Posts By

Holly Furgason

Business

The Movement Factory Owner Gets Real About Owning A Studio

April 18, 2014

This month begins a new series that will profile Pilates business owners.  I wanted to know what inspired these studio owners and entrepreneurs to start their own business and how they made their dreams into a reality.  I wanted to hear, first-hand, what these amazing entrepreneurs had to say.

I sat down with studio owner Alyssa Lee from The Movement Factory, Cleveland, Ohio. Alyssa is a high-energy,…

Teaching Skills

How to Teach Group Classes in Small Spaces

March 19, 2014

A common dilemma I see when teachers select exercises for their classes is that they do not plan so that the students have room to move fully. Over the past 10+ years of working in San Francisco where space is always limited, I’ve taught in the tiniest spaces. Having spatial limitations just means that you need to consider the room and think strategically while planning for your class.

My…

New Teachers Teachers In Training

What’s the Difference Between “Neutral” and “Natural”

March 7, 2014

I love getting questions. One recent question was so great, I had to share it with you!

“What I’ve noticed is that a neutral pelvis looks very different on each individual body. What are your suggestions for assessing new clients who don’t understand what neutral alignment looks and feels like? How do you as the instructor familiarize yourself with an individual’s anatomy? Neutral alignment (which is synonymous to ideal…

Teaching Skills

How to Use Everyday Items to Modify Exercises

February 27, 2014

At one time or another most teachers will show up to teach a class and realize they need a prop to modify an exercise that the facility does not have. At such a moment, you have a choice: ignore the client’s clear discomfort or get creative. Of course, I recommend getting creative. As Tim Gunn would say: “It’s let’s make it work time!”

Everyday items that students bring to class can…

New Teachers Teachers In Training

First Steps in New Client Programming

February 12, 2014

One of the most important pieces of the teaching puzzle is programming. A program is targeted and specific to an individual’s postural needs and training goals.

During teacher training courses, we discuss programming. You’re given the tools to begin to understand how a program can be developed for an individual’s needs and goals. As a class we discuss sample client profiles in the Support Materials Manual. Reviewing…

Teaching Skills

The Importance of Imprint

February 4, 2014

“Now imprint your pelvis and lift one leg up to tabletop and then the other leg to meet it.”
 

You will hear this repeated at the beginning of many exercises, especially exercises with one or both legs off of the floor. Using imprint during exercises with an open kinetic chain ensures that your back is safe and protected when your legs are off the floor. Imprint…

Pilates

A Little History of Joseph Pilates

February 4, 2014

Every time I do Pilates I say a little thank you to Joseph Pilates. I can’t imagine my life without his incredible system.

The Joseph Pilates method of exercise was originally called contrology. At its roots lays the idea that poor posture, inefficient breathing, and the “modern lifestyle” are primary causes of unhealthiness. Both of the books authored by Pilates dealt with Contrology and how to create…

Teaching Skills

Mastering the Gaze

January 21, 2014

Helping your clients master their gaze when executing an exercise will greatly improve the overall movement quality, as well as reduce unnecessary tension in the upper quadrant.

Vision is an integral part of human movement, and its great impact can be traced all the way back to early child development. As babies increase their ability to distinguish what they see…

New Teachers Teaching Skills

8 Ways to Protect Your Body While Teaching Pilates

January 7, 2014

Protecting your body while your teaching is essential. During courses safety is a big focus. But once you start teaching 15+ hours per week and make a significant portion of your living through teaching.

So, here are easy ways to protect your body while teaching:

1. When adjusting springs on the reformer think about ergonomics.

Changing springs is a repetitive task when you do it multiple times per hour.…

Pilates Teaching Skills

Be the Secret Behind your Client’s Success

December 27, 2013

As fitness instructors, we all look forward to the new beginnings, new habits, new energy, and transformations. Our clients come in with shiny new resolutions and goals. A we have the rewarding job of helping them succeed at their health and wellness goals.

Fast Company and other smarty-pants resources suggest using SMART goals. The best place to start is helping your client shape their resolution into a SMART goal…