Upon entering any class or private session, ask yourself,”am I ready and willing to share my movement history?” This would include injuries, issues, discomfort, uncertainty. If the answer is yes, continue to your fitness/wellness destination. If not, hold tight!! It is our personal responsibility to communicate with our teachers. They cannot, however perfect they may seem, read your mind and see into your past. You must be prepared to divulge history, no matter how minute or personal it may be.

From the get go, this open communication is set in place. You sit down and fill out all kinds of information for your instructor that he or she uses to guide the progression of your sessions/classes. It also allows both of you to develop a sense of trust. Without that, the relationship is doomed, just like any other business or personal one.

Now that you’ve shared since day 1, you’re ready! But what to do if pain or discomfort is encountered? Talk about it! Tell your teacher immediately! Letting them know how you feel is vital to your health, the advancement of your physical work, and to the teacher/student relationship. There is no point in hiding your feelings…share, and reap the benefits of the knowledge your instructor has.

When I see a student struggle, waiver and possibly grimace, I always ask what she is experiencing. My clients know how to describe themselves within movement. This is also super important! If something feels electric, there may be an impingement. If a series taxes one side but not the other, we may be dealing with an imbalance, structurally and muscularly. Being able to communicate HOW movement feels is this next step in that wonderfully trusting relationship between you and your instructor. This takes time. If your kinesthetic awareness is not at Olympic standards, that’s ok! You will get the hang of it. Developing your proprioception is what I’m talking about here, and most of us are not that great at it. So, work on it. Fine tune this sense that is sometimes thought of as our 6th sense. Thinking about where we are in space, the relationship between torso and legs, or arm and shoulder, for example, can vastly improve your movement ability and the strength at which you communicate with your instructor.

Movement is not just hopping around, willy nilly, although that can be super fun. It can also be quite informative and beneficial to us as a whole. So, the next time your teacher asks you how your feeling during a new series, hone in and tell them! Be honest about what you’re sensing from the start and you will sky rocket toward a deeper understanding of your physical potential. Super cool, right?! Get to it!


Amanda Jane Avis

Amanda Jane Avis began her exploration of movement as a child. Her very early dance training sparked an intense curiosity of anatomy and physiology, which led her to study the amazing human body after receiving her B.A. in dance from UCLA in 1996. She invites people of all disciplines and levels of athleticism to explore Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yoga, Raising the Barre, and dance. Amanda Jane is currently seeing clients online and in person.

1 thought on “Tell Me Your Feelings ~ The Importance of Communicating Injuries/Discomfort”

Stefani . October 21, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Ahhh…as a fellow instructor, I can totally relate to the need for communication. I always make sure to remind my students to tell me how they’re feeling, what they want to focus on, etc. If they don’t let me know, how can I know? I think people are, unfortunately, so used to teachers NOT caring, that they don’t feel comfortable or motivated to speak up. 🙁

Thanks for writing this great post!

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