Welcome to everyone. My name is Ray [inaudible] Zachary wits, and thank you to pull out these anytime for providing this opportunity. I'm going to address the topic today methodology of teaching [inaudible] guidelines to improve teaching and deepen understanding. You know, so many workshops are anatomically based, we talking more about an anatomy. Physiology may be the execution of repertoire, but possibly we do not address enough the methodology of teaching polities. So first of all, what is methodology?
A definition of methodology. A system of methods used in a particular area of study or activity. Very broad, but we really need to think Palabra is is a maturing industry? Do we have a methodology? What is our methodology? So a methodology can be dictated by an industry body.
For instance, the pilates method alliance could dictate certain guidelines of teaching and of methodology. It may be in dictated by an institution or a school. For instance, I direct Bassey PyLadies. We have certain codes of behavior, certain guidelines for teaching, and many other great schools in the world have the same, but it may be dictated by one's own personal practice. And I want to share 10 guidelines that over my 35 years of teaching polities have evolved and truly guide me every day in my teaching.
So I hope these become helpful to you all as you are out there teaching and we can relate it in fact to the mat work clause that we did earlier on. As I say, the following guidelines have served me in my career as a compass to successful practice in platas. Number one, stay connected to the work. It does not make sense to me that someone will teach [inaudible] and not be practicing it, him or herself. No, we need to be connected to the work. A teacher needs to maintain a consistent and disciplined practice of the method. The practice will keep you connected both intellectually and viscerally.
I hear this excuse all the time when I'm so busy now I'm teaching all the time. No, do you eat? Do you sleep? You need to practice. That's it. There's no compromise deal. And, uh, I, I myself require it's of myself to practice, to stay connected to the who to the work, whether I'm on the road more so when I'm on the road, whether it's in a hotel room, in a bathroom, wherever it may be out on the beach, you need to stay connected to the work to believe in the system. A teacher should have a solid belief in the system.
It should become a lifestyle over and above exercise. Now, this is my personal belief. You know, you may be out there teaching polities and for you it's an exercise routine. And I, I simply accept that and embrace it as your opinion. But I'm here giving you mine and for me, it's a lifestyle. I cannot say I'm going into do my Palati session today and then I walk out and piles is finished. It's a part of the way I move. It's a part of the way I think.
I am an avid athlete and when I'm a wind surfing or surfing or mountain biking or skiing or snowboarding or whatever I'm doing, I'm thinking of those same principles that guide me through everything. I do. I've integrated a few exercises into this workshop so that we can at least wet our appetite. So at the end of this session workshop, you are all going to run for your mat and do a mat clause. So what did I choose? The first one? A roller. Because these exercises simply embody so much of the way I look at at at at the work.
So I have a volunteer for the roll up and could you come and do your roll up and we're going to watch the beauty and I said the roll up. It's all about maintaining the c curve that it's about shape. It's about line. You see we have a straight line yet she's got this beautiful long line. Look at that line, that lines exciting.
Such street line. We lift up. Now she's there. This is now a curve. I took that straight line and I curved it and your eyes are straight forward right there. Now from here, add nothing changes. Not even your eyelashes change as the onstage parallel to the floor. And she maintains that c curve. But she changed. You know why she changed?
Because of her eyes. Her eyes were the demise of the exercise. If her eyes are looking there, that means her head's up. If her head's up, she broke the line of the c curve. That's where her head needs to be, and then she lowers the body arms parallel to the floor, brings that c curve down, and then she goes from a c curve to a straight line and then she lifts from the straight line. It's all about shapes. She creates the seek of your eyes are great now. Yes, those are eyes. Now she simply rose up and she keeps that [inaudible] curve that everyone see the difference that everyone feel that difference, and I'm even elongating it a bit further.
We think her shoulders above the hip joint, she could go forward just like it, but don't elevate the scapula. Yeah, that's a c. That's the shape. We take that exact shape. It's held stable by the back extensors and the abdominals. The hip flexes now work. Ethan trickily through there and then she goes back into that beautiful straight line. Thank you so much.
