Simply put, this is about making your Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Ashtanga Yoga, “Open Barre,” or Nia workout your one hour to restore, refresh, and replenish your entire self.
The time spent at the studio should make you leave feeling really good about what you just did. Maybe you leave with a fresh (perhaps more optimistic) perspective on something that was really bothering you when you first walked in. Maybe you leave with less pain than you had when you walked in. Maybe you left smiling even though you came in frowning. Maybe you can breathe easier – taking a deep breath never felt so good. Now trust me — not all of those positive feelings were a direct result of the instruction you received. Maybe part of it, a large part of it, was because you, the client put 110% into that hour. I mean, I’d love to take all the credit as the instructor, but like they say, “it takes two to tango.”
Over the years, I’ve taught all types of personalities — Type A, not-so-type A, good listeners, bad listeners, intuitive movers, not-so-intuitive movers, chomping at the bit, to the habitually 15 minutes late (ok, sometimes 30 minutes late). It’s our job as instructors to learn what each personality needs out of the hour. Do you need to slow down, to speed up, to breathe, to process, to coordinate, to stretch, to strengthen, etc. What the client needs to trust is….. sometimes we know what you need before you do. You’re not the first person to lie down on the Reformer or the Cobra or the Yoga mat before us. Think about it this way — you’re paying us for a LOT of things: 1.) Quality, educated instruction in our respective methods of exercise. 2.) Our undivided attention. 3.) To challenge you as much is appropriate for your physical capacity. 4.) To understand how to progress your regimen at an appropriate pace. 5.) To listen to your feedback during and after a session, and make accurate adjustments. 6.) To know how to uphold and maintain certain professional patient/practitioner boundaries. 7.) There’s way more….. but you get the idea. What I’m trying to say is….. there’s so much we are trying to incorporate in order to deliver you the optimal hour.
What the client may want to keep in mind are the following: 1.) I am thankful that I am able to participate in an exercise program that I enjoy. 2.) I have decided to budget my time and money to do something physical that will also make me more confident. 3.) I will do my best to put my “junk” aside for this hour, and re-evaluate how I feel on the particular issue at hand after I’m done taking care of me. 4.) I will give my instructor my undivided attention for this hour, and enable him/her to guide me through some movements that will get me in shape / help me rehab an injury, etc. 5.) I will push myself to understand or incorporate one new concept that the instructor has been working on with me.
In summary, what I want both instructors and clients to think about is awareness is more important than rushing through a series of exercises just to say you’ve done them. Make each move count (as instructors and as clients), and remember that each exercise in Pilates, Gyrotonic, Nia, and Ashtanga Yoga is part of a series of movements meant to cohesively make an impact on your physicality as well as on your mental and emotional states. These are movement systems that you’re involved with here – not isolated movements that have no correlation or connection to a bigger picture. You’re strengthening your nervous system – how cool is that?!
I hope this has inspired both clients and instructors to be thankful that we are all involved with something tremendously positive on so many levels. I love how at the end of a long, exhausting day of teaching, I’m still excited to be making a difference in people’s lives. And when the instructor and the client both give it their all, here are the positive impacts that get made — just this week I heard someone say on her way out the door after Nia, “I absolutely love that class!” A Yoga client say to her instructor Leslie, “You have honestly changed my life.” A Gyrotonic client tell me that her knee hasn’t hurt since she started. And a Pilates client tell me how much she loves the variety of exercises we present in our tower classes.
Thank you to the staff and the clientele of the studio – we’re all in this together, and the company is great! :-)