Updated: Jun 15
Here's the deal. Pilates can get personal really fast. It's easy to develop a relationship with your instructor! But that doesn't mean you are stuck with them for life. Know when it's time to end your Pilates relationship.
1. Look for the warning signs....
Your needs/concerns aren't being addressed.
You're instructor is putting you through what they want to put you through, not what you are comfortable with.
You're instructor spends half the session unloading their personal life/problems onto you.
You're instructor is showing they don't value showing up to your sessions (constantly cancelling/late/rushed/not mentally present).
You're instructor starts getting controlling about how you live your life outside of the studio.... (what to eat or not eat, whether or not you should do cardio or lift weights etc.)
You're instructor uses scare tactics against other forms of movement (that they conveniently don't teach).
2. Address the elephant in the room!
You do not need to feel guilty for wanting a high quality service that you are paying for and invested in! Voice your concerns. I suggest after a session, to give your instructor time to make a plan to change for the next session.
Set boundaries for instructors that you love doing Pilates with, but that may be starting to become controlling of your time outside of the studio.
Let them know you love working with them and the service that they offer.
Also let them know that you are not available to talk about other lifestyle choices during your sessions.
3. Seek out new movement professionals that can truly support you on your movement journey.
If your instructor still doesn't make changes to align with what you value/want out of your experience, it may be time to amicably part ways. Let them know you so appreciate their time, energy, and all of your sessions together but that you are going to make a change to a better fit for you at this point in your life. If you like them and know people that you think would be a good for them, offer to send referrals their way!
How not to break up with your instructor...
This gives them literally zero feedback on your experience, what happened, or maybe areas they could grow in as an instructor. They will assume you got busy, found another studio, maybe don't want to do pilates anymore, wonder where you went or what they did, and they will eventually stop thinking about your sessions you haven't booked altogether. No one wins here.
-Show up to your sessions late or with a bad attitude...
You're instructor is not able to read your mind and this is not only a waste of both your time, but you are literally paying for a bad experience, and possible setting you and your instructor up for an awful day. They might feel the tension but have no idea you feel it's because of them.
-Blast them on social media/leave angry reviews...
This does not give them the opportunity to hear you out at all, and definitely not a chance to make a change. If your issues could have been resolved, that chance is likely gone after personally attacking a (probably small) business. Just because your experience doesn't live up to your expectations doesn't mean that person is an awful instructor or not a good fit for someone else. Save reviews for those really truly awful experiences you want others to be wary of, like if they take your money but never allow you to book a session. Not if you don't like their teaching style. (Sidenote: I also encourage everyone to sit down and write 5 awesome reviews for places that you frequent often. This means the world to a small business owner!)
90% of Pilates is communication. Instructors communicating with clients, clients communicating with instructors, you communicating with your own body etc. Just like in any relationship, there are going to be some communication breakdowns. Address them right away to keep yourself in a healthy and happy Pilates relationship!
Looking for a new Pilates Instructor? Check out this blog on finding the right Pilates Instructor for you!