How to re-open your Pilates studio post lockdown
and move forwards with intention
Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement. –
Having reopened our doors May 15, I want to share with you a conversation that I had with a dear client of ours, Liz.
Liz has been a dedicated student of our studio for a few years. She came to us post breast cancer treatment during which time her husband left her. For anyone who has walked the journey of cancer, the upheavals are many and the pain can tear even the strongest relationship apart.
During the time that Liz’s husband was moving out of her life because the pain of being with her was too much to bear, Liz found Pilates, and in her words, Pilates was her saviour. When we closed down due to COVID, I cried for Liz. I cried for her loneliness, I cried for her fears and I cried as if I had lost a friend. We were not friends outside of the studio, but when we were driven a-part I realised just how special Liz was to me, and how her journey represented the work I do.
Liz is the very reason I teach Pilates. She is the epitome of my WHY, she represents the very foundation of who I have become as a Pilates teacher, as a mentor and what I stand for as a human being.
For Liz, Pilates is her community. I am her community. A safe space where she could come no matter how low she was feeling, no matter how ugly she thought her body was, no matter how little she was capable of doing on any given day. Pilates empowered Liz when she was at her lowest low and with every muscle we strengthened in her body, she also grew in spirit until eventually she found herself again.
Like many, Liz came to Pilates as a last ditch effort. Bored by the physical therapy she was enduring but not keen on joining the gym, she stumbled upon us when she stopped looking for answers because she figured there weren’t any options left.
Pilates brings together all the benefits of moving with intention, being mindful and living in the now and having a deep understanding of the anatomy of movement so that anyone – and I mean anyone can join in. Pilates bridges the gap between dry, uninspiring physical therapy and the trivial fitness class. Pilates teaches us joy through thoughtful movement and in that joy our body heals.
Liz told me how she felt the day we closed, like the passing of a friend, the beginning of the end. She told me how she pained when the community she belonged to was stripped away and how her body ached like it used to and for the first time in a long time she felt the darkness return. She also told me how nervous she was when we reopened, 2 months without her community, what if she didn’t belong anymore, what if things had changed so much that the community was no longer hers. But the community is hers, of course and we know that now, both Liz and I are clearer than we ever were on our purpose and where we belong.
The World, my fellow teachers needs you right now. Liz needs you. Now is your turn to step into the light. Your community is looking for a hand to reach out to, for love and for ways to heal. Step into your purpose right now and know that you are needed.
So how do we, as Pilates teachers step into our power right now? I believe there are 4 important things to reflect on before opening up and moving forwards:
Why are you a Pilates teacher? IS it financial, emotional, egotistical or a complete fluke that you are here? Why on earth do you want to spend your life teaching people Pilates? Why Pilates over personal training or physio or yoga?
Who is your client? Getting to know your client intimately will help you connect with them. You’d be surprised how little we might actually know about our clients other than the fact that they have super tight hamstrings. There are plenty of ways you can get to know your client better without being seen as nosey – how about adding details to their registration paper about where they live, their marriage status, job title as a start?
What is your intention and what type of Pilates do you want to teach? Hint – often knowing your who will help you decide this factor. Are you keen on teaching one on ones, group mat classes or reformer fitness? Do you prefer face to face connection, online or a bit of both? Are you in studio, outdoors or in a gym or physio setting? Are you all about Pilates fitness or does your curiosity have your classes full of detail?
Piecing all of the above questions together will bring you to your how. But sometimes we miss the rest and we come straight here, wanting to get to work instead of taking the time to strategically plan our journey. Now you are ready to consider how you will deliver your Pilates, how you can best market your services and most importantly how you can create your ideal Pilates community.
Whether you are a seasoned Pilates professional or pretty new in the ranks, these questions are a great way for us all to reflect on the last couple of months and move forwards with intention. And if there are things in your work life or in your business model that need a shake up, now is the time to make the change because while we all agree that the World needs Pilates more than ever right now, what we need more of is you.
Want to learn more? Join my 4 week mini course where we delve into the WHY, WHO, WHAT & HOW so that you can reopen your studio with success and live a fulfilling career as a Pilates teacher. Leave your details below and I will get right back to you.
And take care my friend, continue practicing what many of us preach so that we can fulfill the work we are here to do.