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Technique Thursday: The Power of Facing Your Pilates Class

The art of teaching Pilates: A moment of instruction and connection as a teacher faces their attentive students.
Engaged Pilates teacher connecting with a focused class, embodying the essence of presence and communication

In the world of Pilates and beyond, the arrangement of the class and the positioning of the teacher can significantly impact the learning experience and overall atmosphere of a session. Today, we delve into an aspect of teaching that, though seemingly simple, is profoundly impactful—facing the class.

The Connection Beyond Movement

When teaching a group Pilates class, the instinct might be to use mirrors to check alignments and movements. However, this can inadvertently create a barrier between you and your students. Turning your back to the class to face a mirror might seem practical, but it disrupts the flow of communication and connection. The essence of teaching—especially in a discipline as nuanced as Pilates—lies in the constant engagement and presence within the shared space.

The Eyes of a Pilates Teacher.

A Pilates teacher's most powerful tools are their eyes and awareness. As you move around the room, your gaze should not just survey but see recognising the subtle nuances of each student's movements, offering corrections, and providing guidance tailored to their needs. This level of attentiveness fosters an environment where students feel seen, supported, and motivated to refine their practice.

Beyond Instruction: The Art of Teaching

Transitioning from an instructor to a teacher involves more than just conveying movements; it requires cultivating an environment where communication flows freely, and every glance or gesture holds significance. Facing your class isn't merely a physical stance; it's a metaphor for being truly present and connected with your students.

The Evidence of Engagement

While we're focusing on the practical aspects of teaching today, it's worth noting that this approach is grounded in educational psychology. Research underscores the importance of "active teaching" where teachers are dynamic, engaging, and responsive to their students' needs. This approach has been linked to improved student engagement and learning outcomes across various disciplines, not just Pilates.

The Global Perspective

Internationally, the conversation around effective teaching methods continues to evolve. In Australia, for instance, studies within the realm of physical education are exploring how different teaching techniques affect learning and retention. While we're setting aside the discussion on mirrors and learning for another day, it's indicative of a broader inquiry into how physical space and teacher positioning influence student experiences.

In Conclusion

Whether you're teaching Pilates, aerobics, or any group class, the act of facing your class is a testament to your commitment to not just instruct but to teach. It's about creating a space where communication is clear, connection is prioritised, and every student leaves feeling a little more seen, a little more understood, and a lot more capable.

Remember, the power of your teaching lies not just in the movements you demonstrate but in the space you create for growth, learning, and connection. Let's all make a conscious effort to face our classes, to truly see and be seen, enhancing the Pilates journey for every student that walks into our studio.


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