Your Favorite Client

December 22, 2015 at 5:34 pm 22 comments




Do you have a favorite client? Who is this client? What do you love about this client? How do you treat this client?

Was your answer: “My favorite client is Me, of course!”?
Hmmm…why not? Why is your favorite client someone other than you?

Alas, I will share a guilty pleasure of the past with you that taught me a valuable lesson: Some years ago, my grocery store checkout people kept telling me that I looked like this model from America’s Next Top Model. I mean so much so that they didn’t believe me when I said that I wasn’t her. Now…this is pretty funny considering that I am outrageously short to be one of those ladies. We might think it’s funny for other reasons, but I will just pretend that it is possible to mistaken me thusly…

In any case…of course I got curious about this show and started watching it. I think this was Season 3. It is a ridiculous show. I mean horrendous…except for the fashion and this one tip (or maybe two) that I actually learned from it. What’s so ridiculous and horrendous? Do we really need to see a bunch of massively emotionally messed up girls wearing stupid clothing, fighting and complaining about their blessed lives? No…still…

When asked who she thinks should win this particular season of America’s Next Top Model, this one hopeful participant said something akin to “I think Leslie should win. She is incredibly photogenic…” and some other things. Well…don’t you know that the judge practically handed her derrière to her and said something like this “Why would you be in a competition and not choose yourself as the winner? How can you succeed if you don’t think you’re able to win? You just lost the competition for yourself because you do not believe in yourself!”

And there it was.
From America’s Next Top Model.
Inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places.

OK…what was so interesting? It’s that we have to want ourselves to succeed. This woman couldn’t possibly win if she didn’t consider herself the absolute winner already. If you think someone else is going to win…someone else will. If you don’t think you can be the frontrunner…you cannot be.

Now…how does this relate to Pilates. Especially since those who know me know that I do not believe in competition. I say “Competition exists, but we do not have to be competitive”. In our world of Pilates, people always fear competition. Why? There are plenty of clients out there for all of us.

So…how this relates to Pilates is about how you think of yourself in Pilates…and how you treat yourself in Pilates. How you answer the question “Who is your favorite client?” is everything. If it’s Judy at 5pm on Tuesdays or Mark 3 times a week at 12noon…
Anyone who comes 3 times a week;
My celebrities;
That sweet older gentleman;
That young ballerina;
The football player;
The lady with diabetes and heart disease…
then you’ve got to reassess.
It’s got to be you. You must be your own favorite client.

Who should get the best workout of the day? You.
Who should get 3-5 sessions per week? You.
Whose injuries and ailments should heal because of Pilates? Yours.

Schedule in your workouts
Teach yourself with clear goals. You’re workout is FREE! Do it!
If your method doesn’t seem to help you balance out…ask for assistance from someone’s that does. I will help you! Just email me!

When you teach any other client, it’s always best if you have already had the best you can give…because you’re your own favorite client. That also means that you must treat yourself well in a workout. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Work yourself out at your own level. Not some suppose’d teacher level. Meaning most teachers are not Super-Advanced or even Advanced. Could you be? If you’re consistent in your workouts and have a clear plan of development, then one day, but what if you’re not, right now. What if you work yourself out at the right level for you…like you would for your favorite client…who is now you?

So…that’s all I have to say about this. Really, it’s quite simple. Shift your focus of who is the winner; who is your favorite client. Why shouldn’t it be you? Why couldn’t it be you?

– Shari

****Thank you for having taken he time to read this article and I hope it encourages you to move forward in your teaching and practice in this stunning way!

If you have any questions at all or want to share your thoughts in the comment section, please do!

****Workshops: Please view the workshop list in the side column/bar. I hope to see you soon!

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Best Pilates Teaching Tool: What Once Was Elusive Is Now Available to Learn and Use! Is there a doctor in the house? What is your job and what is not your job?

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. joan breibart  |  December 22, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Pilates teachers do not give themselves the best Pilates workout. They typically cherry pick the exercises and do the ones that feel good and not the ones that they need. I never do extension which is what I need and always do supine flexion which I don’t need. And, teachers should go elsewhere to see other types of fitness so they can compare– and steal.

    • 2. theverticalworkshop  |  December 22, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Joan, thanks for chiming in.
      Pilates teachers can give themselves far better workouts than most give themselves credit for. You could, too.
      You could do extension since you know you need it.
      And, of course, we all should have the eye of others on us from time to time and do other sorts of fitness.
      You could be your favorite client, Joan.
      All the best to you!
      – Shari

      • 3. joan breibart  |  December 23, 2015 at 11:45 am

        shari– we have a new product– in 2/16. This is what Pilates teachers will use to restore their bodies. jb

      • 4. theverticalworkshop  |  December 23, 2015 at 11:51 am

        I don’t know where the disconnect is, Joan. This does not need an answer. Why would any Pilates teacher just not use Pilates? Shouldn’t every Pilates teacher be teaching herself/himself to make internal connections so that self-correction is easy…as it is a physical experience that is either happening or not. I get it…I know that I teach differently than others…but what I am seeking for Pilates teachers to discover is self-correction, self-analysis, critical thinking. Pilates apparatus that already exists gives a remarkable amount of feedback. That doesn’t mean we can’t create more as I am creating tools all of the time…but just do some Pilates each week and be present with yourself. Then apply those internal actions to other physical endeavors.
        Let’s not make it more complicated than it is.
        Teachers just need to do the work on themselves.

