Mat Pilates Books Available at Victoria Pilates

PilatesBookThese Pilates books are a perfect compliment to your studio practice – Through deepening your Pilates sessions and practicing at home in addition to your classes, you may just notice some positive benefits! These two books will guide you through your at home practice with full exercise and movement descriptions alongside vivid images displaying each movement.

Pilates Fundamental Mat Movement is great for those starting out, or returning to the basics, while Pilates Mat Repertoire is a more in depth book, with a complete list of exercises and variations. Both of these books were researched and written by Susan VanCadsand.

Pop by the studio or contact us to get your book(s)!

Victoria Pilates Welcomes Back Nicole & Welcomes Jessica!

As many of you know, Nicole Runcie has been away for the past two years, studying for her master’s degree in physical therapy at UBC. She is back with us as a Pilates instructor, as well as completing her interim physiotherapy hours at a local practice in Victoria. For those of you who have not yet met Nicole, she looks forward to meeting and working with you.
Jessica Vitrouk is new to our studio and we look forward to having her on our team. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but has lived in many countries around the world. Originally a tax consultant with a degree in Russian studies, Jessica eventually decided to further her education in Pilates. She began her teacher training with Balanced Body in Boston, and continued her training in Brussels, Belgium. She looks forward to learning and growing with our team at Victoria Pilates!

Keeping a Healthy Lifestyle Over the Holidays

As the holidays approach, we tend to become relaxed on our health, wellness and fitness routines. With holiday gatherings, events and shopping (& those tasty treats), it can be tempting to skip your Pilates and other exercise classes.

While it’s important to enjoy the holiday festivities, it’s also important to remember to take care of yourself. Here are some great ways to take care of your mind and body during the busy holiday season:

  • Make your plans in advance. If you know when your big events are, it may be easier to plan around them and make sure you make it to your fitness commitments as well.
  • Try to get outside once a day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, rain or shine!
  • Plan a health & wellness activity with a friend. Whether it’s a Pilates or other fitness class, a day at the spa, or a simple visit over tea, a visit with a friend is a great way to relax.
  • Plan outdoor holiday activities with your family when possible. Fresh air and light exercise (depending on yours and your family’s mobility level) is a great way to bond over the holidays. Whether it’s a trip to Butchart Gardens, or a walk through Sidney or Victoria to look at the lights, there are lots of outdoor winter activities to take part in.
  • Don’t overdo it! If you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, remember that it’s okay to spend some time alone. Curl up with a book, have a nap, or head out for a walk alone.


If you’re looking for other ways to keep up with a healthy lifestyle over the holidays, join us for our De-Stress Workshop in November! Details in our Workshops & Specialty Class section!

Getting Back to a Pilates and Fitness Routine After Summer Holidays

After summer holidays, it can be difficult to get back into your routine. Even if you are active during your holidays, your regular exercise (and Pilates!) regime may slip. Old movement patterns may return and they might be accompanied by some bad habits. Now that fall is around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking of ways to ease back into your Pilates and fitness routine.

When returning to your classes, it’s important to remember to listen to your body and assess how you are feeling. If you had any injuries, or noticed any discomfort during your holiday break, it’s important that you let your instructor know so that they can offer suggestions and feedback. If you’ve been away from Pilates for more than four weeks, we strongly encourage you to book a a private appointment to review your program.

In addition to resuming your exercise and Pilates classes, it’s also a good idea to make sure that you have a healthy and balanced diet and are getting enough sleep. All of our body systems are connected, and staying nourished and rested will help both physically and mentally when returning to work or school in the fall.

We are offering some great workshops and specialty classes this fall that will be a great addition to your existing equipment or mat Pilates classes. Our Back to Routine – “Core, Fascia and more” series will run for four weeks, starting mid-September. Heather will be returning this October to instruct two MELT workshops, and we also have plenty of space in our Yoga and FIT Camp classes.

Contact us at the Victoria Pilates studio for more information or to register for a workshop or specialty class!

Studio Member Gerry Poultin Takes Championship in Squash at World Masters Games!

Gerry Poulton Victoria PilatesStudio member Gerry Poulton recently returned from Auckland, New Zealand as squash champion in the 70+ open category. Winning all of his matches, Gerry remains a repeating champion in this category.

The World Masters Games occurs every four years, and is hosted in a different country each time. This global event is the largest multi-sport competition in the world, with contestants ranging from 35-80+ years old, competing in a variety of categories and sports.

