Did you ever feel as a Pilates teacher that something was missing for you? Did you go through Teacher Training and still feel lost? Did you feel in your Pilates journey you were searching for something? Do you think if only I had some Mentor or Pilates Mentorship? I know for me after going through my Pilates Teacher Training Program, teaching Pilates for different studios, taking Pilates workshops and watching Pilates videos and online Pilates I still felt something was missing. I just didn’t know what. I went and studied with different first and second generation teachers and I learned a lot but, still, something was not being answered for me in my Pilates journey.
Then I went to a workshop and something clicked with this teacher. The energy, the passion, the curiosity and love of learning was something in common and I immediately knew something was about to change for me. I have talked about it before, for some, this may be a repeat so sorry about that. We became friends and I continued to take workshops with them when they were near or at the PMA. Then, I got the chance to be a part of a deeper dive with them and the minute I found out about it I said: “I am in”. I also recruited a wonderful Pilates peep who like me had been searching for her journey after years of teaching.
I knew I would learn a lot. I knew I would be fulfilled by the time spent on these weekends, so I packed up and off I went. I will always vividly remember the moment sitting in a studio with this Teacher as they chatted for the first few minutes on Pilates and the work. As they chatted and we got deeper into the work it was as if someone had turned on the lights for me. I was actually moved to tears as I realized how lucky that I had found someone who was on my path, walking my journey and opening the doors, the windows and turning on the lights for me. I had been teaching for years and years and suddenly this person, this friend was taking my hand and saying “let’s do this together”. The positivity, the support, the laughter, the ease of it all was what lifted me higher and got me to understand that I was on the right path, to believe in myself but, also gave me those answers on things I had been searching such as the why and the purpose of so much in Pilates. To go deeper into the work and not just see the choreography.
I also found I was doing things in my personal practice I never thought possible as I had someone showing me you are safe, your supported and you have nothing to fear. It was life-changing. This person is forever my Mentor and friend. So, for me, a Mentor wasn’t a first or second generation teacher. It was someone who the moment I met I thought, I want to know this person and share with this person. It was someone who always was there in a positive and helpful way. No judgments, no negative feedback.
There was no ego, no “I am Mentor” attitude...in fact, I am sure that word would never have been used by them. To me though, Mentor doesn’t really mean to have a senior experienced advising a new or inexperienced. There are so many ways to Mentor and for me it was having this person share their knowledge that they had researched and learned in their journey, taking me beyond my comfort zone and getting me to believe more in myself and my abilities, they created a safe and supportive environment for taking risk and most importantly a friendship that grew and continues. Sharing our passion and love of Pilates and genuine like of each other.
I was so moved and changed by the experience that I wanted to do that for other teachers. To give them the answers or help and guidance in the work and their journey. I wanted to give that same support, safe and supportive environment for them that had been given to me. I wanted to share my passion and Pilates with them. That is why I started my year-long Mentorship Program.
“I came to Hilary and WAP to get back to the “roots” of pilates and what it meant to me. I was classically trained and after my comprehensive went happily off to teach. Over the years and after many workshops on this and that, hundreds of hours of streaming pilates classes and lots of reading, I found myself weighed down by not knowing what I was teaching and why.
I had a case of the knowing a little about a lot but not a lot about what truly mattered: pilates!
So I began to search out a mentor: trying out privates with different people at different studios and finally landed at WAP with Hilary. The moment I walked in I felt at home, not just because the studio is gorgeous (it is!!) And not just that the teachers who work there are professional, knowledgeable and fun (they are) but because of Hilary herself. She is a genuine person who has a passion for pilates that is evident. Her guidance is straightforward. She has helped me grasp a deeper understanding of the traditional method of pilates, connecting dots that I don’t think we're quite completely linked for me. I have felt completely supported by her during my mentorship, never stressed that I wasn’t doing it “right” or perfect. She has met me where I am and has brought excitement back to the practicing and teaching of Pilates. I now have a clearer path I’m traveling down and I’m soooo thrilled to see where the next year takes me!” Jolie Sullivan, Mentorship Program
XOXO Hilary Opheim
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