During my training to become a qualified Pilates Teacher, I was required to learn, practice, and teach in both formats: Pilates private sessions and Pilates group classes.

Now that I am teaching full time, I sometimes ask myself – which type do I prefer to teach?

My preference is Pilates private sessions. And here’s why:

I can give my full attention to the student and be able to tailor a program to address the needs and objectives of that individual. Each individual presents a challenge to me as a Pilates teacher – each individual is different.

To date, I have taught a range of students from teenagers to senior clients, clients with medical/physical issues, male and female, clients from different cultural backgrounds etc. Not a single person is the same when it comes to movement.

The challenge is to teach each individual, to address their needs and objectives such that they make the connection to Pilates and use the principles in their daily activities and/or help them to manage their physical dysfunction.

It is not an easy task – sometimes, I do have to find creative ways to connect with some clients – and I am not always successful. Hopefully, the number is small!

Teaching Pilates private sessions require a lot of patience. The dictionary defines “patience” as “a state of endurance under difficult circumstances, without complaint, irritation or annoyance”.  As such it teaches me a lot – as I learn to appreciate people who are different from me. Of course, we like to teach people who are like us!

The other aspect of Pilates private sessions is teaching clients with medical and/or physical problems e.g. clients with osteoarthritis, back pain or knee pain. It challenges me as a teacher to learn more about these conditions, to teach movements that will help the clients and be creative to regress or modify some movements – to make them accessible to these clients.

In private sessions, I can use a variety of Pilates equipment to teach movements to clients – not restricted like in a group class. For example, the abdominal work – the Hundreds – is much easier for a beginner to learn on the Spine Corrector than on the Mat. On the Spine Corrector, the spine is supported, hence the neck is not stressed while the client is working on strengthening the abdominals.

I do teach Pilates group classes and I value teaching group classes. Find out why in the next blog.

Written by LayYong

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