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Instructor Newsletter - APRIL 2015
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As an Essentrics instructor, it is your job to introduce new clients to an experience that is safe and effective for them. There are many potential clients who attend classes which are not for them at all; this makes your job as an instructor much more difficult. When you hear from a potential client who is nervous about attending your class (for whatever reason)—try to arrange a time to chat with them before your class or private session. It is very important to ask new clients the appropriate questions, in order to be able to learn as much as you can about them so you are able to give them a safe, reliable and effective workout.
Note: If you are not certified Level 3 or 4 — make it a priority to get there! Without this level of expertise, you will not understand how to correctly apply the answers and observations from the consultation and thus be able to give the appropriate exercises and modifications.
Before you begin, you will need to have every client sign a waiver of release to protect yourself from legal issues. If the person contacted you prior to the session with a serious medical history, kindly request that they bring a doctor’s note to verify that they have permission to take part in a gentle stretching and strengthening program.
Primary Questions to Ask:
What are their goals?
- Pain relief
- Increased flexibility
- Body shaping and toning
Remember it is your job to consider the client's goals and show them how to safely and effectively achieve them with the Essentrics program.
Do they have pain - anywhere?
- Where is their pain?
- What is the cause of their pain?
- When do they feel the pain (sitting, standing, lying down, getting up, etc.)?
- How long ago were they injured?
- Do they still feel any pain associated with their injury?
Remember, the sight of pain is not always the source of the problem. You may only find out at the end of the consultation about previous injuries as people tend to forget about their injuries.
- This may not be the place they feel pain, but ANY type of surgery can lead to scarred tissue and blockage in the muscle chains (ie. C-section, breast surgery, etc.).
Encourage them to do the full workout, but make sure that they do not force themselves to work in pain. Staying relaxed while they do the workout should keep them pain-free.
What type of physical exercise do they do presently or have previously done on a regular basis?
- How often and at what intensity?
- When was the last time they did regular sports or exercises?
Whatever they are or are not doing can be a major component of why they are presently experiencing pain.
What does their profession or major hobbies consist of (in terms of movement)?
- Sitting on at a desk
- Lifting heavy things
Questions for someone who is sedentary:
If they answer “no” to any of these questions, they would need to attend a special slow Essentrics Aging Backwards class. They could not join the regular Essentrics group as it would be too fast and dangerous for them and would disrupt the regular students. If they can afford to take a private session with you, this would also be a good option.
Can they get up and down from the floor?
- If not, they shouldn’t do floor work and should attend the special Aging Backwards slow class.
Can they climb up stairs?
- If not, they should be encouraged to do pliés and lunges (don’t push them past pain).
Can they reach both of their arms above their head?
- They should gently try to regain mobility in their arms. This itself will be a major workout for them.
If they are having any pain in their hips, lower back, and knees or have trouble walking.
If clients come to you who are seriously immobile and live a sedentary life.
In pain and out of shape clients need to be encouraged to work in a very relaxed mode until they regain some mobility and strength. The Aging Backwards class sessions should be very easy for them to do. You might feel that they aren’t working, but they will be aware that they are working. After a few sessions, they will begin to feel their body start to unlock and release, which will allow them to push a bit further every time. It’s very important to be patient as the little changes will gradually make a big difference.
“For anyone considering doing a live teacher training, I can't recommend it enough. It's worth it even if you never become a teacher—for the in depth exploration of Essentrics and its applicability to all aspects of movement, health and healing. It was definitely worth every penny! Thanks everyone!”
- Paula Hartgraves
Throughout the years, Essentrics has gained a lot of respect in the fitness world from professional athletes, celebrities and the medical community — for being an intelligent program that is respectful to the body. Fitness clothing brands have not hesitated in using Essentrics instructors to help embody their brand identity through their appearance, demeanor, values and ethics.
Erika Vipond, Master Trainer (Montreal): Brand Ambassador for Lolë
Lolë is a brand exclusive for women who want to Live Out Loud Everyday. What makes Lolë such an interactive brand is that there mission is to help provide women with free access to education in health, fitness and wellbeing, by doing things like offering community classes on a weekly basis.
Erika Vipond has been working with Lolë for a couple years. It all started through a friend who was already an ambassador who thought Erika would make a great fit for the brand. After approaching them, it took no time before she was given many opportunities to share her passion for teaching Essentrics and Yoga in a positive community. Working with Lolë has helped Erika build her own personal brand as a fitness instructor: she has acquired professional footage/photos of herself at different events she’s hosted and they have promoted each other through their various social media platforms.
Besides getting free fitness clothes and gear—the great part about working with Lolë is the community events they encourage their ambassadors to take part in. Some events that Erika has taken part in include:
Each month, we will feature an Essentrics Brand Ambassador or someone affiliated with a brand. If you are affiliated with a brand who shares a similar mission as we do, then we would love to hear about it and share it with our Essentrics community. Email: email@example.com for more information.
Warm up songs are so tricky to get the beat right - people need to move and relax! Try to find a tempo similar to the following songs from our Certified Instructors.
- ‘Aint to Proud to Beg by The Temptations (Megan Feeney from Montreal)
- Are you with me? by Lost Frequencies (Danielle De Wildt from Amsterdam)
- Supernatural by Aluna George (Erika Vipond from Montreal)
- It's Raining Men by The Weather Girls + Killer Queen by Queen (Sheri Burge from Toronto)
Your clients trust you—if you want to keep them attentive — they need clear, concise and consistent direction! Imagine you are the director of a play and your class is your crew:
Place the Class Accordingly: Right at the beginning of the class make sure everyone in the class has enough space between one another or from the walls/pillars in the room and especially make sure that you can see them.
People need permission to move! If you tell your class to lie on their mats — when they get up to do the seated work they will probably be facing the side of the room. Tell your class all at the same time to turn around and face you because they won’t turn around unless you have instructed them to do so.
Barres and Chairs: If they are too close to one another, they will be kicking each other. Barres: Have the person on the front of each barre stand on the same side and everyone else can stager behind to make things simple! Chairs: Make sure everyone’s chair faces the same direction and everyone’s standing on the same side for each exercise (or they will become confused.)
Modifications should be Mandatory for Some: People are programmed to challenge themselves and don’t like to feel weak or that they need to do something different than other people. Don’t give weak/tight people an option to not use risers when they are sitting with their feet in front or to bend their knees on during airplane exercises. You can walk around and discreetly cue them to bend their knees in order to flatten their spine or give them a riser to sit on and then explain that it will allow them to engage more muscles. Remember that your client’s safety comes first!
Sheri Burge is a positive and motivating instructor whose love for Essentrics is reflected in her client’s drive to take her classes. When Sheri began the Essentrics Teacher Training, Miranda Esmonde-White was quick to point out that she had poor posture and an unhealthy, immobile spine caused by countless hours working as an accountant combined with cardio-focused exercise routines. After an eye opening experience at the Live Teacher Training in Montreal, 2012, she followed Miranda’s guidance and dedicated herself to follow the Classical Stretch and Essentrics program.
Within a few months of persistent training with the Essentrics Program, she began to experience a dramatic change in her spine, posture, energy and fitness level. She now has what she refers to as a “happy body” and is so grateful to share Essentrics with her clients, friends and family.
Sheri's Facebook Page