Happy birthday to Pilates Teachers' Manual! This is the one year anniversary of the Pilates Teachers' Manual project. I look back at the growth of the podcast, the trainings that impacted me in 2020, and what to look forward to! Thanks for tuning in!
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[00:00:00] Welcome to Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. I'm Olivia, and I'll be your host. Join the conversation and the Pilates community on Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. Today's chapter starts now.
Hello, hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. [00:01:00] This week's episode marks one year of podcast adventuring. And I believe this is the 52nd episode, 53rd episode. Some of those episodes that wasn't exactly one every week. I did take some breaks, but I did do some teaser trailers and some recap episodes that came with other episodes. But I think that's pretty exciting to have over 50 episodes and be a whole year of podcast adventures.
So I'm really excited to be sharing with you today a year in review of Pilates Teachers' Manual. Big things that I'm going to be covering in this year in review is just looking at the growth of the podcast, how it fit into a very tumultuous year overall, reflecting on ways that this podcast has really helped me grow as a teacher and just share some, looks both back and forward at both [00:02:00] what the podcast has accomplished in this past year and what upcoming projects are really coming your way soon.
I did start this podcast before COVID really hit. I started it in mid February and I expected it to be like a little bit of a passion project. I just wanted to share the things that I had learned from, you know, making the transition to teaching full time. It wasn't really a career change. And I was a yoga teacher before I became a Pilates teacher. And I had been working in a few studios in like studio management aspects and I made the shift when I became a Pilates teacher and just said, like, I really just want to teach this, I don't want to manage studios. As I've mentioned in past episodes, this is a different skill set. This is not sparking joy in my life. And so I really transitioned to teaching full-time.
One of my first little bursts of enthusiasm, as I wanted to share [00:03:00] how I had been able to really make a living in a lot of ways by teaching not only in studios, but also in client's homes. I naively believed that that was, you know, a really diverse work portfolio that, you know, I was teaching in a few studios. I was teaching in clients' homes. I was teaching at a gym, you know, like I was like, Oh, like if any, one of these sources of income were to disappear, like I would still be covered.
Then of course COVID hit and then the theme was that all of my classes were in persons. There's of course a huge pivot moment that happened for me at the end of March, where started offering classes virtually. And sort of trickling in over the course of the pandemic, kind of over the summer and the fall, then shifting my private clients to virtual as well.
So a lot of what I was sharing in that first season of the podcast was, you know, teaching tips. And as I [00:04:00] was pivoting, you know, what was really working for me. Because it really is my belief that when you know, something that you can share it and you can make someone else's life a little bit easier and you don't need to know everything and I definitely do not think that I know everything, but I've learned things and I would love to share them. And so that's really where kind of the heart of the podcast was. And also the meaning behind Pilates Teachers' Manual is that the manual that you get in teacher training is all about the exercises and contraindications and how to set up the equipment and how to cue through the exercises and all of these things, which is of course, vastly important. But I really wished that there was a manual that told me about how to create my schedule, about what being certified meant, about my continuing education credits, or ways that I can connect with other teachers, or build a network. Just like there's so much more [00:05:00] to being a Pilates teacher than just the class in which you're teaching Pilates.
So this was intending to be a manual of sorts that addressed all of those gaps in our teacher training. And again, without faulting our teacher trainings, they did train us to be teachers of the Pilates method. But in terms of being business, people, being independent contractors, being really responsible for your finances and your budget and your schedule and your clients, and like all of this stuff. Not all teacher trainings address that and I wanted to.
When COVID hit, I suddenly had a lot of time to talk about these things. And the additional time that I had really gave me the opportunity to take some deep dives into continuing education. And really explore some trainings that maybe I wouldn't be able to participate in otherwise, just because as someone who is teaching, you know, between 25 and 35 hours of class a week [00:06:00] when I was teaching in person- and now it's almost back up again, which is like, yay and also nay. Like you don't have time to do a weekend intensive or to set aside six weeks to do this, like really deep dive into motor learning theory. Like I wouldn't have had time to do that. And I did, so in that way, I'm really grateful that I had that time and space to really learn and explore and then share what I found.
I do want to share with you the trainings that I did in 2020 that I think had the most profound impact on me. One of them is definitely What You Say Matters, which is taught by Chelsea Corley as part of the Kinexology method, the trauma informed Pilates approach taught by Beth Sandlin through Trifecta Pilates, her studio, and the workshops I've done on Decolonizing Pilates with Sonja R. Price Herbert. I will link to all of their trainings in the show notes so that you can definitely check them out if you haven't [00:07:00] already done so.
