Coronavirus, Trauma and Pilates

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Written by Beth Sandlin

March 20, 2020

Welcome to my first blog post. This is something I’ve been wanting to dip my toes in for some time, but struggled with what was the BEST post to get started discussing trauma and Pilates…

Enter coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeping the world and everyone is impacted. Pilates teachers and studios are making adjustments. People are talking, writing and thinking about COVID-19. And inspiration hit.

The truth is trauma is misunderstood and not often talked about. Yet we are ALL talking about COVID-19 and there are some very real crossovers between coronavirus and trauma and some major differences as well. 

Similarities between COVID-19 and Trauma

  • Coronoavirus and trauma can and do impact a Pilates studio, Pilates session and an interpersonal interaction. 
  • Both disrupt the everyday experience and this increases stress levels and has the potential to trigger automatic responses in people. 
  • Coronavirus and trauma require support in a new way in many different ways. Support from colleagues, supporting clients, teaching Pilates in a different way than you were originally taught. 

Differences between COVID-19 and Trauma

  • People are talking about COVID-19 and taking proactive steps to reduce the effects whereas generally society does not talk about trauma. This leads to a lot of unknown. People don’t realize how common trauma is or the impacts on a person. This in turn can oftentimes lead to shame, blame or people not willing to talk about their trauma. And perpetuates the cycle of a misunderstanding of how this impacts their whole life, both by the person themselves and those engaging with them. 
  • Pilates Instructors are standing up and learning and doing everything they can pertaining to the intersection of coronavirus and Pilates. Although some Pilates teachers have done continuing education in a trauma informed approach and applied this to teaching the method, and others may intuitively fold some aspects of this into teaching Pilates, there is not widespread discussion in the Pilates community pertaining to trauma.
  • There is no fear from Pilates teachers about making adjustments to how they teach at this time (beyond the financial concerns, zoom, online classes, looking at protocols, responding to current best practices, etc.), it is seen as necessary to support themselves as instructors and their clients. Yet there is still fear for some Pilates teachers that they are stepping out of their scope of practice if they learn about trauma and apply a trauma informed approach. 

So I’ll leave you with this, even if you don’t want to work with trauma, you will because just like coronavirus so many people experience trauma, it’s just not talked about.

At the end of the day a trauma informed approach is another way to support you as a Pilates teacher and all of your Pilates clients.

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