Shauna's  Mentorship Experience!

Are you a Pilates Teacher looking for Mentorship? Looking for that  Pilates Mentor to help with a deeper understanding? Have you just started teaching Pilates and feel as if you don’t know anything? Do you wonder if finding that Mentor to help dig deeper and find your teaching skills is the way to go? Are you looking for that Pilates Mentorship to help you find that passion you started teaching with?  What exactly is a Pilates Mentorship anyway? So many questions!

I wrote a while back on my own thoughts on Mentorship and my own journey with Mentorships.  This week I thought I would open up the blog to my first guest blogger Pilates teacher Shauna Prowler, who is at the beginning of her year-long Mentorship with me in Houston.

Welcome, Shauna and so excited for you to hear about her own personal journey!

Hello! My name is Shauna and I want to share with you my Mentorship Experience so far! I went through my Teacher Training Program and started to teach I really felt like something was missing. I had knowledge of the order, the execution, the reps, and how to set up the different apparatus. Yes, I believed there was a lot I did not know!I

  • I didn’t understand the why, why are we doing this?

  • How to see, how do I see what is not working well?

  • What do I do when I see it?

Without understanding all of this and the why I was confused about how to speak to the student. I could run a group class like a machine; however, I believe people come to Pilates to heal their bodies or prevent injury. I was concerned I didn’t understand the why or how to see and therefore I could potentially hurt the client. Someone told me to “fake it till you make it”. Having an injury myself I didn’t want to be the “fake it” teacher.

After years and years, I decided to look for a Mentor or Mentorship Program. I wanted answers! I wasn’t fully aware of all the questions that I wanted answers for but, I knew in my gut there was a lot more I felt I wanted to learn before I taught in the way I wanted to teach. For me, that means healing the body with better more movement habits, rather than breaking down the body with faulty movement patterns.

In my search, I felt I wanted answers in a safe, kind learning environment. Often in my Teacher Training Program, I felt I couldn’t ask a question. I would get that please don’t talk or ask as I have to stay on my schedule or write it on the board and we will discuss it later or don’t ask as I might forget what I am talking about so please don’t interrupt with a question.

I found Hilary through a friend who had recently started coming to her studio in Houston and had done Pilates for years in Houston and New York. I decided to just come to take a private session with her not knowing how amazing she is! She was positive, smart, she understood the deep work, the traditional work, the work I was looking to learn.

I have now been in her Mentorship Program for a few months and for myself I have found in my own practice my entire back line! My first session we hit the mat and Hilary started just asking me to perform the Hundred by really reaching and lengthening out my legs as much as I possibly could! No lifting them, just reaching. She wanted them to reach and lengthen so much maybe they would “float up”  What? I couldn’t do it! As much as I huffed and puffed and thought about all the connections I had learned from my own Teacher Training I could not unweight my legs off the mat. As we continued, I worked with her cueing, listened to what she was saying and I can now say I am able to connect it all to get that reach and my legs lift and float up! This is from someone who has been living with pain for years in my back.

I also have learned to really grip the footbar, handles with the full hand and understanding the important properties in the execution of each exercise with the full arm starting with the hands and that energy!

It has been a short time so far but, the lightbulb moments have been off the chart!

  • To teach and strengthen each individual body in a correct way

  • The work shows the body’s pattern and so-called “weakness”

  • How to see what isn’t moving or firing correctly for that body

  • How to choose exercises for each individual to teach strength and alignment that makes it possible to move and age without injury and full functional movement.

  • This is an individual program to the individual body

In this short amount of time in the year-long Mentorship, I have so enjoyed learning from someone who is experienced, patient, positive as well as caring. It is such a wonderful opportunity, for any teacher! From my experience, she takes the stress of self-thinking, whatever diminishing thoughts we might have around learning, away.

So far I have to say I have enjoyed the knowledge, positivity of Hilary. How she makes the work easy to understand, a healthier body, and her studio with the clean atmosphere void of clutter in space and then in mind. The friendly atmosphere of all her teachers and of course Hilary, who is awesome!

If I could give any advice to anyone wanting to do a Mentorship with Hilary, as this is my journey and I am totally stealing this from Nike, “just do it!” but, seriously from me, it would be “ I believe you will not regret a single moment!” Shauna Prowler

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