The next games will occur in 2021, in Kansai, Japan. The previous competition was held in Turin, in 2013.

Congratulations Gerry!

Benefits of Pilates for Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders affect the central nervous system (i.e. brain, spine, nerves, neuromuscular system, & muscles). Some of the most common neurological disorders are Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Lupus. However, neurological disorders can also arise from brain damage, severe injury or trauma, autoimmune disorders, cancers, viral, bacterial or parasitic infections and more.

Though each person with a neurological disorder may experience different symptoms or severity levels, Pilates can help improve a wide range of these symptoms. Alongside prescribed medication, Pilates is a great form of exercise to help combat some of the symptoms and side effects of neurological disorders. Though scientific research is limited, many studies are now showing that Pilates has a positive effect on those with MS and Parkinson’s. The MS Society is currently funding more studies and recommending more people diagnosed with MS to start a Pilates practice.

Working with a qualified Pilates instructor to create a program specific to your needs can help improve coordination, balance, range of motion and core strength, while also helping alleviate pain and discomfort. Victoria Pilates specializes in Pilates exercise programing for neurological conditions, and incorporate the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into Pilates programs. Studio owner, Susan VanCadsand along with the team of instructors at Victoria Pilates, have completed advanced training for MS & other neurological conditions, as well as Traumatic Brain Injury, Ataxia, Parkinsonism, stroke and other neurological disorders.

Their studies have helped them create programming to overcome the most common symptoms of neurological disorders including balance difficulties, weakness, muscle spasticity, gait abnormalities, as well as the principles and applications of neuromuscular rehabilitation and neuroplasticity.

It can be hard for some people living with neurological disorders to participate in regular physical activities. Due to the uniqueness of Pilates and specialized equipment, programs and exercises are tailored to the exact needs of the participant. It is also important to remember that a sedentary lifestyle can further complicate the progression of many disorders, so maintaining movement is an important part of a complete health and wellness regime.

Victoria Pilates has created an exercise and rehabilitation approach that can provide positive relief to individuals who are experiencing conditions that affect their neurological system. It is a wonderful tool for individuals for the purpose of neurological rehabilitation. This specialized programing can be used to help relieve the challenges of neurological disorders at any stage of the injury or disease process but is especially promising in the early stages of the condition or injury.

Since little research has been done on the use of exercise for neurological conditions, Victoria Pilates has incorporated their own personal research on exercise and physical therapy for other neurological conditions and injuries, including stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Ataxia, and traumatic brain injury. The core program focuses on movement issues such as poor balance, muscle imbalances, and compensatory patterns. Susan’s personal experience working with the Parkinson and Epileptic Association, along with extensive experience working with other MS clients, she believes there to be significant potential for treating other conditions to positively impact those suffering from other neurological conditions.

During the Month of May, we will be raising awareness and funds for those with neurological disorders. All funds will be donated to the Neurological Wellness Association. We will also be offering complimentary 15 minute consultations, in person or over the phone, with studio owner and director, Susan VanCadsand, for anyone who is living with a neurological disorder and is interested in exploring Pilates.

For more information on Pilates and Neurological Wellness, take a peek at these resources:

Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) Conference & Recent Instructor Training

As many of you know, this fall session was a busy one for Susan and the instructors!
Susan attended the 16th annual meeting of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) in Phoenix, Arizona. This year’s conference featured research into efficacy of the Pilates Method. They were able to bring the highest qualified and talented Pilates educators available covering a wide spectrum of essential topics.
The four-day conference ran two four-hour workshops each day along with two mat classes to keep everyone moving! It was very exciting to see the development of the organization and how much they have improved their standards.
Immediately following this conference, Susan, Lisa and Krista went off to New York for The Female Pelvis Cycle of life conference where they attended presentations and workshops taught by experts in the industry, Tom Myers and Dr. Eden Fromberg. They each gained a new certification and learned more about the assessment and treatment of both female and male pelvic health.While they were there, they decided to forgo sleep and enjoy Central Park, a Broadway show, sightseeing, and even a trip to the original Joseph Pilates Studio!
November was a fun month filled with traveling, workshops, and discussions, and our instructors are very excited to share what they’ve learned with you.

Pilates Mat Repertoire Book Release

Thank you to everyone who attended the open house and book launch on September 24th. We are over the moon that it has been released. For those of you who were unable to attend and still would like to purchase a copy, pop into the office anytime!

