Discussion #4196

Return to Teaching

55 min - Discussion


On July 14, 2020, we talked to Kristi Cooper about her experience returning to regular teaching after 10 years of being behind the scenes at Pilates Anytime. She explains what her teaching schedule was before and at the beginning of PA and then shares how she felt when she gave up her clients. She also talks about losing confidence and gaining it back as she has started teaching live classes from her garage.
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Jul 16, 2020
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Thank you for being here, and I'm going to just ask Kristi, yeah, take me back, take me back in pre-Pilates Anytime time. Okay, so we're going back a ways, and kinda describe your general teaching life. What was a normal, typical day in your teaching life? Well, for one, I got to hang out with Lesley and Lisa a lot more than I do now. But a normal teaching life was teaching.

Teaching, teaching, teaching. My teaching life, thank you, Amy. You're welcome. Thank you-- yeah, it's nice to have a different question than, "How did... Yeah, well, hold on.

Oh, okay. No, I'm kidding, go. But yeah, no, I don't mind, I don't mind. I taught like everyone else does. I probably averaged around 30 hours a week.

If you really want the day, it was started at seven or eight and I'd usually go till one or two, and then, I used to take naps. I'd take a nap and go back in the afternoon and maybe teach a mat class. But most of my practice, for the majority of the time, was... One-to-one, couple of mat classes, and then I have the privilege of working for BASI Pilates. So I got to teach on weekends and sometimes go to really fabulous places, that would take longer than a weekend to do.

But yeah, generally, it was a consistent 30 hours a week with clients at a gym with me, some 15 years, some first-day, but most of them had been there a while. Right, right, right, right, which is, that's a long, so 30 hours, I don't know right now, to think of teaching 30 hours of week, and the way we do, which will we, definitely going in that direction in our conversation. But 30, and I agree with you, Florence, 30 is a lot. 30 hours of week of teaching one-to-one mainly, and groups is a lot of output and energy and attention output. But I think many of us, we like it.

We teach, that's what we do. What did you like about it, Kristi? What did I like about it, I liked, I wanna say everything, but that wouldn't be true. (softly laughs) I liked... I mean, some of these clients that I had, so I have to put my hands in my pockets or they'll be everywhere.

So, some of my clients-- I'm doing this a lot. Were with me for, again, 10, 15 years and that can get quickly, if you're not in the right space, draining. So what I liked about it was the constant curiosity that I seemed to have. And also, as I got further along in my teaching, I learned to go, okay, wait, who is this person today against, or using these exercises, who is this person? Who is Amy when she's working on 100 today as opposed to last Tuesday when I worked with her?

And that became this little puzzle inside and I just loved doing it. And then I kinda, it let me teach to that. So I loved the puzzle, I loved the discovery that I found in myself, my teaching, and also, hopefully, and I think sometimes, that they found them themselves, based on where they were in their life. Yeah, beautiful, I love it. It's like, damn, I mean, I'm not a people person, but I like...

I like (softly chuckles) "Do this, okay, do it this way." And then also the inquiry that sometimes people would get, and the not knowing. That's the one case I would say in teaching that the uncertainty was something I relished. The uncertainty of today, not so much. But basically, yeah, so what do you mean? Yeah, can you explain that?

'Cause there might be some newer teachers, I mean, teachers in the world that haven't been teaching it many years yet wondering, "What does she mean by that?" Oh, well, when you're new you know everything, right? You know everything when you're new 'cause you inhale here and you exhale there, and it starts here and then you go there, and that ends up being the biggest gift as a teacher. And you go, from my perspective, you have to start that way. But over time, especially if you have a consistent clientele and you're working with that person, that's where the curiosity has to come in or you're just gonna burn out. So, the uncertainty was something that motivated me when it came to teaching.

The, okay, who is she today against who I am today, against the method? And let's see what we can do in this hour. So yeah, and the uncertainty of the state of the world today is a little less comfortable for me. Yeah, save that, that's coming, that's big juicy stuff. Okay, all right.

Okay, and I mean, I would be silly to not ask you, what didn't you like about teaching 30 hours a week? And maybe the, I don't wanna say it this way in a negative way, but the kinda same schedule everyday, everyday. Yeah, yeah, that was part of it, being able to tell time by who walked through the door. I don't have clocks in my house anymore. I just don't. Nice.

'Cause they freak me out, I just, like, "Oh, god, I only have five more minutes." Or, "Oh, someone's on their way." So, I don't miss that heavy, heavy schedule. I also don't miss people thinking I could fix them versus them tapping into themselves. There was a lot of, "What do you think?" And, "Do you think it's my psoas?" I'm like, in the early days, I'd be like, "Yes. "But probably because of your left shoulder "and you carry your purse on the left shoulder," whatever it was. So that puzzle kinda kept me going for a long time.

