Transitioning with Your Pilates Studio

By On July 16, 2012 · Leave a Comment

One of the greatest benefits of Pilates is the flexibility it creates in your body. Ironically though, we as clients tend to become so inflexibly attached to our instructor and/or reserved time, day, and class that we are unable to transition fluidly when need be. Hopefully by adapting a different approach to our Pilates instructors and workouts, we’ll be able to better handle life’s ebbs and flows as they affect Pilates!


Perhaps your private instructor has decided to go on vacation for a few weeks, you walked into the studio for your favorite class to find out that you have a sub because your normal instructor is ill, or (God forbid!) your instructor is leaving the studio to start a new and exciting chapter in her/his life. Let me first reassure you that everyone at the studio—from the various instructors to the excellent team at the front desk—is dedicated to helping you find your new home at the studio.


Next, it is important to remember that Pilates is an exercise philosophy based on principles. As instructors, we create workouts based on those principles and vary the specific exercises that are known as Pilates to fit the individual needs of our clientele.


Each instructor, with her/his unique background, training, continuing education courses, and bodies have developed their own “accent” in the “language” that is Pilates, so to speak. No accent is wrong, but admittedly it may be disconcerting when you first workout with a different instructor whose “accent” does not match with your previous training. However, working in a different accent can even offer benefits that perhaps you have not thought of before.


Working with a new instructor can provide new challenges and fun variety to your sessions. As you and your new instructor hit different muscle fibers and work in different positions—the unique nuances that we as instructors bring to a workout—you will walk away feeling a different burn and strength. As a result, I often hear clients that are leaving a session with a new or substitute instructor talk about how intense the session was!


Also, keep in mind that it may take a few workouts to develop the same rapport and understanding between you and your instructor. While being open to the new “accent” of your instructor, be sure to communicate how you feel both during and after your workout. This is especially important if you have an injury or specific limitation since your instructor will be trying to find the exact needs, strengths, and boundaries of your body.


Lastly, take some time to get to know the other instructors. While your instructor is away, work with a recommended substitute or two. Communicate with your original instructor upon her/his return. If it didn’t go well, they can make another recommendation. That way you will have a nice, familiar face to work with while your instructor is away, and if your instructor does one day leave the studio permanently, you will be well prepared to choose another instructor and continue your workouts without letup.

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