If you had private sessions in person at your home, but went virtual for COVID, this episode is for you. Today we explore a behind the scenes look at what your teacher might be juggling and important considerations to keep in mind if you're interested in returning to in person sessions. Tune in!
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[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Pilates Students' Manual, a podcast helping you get the most out of your Pilates classes. I'm Olivia, and I'll be your host. Join the conversation and share your thoughts on Instagram at @pilatesstudentsmanual. You can support the podcast by visiting buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts. Let's learn something new.
[00:00:46] Hello, hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. Today's kind of a fun episode that maybe I'm a little bit late into the game getting to, but I'll be looking at returning to [00:01:00] in-person privates. Um, especially if you're a person who your Pilates teacher came to your house and taught you Pilates really on your schedule. And then COVID. And if you were interested in maybe getting back into it, I just want to share some considerations about that return to in person privates that as a student, it would benefit you to know some things that might be going on in your teacher's mind when that happens.
[00:01:26] Also want to give you a bit of an update. I was on hiatus in March and the first part of April. I was finishing up my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to be a Pilates teacher trainer for Breathe Education. And I also finished my Certificate IV in mat work and reformer with Breathe Education. So that is all very exciting and good. I'm very glad to have both of those certificates under my belt. For people who aren't in Australia, Certificate Four is a level of [00:02:00] educational attainment. Less than an associate's degree, but more than a high school diploma kind of a situation. They organize all of their educational levels in vocational ed that way. So that's kind of neat. So very excited to be done with that. Very glad to have had some extra time to really work hard on that and put my best effort into those things.
[00:02:21] Um, but also really excited to be back. I will be releasing a new episode of Pilates Students' Manual every month. And if you check me out over at Pilates Teachers' Manual, there's two episodes a month coming out over there as well. So if you have vast and varied Pilates interests, I have vast and varied Pilates topics to talk about.
[00:02:42] So this episode really comes out of a personal experience where I have, you know, several private clients that I see as a teacher. And once upon a time I saw them in their houses, but for the past two plus years, I have been seeing them on Zoom [00:03:00] and seeing them virtually.
[00:03:01] For some of my clients, virtual is going to be the way of the future as well. It could be because they're more interested in shorter appointment times. So maybe a 30 minute session, or it could be location dependent if they're in Washington DC, or if they're in Wisconsin, I'm not going to be able to see you in person unfortunately. So virtual was really great, but there are clients who are in Chicago, who I could go see in person potentially. And how do we get back there if that's something you're interested in doing?
[00:03:36] As I said before, I might be a little bit late to the party on this. Maybe as a student, you're like, I already asked my teacher, like we're already doing this in-person thing and we are loving it, in which case, amazing. But if you like me, were dragging your feet a little bit. And I will definitely go over today as well that there's a lot of benefits to doing things virtually, but if you like me, were not [00:04:00] there yet, let me just share with you some things that I was thinking about as I was making this transition back to in-person and things that I think would benefit you as a student who has a Pilates teacher to, you know, be considerate of as well.
[00:04:15] So I have clients who live in Chicago who had seen other Pilates teachers or personal trainer type people visiting their building. And they asked me if I would be interested in coming back to in-person and I feel like my first response is like, yes, I would love to, but there are a few things that have changed in the past two plus years that, you know, I wasn't able to immediately dive in and be like, great, I'll see you tomorrow.
[00:04:45] So one of the things is the time that you had your session probably changed during COVID. Very likely it changed. And from your teacher's perspective, if they were teaching [00:05:00] virtual privates, I was teaching appointments with a five or 10 minute break in between them. And I had time to, you know, run to the bathroom or get a drink of water. But I was pretty much back to back for my appointments. And that's something that, you know, every teacher is going to have their own way of scheduling. I booked all of my appointments, sometimes four in a row, that close together.
[00:05:28] So a consideration there is that if I was seeing you at nine o'clock in the morning virtually, but I had an eight o'clock virtual appointment as well. 10 minutes may not be enough time to get dressed and dash out to your location in order to teach. I think in two years, it makes sense that all of our schedules changed, and like our commute changed.
