Discussion #4151

Teaching Online

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On June 3, 2020, we talked to Meredith Rogers to find out how she transitioned to online teaching when the pandemic started. She explains what she does to stay efficient in her set-up as well as how she uses verbal cues to get the desired movement from her clients. She also shares her thoughts on how online classes are an opportunity to stay connected to people during this time when we are staying at home.

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- Switching to Verbal Cues Blog

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Jun 06, 2020
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We have just a wonderful collection of friends that are with us today. So Mary, I'm going to officially start this webinar, teacher talk between Amy and Mary. So again, welcome Mary Rogers. Thank you. I'm so happy to have an hour to chat with you, and our members and people out here who wants to know all kinds of things about teaching online.

When we first heard about COVID, I was home. So that was it what, January? But I was gearing up at that moment for a trip to South Korea. Right. And I went.

and I was afraid-- Right. To go to the airport, and I was afraid to get onto the airplane. I had a mask. Everyone looked at me quite strangely, 'cause it was new at that time. No one was wearing masks at all.

Right. Mostly in the US airport. I flew through San Francisco, and what's that woman doing wearing a mask? Some people were like, anyway. so I went to South Korea, and I did my teaching and it's very common there to wear masks.

Right. Their culture is you're not wearing your mask to protect yourself. You're wearing your mask to protect your community or other people. And mask wearing is quite common there, so everyone wears. And I wore some masks, and I wore masks in all the public spaces, and I was kind of annoyed because they had closed the gym, so I couldn't go to the gym and it was quite cold, so I had to run outside in the winter.

So minor inconvenience but I went, I did my teaching, I came home, and that's when things kind of starting getting, started to get a little bit more serious here. Yeah, yeah. And I was afraid then too that I was walking around with the corona virus, and not knowing it, and spreading it around. So I kept myself pretty close to home even before we were on lockdown. And I didn't see a lot of clients, I just went on with my life, but I was careful.

Right, I remember speaking with you. Fighting desperately to get tested. And no one would test me. And so yeah, I just continued going with my life, and then we went into Stay At Home guidelines. Yes, and so are you doing a lot of teaching online on Zoom?

First of all, lemme say it this way, did you know about Zoom prior to? (laughing) No. I had heard about Zoom. I'd seen it, I'd done a few taking place, I like participated in a few webinars from other professionals that I admire. So I knew a little bit from the consumer end on how to get a link, and click in, and things like that, but it's still been, was a little odd, and had no idea that it would, where we'd be today.

Here we are. But so you teach now a bit online. A bit. Yeah. Not actually too much.

I teach about five mat classes per week. Okay. Sometimes six. Okay. And I've done very, very few.

In fact, two, one-to-one sessions, which I don't enjoy. And that's it, that's it. That I'm not tied to my computer, I can't. I can't sit in front of my computer and teach pilates all day. I don't like it, I don't like it, so I don't.

Are you teaching through your studio, or all the venues in which you teach? Sure, I'm not teaching through my studio, although there are links to my classes on the studio website. So what I did basically, is the first week after we've got Stay At Home guidelines, I stayed in my bed. Yes. Didn't wanna get out of bed.

I was depressed, I didn't have any motivation to move my body. I will always go for my cardio 'cause I have asthma, So I have to exercise my lungs. Yeah. So I did that, and that's all I did. And then I got bored of doing that.

So I reached out online and I just said, "who would like to do an online class with me?" And I built a list, I collected emails, Right. And collected emails, I'm still collecting emails actually, but just much on a much smaller level. And I sent links. I made two classes, a Tuesday afternoon class at 4pm, and Thursday morning classes at 9am. And I did that because I wanted to give every timezone a chance to come to class if they wanted.

Well and it's so beautiful because you're international. So I remember when you were developing that, and thinking that it's just beautiful you're able to serve the people who need an early morning in the time zone, and your international people end the day, and I think it's been successful for you. Well that 9am spot is actually great 'cause you can, people in South Africa can come, people from Europe can come, it's the end of their day, and the beginning of mine, and then the afternoon class is more for the Australians, and the Koreans, and yeah, it's worked out really well. It's been amazing. I ran my classes donation-based.

Yep. 'Cause I didn't wanna put anyone into a situation where they wanted to come and couldn't afford to. So if people want to donate, they can, if they don't wanna donate, I'm completely supportive of that. And because I'm very technologically inept, I made a couple of emails in the beginning, and then I just made one final email with the links to both classes. And that's the email that I still send if someone just randomly wants the email.

I just stopped doing group emails, and made me very happy to be able to do that. Once I set the classes, I could stop sending emails all day. That's beautiful, that's called working smarter, not harder Mary. (laughing) And efficiency is brilliant, simplify things. And I think that's actually an interesting of this is something like that where any teacher, many of us, or you in this example, taking a large mass amount of people who wanna work with you, and funnel it in one direction.

I think that's a benefit of this. If there is a benefit, there are many benefits of this quarantine time, and the self shelter in place time. How you serve a mass amount of people. You can't spread yourself that thin otherwise, right? So you can teach two or three hours a week and serve hundreds of people.

