I’m sitting in my hotel room, gazing at the mountains and preparing to teach one more time at Momentum Fest. This brainchild of the Valant family has proved to be a breath of fresh air for the movement community. Over the course of three days, there has been joy, connection and SO MUCH MOVEMENT. Attendees from across the globe enjoyed reformer classes and mat sessions from the likes of Anula Maeberg, James Crader, Trina Altman, Delia Buckmaster, Tracey Mallet, Courtney Miller, Grace Hurry, Lesley Logan, Jen Perell, Jessica Valant, and your’s truly. To say that we have practiced riding the momentum would be an understatement! With the opportunity to take six movement sessions each day, along with social gatherings in the evening, this event has been non-stop. Today I share with you a few of the lessons that I have learned as teacher in a large event that is full of energy:
Many times at large conference venues, it can be overwhelming to approach peers and or teachers who’s work you follow. I was so happy to have had the opportunity to meet so many participants who “knew” me and to get to know them as well. The more I was engaged with, the more I was able to engage with others. In truth, I had to retreat to my room a few times to replenish my energy, but on the whole, I feel like I have a greater connection to our community after this weekend. Starting a conversation with someone always provides an opportunity for learning and connection.
read the room:
I came with a loose plan for what I would teach. I didn’t know who would be in attendance, what the environment would be like, nor did I know what those bodies would bring to the table. I chose to create an environment of permission so that the participants in my class would potentially feel cared for. I took about 5 minutes at the beginning of each class to take the temperature of the people who were entering the room. We chatted and I learned where they were at energetically and was able to temper that state through the movement I taught. This process allowed for me to trust my gifts, acknowledge theirs and create a space for nourishment.
learn about other’s work:
While I was unable to take all of the classes based on the need to preserve my energy, I was able to listen to other teachers talk about their work and philosophy. In a world that can be ridden with criticism, this was a beautiful way to simply bear witness to other teacher’s journeys. So often, judgment can come into play when observing another person teach. What they teach is not a threat to your work. Ever. Period. It is their voice, with their passion and their intention. You don’t have to love everything that someone else teaches, however, if you allow yourself to simply observe and appreciate, everyone wins.
bring your gifts to the table:
Whether you are an attendee at a large venue or an instructor, conference gatherings provide a beautiful experiment on “gift management.” The challenge is to find how your gifts are available to be adjusted to each scenario. If you are teaching, how do you set the stage for your students to experience what you offer? If you are a teacher in the student mode, how do you allow your gifts to support and enhance your role as a student? Rather than feeling like you have to play a role, experiment with how to be malleable and shift within each given situation. This makes it more like a game and quiets many of the insecurities that can tend to show up at large events.
The experience of Momentum Fest was so special for my work and my connection to the community. I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach at a gathering of movement enthusiasts who let me share my work and embraced it fully (even when there were tears!) The movement towards inclusion in the Pilates industry is slowly getting traction and I am honored to be a part of it. This week, consider how the above might apply to your daily engagements with clients? How might you take perspective and work to engage, read the room, learn and bring your gifts to the table.
I’d love to hear more about your experiences with any of the elements mentioned above. Drop a comment in the field below and let’s connect!