But then later it was like, "I don't know. "Why do you think your back hurts? "Why do you think you can't exhale today, or ever?" And just like letting it. So I don't miss people thinking that I can somehow fix them. I hear you. I can't, so,

it's pretty much up to them. Yeah, yeah-- (crosstalk drowns out words) For trying, but. Yeah, right, and right, "Thank you for coming to us teachers," and I get that, I think might, when I first was a learner, a student of Pilates, I think was certainly going because, A, I was referred to go, I was in some pain. And I thought that's what they were supposed to do, was to help me fix me. And I mean, as a seasoned teacher, who can then cross that bridge for themself to them kinda, instead of lean, there's a little leaning in with it, but there's also a little leaning out with, "Well, wait a minute, they need to find this on their own.

"How can I help them find that on their own?" Whatever that is, right? Yeah, yeah. Instead of just like, "Inhale for five, exhale for five." All that's good, in that. And is totally necessary. We have to start there but then also, there's that time where, so do you know when that time occurred for you when you started to feel a need to kind of do a little bit of change or shift, in the way you've taught?

Yeah, I do, actually. Tell me, tell us, can you? Yeah, I think so. Yeah, I went to the lab, you did it, too. I went to the lab, dissection lab.

Amy and I, and Madeline, all sorts of us have gone and taken Gil Hedley's Integral Anatomy Dissection. And for me that was, the experience of actually doing the dissection, 'cause that we, we don't just look at it. We're partaking in it and it's beautiful, believe it or not. But you do it and, for me, it was like I never felt so much in my whole life. So the long story short is I became alive.

I felt like this inanimate body, this... This remain, it's not the word I wanna use, but anyway, this, it's like looking at a book of somebody's life, and you're going through, but it still had more energy than I did. And this was in 2008, so I've been teaching 25 something years by that point. And I just realize like, I need to let go a little bit. I've been so regimented on how I, I mean, all I did was teach.

So that's all I've done my whole life. So I liked knowing when I inhale, I liked knowing when I exhale. I like knowing what's supposed to happen so that I can correct it when it doesn't. But when you're in the lab, it was like, huh, for one, the thing had more energy, and for two, that could be me someday. And all of that, there was more than that.

All that came together in a way of like, you know what? I don't have to know everything as a teacher. And it was literally overnight, I started just asking different questions when I taught, that's it. I hope that was comprehensive enough, but that was it, and it was a moment. I remember that moment, because, and I'll share, I'd like to share this part, is-- Please.

And for those that don't know, Kristi had never seen my teach before. I was invited to teach for Pilates Anytime. She had a trust and knew people that we just knew each other in town, and kinda took a leap of faith with me, and I appreciate that, thank you. But there was a night that I went down to take class, Kristi was still teaching a Tuesday night mat class, Thursday, too, maybe, Tuesday, Thursday? No, just the Tuesday-- Tuesday, Mary had Thursday.

That's right, it was just the Tuesday. Anyway, I went down to take class and I knew that she had just gotten back from the lab, being away for a week in San Francisco. Might've been your second year, I don't remember. And I was one of those people, guys, I was this, "What did the psoas look like?" I think I was so enamored, I was like, "What did the psoas look like?" And, was either the psoas or the QL, I was so interested to know what it looked like and Kristi's look on her face, I won't be able to reproduce it because it was her look, but it was this look like, "Oh, girl, you don't know what, "you have no idea what," but it was a loving look. No, no, it was a loving look of, "Oh, you don't know, but I don't know how to explain to you "that it doesn't really matter because something new," I felt from Kristi as my teacher that evening in class, something's different.

Something was different in the way she was, not, no longer instructing the, all those regimented, look at how we both are doing this with our hands, guys, it's interesting, being like, (Kristi softly laughing) we didn't plan that. But that energy and that pacing, and that sync, and that whatever that is in teaching, which is always necessary and is a valuable. But there is a time where then, it's like there's just more of a vaporous, like a space, where you just go, "I don't know." And it becomes more of a feeling thing that the recipient has to do on their own. I don't know, but it was really, for me, that was magical, and I remember then kinda like, I better go to that lab. I wanna go see what that is so I can feel whatever that is.

And I can say my teaching changed after going in there too, for sure. Yeah, it was the QL, I'm almost positive, because I, (static drowns out Amy) my response would have been just being like, "Well, it's the QL until it becomes the," (both softly chuckle) like, we're all one. Yeah, it doesn't ever-- I went, "You and me, too." That was how it related for me, and so that-- Yeah, it may have absolutely been something like that. So, anyway, the curiosity, I think, gotcha, and then it did, it shifted. But then, okay, let's kind of fast forward a little bit.

So, Pilates Anytime was started, and Kristi was still teaching. But then when did you stop teaching and how did that go about? Can you explain a little bit to everybody how you made the, some of you have already heard this. But for those of you who haven't, when did Kristi make the change to let go of teaching? The way she was.

I'm happy to talk about it, and actually, not that many people do ask about it, so thank you. I don't know if it's interesting or not. You're a teacher, if all you've had is a job teaching, that's really it, or whatever job you have, to let it go... It was like letting go of me. So how it happened was, John and Ted, my business partner, Amy, you're in there, too.