And they get the most of Mary, which is brilliant. Yeah. And you were saying something at the beginning, which I think we'll just kinda sort of in that, and we'll get back to teaching questions, certainly, but is the community word which a lot of us use. We talk about community all often and all the time. And it definitely in our pilates teaching community, but how about friend way high school, college, whatnot, and now having Friday night happy hours with each other.

Yeah. And reconnecting, so it's a weird way of coming back around but it's pretty personal, also. Totally personal, and for me I also... So apart from my Zoom offerings that are just mine alone, I've been out to teach at different studios around the world, like I've been teaching for my friend Lisa, who is in the UK, she runs student time for her students on Zoom. So I teach students time to them.

Right, awesome. And in the very beginning, my friend Mary Liz from Dubai asked me, "would you teach a class for my studio?" And I said, "yeah, I'm not doing anything else. Sure, I'll teach a class for your studio." So I've had many opportunities to help out, connect. I'm teaching now a class for BASI headquarters in the US. So this has given me many, many opportunities to work with teachers and students, which is what I enjoy the most.

It's been just so rewarding actually. Yeah, I know you do. And I think that is... So let's say you're... I'm gonna ask you for some tips because people have been asking.

So if you could give a few tips on, or differences between teaching a large group, say like the group mat classes that you're teaching, the larger ones versus the smaller ones. What can you help people within a larger format. So let's say it's another teacher that's listening in. They also have a large group of people, how to best teach to that larger group? Well, I know that everyone organizes their teaching online differently, but the way I wanted to do it is I wanted it to be all inclusive, and I didn't wanna spend my time staring at the computer screen, so I don't.

I put my mat on the floor in my living room. I have to push my couch out of the way in order to have space. Okay. And I set my laptop on my kitchen table, and I point it at my mat, and then we all just moved together in all of my classes, except for if it's a one-to-one, I move with my students at the same time, because I feel like movement is healing, and I feel that if we're moving together, we're all generating this really beautiful, like worldwide energy, and that's what feels good to me. And I just don't think it's the time to try to look through scroll through the screens, and try to pick out tiny details.

Like if on a one-to-one situation, it's quite easy to be able to cue and correct specifically, but in my group classes, I don't sit at the computer. I move with my students, and in the small ones where everyone's just on gallery, and I can see them if I look to my computer, I will make small corrections. Yeah. I can see some when I am on the floor. Yeah I think that I agree with that completely.

The ability to hold the container, and the space for the masses to move together. And I think feedback I've gotten to with some of the live classes that I've taught for PA, or just other, is that's what their people are coming for, especially with the Shelter At Home is we've kinda lost our footing a little bit. And people looking to us to be the leaders and guide them, and really just set that that space and let them move, and come and move with us and with each other, which it is palpable. You can feel it. Do you do have a preference on how they set their space up at home?

Do you tell them anything about how to set up or? Nope, I let them do it. Perfect. So, I think many people who come... Some people who come to class will say, will shut their screen off 'cause they just want it to be dark.

Right. I don't make a rules in my classes. They can be dark, I can look at a picture on their wall, I can have part of their arm. I don't mind, I don't care. When I'd have done the one-to-ones, I just tell them to move the computer around so that I can see where they are when we're doing whatever we're doing.

Right. But yeah, I don't make any rules around how people get set up for my classes. They can just decide. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Too hard.

Well, it is too hard. I mean, I think we'll get to the one-on-ones in a minute because we do have some questions on that, but I agree. I think we have to take quite a bit of accountability if we're the we're the one taking the class. I know when I take class like from Kara or you or something, I'm not looking to you to tell me how to set up my space. And if I'm looking in a weird way, that's up to me to fix that, but suggestions might be laptop to one side, or at the angle so that we don't, as the move where I have to do the weird head turning bit.

Yeah, feet pointing to the camera, away, same thing, right? You just-- I put myself sideways with a camera. So if I wanna look into my camera, I have to turn. Yes. But I typically will look when we're doing things like sitting and rotating, and I'll even say, "oh, you're leaning back," I'll try not to look too much.

But I, as a teacher in a mat class, I've always run my mat classes that way where everybody just moves together. It's how I was taught by my teacher, Rael. Everybody moves together. So it's just what I'm used to. Exactly.

And they're just not in my house. Yeah, I get it. I love that, that's brilliant. Yeah, they are, because they're back there. So talk about a private then.

If you have a one, say I'm your private, do you tell me to set myself, and say I'm only doing mat, we'll get to equipment, booked an appointment with you, and I want to work on my mat skills. Do you then get a little bit closer and like this, and get going, and how would you-- Oh definitely, because I think in a one-to-one situation, that's very, very different. I mean, like it's surprising how much you can see on the computer. You can make very detailed cues. I miss using my hands.

That's, such such a big part of teaching for me that tactile cueing and touch, but-- Stay there minute, can you stay there for a second, because-- Yeah, yeah sure can. I would like to stay here because same with me, and I'm right now just holding my hands. (laughing) And that's a question that's come up, I think with all those global questions, how can we teach online when we cannot physically touch people? How are we to inspire that that direct movement that we're looking for in them, or normally we're used to using and guiding our hands, or our feet or leaning in with our bodies, or any--- I think that you have to be more descriptive. You have to figure out how to explain in more detail, or use, I use a lot of words like, to me it feels like, whatever or whatever.

