Meet our Staff: Michelle Aasen
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m originally from a small town in Alberta called Provost. I’ve been teaching group fitness since 1993 and in 2003, I went to school for massage therapy and trained in yoga, Stott Pilates, Zumba and Strong by Zumba.
I’ve always been interested in fitness – in fact at one time I thought I wanted to be a bodybuilder – but when I moved to Edmonton I realized I wanted to make teaching fitness a career.
Explain your role here at Servus Place
As the Mind Body and Special Populations Programmer, I plan and organize the classes as well as supervise the instructors for the programs. This includes all the pre- and post-natal classes, Pilates, yoga, and all the neurological disorder classes including Boxing for Parkinson’s, Foundations for Parkinson’s, our Multiple Sclerosis programs and Minds in Motion.
How did you end up at Servus Place?
I started here as a group fitness instructor in the fall of 2018 teaching Pure Strength, Smart Start for Pilates and a few other programs. Then I got my chance to work with special populations in March of this year and I’ve been extremely happy with the role.
What do you like about working at Servus Place?
I really like the feel of the facility and our team – it feels like family and a real community. You can bounce ideas off each other and really work together to get the best results.
Can you talk more about the programs for Special Populations?
I think we’re very fortunate to offer these types of programs that help our patrons. Recently, we sent some staff members to be trained by the Alzheimer’s Society so we can teach both the physical fitness side and the cognitive side to help maintain the memory participants have by playing games, doing puzzles and listening to music.
We also have some new Special Populations classes this fall, including Kinesis for Special Populations which helped relieve the overflow from our Kinesis for MS classes, and our Wheelchair & Reduced Mobility, which is a circuit-based training program designed to increase mobility.
Is there a difference between Mind Body and Special Populations programming?
While they are both designed to support our patrons, the Mind Body programs focus on growing the connection between mind and body while the special populations programs enhance a person’s way of life.
What’s your favourite type of class to teach?
Pilates has always been a favourite of mine because I think it’s a great base or foundation for your fitness as you need that core stability. Core strength from the centre doesn’t just mean the front but rather the whole midsection of the body and then working all the different movements, alignments and planes of motion. Yoga is a great foundation too, but I like Pilates because you need that core for every kind of movement.
What are you hoping to accomplish in the second half of your time here at Servus Place?
I’m looking forward to getting to know more of the members. I find they really respond and grow when we work together and when we enjoy the classes together, it builds a really good relationship with them.
Last edited: August 16, 2019