Now I want you to think in terms of shapes. You can go back. I want you to think in terms of shapes. I think in terms of shapes all the time. Why can a kid in kindergarten do a curve on a piece of paper and it looks like a kid in kindergarten ship and a great artist goes? Sure, and the one just, wow, that is such great art and other you say to your little kid, oh, that's a very nice curve on a piece of paper. They are seemingly the same. The one is a curve and the other is a curve and one is a great piece of art and another is just a curve on a piece of paper and that's a, I differentiate just an exercise from one that embodies the mind, the body, the spirit. It's just artistry in motion.
Moving on, keep your teaching fresh. Each client deserves the best you have to offer. Find ways of maintaining your edge. This does not mean mixing up the choreography and country. Constantly introducing more advanced and different variations.
I see that all the time. Sometimes just variations for the sake of variations upon variations upon variations, and we, the exercise is barely even recognizable. No, let's keep the essence of what we're doing, but keep it fresh. Maybe introduce a new cue, something to look at to you today for that roll up from here on out in your life. You will always remember my hands on your neck guiding you into that perfect roll-up that's going to keep it fresh for you for another year. You're going to imagine that elongation of the neck, it constantly finding renewed interest in the system.
For me personally, I draw from life itself. That's it. All the time I'm thinking of how is life stimulating my practice and how is my practice stimulating my life? And you know what I do for myself? I throw myself out of my comfort zone. So I go and I study karate. For instance, with my 13 year old son. He's much better than me.
He's already a green belt and I'm a mere and humble orange belt struggling, but I'm totally out of my comfort zone. So it makes me relate to students of keeps it fresh or I'm learning to kiteboard now and I get dragged across the sand and I feel so silly and so stupid and why can't I get this? I know I'm a decent mover. Why am I not picking this up? And I do other things that should be helping me, but no, I get kicked and I get thrown across the sand and that's good because it keeps it humble. It keeps me looking for fresh. So then I come back and I work with my students and I know how maybe they feeling when I say, why can't you do a pelvic? Oh, what a pelvic call is tough. Keep it fresh. Think of things that are going on in your life that you can bring to your practice. Stay teaching fit, keep in shape, preserve your own body.
Teaching takes stamina and you are a role model. You need to be able to hop up out. You want to see, what did you want to see today? You want to see the twist? Okay. I don't mind showing you the twist. You Ready? Okay. I'm going to go through my checklist. I'm ready. Okay, and then,
That person's really practicing. That person's in shape. That person is teaching fit. You know? If you're going to go in and teach eight, nine, 10 hours a day, it's not an easy profession. It's not the one thing that will give you in your careers. Longevity is constantly and continuously staying fit. You don't have to do overdo it, but keep fit.
I always say to the people that do my schedule, I don't mind how many hours of teaching you give me a day, but give me time for a session to do on my own. Once I've done my own session, I'm energized till the end of the world. I need that one session. So let's move on to the Chris Cross. One of my favorite exercises. Could you income do the, could you please come and do the criss-cross?
Crisscrosses out there. Sometimes they not incorporating rotation. What is happening is I'm seeing elbows flapping, Yap, Yap. Elbows flapping. I'm seeing heads swinging. Yes, I'm seeing all that, but I'm not seeing flection together with extension of the spine.
Achieve a combination of flection plus rotation. Without that reflection, I'll show you what I mean by lateral flection. Hands behind your head. You're a little bit of a Chin thruster. Jen Thrusters. Oh yes. Many people are Chin thrusters.
I used to be a chin thrust of why you can put it down. Rest your legs. Why was I chancellor? Because as a dancer, but I'm short so I always wanted to be taller. So you think that Ah, if I look like that then I'm taller. But now it's not making me taller. It's just giving me a tight neck. So follow the line of your spine.
Right? You know what? I'm going to scoot you down this way so we can get a beautiful visual of you. Okay. There we go. Lifting the body up and needs a little closer. Remember where we start our double leg stretch from single leg stretch about 80 degrees of hip flection from this side or about a hundred if you measure from that side. Okay. Oh yes, we need flection. What is your name? Justine.