Or could you potentially bring within yourself a feeling like this, right? But I don't think that there's any substitution with for tactile cueing with words. That's how I teach the movement feels, or how I like to try to make it feel. That's what I've always done when I teach, and having been able to use my hands to cue is just icing on the cake. But my words are the same as they have been.

I think it's even a one-to-one teaching, or in person teaching. Right, right, I had a comment come in on one of my classes not too long ago from PA. It was, I don't remember who the questioner was, but she asked a great question, how long will it take me to be able to cue the way some of you do? That the best, and couldn't really get out of her. What I think she was asking is, she's still going...

she's a newer teacher, so she's going by now let's do this, now I want you to... I'm very guided that way. And my response to her was, it's gonna take time. That's true. And you need to embody the the work within your own body.

So I know when I'm teaching, and I know you are, because I've taken classes with you many times, you're guiding your own cue, you're saying out loud what you're cueing in yourself. Those cues are out to us. And so I would encourage anyone else that's maybe wondering how to cue, (laughing) is do the work in your body and talk to yourself as you're working. Even if you're working out, not taking the classes, what are you saying to yourself when you're doing rollover? What are the cues coming out of your mouth?

And those will be the ones that you say to most clients anyway. A lot of times, and those words are words that might come also, like you just said, that's something that we would be doing with our touch. So we have, and maybe we can put those links up right now, we have several blogs that we have on Pilates Anytime that reference this whole topic of how to do verbal cueing more effectively, how to cue without touch. So we'll drop those in the chats if anyone's interested. If you haven't read those, you can go over and check those out.

So let's talk about, we're gonna get into the private sector. You have a client I find it's interesting you told me about that you do a bit of, can you share about it? (laughing) It's a private client that you go to see. Yeah, okay, so my friend, she's actually a friend and a client. I've been working with her for probably a decade.

She's a little older than me. But she has a special situation where her husband is immunocompromised. And so she has an in-home studio. And so what we do is I still go to her. We tried Zoom once, and we didn't like it.

So I said, "Ella, what if I come to your house, and I don't come through the house, but instead I walk around the house, and you go inside the studio, and I'll stand outside of the sliding glass door where I can see you, and correct and give you feedback. And then you're still blocked off from me." We leave a tiny opening so that she can hear me, and so that's what we do. And it works out well. I get a little sunshine, I get to see friends, (laughing) I get to make a little money. It's worked out really, really nicely.

It's a good thing that it's been nice weather. Yes, yeah, that's good, yeah. And she gets you. I mean, it's a win-win for all. Yeah, win-win for me, for sure.

Yeah, and I think not everyone has an opportunity to have that kinda situation. So that's pretty cool, I think. Yeah, it's definitely a unique situation. She is the only one of my clients who wanted to continue to see me during this time. Interesting.

The only one. And you have a fairly full schedule, I know. Yes. And so, yeah, oh, so do you think that's because people... I don't wanna plug it in here, but what do you think that is?

I mean, I think is it a technology issue where you think some clients just aren't really into doing the technology? Or not so in favor of learning on that platform? Are they waiting for COVID to be over? I think that, I think people are afraid. And rightly so.

I mean, I have been sitting in my house for all this time too. I don't go, and I was grateful for that they didn't put me in a position to have to decide, am I going to work with them? Or am I gonna look after myself and follow the guidelines? Right. And everyone said, look, we're gonna follow the guidelines.

I said, amazing. That means I can follow the guidelines, and we can all stay safe, and we can come back together when it's time. And who knows when it's gonna be time. But I have another in-home client who has a sliding door who I didn't offer this situation to, right? So it's a special situation for a friend.

So I get it, yeah. So how do you approach clients that aren't tech savvy, but they really wanna do virtual classes? I mean or how, I know you're saying that you haven't really been thrusting people into that. But I guess if you had advice for other people maybe. I have no technical advice.

I'm terrible at technology, I know nothing about it. If you ask my husband, I threw many, many fits, just trying to send a group email. So I'm sorry, I don't have any technical advice. I really am just kind of doing my best, and navigating as I go, and I'm imperfect at best. But I haven't been having to do this with clients, right?

So all most of the people who are coming to my classes are teachers-- Right. Who are all on Zoom. So they understand Zoom. I've never had to explain Zoom to anyone. That's fantastic.

I know. Well, that's very fortunate, right? Because I think there are many others who spend a great deal of time doing tech support piece, just to get them to sign up for a class, let alone what... Once they get there, then you really get to teach. I'm gonna check into the Q&A box just quick, and see if we can-- Love to mention I forgot that she and I ran the camera for Pilates Anytime in the beginning which is true.

Okay (laughing) yeah Christy. So Beatrix asks the question how large are the classes that you don't provide much feedback for? And she says my classes are about 12 people and they come to me because I do stare at the screen, and teach them that way. I get my exercise before the class. So how big are the classes where you just do the leading, all of them?

