Leave Your Shoes at the Door (How to be an even better Pilates instructor)

Often, when we’ve worked with a regular client over an extended period of time, it’s easy to become complacent with the type of workout that you’re offering. Being physically and mentally tired or preoccupied with other things can lead to mediocre workouts that reflect your mood and energy levels.

While it isn’t realistic to drop everything that’s important and of concern to you for your clients, you need to have the self-expectation and discipline to be able to situate whatever is on your mind somewhere else for the hour. Trying to focus on your clients needs to guide the session will shift attention away from whatever it is you’re thinking about.

In order to do this, it’s imperative (metaphorically speaking – although literally as well at our studio!) that you  ‘leave your shoes at the door’.

There is no doubt, that I have walked into many a studio preoccupied with things that are truly of no concern to my client. By not leaving it at the door, it has inevitably come up somewhere in the hour – either in the way I teach or the mood and tone being conveyed. Regardless of who the client is, it is never fair to them. And I have always left feeling a little more frustrated and irritated by whatever was on my mind in the first place.

It’s important to remember why people are coming to you and this method.

By focusing on the ‘task at hand’ so to speak, it often becomes a great workout for my client and a positive experience for both of us. What’s more, I feel better because they’re leaving knowing it was worth their time and energy. They’re not dragged down or defeated because my own personal ‘stuff’ got in the way of what they’re expecting –  an awesome workout every time.

At the risk of sounding cliche, life does tend to throw more worries and concerns at us as we get older (or perhaps we just worry more and have more concerns by virtue of age). There is absolutely no way I would be able to do what I do if I continually let other parts of my life get in the way. I think that goes for most of us who interact with many different people  on a regular basis. And some days are harder than others.

But, I have found that by being more involved in the session, I am inevitably more focused on my client. By taking my shoes off at the door particularly on the days when other things in life can so easily take over, I always come out on the other side of the hour with a calmer perspective and clearer focus on whatever it was I went in thinking about. It makes me look forward to getting into the studio and it gives me a greater appreciation and gratitude for what I do and the clients that allow me to do it.


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