Justine flection. You're gonna work for me. It's not going to come easy. Okay, let's turn towards the camera first and we there. Now, what I mean by lateral flection is, what often happens is people let go of the internal oblique and there's no flection here. The spine is actually flat that, yeah, the cervical spine is in a degree of flection rotation, but from here to here to the sacrum, no, it's just flat. So Justine pulls in on her internal obliques. That's the internal obliques on that side. We've got an external obliques working. She's looking directly there and she looks gorgeous and what she's going to do now, don't that bit of hip flection the feats on the same line and push into my hand just in little yes. You feel that? Yes, I do and the other side. No, look toward me.
Don't forget that flection. You want to stay here Justine? Little deeper and you like to let go of your hip flection push into my hand. Yet they push there. Now come up toward me or are you feeling it? Yes, I am [inaudible] and I want you even higher and she's smiling other side and she smile. Justine, you giving me that Chun?
If you have questions, remember them, because if we've got time at the end, I'm going to let you ask a couple of questions. Right now. I want to get through my 10 guidelines. Gain experience, sharpen your skills by teaching as much as you can in many different environments. There is no short cut to gaining experience. I'm sorry. There's this great principle called the 10,000 hours of experience. When you've done 10,000 hours in any skill, you will gain great competence. Of course, I believe that you need to have a natural affiliation towards that and aptitude towards that skill, but you need to practice about 10,000 hours.
It's called the 10,000 hour principle. To Have Malcolm Caldwell speaks about it in his book, the outliers and you. You really want to think, how am I going to gain experience because there is nothing that can simply replace the looking at many sessions, touching your clients. The feeling, the tactile feedback, creating your own personality in the work experience will guide you in transitioning from teaching repertoire to teaching a system to teaching an approach. In the beginning, all you're doing is teaching choreography. I want your leg to go here, I your political [inaudible] and suddenly you're not just teaching choreography, you're teaching a system. You teaching an approach, you teaching a deeper sense of what an exercise is about. Stay on the cutting edge. Knowledge is power. The more you have, the stronger your teaching will be.
A good teacher never stops learning. You know I, sometimes people ask me what I do and I hesitate to say I'm a politeness teacher. I do. What I rarely want to say to people is I'm an enthusiastic ever seeking students of politeness. I'm always a student, so I would actually feel much more comfortable saying to people, I'm a student of is. How do you do? And that's how I want to be known as a very excited and enthusiastic students of [inaudible] and I'm happy to come to a class that any one of you give and anyone of you, it doesn't matter to me. It doesn't matter the approach, it doesn't matter the school, it doesn't matter the background because I learn all the time from everyone. Have a thirst, a thirst, a hunger for knowledge. It doesn't only mean, oh, now I know anatomy very well. Now I don't know. No, I know everything. No.
Knowledge is knowledge of movement is sensations of movement is attending a lecture about the 10,000 hour principle is attending a lecture about sensation, about cuing, about many different things in life. Never ever stop learning. I think sometimes when people call themselves teachers, we are in danger. Dire danger of taking ourselves too seriously and think, oh, now I'm a teacher. Now I'm a teacher. Don't need to learn anymore because I'm a teacher now. No, no, no.
I'm not a student. I'm a teacher. No. Always first and foremost a student. I learned so much this weekend. I mean, I gave a mad cost you guys off the third many years of teaching thousands of Mat classes, certainly 10,000 and I forgot your second side is I learned. Now I've got to pay more attention to that second side, side bend, who's my side bend 80 90 a com. You know what, Nadia in her claws, you know what love I loved about Nadia? You, you, you simply arouse the excitement in me because I was excited.
I saw you and you made me do that. It's my pleasure. Thank you. Because it's all about, it's all about what people we go and see a dance. Before any of you ever seen a dance performance, every, any, you seen a music performance, a rock concert, anything. You go up there, you see a dance and you see one dance and you say, okay, so they did three Pruitt's and they look great and they did nothing for me. And you see another dancer and they can literally just stand like this. Wow, I didn't know something about that person.
