Pilates Teachers' Manual

Special Guest - Maria Earle

February 04, 2021 Olivia Bioni Season 4 Episode 5
Pilates Teachers' Manual
Special Guest - Maria Earle
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The lovely Maria Earle joins me on the podcast today. As a Second Generation Pilates teacher who studied extensively with Kathy Grant,  she shares her experiences as a student and a teacher, reflects on her teacher training, and gives some great advice for Pilates teachers. 

I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @pilatesteachersmanual. Full show notes, episode transcription, and chapter markers can be found on the podcast website here: http://bit.ly/pilatesteachersmanual. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast for updates, and rate and review wherever you listen!  Episodes now available on YouTube: *https://bit.ly/YouTubePTM*

Email [email protected] with your feedback.   

Show Notes:

Maria is a Second Generation teacher with 20+ years of international teaching experience. She completed the  Advanced Teacher Training Program at The Pilates Center (Colorado, USA) in 1997 and moved to New York City to teach and dance professionally. She co-founded Pilates East in Manhattan in 2001. She is currently living and teaching in Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @maria_earle and find her on the web here. Her Advanced Mover Series is back the week of February 16th, so be sure to save your spot!

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Olivia: [00:00:00] Welcome to Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. I'm Olivia, and I'll be your host. Join the conversation and the Pilates community on Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. Today's chapter starts now.

Hello, hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I am [00:01:00] absolutely over the moon excited today to have Maria Earle on the show, all the way from Barcelona. We were just talking about, you know, the silver lining of the pandemic. And part of it is that I can have these amazing conversations with people all over the globe.

Maria is a fantastic Pilates teacher. If you haven't taken her classes, you need to get in there. She is vibrant and creative and just so fun to play with. She has a second generation teacher, she trained with the Pilates Elder Kathy Grant. She's going to tell us all about those adventures, I'm sure. And as I said, she's based in Barcelona, so all the way across the pond and then some. So happy to have you on the show, Maria. Thank you so much for being here.

Maria: [00:01:44] Thank you. I'm super happy to be here. We've been talking about doing this for a while. We have- we became connected because of Momentum Fest last year, and you took my class and then you reached out to me, and [00:02:00] then life gets in the way. And now we are finally here chatting together. So that's exciting. 

Olivia: [00:02:07] Maria, you have been doing Pilates for over two decades, and so I always like to know what is the first experience you had with Pilates way back in the day? 

Maria: [00:02:18] Yeah, way back in the day. I can't remember that far back. No. Yeah. When you put it that way, two decades, then it makes me sound so old, but yes. I found Pilates in my early twenties, basically when I started my Pilates journey, there wasn't a whole lot of Pilates in the world, in my world anyway. 

For example, when I told my, my mom that I was going to, you know, enroll in this training program, my mother had no idea what I was talking about. My grandmother was very concerned. She thought it was going to be something like [00:03:00] massage. And she did not want me doing that because she didn't want me to be rubbing naked people, I guess. So it took a lot of convincing, took a lot of convincing because there wasn't a lot out there. It was fairly new. I mean, we're talking 1995 ish and you know, I was a young, aspiring dancer. So for me, my entry into Pilates came from my desire to dance and it was on a list of things that I had written down that I thought were things that were gonna help me pursue that career or work with dancers. 

To be completely honest, I didn't know a lot about Pilates when I had my first class. I walked into the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado, and it was like, I didn't really know what this is about, but I would like to sign up. And they were like, Oh, no problem. Just buy this intro package, you know, [00:04:00] for $350. And I was like, Oh, okay. I got to go like, make my first paycheck and then I'll be back. You know, it was that kind of thing. And I just had, that's how I started. And in my first class, I remember very specifically being, I don't know, I would say like 20 minutes into class and we're still talking like, breathing, knee folds, the very, very, you know, fundamentals, you know, where's my shoulder and I, I was eating it up, you know, I was just like, Oh, this is fantastic. This is a way of moving my body. That seems so, so smart. And coming from the dance world, you know, it was making a lot of sense to me. And I remember saying halfway through my first session, can I join the program? And basically being told no, because I only had half an hour of a Pilates session, you know. 

