3 Tips for Getting the Help You Need from Your Pilates Teacher(s)
The questions to ask yourself are: Are you really getting the help you need from your Pilates Teacher? Did you do a good job picking the perfect Pilates teacher for you?
If the answer is “Yes” then congratulations, you’ve picked the perfect Pilates teacher for you! You’ve found a teacher you know, like, and trust, and you’re working well together to meet your needs.
If the answer is “No” then perhaps some of my insights and recommendations will resonate with you and you’ll keep searching until you find the perfect Pilates teacher, (or teachers) for you.
I recently received a question in my inbox from a Pilates student who lives in another state and doesn’t feel like she’s getting the help she needs from her Pilates teacher. Since I’m an advocate for Pilates and believe it really is the best healthy movement habit training system on the planet… I thought I’d post my comments on the subject of picking the perfect Pilates teacher. Everybody should be happy with, and love the health improvement help they are getting from their Pilates teacher!
Speaking for the world-wide community of Pilates teachers – we are here to help! And our #1 goal is to assist you in reaching your wellness goals for improved strength, flexibility, fitness, helping to eliminate pain, improve sports performance, and keep your body in the best shape possible. And to make this happen, it’s a partnership, or team effort between you and your Pilates teacher. Together, we have to assess what you need, and know what your specific goals are. Maintaining a good open line of communication helps too! Goals change, and your Pilates program should always keep your body on a continuous improvement program. Ultimately, you (the client) are paying for a service… If you’re not happy with the service you are receiving – and you’ve communicated that to your teacher (in a nice and constructive way…) and nothing has changed to better meet your needs, it’s A-OK to find another service provider!
Tip #1: It is Perfectly OK to “Shop Around” for a Great Pilates Teacher
If you’re in a studio with multiple teachers, and not 100% happy with the Pilates teacher you’re training with – keep asking to work with different instructors. If there is only one teacher, check out other studios in the area before committing to a package of training sessions. You’re making an investment in your health, and it’s perfectly OK to take lessons with more than one teacher! In fact it can be helpful to get insights from different teachers. Each of us has our own level of experience, knowledge, and expertise to draw from. Hopefully you’ll be hearing similar information from all of your teachers, and ultimately you’ll find the one Pilates teacher you want for your primary mentor. It can be nice for variety to take a different class, or work with a different teacher to spark something new in your brain and your body. If you didn’t think you could before, I give you permission to take Pilates with a new teacher!
Tips #2: How to Deal with Conflicting Opinions about what is BEST for Your Body
There are many different routes to the same destination. Different Pilates teachers may have slightly different training philosophies and exercise choices to help you get to your goals. It doesn’t make one teacher right or wrong...just different. So if and when you face conflicting info from one or more of your Pilates teachers, it's good to ask questions! Ultimately you know your body best, and with enough information can make the decision on which path is best for you!
Pilates is great for EVERY body! Don’t stop Pilates because you’re not getting the help you need. Keep exploring your options to find the best Pilates teacher that can help you get the most from your Pilates workout program.
Tip #3: Don’t Be SHY - SPEAK Up to Get the Help You Want from Your Pilates Teacher
It is so much easier to work with my clients who have specific things they want to improve. Whether it's lifting their arm overhead, reducing back pain, doing a better roll up, climbing stairs with better balance...any goal big or small puts us on a mission together to figure out what the brain and body needs to differently to make it happen!
Be vocal with both your private teacher and group Pilates class instructors. Tell your Pilates teachers what you really want to be working on – what are your goals for Pilates, which of the current exercises are most difficult for you to do well. What do you struggle with that you wish was easier? See if you can get your Pilates teacher(s) to help you figure out how to improve your form, or find the right exercises/modifications to help you progress. There should be a reason for every exercise in your Pilates program! And every basic exercise should progress you to a beginner-intermediate, intermediate, intermediate-advanced, eventually an advanced level! Or whatever level is most appropriate for your body!
Do you really know what you want to work on to improve your whole-body health with Pilates? With clear goals, both you and your Pilates teacher can set clear expectations, and map out a plan for your success. But if you’re not happy with the plan, or the personality of your Pilates teacher, don’t give up, use these tips and get out there and keep looking until you find the perfect Pilates teacher for you!