Finding Balance as a Pilates teacher can mean many things. How does a Pilates teacher find balance in teaching, getting their own Pilates practice in and a personal life?
Finding Balance is a constant and changing aspect of teaching Pilates. Schedules are constantly changing and shifting with clients trying themselves to balance their lives with getting in for their session. When I first started teaching Pilates I was just focused on getting clients so that I could make money. I was teaching clients 6 days a week. Some days I would go from 6am- 8pm at night. I would get up at 5 am to be at the studio then teach a few hours and run home to eat something then head back for more clients until a mid to late afternoon break for an hour then finish up some nights getting home close to 9pm. I had no time to run errands, clean the house, spend time with my pup or hubby. I would fall into bed mentally and physically exhausted and begin again the next day.
When the weekend rolled around I found myself with my husband running all our errands, doing laundry, cleaning the house all through the weekend. Monday would roll around and it would begin all over again.
One Sunday we were running errands again. Picking up dog food, going to the grocery store and we spent most the day in the car all over the city. I was tired. I was grumpy. I wanted some time to just enjoy being with my husband, going to movies, out to dinner, sleeping in and not worrying about a big list of things to do. He also was grumpy and a bit angry. “ I was tired of just sitting in the car every weekend and running around.” We both knew something had to change. How? Was I missing out on a secret of some sort? I realized I could not keep this schedule up or I would get burnt out, divorced or be unhappy and hate what I had started out loving.
This balance and change did not happen overnight! I did not sit down that day and just fire clients and create my ideal schedule. I did get on a path that led me to that balanced place for me. Every Teacher needs to find that specific “ideal” balance that they need. I did start my journey by asking myself some very simple questions. I got a journal and started to answer those same questions every so often and eventually, I found that those answers had changed to “I was there”.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you find that path for yourself in Balance:
Do I take time each day for me to have quiet time or to read? If so do I take that time each day?
When a client wants to change their appointment under 24 hours or ask for a time that I have blocked off for me do I give it to them? Why?
Do I have a stop time each day that I quit thinking, working on, doing or teaching Pilates? If yes, do I ever give that up to schedule a client, work on Pilates at home (schedule, sessions, research, study etc)? Why?
Do I have days off either during the week or the weekend that I do not schedule and keep for me? If not why?
Can I say no to a client for my schedule? My time? Why?
These questions can tell you a lot of what may need to change for you to find that balance you need to keep from burning yourself out, losing clients, losing your mind and keeping a life outside of the studio.
Take some time and sit and answer these questions for yourself. I am happy to show you some avenues to get you where you want to be! For me now here are a few answers:
1. Yes, I put the studio work away, clients out of my brain and read every night for about 30-45 minutes.
2. No, I no longer feel guilty if I have my own things going on and that time has been blocked for me. I no longer give an excuse or try to explain or apologize that I can’t move them, accommodate that day/time and the clients respect that and accept.