◊ WHO THIS IS FOR ◊
The Tattooed, the free, the mystical beings
WHAT YOU NEED
Barefeet, comfy clothing, waterbottle, high support bra (for Get Hot)
UPDATE Misfitstudio has permanently closed their doors. We wish them all the best on their next journey. (July 2020)
MISFITSTUDIO captured our hearts early on. Besides being super into the name (aren’t we all just a bunch of misfits, anyway?) their picturesque studios are bloody fantastic. They take a refreshing perspective on the average Pilates, barre, and dance classes by infusing movement and breath in a unique way that we guarantee you haven’t experienced before. MISFIT was founded by the magical creature, Amber Joliat, more than 10 years ago because she wanted to create a home for all misfits to feel loved, encourage conversation, experience community and experiment with their bodies, each other and their space. With locations in Ossington and the newest in Bloorcourt, both studios are stunning with over 23 kinds of mat and reformer Pilates, barre, and movement classes. We’re breaking down Get Hot and Get Worked from the mat classes, and I left with a child-like carefreeness that I’d like to activate on the daily. Also, pack your high-support bras for Get Hot bc there’s more jumping in this class than Ross when he got his new apartment.
Read on for the full article of MISFITSTUDIO.
MISFITSTUDIO has two locations, Ossington off Humber St two meters from Ride and across from Mamakas (bless the Saganaki), and their newest location that opened in October in Bloorcourt. There used to be the blessed MISFIT Church above Anthropologie on Queen West, but that has since been transformed to the new, more spacious and just as magical Bloorcourt studio. Both locations are in the heart of the cool and are easily accessible by foot, train, streetcar, car, bike, etc. etc.
MISFIT has three categories of classes; Floor, Apparatus, and Reformer. The Apparatus classes are new since the Bloorcourt studio and they include a trampoline class called Get High. Lolz. The Floor classes have the most options and include things like Pilates, movement classes, strength/resistance classes, and meditation. The class styles are like nothing else you will find in Toronto though, like the Get Lunar that is ‘aligned with the cycles of the moon. This class shifts focus with each moon, and you’ll feel it most gently through the entire body, with special focus on breath and meditation.’ Each class is described on their website with the movement, where you can expect to feel it, and the intensity level, so it’s worth checking out.
Although it may seem overwhelming, and you may just choose the class that works best with your schedule anyway, the thing to know about any MISFIT class is that every single class is rooted in yoga, informed by Pilates, and inspired by dance. That is what truly sets them apart. They’re also unlike most Pilates, barre, or yoga class because the consistent thread running through all styles is that they infuse an element of “play” into every technique.
The class schedule is 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. Note while walk-ins are welcome, MiISFIT has a tendency to fill-up so it’s best to pre-register and pay online, especially for Reformer classes where space is more limited. 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.
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.
There’s a lot going on with the prices so it’s worth taking a minute to decide what you’re into – like building a stir-fry. It’s the easiest to first establish how often you’re planning to go to class. More than 5x/week, more than 3x/week, 10 class pack, just drop-in, etc. Then it’s about deciding what type of class your after; Floor, Apparatus, Reformer, etc. Because each one of those variations has a different pricing option. A single drop-in Floor class though is $20 +HST which is a deal in Toronto, Apparatus drop-in rates jump to $25+HST, and Reformer to $31+HST – due to increased equipment use. Overall, prices are super comparable for the TO market. See all options here.
MISFITSTUDIO DOES accept ClassPass. However all ClassPass reservations and cancellations are made through ClassPass as a third party booking system. MISFIT can’t change or alter a ClassPass reservation and any issues have to be addressed directly with ClassPass.
MISFIT’S vibe 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. Both locations have two studios, washrooms, lots of stairs, and a waiting area, although the Ossington studio is definitely more compact and intimate. The newest studio, Bloorcourt, shows off what MISFIT has probably always wanted to be but never quite had the space. There’s a ton of natural light in both studios as they’re on the corner space of the second floor, and they have lockers with locks, a retail space, the coolest change rooms, washrooms, and more space to chill and mingle and be.
Most importantly, all MISFIT space is a barefoot space.
The crowd 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 me second guessing if I 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.
THE CLASS 🍍
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
The class began with a short warm up in the centre of the room that felt like a lyrical dance class with flowy full-body movement to get our joints limber and blood flowing. We then moved to the mat for an arm section using mini weighted balls in various exercises on repeat. Think bicep curls, shoulder presses, holding out your arms. It was ~10 minutes long and I was shaking and had to take multiple breaks. After arms, we focused on glutes and back and moved to the traditional ‘leg series’ of Pilates lying on our side and working 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 is definitely the part of the class where the instructors corrections, hands on adjustments and instructions are key and we did notice a few fellow students doing it incorrectly (sad face). Overall, the class 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. We recommend it to any Pilates fan looking to strengthen their core and improve their posture.
This class is described as ‘cardio movement with a MISFIT twist. We make jumping jacks FUN!.’ You’ll feel it most in your ‘full-body’ and the intensity level is HIGH. 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. I’m rating this WAY HARD as a result because jumping is not something I do very often now that I’m not 11, and we forgot how HARD it actually is.
The class starts with a warm-up similar to the Get Worked class with a lot of full body rolling, swaying from side to side and letting the body loosen up. 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 weighted balls, but kept the same uppity jumping in our lower body so we were continuing to challenge our cardio while toning our triceps, biceps, shoulders and lats. The class was broken up 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. I worked up a sweat, felt fatigued in my upper body in particular, but best of all, I felt like I forgot I was a grown-ass adult and just played for an hour.
And that’s that! Click here to visit MISFITSTUDIO for yourself and book in for a class!
Tabs is a freelance brand marketing strategist, co-host of The After30 Podcast and creator of Fit-City Guide. You can find her in a fitness studio every week, chatting up the instructors and fellow class goers on their experience, and generally being a creep in the background taking photos of everything. When she isn’t writing for Fit-City Guide, Tab is chasing her toddler son, drinking bubbly (likely at the same time), and eating popcorn.