Cueing for clients?

We have all been there as Pilates teachers with clients. In the Pilates studio trying to get them to understand the Pilates work, the exercise, what you wanted them to do, the choreography or the connection or even just to focus. How as a Pilates teacher can you get that the moment they lie on the mat or the Reformer? What cues can you give that are clear to them?

A wonderful Mentor told me that Pilates is like learning a new language for our clients and it is so true! As Pilates teachers we want our clients to feel challenged, feel they are doing a great job and to feel accomplished when they are there. We don’t want them to be frustrated with the Pilates work or as Pilates teachers to get frustrated when we can’t get them to understand. Newly Certified Pilates teachers and even Pilates teachers that have been teaching for years, it happens right?

I remember when I was going through my Teacher Training and in the studio was a teacher who used cues with so much anatomy and talked so fast in regard that in my session with her I didn’t hear half, got confused and was like in my mind going “ I am trying” as she pushed her fist deep into my stomach to get me to pull away from her. As a teacher in training, I was intimidated thinking “I will never be able to do that!”. It didn’t occur to me that maybe it wasn’t the best way for a client? At least for me, it wasn’t. As I got into the Pilates world I started to realize all the different ways of teaching and cueing. The differences in the tactile cueing, which for me is huge! I have had those teachers who their tactile has prevented me from moving to those that a simple touch has engaged my body to move in a way I didn’t realize was possible. I think that is the key right? To get our Cueing to engage our client's mind and body in a clear and simple way.

As teachers, there are some things that I feel are important for our clients to get that mind-body connection I also think that we need those “callbacks” to the other exercises for those clients and that can help in our cueing. If we as teachers from the moment they step into our studio get them connected to the work we have them for that full hour. They will be with you, challenged and leave knowing they accomplished something.

This workshop for me is years and years of studying with other Teachers, learning from clients and delving deep into the work in my own body and mind. I have always felt uncomfortable as a teacher spouting off anatomy terms (most my clients don’t care or understand), with “aggressive” tactile that really isn’t connecting for me or my client and showing what a Pilates move “should” look like.  Did you ever feel that or maybe feel that now?

I love teaching this workshop as I can see that weight seem to lift off the participants as they realize how simple the cueing can be, how easy to get that focus right away with clients so that footwork moment is not “let me tell you this and that” as they push out and in. To see how it makes our hour less work with words and more movement for the client.

This 2 or 4-hour workshop is as all my workshops full participation and feeling the work, feeling the cues and focus for the participants. Going over exercises that seem to give the most issues as well as those participants may want focused on. Using all the apparatus available in the studio we see how a cue, for one thing, leads to the connection in the other. Full of wonderful light bulbs moments and excitement at seeing your clients to “cue” them in a way that will for them be lightbulb moments!

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