A complete approach to better health, “Pilates Mat Repertoire” will help you better understand the various exercises through verbal explanations along side detailed images of each step of the movement being performed. The book will help guide your practice, helping you to develop your technique both in the studio and at home. Whether you are completely new to the practice, or have an established routine, the information presented will help refine your practice.

Pilates is a movement regime that teaches you to move efficiently and safely every day, throughout your life. The founding principle of Pilates is to concentrate the mind and body while working in flowing precision. Practicing this movement regime will allow you to understand the brilliant design of Joseph Pilates’ exercises and empower you to master the techniques needed to perform the Mat Repertoire. Your body will be transformed as you become a healthier person in body, mind and spirit. Pilates provides benefits for all ages that cannot be achieved through traditional aerobics or strength training programs.

Here are six reasons Pilates is so beneficial and practiced by so many people:

1. Builds long, strong, lean muscles
2. Is a whole-body movement regime
3. Teaches the importance of breath
4. Strengthens your core
5. Prevents future injuries
6. Teaches you how to move efficiently

Please feel free to ask us questions about the principles of Pilates anytime.

Getting Back to Pilates & Reviewing Studio Guidelines

After a long warm summer of lazy days at the lake, BBQs with family and friends, and perhaps even a summer vacation, it’s all too easy to skip your indoor workouts or Pilates classes! Hopefully you were able to sneak in some outdoor exercise, or for some of you, keep attending your Pilates classes through the summer!

For those of you who have been busy over the summer, it doesn’t have to be a strain to return to your routine. When starting back up with your Pilates after a long period of rest, it’s important to be mindful of your body, and make sure to let your instructors know of anything that may have changed over the summer, ie: new injuries, areas of stiffness, or even new fitness goals.

Booking a private session with a Pilates instructor is a great way to make sure to get a new routine, tailored to your needs (see more below!). The next step is to make sure you’re registered in a regular class. Attending at the same time (or times!) each week helps keep the routine and keep you accountable for your health and well being. If you know you’ll be missing a class, make sure to sign up for a make up class!

For those of you returning, and those new to the studio, please take a moment to review our studio guidelines:

1. You are welcome to come to class 10 minutes early to stretch and warm up. Please avoid showing up earlier than this, as there may not be enough space for those who are still in their class, or the instructor may be preparing for the next class or client.

2. Please remember this is a scent free environment. Some of our patrons have allergies and sensitivities. (Deodorant and shampoo are ok, however, perfume/cologne is not)

3. You may book make up classes for absences, but you must give 24 hours notice for an absence. In emergency situations, or illnesses, please call or e-mail as soon as you can. Make ups can be granted in these situations. Unless there is an emergency, no-shows are not eligible for make up classes.

4.  If you accumulate make-ups due to unexpected absences, it is best to book them within the current session. However, if this is not possible, they can be carried over one more session, so long as you are registered. Make ups cannot be used as credit for the new f registration.

5. If you have missed more than one month of equipment classes, you will need to be scheduled in for a program review to make sure you have an up to date program that addresses your current needs and that you understand and remember all of the exercises.

6.  Most importantly –  Have fun! 🙂

Please contact the studio with any questions or concerns you may have in regards to registration, policies, or anything else! Our office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30-1:30 plus two evenings per week (alternating between Mon/Wed and Tues/Thurs)

Continuing Education With Our Instructors – The 3 Core Perspectives Workshop

Wendy_Leblanc-ArbuckleOver this past weekend, renowned Pilates elder, Wendy Leblanc Arbuckle (Pilates Center of Austin) held an intensive workshop at Victoria Pilates. Most of our instructors were in attendance, along with professionals from the USA and other areas of BC.

Victoria Pilates owner, Susan Van Cadsand, has known Wendy for a number of years, and shares an aligned vision with Wendy’s teaching style and techniques. Susan asked Wendy to instruct her “3 Core Connections Perspective” to help further educate Pilates instructors and movement professionals in how to develop their instruction styles.

Wendy helped instructors develop their cuing techniques and to further understand the deep relationships between all of the body systems, and human movement potential.

Anyone familiar with Pilates understands that core control involves the entire body. However, Wendy’s perspective elaborates further, and helps instructors to gain a better understanding of how this happens through core coordination. Through cue refining and learning about the core as a relationship with ourselves and our environment, practitioners were able to gain a more intuitive perspective of body awareness and intelligence.

Everyone who attended the workshop enjoyed it and look forward to sharing Wendy’s teachings with you!