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Flipping the Mat: My Journey with Reverse Teaching in Pilates

reverse teaching pilates

As a Pilates teacher trainer, one of the most rewarding aspects of my role is watching students practice and guiding them to refine their skills. This experience is not just about imparting knowledge; it's an incredible opportunity for me to enhance my own teaching skills through observing and understanding their perspectives and challenges.

However, I realize that not every Pilates instructor has the chance to be in a teacher training position. Yet, the value of this perspective-shifting experience is immense for any instructor. So, here's a personal tip I've found incredibly effective: Reverse Teaching.

teaching pilates manual

Let me share a specific instance where this approach transformed both my teaching method and a student's understanding. In a one-on-one session, rather than leading the entire session myself, I asked my student to guide part of the session. This was particularly useful for an exercise they were struggling with, snake and twist.

At first, it felt unconventional, letting a student take the reins. But as the session progressed, it became clear that this was not just about them teaching the exercise. It was about seeing their interpretation and execution of the movement, understanding their thought process, and identifying the gaps in their understanding.

In this role reversal, I gained insights that I would have missed in a traditional teaching setup. It allowed me to see the exercise through their eyes. I observed how they approached the movement, the cues they used, and where their focus lay. This experience was enlightening – it showed me how different the same exercise can look from another perspective.

When it was my turn to guide again, I was armed with a deeper understanding of their needs. The feedback and instruction I provided afterward were far more targeted and effective. The student, on their part, gained a richer understanding of the exercise, as teaching it forced them to engage with it at a different level.

This approach of Reverse Teaching in Pilates, especially in one-on-one sessions, can be a game-changer. It's not just about empowering the student; it's about enriching your perspective as an instructor. You get to see firsthand what they think the exercise entails, which in turn allows you to tailor your guidance more precisely.

And the result? More powerful, effective, and meaningful Pilates practice for everyone involved.

So, to my fellow instructors, I encourage you to try this method. Step into the student's shoes and let them step into yours. The insights you'll gain will not only enhance your teaching skills but also deepen the impact of your practice on your students.

Let me know how it goes for you- comment below.


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