I have been considering what I would like to write for PilatesTree for some time now. Should I discuss an exercise? Or a condition? And how do I assess where my strengths lie in relation to this? I thought I would take a look back over the past few years to find some inspiration and realised that is exactly the place to start!
I consider myself very fortunate to have achieved what I have over the past few years. In 2011 whilst scanning Pilates forums I came across an advert for a continuing education programme in Los Angeles with Pilates Elder Jay Grimes. Now I had met Jay once before in London and at that time I have to admit I was left uninspired. I later realised that I was young in my teaching experience and did not recognise that every word that Jay says means something – like really means something!But my instinct was telling me that I needed to be a part of this! As part of the application I had to be assessed on my technique so I recorded my matwork and sent the video across to Karen and Sandy at Vintage Pilates (www.vintagepilates.com). So excited about the possibility of being accepted I booked my ticket and told them I was coming!
Hello Los Angeles!
I still remember how it felt to walk into Vintage Pilates on that first day. I suddenly realised I had put myself completely out of my comfort zone and I wanted to hop straight back onto that plane. Slowly and surely Jay, Karen and Sandy nurtured my intuition, helped me listen to my teachers instinct and rebuilt my body at times! Like any programme there were moments of frustration but I was beginning to realise I had surrounded myself with some of the most sharing Pilates people I had ever met. Several flights across the Atlantic later… A year and half later I completed “The Works”teachers.vintagepilates.com/masters-program, sealed some of the most important Pilates friendships I will ever make and then to top it all off was invited to attend the inaugural programme of “Teaching the Works”.
And then there were 6…
“Teaching the Works” is where it got really special – just the 6 of us learning from Jay. An experience I cannot sum up in a few sentences as I am still trying to process that particular journey. In February 2014 we graduated from the programme and I returned back to the studio a little lost about where my Pilates journey should now take me.
“Take your time…Enjoy it. ” Jay Grimes. At this time a longstanding client of mine asked me which training programme I was going to do next. It didn’t take me long to think about it. “I am just going to enjoy what I know and what I have learnt.”
So I guess my ramblings are bringing me back to a place that all teachers get to in their learning. You complete your primary education and you realise there is a whole lot more out there to learn about. You go and attend workshops and meet other teachers and even assess whether your initial training taught you anything! You consider the investment that you made in yourself and the ongoing commitment you make. The more you know the more you want to grow. But don’t forget to stop sometimes – you have all learnt a lot along the way so don’t forget to use that in your day-to-day teaching.
Know what it is that you enjoy…
I love teaching teachers. Unlocking the potential of understanding both in the body and in the teacher. Many teachers now visit us at the studio www.everybodypilates.co.uk and come play Pilates. I also love being taught Pilates as this is the way we all learn and feel the system. My Skype lessons with Karen Frischmann – Vintage Pilates and Andrea Maida (www.pilatesandrea.com) help keep me connected as a student.
I will always strive to learn more – its half the reason we created the Classical Pilates Convention UK. www.classicalpilatesconvention.co.uk. As well as giving me a good reason to hang out with my teachers. It also allows me to recognise how much my teachers have allowed me to achieve.
So to all teachers whether you have been teaching a few months or for many years…
Use what you know and enjoy it!