Good morning everyone!
Let’s talk about Pilates for a change. One of the amazing things about pilates is that no matter how much you know there is always more. There is always another angle to explore. You are also constantly learning more about your own body. When you know more about how your own body works, you can spot misalignment and make corrections on others that you may not have seen before.
I have a little story about the learning process.
You take a mat class one morning. Your instructor gives a cue that resonates with you. For example, “Imagine you are a mermaid, sinking your hips into the sand, scooping your back up to meet the morning sun.” Very poetic, I know – writer. You happen to have a deep fondness for mermaids and come to find your Pilates mat has become a beachy oasis. Wiggling your toes in the white sand, curving your back, gazing upwards into the blue. Right there something clicks and you feel an extraordinary sensation of release and strength. Thoughts like, “Wow, I had no idea my body could release in this way,” meanwhile experiencing a deep connection from the upper back to the inner core and thighs. This is a profound moment for you. You have always struggled with this pose because you didn’t realize where the stiffness was stemming from. Experiencing this has really opened your eyes to a whole new world of tightness and alignment possibilities. All because your instructor told you to be a mermaid. Interesting.
This revelation is on the surface of your mind when you teach a private session the following day. In fact you can’t think of anything else. Your client walks in and you immediately glance at his/her posture, searching for the same tension and misalignment. Wah-la. Remembering the sensation from the day before, you guide your client through the movements. Using a combination of verbal and kinesthetic cueing, you help your client feel the same sensation of release and it’s just as great.
You have just learned a new technique, a new way to help people. A small piece in the mystery of the human body and a large piece in the mystery of your own. As a new instructor it is overwhelming for me to think about all the possible corrections, styles of cueing and so forth. Still, one of the best techniques I have found is learning by using my own body as practice. When I am more in tune with how my own body works, not only do I know what to look for in others, but I find it easier to come up with effective cues.
This story is based on true events. Not one event, I have experienced this kind of thing many times. If it has happened to you, you truly know what a ‘eureka’ moment is.
Until next time! Happy learning…