A couple of months ago, I received a call from BASI Pilates® Headquarters asking if I would be interested in traveling to Japan to teach. Immediately, my heart started racing as my brain simultaneously began to compile an almost unconscious list of reasons I couldn’t go (lame excuses like, “It's too soon. Can I be away from home for that long? It's such a long way!”) ran through my head. Within moments, I pushed these unwanted thoughts away and heard a voice, sounding very much like my own saying “Yes, of course, I would love to go!”
An Extraordinary Experience
Teaching Pilates in Japan was an experience I’ll not soon forget. The studios were impressively modern, well-equipped, and sparkling in their cleanliness. The students, a dedicated, well practiced, warm-hearted bunch, were absolutely delightful. They consistently treated me with deferential respect and demonstrated their sincere desire to learn as they attempted to digest my every translated word.
It is an uncommon and exciting experience teaching Pilates in a foreign culture. I often had a translator assist me while teaching the groups, but there were many cases of working privately with a student when no translator was available. It was in these moments, the situations when our common language was non-verbal, limited to our body’s ability to communicate, that I found to be the most profound.
It is an exceptional and rewarding challenge to share this work not through language, but through common understanding of the exercise patterns, facial expressions and touch. Teaching without a translator was a worthwhile exercise for me, a chance to practice conveying as much information as possible in the simplest of terms; an art form unto itself I assure you! But when the messages are received and responded to as intended, and progress is made, both parties involved benefit and are enriched.
It is a blessing and a joy to be able to share my love of Pilates with students in such far away places. I appreciate so much my opportunity to be a part of the BASI Pilates® faculty; an organization interested in growth for itself as well as its teachers, and one that regularly offers me rewarding experiences such as my recent trip to Japan.
My New Global Studio
Now that I have joined the Pilates Anytime team, I have yet another opportunity to work with people in around the world without ever leaving home. As we watch Pilates Anytime grow, I am inspired and reminded once again, that no matter where you are in the world you will find people who value this work with great dedication and passion. When we come across each other, whether we speak the same language or not, we share the common language of Pilates and that, in itself, is extraordinary.
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