Here we have an unstructured chat about body shaming in Pilates, and the epidemic of poor critical thinking that makes it worse.
Topics in this video
- Why can’t I do the roll up?
- How to prepare for an initial client session
- What to do for an injured neck with arm pain
- What is my Pilates journey?
- What to do for nausea with exercise
- Why does my lower back feel tight and jammed?
- Why can’t I get up off the floor from a kneeling lunge?
- How to do diaphragmatic breathing
- Is protein powder helpful for strength training?
John Howard Steel is about to upend many things you thought you know about Pilates.
John learned Pilates directly from Joseph Pilates. He practiced at Joe’s gym on Eighth Avenue from 1963 until Joe’s death in 1967. After Joe died, John was instrumental in the continuation of Contrology; along with two others he formed a committee that kept the gym going and supported Clara, and he single-handedly convinced Romana to take on the starring role as Joe’s successor.
John’s book Caged Lion is the surprising and delightful history of Pilates, from Joe’s mysterious early life, through his time in New York and John’s experience of learning Pilates (Contrology) from Joe, and striding arm-in-arm with Joe through the streets of New York, listening to Joe lecture about his favourite and only subject of conversation, Contrology.
But the book goes far beyond Joe’s life, it is the story of Pilates itself – how it transcended Joe’s personality and his lifetime, and became a worldwide phenomenon bringing happiness to millions.
I have been teaching Pilates for 16 years and I was repeatedly surprised by Caged Lion, not to mention entertained. It is an enthralling read; a genuinely well-written book which brings the characters to life in 3 dimensions. If you have even a passing interest in Pilates you absolutely must read it, trust me.
In this interview John and I discuss Joe’s personality, his teaching style and what it was like to learn from him, we talk about what defines Pilates and ultimately how it doesn’t matter what kind of Pilates you do, but rather HOW you do it.
CEO Breathe Education
I had a wonderful question in my Saturday matwork masterclass for Breathe Education where we opened up a discussion about feeling discomfort in wrists. I’m sure that we’ve all been there. You’re about 5 planks into a sequence and all you want to do is drop down to your forearms. Often at times we see our clients sit back after a long stretch series and gingerly roll their wrists. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get an eye roll too.
Let’s begin the process of reframing the way we look at value of discomfort in different parts of our body.
Topics in this video
- How to find clients for your online classes
- Neutral vs imprint – why?
- When/if it’s important to cue breath
- What to do for tenosynovitis of the thumb
- When rehabilitating an injury, should we also work the uninjured side of the body?
- Can a snapped Achilles tendon heal without surgery?
- Exercises to help someone with abdominal separation
- Is high intensity weight training safe during pregnancy?
- Pilates considerations for Scheuermann’s disease
- Exercise considerations for low PAPP-A during pregnancy?
- Why do my hamstrings always feel tight despite stretching and rolling?
- Exercises for degenerative knee arthritis
- Sacroiliac joint sprain
- What should I study next?
In this conversation I talk with Lesley Logan of Profitable Pilates and Online Pilates Classes. We share our thoughts on the current situation with COVID-19 lockdown and the closure of Pilates studios around the world.
Both Lesley and I see this as an amazing opportunity to “Reset to Factory Settings”, to let go of things you have been holding on to out of fear or inertia. It is also an incredible time of change and opportunity in the Pilates industry. Things are not going to return to the way they were before – here’s how we think you can take advantage of this seismic shift and turn this into an amazing opportunity for yourself, your teaching, your clients and your business. And we want to encourage you to charge what you’re worth!
