Pilates workshops are like air for Pilates teachers. After a bit of time you need to “take a deeper breath” and learn, explore and feed your Pilates teaching. You pack up your Pilates Lorna Jane leggings, and Pilates Nerd shirt, your sweater for that cold studio or conference room and pack your ToeSox of course! As we end 2020 those days seem long ago and looking forward we just don’t know. How has taking workshops changed now that we are in the reality of Covid-19? Social distancing, avoiding traveling, and no group gatherings are now all we can think about.
I wrote a blog a while back on the importance of Pilates workshops vs watching a video. You can check that out below but, what happens now to those in-person workshops? Are online workshops as good? Are they worth the money and time? Do you really get what you need as a Teacher?
I have taught workshops for many, many years in my own studio, other studio’s and at the PMA Conference. Before Covid I would have said that the only way was to be physically at the workshop with all the other Pilates attendees but, one thing I have learned over the last year of 2020 is that is not really true.
Teaching Virtual Workshops and my Teacher Training Programs has been such an eye opener on not only how the students relate to each other, share ideas and experiences, but the questions that are deep and focused as well as connecting to each other on a whole new level and in some cases more than if they had been in the studio together.
All Pilates workshops are not created equal as all teachers know. This applies to online as well. Just as in the days of traveling to that workshop you need to do your homework to see if an online workshop fits what your needs and wants are right now as a teacher.
The things you look for are pretty much what you would if you were packing your bag and hitting the road to that workshop.
Here are 2 things I think are important as you are looking into workshops:
Finding that community, support, and sharing experiences with your fellow Pilates community- One thing that really feeds the soul of your teaching is that sharing of your passion of Pilates and being around your fellow Pilates peeps. In teaching Virtual workshops this year I have seen that connection sometimes deeper than when we are in the studio together. Everyone chatting with each other, asking questions, and sharing just as if they were sitting next to each other on the floor in a studio.
To move, learn, absorb, share thoughts, and to be the student again.- From speaking to many who have attended online workshops/training this year I hear how it helped to just absorb and be a student again. To forget about what was going on with their own clients, teaching, life and just get back to the passion of continuing or beginning their Pilates journey. To get moving in their own practice not for anyone but themselves.
In my past blog, that I mentioned earlier I wrote how watching a video is not the same as being live in-person for a workshop with fellow teachers and the presenter. That has not changed. A video doesn’t give feedback, guide you, watch you, or answer questions that come up. That is very different than a LIVE Virtual workshop or Training. Where the only difference is that maybe you are in a different city or state and not sitting in the room with fellow teachers and presenter. Even though it is Virtual you are in the moment, able to ask questions in real time, share with others, and hear experiences and learn as if you were in the room together.
As the new reality of our world has set in the thought of going to a crowded conference or workshop in a studio is not something that is happening or a comfort level for many until a vaccine is out there for us. I have realized for myself and those that have worked with me this year the Virtual is something that really does have a place and will continue into the future. It has opened up many more opportunities to study, learn and experience that hadn’t been there before for many.
So is this Virtual Pilates workshop/training worth it for you as a teacher? My answer to this is yes!
I have done my Teacher Training Programs and workshops virtually now for a while and it may be different when it comes to hands-on (which would be out of the picture anyway due to social distancing) but, it is possible to get your Pilates workshops in and be even more satisfied than if you had been there in person.
Think about it! No traveling to another city, no hotel, no Uber or renting a car so right away you saved money! Depending on the subject you could be at home in your pj’s sipping coffee as you learned or in your own studio that you teach at every day and then head home to your own bed! Like a mini mental vacation in your own backyard!
I know for me teaching workshops virtually is still meeting those top 2 things I want in a workshop! In fact, I have found that the group is more engaged, more willing to jump in with thoughts and questions, and the community support is very much present.
As with most of our lives now finding our way in this Covid world, we need to take a look at our continued learning and recharge as teachers. It seems that now is the time to take a moment and really get the work in for ourselves.
Not only will it give our Pilates soul deeper breath but, our clients as well!