My biggest class I think has been well, I think my Pilates Anytime class has been my biggest class, but that's different for me because I can't see, right? I can't see anyone except for myself when I film on Zoom for Pilates Anytime, so I'm not gonna count that. Right, well. My biggest class I think has been 40 people. That's amazing Mary, wow.

And so I just I put it on gallery view, I put it on gallery view, so I can't even see myself on my computer. And we just go. They have since gotten much, much smaller as people are starting to go back to work, and studios are opening, and maybe people are getting tired of doing Zoom classes too. So now I have 20 to 25 in some, and sometimes six in another. But I think since I've ran it like the way I've ran it from the beginning, people know what to expect when they're coming to my class, and I've never offered that option to sit and watch them.

So they know that that's not gonna happen. Right. And that's just, there's nothing wrong with doing it the other way. It's just an not what I wanted to do, it doesn't feel good to me to do that. Yeah, yeah.

It feels good to me to create a moving energy, and let people all just be together in that way. And that's just the way I made my choice and-- Everyone, just like it would be a normal time, COVID or pandemic or not, is we are the teacher, where it's our opportunity to step in how we'd like. And even in a home studio situation, or meaning physical brick and mortar, not home studio, but some of us always go the movement with the class, like always. And some of us stand and talk it through, while the students are doing their movement. I think it's up to us as the teacher to do that.

We get to decide. Yeah. Some people are more comfortable with one versus the other. But we did--- I think sometimes is just relation, it's relative to how you were taught. So if you were taught to stand and walk, and teach that way, you learn.

Right. And I was taught with my teacher, I always with my teachers in every, as I came through my BASI training in every mat class I did with my teachers. So that's how I learned and that's how I do now. I'm not in a group class or on the equipment, or on a private session. But yeah, in that work, that's what I do.

Right, do you think you're gonna continue online, Zoom after the pandemic is over? This is a question from, I can't pronounce your name, Ferhouzi. I will continue to do online Zoom, yeah. I don't know that I'll continue to do all of the classes that I have right now. But I will continue to teach the weekly classroom for my friend in the UK from time to time.

I don't teach it every week. I will continue to teach for BASI headquarters. Wow. And I will continue to teach my Thursday 9am. My husband just got home.

(laughing) I will continue to teach my Thursday 9am class because it's the one that can reach the most people, and it's the one that's most well attended. That's wonderful. And it kinda keeps me going. I mean, what was so heartwarming for me when I started doing Zoom is just all the people who just wanted to be together, and move together, and breathe together, and seeing all these people coming from all these different parts of the world. People who I had students years and years ago, people who are my friends, people who are my colleagues came, and we just work together.

And like in the beginning when I would finish teaching class, I would literally lie on my mat and just cry. Oh yeah. I was so grateful. I hear you on that. It's a see, and it said, movement heals mentality.

And it's that that I think is what's motivating a lot of people, is that that response that you just shared, and that ability to collect that energy and exchange that. And I know that certain people have been asking, there's a question here from a woman named Sharon. I don't know how you will feel, but I so miss human connection, and then I find Zoom a little soulless. How do you keep things alive and motivate clients to turn up to Zoom? You just answered a part of it in a way of the after effects.

It's like waiting, is like satisfaction after that wonderful meal, is knowing that feeling you get after participating. But again, it's up to everyone individually, how they wanna come to class with someone. But do you have any other thoughts on keeping things alive and motivating clients to turn up to Zoom? I don't have many clients on Zoom. My clients don't Zoom.

The people who come to my classes are people who have met me through Pilates Anytime, maybe not in person, but they know me through the site or people who I've worked with in my teacher training capacity over the years. I have maybe three people who have been clients who come just to do the mat work. Okay. Who were always just mat clients. They were never any other clients.

I also can see the solace side of Zoom, which is why I don't do many... Which is why I only teach the mat classes. And then one-to-ones that I've done I have a very special situation for a friend. Right. So I don't wanna sit on my computer and teach over Zoom.

I miss human connection, I sure do. But being able to be together from around the world, I believe that provides human connection as well. I think it's our responsibility. Well, lemme say that differently. It's not our responsibility to do anything.

But what I'm trying to do in this time, or what my goal, just to make it through it mentally, 'cause it's a challenging time for us all and it's tiring, and we're all afraid and we're all uncertain, and I think we all ride an emotional rollercoaster. So what I'm trying to do is just step into that space, honestly, and talk about what I'm feeling, and share some positive energy. And I talk a lot about kindness, and trying to create physical energy. But like the things that we can create physically, I think we can also create mentally. So the things that we talk about, creating sensation in your body in different ways, well can we create sensation in how we relate to the world in different ways, mentally?

Right. So I think there's a link between movement and life. And if we can link those, then I don't know, I don't know how to go further with that idea, but there's a link between movement and life. And there's similar ideas like letting go-- Yeah. Finding peace, looking forward, not holding back, not pushing too hard, right?