But anyway, John and Ted, in the early days, they were like, "Let's do this, let's do that." And I'm like, "Not this, not that." And, "I don't even know how to do email," and all that. And then, we were gonna do two days a week, and it never was two days a week. Not because we were overnight successes, but because we worked really, really hard. We'd get like an inch, and then another inch, and another inch, and be like, "Okay, so let's keep going." So for two years, is the answer, 2012 is when I had the good fortune of handing my practice over to Jen Wood, who we know here in town. And she just was coming back to visit and I was taking a sabbatical, in my mind, 'cause I couldn't let go, I couldn't let go.

And this was two years into Pilates Anytime, so-- Sorry, sorry, yeah. Two years in, okay, yes. That's right, so two years in, and I honestly knew I was gonna get sick if I didn't, something didn't give and I'd heard John and Ted one too many times say, "So when are you gonna give up your practice?" I'm like, "Never." (softly chuckles) And then it was, you gotta practice what you preach in whatever way, and I learned to reconcile with it about six years later. (softly chuckles) But I had the good fortune of a friend coming down to visit her family, she moved up to Shasta, and said, "Why don't you take my practice for six weeks?" And it turned into now eight years. Yeah.

Yeah, is that the question? That was the question. Well, that was part of the question, yeah. So during PA, just for everyone else's knowledge, that Kristi has not been teaching clients the way she used to during running, and owning, and designing, and creating this beautiful platform that we're on right now. And yeah, you have to let go to let in, I think is what occurred.

And okay, so we're in the midst of Pilates Anytime's growth and you're watching other people teach. As being a host in the room, and behind the cameras, and watching, making sure that the whole, all the filming day goes successfully, et cetera. Yeah, do you miss any, thank you, Lesley, do you miss teaching? I think we can also address that in just a little bit, maybe save that thought, or we can integrate that now. When you were watching others teach, were you missing teaching then, or how did that feel for you?

I think it-- I was on fire for a while. And that's not necessarily a good thing. But it felt really good. And so it was like, oh, my gosh, so-and-so said yes. You said yes.

All the, what we used to call the regular teachers, said yes on the first go, so I knew I was onto something. And I actually held onto that Tuesday night class for several years, and I held onto one client at home. Because I felt like that legitimized me, and we held onto the studio, until this December, as a functioning studio because that legitimized what I was trying to do. And we did the Legacy Project 'cause that legitimized the idea. All things very, very important to me.

So I held onto those things and, I'm sorry, what's the part I'm missing now? I missed part of the question. No, that's right, well, when other people were coming into the studio to be filmed, how did that feel for you standing back, directing them as the teacher now, and you not being the teacher? Well, in the beginning, it was amazing. I couldn't believe they showed up, for one, so I guess that's where I was going.

And then secondly, I lost confidence, pretty soon immediately. That, coupled with a couple of injuries, I lost a fair amount of confidence. I was like, "Oh, no, it's more important "if I am behind the scenes." And you know, "Amy, you do it." (softly laughs) Yeah, no, I got out of, for one year, I got out of filming as much as I could. I think I taught three classes. I kinda just, it grew more than I thought it would.

It became something I wasn't thinking it would, not that I didn't think it would go well, but it was just different, and it was just a lot to handle for this kid. So, yeah, that, was just, I had lost a bit of confidence. I think that's very normal. Saw how nervous I was beforehand (softly laughs) I'm getting it back, but. Hey, but you know what?

I'm gonna say thank you for saying that because takes a lot to admit that. I mean, it's hard being a teacher. It's hard, Ron Fletcher, I heard him say in a workshop once, and I feel like his presence was, we're all standing in line, and we're like, I probably had the magic circle getting ready to squeeze it. But he made a comment about how big of a responsibility it was to be a teacher. And he was making a point, making a point.

And I heard that man's voice, not the words, what he meant, and took that into heart. And so it's not easy, and if you're feeling, there's a helicopter, sorry, guys. That's my helicopter (laughter drowns out words) Yeah, they were over Kristi's house a while ago. It's not always easy to be the one in front, being the one in charge in that way. It's an ebb and flow and I think it takes a lot of courage, sometimes, to just say, "I need a little time out." Or, "I just need to step back," or for all the reasons.

And that we can go in and contemplate, or we can just go in and let permeate what it is. I think all teachers go through things like this. I assume so, yeah. So I'm going to address, so again, just real quick, you guys, if you have questions, I'm gonna answer this in just quick, or ask it, but put those in the Q and A, if you don't mind. This is the chat over here, but someone's asking you, and we can ask this right now, why did you lose your confidence?

Maybe you don't know. I think Florence asked that, I see that. I don't have a great answer, but I guess it had to do with the rapid, massive change in my life, and the lack of, you know, Ted and John, Ted builds websites, John's a businessman, and here I was coming in going, "I really hope Deborah Lessen'll come." So it just felt like I wasn't keeping up in some ways there. But as far as teaching goes, Deborah Lessen coming through the door, Amy Alpers is coming through the door, Amy Havens is coming through the door, Meredith, and so everyday was watching these brilliant teachers. And I'm also going, trying to keep them on their own game, which I'm very good at, by the way.

