I know a teacher who loves all the latest Pilates Gizmos and gadgets. Her shelves are fit to burst with anything you can think of. Often we surround ourselves by an array of “ improve the…” and “release the…” Pilates equipment. There is no doubt that our love of “toys ” can bring great results for our clients but it can also bring often a feeling clutter; space and breath becomes a premium! Is this really what Pilates is about?
As the growth of Pilates continues then so does the manufacturing industry. Before our studios turn into a minefield of mini apparatus it could be time for you to re-evaluate your working space.
Organising our working space brings us into a calmer state of mind and helps our internal emotions as well as our external environment. It helps our clients to find a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with themselves by working with space and in a clutter free zone.
Here are 10 ways you can bring your studio into both physical and energetic alignment with co-ordinated space for fluidity and breath and you can feel controlled and centered once again.
1. Arrange your studio the way you aim to use it. How easy is it for people to walk around and access the emergency access? Can they access equipment without stepping over fellow clients? More teachers are choosing to work at home where space can be even more of a premium. Try out a few different ways of arranging your studio space before you settle. Alternatively, measure your equipment and draw a to scale map on paper where you can move your paper pieces of equipment around until you find the layout that offers you maximum results.
2. Invest in equipment that offers you easy storage solutions. If you are a studio owner and looking to buy or upgrade equipment check out what options are available to you first. Look at an array of suppliers and chat to other teachers to see what worked for them. For example if you have a small studio space, two Pilates Reformer Towers could offer you more space than one Cadillac and one Reformer.
3. IKEA offers a range of storage solutions for studio owners. From shoe cupboards that de-clutter your floor to toy shelves and boxes that are perfect for all the small apparatus. Baskets can be placed under the reformer holding all of your extra straps and springs. Discs and blocks can be also kept under the reformer or on shelves for easy access.
4. Client clashing can be a problem in a busy studio when everyone is arriving or leaving at once. You can break the rules and re-schedule your clients to fit your space. I had a small studio where I could see three clients at once. If I had hourly appointments then I would have had six people in the studio coming and going together. I scheduled the sessions to every twenty minutes 9.00, 9.20, 9.40 then I only ever had one person coming and going at any one time. The two last people of the day arrived together. It created a Zen like flow to my day and I didn’t have chatty clients hanging around at the end of sessions because I was always in the moment with another two clients and greeting a third. It brought a sense of respect to the working environment where people honoured each other’s time.
5. Sell the stuff you are not using. No matter how tempting it may be to have bits of kit lying around “ just in case” if you haven’t used them in a year then you are unlikely too. Put them on Pilates FB sites and make an extra bit of cash.
6. Train your clients to respect the space. This includes not leaving behind water bottles and picking up and putting away apparatus themselves. Making everyone responsible for health hand safety can create a more conducive work environment and prevent accidents and trips.
7. Take out the rubbish at the end of every day. It is tempting when you are tired to walk away from a messy studio but it’s a bit like the morning after the night before when you walk into work the next day. Your studio is chaos before you even begin. If you leave your studio clean and tidy at the end of the day it can become your closing ritual where you have time to re-connect with your space with no-one in it. I love the practice of gratitude and would thank my clients mentally, my studio space and the success of my business at the end of every day.
8. Get rid of the energetic rubbish too. The little parcels of anger, frustration, pain and tears that can sometimes get left behind when clients have emotional releases. There are many ways to energetically clear a space from burning good quality temple incense (very different from the cheap Indian josssticks), to lighting a candle, opening windows, using sound, music or Rieki. All help re-settle the energetic resonance of a room and leave it fresh and clear for the next day.
9. Keep a tidy work desk. Being organised in advance with your appointment book, client cards and working area makes a huge difference to your space. You won’t get in a fluster trying to teach and book clients at the same time. In busy sessions just let the client know you will call them at the end of your working day. It’s always a good opportunity to get some feedback and evaluate your sessions with your clients which makes them feel as though they have added value.
10. Finally, de-clutter regularly. At least once a year if not once a season. De-cluttering helps you to invite new energy into your space, new perspectives and helps you keep your business fresh and thriving!