You spend all day in the studio, living, breathing and teaching Pilates. It’s hard, I know. Sometimes the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is actually do Pilates yourself. But the benefits of keeping your personal practice may be greater than you realize. Not only will you receive all the amazing health benefits of a steady practice, but you will have more energy, and that, along with what you gain from your continued studies, will inspire your students. Walk the walk—and everyone will enjoy the journey. Here’s how:

 

Kathryn Ross-Nash works on her most important asset: herself.

Sign up for a workshop.
Nothing is better to break your normal routine and inspire than a workshop given by others who want to share what they love with you. Try something out of your comfort zone. If you are trained classically, try a contemporary teacher. Bone up on your anatomy (get it?). Find a teacher that you have been curious about and sign up. It’s so wonderful to hear what you say every day in a different way. Not only will it inspire you, but you will have new tools to communicate with your students—a win-win!

Try online education.
Study from the privacy of your own home—the benefits of these websites are almost too numerous to count! Personally, I love Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology. I know that it can be daunting to come from a certain style of training and walk blindly into a workshop that you have not a clue about. I know that working on different manufacturers’ equipment can be very confusing. These sites not only allow you to take fabulous lessons from internationally renowned teachers, but also to learn about the different styles of training and equipment from the comfort of your own couch. They allow you to see a teacher, and how and what they teach without the expense of travel. This also allows you to see who you may want to follow and try a workshop with. The classes allow you to move at your own pace or be moved by the pace of the class. I could go on and on, but at the end of the day, all I can say is…try them out! I promise you won’t be disappointed and your teaching will benefit.

Schedule your workouts.
Put time for your training in your schedule, and treat yourself just as you would treat your client. Stick to the schedule. We all know what happens to the student who doesn’t keep to a regular schedule—they quit. Working out on a regular schedule will give you more energy as well. I like to have a day of the week to work out with other teachers. I call it “Move it Monday” (every Monday at 9:45 a.m.). Knowing my habit of giving up my workout time for a student, I book students to work out with me. They follow my workout of the day—I don’t cancel because they are coming, and I can’t tell you how great we all feel afterward. By the way, Mondays fly by; the energy from the workout feeds me all day long! Make time for you—you’re worth it.

Pick a partner.
Don’t go at it alone! Find another instructor, and schedule your workouts together. You don’t even have to be in the same studio, state or country! Set up your computer next to your mat, Reformer, Chair or Cadillac, and Skype or FaceTime your partner. You may alternate who leads the workout each week. For those tech-savvy teachers, FaceTime on your phone with your partner and pull up an online workout at the same time. Now that’s fun!

 

Taking turns on the Pedi Pole.

Attend a weekly personal lesson.
This is something I did as much as possible for 16 years after I received my certification. Find a mentor to study under, and truly commit to one lesson a week. Your body and your lesson are unique, and a one-to-one session can truly deepen your practice as well as give you tactile, verbal and training feedback that a group lesson can’t provide. A well-seasoned mentor will be able to personally apply the method of Pilates to your unique needs and alignment challenges. Many people become instructors without ever fully training in the method for themselves. Give yourself the opportunity to learn the work for your needs, and that understanding will enhance and change the vantage point in which you see your students.

Attend a weekly group lesson.
The energy, the quick pace, the fun of sharing class with others and discussing it afterward are all benefits of attending a weekly class. Once again, you get the benefit of hearing different cues from another teacher and learning different stylesg. In a class, you have an added benefit to see how students actually respond to the cues. What type of cue does the entire class understand? Which ones did not communicate what the teacher was trying to explain? How did you and the others enjoy the pace? Here, again, try different teachers and group classes each week to find which style and teacher resonates with you the most.

Blog about your progress.
We all love to follow progress! Write a blog to share your Pilates journey with other teachers and students. This will not only hold you accountable, but it will also inspire others to follow in your footsteps and be committed to their practice. You may write something that you tried that someone hadn’t thought of, or have taken a class another teacher wanted to try but was afraid to.

Read!
I personally love books—I have so many of my old manuals and books in my studio. They are great references. Maybe there was a variation on the mat you saw taught but didn’t fully understand it. Work slowly through a book or magazine at your own pace. What is lovely about photos is that the author chooses the shot they want you to focus on. Sometimes, while watching video, we can be distracted by the movement and looe the detail. Books and magazines allow us to understand what the author wants us to see. The words are carefully chosen to, again, bring our focus to the details of the exercise that the teachers want you to see or feel. Although video can provide us with this as well, print allows us to absorb the work at out own pace. It allows us to easily revisit what inspired us on the page. The written word allows us to have resources quickly at our fingertips, whenever we want it.

Being a teacher of Pilates is not easy, but there is nothing I would rather do. Set a weekly time for you! Stick to your schedule. Find a friend to join you on this journey, and remember what inspired you to teach this work in the first place. Feed your work—and it will feed your soul and those of your students as well.


Kathryn Ross-Nash was a certified Romana’s Pilates Level 2 Trainer and is the owner of American Body Tech Pilates in Allendale, NJ. She is the creator of The Add on Mat® and The Red Thread® as well as the author of the original Fix Your Feet – Using the Pilates Method © and The Red Thread of Pilates © series.

June 8, 2017 at 11:55 am
Category: Articles, Kathryn Ross-Nash, Pilates Blog
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