I am often asked what my “secret” is. Beauty secrets, fitness secrets… I’m not sure why they’re referred to as secrets, to be honest. Last time I checked, us women love talking about our success stories and our failures! 

So with the encouragement of friends like fitness expert, Jordan Cieciwa (One Fit City) and, Life Stylist, Reno Winston, (It Just Got Reno) to share my stories, no more secrets! 

I’ll start with what helped me reclaim my body after my second baby to how I feel now, which I think is fairly strong and lean. The reason my butt sits where it does, that one constant that keeps me moving, is Pilates.

While group Pilates classes are great, what really transformed my body are the weekly, private sessions I’ve been treating myself to for the last 5 years and the semi privates I took for 4 years before that. 

I would like to thank Madonna for introducing us to the term and my fellow mommy friend who asked me to try a mat class with her so long ago. I didn’t quite get it at first as these core exercises were quite different than the crunches I knew and my body took some time to click into what was going on. But with the understanding that comes after a few Pilates sessions with a knowledgeable instructor, my body started to respond with those satisfying aches that come with a great, full body workout.

Fast forward 9 years and I still have the pleasure of the pain inflicted by that original instructor, Leslie Crozier. She is meticulous with my form, loves to work me to my limits, and after all this time, considered a dear friend! 

There is a common misconception with Pilates that it’s all about stretching with maybe some abs, or that it’s a variation of yoga. It is an innovative, mind body method all its own, using a variety of equipment as well as your own body weight to create a challenging, low impact, total body workout. I enjoy supplementing my lifestyle with various activities around Winnipeg but I always try to incorporate Pilates principles into these other workouts. FEEL IT | LIVE IT | LOVE IT is her slogan which perfectly describes this goal. 

Leslie’s success as a gifted, detail oriented instructor has led to her opening her own Pilates studio on May 1st and I am so excited for her! Core Centric is located at 10A – 1700 Corydon Ave in River Heights and classes are already filling up.
Leslie’s knowledge of physiology and body mechanics makes her great to work with through injuries or body quirks. I hate to think of how much worse my slouchy, hairstylist back would be if she weren’t constantly, yet gently, working my shoulder blades back to where they should be.

Forward folding (and hard as hell!) abdominal work is always balanced with some back extension, encouraging a balanced spine.

Anyone who has or will work out with Leslie will acknowledge the love/hate relationship with her signature “Peach ball ab series”. She encourages and corrects to the bitter end, always following up with a “loving it??!” and a smile. She may occasionally get a sarcastic yes to that question but loving the results keeps us all coming back for more.

She is a very hands-on instructor and can tell from a mile away when your abs are not engaged or your pelvis is wrong. I am quite certain that I wouldn’t get nearly as much out of these workouts if it were not for her corrections.

After all these years I have never been bored with one of Leslie’s workouts. This exercise, called tree, I had never done before. And yes, coming back up was way harder.

Occasionally doing something that feels a bit circus acrobat is just plain fun.

When she chooses, I will sometimes get an aerobic workout with Leslie using a “Cardio Tramp”. The springs on the reformer create resistance to your jumps and pull you back down. There is a tortuous sequence called climbing the mountain that makes my mind have to go to its happy place just so I can make it to the end.

Being certified in TRX as well, this intense, body resistance training system is incorporated into my workouts and also offered at Core Centric.

Her exercise demonstrations are always a joy to behold and also a humble reminder that I still have oh so far to go!

Thank you, Leslie, for all of your care and torture. Time spent with you has been worth every second, breath and, dime. 

Be sure to check out Core Centric Pilates Yoga Wellness here and see how you can fit this effective fitness option into your life. 

Photos by Flashbound Photography.

Workout gear by MPG Sport.