But I was hooked. I knew right [00:05:00] then that I could sink my teeth into this and that this would be something that I would be able to do for the rest of my life. And I think that I probably also thought at some point, well, you know, I can't really afford Pilates, so if I become a teacher, then I will always have access to, to a Pilates studio. You know, I mean, I was 20 years old and never occurred to me that I would ever eventually own a Pilates studio or do any of those sorts of things. 

just wanted to live in that place. I just, you know, I want it to be around these teachers who seem to know so much about the body and so much about how to move. And many of them of course were dancers themselves. And so I felt an affinity and I, I was really green and optimistic and I, you know, as you are, when you're 20 years old. And finding [00:06:00] something that is, you know, exciting and new and you feel like, Oh, this is something that I can, that I can do. And this could be a vocation.

Whenever I think about that time, I can't help, but just think, you know, how lucky I was to have stumbled upon basically a training program that was just really stellar without me even knowing. So I didn't know anything about any other kind of Pilates. I wasn't trying to decide, should I study here or there, there was no here or there. It was just, this was, it never even occurred to me. I mean, I don't even think I had, we have internet. Like, you know, it wasn't something that you Googled. Right? 

When I think about my training, something that I'm also very grateful for is having time. I feel [00:07:00] like we don't have enough time now for anything. Everything is just rushed and everything is done as quickly as possible. Where, when I went through the training program, you know, it took me a good year and a half. And the other thing about that time, and I'm not sure that they do with the same now. I haven't checked in a long time, but back in the day, the training program was done in person three sort of modular? Modulars.

So you would go from beginning to advanced in one chunk, you would cover all the material. Then there would be some months that would go by. And then there was, in my case, the way that I started there was like a summer kind of intensive where you went through all the material of the entire program all over again. Then you went through it a third time from beginning to end, all of the materials, everything. 

So I have [00:08:00] notebooks that are the first time I went through. It's a lot of, a lot of writing, you know, scribbling, you know, trying to put it anything down on paper. And then I haven't second time I went through all of it. It's actually a lot of drawings. Like I drew a lot of pictures with arrows, less words and more arrows. And then on the third set of notes, I have are very different. It's like very specific language. 

And there's something about being able to process through material three times, as opposed to just once that I am so grateful for, because by the third time around, I was no longer learning an exercise. I actually got to focus on figuring out how you would teach that exercise. A lot of times, I think that in a program, many of those participants are actually learning material for the first time. And there's not a whole lot of [00:09:00] time left after you learn something for them, trying to figure out how to teach it. 

And so all that learning how to teach comes when you're out in the field. Right. And, you know, it's just, it's, it might just be the way that it is. I mean, what can we do about it? But I feel like I really got an opportunity to figure out how to, as a young teacher figuring out already in my training program, how to teach, what is the pedagogy of teaching, that I feel like has traveled with me all this way.

Olivia: [00:09:31] That's so remarkable. And I think that's honestly a great way to learn material because I know the same thing in my teacher training. It was very much like, how quickly can I do this? Because I want to teach, like right now. And part of it's, you know, financial, because, you know, someone needs to be paying me to do this. And, you know, part of it's also, we are really rushed and things, but being able to experience it, not once, not twice, but three times, and also to have those notes to really see your evolution of how you [00:10:00] were relating to the material. 

Maria: [00:10:02] Right. I mean, I think that it's very, you know, it's, it's kind of old school in that way. 

Olivia: [00:10:07] And that sounds like the best way imaginable to learn Pilates.

Maria: [00:10:11] Right. And you're absolutely right. It does have so much to do with, I also, like I said, you know, I was 20, right. My necessities at that time were very minimal. You know, I was not raising a family. I was not doing a career change. I was not, I wasn't, you know, I was barely formed, right. Just the cracking out of the egg shell.

So, you know, that was a luxury that I got to have the experience the way that I had the experience. You know, I'm sure that if you talked to somebody else in my program at that particular time who was transitioning out of a corporate job to then become a Pilates instructor, because they just fell in love with it, and they were in their mid forties, [00:11:00] might've been a little different. So I guess that's how I remember how I got into Pilates. 

Olivia: [00:11:07] And then how did you find or connect with Kathy Grant. That fateful day? 

Maria: [00:11:14] Yeah, well, you know, I feel like so much of my story is about being at the right place at the right time and saying yes, I'm grateful to my youth for that, because it's really easy to say yes, I think it's easier. Right? You have less at stake. 

