‘Tis the season. Inhabit Pilates and Movement
Move well, feel better. Clair Avenue)
Lessons available at:
InHabit Pilates at 677 Dupont Street, 2nd Floor (at Christie)
Annex RMT Clinic at 1415 Bathurst Street, Suite 303 (at St.
Operating as usual
‘Tis the season. Inhabit Pilates and Movement
This is fascinating! This piece is long, but is an interesting discussion of research into calorie burning in humans.
“Exercise doesn’t help you burn more energy on average; active hunter-gatherers in Africa don’t expend more energy daily than sedentary office workers in Illinois; pregnant women don’t burn more calories per day than other adults, after adjusting for body mass.”
If you’re looking to exercise for weight loss, it may not be the key that we thought it was. Instead, think of it as a way to boost your system so you’re less likely to develop disease. It looks like diet is still the big ticket for weight loss.
The work of evolutionary anthropologist Herman Pontzer shows why humans are the fattest, highest energy apes
Caprice Boisvert: Movement Re-education updated their info in the about section.
Caprice Boisvert: Movement Re-education updated their business hours.
Caprice Boisvert: Movement Re-education updated their address.
Here’s an interesting piece on habits and self-control. Alexander Technique teaches us to be aware of habitual patterns of *thinking*. Whether it is the habitual way we react defensively to criticism or the habitual way we tie our shoelaces, our thinking can change and can lead to positive outcomes.
Forming new habits isn’t impossible, but it’s much easier for some people than others.
Bill the Cat does pilates!
My friend and colleague Peter Nobes made another great video of the Alexander Technique. It’s all about consciousness. If you would like to be more conscious, reach out to me for a few Alexander lessons.
The Conscious Mind Must Be Quickened.
It turns out, "Listen to your body," is really good advice. :D
Results published in the Journal of Athletic Training found no clear links between a runner’s training parameters and the likelihood of injury
I came across this today. Looks like an interesting data analysis. I thought I had to exercise more as I age to prevent weight gain, but I think perhaps I am also swayed by: "Life is short. Eat dessert." In which case, more exercise is appropriate. :D
The article published in the journal, Science ("Daily energy expenditure through the human life course") is here:
It's a generally accepted belief that as you age, your resting metabolism slows — especially over age 40. Not true, says an August study published in the journal Science. Fitness expert Dana Santas shares four science-backed ways to boost your metabolism.
New blog: FREE YOUR JAW, PART I
"Alexander Technique is a skill that allows us to become more aware of our habitual movement patterns. If one of your habitual patterns is to clench your jaw, you may not even know that you are doing it. That’s how amazing our habits are: they become so much a part of our day-to-day, that we fail to notice them. Most of the time, habits are really wonderful things. We should embrace them and be thankful that we have so many useful patterns at the ready. That is, until we face a habit that is less than optimal, such as, bruxing."
Click on this link to read the whole piece:
This is very Alexandrian thinking. Very wise words we should all consider.
"It is important to maintain your equanimity. You cannot let yourself get too 'up' or too 'down' based on your circumstances."
"Too 'down' I understand. But why not too 'up?'"
"Because the higher your mountains are, the deeper your valleys will seem. You should not react to the world. You should respond, but not react. A response is an action based on logic. A reaction is an emotional state. Your reaction will not change the world. Your reaction only changes you. Your response will change the world."
I received a link to this piece today. It covers some great heath and fitness questions.
I have copied the contents here in case you cannot open the link.
‘Six months ago my knee was diagnosed as having wear and tear. Due to Covid restrictions, I’ve only been able to have phone appointments with a physiotherapist. Because I’m moving less I’ve gained weight, but I want to start exercising. What can I do?’
“One of the best yet most overlooked exercises is walking,” says Alex Parren, personal trainer and running coach for health and fitness equipment specialist Meglio. “It’s a fantastic form of cardio and low impact, making it perfect for those with wear and tear in their joints or those new to fitness.
“The best type is on uneven terrain (think hilly, countryside trails) as this promotes co-ordination, balance and focus, as well as including inclines and declines to work your cardiovascular system harder.
“Depending on your level of fitness and the difficulty of the terrain, an hour of walking could burn as many calories as a very fit person running on a treadmill.
“Another fantastic exercise for midlifers is swimming, which is also low impact, meaning your joints undergo little to no stress while your muscles and cardiovascular system get a great workout. When done at a moderate intensity, swimming burns as many calories as running or cycling with none of the injury risk. It’s a full body workout and also promotes co-ordination and concentration, so it keeps you mentally fit too.”
‘I walk at least 30 miles a week, but I’m finding it difficult to lose the last few pounds to hit the 11 stone mark. I cannot run because of knee damage in my youth. How can I shift the remaining weight?’
