A Stunning (and Simple) Reminder…

March 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm 8 comments


At the start of each workshop, I ask the participants “Why do people come to Pilates?” It’s important to remember what we’re doing and why. Before each session, I recall why this client has come to the studio.

So…ask you to recall: Why do people come to Pilates?

The many of you ready this will all have different answers, but are likely akin to the following:
1 To get out of pain – they hurt somewhere and have been told Pilates will make them feel better.
2 For core support – they were told they need “core support”…whatever that is. They likely don’t know what that is but believe it has something to do with abdominal strengthening.
3 To get flat abdominals – Sure…they hear that in Pilates you develop strong abdominals.
4 To get a “Pilates Body” – That means as long and lean a body as is possible.
5 For exercise – Pilates is their exercise of choice.
6 For better posture – Some people have had a lifetime of poor posture and are finally ready to break out of their habits and get more upright.

These and many others are the reasons people come to Pilates. Note that they are all looking for movement, strength…exercise.

Of course…you know this. But taking a moment, a mere moment, before each session to remember why your client is coming: her goals…and your goals for her (because you might have additional goals for your client…you likely do).

It’s easy to slip into the instruction stupor. You drone in and out of one session into the other. Bear with me here: you are bored and boring…(I say that with love). That’s just that you’ve forgotten your goals. Perhaps your only goal was some extra work on the side or work while you wait for something else to come along. That’s OK…but why not take on the goal of the Pilates session…and the session will be effective.

When you have purpose in a session (and in life), then each hour is of value. There is always a great answer to “what are we doing here?” We’re working toward something. Something spectacular.

Of course “what are we doing here?” is the question of The Ages. A philosophical endeavor. But let’s narrow it to the universe of Pilates…and we can really focus: we are exercising, working to develop a strong and supple body, attaining fitness and health goals (specific to the client)…

So…a mini-blog/article/post while I travel down to Washington, D.C. to teach in Bethesda, MD for the weekend…let’s just remember what we’re doing each hour. Your goals for your client, your goals for yourself!

– Shari

Here’s what’s coming up in the next few months:
Full details are on my website: http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

Washington, D.C., Bethesda & Rockville, MD, USA: March 16-17, 2013
Boston and Northborough, MA, USA: April 20 & 21, 2013
London ENGLAND: April 26-28, 2013 (Pilates on Tour); sessions at Pi Studios
Rhinebeck, NY, USA: May 19, 2013
New York, NY, USA: May 28, 2013
Chicago, IL, USA: June 1, 2013
Denver, CO, USA: July 12-14, 2013 (Pilates on Tour)

Again, full information on all of these workshops is on my website: http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

Please keep your eyes peeled for upcoming products I will be introducing to continuing your education from your own home!

If you have any questions about Pilates, injuries, biomechanics…just email me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com I will always work to get you answers.

Thanks for taking the time to read!
– Shari Berkowitz
The Vertical Workshop

Pilates Teacher Blog:

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Upcoming Workshops Near You… Simplicity = Understanding

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sharon Cannava  |  March 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I totally agree. It is surprisingly common to lose focus, lose sight of your short-term goals for each hour and long-term goals for each client, and instead to just “get through” the session without boring anyone to death 😉 I find if I CAN take a moment to reign in my wandering mind and focus on my goal(s), everything in the session becomes easier and smoother, more enjoyable for teacher and student. As you said, stunning and simple –

    Thanks, Shari!

    • 2. theverticalworkshop  |  March 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Hi, Sharon!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I hope you’re well!

      – Shari

  • 3. patricia abreu  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Hello, I am a classical Pilates instructor (romana’s student) and then I took another certification with Ton Voogh and Michael Fritzke, and that was when I realized that the Pilates world was opening for me . I guess you also get there trough curiosity, resilience and of course, experience… 😉 Lots of experience . Have just read your post, thank you , you’re making everyone stop and think. And most important, focus. Focus on what we are doing, on the bodies that we have in front of us, not just in moving someway ,somebody the way we were thaught by someone.
    Your posts are very interesting .
    Hope everyone realizes how many years of compiled information and knowledge you are providing trough this blog. I was teaching in Portugal (Lisbon ) and I am now in Australia ( Brisbane ) . Please keep us all posted on your workshops.
    Thank you!

    • 4. theverticalworkshop  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm


      Thank you for reading The Pilates Teacher Blog…and taking the time to let me know your thoughts. I deeply appreciate your kind words!

      There is a pronounced interest in my coming out to Australia, but nothing is set, yet. If you know of a studio(s) that might like to host, will you email me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com I would really like to come out!

      All the best and thank you very much!
      – Shari

  • 5. Faith  |  March 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Now that I’ve closed my larger studio and am back to just teaching a few small group mat classes each week in the warm comforts of my little home studio, I am enjoying the process of planning my classes and connecting with my students & the exercises again more than ever. I’ve always paid special attention to this aspect of teaching: I love knowing each body, mind, heart and life in my class, and sharing what I bring and the group energy. I figure I’m a facilitator to help us all help ourselves, not just a teacher. Plus, I do recieve, too. I realized years ago that many people (missing from your list but it’s been true in my neck of the woods) also come to: get some time away/an hour to themselves, center themselves, find balance, and/or to focus on their own needs while in the company of likeminded others. So I always make sure there’s a little space for that to be going on, too, no matter what I’m bringing health and fitness wise to the the session! Thanks for your fantastic blog and website.

    • 6. theverticalworkshop  |  April 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Thank you for sharing! It sounds like you’re doing what you love and love what you’re doing! That’s the way to do it!
      Thank you for taking time to read this and let me know that you enjoyed it!
      All the best,
      – Shari

  • 7. Deborah Watson  |  April 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Shari….takes so much courage to write a blog with absolutes about where to start with a body…the longer I teach the more I find I have to go into each appointment with a prayer and an open mind….I think there is not enough emphasize put on how weight is transferred through the spine and how the spine is responsive to the transfer…..pain is very relative and not always about a “tight” hip…I would like to see we as teacher spend less time “telling” our clients what to do and more time asking them what they think is going on…then a bridge can be built through their perceptions and not ours….

    • 8. theverticalworkshop  |  April 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Hello, Deborah,

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting!

      All the best,
      – Shari


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