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Conquering Pilates Teacher Fears: Stop Feeling Like an Imposter

Mixed level Pilates group class

As a Pilates teacher, nothing makes you second guess your abilities and feel like a Pilates imposter faster than thinking about what you are going to teach in your next mixed level group class. It is like you immediately forget everything you know about Pilates and cannot for the life of you figure out where to even get started. How are you possibly going to plan a class that challenges all levels and yet keeps everyone safe while not requiring too much set up and transitions sending everyone spiraling into the blank stare of boredom?  It’s kind of like a rite of passage to master teaching mixed level classes, but what I am about to tell you will make it all so much easier. 

Before you can really even begin to dig into the class planning, you need to wrap your head around the fact that each session type has a different level of energy and a different level of transformation attached to it. Meaning when you teach a group class, you are teaching and leading the group as a whole. When you teach a one-on-one session, you are teaching that person. A group class versus a one-on-one session are two totally different things and can’t be approached the same way. Nor can your expectation of the outcome or level of transformation be the same. But that’s the fun of it! There is a type of session for everyone. In a mixed level group class, seeing so many different levels flowing together and getting something they need from what you are teaching is an amazing feeling!

Once you wrap your head around the logistics of expectations versus session type, you are ready to figure out what you want this particular mixed level group class to be about. What do you want clients to feel like when they walk out the door? What do you want them to take with them from your Pilates class to apply to their daily activities? What is the impact you want to make on them?  If you are clear on what transformation you want them to achieve, it will be so much easier to start coming up with how to make that happen, what specific moves you will include, and how you will approach the transitions, modifications and advancements. 

Now you are in the downhill stretch and probably the part you love the most…..teaching the class! There is definitely some thought and skills to be learned for this part too. Especially in a mixed level group class as far as delivery of information, managing the energy in the room, and how to tie everything together. These are all things you probably weren’t taught in your Pilates Teacher Training because that was not the point of that type of training, but these things can really have a big impact on your session and how you feel about your session. How you decide to deliver the class, manage the room and tie it all together will be unique to you and your teaching style. But the constant is always going to be that you are the Pilates professional and you have not only a teaching outline but also a unique way to approach the teaching. 

I spent years feeling overwhelmed and like a Pilates imposter when it came to group level mixed classes. If you take anything away from this article I hope it is that you don’t have to feel that way! It’s time to celebrate the impact you can make on people’s lives through Pilates. Set your expectations, plan your class intentionally and get deliberate about how you manage the room and deliver the information.

If you are interested in taking this discussion to a deeper level, I am teaching a Master Class via zoom digging into all of these concepts on Tuesday, February 27th at 1:30pm EST. The master class, Impact, will be recorded and all participants, whether they attend live or not, will receive access to the recording. I hope to see you there!

Impact: Master Your teaching Skills

February 27th, 1:30 PM EST

Master the nuanced skills and mindset to effectively teach a mixed level group Pilates class where all clients’ needs are met. Master Class for Pilates teachers on class programing.

February 27th
1:30PM EST

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