“Running isn’t necessary for weight or, more specifically, fat loss,” says Alasdair Fitz-Desorgher, personal trainer for home fitness app Openfit. “Walking can shed just as many pounds as running; it just may take a little longer.
“Fat loss gets harder as you get lighter. To lose fat, you must consistently burn more calories than you eat, as this forces your body to tap into stored calories (body fat). Heavier bodies burn more calories than lighter bodies, because muscles require more energy to move the extra weight; the same way your car burns more fuel when it’s full of heavy luggage.
“When you started losing weight, your diet (calories in) and exercise (calories out) created a calorie deficit, causing you to burn the stored fat. But now you’re lighter, the same amount of exercise burns fewer calories. Therefore, you need to adjust the balance by either eating even less, (which can be unsustainable and unhealthy), or by increasing the intensity or duration of your walks.
“I’d recommend setting yourself a walking challenge, varying the speed and intensity of the walk, and introducing hill walks.
“Finally, lift weights. It’s key to build full body strength and remain mobile, particularly core and lower leg strength to look after your knees. It will also help you lose weight.
“While many of us have a target weight, and numbers can be rewarding to chase, focusing on how you look and feel is a much better and more sustainable way to track your progress than your scales.”
‘What are the best exercises to lose belly fat and to beat tiredness due to the perimenopause?’
“You need to balance diet and movement,” says Nicki Philips, founder of fitness app Niix. “Increasing your intake of fruit and veg, wholemeal carbs, protein and good fats, and avoiding sugary, fatty food, will help. Adding movement will also shift fat and maintain a healthy weight.
“Combining cardio (HIIT, running, cycling, swimming) with lifting weights and core exercises will torch calories, increase muscle density (which means you’ll continue to burn more at rest), tone your stomach and help to create better posture, which will help keep belly fat in check. Sadly there is no exercise that specifically targets the tummy, but by moving more and consuming a healthier diet, it’s amazing what can be achieved.
“Exercise is also great for energy levels and improving sleep, which helps during the perimenopause. And move first thing: studies show those who start their day with exercise see their perimenopausal symptoms improve.”
‘I would like to put together a home gym in my garage. What would be useful, as opposed to an expensive white elephant that would take up space and not get used?’
“When putting together a home gym, it’s important to remember you don’t need to spend a lot of money,” says Parren. “Rather, create a capsule collection of key equipment you can store away when it’s not being used.
“My number one recommendation is a set of resistance bands. They come in several forms, from higher resistance ‘glute’ bands, which can be used for lower body exercises, to resistance tubes which feature handles and can be used to recreate upper body exercises done using machines at the gym.
“They can be used by exercisers of all abilities and they’re low impact, meaning they’re perfect for midlifers who need to be careful with their joints, and the resistance aspect will improve bone density and muscle repair.”
‘I work 40 hours a week and want to start a home strength training programme. How do I begin?’
“Strength training doesn’t need to be complicated; it requires very little equipment and for beginners you can start with using your own body weight,” says Nicole Chapman, personal trainer and creator of online workout programme Power of Mum. “In fact, mastering body weight moves before adding weights is key to preventing injury.
“I would recommend investing in a light/medium pair of dumbbells and a heavier pair. You are probably stronger than you realise, so don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
“There has never been a better time for at home fitness with a huge variety of apps and online programmes available for you to follow and you don’t need to do a lengthy workout for results.
“My number one tip is to keep a record of your workout, noting how many reps, sets and the weight you used, so you can track your progression. Most importantly, enjoy it. Celebrate the little wins along the way – the first push up, lifting heavier or completing more reps.”
‘Should I be doing cardio or weights? And if both, what’s the best ratio?’
“Ideally both,” says Zoe Purpuri, an instructor at boxing club KOBOX.
“Lower impact exercises fare better on midlife bodies, so weight training is a great way to stay active without overloading the joints through high impact cardio. Strength training also helps to build lean muscle, so you burn more calories while resting, and it strengthens bones.
“Cardio has benefits too though, and keeps your lungs and heart fit, but you should always listen to your body and you may need to ease up as the years grow.
“As for the perfect cardio:strength training ratio? There isn’t one. Take into consideration your limits, strengths and listen to how your body reacts. The most important thing is to find a form of exercise you find both enjoyable but also sustainable. Just keep moving!”
In our new series we’re putting your fitness queries to our experts, who have all the answers for keeping fit in middle age
Here’s something to think about.
"We're eye doctors."
"What's something about the eye that most people don't realize?"
"The eye doesn't see. The brain sees. The eye just transmits. So what we see isn't only determined by what comes through the eyes. What we see is affected by our memories, our feelings, and by what we've seen before."
I just started a blog! Here is my first post!
Update: I have edited this post because, interestingly, no one clicked on the link to actually read the contents. So, I have included the full text below for you to read at your leisure, without having to click on a link.