These beliefs are our compass: We think they should be yours too
Challenging times call for clear vision, optimism, creativity and agility
- The value of an instructor lies not in equipment or premises but in the client’s experience, results, and emotions
- Classes are not a public service but an exchange of value and should be priced as such
- People can learn physical skills to a high level in a purely online format
- The present restrictions will probably continue until the end of 2020
- This situation represents a fundamental paradigm shift and a massive opportunity for Pilates instructors, studio owners and the Pilates industry
- After restrictions are lifted, things are unlikely to return to the way they were before: The industry worldwide will have new norms, new technologies, new competitors, new consumer expectations, and ultimately a vastly different competitive landscape
- We don’t know what the world or the Pilates industry will look like in 12 months, so the best way to prepare for success is to develop agility, resourcefulness and resilience
- Instructors and studio owners who wholeheartedly welcome the challenges and leap into the new opportunities inherent in these times will flourish
Online classes have many benefits for clients and instructors including:
- greater class numbers without crowding
- no travel time, transport cost, or parking required
- because of no travel time, classes can potentially be done at any time of day including during work hours
- increased opportunity for social connection
- increased geographical catchment area
- multiple clients in same family can workout together potentially for one price
- no child-minding needed
- no queue to sign-in or use the change room
Clearpoint Legal have provided this free liability waiver for you. All you need to do is add your ABN and send it to your clients.
Here is some further general advice from Helen at Clearpoint:
To be effective, the waiver needs to be informed – so participants need to be provided the waiver prior to completing their first class so that if they aren’t comfortable providing the waiver then they can elect not to participate;
Instructors should keep a record of exactly who the waiver has been provided to by ensuring they collect full names when people register, and cross check this against the names of class participants;
Even though the waiver and release is being completed, Instructors should still take a reasonable level of care, so if there is generic advice they are able to give about things like how much space participants should clear prior to starting the class, this would minimise the risk of participants trying to make a complaint notwithstanding the waiver;
There is a line around use of video footage/photos for promotional purposes, so that if participants don’t consent they should let the Instructor know. Best practice however, if any of the instructors want to use footage or stills for social media or other marketing, is to get the specific consent of anyone who can be identified in the footage;
Obtaining insurance would further reduce any personal risk to instructors, as I imagine a lot of them will be operating as sole traders in their own name, so won’t have the limited liability that operating through a company offers. This might be more of a “nice to have” at the moment though, as it could be a large expense;
Instructors should also familiarise themselves with regulations around advertising their classes so that they avoid potentially misleading conduct, the ACCC has some useful resources here, as well as ensuring they comply with any relevant Facebook, Instagram etc. terms when advertising their business.
How to keep optimistic
- Do things for other people
- Avoid negative news, movies, books and people
- Start your day with something that inspires you – read a book, workout to music, meditate
- Write down or tell someone 3 things you’re grateful for each day
- Contribute to your community
How to add value to your clients and your community
Don’t just try to do what you did offline, but take it online. People need a whole constellation of things that aren’t included in “here’s a sequence of moves to do”
- goal attainment
How much do Pilates instructors earn in Australia?
The average pay for Pilates instructors in 2019 was $45 per hour according to Payscale.com. However by definition, half of all instructors make less than the average, and half make more. So how much can YOU expect to earn?
3 years ago Charlotte Griffin walked in the door at KX Pilates Norwood as a client. She had no savings and no Pilates experience.
Now she is co-owner of both KX Magill and The Fit Space, and has become a powerhouse in the SA fitness and Pilates industry.
In this conversation, Charlotte talks through the ups and downs (mostly ups!) of her meteoric career in Pilates and fitness so far. She also shares her occasional mistakes, doubts, and honestly reviews what got her so far so fast.
Charlotte is an incredibly down-to-earth, humble, and warm person. I loved talking with her and I think you’ll be fascinated and inspired by her story.
- KX Pilates Magill – https://kxpilates.com.au/
- The Fit Space – https://www.thefitspace.com.
- Charlotte’s awesome accountant (now also my accountant!) Josh at Growth IQ: https://growthiq.com.au/
Michael has been one of our biggest inspirations, and has given us endless happy tears throughout our journey together. He is a STAND OUT human being who has also emerged as an incredibly skilled teacher. He also just so happens to be 78!
