A few years ago, Sueann and I went to Kripalu for a workshop with Ken Nelson and Lesli Lang . We wanted to go on retreat and thought we could also learn something about teaching workshops.
In the course, we talked about the leader’s role as a facilitator. I’ll admit I was at odds with this term. It sounds so neutral and removed, almost cold. However, I came to appreciate the distinction Ken made between the role of a facilitator in contrast to a presenter.
When you successfully facilitate a workshop, you bring people together in meaningful ways so that they can share their stories and perspective; you let the workshop take shape by responding to the students’ questions, confusion and insights; most importantly you keep the learner engaged by continually seeking input and incorporating movement - even in anatomy class, also while learning theory!
In Harmony’s current teacher training, the Principles “lecture” is more like a lively discussion. I write the word “Centering” on the board and let the students have at it, offering their thoughts popcorn-style. Every idea is worth consideration. This goes on until the whiteboard is full of ideas, our notes embellished and expanded. And by the end, we inevitably marvel at the interrelatedness of all six Pilates principles and reflect on how and why we cherish the practice of Pilates.
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