It’s no cosmic revelation that every person in the universe is unique in Mind, Body and Spirit. Part of what makes us who we are is from what we see, hear and feel — its individual and personal. Therefore when we talk about Pilates instruction and teaching — all instructors/ teachers are their own person as they determine the focus and approach to a body.
At the studio, as a team of teachers we are diverse in our approach and teaching. We each bring a different dimension and goal in a class, but yet we all have the same foundation and ground work in our teachings. As Romana’s Pilates instructors we all went through rigorous training while being apprentices before being certified.
The basic requirements for our training were;
- Minimum of 700 hours practical hours of training, teaching and observation
- Passing 3 stages of exams (both practical and written)
The goals or objectives were to ensure:
- New instructors are physically able to execute exercises and thus be able to teach them
- Be able to intellectualise the work in terms of exercises, flow and relevance to clients
- Uniformity and purity within the training for posterity
After certifying, my rude awakening came when I realised everything that had come to pass only served to level out the playing field — to set the foundation and thus standard. And to effect, thereafter was the 'grassroots’ to becoming a Pilates teacher. All my prior teaching experience was simulated with either teaching other apprentices/ or friends and working case studies.
It was only at this grassroots stage with teaching real clients that I felt my true learning experience begin. Now after many years as a Pilates teacher and building on the ‘prescribed’ foundation of knowledge with my own experience - the way in how I see, listen and feel each body dictates the flow, tone, energy and goal of each lesson.
I have trained with many fabulous Master teachers through the years and each were different in their approach. And being true Masters teachers they always had you walking away feeling inspired in the trinity of Mind, Body and Spirit.
Continuing on the topic of foundation, there are two requirements I feel strongly about with all Instructors (of all Methods);
- All Pilates instructors should be continuously building on their foundation of Pilates — refreshing the work in their mind and body. In my experience, continued training is the only way to stay inspired and maintain the spirit of the work while teaching to inspire others
- Leading on from the previous point — instructors must be able to execute the exercises they instruct. For example, if teaching advance work — the instructor should be able to do the advance work proficiently. As the old adage goes “you need to practice what you preach” …and then practice some more…
All this to say when teaching Pilates, all instructors are individualistic but it is paramount they have a good foundation of knowledge to which one continually builds with learning from bodies and one’s own practice.