Forum / Let's Discuss! / Pilates Imperfect

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Bonnie_221
On: April 18, 2019 01:57 AM
Ok I may be premature in asking this question as I have not finished the workshop yet so sorry if that is the case! I just watched Chantill teaching James via Training vs. Facilitating. My question is James is very aware of his body and what he is feeling, but how would you work with someone who has a lack for body awareness or is a new student; or, just trying to bring more facilitating into your teaching environment when students haven’t been asked these types of questions. I’m thinking it would just start very basic and start to build your questions on what students give as responses to get them to become more aware. I’ve been starting to ask my students more of these questions...like where are you feeling it; is it a pleasant feel, what did you like about what you just did. I’m just finding this workshop so informative as I never knew where to go once I asked these questions. I felt limited in knowing how to keep the dialog going. For instance if I asked what felt good about what they just did and they answered “my spine felt more lengthened” , but then it would end there and I’d say great! Ha! So thank you for this wonderful, informative workshop as it is helping me to see my next steps to progress facilitating teaching! Love you guys!
Chantill
On: April 21, 2019 10:05 AM
Hi Bonnie! Great, thoughtful questions. We intentionally wanted to demonstrate what training and facilitating could look like in a complex movement. A little later, James teaches me a roll down, which helps cover some of the bases you'd be addressing with a new student. If you haven't gotten to that yet I think you'll find it adds a nice layer. To your questions specifically though, yes, we need to "facilitate" slowly and progressively. New students -- most of them -- are not ready to jump into lots of open questions. Training, creating a clear language and container for movement is critical so there CAN be facilitation, questioning, and vulnerability (on the part of the student...although us too!) You might think about it like this: what we describe in the beginning of the workshop with regard to creating an environment of curiosity is about how we enter into our student/teacher relationship, it lays the foundation for trust and says "we are both in agreement that questions are good and necessary." From there we start to build the walls, floors, and doorways. These are our movement skills, exercises, awareness of alignment, muscle recruitment, joint range of motion. In this phase we can begin to ask simple open questions like "tell me where you feel this in your foot/ankle when you push out" or "what might you do differently on the push out to create less effort in your knee/hip etc?" What we're essentially doing is turning the student into themselves and getting them to start to trust their own experience. A lot of times we don't need to follow up with any other question. The first is enough. The trick is that we're not asking for us (completely or often at all). We're posing a question for them, so they can then make a change or feel something from a new perspective...their perspective. In your example though, "Great!" is fine too. You could then enter into a rich and meaningful dialogue about WHY it might have felt that way, what you saw that they did to achieve that length. Good open questions are a gateway to an entirely new level of exchange, learning, and growth! Can't wait to hear how it goes and/or what other questions you might have.
Chantill
On: April 21, 2019 10:23 AM
Well, Bonnie...I just saw your second response :) I hope you'll find value in the looooonnnnggg response in any case ;) xo
Bonnie_221
On: April 22, 2019 02:50 AM
Thanks for your response Chantill! I totally get laying the foundation when we enter the student/teacher relationship. My students have been with me a long time and I currently am not taking new students on so entering into “new” relationships with students may not happen for awhile. My students have been used to a“training” environment as only within the past few years has this other style of teaching, “facilitating”, been brought into my world. I have been up front with my students telling them I’m evolving as a teacher and I’m going to be asking more questions of them as we work together. I find it can be confusing to students when they have been used to being taught a certain way and then all of a sudden I’m asking more of them in regards to how they are feeling/want to feel things in their body. I feel like I’m in the middle of this now; slowing bringing in questions and peaking their curiosity.
JamesCrader447
On: April 30, 2019 12:00 PM
Hey Bonnie! I'm so happy that this workshop is bringing forth such good questions and curiosity. I know exactly what you mean about student confusion when modes of teaching are being switched / transitioned / explored. Something I continue to find very valuable is ... and it's embarrassingly simple ... asking my students about their experience with their movement practice. What are you feeling? What are you noticing? What did you learn about yourself in that last exercise? What are you interested in exploring today? From our last session what did you play with at home? In your life outside our time together? It's the kind of curiosity we'd bring into most of our other relationships. We ask our partners and family about their day. We ask our children about what's going on in their life. We ask our teachers for new ideas on where to go next. What happens when we explicitly invite our students into partnership within their session? It starts simple with asking them to dive deeper into their experience with you, and then builds outward and inward from there. Chantill and I are always here for questions and to help you all along the way. Anytime you'd like just reach out.
JamesCrader447
On: April 30, 2019 12:00 PM
Hey Bonnie! I'm so happy that this workshop is bringing forth such good questions and curiosity. I know exactly what you mean about student confusion when modes of teaching are being switched / transitioned / explored. Something I continue to find very valuable is ... and it's embarrassingly simple ... asking my students about their experience with their movement practice. What are you feeling? What are you noticing? What did you learn about yourself in that last exercise? What are you interested in exploring today? From our last session what did you play with at home? In your life outside our time together? It's the kind of curiosity we'd bring into most of our other relationships. We ask our partners and family about their day. We ask our children about what's going on in their life. We ask our teachers for new ideas on where to go next. What happens when we explicitly invite our students into partnership within their session? It starts simple with asking them to dive deeper into their experience with you, and then builds outward and inward from there. Chantill and I are always here for questions and to help you all along the way. Anytime you'd like just reach out.
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