      • 5. joan breibart  |  December 23, 2015 at 12:07 pm

        I have been doing Pilates for 50 plus years but given today’s bodies, Pilates’ has too much supine forward flexion and other issues. Plus, most people teaching P don’t really understand it or they would have figured out the breathing on Hundred is wrong and many other issues. We will see in 2016 who wins out.

      • 6. theverticalworkshop  |  December 23, 2015 at 12:13 pm

        Joan, this isn’t about winning or losing. As teachers we can help our clients and our fellow teachers by teaching a greater vocabulary than what is commonly taught and get out of excessive forward flexion and supine forward flexion. If any of us find ourselves complaining about something for 50 years…then we haven’t done enough to help. Let’s just do our thing and stop being concerned about everyone else. This is not a win or lose situation. A teacher teaches. A teacher doesn’t compete.

        We can teach length.
        We can teach support.
        We can teach internal awareness.
        We can teach better actions than were taught to us initially.

        Compete less and just enjoy teaching if you think that what you do is effective. Just teach.

      • 7. joan breibart  |  December 23, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        I am talking about 10 million bodies who do Pilates– although that number is dropping because of too many reasons to discuss here. If you want to discuss further, you have my contact. jb

      • 8. theverticalworkshop  |  December 23, 2015 at 12:20 pm

        Please do not use my blog to sell your product. (I’ve deleted any reference to your product. It’s not something I allow on my blog. People do that all of the time because the reach of this is vast.)

        I know you think that Pilates is going downhill…just do your job and teach. Help people out as you do.
        That’s all.
        The rest will either happen or not. We can’t take care of the entire world in one shot, but we can teach a lot of teachers to teach better, know more and be critical thinkers.

      • 9. joan breibart  |  December 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

        just like Romana. jb

      • 10. theverticalworkshop  |  December 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm

        Joan, you’re a funny lady.
        Ah, yes, perhaps you are like Romana.

        I wish you happiness.
        Keep teaching and growing and enjoy what you do.
        All the best to you.

      • 11. Xander  |  January 13, 2020 at 10:36 am

        Fantastic blog by the way, it’s such a good find and is filled with all the little things I love that I never see mentioned. Anyway, I’ve seen my teacher train herself and I was stunned and inspired to see the level of utter focus and depth of work that she does alone. Whenever I see her do anything, there is no half measure. She is always all there. Watching my teacher do her own work is hugely inspiring.

      • 12. theverticalworkshop  |  January 13, 2020 at 10:37 am

        Thank you for reading and sharing, Xander! We really can do great things for ourselves!!
        – Shari

  • 13. Gerda  |  December 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I just love the way you explain everything so deep and in details Shari.
    You are my inspiration because you are very,very smart person.
    Your appear in the right time with all those great ideas that all of us face .
    You are like a mirror to our thoughts.

    Lots of Love Gerda

  • 14. andreamaida07  |  December 22, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Yes!! Shari you are spot on. We must teach ourselves as well as we teach our clients. Then we can truly be our best and bring our best empathy, skill and passion to all of our students. Thank you so much for this post. Sharing now:)

  • 15. Sheeba Ghani.  |  December 23, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Shari, you really know how to tap teaching of the mind! You have the gift of the gap, which all are not blessed with. The best way is to do it oneself for 3weeks and then go ahead with the clients.
    The memory retains how to instruct not only that you become aware of the body, and which muscle you are working. That also makes you think of skeleton, which i learnt from your home work.
    Thank you for what you taught me and the post.
    Best Wishes

  • 16. Kirsty  |  December 23, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Shari thank you for the timely reminder about taking care of ourselves…I often feel a bit “jealous” of my clients that are able to come to class 3 or 4 times a week…and it is an interesting question to ask myself “why can’t that be me?”. I can contribute more to my students by experiencing the work in my own body…and enjoying the benefits. And although life is always “full” I know I need to create more time for “me”. Thank you for sharing this post!

  • 17. Sammy carter  |  January 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks Shari for the blog. Its very obvious that we should be our own favourite client and I know its very easy to spend all our energy on our clients, leaving our selves too tired for our own self maintenance.
    It is my new years resolution to get my work out in first daily, so your blog came at a good time. Thanks again Sammy

  • 18. Amy  |  January 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    As a new instructor, this is exactly what I needed! Being overwhelmed with clients and classes (yay!) the last few months, I’ve made my own workout my least priority. Today in group class, I got almost too winded to explain while demonstrating. Wake up call.
    Thank you again for the insight!

    • 19. theverticalworkshop  |  January 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Amy, I am so glad that this and I could help!
      – Shari

  • 20. Kinney  |  November 24, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Love this! Thank you!

  • […] clients and ourselves (our favorite client…oh there is a piece I wrote on that right there: Your Favorite Client) in a way that we seek to accomplish what is just out of reach all of the time? Can we help our […]

  • […] the expected alignment? And for yourself (remember, your “favorite client” is yourself: Your Favorite Client)? Where should you put your head? How do you develop awareness of where your head ought to be in […]


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