Those are all life ideas, not just movement ideas. Right, no, I think this is like if there was a.. If we all made like a pros and cons list of teaching on Zoom, most of what you just said, for me it would be in the pro category, in the column of like, that's all amazing positive teaching. We're just in a different way, it's a very different realm. And someone's asking me about my teaching, and I think that's great.

I'll just touch a real quick thing. Yeah. When I'm have clients in person in front of me, I tend to be pretty hands on, come around, cue, come around, cue, come around, cue, And I love that. And I love that, I love that, I do miss that physical tactile response as well. I will say that can sometimes slow me down and slow down the flow, and my pacing. So what I've been finding delightful and satisfying is I can't touch them.

So I have to drive my train a little bit more fluidly. And in that is creating that rhythm and that flow, and kind of, of not kind of, it's an absolute boundary. I'm coming to meet them, they're coming to meet me, we were exchanging. A lot of the classes that I teach right now or for my own studio, and they're smaller. So in those, I can break them up, and come up and go, hey oh, no.

Do that, like Sarah, whoa, what's going on that ankle, remember your knee. Whoa, wait. And I like doing that. So that's how I'm doing my hands on. And I have a good number four or five that I do a week like that.

And that's providing me that human connection and personal connection. But when I do my life for Pilates Anytime, wow, it's a very different ballgame now, than when we're done in the filming studio. We can pause if we have a mental moment of like, where am I going? We have the luxury of being able to pause because we're being filmed, but when we're doing live, we're just going with the flow. And it's a different way of I don't know, creating that rhythm I guess.

So someone asked me, thank you Karen for asking me about my teaching. I can tell you more later, (laughing) but that's just a little bit. And Mary, someone who wants to know from you about your Thursday class. This is from Lise. If you can share the link for your Thursday morning Zoom class.

Maybe we can add that later guys, when this webinar comes out on the website. Some of these references will also be there. And Mary, does that feel comfortable for you? That feels comfortable for me. And also if she is comfortable leaving her email address on the chat, I can send it to her by email.

Oh boy, there you go. Fine. Okay, that is beautiful, that's wonderful. Okay, I'm wanna look through some more of these questions, Mary. So I just wanna speak to-- Yes.

Speak to what you just said a little bit, while you look through the questions. I just, I'm finding myself in a very unique position right now because I don't have children at home, and I'm not homeschooling, and I don't have a studio, I don't own a studio, so I'm not having to, like I know many of us are having to do Zoom. I know many of us are having to do Zoom to keep our clients connected, to try and make money to keep our studios open. I know that's a very real thing. It's just not a reality for me.

I'm very, find myself in a very privileged position of just being able to give and not worry about surviving. Yes I will say that's wonderful. And I love that for you. And I do. And they'll probably be, there's many people probably in our webinar here today, and other places that are in the similar position.

I am not that one in a way. Yeah I know, I don't have kiddos. I don't have a spouse to have that time with. But I certainly have a studio, and it's a large one, and it is there. Some questions coming in around studio stuff.

Yeah. So maybe this is a good time, is that a very large weight that is sitting on my shoulders of how to keep... What I'm doing with that is how to keep my mind open to possibilities with that. So the Zoom classes that I've been teaching for my studio, first, I started doing them at the studio, because I felt that was the best place to do them. To say, kinda keep the clients feeling like they were home in a way.

But to be quite honest, it's very easy for me to use this room. And I go back and forth between the two. My studio is not too far from my house, so I can get my things together and I go there. But it's different, it's different. I feel more comfortable here in a way.

Let's see. I'm gonna ask a question from Karen, on one of our Santa Barbara friends and teachers. She once like to ask about teaching on equipment versus floor, and how to see those bigger groups. But maybe can you just do quick on equipment over Zoom versus floor over Zoom? I don't do equipment classes on Zoom.

So I can speak to that. Yeah, has anyone asked you to do a private? My two privates that I've done on Zoom. Yeah. She has a spine corrector.

Okay. A tower system that.. the wall unit. I can use those two pieces of equipment, but that's all that we have available to us. And she's the only person I've given a Zoom one-to-one.

So I just don't have advice because I haven't done it. Yeah, no, no, I imagine there's some teachers out there who would have much, much better advice than I do 'cause they are doing, large group classes. But I don't, I can't answer that question 'cause I don't have experience in that. I can answer that just quick. I also only have one and a half, meaning she does a 30-minute session.

I have one client who does a full hour once a week, before she was doing two privates at my studio. But her lifestyle is pretty full right now. So she agreed to do one Zoom. We're actually doing FaceTime but similar, once a week, and she does have equipment. So I'm doing this with her in her studio.

And I'm doing the best I can as well. And I know her well enough that I can say to her, "client, remember that cue, putting on your skirt, this is a moment to put your skirt on." Or, "remember the cue that we talked about when that foot is on that bar. This is a moment right now. I can't put my hand on your foot, but this is your moment. Remember those cues in the studio." So I'm being present.

And that's all we can really do at this point is show up and be present the best we can. And the other girl that I do a 30-minute session with is an older girl who has very specific things that she wants from me. Three things, we do 30 minutes. And she's very organized. 10 minutes for this idea, 10 minutes for this and 10 minutes for that.

