after that class.

I was fascinated by what Margot had been able to accomplish in her class and I wanted to be able to do it too.

As soon as I got home, I registered for the full Pilates Equipment training and made arrangements to move from Windsor to Toronto permanently.

I knew something special was going on at Body Harmonics, but at the time I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Now that I’ve worked at the studio for several years as an instructor, I’ve finally figured out why Body Harmonics is so special and what makes it so different from other studios.

Moves Beyond Pilates and Takes Movement to the Next Level

A typical classical Pilates class consists of a set series of movements that are often uncomfortable, complicated and not appropriate for many people with injuries. For the right person, it can be a great workout, but for the average person who sits at a desk all day, it’s not necessarily the best choice.

Body Harmonics has taken the best from the classical Pilates repertoire and made it more accessible to people of all ages, activity levels and walks of life. Classes are designed to build strength, flexibility and movement throughout the entire body and the unique teaching style is accessible and inspiring to a wide group of people

Fits Pilates to the person, not the person to Pilates

Life is a lot more sedentary than when Pilates was created. And conditions like Osteoporosis are more prevalent. Both cases call for movement with less forward flexion. But 54% of the classical Pilates exercises involve forward flexion.

This means that only 46% of the classical Pilates exercises would be appropriate for people with Osteoporosis. And for the rest of us with our noses in our phones, computers and TVs, over half the exercises aren’t the best choice.

Body Harmonics takes all of this into account through the use of small apparatus, creative cueing and innovative class themes, Body Harmonics makes even the simplest exercises fun and effective. And there’s loads of variety. Did you know you could find at least 20 different ways to do a hip fold or a bridge?

It’s by using these types of strategies that Body Harmonics fits Pilates to the participants and not the other way around. So everyone can participate–new moms, people with neurological conditions, those with back problems, injuries or chronic issues, and people who just want to stay limber.  Everyone can benefit from a Body Harmonics class or private session.

Fosters Collaboration and Curiosity

Instructors who work at Body Harmonics are genuinely curious about the body and how it moves. They share seemingly simple pieces of information that can make a profound effect on a body and how it moves with each other, with private clients and in classes.

Everyone is excited to learn more and work their bodies in smart, efficient ways.

Pilates à la Body Harmonics is a great way to stay in shape and learn how to take ownership of your own body!

Have you experienced the Body Harmonics difference in a class, private session or workshop? Please share your experience in the comments section below.


Author: Larisa Makuch

Larisa Makuch Pilates Larisa Makuch is a Pilates & Movement teacher, teacher trainer and ELDOA instructor. She draws on her experiences to create innovative teaching and business strategies. Larisa has a Body Harmonics Comprehensive Pilates diploma, several Specialist diplomas and a BA.

“For me it’s all about helping people move better, feel better and build their confidence each and every day. I especially enjoy those ‘aha’ moments when clients and colleagues make discoveries that translate into more freedom, more joy and less pain in their lives.”

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