5 Actions to Take RIGHT NOW for Pilates Excellence


5 Actions to Take RIGHT NOW for Pilates Excellence

Pilates Enthusiasts

Get this one done. Schedule the lessons and keep yourself on the path to excellence. The benefits of Pilates are too numerous to list here, but consistency is the key (see #5). Learn your mat exercises to maintain your workout during the week between lessons and you'll have a workout 3-4x/week. If this doesn't sound like your M.O., you might want to schedule 2 lessons/week. Or more…

Jus' sayin'.


This one is a biggie for me. In a recent issue of Pilates Style there was a question about what to do if you cannot afford regular lessons, or how to find discounted lessons. Although the question was answered in a very detailed manner, I was surprised that regular lessons were not given a higher regard.

…private sessions do not need to be taken on a regular basis and can be one-off, special events.

It was also advocated that 1 lesson per month would be sufficient. I have to disagree. I believe 1x/week is the minimum and I'm gonna tell you why.

  • I would not recommend that a client come 1x/month for lessons. As a teacher, we must be held to a higher standard.
  • Weekly lessons are an investment in your business.
  • Your depth of understanding of the method skyrockets exponentially.
  • To teach effectively we need to remember what it's like to be a student.
  • Joe Pilates was his own walking billboard. It can't hurt.

Thanks to technology internet lessons are also an option. Put a line item in the budget. Make it happen.



5 Actions to Take RIGHT NOW for Pilates Excellence

Today there are continuing education events offered throughout the year in hundreds of locations. You may not even have to travel very far. You can find inspiration and learn from online video classes as well such as the lovely Pilatesology – as a supplement of course, not a substitute for actual they've-got-their-hands-on-me-and-I'm feelin'-it workshops with 1st and 2nd-generation teachers. Of course if possible run to as many workshops as you can, but at the bare minimum go to 1. I like to joke that I need a sponsor to support my ever-increasing Continuing Education habit.

Sponsors, if you are reading, Kathi Ross-Nash would also like one for wardrobe. Thanks.

Workshops contribute to our experience, expertise, they inspire us and connect us with peers and mentors. Which brings me to #3…



5 Actions to Take RIGHT NOW for Pilates Excellence

Surround yourself with teachers that are better than you. Ones that have more experience and want to see you to up your game as well. A true learning environment is a great atmosphere for a studio. The clients can feel it. When you are around teachers that genuinely enjoy what they are doing it is infectious and everyone will rise to the occasion.



5 Actions to Take RIGHT NOW for Pilates Excellence

Fill your schedule. Jay Grimes refers to the diploma you receive from your training program as your Learner's Permit. Now you will begin to teach and it is your clients who will truly be your teachers. The more you teach the more experience, confidence and expertise you will gain.

And then you can take all those private lessons you have been fantasizing about…



5 Actions to Take RIGHT NOW for Pilates Excellence

Practice your exercises diligently with the fixed and unalterable determination that you will permit nothing else to sway you from keeping faith with yourself. At times you may feel tempted to “take a night off.”

Don't succumb to this momentary weakness of indecision, or rather, wrong decision. Decide to remain true to yourself.

Joe Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology

Workout at least 3x/Week minimum. A little bit every day is even better. You'll have a laugh at the ridiculous I-have-now-drunk-the-Kool-Aid things you say:

I feel amazing!

Hey, this Sh*!! really works! (Duh…)

Consistency. The benefits of the Pilates Method are cumulative. This one fits perfectly with #1. Your weekly lesson can help to inspire you and jumpstart your own workouts.

With a full schedule of teaching it can be challenging to attend to your own workout after a long workday. Feels kinda like you are still at work, I know. Don't be fooled by how many others you make do the Neck Pull.

It doesn't mean you have actually done it yourself.

Consistency will keep you in top form, ready for even further challenges presented by your teacher. There is so much to be had in every exercise of the method. I am always surprised by the depth and intelligence I continue to find within these wonderful exercises.

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Then go workout. You know you want to.

