by Hilary Opheim
Link to original article: 5 Reasons Pilates Teachers need their Pilates each week!
In an ideal Pilates world you the Pilates Teacher would have a scheduled Pilates workout with another Pilates Teacher to get your own Pilates practice in, just like your Pilates clients do each week with you. Sounds reasonable and why wouldn’t you? The reality is, for many Pilates teachers this is something that gets lost after entering the teaching world as they are teaching too many hours, get tired, burnt out from practicing things on their own but, maintaining that connection to Pilates as a student is so important to being a GREAT teacher! I am going to give you 7 reasons why you should have your own Pilates session every week.
One of the best pieces of advice I got when I was in my Teacher Training Program with John Gossett was to always have a weekly session with a fellow teacher. To have your set time and to schedule as a client, no under 24-hour cancellations, no trading, and paying that teacher just as your clients pay you. It is something I have always done my entire Pilates career. The teachers have changed as my journey has progressed but every Friday I show up so my Pilates practice can begin.
When students are in my Teacher Training Program I now give that same advice that was given to me. There are so many reasons that being the client, getting the Pilates session geared to your needs and issues as well as getting those exercises that maybe when you hop on the apparatus you skip because “I don’t like that one”. The truth is that is probably the one you need the most right?
Pilates teachers always stress how important it is for their clients to come each week, all the benefits, yet so many don’t follow that advice for themselves. Here are my reasons that I give to my students.
Some of the best learning moments don’t happen at a workshop, practicing on your own or watching videos online – Most “aha” moments happen when you are in the work and being guided by a teacher who is watching your body, your form, your range of motion. They will be able to get you to “feel” the work as they can truly see where you are in space, what you need to connect more to, how your body is with its range of motion and more. We can’t see ourselves as we practice on our own. Your teacher can! I always think of those moments with clients where we have them move the hips or legs on the mat as they are crooked and they say “what? really? It feels straight”.
Before doing exercises that are new or difficult or trying new techniques in the way you teach, you need that experience for yourself – When you attend a workshop or conference and you are sitting and watching or just listening to the speaker you are not experiencing what you are hearing about. It takes time and effort to understand exercises, techniques and new information you may get in your Pilates career. Having that practice with your teacher gives you that opportunity to dig deeper with these that you may want to pass to clients.
Our bodies and abilities change constantly – Your body changes daily and getting that workout with your teacher helps you recognize this and acknowledge for you how to take care of yourself and avoid injury while you are teaching your clients. Just like you tell your clients each time they come in they can be in a different place it is the same for you! Having that session will keep your body challenged and safe as your teaching career continues.
Having your Pilates session each week helps you understand your clients more – A regular weekly session will help you be able to understand and relate to your clients and maybe the struggles or feelings they are having during their session with you. Staying in tune with that beginner client’s mind can be more and more challenging as the years pass in your teaching. This information, that is coming to you from your own Pilates practice, is the most impactful. This is where you get to be the student again, the newbie, the one who remains curious. This becomes part of you as a teacher.
Keeps your body from burnout and stress – Taking time to go to see another Pilates teacher and put that phone away and just focus on your own Pilates will keep your stress level down and recharge you each week. Think of how your clients come in and as they leave say “Wow! I feel so much better than when I came in”.
Keeping your Pilates practice is key to being a GREAT Pilates teacher and your clients will appreciate that you are making that commitment each week just as they do to you! So create that routine and find a teacher that speaks to you and your teaching style.
Owner/Director/Pilates Teacher at Hilary Opheim Pilates
“I feel that Pilates is a journey and for me it is one of never ending exploring, learning, sharing and community. I have been teaching over 25 years and studied with many who have helped shape my teaching and my life. My continued learning from those that have come before me helps me give Teachers understanding. confidence and community.” Hilary Opheim