The nuts & bolts
Logistical advice based on years of experience… and the hope that you can make use of it:
- Get the support of your hosting institution. Maybe you’ll be lucky and they’ll provide you with some resources. At the very least, they can help lend moral support to the cause.
- Start planning early. Spread the word to your fellow students, and post sign-up sheets so that you can gauge attendance for the class, and they can set aside time for it. Word of mouth will be your greatest ally.
- Find a room large enough to accommodate everyone on exercise mats. A gym, large conference room or student lounge are all possibilities. If you need to move furniture, ask some early-arrivers or late-leavers to help lessen the pain.
- Tools of the trade = exercise mats, resistance bands, a skeleton.
- Lack of mats should not prevent you from teaching a class, but if you are able to put in the time and energy to finding 20-30 mats, these mats can last you, LA, and other student groups a very long time. How to fund them? Perhaps your anatomy department or student council can kick in a few bucks. Mt. Sinai’s mats were donated by a good-willed local Pilates studio named Pilates on Fifth (years later another student group obtained more mats from a NY yoga studio named Laughing Lotus).
- Resistance/flex bands are integral to many of the Pilates exercise, providing resistance (which helps isolate muscle function) for several of the Pilates-based exercises; luckily, a 60-foot roll is fairly cheap. Resistance bands are not required; they are just a helpful way for participants to increase the difficulty of an exercise and better feel their anatomy working.
- A skeleton named Bones. When you talk about muscles and their locations, it’s very helpful to demonstrate their general attachment points on a skeletal frame. A flex band makes a good approximation for a muscle.
- Cameo appearances: inviting the Dean of Anatomy, Dean of the Med School, Dean of Whatever to take the class, is a great way to spread cheer and build goodwill… and chances are these folks will enjoy it, too!
- If you want to understand if/how your participants enjoyed the class, and what types of changes you should make in the future, feedback is key. Create your own survey or use ours.
- Pass the torch: keep LA alive by engaging younger students who can teach the class after you no longer can.