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

Romana's Pilates Continuing Professional Education Seminar with Cynthia Lochard
Garland Studios, Sherman Oaks, CA


Post-workshop on Saturday afternoon, 5pm-ish…driving south towards I-5 after first procuring a treat for the trip back to San Diego.  It's been nearly 7 hours of Pilates, friends…

Someone needs a cookie.

The left side of my ribs, the weaker, gimpy side, is definitely sore. It's been beaten into submission. Both sides of my back happily fold into the car seat.

Something has happened. Something deliciously good.

Some of it might have happened on the Short Box. Some of it even happened in the Short Box on the Mat.

Without a strap!

And all of it leads to my newest fascination: Where exactly does my head go? I mean: How to Make the Neck a Part of your Spine. Sheesh. That's a topic for many more posts to come…which leads me to Pressing Reason #1:

1. To learn important stuff that's barely on your radar at the moment

We all get feedback in our regular lessons. So we know what works well, our strengths, and also the challenges we have.

For now. But our journey includes change.

Pilates is hard and challenging because it works. It changes our bodies, our minds, even our lives. Change is never easy. Last year I changed all of my bank accounts to another financial institution and unexpectedly discovered how visceral was my attachment to Bank of America. Bank of America??!! So imagine how long it will take to consider my neck a part of my spine…with which I undoubtedly have a deeper relationship. Sigh. As we change and progress there is always more to be had.

2. To remember what it's like to be a student

We sometimes find ourselves with a new client whose impatience is palpable. They want it all now. Perfect physique. Free of any issues they have. They want to be killed by you. Immediately. In an hour. Soon they will understand more and realize they actually do not want to be killed and indeed that their Rome will not be built in a day. How many years have they been in their current iteration?

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

Thanks Joe.

‘Keeping faith with yourself.' I love the sound of that. I have to admit there are times… I am swayed…

We must become students again to serve our clients in the best possible manner. If only to remind ourselves – “Hey, this stuff is hard…” and foster some renewed empathy and compassion. A client of mine recently remarked “So when you workout, everything is easy for you, huh?”


5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

3. To gain new insight about the old favorites

The Hundred. Stomach Massage Series. The Elephant. The Short Box. These “beloved” exercises have been with us since our very first lesson. How exciting to feel them change as our bodies change. How helpful for our teaching to find a new gem of information about exercises we teach every day. 

Progress can be measured so tangibly as we do our familiar exercises. Maybe today will be the day you achieve the most beautiful Elephant ever. Pilates is exciting. What will you learn today?

It's no secret that I am a great lover of all things Short Box. Cynthia had a fantastic piece of information that was a fun combination of ideas I currently work on plus the genius of Joe Pilates (love that) plus new way to view the exercises I have been doing for over a decade. It was a wonderful moment of clarity. I may even learn to Side bend more properly, or at the very least I have a new plan.

4. To remember the exercises you've completely forgotten about

Semi-circle on the Wunda Chair anyone? This time I figured out why and when I might teach it to a client. Wunderbar!

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

Also part of this Pressing Reason is #4B To try those fancy, scary exercises you've never done before.

The Headstands. The Backbends. Gondola. Control Balance Stepping Off…and getting back on again. If it scares you then Continuing Education is a perfect opportunity to learn the exercise with expert guidance. Seize the moment to work on exercises that are beyond the scope of the training program.

5. To connect with colleagues and see new and familiar faces. I am a big fan of the group lunch as well.

Arizona. California. Las Vegas. San Francisco. New York. It was a wonderful diverse group.

Thanks Trish, it was a great event.

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

Bonus #6! Up Your Game

I relish the times to reinvigorate my education. Teaching long hours for months at a time creates in me a real longing to be a student again. When will it be time to focus fully on myself and find new and deeper elements in my Pilates workout?

The value of education to motivate and re-inspire cannot be underestimated.

My colleagues and I remember back in the day when we would workout and make great preparations for an upcoming Continuing Education Seminar with Romana. We pushed and willed ourselves into top form in hope that our greater strength and aptitude would inspire Romana to take us to the next level and introduce further challenges into our repertoire. Romana could then take us deeper into our understanding, our proficiency and beyond.

Find Upcoming Continuing Education opportunities:

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