nicole piller pilates yoga & reiki

a union of body, mind and spirit


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BALL ROLLING WORKSHOPS: Create Physical Space & Improve Function While Feeling GREAT!

How:      The Franklin Method

When:    February 1ST, 2016 @ 6:30 – 7:45 pm OR February 4th, 2016 @ 11:15 am – 12:30 pm

This feel good workshop will include ball rolling sequences for the glutes & back; shoulders & arms; feet; neck, and awaken the psoas muscle (the deepest core muscle of the body).

You will learn how to:

  • Release muscular tension and tight areas and create the feeling of more space in the body
  • Increase balance, flexibility, and strength
  • Activate the deep core muscles (psoas), while releasing the periphery muscles
  • Reduce imbalances in the body (especially effective prior to any physical activities so as not to train the body in its imbalances)
  • Improve movement, posture, and general well-being

A take home sheet will be provided detailing the sequences we cover in this workshop.

Price: $33 + HST OR Early Bird Special is $29 + HST

(Must be registered and paid for the workshop before January 25th, 2016)

Space is limited to a maximum of 7 people.

 

For more information or to reserve you space please email: nicolepillerstudio@gmail.com, or call: (416) 729-0367. For more information on the Franklin Method click here. 

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Our Yoga/Pilates Retreat

Hurrah for another successful yoga/pilates/meditation retreat in the beautiful Halliburton area. This weekend would not have been possible without two major ingredients: first, Jean with her welcoming hospitality and opening her beautiful house to us; and second, the fantastic cooking and meals provided by all the ladies. I was truly spoiled, thank you all so much!

It was glorious to return to the Halliburton’s driving through the winding landscape. The scenic route took us twisting and turning through rocks, towering forests of moss covered birch trees, and open spaces filled with beautiful lakes. And the air! Oh, that Halliburton clean, crisp air filling my lungs and body up with such oxygen and delight… really makes Toronto air hard to swallow.

After a summer hiatus from our weekly Friday afternoon yoga classes, it was so lovely to reconnect with all the gals (although Inge was missed). I was giddy with excitement and so looked forward to our classes, meals, book club, and other discussions with each other.

Although the sun was absent for the weekend, the pitter-patter of rain and the blaze of the fire made for a perfect and cozy retreat. Some of the gang went on walks armed with bells to fend off potential bears that seemed to be making many public appearances this summer. Other brave souls went for dips in the refreshing lake. Me, I remained nestled in the warmth of the cottage/house happy to sit in a rocking chair on the veranda under a under a blanket reading, chatting, or simply enjoying the view of the lake through the forest. I did finally venture out on the last day and enjoyed a leisurely stroll with Yvonne.

As for the yoga boot camp part… no, it wasn’t really, but I was proud of everybody who participated to whatever degree they wanted to or felt able. Special kudos to Sally who participated in all 5 classes – and 3 in one day on the Saturday! Congrats Sally! I single out Sally only because of what could be perceived as physical limitations and barriers did not limit Sally’s participation or spirit at all.

I encouraged people to participate at their own pace, as the classes were not mandatory. People at the retreat were at different levels, and sometimes a retreat is time when we actually stop for the first time in who knows how long, breath, unwind, and the body just needs to rest. Is there anything more luxurious than curling up for an afternoon nap? Or, curling up with a good book? I think with busy schedules and working lives, we don’t get to indulge often enough in such pleasures.

But, I digress. We all practiced yoga, pranayama (breathing), and meditation daily, and had one pilates class Saturday afternoon for core strength. I was so proud of everyone! Focus, attention, and commitment were all high. As challenges presented themselves along the way to individuals, everybody rose to the occasion. The third class of the day is not easy, particularly when the body and mind are not used to it. By Sunday morning, I have to say (myself included), it was a bit of a struggle. Energy was low, and that was ok, it was just more of a push to get through it. I felt very stiff and tight, which is not uncommon on “day 3”. So, the morning practice for me did not feel great. However, when we come up against ourselves and persevere and push past boundaries, it is a great triumph, especially when it would be easier to give up or give into “it doesn’t feel good”, or “I’m not into it”. However, we push ourselves and surpass our limitations, and always make it through. All is well. All will be well. With the help of breathing, grounding, and centering, we can always handle what comes our way. Sometimes we need to allow space and silence to help listen to the guidance we need. It is always there; we just often can’t hear it. As my dear friend Sharon told me: “God never gives us more than we can handle”. Whether you believe in God or a Higher Being, or not (a topic of lively discussion over the weekend), finding the physical and mental space through yoga, meditation, and/or pilates, any or all of these practices can help us find the answers within.