So that was where I had confidence. I had confidence around going, some version of, "Let me help you be you," for each person. But for myself, I was not so good at that. So I think over time, I just, I don't know if I was tired or if I was over stimulated. But I think that was part of it, to be honest.

I think it was like, I was getting a divorce, it was just like too much. So let me just hand over to the pros because, seems to be working and they're coming through. So that's, I think, why I lost confidence. Yeah, I'm gonna add to that because I look at that as not a lack of confidence, but recognizing confidence in another way. You just said yourself, and I would 100% agree, your talent, and one of the many, which there is a long list of talents here, to be able to, "Yeah, you bet," and to direct someone else.

Let's say a Deberoah Lessen, and Amy Alpers, all of the people that we, you and I have really studied from and followed for years and years, and probably still do and love to, of course we do, of letting and having them show up as the teacher that they are. You are teaching them in a different way. So you weren't the teacher of the Pilates this way, like you know, you were teaching in a different way. So teaching is a really beautiful thing. It shows itself in lots of different compartments.

And that was a compartment I think I saw you using, and utilizing, and growing into. Growing out of. I didn't know I was, but I think you're right. Probably. Oh, yeah-- I'll go there, I'm good at that. (softly laughs) Yeah, and building the brand and building the confidence that we have and that they all felt accepted, seen, heard, valued, so you were teaching.

So that's what I would see, that's what I did see. I observed that all the time. Because you know, at the early days, I was in class as often as I could. I was down in that studio as often as I could because my gosh, there's these amazing people coming 10 miles away from my house, of course I would go take classes. So I was observing, and learning in a different way, too, myself, at that.

Yeah, well, thank you. Yeah, okay. I'm just gonna go, let's start talking more about current day, okay. I'm not gonna go COVID happy here. We know the world is in a completely different place right now.

But despite COVID, technology has really developed and accelerated, and Instagram, of course, is a big, big, big platform, Facebook and things, where all these live, like quick snips of stuff on like Instagram, for example, all these quick blurbs of people showing up and teaching, and showing themselves. And then the live stories, and it's all, on-demand is fantastic, but now this other realm is here. And it's not going away either. And so, what were your first feelings around, not the live that we're doing right this minute, but live, other live kinda-- Sorry, you're referring to Instagram and that kinda thing? Or are you, okay. Yeah, let's talk that first,

and then we'll come this way. Okay, so... I always wanted these two to happen this way. I think Instagram for people seeing it, I don't know who gets to see it. That's where I get a little caught, is like does everyone get to see Lisa Hubbard be beautiful?

Because she is, anyhow, so that is that. And then it's also a little scary when you don't know who it is, and you don't know what is their training and that's a little bit how Pilates Anytime started, honestly. I was like, you can't put Pilates online. No one does that, that's just wrong. And if you're gonna do a DVD, you've gotta be Rael, or you know, somebody.

And then I saw what was on YouTube already. And so I think there's good, I hate to play that full diplomatic role, but I do, I think that there is good for getting people to understand like, "I wanna check that out." I also think it's a little scary for people to go out and go, when people show up and say, "Teach me that move I saw," whoever do, when they haven't done the work that the people I enjoy watching have done. So that's how I feel about that. Yeah, okay, yeah, and I just-- Is a little scary and it's also like, well, if it gets somebody to come check us out. Well, there's that, and I think that it's, yeah, I agree, and we don't, I really didn't mean, I'm not, definitely don't wanna spend a lot of time on the Instagram and that form of live, because we're really more about returning to teaching, and as you have now.

So we'll fast forward, we were in technology, but okay, so now we're filming live, Pilates Anytime filming live classes. We had talked about doing that before the COVID pandemic hit. It was too hard. Right. That's why we never did it.

(softly laughing) It's too complicated. Or so we thought. Yeah, or so we thought. Or so was thought, but-- That's right. But, okay, so middle of March comes.

What were you doing when you heard about the shutdown? You, personally, and then think about your company and decision-making around, "How are we gonna film "if we cannot be in our studio? "What the heck are we gonna do?" Probably in both cases I was a little like, "Wait, what?" Like, "How is that even, like, how do you, "how's anyone going to move on?" And for me, I had just... I almost gloated about making it for 10 years. We started in a garage and now, you know, I said it to the teachers who work with us.

But still, it was like, I was so proud. So proud. As you should be, yeah. Well, yeah, sure, but not without the help of others. But then, next thing I know, I'm in the garage again.

I mean, well, the good news is I work hard enough that I have one now. But still, I'm in my garage, and I, I'll tell you what, I was so upset. I was just upset, I was like, how can you give up, sometimes it feels like that, or how can you do so much, sometimes it feels like that. Or how can so many people, this is more the truth, do so much for you and then all of a sudden, all you can offer up is you in your garage, again? 'Cause that's literally how we started, Ted, John, and I, in their garage, his garage, Ted's garage.

