As Pilates teachers, one of the most valuable teaching tool is to reflect on why and how we became so passionate about Pilates. We all have saved our Pilates books, taken countless tests, earned our certifications and some of us have even opened up our own studio. But, when was the last time you were alone with your Pilates 101 books and dove back into the keywords and terms that have stood the test of time? Taking time as a teacher to reflect and to be proud of all we have done for so many is key. Never lose sight of how important you are as a teacher. To validate this, let’s take a little walk down memory lane of Pilates 101. The following is a list of the powerful words of our Joseph Pilates. Be thankful for doing what you love and be proud of how far you have come. So many students each day rely on your guidance and your wisdom to get them to their next level of mind and body accomplishments. So please, take your bow.
Do you remember learning all these for the first time?
6 Principles of Pilates:
- Centering: Physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Energetically, Pilates exercises are sourced from center.
- Concentration: If one brings full attention to the exercise and does it with full commitment, maximum value will be obtained from each movement.
- Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices.
- Precision: In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.
- Breath: Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. He advocated thinking of the lungs as a bellows—using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.
- Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way. Pilates equipment, like the reformer, are very good mirrors of one’s flow and concentration as they tend to bang around and suddenly become quite “machine-like” if one loses ones control and flow.
Never lose sight of the student in you. Enjoy taking classes and learning new teaching styles. To be able to do what we do everyday is magical and we all know Joe is smiling down on each and everyone of us. Happy holidays and wishing you another successful, strong Pilates-filled year.