I challenge you to not find his joy, passion and laugh contagious 🙂
Sarah Michael is the founding trainer of VIVE Active in Sydney Australia, where she is all about giving the client the best experience.
In order to do this her philosophy is to let go; let go of all the baggage of who you think you need to be, which way your toes are pointing or, for Pete’s sake – safety.
This was a real, hilarious, liberating conversation that will be highly relevant for you if you suffer from anxiety, imposter syndrome, or feel a pressure to fit yourself to a mould shaped like someone else.
John’s energetic, warm and engaging style of teaching and his incredible popularity are the stuff of legend. In this candid conversation John and I talk about age, being awesome, and many other things!
This conversation with Anula Maiberg from Anula Maiberg Pilates & Things grew out of an email conversation, that we both felt was a conversation that needed to be had in public.
Together, Anula and I consider whether as a profession, Pilates instructors have a compelling value proposition, or even a clear definition of what it is that we offer our clients; why we feel the need to define ourselves by reference to made-up pathologies and special micro-limitations, and of what, precisely does good studentry consist?
Dani looks like the perfect Pilates teacher, but she has had struggles which are invisible to the eye.
This is the story of how she is overcoming anxiety, perfectionism and an eating disorder through Pilates, and the transformative power of realising she didn’t have to fit a mould, which allowed her to find her authentic voice as a teacher and as a human.
Cat Webb graduated with the Certificate IV in Pilates in 2015, and the Diploma of Clinical Pilates in 2016. After working full-time as a Pilates instructor for 3 years, in 2018 she opened Good Times Pilates in Melbourne’s Fitzroy.
Cat is a community builder, an advocate of making Pilates (and all exercise) fun, and her Instagram ( @catwebb__ ) presence is lighthearted, inclusive, and honest. Not only that but she has managed to build a successful, paradigm-breaking Pilates studio in the heart of one of Australia’s coolest suburbs.
Cat shares her thoughts on starting and running a business, finding your voice, and how to make your way in the industry – you’ll enjoy this conversation!
Read the Research:
Relaxin levels during pregnancy are not related to pelvic pain
- Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain and its relationship with relaxin levels during pregnancy: a systematic review (Aldabe et al., 2012)
- Association between the serum levels of relaxin and responses to the active straight leg raise test in pregnancy (Vøllestad et al., 2012)
The sacroiliac joint basically doesn’t move – even in people with diagnosed “pelvic instability”
- Movement of the sacroiliac joint during the Active Straight Leg Raise test in patients with long-lasting severe sacroiliac joint pain (Kibsgård et al., 2017)
- A radiostereometric analysis of movements of the sacroiliac joints during the standing hip flexion test (Sturesson et al., 2000)
Pregnancy is characterised by widespread tissue hypersensitivity
- Pregnancy is characterized by widespread deep-tissue hypersensitivity independent of lumbopelvic pain intensity, a facilitated response to manual orthopedic tests, and poorer self-reported health (Palsson et al., 2015)
You can’t palpate movement of the pelvic joints (even if you think you can)
- Manual palpation of lumbo-pelvic landmarks: a validity study (Kilby et al., 2012)
- Inter-examiner reliability of four static palpation tests used for assessing pelvic dysfunction (Holmgren et al, 2008)
- Clinical tests of the sacroiliac joint: a systematic methodological review. Part 1: reliability (van der Wurff et al., 2000)(a)
- Clinical tests of the sacroiliac joint: a systematic methodological review. Part 2: validity (van der Wurff et al., 2000)(b)
The biggest predictor of recovery from pelvic pain is – belief that you will recover
Read the Research:
Blossom Leilani Crawford was originally trained by Kathy Grant, one of Joseph Pilates’ personal students. Later, Blossom was also certified by Romana Kryzanowska. She is currently the principal at Bridge Pilates, NY as well as a prolific contributor to Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology.