[00:05:57] It used to be, you know, if I was going into a studio, [00:06:00] I'd have to, you know, budget an hour to get into the studio if I was taking the train or taking the bus. And if I'm teaching from my living room, I need like two minutes to close the door and close the curtains and turn on the lights. You know what I mean? So your schedule may have changed. Your work schedule may have also changed as a person who also has a life outside of doing Pilates. Right?
[00:06:22] One thing to keep in mind is that you may need to be flexible about the time. And, you know, I've tried to be really upfront with my clients about that and be like, Hey, like, are there any other times that you're available because I've got someone right after you and I can't teach you in person and then get home instantaneously in order to teach this next client. So if you can be more flexible with your times and really just communicate with your teacher and be like, Hey, I would love to see you in person like we did once upon a time, but I also recognize that, you know, your schedule may [00:07:00] not accommodate that immediately.
[00:07:02] Like once I knew that my clients were interested in going back to in-person because as much as in-person is like a really fun time, I'm also totally fine staying virtual as well. So once I knew that that's what they were interested in, I was able to, you know, talk to other clients and then look at my schedule and like there's other stuff, obviously, everyone has their own life happening outside of each other's commitment. You know, I was also, you know, I'm in the process of being onboarded by Breathe, and I'm not sure exactly what the time commitments are going to be and you know, when I need to be available for those things. So it's like, there's a lot of juggling going on.
[00:07:38] So be flexible if you can. And, uh, if meeting in person as a priority, let your teacher know that you would really love for that to happen. Again, another thing that might change as a result of in-person sessions, Every teacher kind of adapted to offering [00:08:00] sessions online differently. Some people changed their prices. Some people changed their session lengths or their availability, like lots of things change, uh, with that first big shift to virtual. So it's very possible that the pricing for your sessions might be different if you're meeting in person, because even though you might be paying for the same amount of time for a session, if there's, you know, travel time, travel costs, any other sort of like those unseen expenses, like if your teacher is driving to you, like gas prices are crazy right now in the U S, so all of those things might influence what the price of those sessions are just because it's highly dependent on, uh, the resources both time and physical resources required to do those things.
[00:08:51] I know for some of my clients, I would bring lots of equipment to the sessions and that, you know, [00:09:00] first having that equipment, like that was a bit of an initial investment. Carrying it about is, it's just more work. So it makes sense that the pricing might change. And that's something that you just want to be aware of going into it. It's not a bad thing, but it is possible.
[00:09:20] Coming up after the break, we're going to be looking at the trade-offs between these in-person and virtual sessions, and then seeing if maybe a hybrid model might be a good fit for you as a student, that's coming up next.
[00:09:36] Hi there, enjoying the podcast? Me too. Make sure you subscribe wherever you're listening so you get notified about new episodes and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. There you can make a one-time donation or become a member with a donation of as little as $5 a month.
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[00:10:36] Okie dokie. Let's look at some trade offs for a returning to in-person because, as always, there might be something that's a better fit for you, but nothing is inherently better. Right? So here are just some things that you may not have thought about for in-person sessions.
[00:10:53] One of those things is, especially if you have gym equipment [00:11:00] that you haven't used before, like I've had clients who bought a chair or bought a reformer or, you know, bought some Pilates resistance band kit, something. And you haven't used that equipment before. And especially if your teacher also doesn't have that equipment at their house or wherever they're teaching from virtually, it can be really difficult to describe or demonstrate. Like there's a lot of miming that can happen right? So it's really beneficial in person to be able to have that really hands-on demonstration where it's like, oh, this is how you change the springs on the chair.
[00:11:41] And it's like, also, it can be hard in terms of like setting up camera angles to make sure that you're the most visible. And I don't know if you've worked with the really new iPads. I want to say, they're the new iPads. The ones that have center stage as an application on the iPad. And then when you're doing a zoom call or a FaceTime or [00:12:00] something like that, it follows your face, which, good if you're doing something like a FaceTime to follow your face, but when you're doing something like Pilates and the camera kind of wanders on its own, like technology is a beautiful blessing. And also why is it doing that?
