The year 2020 has proven to be a challenging one. In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re dealing with concerns of falling ill, being isolated from friends and family (whether we are sick or not) unemployment, and financial uncertainty. As a Registered Massage Therapist and a Pilates Mat and Reformer Teacher, within moments, I went from working a full schedule to having absolutely no work, as gyms and studios were ordered to shut down and Massage Therapy practice was suspended. Unemployment was an unbelievable new reality for me.

To be completely honest, part of me was relieved that I would be getting a break from the physical demands of Massage Therapy, but I missed teaching my Pilates classes. I became familiar with Zoom and started teaching my friends and a few of my clients daily virtual classes for free.

With my newfound free time, I also began participating regularly in the Body Harmonics live classes. I live over an hour away from the studio, so taking classes regularly in person is just not possible between my work and family life. The BH live classes made regular participation possible, and turned out to be an indispensable learning tool.

Finding my missing link

I quickly realized that taking classes taught by like-minded teachers was my missing link to being the best instructor I could be. I could see myself evolve; cueing more efficiently, building creative progressions to classical exercises that I often wouldn’t teach, and gaining confidence in my ability to teach. I was also getting noticeably stronger and could feel the power that my body was gaining.

And I wasn’t the only one getting stronger. After teaching my participants for over a month, I could see the real strength that they were building and loved to see their movement improve. From both a physical and an emotional standpoint I was making a difference in their lives. I had become the daily “main event”  for some when all we could do is stay at home and go for groceries as infrequently as possible. They were so happy that they all joined together and sent me a very generous gift card to show their appreciation.

Although there is a lot of free content available out there, there’s a big difference between following a YouTube video where there’s no real connection or sense of community. In live virtual classes, there is connection. I’m happy to see my participants and they are happy to see me and one another. We feel like “we’re in this together.”

Charging for online classes

I’ve started charging for my virtual classes and my participants have been more than happy to support me as they can feel and appreciate the benefits that Pilates-based movement and my expertise provides as well as the sense of community that we share. Plus, people love doing Pilates from their own homes. And, I have a friend who purchased a reformer so I can train her from home! I’m teaching more classes than ever before and I’m connecting with my participants in ways that would have never been possible had I not started teaching live. I have also contacted my private clients and they have all continued training with me virtually. My Pilates business is growing thanks to technology and my bolstered confidence.

Finding my silver lining

The Coronavirus pandemic has given me the opportunity to stop and ask myself what I really want to do with my work life and where my passion lies. I’m passionate about moving well and teaching movement. And I feel blessed to be in a profession that’s adaptable to our current life circumstance. I plan on moving forward with full force once the studios are allowed to be up and running, and look forward to my third level of training at Body Harmonics: Cadillac, Chair, Springboard and Barrels. I feel so fortunate to be part of the BH community and grateful that I been able to find my silver lining during such a challenging time in all our lives.

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Author: Marlene Rosen

Marlene Rosen has been a practicing Massage Therapist since 1999. She completed her Pilates Mat training at Body Harmonics in 2006, took time off to raise her family and then completed Reformer training in 2015. During the time between 2006 and 2015, Marlene completed her Post-Rehab Specialist certification at Body Harmonics. She’s passionate about the importance of improving posture and body mechanics, and loves working with clients to help them build strength and reduce strain and tension in their bodies.