Pilates has to be the most rewarding profession any person could hope to find in their teaching career. I love to teach. Hand’s down, there is a passion that lives inside that sustains the weeks and months that pass, and I have yet to experience boredom in a subject matter that offers the infinite possibility to learn every day. It is why I chose this field. There has not been a moment where more information cannot be absorbed or applied to the teaching practice, thus allowing access to a new way of instruction. This relates to being a Pilates practitioner as well. The work speaks for itself. I can never find too much knowledge, grow tired of approaching an exercise from a different angle, find greater depth or give up trying to fine tune personal performance.
As an instructor, part of the teaching practice is to create a welcoming environment. As a student, I look forward to the class, enthusiastic for the ensuing hour. The focus and the energy are set within the first few moments of class, tuning into the direction of the teacher. My personal responsibility is to be present for the information at hand. What deters from this energy, however, is the teacher who starts the class with a personal agenda. Any form of stress or upset should not be a part of the teaching environment, at the beginning, middle or end of a class. Complaints about the day’s beginning; be it a flat tire, a late start, a head cold, or an unwanted phone call do not belong in the room where teaching is taking place. This is a reference to emotional management and relinquishing the temptation to confide or complain about personal issues. Our job as instructors is to “leave it at the door.” Clients come to our studios to study or address the healing of body issues and they deserve our full attention. When they walk into the Pilates space, they have purchased the time, in body, mind, and spirit and it becomes the teacher’s job to direct concentration toward the task at hand. Each one of us, as instructors, has dropped into this behavior at one time or another, which means one thing; we are human. Thank goodness!
What effect does extra emotional baggage do to the client/class setting? If we as Pilates instructors believe in this body/mind connection, understanding the impact that emotion has on the relationship of performance, it would make sense to honor that student’s time with non-personal material. They already come to class with their own baggage, for lack of a better term, and make every effort to leave concerns behind in order to devote themselves to an introspective physical and mental hour. Therefore, it is important that the teacher does not hinder this time with anything the client could embody, leaving the mind free to concentrate on the substance of the class.
Note: This content was originally published in our Pilates COREterly e-newsletter. You can read the rest of this post here .