Saturday, February 14, 2015

Reflections on Studentship

I first heard the word studentship a few years ago. I thought it was a strange word. From my classes, I now profoundly understand. These are some of the regular students in my Sawgrass Pilates class.   Over the past 3 years, these women have worked deeper thanks to their willingness to be open to new ideas and to ask questions. Many a Thursday morning, I found myself moving to a finer teaching point due to a very astute observation or question from the class.
We often joked that if anyone ever peeked in the windows - they’d think the class was just laying there -- not realizing that work was occurring deep inside their bodies. These women truly connected with the concept of working from the “inside, out”  and were completely driven by the mind/body experience.

This commitment to learning about their unique bodies - and not expecting a “sweat & burn” workout is what made this class so exquisite. The high level of studentship made me a better teacher.    Because of them, I am able to clearly articulate concepts, breakdown a movement to its fundamental action, and enjoy the spontaneous dialogue.

As I prepared to move on to new work, I realized I needed to contract before I expanded.  That’s Pilates & Yoga 101 -- honoring the dance of contraction & expansion. And, I have said farewell to this amazing Thursday class.  In turn, they honored me and humbled me at a dinner where they presented a most beautiful mirror -- hand-made of fused glass -- which is yet another process of expansion and contraction. At dinner, each person touched the mirror - so that I will always be reminded to reflect on my students and teach for the highest good.

In the words of a great student....

May we all be like one of Picasso’s Cubist paintings. May we see all the sides simultaneously. May we each enjoy the natural process of contraction & expansion in every aspect of our lives. May each of us reflect back the beauty that’s around us and with in us.

first published in 2008 at