Along the way, I practice gratitude as taught to me by my mother, who has taught me everything that has made me who I am today. How blessed I am to enjoy sharing my time on the mat with my fellow Yoginis. How lucky I am to be treated to the amazing home-cooked meals. How inspiring it is to be surrounded by beautiful, intelligent women and engage in so many wonderful, colourful conversations. So, a toast to all you ladies! Until next year, for our Third Annual Retreat, continue to breathe and feel your feet on the ground. Make it a habit, even if it is just once a day, to extend your exhale. A long, slow, smooth sigh of gratitude, and in those seconds as you exhale, feel a sense of calm and well-being.

Namaste

Nicole


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This Summer.. Listen to your Body & Live a Happier Life!

Listening to your body’s needs is vital to attaining and maintaining the health you deserve. Sometimes, you can push your body too far without even realizing it. When you learn to listen to your body’s cues, however, you can live a happier and calmer life.

Getting in Touch with Yourself

You might think that you’re already in touch with yourself, but ensure that you’re in touch with all of yourself.

Sometimes you might be tempted to live all in the mind and it’s no wonder! There are constant stresses and demands from you every day that sap you of your mental energy. However, it’s critical to listen to your entire body.

If you feel fatigued or frustrated, your body is trying to tell you something valuable. Pay attention and heed the information. Slow down when your body demands rest. If you fail to do so, you risk greater physical harm. Your body will get the rest it needs one way or another, so do it the easy – and healthy – way.

At the same time, fuel your body with proper nutrition, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly. Even light exercise gets your heart pumping and increases your energy. Your body will thank you for the effort!

Reducing Stress

If you feel frustrated or aggravated at the circumstances of life, this will affect your body as well as your mind. When your body is stressed, your muscles become tight and you’ll know that something just doesn’t feel right. Therefore, one important step in the process of getting in tune with your body is to reduce your overall stress.

One of the best things you can do is to take a break for yourself during a portion of every day. Even a few short minutes to get your thoughts straight can work wonders for reducing your stress level. Concentrate on your feelings and see if your body is offering you warning signs of trouble.

If you reduce the “mind noise” in your life, you’ll find it easier to listen to your body. When you’re hungry, heed your body’s signal that it needs fuel. Make wise choices to fuel your body for success, and you’ll be rewarded with the vitality and energy to chase after your dreams.

Listening to Cues

Your body is sending you cues all the time. Listen to them. Can your body handle being pushed further at this time, or do you need to take a step back because you’re pushing too much? If you listen to yourself, you’ll know your limits and avoid burnout.

Ways to Stay in Touch with Your Body

Here are three practical steps to listening more effectively to your body:

Practice Pilates.  I will guide your body through a progression of exercises designed to train muscle systems, in coordination and counterbalanced against each other.  The movements engage and challenge both physical and mental skills.  Each exercise is designed to educate, re-pattern and realign the body to achieve lasting results.

Yoga.  Yoga keeps your body in shape while you keep in touch with your mind and spirit. This practice has the power to give you extra awareness about your body that you’ve never had access to before.

Meditate. Meditation is a productive way to get in touch with your mind and body. Take a few minutes alone each day to focus on your breathing. Learn a meditation technique and commit to a few minutes each day.

Remember that your body will tell you what you need. Instead of over-thinking things, simply commit to attentively listening to your body. Choose one or more of the methods above, put a few minutes on your schedule for today, and keep your appointment with yourself. You’ll be glad you did!


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Movement equals joy !!

It continues to be an honour and a joy to volunteer for another year with Sarah Robichaud and her “Dancing with Parkinson’s Foundation”. 

At the annual fund raising event, held this year at the Lula Lounge,  the DWP dancers amazed and inspired all of us with their passion and energy as they took to the dance floor with a confidence and beauty that was, as always, joyful and captivating.

For a little glimpse of what I’m talking about, take a moment to watch some candid video from the event.

I\’ve Got A Feeling 2010


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New meaning to “sun salutations”…

Earlier this month I travelled to Turks & Caicos in the Carribean to teach yoga and pilates at Club Med.

 

  

I diligently did my yoga practice and a bit of pilates everyday on the glorious beach. 

How good can it get?

 

 

cheers,
Nicole