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Running from the pilates connection?

Can I Ask A Question?

"I teach at a studio whose clientele are very active and outdoor-sy.  Clients love kayaking, hiking, running and of course have joined the new pickle-ball craze. My question is specific to two clients who I have a very hard time getting to connect to Pilates?  They both started at the studio because they heard that pilates can help with the common side-effects of running - like tight hamstrings and hips, but I can't get them to actually slow down and connect with their bodies.  Any advice?"  Sincerely ~ Disconnected 


Dear Disconnected, 

It can be difficult when you feel your teaching skills aren't clicking for someone or a group of someones.  I think the key to your success (and theirs), is tapping into their runner's mindset. 

Let's think about how a Runner moves and the role movement plays in their life:

  • Running is an autopilot activity.  In fact, when asked what they love about running, so many say that they use running to clear their disconnect. 
  • Runners are programmed for pace -- and a speedy pace at that
  • A good run ends with exhaustion, a feeling of having pushed to the max and a dripping - need-to-take-a-shower-or-get-a-yeast-infection-type sweat 

Pilates is quite literally the polar opposite of running. 

  • Pilates does not offer solitude or disconnection.  We literally ask for awareness and presence every second of every moment of the session
  • Slow and controlled movements are signs of success
  • While pilates will certainly provide clients with a glisten and glow, that feeling of hitting a wall doesn't really exist.  Most actually feel energized and centered after a session.  


So my suggestion is to meet your runners where they are and slowly establish a new, or additional, way of thinking about movement.  Weave verbal reminders throughout the session to reinforce the objectives of the movements and encourage them to save the runner mindset for the pavement.  And hear my voice in your mind saying "don't accept their first offer" and don't move on to a new movement till they give you that "extra".  The "extra" is where the connection is built and strengthened.