◊ THE CLASS: GET WORKED & GET HOT ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
- Hair tie
- Comfy clothing you can move in
- High support bra (for Get Hot) – you’ll see
Misfit Studios captured our attention early on. Because a) we’re super into the name – aren’t we all just a bunch of misfits running around pretending we’re not anyway, b) their picturesque studios in both locations are bloody fantastic and c) they take a refreshing spin on the average Pilates, barre, and dance classes by infusing movement and breath in a unique way that we promise you haven’t experienced before. Misfit was founded on the principles of creating a home for all misfits to feel loved, encourage conversation, experience community and experiment with their bodies, each other and their space. Misfit’s moto is “be moved” and their ethos of grace, strength, breath, dance, and magic are intertwined in everything they do. With locations in Queen West and Ossington, both studios are stunning with a great flow, plenty of space and over 21 kinds of mat and reformer Pilates, barre, and movement classes (akin to dance classes). We’re breaking down two of them, Get Hot and Get Physical from their mat classes, and we left feeling a child-like carefreeness that we’d like to activate on the daily. Also –we would like to draw your attention to the above “what you need to bring” section if you glazed over it and please pack your high-support bras for the Get Hot class bc there is more jumping in this class than Ross when he got his new apartment.
Misfit Studio has two locations, one on Queen Street West above the Anthropologie west of Tecumseth St. (761 Queen Street West, 3rd floor), and a second, that we reviewed, in Ossington off Humber St two meters from Ride Cycle Club and across from Mamakas (bless the Saganaki). The Queen West studio, often referred to as Misfit Church, has recently undergone renos and it’s easily accessible by the Queen St streetcar or a 15-minute walk from Osgoode station. If driving, street parking may be a challenge to find anything on Queen or nearby side streets. The Ossington location is in the heart of the cool bit of the Oss strip and is easily accessible by foot, train, streetcar, car, or plane (fine, no plane.) It’s a 5-minute walk north of Queen West and a 5-minute walk south of Dundas so public transport is easy from all directions. Parking in the area is a little scarcer (word?) with street parking being your best bet – no parkade’s around here peoples.
Misfit has three types of classes on their roster; Mat Classes, Barre Classes, and Reformer Classes, with the most options in the mat classes section with 14 styles including the iconic Eccentrics style and some of Misfit’s most famous Get Hot and Get Worked (what we tried). They used to break down a lot of the mat classes into dance, movement, or Pilates so it’s worth taking a peak on their site to read up on each class to see what might peak your interest. What you need to know though is that Misfit has created all of their classes to be ‘rooted in yoga, informed by Pilates, and inspired by dance’ no matter what the style. We love that niche space they’ve carved out for themselves and they’re unlike any other Pilates, barre, or yoga classes we’ve taken because the consistent thread running through all styles is that they infuse an element of “play” into every technique. That’s truly the best word to describe it, and once you’ve tried it you’ll know what we mean. When’s the last time you galloped like a pony (6 years old) or flung your hands up in the air and let your hair flip all over the damn place (maybe your last music festival, but you get what we mean). Misfit often hosts unique and specialised workshops as well, like Goddess Circles and retreats. They often have some kind of pre-natal workshop on the calendar for humans growing little humans where they talk about doula training, Pilates principles for pregnancy, and all things pelvis related. On that, all Misfit classes are safe for expecting mums, just let the instructor know and show up a little bit early so they can modify the class for you.
The class schedule is pretty packed with over 65 classes offered every week. Both locations have two studios so they typically have 6-8 classes daily from Monday to Friday and 4-5 classes on the weekends. The Queen Street location is an earlier riser, with a 7-8am slot Monday-Thursday and classes starting at 10am on weekends. The Ossington studio sleeps in a bit with most classes starting at 8am, 10:30am on Saturdays, and 9am on Sundays. One thing we have to say, and why we’re shaving half a pineapple off the top, is the evening and weekend classes are a bit limiting unless your hella flexible outside 9-5 working hours. The last class for the day at both locations is usually 6:35pm (sometimes 7:45pm at Oss on Wednesdays) and classes are finito by 12:45pm on weekends. So basically if you work 9-6, commute, and aren’t able to make a morning weekend class, it’s going to be hard for you to try these guys ever. Also, note while walk-ins are welcome, Misfit has a tendency to fill-up so it’s best to pre-register and pay online, especially for Reformer classes that only have six Reformer machines in each class. Arrive 5-10 minutes early for class even if you’ve signed up, as they start letting in clients on the waitlist five minutes before class.