So with Kathy Grant, it all starts with my training at the school in Boulder there. And one of my teachers was Cara Reeser. And Cara Reeser had studied with Kathy Grant during her master's program at NYU. So I have this very vague [00:12:00] recollection. And I keep meaning to ask her about it about Kathy actually coming to Colorado to teach a workshop in that must have been in 1996 or 1997.

And I remember, I remember sitting in this workshop with this woman and being, you know, completely enamored by her way of being in the space. You know, she's tiny, but she could command space. She's a performer. And I think what I recall is her sitting on the low chair. So I'm going to assume she was doing a low chair workshop. I can't find notes on this by the way, which really like kills me. I don't know what I did with them. I mean, I must've taken notes. 

Anyway, in the training program, we were taught about the elders. So I knew that there was this woman named Kathy Grant in the same way that I [00:13:00] knew that there was this woman named Eve Gentry, there was another woman named Carola Trier, and that there was, you know, Ron Fletcher in California. So, you know, they presented us with the elders and with Romana, obviously, because that was their training. 

So Debora Kolwey was a teacher there who studied with Eve Gentry. So Debora kind of brought this, Eve Gentry work, and then there was Cara Reeser who brought Kathy's work. And there were then, you know, Amy and Rachel who brought Romana's work. So it was a very vibrant education that included a lot of influences. 

So when I decided that it was time for me to go to New York City to pursue a career as a contemporary dancer, it was a no brainer that I would go and study with Kathy Grant. That was pretty much one of the first phone calls that I made, you know, was to [00:14:00] set up my appointment. I never looked back. I just, I went to class, I made it a priority. And for years I went to her on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In my sessions, as people who have heard stories about Kathy Grant, I can confirm, sessions were long. You could be there for two, three hours. You know, you had to kind of wait to be excused when she sort of gave you that. Okay, you're done now. 

And it was great. It was a great place to be in my early twenties, you know? Get on the train, head downtown to the lower East side and go to my session with Kathy Grant, whose studio was on the top floor of the NYU Tisch Cchool of the Arts building. So I love that also because like you walk into that building and it's, you know, filled with dancers, [00:15:00] dancers, dancers. Everybody in their tights and leotards in the elevators. And you know, for me, it was like, my God, it's like Fame.

That was always really special memories of being there in that space and with all of those pre-professional dancers and professional dancers, right. Because her studio, I think the way that she had worked it out is that she would, she was available and on contract to teach the undergraduate and graduate students at NYU School of the Arts. But then she would also allow people like me to come in and study with her. But her students at the school always got priority. Like she scheduled them in first and then she would schedule us. I could just talk and talk and talk. 

Olivia: [00:15:55] I mean, it's a wonderful. It's just incredible to hear [00:16:00] because you, in a lot of ways are, you know, carrying her torch and like carrying her legacy. Like the class that I took with you at Momentum Fest where you introduced, you know, Kathy's hissing cat. Like I would not have encountered that otherwise, you know. Everything that you share, all of these moments are just further passing on that, that torch, that conversation. 

Did you make a shift from, you know, working with her as a student, to becoming someone who was working with students? Were you ever teaching her work? I know that now you're teaching her work. I mean, because you worked with her for years and years and years, this wasn't a summer of weekends. You know, this was a life.

Maria: [00:16:42] Yeah, well, yes and no is my answer. When I started studying with Kathy, Blossom Leilani Crawford was already, yeah, I'm pretty, I'm pretty sure. We'd have to check the dates with her, but I'm pretty sure my, at this [00:17:00] point, I mean, literally like my coming in. Blossom had just graduated. So, yeah, so I think Blossom had just graduated the NYU program. So Blossom started being an assistant to Kathy during Kathy's morning Barre class. And I, you know, I didn't really do morning Barre class. That was really reserved for the students, the undergraduate and graduate students.

So I saw Kathy only in her studio for my sessions. But the way that Kathy taught her sessions is interesting. She would do kind of like a circuit situation, for lack of better word. She would never call it that, but so her, her space was really tiny. Okay. So there was one reformer, one Cadillac, one chair. The space was so tiny the chair often lived in the hallway, a ladder barrel. She had a spine corrector and she had a Ped-o-Pull, but the Ped-o-Pull was in her apartment in Brooklyn that I never [00:18:00] knew the Ped-o-Pull in the studio. 