Just shit sucks me in. And that's what you want to radiate. Don't just go up. Boom, boom, Duh. No, and you had great lines and idea. Thank you. Into your position. It's face that way. So it's been so you, us, we going to do the full one. We're going to do the full one. Okay.
We may have time for the one that we did in class as well. Let's do it quickly. Just quickly to show what we did in class today. So we actually brought the, it's a little simpler. You don't, in some ways it's simple. Some ways more difficult. Keep your pelvis forward there and you lift up and from there she goes over something about her lines. I just love them.
You can soften your oboe a little bit here to show us that you're in a curve and then as you go up here again, you've got that straight line. Look at that line and then she comes down and one more and then you'll do two in the full position and over. And yes, she feels me. You saw dolphins a minute ago in the ocean. I mean, don't those dolphins just make you feel like you want to do that side bend and down. Okay. Do to now up on your arm. Look at the support, look at the support here. I can feel she knows what she's doing. Her body's integrated and up.
Boom and over. Oh yes. It allows you to accentuate it. Just look at that and then she comes back to there. No pitchforks, no pitch faults that showed me your tents. You're, you're comfortable. You telling people I'm so relaxed. Yes.
I'm so relaxed and then come down and doesn't she look relaxed? Yes she does. And Ah, and over bitch folks. Thank you. Eh, we, it's all about look when her hand is just beautiful long, she's got, I said lovely hands now. Tense up your fingers up, different feel and then up particularly up here, we went a long hand and slowly down and she holds it all the way to the end. Thank you. Very nice work. Protect yourself. Queue and spot from a position of strength.
When I was supporting Nadia here, I knew that I could hold her. You felt me lifting you didn't you? If you had just fallen, I would have been okay. I knew. I'm always thinking in my mind, what is the worst thing that can happen? She can suddenly say, Oh my God, I'm so tired and fall into my arm. Will I be okay? Don't give the person the feeling that you're going to be okay if you're not because they make it. I certainly had people just like, because I take people to that point of fatigue and then when they are in that point of fatigue, they may just, they'd go, are you in a position that if they let go, you're going to hurt your back.
You're going to hurt your arms. You're going to hurt yourself. So when you cue and you give a person a sense that you're supporting them, yes, of course you can say, please support yourself, Nadia. Please use your scapular stabilizers. Please use your arm. Please use your obliques. All that. But worst case scenario, that person can start crumbling in your arms and you don't want to hurt yourself. Each individual meaning each of you as teachers out there has a different level of endurance. Don't burn out. So, you know, it's very difficult for different people to understand different people's operating systems.
I happen to have that kind of energy that you may equate to an energizer bunny. I'm, I'm, I've, I've moved a lot. I move a lot. For me, sometimes movement is relaxation. Eh, my wife is very different. She's, she also taught for many years. She definitely likes to have downtime, likes to regenerate, likes to, um, you know, we just different. So it's hard for people to understand. It's like a Mac and a PC. We have different operating systems. So for me, I sometimes think, well, why don't you need a wrist already?
I mean, it's only been five hours and you're teaching and I can't. And she looks at me and says, why do you need a push so hard? Why don't you just chill out a little bit? What do you need to teach for 10 hours? Different opera, but all of us, and we need to respect each other's different energy levels, different needs, different. But all of us need to protect ourselves from burnout.
That is a danger in our profession, in the profession of teaching is to become burned out where you feel, ah, I can't look at another session. I just can't. Then we need to check, take check, look at ourselves and say, okay, maybe I need a break. Maybe I'm teaching too much. I need to do something in my profession to bring back the excitement. And I mean protect yourselves. Not just physically but even emotionally. You know, PyLadies is a very unique profession in that we're dealing with people's emotions. We dealing with people's energy. It's not just exercise.
I say that time and time again and Joseph Pilati set a time and time again that it is beyond. We're dealing with a person's whole being and sometimes people's energy can SAP your own energy because you putting out so much. So you need to find ways of protecting yourself physically and emotionally. Be prepared. Every session takes preparation. Make sure you are ready to teach.
