When I was going through my Pilates teacher training in NYC, I was told to start a journal. I bought a thick, blank, spiral bound notebook just as I was instructed. I was told to write down everything I could think of during my valuable time spent in teacher training.
I scribbled down every private lesson I observed. I drew stick figures of people doing exercises I’d never seen before so I’d be able to fully remember the exercises. I wrote down specific word cues that stuck with me. Special brands of equipment that worked well with my body also made it in.
Every lesson I took also had a journal entry. I learned little nuances about myself that I would have otherwise never known. I had pages and pages written about what movements my body liked and didn’t like. It was during this time that I learned how my scoliosis worked and affected my entire body.
I vividly remember the day when I felt specific, hard-to-engage scoli muscles fire in my back for the first time. It was also the same day I was teaching a woman who had scoliosis. I physically saw the vertebra in her back shift to a more neutral position as she completed an exercise. It was stunning. I didn’t know bodies could do crazy stuff like that, so I made a huge journal entry about that day so it would forever be engrained in my memory.
I also had a section where I could plan out and write my client’s lessons, often using previous lessons I’d taught as a guide. All of that information proved to be invaluable. I would always take notes after each lesson I taught, so I could remember what worked and what didn’t. It was crucial that my clients achieved success, so remembering exercises that worked for them was key.
Lastly, I journaled about what I observed in the studio each day and fantasized about having my own studio. Again, I’d make little notes on what I thought worked and what didn’t; notes like ‘music needs to be playing,’ ‘the floors should be spotless,’ and ‘the aesthetic should feel bright and open.’ Years later, I would always smile when clients remarked that they loved the music that was playing or that the studio always looked so clean. It was a small piece of the overall puzzle, but important nonetheless.
By the time I finished my teacher training, my journal was packed! Honestly, it was a prized possession of mine for years. It lived at my studio for a long time, until my feet became solidly grounded as a Pilates instructor, business owner, and someone comfortable and confident with her scoliosis. My journal helped me to own my Pilates teacher training, business, and body.
My desire is that the act of writing in this journal will help you learn to own your scoliosis, just as I learned to own mine. Soon, you’ll work through the emotional and physical side of your spiral spine. I pray that by the time you’ve worked your way through this journal and have filled out every page, your heart, mind and spine will be stronger.