Welcome to Day 9, my friends! And I can already hear your wonderings – did I pick the topic for today because “Junction 9” has a 9 in it? Is it because it is Fitness Friday? Well… yes. And no. I specifically wanted to talk about Junction 9 Yoga & Pilates today because of a really special experience I had earlier this week.
The Junction 9 Experience
Remember on Tuesday, when I was talking about how Winter had come to play? And how it was likely going to double my commute time to work the next day? Yeah. It was also going to double my commute time that night.
I tried so hard to go to a reformer pilates class at Junction 9. Like, I left early because of the snow. I drove carefully. But it turns out leaving 35 minutes before my class started was not early enough and the roads were much more stressful than I had anticipated. You know when your brakes bounce on ice when you’re trying to stop and definitely are not going to be able to? Ugh. Too real.
Anyway, I rolled up to the studio, a solid 10 minutes late for class and just could not fathom driving any longer. Junction 9 has a cute coffee bar on the first floor of the space, so I just headed on in, figuring I could sit for a bit. And it was just everything. They greeted me, they made sure I was okay, they were genuinely understanding – they even added me to the waitlist for the next class so I could still workout if someone didn’t show up. Kate Mak, yoga instructor extraordinaire, offered some much needed perspective that when things like this happen, it’s to save us from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I had a thoroughly delicious chai latte with oat milk and cozied up with a book. The entire experience was just like I was wrapped up in a warm hug, which was everything I needed in that moment. And that is the Junction 9 experience.
The front entrance of Junction 9 is truly iconic. Have you ever driven past that building with all the wooden planks on it on the Inglewood side of 9th Ave? Just across the parking lot from Fair’s Fair?
That building houses Junction 9 on the first floor, second floor and roof top (yes, they do rooftop yoga) and Wymbin in the lower part of the building. The space is stunning – so cozy, so what I think of when I think of downtown Calgary, all brick walls and wood. It is only steps away from so many Inglewood hotspots, has tons of free and paid parking, and is fairly accessible by transit. We love to see such a welcoming space.
I’m not going to pull a Moveology and talk about each class type in depth here. Mostly because I’m just not the right person to do that, I am not as familiar with the classes as I am at my home studio. Which might beg the question – if I have a home studio, why am I going somewhere else as well?
Well, let me tell you: Reformer Pilates. Reformer Pilates is what made me add classes at another studio to my rotation. I can do both.
A reformer is one of those strange looking contraptions that you see in Pilates studios – all moving platforms, straps, and springs all over the place. It is a low-impact exercise that looks super easy because you’re engaging all the right muscles, but absolutely is not because you’re engaging all the right muscles. Every single Pilates class is a core workout for 50 minutes as you stabilize yourself and work on all your other muscle groups too.
The reformer may look intimidating, but don’t worry! Junction 9 offers a free Pilates intro class three times a week that you are required to take before signing up for a full class. You won’t be thrown into the water without being prepared.
I know I haven’t really talked about the classes yet. I haven’t even touched on the yoga (Junction 9 is the studio that introduced me to Yin). But, really, Junction 9 has super detailed class descriptions on their website – honestly, they have so much information on their website!
Again. The classes are amazing, but I think I’ve really made it clear that the vibe is what makes Junction 9 special. It is inclusive, welcoming, and beautiful.
A real key part of creating this vibe, I think, is the first floor of the space. Upstairs is where both of the studios are located, where the practice takes place. The first floor is where the community lives. I mentioned the coffee bar – they’ll even let you order a drink to have ready at the end of class. There is a community table, private change rooms (with showers!), a very cool water station, a space for private pilates training, and an adorable boutique with lots of local goodies for sale.
It’s just very special.
So, my friends, have I convinced you to try reformer pilates yet? I do have a free buddy pass to use each month, so if you wanted to move with me… we could make that happen…