Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Body Mason!
It’s hard to articulate just how thrilled I am typing those words. Today has been a long time coming. My plans for this day have been a solid decade in the making and today, finally, the studio is open!!!
If you’ve been doing Pilates in the Rosedale area, hopefully we’ve already met. Body Mason’s home on the second floor of 901 Yonge Street used to be occupied by the very wonderful Eden Pilates. This past Spring, we began transitioning these businesses.
For those of you whom I haven’t met, my name is Emma-Kate Millar. You’ll get to know me better in this space (and hopefully at the studio!) over the next few months, but the short version is this: I’ve been teaching Pilates for 10 years. I studied at the STOTT Pilates, then began teaching at Retrofit in Bloor West Village. But my journey here actually started before I even knew anything about Pilates.
You see, I started out as a dancer, touring and competing internationally. Jazz, ballet, hip-hop, modern, Irish, you name it, I’ve danced it. After high school, I studied modern dance with the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, then co-founded a Toronto-based dance company called the Crazy Fish Collective. After that, I went back to school and graduated with a fine arts degree from York University. Basically: from the time I was very young right through my twenties, dance was my life. It was my first love and also how I paid the bills. So when I took a fall at a community pool, seriously injuring my hip, it was a potentially life-altering injury. Shortly after, I hurt my back. Regular rehab wasn’t working. A teacher of mine recommended Pilates. I was so floored by the results, I started working on my certification.
Soon after I started this phase, I met a client with back pain so severe she was off work, on pain killers and understandably, struggling with depression. She was a teacher and spent the better part of her day standing at a chalkboard or sitting hunched over papers marking. She let her body essentially sink into itself. Sometimes we forget the fact that bones are actually held together with stuff. If you neglect that foundation your house falls apart. This client and I started working together one day a week and then increased our sessions to 2 days a week. We had to work slowly but after a year, she was back at work and off her pain medication. And bonus, she looked incredible, which made her feel incredible. Her physical health impacted her mental health. She celebrated with a boudoir photoshoot — which her husband particularly enjoyed.
And this is where Body Mason comes from. A mason is a craftsman. They build things. To me, that’s what Pilates is all about. It’s about building up that core. So much of the noise around fitness concerns “losing weight” and “trimming up” and “shedding inches.” Now, this all happens when you do Pilates, but it comes from a place of growth and positivity, not a desire to shrink. I’m not concerned about making someone smaller. I want to make them strong. The rest happens naturally.
I consider myself a mason and your bones are your foundation. There’s no point in going to a cross-fit gym and putting muscle on a weak frame. Let me be your mason. I’ll build you from the ground up.
In the coming weeks and months on this blog, I’ll be explaining more about my philosophy, my methods and introducing you to my incredible team, so check back often! I also really hope you come by the studio to check out Body Mason for yourself.
Your first class if free.
Can’t wait to meet you