Pilates 44, Bathurst NSW
Emerging Instructor in Focus
Instructor Name: Tanya Benett
Studio(s) you study or work at: Pilates 44
Location: Bathurst, NSW
Instructor training: Polestar Pilates
PAA Level: Group Instructor
What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?
My first experience doing Pilates was in my 20s using Pilates DVDs! I loved that it was a mix of strength, flexibility and functional movements to enhance my performance as a hockey player so when I retired from hockey after having children, I went back to Pilates as a form of self-care and “me time”, not only for my physical health but also my mental health. I love that Pilates is low impact but at the same time increases my strength, improves my posture and flexibility and integrates movement and breath together which has such a positive impact on the mind and body. Having coached hockey and teaching dance through my school years it made sense to me to train as an instructor so I can share the positive experiences that I have received from Pilates with others.
What did you eat for breakfast?
Freshly squeezed lemon in water, chocolate protein oats with chia seeds and LSA.
In one word, describe your first Pilates teaching/apprentice teaching experience?
What was the most unexpected part of your training?
How in-depth the training was into the Anatomy and Physiology of the body and how each Pilates exercise is aimed at supporting our functional movements to enhance our every-day life.
Your ‘go to’ website for all things Pilates (other than PAA)?
What’s your favourite Pilates podcast? Why do you recommend it?
I’m not much of a podcast listener however I did listen to the PAA podcast during my training, particularly Series 5 about PAA Students and Graduates which was so great to hear about other student journeys and experiences.
The best advice you’ve ever had?
From the beginning of my training my mentor told me that self-mastery of each Pilates movement is imperative to being able to teach as you will know how the movement is meant to feel within your own body and this will help you to cue and guide others in the movement. Now that I have started teaching, I have realised that this couldn’t be truer!
An indulgence you can’t live without?
Dark chocolate coated almonds and coffee.
How long have you been a member of PAA and how did you hear about PAA?
I joined the PAA not long after I commenced my training after recommendation from my Mentor.
Do you have a motto?
No, I don’t really have a motto however one of my favourite quotes is “Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success.” Albert Schweitzer
What’s the most challenging aspect of learning to teach?
Finding the right words!! I found that I am confident standing up in front of people and speaking however finding and mastering quality verbal cues that are timed efficiently ensures you get the best out of your clients, and I know this will improve with time and experience. I feel like this is something that I will consistently work on refining.
What would be your advice for new students?
Find a mentor and start your apprentice teaching hours asap! The support I had from my local mentors and studio who ensured that I got straight in and started apprentice teaching after my first intensive weekend of training was the best thing for my confidence and to build momentum and experience. Having a mentor to support you and keep you accountable for your logbook hours was so invaluable. There was a point in my training where I thought it was all too hard but having that support kept me going and on track to sit my exam. And if you can find some friends or family to teach – teach them as much as possible!
How do you use PAA?
I use the PAA to stay up to date with the latest Pilates information, their podcast and continuing education.
Who is your Pilates idol or would love to meet, and why?
I don’t really have a Pilates Idol, however I do have some instructors that I draw inspiration from as I love the way they teach, and they inspired me to become an instructor myself. They are Sara Colquhoun, Molly Gay, and my mentors Simmone Cser-Pratzky and Penny Hundy.
What do you appreciate most about your body?
That if you look after it, it will treat you well.
The book you’re currently reading?
I have a few on the go! They are..
The Power of Breathwork by Jennifer Patterson, Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali, and I am re-reading Anatomy of Movement by Blandine Calais-Germain.
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