Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a Pilates instructor? Perhaps you love the classes and want to take your expertise to the next level. Or you’re already a fitness professional and want to add more strings to your bow.
In this article – guest author and industry educator, Kristi Chaussard, shares what a day in the life of a Pilates teacher is really like…
If you’re not in the industry, it can be challenging to imagine a week in the life of a Pilates instructor. You might be wondering what our schedule looks like. Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore!
We’re here to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly, (although there’s not too much bad and not a lot of ugly) in a typical Pilates instructor’s week. A career that centers on helping others move, look, and most importantly, feel better, is a pretty great way to earn a living.
But as with any occupation, there are risks and rewards. Read on to learn more about a typical week in a life of a Pilates instructor.
I like to do anything I can to ensure my week goes smoothly. On Sundays, I check my weekly calendar to remind myself which clients are coming on which days of the week.
I’ll mentally review the needs of each client, then consider specific exercises and exercise sequences to benefit each client. I like to think back to the last time they performed those exercises, as I always try to mix things up so my clients aren’t constantly repeating the same things.
It’s important to challenge the mind as well as the body in training to create new synopsis, real progressions, and change. As I’m making these preparations, I’ll make any necessary notes. Once I’ve completed this process, I can start my week feeling ready, organized, and focused.
A Typical Weekday Morning in the Life of a Pilates Instructor
The same way I thrive when I start my week off right, I find it really important to start each day with a consistent, wellness-focused morning routine. When I have a good morning, the rest of the day tends to fall into place. Even when unexpected challenges arise, a solid morning routine sets me up with the resilience to overcome any obstacles.
Get My Day Going Right
No matter what time I have to teach, I find merit in the adage: early to bed, early to rise. Nothing beats a good night’s rest. Getting in the habit of going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day can help establish a routine that promotes a healthy amount of sleep (a suggested eight hours on average is recommended!).
Drink Some Coffee!
I LOVE my coffee! I tried Bulletproof™ coffee around 6 months ago, and I’ve never looked back. Bulletproof™ adds in healthy fats and slows the digestion of caffeine, and I find it so much more satisfying than ever before.
I don’t need to reach for a second cup, since the first one gives me everything I need. I truly believe in moderation in all things, including coffee.
Lingering over my morning coffee gives me that leisurely pleasure and quietness to start my day off right. The world just melts away for a moment, and everything becomes quiet, serene, and clear.
While sipping my coffee, I take some time to read my Bible and pray. This takes me outside of my small world and reminds me of a much bigger story and perspective of all things.
It lifts me above my small troubles, whatever they might be, and reminds me of the grandeur and grace of God. It’s a constant work in progress, a cultivation of a relationship, and a practice similar to meditating for the purpose of settling and centering.
It’s an important practice, whatever your beliefs. Sometimes I lie down on a foam roller or a soft ball and stretch out on the floor, using my breath to open the chest and heart area as well. It’s an excellent practice that can change the whole course of your day.
Fruits & Veggies Galore
I can’t stress healthy eating enough. When I start my day off right with, for instance, rolled oats and fresh fruit with chia seeds, rather than sugary cereal or a processed breakfast sandwich, I know I’ll have much more energy.
A healthy breakfast also sets me up to make better eating decisions for the rest of my day. As a Pilates instructor, I have to consider that my clients are looking up to me as something of a lifestyle role model — not only in exercise but in health more generally.
I can’t stress the idea of healthy eating enough. It is essential for a wellness-focused lifestyle.
Our health is in many ways determined by what we eat, so why wouldn’t we prioritize eating nutritious, delicious food? The food I eat is intentional. It gives me the energy I need to successfully teach my clients. I like to live what I preach!
My Typical Workday
A day in the life of a Pilates teacher can be incredibly grueling, with little to no breaks for hours, depending on how the teacher stacks his or her clients.
We must be operating at full capacity all day long, keeping 100% focus on our clients. We are here not just to help and guide them through a class session, but also to constantly evaluate how their bodies are moving today, identifying their misalignments and discrepancies.
We are here to bring their bodies back into their ideal alignment. This is the constant goal of any good teacher. It takes a keen eye, listening, and a mind constantly thinking one step ahead of how we can move them to help their body strengthen and come into better alignment.
Every one of our clients is unique; we are presented with clients who have had surgeries, injuries, skeletal misalignments, psychological traumas related to physical accidents, and more.
Therefore, as teachers, it’s incredibly important to schedule time for ourselves to keep from running dry, as our work is incredibly demanding. Often, we are so tired, it’s hard to move ourselves through our own routine.
Working in a studio is beneficial because we can hop in a group class of one of the other teachers a couple of times a week. Even taking a half hour to move gently on the Reformer in a meditative way is really necessary for all teachers once throughout the day if possible.
My day is divided between filming workouts and seeing clients in the studio. So I’m constantly moving, fortunately, thanks to the online studio, but by the end of the day, I definitely need a mental break.
Taking a quick walk outside in nature is one of the best breaks for me. One of my favorite ways to de-stress is to head into the hills for a strenuous walk to get my blood circulating quickly.
I also love to watch the waves on the beach and breathe or go for a hike in the mountains. Any opportunity to get outdoors, I’m there! If I can’t make it outside, hopping on the Reformer to do some leg work is my go-to, because it feels very meditative for me.
Wrap It Up
After a full day of work, I relish a hot shower, a sunset walk at the beach with family and/or friends, and sitting down together to eat and connect. We also love to watch a light-hearted sitcom or play card games at the end of the night to wind down from the day.
Thanks for reading about my life! Hopefully, you have a better understanding of a typical week in the life of a Pilates instructor.
Kristi Chaussard, the Owner of Gone Adventuring, is an international Balanced Body Method Certified Pilates Instructor, affiliated with the Pilates Method Alliance and the French Pilates Foundation, and a Pilates educator and consultant.
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