[00:12:16] So like, that can be a bit frustrating when you're in person, obviously as a teacher, you can just walk to the other side or as a student, you can just like point to it and it's like, is this right? You know, like amazing. That bit is a bit clearer, obviously in person.
[00:12:30] There are some, I don't know if I want to say safety things, but when I'm physically in the space with a client, I can invite them to do things where maybe I have a hand out that they can hold on to, where they can grab onto my arm or, you know, I'm kind of spotting them when they're doing certain exercises, which I may not teach if I wasn't physically there. You know, or it's like the first time standing on the reformer, first time standing on the chair, like, I kinda just want to [00:13:00] be there not to say that you need someone there, you can do anything. Um, but it's psychologically and also just like nice to have someone who's there for you physically there for you as well.
[00:13:14] This is another downside to technology sometimes. And that's the power of your internet connection. It can be really difficult to communicate or chat with, or share a story or an experience when your internet is lagging and it keeps freezing and you keep cutting out and you're not sure if they're still doing the thing that you said to do, or if they're, or what's happening, zoom kicks you out. Sometimes it says it's spontaneously needs to update. Like, there's just a lot of stuff that when you're in person with someone it's a lot easier, I think, to connect and kind of read how they're feeling and you can see more things. I was working on a Allegro, an Allegro reformer from [00:14:00] Balanced Body and the hooks that you put the springs on have changed.
[00:14:04] And I had never, you know, asked my clients like, Hey, what are the hooks look like, that you put your springs on? And they're these little like circular buttons now, like that's fine. And it w- like the way it was cuing worked. But now that I've seen what the reformer actually looks like, and like all the little nitty gritty things that your teacher always wants to see on your equipment. Like, I feel like, okay, like now, now I know exactly what we're getting into. So those are all things that you gain like having a person who's physically there who can see things from multiple angles, who can probably see more things, because they're not limited by wherever the iPad is while you're doing footwork. Like, I can go to the other side. I can stand over here. I can see all kinds of things. That's really what you do gain that being in person, that's very difficult to recreate in the virtual space.
[00:14:55] But there are a lot of really awesome things about [00:15:00] virtual, namely, the location freedom that, I can teach people anywhere in the country, anywhere in the world. The internet continues to be like the coolest thing ever and being able to connect us across all distance and time zones. That's really great that I can continue working with clients when they move away from Chicago.
[00:15:22] The scheduling piece is really great because as a teacher, I definitely do not offer 30 minute sessions if I'm traveling to your house because. That's about the time round trip that I would be walking, because again, I don't have a car, so like I'm walking to all my appointments. And so I'm spending as much time getting to your appointment as I am teaching it, plus like the price point of doing a shorter session, it isn't worth it for me to do short sessions. Maybe if I had my own studio space and then people were just coming for 30 minutes, that could be fine. But. [00:16:00] For an in-person private, it doesn't make a ton of sense. So if you wanted to do a 30 minute session, amazing, let's do it virtually. Saves us all a lot of time.
[00:16:11] The scheduling freedom is also really nice because I can put those appointments closer together. I can teach more in a shorter amount of time, which is great as a teacher, at least for me, it is. Um, but also as a student, you have so much more flexibility of like when I could offer appointments as well. Like I didn't really like teaching early morning appointments when I was going into the studio because fighting rush hour traffic isn't super fun, but I will definitely teach, you know, an 8:00 AM appointment virtually because I don't have to like fight the buses and the trains and everyone going into work. Right.