So kind of highly ironic that (softly chukles) whoop, whoop. Yeah, and yeah, I could, I'm gonna do my best not to cuss, I was pissed off. I was just, I didn't even know it, but I was like, everyone's gotta go home, you know, anyway. What more do you wanna know, I'll tell you. Yeah, no, no, no, no, so for those of you who, so, Kristi's new filming studio location live is in her garage in that beautiful home.

And I love what Kristi's done with her set. We kind of all call it our set. You guys, you've all seen it, got the-- I change it. (softly chuckles) Oh, you've changed it? And it'll probably be changed again, but-- Okay, well, that's even more fun. 'Cause I'm at home, that's what I do.

Exactly, and we do like to change things around. I had to change this room around this morning. But okay, okay, so now we've got a new live location. In your home, I'm in my home, I can't go to my studio, we can't go to the filming studio. Logistics, okay, we're learning new technology, sure, and on the quick, guys, right?

Really fast, I mean, lots of new learning in a very short amount of time because we have a product that we have to put out and we've got classes. So we had to, you know the phrase of pivot turn, yes, has been happening-- And each and every one of you became competition, I'm just kidding. (softly laughs) But everyone went live in the same way and we're not used to, sorry, Amy, I didn't mean to cut you off. You're fine, Kristi, keep going. We're used to working with each other, you know? Now we're working with Zoom, and we're hoping Zoom, hoping Zoom, hoping Zoom works.

And figuring out each time it changes. So I know that's no different for anyone else but that was exactly what was happening for us. It was hard, it is hard. Yeah, yeah, and I think it is hard. There are challenges and I think everyone that's been doing their own Zooms, the phrase, and the two words that keep coming out of my mouth talking about the world and the state of things right now are uncertainty and unpredictability.

Everyday, within a given day, there's uncertainty, on so many levels, and unpredictability on so many levels, with logistics just with the technology, sure. This could blow out any second. We all know that, and be like, "Whoops, internet went down." Hopefully not, we've safeguarded ourself to get new connections and taken, we're being responsible to help set things up, and of course we learned how to do that. But such as it is, there could be something happen and it can go out. So, talk about (softly chuckles) living in the moment.

But we're in the moment now, I'm really enjoying this. And it may not, hopefully, it's gonna last for the next half hour, but what if it doesn't? But I mean I think that's something that I remember hearing you talk about recently when we were planning this discussion, is about the being in the present. So, let's get, I'm gonna go in, Kristi, a little bit more now, now just leaning in physically like that, but I want to be a little over on you here. (softly chuckling) Okay.

What do you know? What do I know? What do you know? I know that being with people, no matter how you get to do it, is so important. And I know that the effort that you might spend in recording something is nowhere near as good as actually being there while it's being recorded.

In other words, I've spent most of my last 10 years going, "I don't know, can you hear, can you see it?" Instead, it's more like that's just what's happening right now. And I feel like a life, I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt, "A life worth living is a life worth recording." But I think you have to be there. It's not just showing it back. What I know is that... Lots of things, for one, I can still teach.

For two, it's way more intimate this way. And this is not a knock against our side or any other, but I don't get to pause, I don't get to procrastinate. I don't get to, if you show up for me, you bet I'm gonna show up for you. And that has just sort of brought me back to my own personal responsibility and accountability for what I know I love to do, and just do it. If you don't like it, that's fine.

'Cause I'll just go, "Go to Amy." Or, "Go to Mary." I know that it means a lot to just be there, and if things go wrong, okay, 'cause, I've never cared about perfection however hard I've tried. So, what I know is I like, love teaching live, even in my garage, and what a surprise that was for me. There, I love it, yay! No, I do, too, and I didn't know if I would like it either. There are gifts everywhere, we know this. There are gifts in so many things, all of the opportunities that we've been given are gifts and, from a filming standpoint, filming in this studio down by the beach, with our crew, for those of you who, just a little glimpse.

If we're teaching a class and let's say our hair gets in our face or we're so sweaty, we kinda slip off the mat, or something silly happens, or that won't look polished in production, we pause, we make a note, we're like, "Oh, we'll edit that out later." 'Cause we're supposed to be perfect and make this, not supposed to be perfect. There's a product that we're doing and we don't want those mistakes. She's saying we don't want you frustrated. Oh, yeah, and so we have a beautiful clean product, and silly things do come up and we let some of it roll. But we have the luxury of being able to stop and start like that.

Well, of course, we do not have that anymore. So live, we go and we walk in our space, or we're standing in our space, and no one's there though. We don't have a gallery view. It's like a black hole of teaching-- Now, talk about that-- Into your phone. Yeah, but so okay, talk about it, if you will, and then also, what does it mean for you, though, what you're processing with it?

And you started talking about accountability and responsibility, but there's more, I know. Is there a way for you to-- Egg me on if I miss it, but I... If I can backtrack just a tiny bit that I was mad, I was so mad. We did a dress rehearsal, because we do have people on the other side that are starting the slide, like you saw here, and I messed up the dress rehearsal massively. I didn't charge my phone, I didn't, I couldn't remember which thing to plug in first, and I was scrambling, and I was nervous, and it wasn't even live.