Ok, now prices. There are two types of class rates to consider; Reformer Pilates vs. everything else. Reformer is typically more expensive than regular classes considering the significant equipment usage, and Misfit’s rates are lower than what we saw at North Movement Studio for both reformer and drop-in. Class packs, which are valid for a year, drop per class rates marginally and monthly memberships are a better deal the longer you sign-up for (surprise surprise). One year memberships are the best deal if you’re planning on going to a class 1-2 times a week, but the one-month for example only makes sense if you’re uber committed and go more than 3 times a week. For the students, deal-hunters, or just super frugal homies, Misfit also offers community Karma classes which is by donation only and the proceeds go to the New Leaf Yoga Foundation. Discounts are offered for students and fellow Pilates and yoga teachers (10%), and private sessions are available for $100-$150 per class.
- Intro offer – $45 valid for 2 weeks
- Drop-in Mat: $20.00, Reformer: $30.00
- 5 Class Pack Mat: $95.00 ($19 per), Reformer: $145.00 ($29 per)
- 10 Class Pack Mat: $190.00 ($19 per), Reformer: $285.00 ($28.50 per)
- Monthly Auto-Renew: $150, Reformer: $195
- 1 Month Unlimited Mat: $175.00, Reformer: $220.00
- 3 Month Unlimited Mat: $475.00, Reformer: $595.00
- 6 Month Unlimited Mat: $900.00, Reformer: $1,100.00
- 1 Year unlimited Mat: $1,700.00, Reformer: $2,000.00
Misfit is also big big big on supporting their local community, and they have many partnerships that you can take advantage of or contribute to. See below for some other wicked Misfit discounts to get in on. Misfit is also big big big on supporting their local community, and they have many partnerships that you can take advantage of or contribute to. See below for some other wicked Misfit discounts to get in on.
- Hungry? They have a partnership with The Goods, where they offer delicious vegan and mostly raw food delivered daily. You can even pre-order from their lunch menu and have it delivered to the studio before 12:30pm from Monday-Friday. Use the code MISFITGANG for free delivery.
- Partnership with Fuzz Wax Bar for 15% off if you show your key tag
- 10% off The Cure Apothecary if you show your key tag
The vibe at Misfit is unique unto itself. Misfit’s design aesthetic is a collision of old meets new with a little bit of odd thrown in for good measure. From the actual beating heart logo and incense burning smells, the black-and-white throwback pop culture collages, old-world Buddha charms, trinkets and LOTS of plants – this place is eclectic AF.
Although we didn’t review a class here, we’ll tell you about the studio at Queen St. nonetheless. The gorgeous space, on the third floor of Anthropolgie on Queen Street West, is located in a converted church that was originally crafted in 1864. They’ve maintained the beautiful stained glass windows, plenty of antique details, and the exposed brick but they have recently undergone a reno to update the change rooms, washrooms, lighting and layout to make it more modern and functional. This location has two studios, one being the Reformer Pilates mini-studio, and a full wellness centre (The Wellness Collective) on the main level with everything from Reiki, Thai and Shiatsu massage, to holistic nutrition and beauty treatments, physiotherapy, ostheotherapy and tons more.
The Ossington studio is in an old heritage building that shares real estate with Ride Cycle Club (fav – review coming soon) and the nomable restaurant Omaw. SO GOOD PS. This location has a stunning view looking onto Ossington Ave with the CN tower and tree tips of Bellwoods casually in the background. The studio takes up two floors with the lobby, main studio, and two washrooms on the second floor and a second barre studio, shower, and change rooms on the third floor. *Worth noting * there are no towels or toiletries provided, so be prepared to bring you’re own things if you’re planning on showering.
The crowd at Misfit is largely made up of tattoo clad, self-proclaimed march-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drum individuals, with ages ranging from mid 20’s to 50+. The women in our Get Hot class were impressively tall, slender, model-esque beauties in their 20’s and 30’s that had us second guessing if we accidentally stumbled on a Go-See, but the best part about the vibe at Misfit is that nobody gives a flying f#*& what you look like. The more individual, the better. So flaunt your freak and everyone will love it.
- All mats and equipment are included
- 2 studios at each location
- Filtered water and glasses
- Products for sale from The Cure Apothecary, The Peace Collective, and their own Misfit shop
The studio was founded by Amber Joliat a prominent figure in the fitness community who’s known for bringing a new style of movement to Pilates and yoga. Amber’s background is in art and dance and they have remained at the centre of her work for years. When Misfit first opened in 2010, they became known for their Fusion classes which blend dance, yoga and Pilates and Amber’s idea to teach the class with music was revolutionary at the time and put Misfit on the map. Amber has created a team of 14 spirited and dynamic instructors that bring continued life and experimentation to the studio, and no you don’t HAVE to have full sleeves to teach here – it’s just a thing that’s happened. With diverse backgrounds that range from Pilates to figure skating to TDT alumni, many of them are locals and will swap between teaching at both locations.
