Good morning, readers!
I’m really excited that I have some teaching experience under my belt now. What’s even greater is that I’m starting to pinpoint the things I need to focus on to make myself a better instructor.
My mom is a yoga instructor, so when I have teaching concerns I usually shoot her a text first and foremost. Sometimes bouncing ideas and frustrations off another instructor is the best thing, and I am so lucky to have an instructor like my mom that I can talk to so frequently.
As stated, I’m getting to a point where I can identify areas that need attention. My biggest struggle right now is to gage the fitness level of my students. Mostly teaching one-on ones, I have the task of identifying this myself without the support of a studio/gym and their class-level indicators. The benefit of labeling class level benefits the instructor as much as the student. Instructors can create a flow that accommodates a specific level of fitness without having to offer multiple variations for every single movement sequence. A Pilates Mat 2 Flow for example, is frequently accompanied by a description of exactly what the ‘2’ means. What level of fitness is required? How much experience is needed? Or even, a minimum number of beginner classes must have been taken at the studio prior to advancing to intermediate and advanced classes. Again, not only good for clients, but remarkably helpful for instructors.
This information alleviates much of the responsibility the instructor has for gaging the overall fitness level and then adjusting correspondingly adjusting the flow on the spot.
There are many reasons for these requirements and descriptions, liability, injury, class flow, etc…I’m learning more and more reasons to focus of fitness level during my own classes.
Why is this a struggle for me?
I am often worried that my students/clients are not getting a good enough workout. Why? In the past when I have taken classes, I get frustrated if they are not challenging; I want to get my money’s worth! I never want any client of mine to feel as though a workout with me isn’t doing the trick. So with this as a huge factor in mind, I have been planning my classes with movements that weren’t necessarily hard for me, but were challenging enough that I figured someone with slightly less experience than I would still be getting a great workout. Wrong.
I keep forgetting that I have been doing Pilates for years. My body is used to these types of exercises and I have built a huge amount of core strength. A client who is just as physically fit as I, but not as familiar with Pilates, may not have as much core strength or their body is not accustomed to pilates. Just like I am in great physical condition but I couldn’t run a half marathon; my body has not been trained for it. My clients are in great condition, so I assume they are capable of these intermediate movements! I am forgetting that the body adjusts to certain types of movements and new ones can be extremely challenging, regardless of fitness level!
I am so happy I discovered this as something to think about and work on for my future classes. It is so much better in my opinion to start easy and build up rather than maintaining one, slightly more advanced level. I never want my clients to feel bad because an exercise is too challenging and I have to offer a more forgiving one. Rather, I would have my clients feel empowered and strong because the exercise I offer is not challenging enough and I have to step it up for them!
#goals #fitspiration #instructor 🙂