And I think it was pure resistance. I just didn't want this to be happening. To the whole world, not just Pilates Anytime, just the whole world, it really was, some people feel other things, and I think I'm one of them. And so, I messed up the whole thing and then Gia said to me, I'm not a dancer, but apparently this is a common thing, "Bad dress, good show." And I don't know if that did it, but I think it did. So the next day when I went in, and I realized the things I normally do when I'm nervous, 'cause I get nervous every time I go to film.

Me too. I have to go to the bathroom or I have to fix my hair, or, "Oh, no, no, "it's all messed up, I think I got makeup on this thing." You know, "I've gotta change." I do these things to sabotage the whole project because I'm nervous, and on that bad dress, the next day I was really worried. And then it was like, slide goes up, five minutes to go, I'm seeing Lesley and Lisa, sorry, that's the only people I've seen and I can't see that far, but... They're there, they showed up. And I was just like, back to 2008, it was seriously like time travel.

And I was still nervous and chatty and all that, and I'm looking at the back of my phone, looking at the back of my phone. I'm so used to looking at Nicole or Julie, someone behind me that's going, "You got it, girl." (softly laughs) Nobody! Exactly. It was me and I'm looking for, no joke, rats and black widows that I had seen the night before, but, when I got, it was like, time, go, I was back, I was back, I was back, I was motivated. I was, I'm giving you everything I can. I feel like that you're there.

Amy, I know you had a moment your first time where you felt like some emotion around it. Whew. For me, it was just like, "Oh, Kristi's still in there, really." I cried the whole afternoon. I was like, "I'm a teacher still!" Aw, man! 'Cause I couldn't pause, I couldn't do my normal things. So, really refreshing for me, really refreshing.

Yeah, beautiful, yup. Even in my garage. Right, because, I don't know if it matters, the location, really. The sun is going, there's clouds covering the sun, come back. Yeah, it's not so much locations.

How we are stepping into it at that moment, who we are in that moment to our audience, students, but to ourselves, number one. And the passion and the electricity that comes out when we know we're doing who we are. I mean, the first day we filmed, I think it might have been a Tuesday, it was a Tuesday, 11, I think we started with my Tuesday 11 o'clock class, it used to be at 11. I was also very nervous, extremely, and just like that, similar thing. And what happens to me, for a lot of you who don't know, is I have a tendency to get a little bit emotional, if not a lot emotional where I can cry easily.

I'm surprised I'm not doing it right now, I'm a little bit teary. But it's a good, I'm proud of it now. I used to not be, it used to really embarrass me and get me scared. But I was stood up, 'cause same thing, can't pause. No pausing, so I stood there and welcomed everybody and I had a flood of emotion come up and started crying.

But it was a moment that I felt everyone's, and whatever, I did feel energy even though I couldn't see my students. But it was also just 'cause I felt like, too, I'm about to teach, I'm about to be seen, and be heard, and be received for what I'm about to give. And so that exchange of give-receive in that moment live, and we get to do it every week, we get to do it every week. Exactly. Yeah, there's an electricity that comes up and then you just drop in and boom, you start going and you show up, we are us.

Yeah, and I hadn't had that in a long time. I hadn't had that, I mean, yeah, no, it's beautiful, it's exactly, well said, it's well said. What I said in, something I wrote down, it was along the lines of the structure of time, I don't miss knowing what time it is when my client walks through the door, who it is. Like, "Oh, it's Jill 10, it must be 10 on Tuesday." 'Cause it was like that for so long, I don't miss that. I miss her, but I don't miss that.

There's something about a structure of time that I have been missing. 'Cause I could stay up all night and work. If you're somewhere other than California, you might be up taking class, hopefully. But for something about the structure of time demands responsibility. It demands accountability.

It demands you to, well, decide how you want it to go. And if it's not going that way, fix it 'cause you only have this much time. And for me, that's what I missed the most. And so that's what I love the most. Especially thinking people wanted to be there.

They actually pressed the Register button. They pressed the Register button, yeah, and they go, "Oh, I have to wait till Thursday for Kristi." Yeah, yeah, it's no different, no. Yeah, even if it's gonna come again later, it's just right now we're together, and in this time, especially, maybe that's part of it. In this time it feels like I'd like to see more people. I don't think of myself as a people person, but at the same time, if I can look in your eyes, or if I can at least know that someone's on the other side, like you said, listening, being with me, wanting to be there, the anticipation of it, that's all the motivation I've ever needed, ever.

Ever, actually. Yeah, that's beautiful. And I think about all the teachers that I've had in my life that have made an impact on me who made me want to, not only to show up for their class the next time, or in that hour next week, is to take their lessons, what they were giving, what they were teaching out and then take that and do something with it, and take it into the rest of my life. Not just my physical self of like, "Ooh, I'm gonna work my scapula stabilization." I learned all these cool movements to do that, and that's wonderful. But to take what was being taught on the deeper value of learning.