Right and Wrong; Good and Bad
In my Pilates classes, I teach a series of arm movements that are designed to warm up the shoulder girdle and gently increase range of motion. Today in class, Student A was doing one of the movements, but a particular detail was missing. I cued this person to do the exercise differently, and they did. I explained that in making the change, they were facilitating the movement of the arm in the shoulder joint.
After hearing me say this, Student B decided to experiment. They repeated the exercise the same way as Student A prior to the cue. I said, “I see you doing the same thing as Student A.”
“Yes,” Student B remarked, “I wanted to see what it felt like if I did it that way. And it feels bad [to me].” This led me to say something along the lines of, “It’s great that you tried it both ways, because until you know what good feels like, you don’t know how bad feels.” I may have said it slightly differently in the moment, but this is the gist of it. Needless to say, these words can be interpreted on many levels (e.g., “How can you feel joy if you have only felt despair?” my student mused).
As both an Alexander Technique teacher and a Pilates teacher, I am specifically interested in guiding my students towards the self-discovery of light and easy movement that is free of pops and clicks and snaps. (How your journey of self-discovery gives you insight into other aspects of your life is the icing on the cake.)
Within the Alexander Technique community, there is a lot of discussion around the use of the words “Right” and “Wrong” and “Good” and “Bad”. The issue is that these words can contain judgement. But a judgement isn’t always necessary or helpful. It could simply be a descriptive statement: “This feels good,” or, “This feels wrong.” Even F.M. Alexander said, “When you stop doing the wrong thing, the right thing does itself.” When you listen to your internal dialogue, are you judging or observing?
In Pilates, there is a correct way of doing a movement. Given enough time, maybe Student A could have independently figured out that the movement they were doing was uncomfortable (or suboptimal), and maybe they would have changed it up and done it differently. Or maybe not. Because we can become very acclimatised to how a movement feels when we do it our habitual way, we may not notice that it is uncomfortable. Maybe uncomfortable feels normal. Sometimes being instructed to make a change opens a door to considering new sensations that may, in hindsight, feel better. This is why I love bringing Alexander Technique sensibilities to my Pilates classes.
In my Pilates classes, I teach a series of arm movements that are designed to warm up the shoulder girdle and gently increase range of motion. Today in class, Student A was doing one of the movements, but a particular detail was missing. I cued this person to do the exercise differently, and they di...
This is a short film that explains neuroplasticity. Alexander Technique lessons, anyone? Drop me a note!
The Sentis Brain Animation Series takes you on a tour of the brain through a series of short and sharp animations.The fourth in the series explains how our m...
This is very cool. The skeleton from the ground up! Love it!
"Running is a Total Body Affair"
I came across this article today thanks to my Alexander Technique community. A fascinating look at how muscles work differently to support us when we run.
We can thank our heads and shoulders — and not just our knees and toes — that we evolved to run as well as we do.
Balance is something the body learns to do automatically by engaging the postural muscles.
I came across this link while sorting through some newsletters today. Looks like a good review of the latest research on resistance training for runners.
This column presents a research review of what science says about the known performance benefits of resistance training for runners.
Thanks to a friend for bringing this piece to my attention. I remember running a half marathon in Dublin in 2015. I didn’t know the route at all (I only looked at a map), but not knowing the area meant I had to rely on my Garmin to figure out pacing. I started sprinting when I hit 20k (even though it was uphill), expecting to be able to do it because I had sprinted a lot of 1k distances during my training. When I hit 21k, it turns out, I was at least 500m from the finish, and that last half km just about killed me. Moving the finish line (thanks to the inaccuracies of my GPS watch) really affects your perception.
In any feat of endurance, humans want to see the goal – and in the pandemic, we’re not there yet, despite the breakthroughs in vaccine research. Staying in the moment might be better for us than fantasizing about a future just beyond reach
Today, I came across this blog+video by AT colleague Adrian Farrell and wanted to share it. As an engineer, I love that Adrian references Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Gravity is a hot topic when it comes to posture. We had many conversations about gravity and how it may or may not affect us during my years in teacher training, and I have regular conversations with my students about their own relationship with gravity. If we consider the fact that the earth's gravity is the only one we know (well, unless you've been to the moon), and that we are beautifully designed to use it to our advantage in order to move about on this earth, it can change our idea of UP. It can change one's idea that being upright requires an immense amount of effort. Why not consider the idea that gravity is what allows us to go UP. If we dispense with the idea that gravity is dragging us down, we change our relationship with the earth.
If you are interested in exploring the Alexander Technique, I invite you to get in touch. I am teaching online and in person (in a very limited capacity, with masks and a lot of handwashing).
By changing your understanding and relationship with gravity, you can find more ease in your posture.
“This study does suggest that if otherwise healthy individuals with no disease conditions like diabetes occasionally overindulge, then there are no immediate, serious negative consequences in terms of losing metabolic control, and people should not beat themselves up for infrequently going overboard on cheesecake.”
