Author: Tanya Thompson
Date: 22 January 2021
What happened after I qualified?
The journey that happens after we qualify is initially one of excitement! We are so excited to start our new career, to use what we have learned and to help others feel better about themselves. We are about to change the WORLD!
And then the REALITY sets in! The real people start walking into our facility and when I say real, I mean not the little man that we saw in the study guide or in the literature that we read. This person actually has a personality, and many times, one that we don’t understand. They have ‘baggage’, they have aches and pains that make no sense, they have questions that seem challenging to answer… Wow, this takes me back to 1998 when I started on this journey.
I know that so many of us did a qualification that was supposed to be ‘one of the best’, I also know that the BIGGEST does not necessarily mean the BEST by any way, shape or form. If I go back 22 years, I felt ‘stupid’. I even felt that my brain was capable of more. And if it was capable of more, then I could give more to my clients. But I couldn’t give them my all, because ‘MY ALL’ was lying there untouched and silent. But there was a flame, and we all know that where there is a flame, there is fire!
The confusion, frustration, intrigue and not to mention doubt set in. I know I had so many questions and somehow, I could not find anyone who could say to me that these are the steps I need to follow to find the answers. Or, this is how it should be done Tanya, or this is what we mean when we say ‘x, y and z’. So, I embarked on the ‘great trek’ (an iconic event in South African History which means the great voyage). I started doing all kinds of courses and I felt completely underwhelmed. The teachings made no sense and they couldn’t back up what they were saying. The one biggest thing that hit me like a ton of bricks one day is how absolutely BORING all of these courses were. I never felt ‘psyched to take on the world’, to change the world. I felt my eyelids struggling to stay open and my own posture sink as I listened to an endless amount of theory without concrete application to anyone. What I really struggled with was how the many presenters themselves didn’t move very well. I never wanted them to be perfect but I definitely wanted to see that they could deliver what they were expecting from us regarding ‘good form’ and ‘no compensation!’
I remember watching an international presenter discuss and teach scapula stability and then demonstrate the push up. I was ‘SHOCKED’ and I looked at everyone in the room lapping up what he was saying and I wanted to shout ‘NO, CLOSE YOUR EYES’!
I was wasting my money and walking out of courses frustrated and super irritated. I could not find a mentor for myself because nobody inspired me when I did courses. I walked out with tons of photo copied papers that were really badly formatted and too many unanswered questions.
I wanted to say to them, ‘thanks for all the theory but can we please apply this to REAL people now’.
THIS WAS ALL HOLDING ME BACK FROM REACHING MY FULL POTENTIAL. I was in my 20’s, full of energy, I had all the time in the world to master my skill and I had no clear direction from anyone.
I could go on for hours on how this affected my mindset and my lack of enthusiasm and I know that if you have a desire to really do your best like I did, this would have eaten you up inside. I had so many people saying to me, ‘you are cleverer than this. Why are you not studying to be a doctor?’… well because ‘I don’t want to be a doctor. I love movement’.
But there was a gap. My friends in this industry were feeling it and I knew that if I was feeling it, others were too. We are NOT JUST PILATES INSTRUCTORS, OR PERSONAL TRAINERS! We are way more than that and I was going to prove it. I had a fire in me to do it differently. To answer all the questions that I had, to bridge the gaps that were missing in my training. I needed to do this for myself and for anyone else who felt the same way. It was crucial to my existence. IT IS MY CALLING! And so the journey started…..
Step 1 for me was connecting to anatomy in a way that no book would ever teach me. I am a great mover, I feel it, I understand it and I connect to my body in the movement. Now I want to tie this in with anatomy. But anatomy on its own is not good enough, I now need to tie it in with biomechanics. Again, I sat in on courses for this and what they were teaching me made no sense and the participants were lapping up the info. The presenters were not connecting to the movement and I could see it as they were moving. I thought… ‘am I the only one seeing this?’ I felt ripped off. I am sure it is by no fault of the presenters; they probably went through the same process I did, but they missed some very crucial ingredients to this process.
Why are we doing this, how are we doing this, with what are we doing this, what does it feel like and how will it feel for the billions of people in the world if they did the same movement and why would it feel different to them?
My obsession with finding answers consumed me and I wanted to share it with every single professional that I met so that I could reduce their journey of finding answers by a huge margin. And that is why I am doing what I do today. If I can change one person’s journey in a positive way, then I have made a difference.