I write her up some notes afterward, and I emailed the notes. Here's your homework, next week, we go on to more. How is that? It's very fun, I love that. So I would encourage everyone who's having some, maybe some questions on how to stay motivated, or repetitive, if you have an opportunity, if especially the smaller groups, Mary doesn't have that many smaller groups, guys, if you're hearing this.

She's gotten these larger class formats and teachers that are coming to her for additional teacher training, which I'm gonna ask you about in a second. But for us that are teaching more clients, from our studios, we have to ask them what their goals are. You really have to keep asking during this time that you can't be on your reformer, how can I help serve you the best right now? And if someone's saying," Amy, my knees are still hurting, can you give me some help?" Absolutely, I'm their teachers still. Yeah, definitely.

Yeah, yeah. Also goes back to the idea is we just have to be descriptive. Yes, we do. I can use my hands to.. I use my hands more to, I don't know, I'm gonna spin around in circles here a minute.

I use my hands to feel, more than I use them to... I use them to advise and also to feel what's happening. But I can also use words and be descriptive. I feel enough, so that even though we don't have hands on, we can still get the idea. So like when especially on equipment, so, and then it just goes back to like, what do you try to do when you're doing movement?

What are you trying to do when you're moving on your equipment, or what are the things that you're feeling or looking for when you're doing self practice? Describe that. Exactly, exactly, love that, that's beautiful, yeah. Okay, I have a question for you. And this is really has to do, I'm torn right now, because there's some great questions in the chat.

I mean, the Q&A, not the chat, (laughing) we asked them to come to Q&A. And also for you as a teacher trainer in the world, how do you feel about teacher training in the time of pandemic, and or knowing that we may not get back to the way we weren't doing things in person, in the flesh, and skin with each other? As a student, or person maybe wanting to pursue teacher training or let's say better yet, in the midst of teacher training, where we used to go to modules at a studio, but no longer can we do that. Instead the module is online, right? How do you think the students are feeling 'cause you're working with some of them.

Are they feeling satisfied? Because there might be some people in this audience right now who are teacher trainers in the making. Any advice for them? I don't can't speak to that completely directly, 'cause I haven't really asked the students how it's going. Okay.

I could ask the person running the training program to tell me that I can't now. (laughing) But what I would say to students who are going through training right now is just stick with it. Stick with it. And you can create. Like if you're learning how to do a bicep curl, you can make the bicep curl.

You can learn how to find the connections to your body that you would need to do that on the equipment. You just mark the movement. You can work many, many, many movements on the equipment. It's not exactly the same. Right.

But you can still have the education. I don't think it's ideal, if I'm honest. I don't wanna do it. I don't want it. There are so many incredible teachers who I would love to learn from offering things on Zoom.

I've taken nothing. I don't wanna learn polities on Zoom, personally. But if you're in a training course, and you wanna finish your training course, and you're being offered your training course online, just stick with it. You'll get to the studio eventually, I think. That seems to-- I think (murmuring) I just, I don't have the energy to try to look at learn pilates online.

I don't wanna learn a lot from my computer. It's just my opinion. I don't wanna do it. Yeah, and I probably-- I should do it in class. No, I should have said at the beginning of the webinar, which I did not, but we're having a dialogue, two teachers dialogueing.

And in my opinion, that's what teaching is. Whether we're teaching about how to get on Zoom, and the technology of it, how to teach the roll up, how to teach about gardening, it requires dialogue. And that can happen in this dialogue, it can happen over email dialogue, it can happen in person dialogue. So everyone's different. Mary doesn't have the answers to everything, and I don't have the answers to everything.

We have beautiful opinions. Sometimes they're shared, sometimes you're different. I haven't minded too much some of the teaching that I've done, which is a little bit less fluid, meaning where I get up to there and go, "Oh, Sara, whoa, well back up your truck." I kinda like that, but I don't think I could sustain doing a whole teacher training that way. And it might inspire some people to purchase their own equipment if they're just dying to get on the reformer again. And I'm not plugging any equipment maker, 'cause I love them all.

But maybe it's time for people to investigate some of that. I've had clients asked me that about my own studios in terms of when I'm I opening, and we have a few webinars on those topics. I don't think that you and I need to go into that right now. But some people might not come back-- That's very true. You know what I mean?

Some people may not come back to the physical space that you used to teach in, which you will go back to, I hope when they open, to see you that way. So what if they reach out to you and say, "Mary, I'm not going to return to the physical studio? I am going to purchase a reformer, would you teach me?" Oh yeah, 100%, sure. Okay, well, there you go. Sure.

Yeah, okay. I mean, as long as I don't have to be on my computer for six hours a day, yeah I will. But yeah, if they're my client already, and they are looking for a solution, if they're already my student, and they're just looking for a solution, and they just wanna move their bodies, yes, I would do. Yeah, yeah. That's why I've done the ones that I've done.