So the way that she would schedule her day was that she would schedule people on the hour, on the half hour, on the quarter hour, so that everybody was kind of like filing in and out, in this kind of like smooth way. There might be like two or three people in the studio at the same time, but we had all started at different times and we're all planning on leaving at different times because of that kind of circuit situation. Where you would walk in and there might be someone on the Cadillac you would stand and you would wait for her to tell you where you would start.

And she would say, okay, come start down here on the floor. And then when Susie Q is done on the reformer, then you'll get on the reformer. And then reformer person will go on to the Cadillac Cadillac person will go on duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, right? On the chair. Right. So she always was like conducting an orchestra.

And so with that [00:19:00] in mind, right. So keep imagining, right. So everyone's kind of doing their own routine, their own sequence. And she's conducting, she would often say, you know, Maria, go over there and hold her hips while she does X. Or someone would be sent over to me to like, make sure that I was in the alignment that Kathy wanted.

So in this way, which I think is really brilliant and quite beautiful is that we all were kind of taking care of each other. Right. And so she, but she would tell you very specifically what to do, where to go and what to say and what to look for, you know? And then you would have to tell her what you saw.

I'll be like, okay, I, I did it and that would always be me. I'd be like, okay. I think, I think I did that okay. You know, I hope that I put her head straight, you know? Because as, as Kathy got older, you know, [00:20:00] she, she taught more and more from her chair, but I've also heard stories of Kathy teaching in the eighties and she also did that because her clientele were highly sophisticated movers. Right. I mean, we all, for the most part, were professional dancers. So I think there was also that kind of body sense that she knew that we had, that she could then translate through us what she wanted that other person to do over there on the other side of the room. So in that way, we all had this, you know, kind of experience this collaborative experience, I think in this space. 

There was a semester where Kathy was ill and couldn't teach her morning Barre class, which was every day. Well, four days a week, she taught and I think class started at like 8:15. It could have been 9:15, but it might have been 8:15. That was a 45 minute [00:21:00] class and it kind of got the students ready for their day. It was a conditioning class. And when Kathy felt ill for a semester, she asked Blossom and I to cover those classes. So I did two days a week, you know, Group A and Blossom did the other two days a week, Group B or something. Could have been the other way around. I don't really remember. 

But we had to, you know, check in with Kathy all the time about what we were doing in class and what the kids were doing and who was doing what well and how it was doing and what our class looked like, what exercises were we doing? And because I think it was at the end of the year, I do remember having to also write the evaluations for the students. Oh, that was so tricky. You know what, I'm going to say. 

Another thing about those classes, not from the perspective of me teaching them for that short period of time that I did that for her, but Kathy was very meticulous [00:22:00] about those morning bar classes. She would write a list of the exercises that she wanted to do that day on half a sheet of paper. And then after class, She would go upstairs to her studio and she would sit there and she, and Blossom- and this, I know because many times my session started at the end of the morning Barre class. So I might already be upstairs doing my warmup and they would come up and they would sit there for a good half an hour and talk about what exercises were done. What exercises, you know, on the spur of the moment, did Kathy like mix it up and like change gears, and then they would write down actually what happened, what the plan was, but then what happened? And then they would talk about students and they would talk about what's happening and whose body was doing what and things and plan the next one.

And it was a full labor of love. I mean, it [00:23:00] was her job, but she did it with such integrity all the time. You know, I mean, she was really looking out for all of her students and she wanted more than anything in the world for her dancers to be able to continue a long career as dancers. 

I remember when I told her that I was going to take a step back from dancing and I wanted to go back and get my master's degree and in all of that happening, I also opened a studio. She was, you know, a bit disappointed with me to be honest. Whereas my grandmother, my real biological grandmother, was like, well, finally you are, you know, growing up a little bit, you know, but my, my mentor grandmother was like shaking her head at me, you know?

[00:24:00] Don't give up that career. Keep dancing. Why are you coming into this, coming into my studio once, two times a week? What's all this for? This is like to keep you dancing. Now you're telling me that you're a little burnt out. Oh, she didn't have patience for that. Oh no, no, no. You know, she was like, persevere. 

