Practice What You Teach

November 14, 2007 at 4:09 am 6 comments

Practicing what we preach is essential as a teacher.  Whether we teach Pilates or any other discipline, we must practice what we teach.  Of course, life is busy.  We all get incredibly busy, but to be great teachers, we have to practice what we teach.

It’s no surprise that this second blog is about responsibility.  The responsibilities of a teacher are vast.  We not only must instruct, but teach.  We must not only teach our clients, but live what it is that we teach. 

But how when there’s so much to juggle and life is so busy?  How?

           Start by practicing Pilates 3 times a week.  (Yes…I just wrote “3”.  Not 1, but 3.)  If we encourage our clients to do so, then we must, too.  Why?  Because it works. 

If we teach or practice Pilates, a workout that balances Stability, Strength, Stretch and Stamina, then perhaps we can attempt to bring that balance and those 4 points in to all parts of our lives.

Yes, you have a busy schedule.  Yes, you have children.  Yes, you have errands to run.  It can be done.  Your clients do it.  You can do it, too.

Schedule your Pilates sessions in to your week.  Schedule your own workouts around your clients.  Yes, it’s a well-known fact that I go a little beyond what I would expect another to do.  Every day that I teach Pilates, I do Pilates.  I don’t expect or encourage anyone else to do that.  That’s my practice, but doesn’t have to be yours, but I do encourage you to work yourself out 3 times a week, your full 55 minute session.  As a teacher, when you do your full workouts 3 times a week – 55 minutes each – then you will keep rediscovering what you thought you already knew…and that’s exciting!

Maybe I’m just simple-minded, but I prefer to think of myself as dedicated:  I find new and interesting things in each exercise every time I do it…and apparently I do it every day!  If I only taught the exercises and never or rarely practiced them, I wouldn’t make the discoveries that I make on a daily basis!  These discoveries I pass on to my clients and my apprentices.

Pilates is a physical workout.  It’s not an intellectual endeavor to be theorized.  It is to be physically practiced and physically discovered over and over again.

This is harsh, but you know it’s true:  When we get bored, it’s because we’re boring ourselves.  So…if you find yourself getting bored, then hop on the apparatus and give yourself a session.  Follow that up with a phone call to your favorite teacher and schedule yourself to take a session! 

And enjoy!  Enjoy what you teach!  Teaching is a large part of your life  If it’s not in weight of importance, then it is in hours…make something of it for yourself on a very personal level.  Practice what you teach!  It’s fun!

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. www.bodybuildingandexercises.info » Practice What You Teach  |  November 14, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    […] theverticalworkshop put an intriguing blog post on Practice What You Teach.Here’s a quick excerpt:Schedule your own workouts around your clients. Yes, it’sa well-known fact that I go a little beyond what I would expect another to do. Every day that I teach Pilates, I do Pilates. I don’t expect or encourage anyone else to do that. … […]

    Reply
  • 2. rachel  |  April 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    What is your view of ‘working into’ sessions with clients occasionally?

    Reply
    • 3. theverticalworkshop  |  April 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      Hi, Rachel,
      Thank you for reading and asking questions!
      When you say “working into sessions with clients” I imagine you’re talking about working out with your client. Unless my client is advanced and requests this to have a “pacing session” (I’ve coined this phrase meaning a session that is about flow. The client works to keep up with the teachers’ rhythms and timing.), then I don’t workout with my clients and don’t suggest it. These advanced clients who would workout with me are usually teachers or apprentices. In general, a Pilates teacher ought not do any of the exercises, but verbalize how to do the exercises. The workout is the client’s. If you do a “pacing session”, then you must know the client so well that you can verbally cue stabilization and precision while you are moving. And you have to be willing to stop your workout to spot for safety or go hands-on for necessary cueing. Again…I do not recommend it.

      I will write a separate blog about the value of teaching with your words and hands rather than by showing the exercises. I promise to get very in depth about it!

      Reply
  • […] Practice What You Teach2007/11/14 […]

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  • […] Practice What You Teach2007/11/14 […]

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  • 6. The Vertical Workshop's Pilates Teacher Blog  |  December 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    […] Practice What You Teach2007/11/14 […]

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