Like you said way back at the beginning of this webinar, that you, I'm gonna circle you back, of when you were in a studio teaching your clients one-to-one, you came to that place where you knew you were teaching more than just this way. You're able to give them an opportunity to know what they needed to do with that on their own in their life. And I think about the teachers that have given that to me, was like wow, they really weren't teaching me about, not so much biomechanical thing. They wanted me to apply that to my life, to make my life different, better, more zesty, or whatever. Yeah, mm-hm, sorry.

Anything you wanna say there? I'm gonna-- yeah, there is. I think I've for a long time now felt like the body is a manifestation of how you think, and what you want, and how you speak. And so, I think what, if I'm going back to what I like, I just think that when someone asks you, "Why can't I?" Or, "What do you think I should?" The freedom of knowing that you already know the answer, who am I to tell you what happened, or why it's happening, or why you can't, why you should, the freedom of going, "Hm, what do you think?" And giving up the supposing to know, that allowed, allows, I think still, for a lot. A lot of letting the other person acknowledge what they are.

I think people know a lot about what they need and I think that sometimes it's, there's obstacles in the way, and a Pilates instructor is as perfect an obstacle as anyone. We're really quick to say, "No, not like that, like this." But instead, to be able to say, "What do you think?" "Really, why do you feel so much tension there?" It just opened the questioning up. And still teach the exercises, right? Oh, sure. I'm not doing psychology here, promise you. No.

It's like once people ask you things or once people reveal themselves and you're ready to... Whatever that word is, let me back up, go, "I can take it, I don't know what it means. "But you just revealed something, "what do you think it means?" It's that kind of a scenario that I think makes it more exciting, even in the midst of the actual method. And I think the method, is the measure, the yardstick, however you measure. It's like, "Oh, today I can do this, today I can't do that." "Look at me, I'm a wizard, I can do two to three." Whatever it is, like, why?

Or yay, whatever. But that's the way I felt like teaching developed for me, and I think that's kind of the point. Get outside and be vital, be zesty, return to life. And don't think it's somebody else's job. Beautiful, yeah, yeah.

Look at that beautiful comment that just came in. 10-4. No, you're good, I love that, so thank you, May. And everybody, you can read that, and I will extend a big thank you back for participating and saying this beautiful message here about how much our teaching has really meant during the lockdown. I agree, I think for me as a teacher, it's meant the same to take class from those other teachers that I've been taking class with, too, that I didn't have an opportunity to before because I was also doing hour by hour and other lifestyle and time.

But I had more time to give to myself, taking class from people, but also, being in my room here, teaching for Pilates Anytime on Tuesdays really allows me to be me. And I show up and I'm really living in myself at that hour and it feels really joyful. And I keep using electricity because, and it lifts me for most of the day. I mean, if not more days. So thank you for recognizing that.

And there's something to be said for being in your own home, too, even, just like, "Welcome in." You have to kinda commit to do that. And so for all the people who are teaching, Zooming too, I think the clients are nervous about, "Oh you can see my house," or whatever. But at the same time, there's an intimacy about, like this morning, I promise you, I really wanted to be in class. And it didn't happen 'cause I had to shower. But there's something to be said for Amy's teaching right now and there's a bunch of people taking it with her from around the world, I wanna be there.

And I think that is somehow, maybe it's not odd, but I think of it as oddly interesting and oddly, like, it's like FOMO, whatever. Anyway you wanna put it, it's like, I wanna be that here. Whereas I might not drive up to Center Point, or have I ever. Yeah, yeah. Yes, once, but, yeah.

Yeah, no, I get that, I do get that. The intimacy is there. The intimacy. Yeah, I think, yes, I didn't, yes, I'll stop there. Wunda Chair, or reformer, horseback version?

Rapid fire, real quick, we've got about a minute-- Oh, wait, what, what, what, what? Wunda Chair? Okay, I'm gonna throw some rapid fire questions at Kristi. Okay, okay. She has no idea what's coming.

So the exercise horseback on the Wunda Chair, or ladder barrel, or reformer, what do you like the best? Ladder barrel, for sure. Okay-- I mean, first. Oh, okay. And yes, for me, for sure.

How bout teaser on the chair, or the reformer, or the mat? Reformer. Nice, how about swan dive, mat, reformer, chair? Reformer. Nice. Or mat.

Hanging up, hanging back? Neither, no, hanging back, hanging back, for sure, hanging back. Yeah, you're beautiful at that. Okay, snake or twist? Twist.

Tequila or vodka? Come on. (softly laughing) "Come on." Come on, you know me. Tequila, I mean, maybe. Okay, San Pellegrino or LaCroix?

LaCroix. Winter or summer? Pink Grapefruit though. Yes, that is your favorite, I know that. Perrier would be what I would say.

Oh, yeah, the little cans. 'Cause I don't like to leave cans around. Still a Pilates teacher. Okay, cats or dogs? Dogs, or pugs, and I'm not sure they count.

They count, where is he today? He's in quarantine. (both softly laughing) Okay, let's see, are you a morning person or night owl? Night owl for sure. I used to be both. The good news is I sleep a little bit more.

But that means night, night can be morning though sometimes. (both softly laughing) Next. Yes it can. I getcha. I'm sweating now.

