WHAT YOU NEED
a digital device & your bod
This is a first. We’ve always focused our attention on boutique studios and gyms but with the world as it’s been, it’s more appropriate than ever to highlight individual people and show the teachers some love. Even as we return to commerce and restrictions start to lift, the fitness scene is, and will be, one of the last businesses to open – understandably so. For the studios that made it through these sticky months, planning has been underway for weeks on what reemerge looks like. Extra precautions need to be taken to keep people safe, and that includes less capacity for classes, and less classes on the schedule to keep body traffic down. The end result is that our beloved instructors are having less opportunities to teach. Their “personal brands” are more important than ever, requiring so many instructors to continue being creative online even after we return, offering digital classes or starting their own programs.
SO – in that vein, we felt it highly appropriate to focus on one single instructor that’s relatively new to the Pilates & barre scene but has been impactful every damn time. Julia Smorodina is a Pilates instructor with Body Mason and Core Studio in Toronto. Her classes, her teaching and her queues have stood with me long after class – along with a 2-day butt burn which I appreciate and don’t appreciate at the same time. My dance background has made me a sucker for teachers that are committed to form and technique just as much as a kick-ass workout and Julia nails that. It’s always crucial, but especially so in Pilates, to have correct technique to maximise results and avoid injury and she does an amazing job communicating and responding to that even on a digital platform.
“It’s such an amazing thing. Pilates isn’t just about working out and having a toned aesthetic. It’s about re-educating your body to move properly. How to sleep, how to target muscles, how to move in daily life. It can help people live better.”Julia
Julia started her career in the mega corporate space with Deloitte as an Immigration Manager. Like so many, she was starting to feel the effects of the corporate office in her body, experiencing acute shoulder pain and a knee and hamstring injury. Once she tried a Pilates class though, she was hooked and her life took a different direction. “I really felt a difference in my body and it started to resolve my injuries”. What’s been particularly special to witness in talking to Julia is her clear passion and admiration for the art of Pilates, and how it’s helped her find a greater purpose – to help others. “It’s such an amazing thing. Pilates isn’t just about working out and having a toned aesthetic. It’s about re-educating your body to move properly. How to sleep, how to target muscles, how to move in daily life. It can help people live better.”
Julia is barre certified from Barreworks, a fully trained Pilates instructor from Body Harmonics with Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels training, and she’s been teaching since January 2019. She’s a big believer in working out hard but smart. When she plans her classes, she always puts herself in your shoes, thinking about what she would expect from an instructor and a class. “I want my clients to feel the burn, but I also want them to recruit muscles correctly. I try to stay true to pivotal Pilates principles yet at the same time, bring an element of bootcamp to it.”
Works for me! Julia’s sessions are intense but in a good way. She does a great job of keeping things moving and interesting enough (I wasn’t watching my phone or getting distracted which is so easy and common when working out at home) because she kept the sequences short but punchy and very very targeted. Unlike a barre class that has a lot of repetitions of small movements, Julias Pilates classes felt more like a blend of dance, yoga, and bootcamp with full body expressions. A lot of core and a loss of ass. What else do you need really?
We have a soft spot for the instructors like Julia, who are relatively new in their career and haven’t achieved the Soul Cycle and Barrys level of instructor influencer status. And there are so many amazing instructors like her. Spending this time with Julia to hear her story and understand her struggles definitely gave me pause to think about her and her colleagues as sole proprietors even AFTER we come back. It’s going to be a slow return for them and it’s going to be competitive. It’ll be slow for all of us, I appreciate, but as studios start to get more of our business and can run as many classes as possible, there still won’t be the same demand for the instructors. It’s no ones fault, and largely unavoidable, but it’s a shift. So it feels like we have to make an extra effort to seek them out. Find your fav instructor and send them a payment, or sign-up for their paid classes AS WELL as your beloved studios. We have to continue to take care of each other, and this is one way to do that.
“It’s going to be a slow return for them and it’s going to be competitive.”
Julias schedule for the coming weeks is below and she will make you “feel the spice”. Sign up for her first class FREE with promo code JULESMOVES here.
Body Mason (First class FREE with promo code JULESMOVES)
- Wednesdays 9:30am EST | Mat Body Conditioning
- Sundays 9:30am EST | Mat Body Conditioning
- Sundays 1:00pm EST | Mat Power
- IG live 20min Pilates classes on the @body_mason account throughout the summer. First live class will take place on June 20th.
- Tuesdays 12:00pm EST | Barre Pilates
- Thursdays 12:00pm EST | Pilates Sculpt
Happy Sweating everyone!
Tabs is a freelance Brand Strategist, co-host of The After30 Podcast and creator of Fit-City Guide. You can find her at home like everyone else right now, trying to squeeze in time for a run and sample a fitness class online. When she isn’t writing for Fit-City Guide, Tabs is chasing her toddler son, drinking bubbly (likely at the same time), and eating popcorn.