And, you know, in retrospect, like I get it. I mean, that woman worked so hard to get to where she was able to get in the dance world, professionally, the whole thing. I mean, she was up against obstacle, against obstacle, against obstacle and so her expectations and her demands on us, her students, was hardcore. You know, we were soft. Right. Cause you know, Oh, I'm going to take this job or not this job, or, you know, what should I do? You know, it was, it was different. It's very different than when she was a young [00:25:00] person trying to pursue a career as a dancer. 

So, well that kind of answers a couple of questions. 

Olivia: [00:25:07] Yeah. No, that's, that's amazing.

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[00:26:00] I'm hearing a lot from you, just in the way you're sharing about your sessions and the experiences you had, I can see, you know, the profound impact that Kathy's had in the Pilates world, the dance world, in your life. Can you share some things that you learned from her, things that have shaped your teaching, even beyond her amazing choreography that she's contributed to the work, but how has she changed the way you teach, and the way you even move?

Maria: [00:26:39] Well, I think it is important to put it into context that I had gone through a training program before I started my journey studying with Kathy Grant. There is a lot that influences the way that I teach that comes from Kathy Grant and [00:27:00] the main thing, and this is something that I often advise people who want to talk to me about training programs, you know, I want to become a Pilates teacher. Do you have advice for me? 

I always advise people to be very, very careful about what kind of training they end up doing, because that's the voice that's going to be in their head. And so even though I had already done a training program before starting to study with Kathy Grant, the amount of time that I was with Kathy really sort of embedded her voice into my head above all others.

And I've studied with a lot of amazing people and I've had the opportunity to take workshops and to, you know, do all, you know, do all the brain development, personal development, craft development things, right, that we all search for and do, but it's her voice that guides me. 

And in terms of very specific things [00:28:00] about how she guides me or what exactly that is, one thing is that she really spent a lot of time trying to understand you. So your first session, well, I can tell you what my first session was like. My first session with her was sitting, sitting with her, sitting, she was next to me with these little index cards and, and she wanted to know everything about my life, right from the beginning.

You know, where were you born? Did you climb trees? She wanted to get a picture of you, of how you are in the world. What is it that you do all day? Like I said, do you know, did you climb trees? Did you, you know, did you break a bone? She wanted to know these things and she would contextualize, and from that place of knowing she would teach [00:29:00] you.

And again, it actually goes back to taking the time. It's all about time, right. And like how we can stretch out time and use the time that we have, as opposed to like trying to get everything done really fast or figure everything out really fast. She, I think my first session with her, we probably talked for two hours.

You know, I had to give her my whole life story so that she would have a place to start with me. And I take that with me when I have new students. And I want to know as much about them is I can, I mean, now time is different, right? I mean, people sign up for a session. I want to spend a whole hour with them chatting and trying to figure out where they're coming from, what they need from me.

And it's, it's harder to do. I feel, I feel sometimes I feel a little bit like, well, I should rather like get going, you know, make a move. Right. They've come to move. But I [00:30:00] think that I find a way to kind of start piecing it all together and to create an environment, a learning environment where people are sharing with me.

So that then I'm, you know, I'm constantly taking notes, you know, and I'm trying to fit the pieces together of the person in front of me so that I can actually teach the person in front of me. Not just the body in front of me, but the whole human being. Right. 

I mean, we get that a lot right, in our industry now, like teach the body in front of you. Yeah. That's really important. Right? It's all there. If you're really looking the body in front of you will be your guide. It will tell you what you need to teach. But you also need to think about the whole human being, because I think that will also teach you how to teach, because I do believe that Kathy was trying to ultimately figure out how someone best learns and when she could figure that out, then she would teach you and the way that you [00:31:00] learned best. I think that's also part of her genius. And that's also something that, I mean, you can't, I don't know. Maybe you can teach that. I don't know, but that's more, I, you know, I don't know that you could codify that, but, so there's that. 

In terms of what I take with me and, you know, I have to be honest, Kathy was, you know, she was tough, but she was fun. She was serious yet, she had a sense of humor about it. And I, I take that with me also, you know. I often say very often feel, I don't take myself very seriously personally, personally I don't, but I, I take my work seriously. I love my job and I, and I want to do a good job at my job, but yeah. I can crack jokes about myself. Right. I don't have to take myself too seriously. And I, I would like to [00:32:00] think that, you know, that also is something. 