Those names may also be familiar to you because all three of those teachers were guests on the podcast. And sometimes I feel like having guests on the podcast, like, even if it's just like resonating with me, but I feel like every person who I've talked to, every teacher that I've been able to connect with, I'm immediately like, Oh my gosh, how can I learn more from you? You are just an incredible, amazing, fantastic person.
And so I was able to take What You Say Matters, which is a six week kind of intensive teaching adventure, all about motor learning theory and how to apply it to Pilates. Motor learning theory sounds really cool, but all it is is just how we learn complex movements. And Pilates is really just about learning and executing complex movements. And so there's an entire field of research that is just about how we do that and so why not apply the tried tested research techniques to [00:08:00] teaching?
That training in particular changed the way that I think about cuing, the exercises changed the way I think about giving my clients feedback and offering corrections for the exercises. Also really fabulously that, you know, as a virtual training, like we discussed touch and touch cues, but you know, it also became clear that touch is a tool, but not the only way that you can teach these exercises. So really giving me like a robust movement vocabulary in terms of teaching pedagogy, how to teach clients better. So that definitely changed my life in my teaching for the better I'm now actually working as part of the Kinexology virtual studio, where I'm using those skills that I learned in What You Say Matters, and then teaching, you know, only virtual private Pilates appointments. And that is like the coolest, most 2020 thing to happen, right. So I'm like really excited that that's happening as well.
I got interested in the trauma informed [00:09:00] Pilates approach because I had heard about a trauma informed approach for yoga. I was just having some questions in my own teaching about, you know, how people were progressing or not progressing and, you know, wanting my clients to feel comfortable and safe. I think Beth's TIPA course, the trauma informed Pilates approach, is really excellent in terms of taking trauma, which is like a very big thing, and then giving you this foundation to understand trauma and like how it can manifest and how prevalent it is, because it can be trauma like a natural disaster. It can be trauma, like going through a divorce. It can be trauma like being in a car accident.
There's lots of different ways that a person can experience trauma and it's going to change the way that they relate to their bodies. It's going to change the way that they make mental connections. [00:10:00] And a lot of the work that we do in Pilates, especially work that's lying down or putting our bodies in like really strange positions can be triggering for someone and just having a greater awareness of how the exercises might feel to a person. That, you know, you're really opening the communication with that person so that they feel comfortable telling you things than just that you're really thinking about a bigger picture of the person instead of just can they physically execute this exercise?
A lot of my own beliefs about Pilates is that it is about more than just your body, that it is a total mind, body, spirit rejuvenation as Joe says, and then taking this idea of trauma and being trauma informed beyond just the class that you're teaching, but everything- into your marketing, your social media, the forms that you're giving people to fill out, you know, does your studio have a [00:11:00] parking lot? Is it well lit? Is someone going to feel safe coming to your studio at night? Things that you may think, like what colors do you use on your website? What feelings does that carry? It's just much bigger and much more all encompassing. And it gave me just like a wider perspective on how Pilates can fit into the whole person. So I think that that's really valuable and I really enjoyed that course and really see myself applying that with all of my clients. Offering options, letting the clients set the pace. Like it's, it's a really powerful way of thinking about Pilates as well.
The workshops I've done with Sonja R. Price Herbert, her Decolonizing Pilates series. It's so worthwhile as a white person to be having these conversations and to be putting Pilates into a bigger context of Pilates and bigger context than trauma or even learning skills, but like human beings. And just [00:12:00] inequality that doesn't end at the Pilates studio, that our Pilates studios are really microcosms of what can be happening in the world. And when we're talking about wanting our clients to feel safe and feel included, and that can also extend to race, it can extend to gender, to ability, to age.
Like it's a big thing and I feel like Sonja really makes those really big questions super accessible. She breaks them into pieces, gives you the chance to reflect and also gives you permission to not be perfect. And I feel like that's something that's kind of a theme in these trainings is that you can't put pressure on yourself to be perfect. It is a process and what's important is that you keep going and you keep growing.
Through the conversations I've had, the teachers I've talked to, you can also see that my lens when I'm thinking about Pilates has gotten very big, but it's also gotten very small and talking [00:13:00] about getting to the root of Pilates, talking about Pilates lineage, talking about Caged Lion by John Steele. And like, where does Pilates come from? How has it changed? How does it impact different people in different places at different times in their lives? Like all of those things as well.
