photo credit: PilatesAnytime.com

I received the email below last week and it made my heart skip a beat!

Dear Carrie,

I am a new instructor, and I'm really struggling with cueing and confidence. It all seems so hard for me, and I thought I would enjoy teaching Pilates. Not the case at all.  I am so nervous all the time and find it hard to manage.  Did you have the same experience in the beginning?

-B.R.

YES, YES. 100 TIMES YES!  Here’s what my early teaching experience looked like.   Two months after receiving my certification, I took over another instructor's entire schedule because she was unexpectedly put on bed rest in her 2nd trimester.  Overnight I was teaching 25 hours a week to clients who were used to a seasoned instructor.  I can remember feeling nervous every single session of every single day.  I also remember thinking I shouldn’t feel that way.  I thought I should just be able to walk into the studio, take control, and teach like my mentors.  After all, I had just spent over 450 hours immersing myself in Pilates that year and had memorized every single exercise, repetition, and breathing pattern.  Shouldn’t this be easy?  The answer is no.  Becoming a confident and proficient teacher takes time, not memorization skills.  Just like getting the exercises of Pilates in your body is a process so is your journey in teaching Pilates.  Be patient and trust the process, and know that even if you've been teaching for 17 years like me it doesn’t mean that you’re free from those feelings from the question above.  I still get nervous, make mistakes, and worry if I’m making the right choices for my client's bodies.  It does get easier though and I promise it happens sooner than you think it will.  Just keep showing up, doing your best, and if you have to “fake it ‘til you make it!”

5 thoughts on “Shouldn’t Teaching Pilates Be Easy?

  1. I just finished my certification program and have been stressing over all the same things.
    Although I find myself worrying more about teaching in front or around other teachers in the studio. I know all the exercises and am slowly developing better cues, but I can’t stop stressing over what they may be thinking or noticing when I teach. I thought other instructors would be more helpful. My teacher is awesome and I have been seeking her advice more. So all you newbies out there… your not alone:) Thanks Carrie for your supportive words. So glad I found your website!!

    1. I’m so glad you found the site too! I really appreciate you sharing your encouraging words to other new instructors. It’s so important to feel like you’re not alone!

  2. I’ve been teaching pilates for several years and I am struggling with the receptiveness of the phrases. By the end of my shifts I’m EXHAUSTED from talking for hours on end. The hours and times we have to teach is also burning me out. Getting up at 4am/5am and then having to put the studio together and being super friendly at that time and energetic is hell. Plus then going back in the afternoon to do it all again I’m spent. Absolutely hating my career right now which breaks my heart because I really enjoy pilates and teaching it. the clientele is always of a little higher income but for most part they’ve been super nice. I’m so burnt out I don’t even want to watch pilates, see pilates, do anything that has to do with pilates in my spare time. I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE pilates.

    1. Hi there! I totally get how you feel, as a seasoned pilates teacher I have been in your shoes and know what it’s like to experience burnout. Even when you have a great passion for what you do, it can still be difficult sometimes mentally and physically, especially with long hours. Because of that I have discovered some ways to maintain my energy levels and my love for teaching by staying creative and always preparing for every session I teach. Make sure you are taking care of yourself outside of work, i.e. getting enough rest, eating well, etc. In your free time, do other things you enjoy so that your mind has time to recharge. Staying energized is key. There are also some great online resources to help you stay motivated; check out my pro tip video on planning for your sessions, as well as my tutorial on Pilates Anytime about staying creative and avoiding burnout:
      https://www.carriepagespilates.com/video-tag/tips/
      https://www.pilatesanytime.com/workshop-view/3290/video/Pilates-Staying-Creative-by-Carrie-Pages.
      Hope this helps!

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