If you are reading this post, you may be a Pilates enthusiast, but probably more of you consider yourself students than teachers. Becoming a Pilates teacher requires a special curiosity about the human body and how it works. And if you have taken classes at Bria, I am sure you have noticed how very “nerdy” we can be about alignment and efficient movement patterns.
One of the other major differences I see between Pilates teachers and students is that teachers are often a lot more comfortable touching their own body. I know that may seem weird, but it’s true. For example, if I need to check to see if my “gluts” (think muscles of the derriere) have turned on, you bet I will touch that area to see if my internal feeling matches with the external reality.
So here is your Pilates Teacher Insider Secret, if you need to check on your alignment* or see if your Transversus Abdomis has fired…touch it. As a massage therapist I know that touch can improve your body awareness and body awareness is truly the “special sauce” that makes Pilates distinct from weight training.
Don’t be afraid to “nerd out”, get interested and use your time practicing Pilates to not only get strong but get familiar with your body. How many times have you been surprised by an ache or pain in your body? And why is it that we only become better acquainted with the body when it hurts? Getting curious now can help you fine tune and become more precise with your movements. I can’t tell you how many times I have micro-moved myself out of discomfort after a long car ride or difficult night sleep.
For me, Pilates is not only the door through which I enter feeling stronger or more aligned, but more in tune with how my body works. And while I may never truly know why my left leg performs better than my right (even after extensive research and bodywork), I know that it is the curiosity I cultivate and my ability to get comfortable with the body that will keep me moving from my center for the rest of my life.
*A good motivator for keeping good alignment is that studies have not only shown that it decreases incidences of pain, but also increases your bodies ability to burn calories during that particular movement.