[00:16:50] So you can take advantage of that as a student, by requesting times that. Could be, you know, more difficult to get to if [00:17:00] you were commuting. Like when I worked in the West Loop, there's a time when the high school nearby, I think it's a middle school and a high school would get out. And then all of these parents were coming to pick up their kids and then school buses were getting out and they're all like two lanes. And the traffic would just be absolutely insane. So if you are trying to get in for a three o'clock appointment, like good luck, you'll have to leave at like two o'clock just to get there and then there's not going to be any parking spaces. And so you really save yourself a lot of hassle in terms of scheduling and you can really find more times that fit better for you because travel and parking and all of that isn't so much of an issue.
[00:17:42] Another thing that's really great about virtual is I'm able to see clients more frequently for virtual because the, again, the hassle of commuting is no longer there. So there's clients that I might see two or three times a week, and [00:18:00] that's really made possible by virtual. So I'm a big fan of virtual.
[00:18:04] You already know that we've talked about how awesome virtual classes are in the past. So, you know, what you gain when you do a virtual session and you know what you might miss out on a bit as well.
[00:18:17] The knowledge of your teacher is constant, whether it's virtual or in person. The creativity of your teacher is constant, whether it's virtual or in person, although it is fun to see rooms from different angles and be like, what are you hiding over there? Like, do you have some free weights? Do you have a yoga block? Like, let's play. The expertise of your teacher, the programming that they're putting together for you, like all of that happens in virtual and in-person. So if you have a preference, do let your teacher know and just like, be aware of those considerations that your teacher might be thinking about when they're processing that request.
[00:18:58] Last thing I want to share about is [00:19:00] the hybrid model that I'm following with a few clients. And that is, I see them in-person one day a week and then I see them virtually one day a week. That definitely came for me as a teacher, out of my inability to adjust my schedule massively because I had, you know, other virtual appointments that had to stay and I wasn't able to work with and, you know, find another time to do in-person twice a week. So we do in-person once a week and then virtual once a week. And I find that that strikes a really nice balance.
[00:19:37] I didn't mention it, but I'm going to throw it in because I think it's so important that when you're working, especially on the equipment virtually, but also on just mats. You have so much independence when your teacher is not there changing the springs for you and passing you a resistance band and readjusting everything and like fluffing your pillows for you. Like you [00:20:00] really have more responsibility to set yourself up the way that you want. You're a little bit more in tune with, you know, like what springs do I want to do this exercise on? Do I want to grab a resistance band for this? Or does it feel good to grab a magic circle, whatever, like you have a lot more autonomy and a lot more ability to kind of shape how that session goes and the teacher can make suggestions, but you are the one there making the changes. And I think that that's really empowering and really awesome.
[00:20:31] And I've found that doing this hybrid session style is when I'm there and I'm on their reformer and I can show them something kind of wonky, like semi-circle and I can demonstrate it. They can try it and say, okay, great. Well, let's, you know, let's give that a go next time. I'm on the reformer when I see you on Friday and I'm like, great. Let's do it.
[00:20:53] That is also an option that if you were having multiple Pilates sessions a week, or even like, if you wanted to go every [00:21:00] other week, something like that, that might be something your teachers able to accommodate. And again, it's about you and it's your session. So what you need in that session is of the utmost importance and just keep communicating with your awesome teachers, uh, what you would like and how you'd like it to go. As teachers, we really appreciate people who know what they want and what they're looking for. So that's great.
[00:21:23] Big thank you to all the supporters on Buy Me a Coffee. Thank you so much for supporting the project. As always, I appreciate your contributions. I'm really looking forward to talking to everyone in April. So if you'd like to schedule a coffee chat with me, head over to that Buy Me a Coffee page and contribute to the project. And then you can hang out and ask questions and tell me what you'd like to learn more about. And I think that is nifty. Have a great couple of weeks and I'll talk to you again soon.[00:22:00]
[00:22:05] Thanks for tuning into this week's episode of Pilates Students' Manual, a podcast helping you get the most out of your Pilates classes. Be sure to check out the podcast Instagram at @pilatesstudentsmanual and subscribe wherever you're listening. Interested in teaching Pilates too? Check out Pilates Teachers' Manual, available everywhere you listen to podcasts.
[00:22:28] I hope to see you next episode. Until next time.[00:23:00]