Teaching First Time Students with Sonjé

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If you're a teacher looking for tips on how to teach beginners this video is a must-watch. Sonjé Mayo trains Tom, an absolute Pilates newbie. Since it's Tom's first lesson, she begins by demonstrating the body scan she uses to asses her student and then takes him through a Pre-Pilates and mat series as well as a basic Reformer workout and Cadillac exercises aimed at his individual body needs. Jam-packed with teaching gems, you'll be taking notes that apply to all of your clients, not just the beginners, enjoy! For teacher training, private lessons and Schroth work, visit Sonjé Mayo at http://Sonjémayo.com/. Filmed at Pilatesology Studio.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Galassia
    Galassia 1 month ago

    Maestra Sonje: as profound, crystal-clear, graceful as always. I have a question for you: I learned to breath in and extend the spine, to create more lenght between hips and last ribs, before bending over for the Spine Stretch Forward or Flat back or Twist on the Short box, actually before all exercises which involve a stretch or a twist or strenghtening of the spine. I personally find it a key cue for life in general and I stress it very much while teaching, because people forget about lenghtening in life and collapse eventually on their spine. I see it also very much connected to engaging of the belly in and up and weight forward. I mean, it’s all right in the same area and perhaps even rather obvious to say. I don’t recall hearing you talk about this specific cue. What is your opinion about it? Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonjé Mayo 1 month ago

      Hi there,
      You are correct that breathing is an essential part of Pilates and life. One has to teach the correct breathing method with the pre-Pilates exercises, which is ‘breathing into the back.”
      As you know, we stress the posterior and lateral expansion of the lower lungs (expanding sideways and backwards) on inspiration. That should promote lengthening. One wants to avoid ‘rib flaring’ and belly breathing. Once they understand that, it applies to all breathing cues.
      Only certain exercises have cued breathing but the rule is usually inspiration with extension and expiration with flexion of the spine.
      I am not sure whether I understand your question, so please forgive me if I have not provided you with the correct answer.

      • Galassia
        Galassia 1 month ago

        thank you for your thourough answer, I meant, do you think it’s functional/essential to breath in and extend your spine before bending over for a Spine Stretch Forwar, or a Twist or a Flat Back? finding that couple of extra cm’s between last ribs and hips and lombar vertrebae before lenghtening or twisting?

        • Sonjé Mayo Author
          Sonjé Mayo 1 month ago

          Yes because Spine Stretch Forward, Saw and Spine Twist are breathing exercises and one always cues the breath with those. As you say the inspiration promotes elongation so that one can achieve better spinal flexion or rotation.

          • Galassia
            Galassia 1 month ago

            Grazie 🙏🏻

  2. plessenberry

    I loved watching how you assessed and then addressed his needs throughout the hour lesson – great cuing!

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonjé Mayo 4 months ago

      Thanks Pamela! Teaching a beginner requires the most skills in my opinion.

  3. Sonjé Mayo Author
    Sonjé Mayo 4 months ago

    Thank you so much for watching. I am pleased to hear that you found it logical and obvious because that does make it uncomplicated for a beginner.

  4. SJW1 4 months ago

    Sonje is so clear and concise with such a wealth of knowledge but doesn’t let that get in the way of teaching the fundamental points. She makes everything seem so obvious !! I love her style.

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