I know that many of you might feel the same way. Even if you are a physiotherapist or physical therapist., I know that you never learned the practical physical programs that you can give to your patients. I know that you are googling ideas to help clients with their rehab programs and I know those programs are so generic without taking the clients REAL BODY into account or even their personality or state of mind. I know this because I have sat and had in-depth discussions with many Rehab Professionals and I have trained thousands of you in my career. They missed something when they were teaching you all of that theory, they missed the part that could make your career wholesome….. the practical help that you could offer your patients when they are ready to move on beyond initial rehab!
But here is the most profound statement… ‘many of us don’t even know that we don’t know’ so if I can plant a seed of a possibility to do things differently, to do things better and to give someone the tools to make a difference and hear ‘Thank you’ on a constant basis then I will do that. If I can plant the seed to help you feel accomplished in your knowledge and skills then I will do that!
When I decided to start Of-CourseOnline.com, I based every course on the most common issues that I saw when I was teaching courses as well as the challenges that I faced as a teacher. If you have a question right now, the answer is sitting in one of my Online Courses.
If I experienced it or was asked it, it was turned into a course. I answered all of my own questions and I turned them into valuable content for anyone who wanted to hear. When I say valuable, I mean that I spent a fortune on getting a professional filming company in to film and edit the courses. I spent months creating very cool manuals and most importantly years creating the content. My core belief was ‘To give more value than I receive and to NEVER be Boring!’
No matter what career path we choose, the human existence is based on growth. We need to feel that we are growing our minds, hearts and even our bank balances. How do we do this? Through growing our minds and hearts, because then we can touch people in such a profound way that they really want to work with us!
The essence of true continuing education lies in the clarity and merging of science, biomechanics, understanding the person who you are teaching and the feeling of movement.
Just focusing on science is ridiculous as science does not peer into a person’s ability to move with a true connection to the movement and it does not peer into their soul and what they are feeling or where they came from. It is like looking at a flower blooming and only seeing the science and disregarding the beauty of the growth, the senses, the connection to the earth, the connection to the energy around it. All elements that we cannot see. We want current research but this in itself cannot be our sole reference as studies themselves are conducted by individuals who are not necessarily connected to the entirety of movement.
I conducted a study with a specific purpose. What happens when the student connects with the teacher through their ability to teach excellently? We did the same exercises with two different teaching styles and it changed the results of the ‘science’.
- Candidates doing exercises as they would normally be taught. They get shown the exercise and they just go….
- Candidates doing the same exercise with an enthusiastic instructor who uses their voice and really teaches the candidate about the areas that they are targeting.
You guessed it, there was a definite improvement in the 2nd scenario. Why… it went beyond science. It went towards human connection, encouragement, precision in movement and the use of voice.
If you are looking for one dimensional continuing education where we just teach you the science and the movement, then Of-CourseOnline is not for you. But if you want to delve into the human condition of Movement connections, science, biomechanics and profound mind-body connection, then Of-CourseOnline is your new home!
But enough of me babbling… hear what others have to say! Have a profound day and keep learning!
OUR STUDENTS AND MEMBERS SPEAK OUR ETHOS PERFECTLY!
Excellent program! The 2 manuals, 27 videos and 120 apprentice hours, that make up this program, prepares you to become an amazing Pilates Mat Instructor. If you are already an instructor, it deepens your anatomical knowledge, confidence and greatly enhances your teaching skills.
The mat instructor manual starts with the history of Pilates, anatomy and physiology, postural assessments, scoliosis, mat class structure and teaching methods. It also includes a flowing 45-minute class taught by Tanya Thompson and examples of class sequences for beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.
The repertoire manual starts with foundational exercises and maintains the essence of Joseph Pilates’ exercises while adding new EMG evidence-based developments. The manual is very detailed and includes color photos, precision instruction, breathing sequences, and regressions and progressions of each exercise to challenge all client levels from beginning through advanced. In addition to learning the mat repertoire, you will also learn small apparatus repertoire (foam roller, Magic circle, Therabands, and dumbbells).
Although I already had my comprehensive Pilates certification prior to starting this program, I wanted to dive in deeper and increase my understanding of the anatomy in motion, muscular imbalances, lateral tilts and postural assessments. I am so glad I took the Pilates Unlimited Mat Instructor program as I learned more than I thought was possible online and it greatly expanded the clientele I’ll be able to help.
Coming from a group fitness training background, it is extremely important that you evaluate and get a good sense of the person who will be joining your sessions. This can help you prevent injuries and provide a specialized approach to each person you deal with.
This course has helped me find an effective approach to discovering the goals of each client, discovering areas of weakness and giving them a great first impression with you as an instructor.
