Threading Support into your Pilates Sessions

Beth in blue pants, black top on a gray Pilates mat in the Pilates teaser exercise

Written by Beth Sandlin

December 9, 2021

Each Pilates teacher has their unique perspective of what Pilates is and different themes that they use to teach. Whether it’s sticking to just the mechanics of the Pilates exercises or expanding how you teach to deepen the experience for you as a Pilates teacher and for your clients. 

This may be incorporating the more traditional Principles of Pilates such as breathing or flow, or trying a new theme. There are many ways to keep the work interesting for you and your clients and transcend beyond just another workout. 

One theme that is valuable is the underutilized aspect of Support. When you think of the larger pieces of equipment or even breathing they can offer immense support for someone. 

One of the fears of using support is that it will make an exercise easy. And though this can occur, (and I’m all for moving with “easy” or restorative classes when you or your clients are in the mood for that), 

Support can actually make something more challenging… in all the right ways. 

Think of the teaser exercise. You have seen countless people try to push through it, heck maybe you’ve even tried to push through it too. (And yes, I’ve pushed through exercises too.) It makes the exercise hard and not in the way that feels good. The back stays stiff, the hips overwork, there is strain in the neck, etc. 

Now compare that to when you teach with using a Yoga Strap around the feet to support the legs. Feel the energy of the legs push into the strap.

Beth in plum leggings and black top, on a teal trap table in the Pilates exercise of Teaser, holding a Yoga Strap looped around her feet

The strap is supporting the legs and all of a sudden there’s an opportunity for more ease with the spine to find suppleness. And the exercise is easy and more challenging in just the right way. 

This was one example. But you do this same thing with teaser on the Cadillac, you’re just finding support in a different way for the same exercise.

Check out this short video with different examples for the Pilates Teaser Exercise.

So what to do with this info. 

  1. Move with a Pilates session, short or long with the intention of Support. See how you can feel supported with each exercise, by your body and also by the equipment. Notice if there was a shift in the movement experience. If this felt positive, 
  2. Teach a class with the theme of Support. You can thread it through the entire class or just a handful of exercises. See how this experience is for your clients. 
  3. From there, decide how often you personally move with this intention or continue to thread it into the Pilates classes you teach. 
  4. And bonus, connect with me on Instagram and let me know how it goes. 

And if you’re more of an auditory learner, watch this Instagram Live Video I did on threading Support into teaching the Pilates Method. 

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