That means being ready to demonstrate as well. So what I do, particularly now, I should've been doing it and I probably did most of my years as teaching. But now as someone that is an older teacher, I find it very important to warm up before I start teaching. So I'll always schedule in for myself. I try desperately. Sometimes I do to my schedule, I don't manage, but I try desperately, desperately to warm up, be ready for my session. Often I write charts on each client, so I people visit me from all over the world and sometimes I don't see someone for six months.
So I'll go and read up what I wrote the last time I read up Nadia, what I did with you, what I did with Nadia was this and this and this. So when Nadia comes in, I've already formulated more or less where I want to go with her session today. I'm not stuck with it, but I've formulated to more or less where I want to go with your session. I am ready. So if you say to me, [inaudible] Rail, I want you to show me today the [inaudible] side sideband or the twist on the reformer. And I think, oh no, there's no way I can do the twist on the reformer for nine. Yeah, because my body's not ready for it. But that's not not his fault. She traveled all the way from Santa Barbara for for three hours setting in traffic, maybe four to come see me.
And she's so excited to see me do the twist and show her how to do the twist on the reformer. And I call and I say, Oh Nadia, let me just talk you through it because there's no way my body can do no, there's some things that may be my buddy cannot do anymore and then I need to explain it. But as far as possible, be prepared, be ready for the session. Single leg kick. Nadya I want you to come do the single leg kick.
What I see is people collapsing, so collapse for a minute. Ah, you see what happened to a Scapula? They simply collapsed inwards. She may have beautiful leg work, beautiful hip extension. She feels she's using her back, but she's looking collapsed.
She's gotta be proud now, don't round up. Yeah, Nadia, you want to think of lifting your sternum. It's like you've got a string from your sternum that's pulling you upward and upward and upward. Look at that. That's the proud feeling. Let me see you. Yes, yes. She looks proud. She looks proud. Now with that position, lift your legs just off the ground. Yeah, look at that. I mean that again, I have a visceral response to say, this is exciting scapular.
Maybe don't round though, but I want you to think of opening them a little more with that Serita center area, but that's lifting even more. You feel you're back work already. Oh yes. You can relax your elbows deaf, not relaxed, but press your elbows into the mat. She's got this gorgeous flat back here and I'm going to just shift you a little and now I want you to go and pool pool, pool, pool, pool, pool, pool. So what you doing Nadia? You whinging your foot a little bit out there. I want you to think of keeping your feet straight.
That's why they catching on each other and you just do a little crooked sound when you straighten you because I know when people all over the world thinking Nadia wasn't perfect, Nadia is perfect, so don't turn out to keep the parallel position. And so what you're doing is more or less turning out just with a foot and we wanted parallel. Okay? Lifting off the ground and go pull four tall, tall
Okay, she did. And now number nine, I said this before, always be a student and foremost. First and foremost, a student. A teacher cannot be a teacher without being a student always, and I'm going to go to number 10 this is a very important one for me personally to not let ego hijack your career. Politics and ego has no place in PyLadies in my opinion, teach with integrity, clarity and most importantly, humility. I regard humility as the greatest of virtues. Always ready to learn it. It relates to many of the other things I said that that we are always humble students. We're always ready to learn.
We don't think that we are better than anyone else. Everyone has a story. Don't let that ego hijack your career because I have seen ego be the demise, the ruin of many potentially wonderful teachers. But the moment ego comes into it, you know this is again, I'm speaking, these are my 10 personal guidelines. I'm letting you into my heart today.
This is just me. For me, ego doesn't have a place in this work. I want to think of you all, all the wonderful students, all the wonderful practitioners out there in the world. I don't want to think of me, it's about giving. Being a teacher is a very given profession. We nourish our ways personally in other activities and you need to be nourished, but to give, you need to let go of that ego.
