It is currently five degrees here in beautiful New England, with a high of nine and a wind chill of -25. But the sun is shining so I’ll just be sitting here staring at the albeit cold and distant rays pretending it’s not happening and ignoring the two foot snow drifts blanketing the world.
Fortunately I am finding myself chipper considering the negative sign in front of the temperature today.
I am also struggling to motivate myself further down the road to achieve my goal of being a fully certified Pilates instructor. I could just be over thinking the process and what it really means to be an effective instructor, and probably am.
I have experienced a lot of different teaching styles and I have determined exactly what I like and don’t like for myself when taking a Pilates mat/ barre/ reformer class.
- The class should flow; The movements should lead smoothly from each position to the next.
- Talking without movement should be limited.
- In a large class, specific attention to individual students is unrealistic and frankly annoying for everyone else.
- I would like to be continuously moving and hopefully burning and sweating by the end of the class.
- I also want form corrections/muscle activation cues.
Ok that sounds like a long list, but I really believe all of these things are so crucial to a good class. There is nothing worse for me than paying $30 for a Pilates class only to stand there listening to my instructor talk for the first 10 minutes, demonstrate multiple exercises, and walk around assisting every student, leaving only 10 minutes of actual work. The reverse of this is a class where the instructor has virtually no connection with the students and guides through movements so quickly you find yourself craning your neck around frequently to make sure you are performing each exercise correctly. Ugh!
So how does one combine all of these aspects to ensure than everyone is working hard, performing exercises correctly, cueing appropriate muscle groups, and assisting those who just are really failing. Well, one way of course is to label classes appropriately. For example; Pilates Mat II Deliberate Flow meaning you are moving, have a previous understanding of Pilates, and are prepared to keep up! Pilates Mat I Understanding Movement Principles, now I know that I will be spending a few minutes going over each position listening to and understanding how the body is working. Many studios do this, many do not. I personally would like to know what I am getting in to. However it really does come down to the instructor.
Labels are really only a suggestion because in the end it is your instructors decision what kind of workout you are getting. From an instructors perspective there are so many aspects that need to be considered in addition to the desires of the students! Size of class, fitness level of students, the temperature of the studio the time ofdayhaveIhadlunchwhatdayoftheweekisithowmanyclasseshaveitaughwhyamiherethispersonneedshelpthatpersonisannoyedwearenotmovingmore…sigh.
I have a lot to think about, but I think I have given myself a good basis…
What kind of instructor do you like? Talking? Moving? Do you like when the instructor does the workout with you?