Why do so many individuals have difficulties with much of the original Classical Pilates exercises? What would the world of Pilates look like if Joseph Pilates was influenced by today’s scientific information? Would he adapt new ways to teach movement? These are questions that often come to mind when speaking with classically trained Pilates teachers. Personally, I believe that if we could take out the “struggle” that so many have with Pilates, our industry would become the number one exercise choice. I strongly believe that if teachers understood the science of movement, they would be more adept at implementing modifications. Additionally, they would see the value introducing variations to help
Knowing how to communicate effectively when using verbal cues can turn an average teacher into an extraordinary one. Now that the pandemic mandates that we keep a safe distance from students and limit our tactile cueing, developing an arsenal of clear and concise verbal cues is more important than ever. First, let’s discuss verbal cues and how to prevent them from becoming nothing more than repetitive, ineffectual sound bites. As a teacher, it’s only natural to become a bit complacent with our verbal cues. The underlying problem is that we’re caught unaware by the common pitfalls and neglect to correct ourselves. Here are a few examples that are sure to
When I teach, my most often used quote is: “If the resistance applied to the extremities is greater than the ability to maintain proper breathing and alignment, then the resistance is too heavy.” Yes, I said it! It’s not about strength. It’s about balanced and coordinated movement. In addition to lifting functional loads, one of the most overlooked aspects of strength is flexibility. If a rubber band is inflexible and can’t be fully stretched, it won’t have the force to generate power. Athletic Pilates is similar to other forms of strength training, but is devoid of excessive and compressive spine loading. The most notable difference is that the emphasis is
There’s a distinct and powerful difference between an instructor and a teacher. I define an instructor as one who provides students information on what the instructor has learned from a book, workshop, or training program. He or she has not personally experienced that which they teach. This is a one-dimensional approach to learning, and one that I see far too often. A teacher, on the other hand, offers a multi-dimensional approach to learning, making it a priority to personally develop their movement skills, apply what they’ve learned, and acquire teaching aptitudes through their personal practice. I, for one, believe that to be truly impactful, you must share your personal experience
Let’s start with an analogy. The beloved wine we know as Champagne is authentic only if it comes from the Champagne region of France. That’s why Italian white sparkling wine is called Prosecco. California sparkling wines are not veritable Champagnes. In relation to Pilates, the proper word for this is “classical.” If you teach the way Papa Joe taught, you’re teaching classical Pilates—the original style of Pilates. But if you teach in a way that is true to your personal experience and your beliefs about how the body works, don’t let anyone tell you you aren’t teaching “authentic” Pilates. The Pilates industry may have come under the influence of polarization,
As a studio owner, a Pilates teacher, and a continuing education provider, I have come to understand that a discussion on how our industry is evolving is overdue. Teaching in Palm Springs allows me to work with students and teachers from all over the world. In a typical month, I can have anywhere from 30-50 visiting international students and teachers attend my classes. I hear countless stories from students and teachers who struggle to understand the basic movement principles, and who also have difficulty executing many of the exercises. They often describe their experience both as a teacher and student as frustrating, repetitive, mundane, and uninspiring. Why is this occurring?