I highly recommend that every person involved in the fitness industry goes through this course to improve the way they evaluate clients and create a first impression. Bradley Openshaw
I The emphasis on understanding movement through the anatomy that you teach, but in real moving people. I teach for functionality so my clients can move better in their day to day and you articulate this so well in your courses. Laura Skyes
I came across your shoulder course, and the light bulb came on and it all made sense! If only someone had explained it to me like that 17 years ago. You have a great way of explaining everything. Vanessa Pleace (Australia)
Your trainings on line in 2020 have been a wonderful source of information, teaching, queuing and inspiration. My classes certainly know when I’ve spent a weekend on your webinars or Instagram! So finding your generous and enthusiastic online training was a real inspiration. I enjoy the honest, bright delivery, the depth of content, the variety, the easy accessibility to instantly usable knowledge! Noreen Thackray (Zimbabwe)
I feel that I am a much more confident and valuable teacher because of your courses, webinars, fusion classes and your social media content. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and passion!! Karen Benn (USA)
Tanya your courses were so easy to understand and you gave so much information without the exorbitant costs. Very visual as well, great for me.
I have always thought the body as a 3D Jigsaw puzzle. something always effects something else. Your words and knowledge gave me the words to express what I was feeling and seeing. I have done nearly all of your courses. Anne Ross (Australia)
After watching some of your short videos you had posted I just loved how you came across, your description of the exercise, so decided to buy a course and I wasn’t disappointed! Excellent content and got me so excited to bring that to my classes-thank you! Jodie House (South Africa)
I was triggered by your video’s on Facebook which made ‘instant’ sense to me, I was looking forward to more in-depth answers from your courses. The descriptions and previews on the portal confirmed that I will find what I am looking for. The way anatomy is brought in to train with precision (and not just in general) is what excites me most! Frianke Paxton (South Africa)
You are such a inspiration to me and in the way I teach….thanks for always awesome …helpful info and that …. real… ahhh haa …ta daaa…moment’s Marianne Engelbrecht
You certainly do a fantastic job delivering informative, relevant content in such an engaging way!! I have learned so much from you and been inspired to learn more! Charlene Abdul (UK)
You are fabulous at what you do! Thank you for all your teachings! Emma Thompson (Hong Kong)
I absolutely love your approach and your passion for your craft. Just need more time to fit it all in. Val Lawrence (Ireland)
You are An Amazing teacher and communicator. So generous with passing on your knowledge and teaching us to definitely think outside of the box. Ann Ross (Australia)
Thanks for being you and sharing you….appreciate you all the way from USA! Rachelle Tirelli (USA)
You are very inspirational Tanya! Thank You for breaking the rules! Also Thank You for not doing Boring! Shauna McEachern (UK)
I bought one course thinking that’s all I need. Then someone walks in with a different problem, I scratch my head and look and low and behold Tanya’s covered that! And on we go. Beverley Grant (UK)
Tanya your work has not only supplemented but also reinforced and unified what I had started to learn in my chosen programme. Chosen primarily due to geographic location. I turn to of course online when I need more! Well done and keep it up. You are an inspiration. Sarah Dassi
You are a real inspiration Tanya You have boosted my love of our industry – and my career feels like it has moved into a new phase. Claire Myers (UK)
Love your videos. just starting out as a Mat teacher and swim teacher after 30+years in other jobs. Love it love learning in an applied way. love that my clients feel the benefit. Una Cosgrave-Hanley (Ireland)
I choose your courses as I love the way you describe and teach the anatomy. Also, your courses are very specific to various conditions. For example; I had a lady the other day with Gluteal/hip pain so I searched your site for courses I could do (within an afternoon) which would help me understand that area of the body more, and therefore I was able to help her at our next session. Susan Booth (UK)
Recently completed the mat and equipment course as part of a career change. Was nervous going in, but from the first interaction of being greeted by Tanya herself as I walked in and I was put at ease and felt comfortable. Course material is presented in a focused and interactive way and the instructors are really top class and know their stuff. Went in not knowing my pelvic floor from my kitchen floor, but left knowing more about body movement and Pilates than I thought I ever could. Had an amazing time and was thoroughly saddened went it was all said and done. Great team, great vibe. An experience I will keep with me for ever. Thank you Pilates Unlimited. Quinton Cawood
We leave for New Zealand next Friday, 27 July 2018 and I wanted to send this while I still have the time.