No, no, no, Kristi did not know I was gonna do some rapid fire. I kind of said, "I might throw some questions "at you just to kinda-- Two o'clock in the morning is kinda morning. (softly chuckles) That's true, it is. Okay, rollerskating or break dancing? Or break dancing? Hip hop, or hip hop.

Oh, that's cool. Well not, rollerskating, I mean, I know you thought I would say hip hop, probably, but I'm not that good at that. But rollerskating, you should see me. Really? Back when I was 12.

Well, when I was 12, yeah. Yeah, no, I used to speed skate, on wheels. Totally see that. Not in line. In the right place, the four-- In the rink? On each side.

Like back in the corners in the rink? Yeah, yeah, in the rink, absolutely, yep. Me too, actually-- I was really good at the start but not very good at follow-through, does that surprise you? (both softly chuckling) Okay, let's see, I'm gonna ask you one more big question and it's like, where do you think this live is going? How long do you think we're, what do you think about this? This live, I think this life is going to be different for a while, and I think, for us in particular, we will most certainly be doing a hybrid until we know more.

As I mentioned earlier, I think, I really like this, that I can look over, I can't read it right now, but I can see that someone's there. And I miss that and I like that and I think that a lot of people want that, too. So I think there'll be a hybrid. My hope is to get back to the studio soon. As of yesterday, it's not as likely as I was hoping two days ago.

California just re-shut down, and more significantly, I think, than before. I'm hoping that all my friends that are struggling with their studios and their situation as well, we can find a way to make it so that other people who may need Pilates have a doorway in, however we do it, that part, I don't know. But that sort of sits in the back of my mind. It's like, okay, if my goal is to give people access at an affordable price, how am I gonna do it now? So that's what I'm looking for.

Lovely, Kristi, aw, that makes me very excited, just to think about and open up that potential, that possibility that is there. Look what's happened, look what you created, what has been created, what's been responded to. People want to do this method. They want to do the method, they wanna learn it, they wanna be and have it embody them. That has been proven, we can, I think, agree on.

Yeah, absolutely. And I don't think that's gonna go away, no. I don't either. I don't either, I think it's just gonna be interesting how we all come together, and I do mean that. This whole business is built on collaboration.

There's not a way it would have worked without it being a win-win, and I think if we can find the way together of how to help, not us help you but us help each other, then... The world might be okay. If we can keep people moving, and with this measurable method, and however we can, I mean, I welcome advice, honestly. Well, I think, we know movement heals. Movement is medicine, movement heals.

If we can keep people moving, we're doing more than our part to keep the world healthy and happy in the way we know how. And we get an opportunity to keep doing that. Kris, your time is up. No! Okay. Our time is up. Can I just say,

movement is life, too, that's all we have to do. No matter how you do it, movement is life. And so, that's what we need to do, is get outside and be alive. Yeah, beautiful. Some version of that.

Thank you, thank you, Kristi. Thank you, Amy. You're welcome, thank you, and everyone that's here, thank you is maybe not even enough of a word sometimes. But I think you know that. I know for myself, when I put my hands together, and I have a picture of myself doing it, it's like a little kid in me.

It's exciting, I'm excited, I'm happy, I'm grateful and, thank you all for your kind words here, yay, thank you all. Thanks for talking to me. You're so close but so far. (crosstalk drowns out Kristi) I know, we're only about 10 miles away from each other, but I know, it feels like, I wanna just go like this. Everybody, virtual hug. Thanks, everybody.

This is a big, big global hug there. But until next time, we're gonna have to close it.


3 people like this.
If there is a good thing that this Covid crisis has done for us, I think it has brought us closer with our hearts & our spirits even if not with our bodies.  Thank you Amy & Christy for this head to heart sharing.
3 people like this.
What a wonderful dialogue, so insightful, honest and from the heart.  Thank you both for sharing! 
2 people like this.
Thank you @Amy and @Kristi for such honest dialogue. You hit the nail on the head around the sense of community that has evolved from the mandatory isolation and distancing ....I am so grateful to PA for continuing to teach and so appreciative of the teachers opening their homes to me. See you on zoom soon!
Michelle B
2 people like this.
Thank you Amy and Kristi. This webinar resonated with me...the loss of confidence and identity when not teaching for months was devastating to me.
3 people like this.
Two beautifully authentic and inspiring leaders and real role models thankyou- so many themes and insights resonated with me. 
I really enjoyed talking with you, Amy Havens! We've been through so much together!  Thanks to all who chose to watch then and now. 
1 person likes this.
It's always a good day when I can sit down with my friend Kristi Cooper  and have an insightful and important conversation.  Glad this resonated for so many of you!  
2 people like this.
A great discussion - more than any past interviews this enabled me to get to know you both a little more intimately x thank you for sharing yourselves so transparently.  Inspiring!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Debra for joining in on this discussion between Kristi Cooper  and myself.  I feel there is so much valuable information we all share with one another, happy to hear you gleaned some from our talk.
1 person likes this.
Thank you for this. I don’t have the words right now to say what this talk means to me, but it’s big. ♥️
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