I mean, yes, it's personality, but you know, there's a playfulness to Kathy and a sassyness that always came through. And I do think that it makes for a very kind of rich and vibrant learning atmosphere to be those two things simultaneously. Really tough, but also playful. 

And let's see. Anything else. I mean, there are so many subtle things, you know, I mean, so much of her rich language I use, and her way of wanting her students to really embody the task at hand. And I say task and not exercise on purpose because Kathy wanted you to really be in your body, experiencing the movement in your own very specific individual way.

Yes. I think there was form, and this- there was an [00:33:00] idea of what something should, should kind of look like, but I think more than anything she wanted you to feel it and actually be in it and be very present in it. And so she could catch you being outside of yourself, kind of overthinking, and then she would, you know, rein you in so that you would be back in your body having a physical experience and, and staying true to that and grounding you down into that and demanding that you stay in it.

And that, you know, that's profound work. That's profound transformation because, you know, she wouldn't dictate to you how to do it necessarily. She would give you like guidelines, but then you have to find out how to do it, how to get from aAto B. And then she would say, yeah, you got that. [00:34:00] Or that is not it.

And you would be constantly trying things. Like if I do this a little like this, you know, am I going to get mmhm, or am I going to get that nuh-uh, you know, am I going to get the yes or the no. And then when you got the yes, you have to like take the snapshot and try to remember what it was that got the yes from Kathy. Lord have mercy like, don't forget it. She didn't have patience for you forgetting things. Right. 

It was like, You had it today and be like, that's where my head is. That's my head lift or that's my knee fold or that's my teaser. And it was mine. And she knew that was mine. And that was so-and-so's and that was so-and-so's, you know, so I hope that those things that had those profound, the resonate profoundly with the way that she taught me are things that I'm able to also give to my [00:35:00] students.

Olivia: [00:35:01] Yeah. And jumping off of that, what would you advise teachers, or what advice would you give teachers who maybe are just getting started and are still a little green as you are when you get started or even experienced teachers? And it could be, you know, from Kathy or just from your experience teaching and being with more than bodies, but full people, for so many years and moving with Pilates.

You said something a little bit earlier that I thought was really beautiful about, you know, being with the whole people and also like finding that balance of, you know, playfulness and seriousness. Like, you may have already answered that question, but just if there is anything you can share, because you've had such wonderful experiences and, and been in the biz.

Maria: [00:35:45] Okay. I have some, because I'm so grateful for being able to have a mentor in my life. I really encourage teachers to find that special person that will [00:36:00] be or can help to develop the craft of the teaching. Because I think that sometimes the road or their journey of being a Pilates teacher can be a bit lonely, unless you are surrounded by an incredible group of teachers in your studio or if you have a, you know, a great boss or right. 

But I think there's something so valuable in knowing that someone is there to answer your questions too, to cheer you on, to help you grow, to make you feel like you're a part of something even bigger than just the hours that you're teaching. And I think that that's where mentors come in.

And if you can't find a mentor that you, you know, that you find another teacher who really resonates with [00:37:00] you and that you can have someone to dialogue off of. I think now more than ever, because we are home, many of us are no longer teaching in a studio where we're getting that kind of stimulus all the time from each other, from our group. Maybe that's actually another piece of advice, which is to go out and seek that so that you are being nurtured as a teacher. 

But ooh, I do have another one, which is to cultivate your student kind of learner mentality, Where you're cultivating their curiosity to learn more, not just to be super smarty pants or to be nerdy about it, but cultivating the learner in you always, no matter how long you've been [00:38:00] teaching so that you are always in this state of exploration.

I try to think a lot about my students who come to study with me, many of whom are teachers, but also moms, you know, from the school where my son goes to, right. They're looking for a connection to themselves. And the language that I use is Pilates. And so if I'm also trying to figure out what my journey is, and I'm staying active in my journey as a teacher, which means that I have to be constantly questioning and being curious and trying to figure things out. I'm not just on autopilot, then I'm going to relate much more to the people that I'm teaching, because everything to them is new all the time. 