I would like to thank you for your patience, professionalism, passion and friendliness over the years that I have dealt with you! It is always a pleasure to come to your studio. I have attended a number of courses over the years and what sets yours apart from the rest are the following: The fact that you think and teach out of the box. Your dynamic teaching style and the fact that you teach your students how to teach. When interviewing instructors for my studio I was absolutely shocked to find instructors who were “qualified” but simply could not teach and others who could teach but didn’t cue very important safety points; Your professionalism;
The fact that you treat your students as though they are already instructors, this makes us feel that if you believe it we can do it (even if we are wondering how we will ever get there); The fact that you contact us, ask what to work on and then do so; You and your instructors are passionate and professional, but still make things fun at the same time; and Of course your focus on anatomy. I wish that I had more time and lived closer to your studio so that I could have spent a lot more time there learning from you and your instructors but am truly grateful for your on-line courses which are the next best thing. I recently attended a class at a studio where the instructor (with an International Certificate) taught in a sing song voice and kept saying “and 1 and 2 and 3” and I realised what a long way I have come since my very first course with you.
I do recommend your studio and your on-line courses to people and will continue to do so when I get to New Zealand. Bonnie de Beer
Starting my courses at Pilates unlimited was the best decision I have ever made. The moment I walked through those doors to start my mat course I was greeted by the most amazing group of people who makes you feel accepted, welcome and comfortable all with one smile. The amount and quality of knowledge you receive opens up your eyes to a whole new world of anatomy and just makes you want to give everyone you know an hour-long speech about the human body and how it works. After that I have never been more excited about anything in my life than to start my equipment course and returning to the studio. I loved it so much that I told everyone I know about my amazing experience and nearly talked their ears off about postures, pelvic curls and everything I learned there. Seeing how much you can actually do with your own body and how they care about every single person that walks through their doors makes me proud to say that I was part of Pilates unlimited. Clarissa Naudé
I attended the Pilates Unlimited mat course in May this year and I can say with certainty that it has been the most enlightening experience. I had no prior knowledge of the movement, rehabilitation and exercise industry. I did a basic anatomy course offered by Of-CourseOnline and immediately fell in love with the industry. Information is provided in a clear, yet interesting and creative way. The mat course allowed me to build on the knowledge I gained in the online anatomy course. We had a couple of sessions where we focused on theory followed by practical sessions where we explored mat work. The instructors’ passion and experience left me in awe. They create a welcoming atmosphere in their sessions that allows for questions, discussions and guidance. Their love for movement is contagious. I will certainly be back for more. Carina Steenekamp
In my personal experience, the Pilates Unlimited- Mat Course was exactly the kind of course I was actually looking for!!! Not just an insight in the Pilates method principles and repertoire but a strong focus on ANATOMY applied to MOVEMENT, and that I think was the key that opened the door to understanding! Being able to assess how people’s muscles, joints, chain reactions work when they move- allowed me to see the bigger picture (what the goals are and how they can be achieved, what needs to be strengthened and/or stretched, client’s awareness, what needs to be avoided to prevent injury….). For the first time, I was able to design an exercise program appropriate to a particular person. I could start thinking out of the box, making links, and it all finally started to make sense! As regards the course per se, everything was amazing and I had lots of fun! Interesting theory and practice, great atmosphere, good vibes! Teachers extremely knowledgeable, as well as willing to assist us all the way from start to end! The course provides all the tools and resources necessary for the learning process, but it is important for us, students- to be aware that professional training requires effort and a lot of selfcommitment from our side to keep it going: a lot of studying, observation, exercise, teaching hours, and in my opinion, going over and over it to get the wanted results. The good news: all that work is totally worth it! I enjoyed it then and I’m still loving it and more passionate than before!!!! A big thanks to Tanya for facilitating the course and her teachings live and online. Highly recommended!” Paola Paingatelli
I graduated as a physiotherapist from the University of Cape Town in 2011 and have since worked in government as well as private practice. I also completed my post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic and Manipulative Therapy (OMT1) in Johannesburg last year, specialising in neuromuscularskeletal Physiotherapy. I have had the privilege of knowing Tanya for many years, both as a Pilates client of hers
as well as completing my mat course and now, two years later, currently completing my equipment course. Her passion for what she does is incredible and drives her clients and herself to continue to excel.
The knowledge I have gained during the courses has been exceptional, with sound anatomical basis as well as constant practical advice and applications. I believe her anatomical knowledge to be of a higher standard to that which I learnt during my medical studies. Her passion for learning as well as her desire to impart this knowledge is truly admirable. I believe that she values the opinion of all in the multidisciplinary team
(including all medical professionals) and will use these resources in the best interest of the client. This interactive approach has made her studio highly regarded in the province and country. Pilates as a whole and her associated input into my professional life has greatly enriched my skills as a physiotherapist and as a rehabilitative professional. I believe Pilates-based exercises to be of paramount importance these days in any musculoskeletal injury or condition.
I have no doubt that her knowledge and input into your community will be of unparalleled value and that you will be witnessing one of the great minds in
the field of movement and exercise. Megan van Schoor