As I lay my mat down, I can see the light from the setting sun start to fade through the old church windows. Candles maintain a warmth and a glow as I settle into Siddhasana, closing my eyes for a few moments before the class begins. This is the closest to God I have felt in a long time.
MISFITSTUDIO is located on Queen Street West above Anthropologie on the third floor of a converted church. There is a main studio for mat work and yoga, and a smaller adjacent studio for Reformer Pilates. The fireplace in the corner is thoughtfully decorated with a mix of traditional yoga symbols and unconventional elements with old Hollywood charm. The latter is a distinct characteristic of Misfit. An accent wall features black and white photos of old dancers and actresses, an aesthetic that carries over to the studio’s Instagram account.
It is early Friday evening and I am here with a friend for Get Worked – Pilates. Amber Joliet, the founder of Misfit, is teaching. Her voice is like velvet and she begins to guide us through a series of mat exercises that are slow in movement yet intense in effect. Immediately I am aware that I’ve never experienced a Pilates class quite like this before. Something magical is happening in the room, which is full of students of all different levels. We are being challenged, but we are calm.
Misfit prides itself on being a fusion studio and perhaps this is what I like most about it. It’s not your standard lets-do-100s-and-maybe-some-bicycle-crunches Pilates mindset, but rather classes follow a sequence more like yoga. The movements are complemented by yoga poses that are fully integrated into the flow. Each class ends with a small savasana that leaves me feeling strong and relaxed. It is by far the best Pilates class I have ever attended.
Grateful I purchased the two-week intro offer ($45), I find myself back at Misfit a few more times, though not as often as I’d have liked. I take a yoga class on the Tuesday, but prefer Amber’s on Friday. I need slow, deep movements that week and since I have not been working much on inversions, the wall exercises in Tuesday’s class impede my flow. Amber’s class in contrast makes me feel connected to my body and being in the church adds a level of divinity to the practice that is a rather unique experience.
I definitely recommend this studio. It is a beautiful space with serene classes full of movement and life. Misfit also sells a few things, including salads and smoothies from The Goods, and this loose leaf tea blend they made that is ridiculously good. So good, I bought a bag and am going to make myself a cup right now. Thank you Misfit!
MISFITSTUDIO is located at 761 Queen St. West. Drop-in mat classes are $20, or $95 for five, $190 for 10, and $175 for a month unlimited. Reformer classes and packages cost more.
All photos by Jessica Blaine Smith and posted with permission from MISFITSTUDIO.