The Lost Art of Hands On Teaching

As Pilates teachers we have honed, perfected and excelled in our use of language to express our intentions and communicate. We may use visual demonstrations as another tool to enhance a participant’s understanding of an exercise, but what about the power of targeted tactile cueing to provide invaluable feedback and sensory input?

To further clarify, I don’t just mean “hands on correction”. I believe this can create a negative response where the only time physical touch is used is because there is something wrong or incorrect. Rather with the power of our hands, we can help to create a deeper two-way stretch, use pressure and tension to enhance centre connection, proprioception and bring awareness to different areas of the body. 

A reason why there may be lack of hands on teaching could be the concern of accusations of inappropriate touching. Full permission needs to be granted by the client and this can be done at the beginning of each session and also addressed in the initial screening documents and information.

Another reason may be that teachers may not feel confident in their tactile cues, unsure and hesitant about where and how to physically cue.

There are so many incredible benefits of providing sensory input through hands on teaching, such as stimulation of the central and peripheral nervous system leading to improved proprioceptive feedback and motor patterning, positive effects on stress hormone levels, regulating respiration and intensely enhancing technique and connection.

Click here to see some examples of how we use the power of our hands to supercharge our teaching.

If you would like to refine and enhance your hands on skills to give positive feedback to your client, provide resistance and support adding incredible variety to your Mat exercises and learn how to teach many of the Studio Equipment exercises using yourself as the machine to replicate the push, pull, support and resistance we gain from using the machines, please join me on the Power of Our Hands workshop on 28th April. 

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