In our conversation, we cover a lot of ground, including historical reflections and insights, thoughts on the evolution of Pilates and most importantly a powerful message of hope: What we do is not rocket science, just get people moving fearlessly.
Blossom is on tour in Sydney, Australia in late August 2018. Details from Pilates On Tour Sydney
Kristi Cooper is the co-founder of Pilates Anytime, the world’s most popular online Pilates classroom that is bringing Pilates to a new, wider audience and making it possible for any Pilates instructor to learn from the greats in our industry.
In this conversation, Kristi talks about the genesis of Pilates Anytime, and it’s evolution to her current vision. We also talk about where online learning and online practice sits in the Pilates world, and what she has learned about teaching and coaching from working with many of the greatest teachers in the Pilates universe.
Kristi is also a key figure in the Pilates Legacy Project.
Benjamin Degenhardt http://benjamindegenhardt.com is a luminary in the Pilates world. He is an acclaimed teacher, presenter, and the founder of 360° Pilates, a truly innovative immersive education program combining live with online learning.
Benjamin has deeply researched Joseph’s ideas through his writings, marketing material, letters, and archival footage, and he has some great insights and powerful ways of bringing Joseph’s work to life.
I think you’ll enjoy and learn from his perspectives. I certainly did!
What was it like to work with Ron Fletcher, one of Joseph Pilates’ original students? Jenna shares her experiences, insights and surprising stories Ron told her about his experiences working with Joseph and Clara. There are some GOLD teaching tips in there.
Jenna also shares her thoughts on the shift happening in Pilates.
Jenna’s podcast Pilates Unfiltered is the industry’s leading platform for sharing ideas. If you haven’t listened to it yet you’ve been missing out like crazy! She is also a prolific blogger and coach.
Through her business Profitable Pilates, and through her book Profitable Pilates: Everything but the exercises Lesley Logan has helped thousands of Pilates instructors reach their financial goals and achieve work-life balance.
Lesley is a regular blogger, podcast guest, and Pilates Anytime presenter – in short, she is a key person of influence in the Pilates industry. Despite all this, she is incredibly down-to-earth and generous with her knowledge.
Lesley shares how to know your limits and set boundaries, how to communicate the benefits of your service, how to set and communicate clear policies and much more on how to succeed as a Pilates instructor or business owner.
Laura Saggers opened RISE Pilates just last week. She shares her journey from starting Pilates training to graduating, working for KX Pilates, to finally opening her own studio in Melbourne’s Essendon.
There are a goldmine of tips and lessons from a successful Pilates teacher and first-time business owner.
Anula Maiburg of Sixth Street Pilates NY is renowned as an original thinker, iconoclast, jumpsuit wearer and radical agent of change in the Pilates world. Her accolades include the cover of Pilates Style magazine, presenting on Pilates Anytime and several spots on the Pilates Unfiltered podcast.
Anula talks about the state of the industry, finding your way as a teacher and what it’s all for. Not to be missed!
After selling her studio in Chicago, Jenna Zaffino, aka the Pilates Unicorn, is focussed on serving, and changing the industry through her Pilates Unfiltered podcast, which at the time of recording this interview had over 100,000 downloads and counting.
Jenna has interviewed the who’s who of Pilates and has instigated the conversations we as an industry need to have, but usually shy away from. She manages all this with a firm, light touch that inspires and energises.
Jenna shares her personal story and her mission to help the industry as well as her thoughts on finding work-life balance, making time to nurture yourself and find your true purpose as an instructor.
Through his business Evolved Body Studio in Sacramento USA and his blog ProjectMoveU, James Crader is challenging and evolving the Pilates industry away from ‘fixing’ people towards empowering people to move happily and freely.
James shares his thoughts on the evolution of Pilates, the purpose of it all and how he expanded his perspective to a much broader understanding of movement, teaching and fulfilment.