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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Skillful Teaching - Chantill Lopez

*A Special Invitation: I would like to invite each of you to visit the website and join our community of teachers. Skillful Teaching is a project that promotes teaching mastery and leadership for movement arts teachers.

What you will find there:

Access to articles, teacher interviews and teaching resources.

Tune in and listen to Pilates For the People creator, Julie Schonfeld, in an insightful interview on teaching!! You don’t want to miss this!

Access to monthly tele-classes with guest experts in teaching techniques, business, self-care, cutting edge neuroscience, awareness practices and more.

Access to special member-only discounts and invitations.

Opportunities to share your stories, ask questions and connect with other like-minded teachers.


I would like to extend a VERY SPECIAL invitation to you NOW!

Join us on February 1-5, 2012, in Santa Cruz, CA

For the ONLY ONE of it’s kind…

Exclusively for movement arts teachers…


Get More Information Here (
Plus access to payment plans and an additional $100 off registration before Jan. 3rd!!

Honoring Your Teachers, Honoring Yourself

As the year closes, and our attention moves toward reflection, we have an opportunity to appreciate all that we’ve accomplished and waded through. When you are a teacher, this seems like a whirlwind of ups and downs, wins and losses, sweet moments of connection and terrifying moments of not knowing.

It is also an opportunity to pay special homage to our own teachers -- those who gave us knowledge and helped us reach understanding -- as well as those who worked alongside us to make our studios and businesses balanced and fruitful.

One of the greatest acts of generosity we can take part in is simply acknowledging both those teachers who have come before us, who set the stage for our work, and those teachers who currently stand side by side with us to bring healthier movement and joy to the larger community.

In the final days of 2011, here are some heartfelt, simple and potent acts you can take part in to cultivate gratitude and therefore continued prosperity in the New Year.

Acknowledge your teachers:

Grab pen and paper, find a quiet place, and close your eyes. Think back to New Year’s last year. Begin to feel the sensation of being there, a new beginning, an ending, unfolding into the potential of 2011. Imagine where you were and who was around you. Start to see the place, feel it in your body, smell it. Notice the details until you feel like you were there again.

Start to notice who was there supporting you and teaching you. Name them, feel their presence, list the qualities and strengths that you admire. Remember what they taught you, why they were in your life and what kind of impact they had on you.

Continue to explore the year’s events and crucial moments, acknowledging each of the people who gave you something, whether it was ongoing guidance, a single piece of advice, or just being available when you needed it.

When you get to the end of the year, let all of these people and what they offered fill you up. Feel gratitude well up and be there with it.

Now, jot down who those people where, what they did, and how they helped you navigate the past year. Keep this somewhere you see often and see if you can let the feeling of support fill you up in those times when you are struggling.

*A Simple Gesture: If you are up to it, send each of these people a short note telling them how grateful you are for their support. An email or hand written note will do.

Acknowledge the teacher in you:

Much in the same fashion as above, take a quiet moment to reflect on the trials and tribulations of 2011, focusing particularly on how you were able to work with challenges and unexpected situations.

Let yourself feel what it was like in each of these instances. Try to put yourself back in the moment. As the experiences unfold, see how you were either wise in your actions and appreciate how you were able to make good choices, or notice how in retrospect you see how you could have done things differently.

See each event as an opportunity to appreciate your willingness to show up for your teaching path, for stepping up over and over again to see what is there. Rest in the knowledge that each moment brought you to a new place of understanding and growth.

This is the teacher in you. The part of you that is able to keep learning, growing and adapting.

*A Simple Gesture: Write a sweet love note to yourself appreciating all that you achieved and overcame in 2011. Focus on what made you feel stronger, more courageous and brought your joy. Write down the moments you felt truly in the flow. Put this note in your purse, bag or day-planner so you can be reminded often of your infinite potential to show up and keep cultivating the heartfelt teacher that you are.

Acknowledge your teachers (your staff):

There have never been truer words than those pointing us toward realizing our success is not solely dependent on us. Without every single person we encounter, our worlds, let alone our success, would not take shape.

The biggest folly, and ingratitude, you can take part in is to think the success of your work, your business, or your studio comes from you alone. If we hold this as an underlying belief even in a small way it inevitably sneaks into the product of our work.

So, start right now – and do it regularly – by telling your teachers who much their efforts are appreciated. And better yet, tell the world.

*A Simple Gesture: 3 Options –

1. In your monthly newsletter, write a little blurb about how awesome each of your teachers are. Tell your students who much they contribute to the success of the studio and note their achievements from the past year.

2. Give each teacher a note telling them how much you are grateful for their work in the studio. Congratulate them on their successes.

3. In a highly visible place in your studio post a note about each of the teachers with the same content from the first two.

Make it easy and honest. And don’t just wait till the end of the year, consider doing this as a regular practice. It will do amazing things for creating stronger, lasting relationships with your teachers and making your studio a place where they want to be more often.

I find that all of these practices connects me more deeply with my work and gives me inspiration for putting one foot in front of the other. It has also created a foundation for my business that I am extremely proud of.

As I told my bookkeeper the other day, how I know we are successful is that our students and teachers are proud to be a part of our studio, they tell the people they care most about to come to us, they tell us all the time how much they love being a part of the community and they show up happy and willingly. And financial success has followed. With values and generosity at our core, I know prosperity will always follow.

May you move into the New Year with a greater sense of gratitude for yourself, your mentors, and those who support you. May these simple things become a foundation for a prosperous 2012!


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  2. This is a very informative article. Yes, I do agree students should acknowledge their Pilates Instructors on their training. I do believe it gives more inspiration on the side of the teachers.