Because it's a friend, and she's like, "this is what I have, can you teach me?" And I said yes. No, not at the same time, not three times a week, but yeah, from time to time, sure. Yeah, someone's asking, Jamie, who's asking that she has a private studio in Culver City. I'm not quite ready to have clients return, but I'm starting to think about it. What are your thoughts?

I would add, you'd be really ready when you're ready. And don't rush, I would say. I think if you have... I think we just all have to do what feels safe to us as individuals. If it were me, and I had a private studio where it was just me, I would still probably wait for the state to give us opening guidelines before I opened my studio to the public.

That's just me. Now I know teachers who have been teaching through the whole Stay At Home. And I have no judgment around that, zero. But for me personally, what I'm trying to do in my life, in this situation is watch the science, watch the numbers, I might even let others to, other teachers go into the studio before me. Now our studio is actually busy now.

So there's not room for me all the time on in all times, so I have to be, I don't even know if I can teach there right now, because they're limiting teachers. Right. And teachers who are first back into the studio, of course get preferential treatment because they were first back to support the studio. So everyone is just making their choices at this time. Personally, I am still practicing mostly Stay At Home.

I mean, I go outside, I go running, I do visit the studio where I have work, but I'm not teaching clients there. I have started to see my friends from time to time, we sit outside. Right. So that's feeling good. I feel safe about that.

I feel like if a restaurants can be open, then I can see three or four girlfriends at a time outside. Yeah. I mean like I'm just watching what's happening in science, in the state, Our numbers in Santa Barbara are very good. (murmuring) So I'm starting to feel like it's more safe to do small gatherings. I've only done outdoor gatherings now.

If you're ready to open your space, and it's just you and your person, I think we have to start going forward at some stage. We can't be afraid forever, right? And so I just we all just have to make our own personal choices. Agreed. Like go when you're ready.

Yeah, go when you're ready. When you're ready. And go back first to the people who bring you joy, not the people who bring you down. That's my personal advice. Oh yes, that's it.

Say that again, say that a bit louder (laughing). You don't have to but--- I said, what I'm trying to think about in my own practice, which I've restructured a few times over the years, is that when it is time to go back to work, real work, I wanna go back to the people who bring me joy. I don't wanna go back to the people who are negative, who bring me down. And I can do that. I can make those choices, which Makes me feel very lucky, and also a little braggy.

But it's just I don't wanna work with the people who bring me down anymore. I don't want to. I've just opened up this whole horizon of the possibility of worldwide connection, I can continue to do what I'm doing instead. Absolutely, absolutely, all of us can. I think something that's, you know like, I think we were talking the other day or I might have been talking to Mandy about this, when we're all together is the lotus flower.

I'm not gonna go to earthy right now, but that's a beautiful flower that rises out of mud, and blooms from murky water and mud. And it blooms in this beautiful... It offers this gorgeous, beautiful becoming, and it's out of murky water that it comes. And we can do the same. I think this time has been pivotal for so many reasons.

So much introspection has happened. We've had hours and hours and hours and hours-- To be by ourselves. (laughing) To be self to be alone. That interview was pretty nice. But all to take a look into like peek through the door of what's next.

And the phrase rat on a wheel has come up a lot in conversations on Facebook, other social platforms, where many of us teachers feel that we have been on a daily rat on the wheel. And many of us feel like it, I'm speaking for myself at this point, no one else. I'm ready to jump off that wheel. Me too. It was dragging me down.

It was creating fatigue that wasn't healthy. I have looked at my own health during this last three months, and making that a priority. (laughing) And that means I have to let go of certain things. But the certain things I'm letting go of are that's okay. Everything has a coming and going.

But that leaves room for more, maybe simpler, but more expanded ways of teaching and being. So I think that's, I'm hearing that from you too is choice making. Yeah. Yes, there's more. Yes, we're getting questions about in the chat the details for Mary's Thursday morning class.

Yes, just tell them to give you their emails, and you'll give me the emails, and I'll send the email. It's from months ago, it's just a forward now But please, yeah, come to class, I would love to. So what's so fun for me on Zoom is being able to see everyone's faces and being able to say hi, and how are you, and what's going on where you are, and that's like that community connection that's been really valuable in keeping me going, keeping my spirits lifted, knowing that I'm giving, knowing that I can do that. And that opportunity for me to give has given me an opportunity to remember that I can make choices in my own experience around how I choose to go through this space. Exactly.

How I choose to mentally step into this space, how I choose to navigate my emotional spinning during this space, which I think we all do, we all spin. But I think movement can bring us back to the ground. It can take us back home, in our home. (chuckling) But like, yeah. Yeah.

Karen says she's doing a course with Madeline Black. Don't get me wrong. I was not saying anything negative about any teacher who's doing online courses. I think they're amazing, I think Madeline Black is incredible. There's many amazing teachers, and good for you for doing that.

I just can't. (laughing) That's was my point. Not that not that we shouldn't. Right. It's just not for me.

I think there's something to... I want is if any one of my other students are listening, something that's been kinda fun for me is because I own a studio, I've created these live Zoom classes for my studio classes and that. I've had students from the past who've been... They've moved away, gone on to their lives, in their own teaching careers and other cities and things. And I'll check my class list for the day, and I'll see their name in there.

