GOODBODYFEEL: a new pilates, yoga, and mindfulness pop-up studio is here to change the perception of what we think about fitness and wellness culture. Founder Robin Lamarr has set out to create movement classes in Hamilton that are accessible, inclusive, and socially engaged.

goodbodyfeel

It all began back in grade school with Robin’s first foray into the movement world. Starting with at-home workouts and going to the gym, she later delved into yoga in university. Discovering the community aspect of the wellness world made all the difference. “I really loved the sense of community that was around the studio where I began my yoga practice,” she recalls. “I loved the challenge of the movements, the mindfulness that it all brought, and just moving with other people.” That shared experience and sense of belonging is what kept Robin motivated to continue the practice.

Robin is now a mother of two, and it was after having her first child in 2014 that her approach to movement classes evolved. “When I went back to my yoga practice, my body was not responding to it in the same way. I needed something different, but what I really discovered was that I needed something different all along.” Robin came to recognize that moving in various contexts, be it yoga, pilates, dance, are all important for her movement experience and strengthening the body all around.

Photo courtesy of GOODBODYFEEL
Photo courtesy of GOODBODYFEEL

Fast forward to about two years ago, Robin then began hosting local pop-up classes in various businesses from retail spaces to the dance club Sous Bas. “Any venue that had a floor,” she describes with a laugh. Having moved to Hamilton a year before that, it was a fun way to get involved in the community and meet likeminded, small business owners, and find ways to collaborate.

From her experience with participating in different types of classes and communities over the course of her training, Robin observed a need for more inclusivity within the fitness world. “I’m a woman of colour, and so that comes with baggage. I’ve always struggled with my body image, which I feel is a common story for most women. I’ve struggled with feeling content with what my body looked like,” she says, reflecting on trying to fit into what society tells us “beauty” looks like. When stepping into a community-building role in Hamilton, Robin looked to address this. “How can I heal those parts of myself that I pushed aside, or was ignored or neglected? And how might that then heal other people in the community? And so I just started getting really loud. Can more people of colour be welcomed into the wellness world? Because it looks like we’re very underrepresented in the wellness world. Same with body size.”

Photo courtesy of GOODBODYFEEL
Photo courtesy of GOODBODYFEEL

Robin launched GOODBODYFEEL in January, the perfect time to become realigned with your goals, but never mind the New Year’s Resolutions; here it’s about listening to yourself and doing what feels right for you, without that pressure. “Just like the name suggests, it’s about how we feel in our bodies. Can we feel good, can we feel welcomed, can we feel accepted?” Creating classes that are welcoming and approachable to all, Robin focuses on the individual, giving the participant agency and encouraging them to move in a way that feels right, rather than trying to match a certain standard.

Robin Lamarr leading a class. Photo courtesy of GOODBODYFEEL
Robin Lamarr leading a class. Photo courtesy of GOODBODYFEEL

To break another barrier that may prevent someone from joining a wellness class, fees are offered on a sliding scale. There are also clean fitness clothing available to borrow, and mats are provided at no extra charge. “Just show up, bring your body, don’t worry about anything else, and let’s move!”

There is a range of classes at various times of the day available at GOODBODYFEEL: visit their website for full class descriptions and to keep in-the-know about special workshops. Upcoming workshops include:

  • Move With Babe: bring your little one and move together (Tuesdays from February 19th-March 12th)
  • Movement + Melanin + Expression: for folx identifying as Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (February 24th, 1-3pm)
  • Movement + Mental Health: for movement educators wanting to deliver classes and private sessions with folks living with mental health vulnerabilities (e.g. depression, anxiety, trauma, chronic stress etc.) (March 16th, 1-4pm)
  • Mindful Strength Weekend Immersion: 2 days of Mindful Strength (April 13-14, 11am-6pm)

Quotes are taken from my conversation with Robin Lamarr on 93.3 CFMU.

Photo courtesy of GOODBODYFEEL
Photo courtesy of GOODBODYFEEL
kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing an influential social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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