”The Pilates method is unique. With focus, repetition and consistency you'll accumulate skills to serve you as your workout progresses” Andrea Maida
Basic Intermediate. Advanced. Whatever you call it, it’s the laying down off the foundations, not running before you can walk. Feeling the exercises correctly in your body by using the right muscles.
To feel it, not to exhaust it or hurt it. My heart sinks when I hear people have been injured in a Pilates class but it also sinks if they say they found it boring "just a load of stretching"
”Many of the advanced exercises depend on the strength, control and stamina that must be cultivated from the very beginning” Andrea Maida .... Amen! Hallelujah
I have no patience for most things, especially when they need lots of preparation, I've ruined many a craft project by not following the correct procedures, and my recent attempts with crochet have been a disaster because I can't make a blanket in my first attempt!! To become good at something, or to understand it or just to get the most benefit out of it then we need to do it well and often and under the right guidance.
Joseph Pilates said "Patience and persistence", I believe from some of the wording in his 'Return to Life' book that he was adamant you weren't to attempt a progression. until you'd nailed the previous version. Well I remember being really excited to put on a pair of pointe shoes but was told I had to wait until I was strong enough. It looked so amazing and so beautiful but it is the strength of the dancer and her years of practise that makes it look so.
I recently watched Cathy Rihon dance her way around the advanced reformer sequences with the smoothest transitions i'd ever seen, it was amazing, my first attempt was like watching your drunk aunt try and climb off an elephant......in my defence i'm flowing around my intermediate so I am hoping that day will come!!
"Look at the body in front of you", I hear and read that a lot and I do, but it takes tremendous practise and years of studying the body, movement and Pilates, but the beauty of learning the classical repertoire on all the equipment is that it really does start to make sense of this phrase "look at the body in front of you" because you can really see what it needs and know there is an answer for it somewhere in the studio, cherry pick the exercise that works for them and move around the system, its awesome!!
Some students may not do every exercise well for the first few weeks, Brooke Siler told us that Romana had said “even ugly Pilates is good Pilates” or something like that!! Brooke??
As teachers we want to create the right atmosphere for our clients to feel comfortable, safe, excited and energised. Give them the tools to build their foundations and gain those skills.
Finding the right words, imagery, cues and encouragement can go a long way. You’re not proving a point or making a client a version of you, you’re encouraging them to be the best version of themselves.
You're not making them reliant on you as a teacher but hopefully on Pilates.