And it does bring up like, "Oh my gosh, that was so and so from seven or eight years ago. And they're coming into take class right now from me through the studio that they used to do study with." And that is a joy. Speaking of joy, thank you, Aaron, thank you Summer, some of the girls who've taken class, and as well as in my Pilates Anytime live class in this little room at 8:30 on Tuesdays. So I've got two opportunities to do that. And it does bring me joy to teach, and I hear it in your voice, I see it in your eyes, it comes out of me.

And that won't change, whether it's a pandemic, or else what, otherwise. It's teaching, and showing up to be the teacher that I know I am. We're running close to time. I wanna ask you if there's any last piece of advice, or where do you think pilates is going, Mary? (laughing) That could be a whole nother webinar, but where do you think we're going?

I don't know. Okay. I think we're gonna have some more online pilates. I think unfortunately, we're gonna lose some studios, and that's just heartbreaking. I don't know where pilates is going.

But what I what I believe is that we have the power in this moment to stay connected if we choose. And we are choosing all of us in our different ways, whether it's online courses, or just mat classes, or Zooming up with our clients, we are making that choice to stay connected to each other, and committed to movement practice, and breath, and life, right? We're coming together to celebrate that we're healthy and alive. Yes. And I think we just have to continue to move through that day by day, and every day will come with what it does, and we have to just keep breathing, and going forward in the best way that we can.

Christy, I'm gonna end with this. This is beautiful and Christine Cooper, pilates is the ability to adapt to the unexpected. And I agree with you more. It allows us to stay in the present and adapt, and show up, and take it day by day. And it sounds like we're all doing that.

Pilates is the ability to yes, from Ron Fletcher, okay. (laughing) Yeah, Mary, thank you so much. Thank you for inviting me. It's nice to chat with you Dialogue, absolutely. And for all of you who are here, this will be up on the website, I don't know, in within a week-ish or so.

The links will be there over here, where we've gathered your emails, and Mary will receive those, so you can receive her link, the link to her class. We will post the other references, and links to the references we spoke about-- And happy for you to link it on Pilates Anytime too, and the course does, when this does come up. I'm happy to provide the there, but it won't come up right away. So if you wanna come right away. Like Erie say, like tomorrow.

I know, like tomorrow. (laughing) Okay, oh my God, I hate to say goodbye, but I think it's time we have to say goodbye and log out. Alright, well, I'll see you soon. See you soon. And thank you everyone for coming.

Thanks everyone for coming. I'll see you very soon, bye. Bye.

Comments

Amy
2 people like this.
Absolutely loved this talk. Meri is such a gift and I am so grateful for her guidance and great example as an instructor. Thank you!
2 people like this.
I loved this talk too. Meredith has such a beautiful  presence and is an inspiration for me too. I love her philosophy and I love moving with her in her classes. I feel reassured that moving with the clients in my online zoom classes is an okay way to deliver the class too as wasn’t  sure if I were the only one not  really observing or correcting the class in this format. Thank  you both Amy and Meredith. 
3 people like this.
Wow I didn’t get the opportunity to watch this live but was able to watch this evening. MeriMeredith Rogers  thank you for your candour and I’m sending you a virtual hug.  You are always so peppy and positive in your classes and tonight this was raw and honest and I found the dialogue between yourself and Amy Havens so refreshing. A silver lining to the lockdown has been the increased opportunity to practice Pilates more often (whilst juggling work and children but no commute) and I’ve made the weekly live classes a staple. II’m really enjoying the live classes. Meredith Rogers Can you send me the link for your Thursday classes please?
Thanks ladies!  Laura I think we all have to just do what works and know that if our students keep showing up then it's probably ok. Kerry there have been a few silver linings for me....
Kim
2 people like this.
I know some people will not be coming back, and I'm 100% okay with that. My priorities have shifted, and I'm restructuring my schedule to work for ME first.
2 people like this.
Meredith Rogers Thank you so much. My students keep coming back and your perspective helps me trust in my own process . I really appreciate that. Thank you. I'd love to come to your classes - I live in Europe and have my own online class at exactly the time time as your 9am class, and so cant make it!! When I change my schedule I will come. I love your classes. 
2 people like this.
Kim .. agreed!  It's time more of us focussed on the ME factor, !

Laura Kerry Amy thanks for tuning into our discussion!!
@Amy Havens Thank you so much. It was a really great discussion and you both are super inspiring. XX
Thank you beautiful ladies.  I loved listening to this.  I am a Pilates instructor in Cape Town, South Africa and I started online Zoom classes with my students as soon as we went into lockdown.  I did not want to lose our momentum of movement and I just knew this was the way to go.  It has been so successful and it was great to listen to you as I realised I am on the right track.  I am also very chilled with my group classes as Meredith said.  If they want a dark screen, that's their choice.  I just tell them when setting up that if you can see your mat then I'll see you when you're working out.  I've also kept my times very close to normal so that everyone feels the normality and keeps their routine going.  But just so awesome to hear from two AMAZING instructors who I love watching on Pilates Anytime.  Tracy.
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