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Gathering with Intention

By February 5, 2024Pilates In Holland

I’ve recently started a new role at PIH as Studio Manager. It means I interact with potential new clients and help them get started in the studio. I think of it as a moment of hospitality to help them feel more comfortable. When we as humans try something new, we are making ourselves vulnerable. When we try something new in front of strangers, it multiplies that vulnerability exponentially. And then, if it’s awkward in any way… well forget it, many people just don’t try.

The older I get the harder it can be to try new things. I know what I’m good at, and what I’m probably not good at, and I don’t really enjoy embarrassing myself. I tried pottery a couple of years ago and was so nervous I almost didn’t sign up. And that was just manipulating clay, not throwing my body around on strange equipment wearing skin-tight spandex. I’ve talked about getting Straight C’s in class, but you have to be comfortable being vulnerable in order to do that.

I think about people who are new to the PIH studio or who are new to Pilates period. It’s scary walking in among all these people who look like they know exactly what they’re doing, who appear to be best friends, razzing each other and laughing. And I think, “They are so brave!” 

The root of hospitality is the same as the root for hospital. Hospitality is about building relationships and communicating in a way that is supportive and caring.

When we gather at the studio, we gather with the intention of supporting and caring for ourselves and each other. As gathering guru Priya Parker says: 

Gathering with intention and care is a life-affirming practice. Whether navigating life changes, feeling the heaviness of the world, or breaking free from an uninspired rut, making time for community is vital. Connection is fuel. It’s a release. It helps us keep moving forward. And it can transform our energy.

As part of a community, the PIH staff strives to set a level of hospitality that helps everyone feel comfortable, but it’s not just about the teachers setting a tone. Guests, whether at a party or in a Pilates class, have influence. Good guests know their role is to keep the intention or purpose of the gathering and draw others into it. We’re also all bringing our own needs with us into the studio and it’s important to remember that our energy can lift or lower the room.

It’s a balancing act of stating what we need, kindly, and also being aware of the needs of everyone else around us. For some of us, it means extra help from the teacher and lots of reassurance and encouragement from the group. For others, it means “Please pretend I’m not here and let me figure this out without comment.” Maybe it’s a laugh with a friend to help fill our cups.

No matter what, it’s always about kindness and an intention to add to the community in a positive way. I hope you feel as comfortable and supported as I do as a student at Pilates in Holland. The movement we do is so good for our bodies, but I also appreciate the way that everyone adds to our time together and the energy boost it often provides me.


Author Renee

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Cindy Schaap says:

    Great thoughts! I truly love my time at Pilates in Holland and the fellowship we have in the 8:00am class. Thank you for your vision and love for the ladies!

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