I'm just so glad that this podcast project exists, because then I'm able to have these conversations and really think out loud, all of these thoughts and also connect with teachers who are thinking the same thoughts, having the same questions and really just learning and growing together.
Coming up after the break, I'll be sharing a little bit about what to look forward to in the next year of Pilates Teachers' Manual. That's coming up next.
Hi there. I hope you're enjoying today's chapter so far. There's great stuff coming up after the break, to be sure to [00:14:00] subscribe wherever you're listening and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. There you can make a one-time donation or become a member for as little as $5 a month.
Membership comes with some awesome perks, including a shout out in the next episode, a monthly newsletter, a monthly zoom call with me and more. You can also visit links.OliviaBioni.com/affiliates to check out some sweet deals on products I use and love. Now back to the show.
There is so much to look forward to in the next year of Pilates Teachers' Manual. I have been so inspired by the conversations that I've had with the [00:15:00] instructors who have been guests on the show, both, you know, famous national, international instructors and local, just inspiring people who are in my own little teacher network.
You can see that a lot of the conversations that I've had in like the next week's episodes, you'll see that I'm talking about it a little bit more because it's just percolating and just, it just feels so wonderful to be part of a community of incredible individuals that are really using Pilates as a way to alleviate pain and build confidence and surprise themselves and their clients, you know, every day that we're on the mat or on the reformer or whatever piece of equipment we're playing with on any given day.
I'm also so inspired by my supporters on Buy Me a Coffee. Having those zoom chats and those, you know, newsletters and just hearing from you on Instagram or on Facebook. It means [00:16:00] the world to me, that this podcast has resonated with you and hopefully allowed you to jump a few hurdles in our profession with a bit more ease.
So one of the things that I'm really looking forward to this year is taking Pilates Teachers' Manual and creating a book that is like a little bit more organized, a little bit more condensed. Like of course I want you to listen to all 50 hours of the podcast, but it might be nice to have it in a written form where it's a little bit more organized as well.
I want the book to be kind of like a Pilates teacher roadmap, everything from, you know, deciding that you want to be a Pilates teacher to working through your teacher training. When you become a teacher, what to look for getting hired and starting a business, if that's what you want to do. And just like really encompassing all of those things, like really an additional supplementary manual to your teacher training that really sets you up for success as a [00:17:00] teacher. There's not a timeline on that, but I would love to have it done this year. I have been working on it really hard with my partner. I think it'll be nice to have a more structured way of looking at it. Although I do love our informal conversations, but I do think that getting an ebook or even a book book out there will be really exciting and fun.
As I mentioned, you know, previously and probably constantly, Pilates Teachers' Manual the podcast is about more than teaching Pilates. Are there great teaching strategies that I'd love to share with you? Of course, but it's really about the profession. It's about you as the teacher getting to and from your classes, teaching your classes, but then also remembering to eat and drink water and move for yourself. All of these things. So I want to keep looking at this all encompassing picture of a teacher, everything from, you know, finding the studios that you want to work at to actually diversifying [00:18:00] your teaching schedule. Not how I thought I was diversifying my teaching schedule, but really having a schedule that supports you. Talking about the legal side of teaching Pilates, talking about the business side of teaching Pilates and more, and just going from there because there's so much and plenty of time to discuss it in. So I'm very excited to keep sharing.
Big thank you to all the members and supporters on buy me a coffee, including the newest member, Christine. Thank you so much for your recent donation. I'm so thankful that you chose to be a part of this project, especially in such a beginning stage. Just know that your voice, the messages that you send me, the questions you ask is really shaping the podcast. Like I say, in the episode description all the time, like I want to hear from you, but I really do, because that helps me create material that fits your needs. And if you have that question, I bet you a million dollars that another teacher has that [00:19:00] question and hasn't asked it yet.
So thank you for your support and your contributions to this project on Buy Me a Coffee. There's definitely going to be some book related perks for members. So if that sounds like something you'd like definitely head over to that Buy Me a Coffee page and also support the project.
It's very chilly in Chicago, so if you're tuning in from winter in the Midwest, stay warm. Have a great week everybody and I'll talk to you again soon.
Thanks for listening to this week's chapter of Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. Check out the podcast Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual, and be sure to subscribe wherever you listen. For more Pilates, goodness, check out my other podcast, Pilates Students' Manual, available [00:20:00] everywhere you listen to podcasts.
The adventure continues. Until next time.