5 Creative Ways to Find Time for Personal Pilates Practice


Please enjoy this guest post by Anastasiya Goers. If you’d like to post your own article or short video on FusionPilatesEDU.com, please let us know!

5 Creative Ways to Find Time for Personal Pilates Practice

How many hours a week do you teach Pilates?

How many hours a week do you do Pilates yourself?

How big of a gap is there between your two answers?

anastasiya-pilates-smFinding time for personal practice is one of the biggest challenges for Pilates instructors. We bake in the Pilates world so much that we rarely take time to taste what’s been cooking.

It’s easy to find excuses why we, as instructors, don’t have time for Pilates. We don’t feel like it. We are too tired. We need a break from Pilates. How many more can you think of?

The truth is that a Pilates instructor without personal practice is like a dentist with bad teeth. Would you trust your teeth to a dentist with yellow, crooked teeth and bad breath? I doubt it. Do you think that your clients should trust their bodies to an instructor who doesn’t practice what she/he preaches?

Why did you become (or are studying to become) a Pilates instructor? Did you just wake up one day and say “I’m going to be a Pilates instructor though I hate movement.” I dare to assume your answer is “no.”

Most of us come to Pilates as a natural way to continue our passion for mindful movement, exploring our bodies and healing our bodies through movement. This is the reason why we fall in love with Pilates and why we want to share this passion with our clients.

Finding time for personal Pilates practice is more than just staying in shape.

  1. Whether you are a new or an experienced instructor, you can learn the Method best by feeling it in your body. The success of your clients depends greatly on your ability to cue them during the session. Your cuing in turn depends on your understanding of the exercises, your ability to explain the sensations in the body, and knowing how to activate the core musculature (something that you can learn only by feeling it in your own body.)
  2. You are your own business card.  Remember the dentist example above? Clients who come to you want to see the results that they can achieve through Pilates: the ease of movement, near-perfect posture, a trim tummy (I know, it’s not the purpose of Pilates but we all know that it’s one of the main reasons our clients (particularly women) start doing Pilates), and confidence in the body. Practicing Pilates shows your clients the benefits of taking classes from you.

I’m personally far from being a perfect Pilates model but when people see me and find out that I gave birth to two sets of twins they inevitably ask me how I managed to stay in shape. Pilates got me through it, for sure. My clients immediately see the results that they can get from working with me. What could be a better advertisement?

  1. Personal Practice is the most valuable CEU. We all know that we need to earn our CE units to keep our certification. As instructors we need to stay abreast with new research and improve our teaching techniques or learn to work with special populations. However, learning the theory behind movement will be a useless waste of time if you don’t practice it in your own body. Personal Pilates practice is the cheapest and most valuable CE unit that is always available in our area and most of the time convenient for us.
  2. Personal Pilates practice improves your business revenue. When your clients see how dedicated you are to Pilates they get inspired by your results and enthusiasm. They are more likely to stick to their weekly sessions when they see you as an example of a Pilates lifestyle.
  3. Personal practice prevents burnout. Teaching can be exhausting especially if you get into the routine of teaching the same (or similar) Pilates order every time. Personal practice helps you stay mindful about your teaching and find new ways to stay passionate about your job.

I hope you are convinced how important it is to find time for personal Pilates practice. But the biggest question is how do you fit it into your already busy schedule? Take a look at these 5 creative ways to find time for Pilates:

  1. Every week have an exercise to master. With hundreds of Pilates exercises on different pieces of apparatus you can never run out of moves to explore. Each exercise has several modifications and variations to appeal to a student at almost any level. Pick an exercise (whether it is an advanced or a beginner move) and explore it in your body for a week. Look through the notes in your manual (the ones you thought you’d use all the time during your training but completely forgot about.) If possible, let someone else teach you this exercise. You will improve your teaching technique as well as discover something new about your body.
    Time required: 15 min or less.
  2. Let someone else teach you. One of the challenges of being a Pilates instructor is taking off your teacher hat and putting on your student pants. I admit, after teaching several classes and creating programs for different body types the last thing you want is to think of yet another order to follow yourself. Sometimes it’s just easier to let someone else take the reins to guide you through the movement. If possible, take a class from another instructor. If that’s not an option then use Pilates DVDs, follow the order from your Balanced Body manual, or use subscription-based Pilates video channels to take your body on a smooth Pilates ride.
    Time required: 30 min to 1 hour
  3. Make Pilates part of your day. Pilates is more than just an exercise program. Focus on Breathing, Centering and Control in every activity throughout the day. If you are teaching your clients about finding their core, engage the same muscles in your own body. When you are driving, control your posture and concentrate on deep breathing (while still staying focused on the road of course.)
    After my second pregnancy and a C-section I had trouble connecting to my core. Actually, I felt like I had a huge mushy bag in front of my body instead of the muscles that I had such great control of before the pregnancy. Of course, I couldn’t jump back to my Pilates routine (my body wasn’t ready for it, and I had to first deal with diastasis recti before doing anything else.) I focused on Pilates breathing and centering no matter what I was doing. Every day I felt another fiber of my core wake up and respond to my call without doing any conventional Pilates exercises.
    We do Pilates to gain complete control of our bodies for everyday activities. Performing these daily activities with Pilates principles in mind is the best demonstration of the Method at work.
    Time required: 0
  4. Come to the studio a little earlier. If you teach at a studio simply plan to arrive 30-45 minutes earlier to check the equipment and to have a quick workout. It’s easier to find time for yourself at the beginning of the day than at the end when you are already tired after a full day of teaching.
  5. Your personal Pilates practice is part of your job. Being able to do Pilates any time is a perk of our profession, not a requirement. But instead of finding excuses why you don’t have time for personal sessions simply assume that practicing Pilates is an essential part of being an instructor. You wouldn’t think about teaching a class without being dressed appropriately or making sure that you’ve brushed your teeth in the morning. In the same way, don’t think about teaching Pilates without practicing it. Make room in your schedule for personal Pilates sessions. You can be an excellent Pilates instructor only if you are passionate about what you teach and what you do.

No more excuses. Go do some Pilates!

Anastasiya Goers is a Pilates instructor who had the privilege of training with Jennifer Gianni and who is still working on completing her certification through Balanced Body while teaching Pilates in Murrells Inlet, SC. She is as passionate about doing Pilates as she is about teaching it. She has combined her passion for Pilates with her love of the online world by creating a Pilates community website – PilatesBridge.com – that brings Pilates teachers and Pilates students together.

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  1. Laura_682

    This is so encouraging! great stuff. practical practical practical

  2. Lacy_766

    Personal practice is so important! I like to take advantage of the early morning, so I know I’ve at least gotten a short routine in for the day.

  3. Terisha_545

    A great reminder…thank you!

  4. JenniferGianni

    Thanks for the comments. In order for us to keep the creative fires going we have to constantly nourish and check in with ourselves. We have an amazing, supportive community ! Keep the great questions and comments coming.