Since discovering Pilates through ballroom dancing, Stav Giannoulis has created a calm and inviting atmosphere with her Pilates By Stav studio located in the heart of Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and expertise, while motivating clients to challenge and strengthen their minds, bodies, and souls. S/ spoke with Giannoulis to gain a better understanding of her wellness journey, the importance of studio design, and how the Reset program and private reformer classes can bring forth a new sense of self.
How has Pilates been integral to your wellness journey?
“Pilates has changed my life in a number of different ways. When I started to dedicate three to four hours a week to Pilates sessions, not only did I see a change in the way my body appeared, I really felt a difference from within. The functionality of my muscles dramatically improved and I created balance, stability, and control. The tension that I held in my shoulders started to dissipate and my posture improved dramatically. The breath body connection and mindful approach to movement is very therapeutic to me. In any session, you’ll notice the connection between breath and movement. It helps you push through a difficult move or those few extra reps. Breath also helps regulate your heart rate and calm your nervous system. From personal experience, I’ve been able to release anxious thoughts or stressors in a Pilates class. It takes me out of my head and brings me into the present moment.”
The atmosphere you’ve created in your studio is very serene and inviting. What was important for you when it came to the design of the space?
“It was very important to me to create a space that felt fresh and inviting. My sessions are designed to make you feel comfortable in your body and I wanted the space to reflect that. I believe the neutral palette and natural light in my studio is a draw for people as I work with a wide range of clients from athletes to rehab clients, as well as pre- and post-natal women.”
Can you tell us about the Reset Program you offer?
“The Reset Program is designed to help clients achieve health and wellness goals through an accountability program. There are 30- or 60-day program options. It begins with a 15-minute consultation about what your goals are and a snapshot of a ‘week in the life’, including a food diary, movement, sleep, and mindfulness. After the discussion, I create a detailed plan that includes food, movement, mindfulness guidelines, habit tracker, and recipe suggestions. There are two options for accountability, either a daily or weekly check-in.”
What are the benefits of a private reformer class?
“Private sessions allow you the time to really tune in to your own body. This allows you to identify things you are good at and things that you might need to work on. Developing more self-awareness empowers you to make your own changes, not just in your sessions. You’ll start to notice when you have bad posture in day-to-day activities and you’ll immediately know what you need to activate to improve it. Developing more self-awareness is the first step to bringing about lasting change.”