Lindsay was our instructor for the Get Worked class at the Ossington studio and she was lovely, cool and precise, which is a very important quality in a Pilates instructor. She gained her Pilates Mat certification through Body Harmonics, she’s also certified in Pilates Reformer, and she is continuing her education through the Misfit Method teacher training program. Her classes will often include music to keep things playful and she’ll keep you moving for the entire hour. She knew the majority of our class by name and she ensured to pay close attention to every student, occasionally making adjustments but always focusing on explaining where the body needs to go, what you should be feeling and creating visualisations to get our bodies moving in the correct form. She is exactly the kind of instructor you want for a Pilates class so you do the movements correctly.
Rachel was our instructor for the Get Hot class and we LOOOOVED her. First off, her full body tats going all the way up her neck may make some feel stand-offish but she has a Disney princess kindness and sweet energy to her that had us loving her hard. Energy levels have to be high for this class (more to read below on that) and she kept it up for the full hour demonstrating the entire class with us while chucking in lots of jokes and audible big exhales for good measure. We did struggle to hear her at times, which is less about her personal volume and more about the volume of the music and the fact we were at the back of the room. Full pineapples ladies, we loved you both.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
We’re giving the Pilates Get Worked class a MIDDLE of the ROADSIES. Although the class had a great flow, pace and challenging pockets, we didn’t work up a sweat or feel it was significantly difficult. That said, it is a great class for all levels and we were a bit sore in the days following in our inner thighs, low abs, and glutes – so, win. The class began with a short warm up in the centre of the room that felt comparable to a lyrical dance class with flowy full-body movements to get our joints limber and blood flowing (this is the “play” part we were talking about). We then moved to the mat for arms using mini balls that look like NBD but after holding them for longer than half a minute they felt like full bowling balls. After arms, we focused on glutes and back and then moved to the traditional ‘leg series’ of Pilates that looks like lying on your side and working your adductor and abductor muscles. For the many years that I’ve been doing Pilates, I always find this section difficult because it’s so easy to do it wrong and it takes considerable control and awareness of your body to achieve proper alignment. This was definitely a section of the class that Lindsay’s corrections and instructions were key and we still noticed a couple fellow students doing it incorrectly (sad face). Overall, the class most definitely brought the fresh take on Pilates that we were expecting by combining a traditional Pilates flow with elements of dance and injecting rests and stretches from yoga so full pineapple. We recommend it to any Pilates fan looking to strengthen their core and improve their posture.
The Get Hot class is described as ‘good old workout moves with a Misfit twist – we make jumping jacks fun.’ So, we still didn’t quiet know what to expect and I made the mistake of not wearing enough boob support. So if you take anything away from this review, please take away that a high support brassier is key for this class bc they literally mean jumping jacks, and other forms of jumping. Like, all the jumping. We’re rating this class WAY HARD as a result and awarding a full pineapple because jumping is not something we do very often in our day-to-day lives now that we’re not 11 and we forgot how HARD it actually is.
The class started with a warm-up that was similar to the Get Worked class with a lot of full body rolling, swaying from side to side and letting our entire bodies loosen up. We kind of felt like hippies in the 70’s dancing in the trees throwing our hands up in the air and letting our head flop around. It was so fun though! We then picked up the pace and the jumping began. A la 80’s aerobics, we got into a jumping side step and jumping jacks as our basic movements and then added different arms and upper body – all including audible movement like claps and slapping our thighs, which was pretty awesome. We then moved to an arms section with those sneaky small ball weights but kept the same uppity jumping in our lower body so we were continuing to challenge our cardio while we toned our triceps, biceps, shoulders and lats. We broke up the class with a few yoga vinyasa flows and resting in down-dog, but the majority of the class was on our feet and in constant movement. We wound down the class with a short ab section on the mat and finished with pigeon pose and back twists that had us flowing like it was a dance versus a stationary twist. We worked up a sweat, felt fatigued in our upper body, in particular, in the days following, but best of all we felt like we forgot we were grown-ass adults and just played for an hour.
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see Misfit’s contact info below.
Misfit Studio Web: www.misfitstudio.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE | 647.271.9037 Instagram | Facebook | Twitter