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The Essence of Self-Practice in Pilates: Embracing Embodiment for Teachers and Participants.

Your Time
Taking time for yourself

When Joseph Pilates said, "True flexibility can be achieved only when all muscles are uniformly developed," he was talking about more than just the physical. Pilates is not just an exercise; it’s a holistic lifestyle that encapsulates balance, control, and self-awareness. This comprehensive approach is why self-practice is vital, even for seasoned teachers.

Why is Self-Practice Important? For Participants: Regular practice helps you internalise the core tenets of Pilates—breath, centre, flow, precision, concentration, and control. This is your opportunity to apply what you've learned in class, refine your techniques, and understand your body's unique idiosyncrasies. For Teachers: If you’re a Pilates teacher, your self-practice time is when you're not wearing your teaching hat. It's your moment to focus solely on your body and well-being. After all, to embody Pilates means to live its principles, not just preach them.

The Concept of Embodiment Embodiment in the context of Pilates means incorporating the practice's principles into your daily life—literally making Pilates a part of your being. As an organisation, we can't stress enough how pivotal this is for both teachers and participants. For Teachers: When you spend so much time focusing on your clients, it's easy to forget your own practice. Remember, students can subconsciously pick up on a teacher's energy and devotion to their craft. A teacher's embodiment of Pilates principles not only refines their own practice but also enhances their teaching abilities. For Participants: Learning from a teacher who practices embodiment will significantly enrich your own Pilates journey. The commitment and authenticity resonate deeply, making each session more impactful.

Tips for Effective Self-Practice Start Small: You don’t need to allocate hours. Start with 10-15 minutes a day and gradually increase your time. Mix It Up: Include a variety of exercises that focus on different principles. This will make your practice well-rounded. Reflect: Take a moment to understand how each session affects you mentally and physically. Use this insight for future practices. Stay Committed: Consistency is key. Make self-practice a non-negotiable part of your routine.

Final Thoughts The saying, "practice what you preach," could not be more relevant when it comes to Pilates. If you're a teacher, your own practice not only refines your skills but also empowers you to guide others authentically. And if you're a participant, self-practice helps you delve deeper into the art of Pilates, offering physical and mental rewards. In the end, the goal is embodiment—a complete and genuine integration of Pilates into your daily life. And that can only be achieved through consistent, mindful self-practice.

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1 Comment

Sarah Pritchard
Sarah Pritchard
Oct 03, 2023

A lovely article which I could add a lot to in response, but very helpful for all teachers to be mindful of. And a practice, a felt sense and never copying, but working with yourself, understanding yourself and not needing to compare with others. So much inside this wonderful system of movement when you go looking, so much to love and then pass onto others 🙏✨

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