So to finish off, I'm going to show you a little clip and I promise it isn't about ego, but it's taken eight, I think it gives you a little Eh, 22nd glimpse. Can you all see that screen gives you a little 22nd glimpse. It's actually was a taken from me improvising on the Cadillac. It was close to a 20 minutes nonstop routine that I was doing on the Cadillac and I just chopped out 20 seconds to show you the depth, the focus, the practice, the hours of practice, the letting go of ego, the the taking myself out of my comfort zone, just feeling and letting myself be
So I just wanted to give you a glimpse into the intensity, but the lines, the flow, the beautiful movement that we find in polarities. So in closing, I'm going to say you have the opportunity to change lives. What a blessing that is in our life that we as teachers can touch lives. We can send wheat. We determine in a sense whether a person is going to have a great day or not such a great day. Did a person work out of it, walk out of a session feeling positive or that they walk out of a session feeling a sense of failure?
I didn't quite hit it. That teacher told me the whole day that I just wasn't doing it. I tried as all over the place. Uh, the teachers seem to be irritated and frustrated by me or do you make someone feel good? Wow, we really achieved something today. We did a great pelvic call today that felt so good. I feel good about myself. I feel good that I came to a session.
I walked all out of that door today feeling better than walked in. And that teacher did a great job. They made me feel so inspired. So I'm now gonna touch a hundred more lights today in my life and I'm going to make them feel good. It's like a ripple effect. Be the best that you can be. I don't mind if it's a chest lift, if it's a pelvic [inaudible] or if it's doing some of the stuff I was just doing on the Cadillac or the stall, the most advanced thing that you can do, or just teaching a basic session.
Be the best that you can be. Don't be mediocre. Mediocre is not for us, us as politeness, teachers, we can truly perpetuate the system to be amazing, to be the incredible system that it is. And we will do that by each one of you being the best that you can be with that. Any questions that any of you may have for me?
They had huge TV screens all the way down the auditorium. I thought, wow, this is amazing. And then I taught some classes that we, we uh, some of you may remember that I lost Bessie learned from the leaders conference. There were 250 people in the room, but it was a live feed. So then their plot is anytime organized the live feed for us. That went out to about 1500 people practicing with us then. Then right then, so I'm in the middle of the nights, I'm in the middle of the day, some in the middle of the morning, some in the offices, some in front of a fire in the winter. And we were some.
And isn't that amazing that technology can do that? My tip, you know, you cannot run around in Q 350 people. That ain't going to happen. But you can bring tremendous energy. You can bring tremendous positivity. You can do rarely good demonstrations.
Usually when I'm teaching across that big either I'm doing it myself. Usually I'm doing it myself. So I need to prepare my body. I tell people I don't come into a class. Ah, AH, okay. So I'm going to teach now 350 people. No, I'm already thinking about it the day before, what I'm going to eat when I'm gonna rest, what I'm gonna wear, how I'm going to start, what is going to be my end. Once I start the class, I sometimes change it based on the level. Sometimes I think they're going to be very high level and I need to bring it down. Sometimes they are better than I thought they'd be, so I can take it up.
So, but I need everything in my own being to be prepared. And then I start and I want my demonstrations to be immaculate. I want the flow to be perfect. And that only comes from years and years of experience of knowing the exercises, knowing the cues, having many different directions you can take the class, um, having those directions at your fingertips. Uh, exercises, transitions into exercises. When you're teaching a big class, you have to be thinking three, four steps ahead because you want to know where do you want the people to end up facing when they start their back extension.
Where do you want them to be facing when they do lake boo? You don't want to be in suddenly in a situation where you look at the group and because of your transitions they facing away from you. Suddenly I've got 350 peoples backs at me. Now what do I do? I can't run to the other side of the room. You've got to work out and think about everything and that's going through your mind. So rarely in a word, excuse me, in a word. You want to be prepared.
You want years of experience. The more experience you can get, the better it is. And the larger the group is, the less you can que individually. But what you can do is call out very general cues like Nadia. Um, please watch your Scapula, everyone. Watch your scapular. Everyone watch this because most cues will pertain to everyone.
So Q, very generally. I hope that helps you. Okay. Any other questions? None. Well, you have been an amazing group of people to work with. I hope that to all of you out there, these 10 guidelines from my personal life, my personal experience, help you and thank you very much.