Olivia: [00:38:58] That's I think [00:39:00] really wonderful advice. And I think that the Pilates community as a whole benefits from those mentorship relationships where we do have a greater sense of connection, and from, you know, continuing to learn, continuing to grow.

I mean, talking to you, hearing about Kathy, but also hearing, you know, just your care for your students. And that's something I think it is really universal with teachers is that we just care so deeply. 

Can you share some of what you're working on your projects and your adventures, maybe your Advanced Mover series.

Maria: [00:39:30] Yeah. So I started a six week class series. It's called the Advanced Movers series and it's six weeks of classes that are really designed for teachers who want to move. They want to move and they need to be held accountable, or they need someone to help them, right, keep their practice because we [00:40:00] all know how difficult it is to keep our personal practice.

I mean, I'll be completely honest. I have great intentions of working out, but I have to schedule it. I have to schedule it. I have to schedule my sessions to make sure that they get done. Otherwise, I spend a whole lot of time taking care of everybody else and making sure that everybody else is getting their sessions and everybody else is moving.

So I was like, okay, so I'm going to create this series specifically for teachers who want to work on their practice and it's part workout, but then there's also this part. That's actually kind of my favorite part where we get together and we chat. It's a little bit like, yeah, you could call it a Q and A, but I'm thinking that it's more like a dialogue in between all of us.

And we get to talk about anything that came up in the session. [00:41:00] I can workshop questions that arise and my aim with it that, I think I sort of already said it, right? Which is to be there for teachers so that I can help them along their journey and also create these like little pockets of community, which then I hope establishes these friendships.

Olivia: [00:41:21] Beautiful. And I think that I had the pleasure of popping in as a guest in one of the classes. And you've got people from all over Europe and all over the world. It's fun. As someone in the United States to be like the only one from the United States, I was like, Oh, Switzerland. Oh Ireland. Okay. Hey, and here's, you know, Maria in Spain, like this is like a worldwide Pilates party. And like you said, it's the language that we have in common is this beautiful movement, beautiful, precise adventure that we're all exploring. 

When does the second session of your Advanced Mover series start so that people can be a part of this because it's like a really great and [00:42:00] valuable and necessary niche because we don't move. We say we should move-

Maria: [00:42:06] I wrote it here. Okay. Session two begins the week of February 16th. 

I mean, the irony is that we become Pilates teachers because we love the work so much. And then at the end of the day of teaching, the last thing we want to do is like, do our own workout. You know, people ask me all the time.

They're like, Oh, well, you're a Pilates teacher. Like, you know, do you work out every day? I'm like, that would be fantastic. I wish that I did. I mean, The reformers on my left. I have a chair behind me. I'm actually sitting on my mat right this minute, yet nine o'clock rolls around in the evening and I'm like, Oh, darn it. I'm too tired. 

Or what ends up happening is I just roll around. And I'll, I pull my knees into my chest and that's all great, you know, do a couple [00:43:00] cat cows, you know, roll around some more, but you know, getting into the meat of the work requires, you know. I hate to say it, but I personally need someone to push me.

And even though I know everything that I need to do on that reformer. You know, all I have to do is lay down and start with footwork. And I tell you an hour will go by in a minute and I will be super happy with myself, but it's really hard to motivate myself by myself. So, you know, I have to schedule my workouts, I have to do it.

So I created this series thinking, well, there's gotta be other people like me, and I'm sure that I can create a Pilates party, like you said. 

Olivia: [00:43:42] It's beautiful. So Maria, thank you so much for sharing all of the fabulous stories that you shared. Thank you for being such a light and just incredible member of the Pilates community.

I really highly recommend that you check out her Advanced Mover series. [00:44:00] She is a wonderful teacher and will really, like she said, she said she didn't want to say, but she means that she'll hold you accountable and let you explore the work in ways that you may not be able to on your own. So thank you, Maria, for joining us.

Maria: [00:44:12] Thank you for having me.

Olivia: [00:44:21] Thanks for listening to this week's chapter of Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. Check out the podcast, Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual, and be sure to subscribe wherever you listen. For more Pilates goodness, check out my other podcast, Pilates Students' Manual, available everywhere you listen to podcasts.

The adventure continues. Until next time.

First Pilates Experience
Teacher Training
Meeting and Working with Kathy Grant
Kathy Grant's Influence
Advice for Teachers
Current Projects