Sounds good. And maybe do another study on over-indulgence with some 50-year-old participants and check in on them down the road.
An investigation that asked its participants to gorge on pizza found that, metabolically, humans may be able to cope with calorie gluttony at a single meal.
Hey! Do some foot exercises with me and Capucine!
Join Caprice and her cat for a 4 min foot strengthening series.
A lovely blog about constructive rest from an AT friend. Thank you, Maaike Aarts!
The ‘head-neck-back’ is your unity of power and coordination. From the crown of your head down to your sitting bones this unity is designed to be balanced, free and strong, with full natural breathing. A good functioning head-neck-back gives you confidence, grounds you to the floor, and at the s...
Where I hang my hat. I am teaching one of the online classes each week. Check out the schedule at sagrario.ca and email the studio at [email protected] to book in for a class.
But a few years ago, Castilla took a gamble, one that would put her off high tech tools and digital presence for the next couple of years. She hired a digital consultant who turned out to be a bit of a dud. “I think it was $400 a month or something like that for months and months,” says Castilla...
Too much exercise can be just as bad as too little. Moderation is key during stressful times.
Scientists have long studied the potential effects of exercise intensity and duration on the body’s ability to resist infection
From my friend and colleague, Peter Nobes.
The Alexander Technique is well known for it's physical benefits but, sadly, the mental benefits are frequently overlooked. It teaches how to be fully consci...
Do you (or a friend/family member) live or work in the Annex? If so, I am available on Thursday afternoons at Inhabit Pilates. They are located on Bathurst, just north of Dupont.
We need to move every. single. day. We humans need to move in all sorts of ways to maintain mobility and health, especially if we want to age well. So let me ask you, did you: Walk today? Squat today? Reach over head today? Pull and push today? Carry today?
I offer Alexander Technique lessons at Annex RMT Physical Health Clinic on Thursdays. This google review was such a pleasant surprise. If you are wondering if AT could help you with your issues, I encourage you to reach out: we can chat about it!
This is brilliant. Walking is not as easy as one might think!
'Pilates-changed-my-life’ stories are annoying… but it did
Over three years the exercise regime took Rachel Cooke from terrible back pain to new levels of fitness. But it was a lot harder than she expected
At Annex RMT Physical Health Clinic on Thursdays between 12 and 3pm. You can book online by going to their website https://www.annexrmt.com/ and clicking the BOOK NOW button.
This book, The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Alexander Technique, by Glynn MacDonald, 1998, is sitting on the table in the reception area at Annex RMT Physical Health Clinic. I haven’t come across it before, but it looks great! I hope folks will peruse it while they are waiting for the appointments with their massage therapists!
Hi, folks. I just joined the team at Annex RMT Clinic near Bathurst and St. Clair. I'm currently there on Thursdays from 12-3pm, but it will change to 11am-3pm starting in the new year. They have a nifty online booking system that allows you to book as late as 31 minutes prior to your appointment (which means, you can book at 1:29 for the 2pm slot if it is available).
Alexander Technique is now offered at Annex RMT Physical Health Clinic.
Caprice Boisvert is a teacher of the Alexander Technique, the Pilates Method, and Kripalu Yoga. She has a keen interest in anatomy, biomechanics, and how the body is designed to move. She has experience with scoliosis, hip & knee replacement, tendonitis (RSI), Parkinson’s, stenosis and cerebral palsy.
Caprice has practiced Alexander Technique since 2003. She trained with Susan Sinclair in Toronto and qualified as a teacher in 2012. During her training, she worked with Martha Fertman (Philadelphia), Sakiko Ish*tsubo (Tokyo), Rosa Luisa Rossi (Zurich), and Peter Nobes (London). She is a teaching member of ATI (Alexander Technique International). Caprice has completed some post-graduate work with Paul Versteeg and Tessa Marwick (Amsterdam). She is also studying how to combine Cranio-Sacral Therapy with Alexander Technique with Elke Mastwijk (Amsterdam).
Caprice has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Learn more: https://www.annexrmt.com
677 Dupont Street
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Caprice Boisvert is certified to teach the Alexander Technique, the Pilates Method, and Kripalu Yoga, but her main focus is AT and Pilates. She is available for private lessons, and can be booked to teach workshops at your studio or office. Her focus is on teaching you to move from a biomechanically sound perspective. Caprice can help you improve your kinesthetic awareness, help you find internal support, help you improve your flexibility. You may find yourself feeling better and moving through your life with more ease. Lessons available at: Sagrario Pilates at 65 Wellesley Street East, Suite 405 (at Church Street) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday by appointment.
Annex RMT Clinic at 1415 Bathurst Street, Suite 303 (at St. Clair Avenue) Thursday by appointment.
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