Roughly 7 weeks into my training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, I injured my IT Band on my left leg, which is a very common overuse injury for runners and cyclists. It affects the tissue that runs from the side of your hip all the way down past your knee. The inflammation manifests itself as a deep pain in the outer thigh and a piercing sharp pain on the outside of the knee. The extremist that I am got so caught up in running a few months before the race, I had stopped doing any active recovery workouts like yoga and Pilates . I was advised by my trainer Eva Redpath and physiotherapist to cut down the number of days I was running and bring Pilates back into my workout schedule immediately. Pilates strengthens the smaller muscles that sometimes get overlooked when running, making it a great element to add to your training, especially when prepping for a race.
I turned to a beautiful movement studio in downtown Toronto that specializes in Pilates, yoga and dance; to stretch and lean out before the race with instructor Michelle Jobin. If you’re in the city you may already be familiar with Misfit Studio, who has recently moved into a new location not far from where they were once located. They can be now found on the 3rd floor of a converted church on Queen St West. Created in 1864, the space has huge stain glass windows allowing for beautiful light to flow into the practice rooms. With exposed brick, antique details and juxtaposed with modern design, Misfit is unlike any other studio in the city.
Founder Amber Joliat (above) uses her background in ballet and modern movement to enhance her Pilates and yoga style and leads a collective group of forward thinking instructors that each have their own individual approach to teaching who can help clients connect on a deeper level and achieve their goals. I’ve been asked by many of you via email and social media about my preference between Pilates and yoga and I really do equally love both forms of practice.; however when I do yoga it is usually in the form of Bikram (hot yoga). At Misfit, my go-to would be one of the reformer classes. Once intimidated by the reformer machine, I’ve come to appreciate how it helps perfect my form ensuring that I am getting the most out of each exercise. Adding tension to the machine allows me to push myself harder than I would solely using my body weight in a mat Pilates class.
When practicing any of the above noted activities, I prefer to be in light minimal clothing often opting for a tank and training shorts/tights and I’m never without my trusted studio wraps on my feet. Designed to take you from the studio to the street, this innovative three-part system has been updated and gives a barefoot feel without sacrificing support, style and traction. The ribbon, which is optional, customizes support when wrapped under the arch and around the ankle. It comes with a mesh bag to protect the wraps when washing and it also accompanied by a flat shoe that conveniently slips on over the wrap to avoid me from having to bring an extra pair of shoes to the studio for my workout.
Photography by Nathalia Allen – AMillionMinds.ca (@amillionminds)
From now until the end of November, Misfit Studio has set up a discount code (Misfit Studio x So Sasha) for $5 off for either a mat or reformer class in the studio. For more information on classes, rates and location head to MISFITSTUDIO.com. If you have any questions regarding my yoga/pilates practice, concerns or would like to share your Misfit experience with me, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @sashaexeter.