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Thursday
Dec082011

Mind/Body Stars Share Their Tips for Success

By Patricia Glynn

For the December issue of CBI magazine, while researching an article entitled “Mind/Body Is on the Move!”, I interviewed three leading stars of the mind/body genre: Elizabeth Larkam, Lawrence Biscontini, and Jill Miller.

Each, I quickly discovered, is incredibly creative and clever. It was quite evident why they’ve reached the pinnacle of their field, and I was quite impressed by their body of knowledge, pioneering spirit, and inspirational ingenuity.

Each of them has developed innovative projects and programming that are likely to transform the industry, as we know it. The full details about what these pros are up to can be found in this month’s issue of CBI, so be sure to check it out.  

What you won’t find in the magazine, however, but what’s equally compelling and valuable, are their “top tips” for achievement…and they have lots of them! These three definitely know what it takes to succeed, and, as a result, have some great advice to share. So here, then, are some of their recommendations for you and your club’s team:

Elizabeth Larkam

Elizabeth Larkam is director of the Core Concept Center at the Rolling Hills Club in Novato, California

1. “I suggest that clubs find a champion for their program—someone who’s a team player within the culture of the club and who will be a sort of “light” in residence. This should be someone who lives, breathes, and moves mind/body disciplines, practices, and education.”

2. “As a teacher and program designer, it’s important to be in the studio—teaching classes and working with individual clients on a daily basis—because that’s the development laboratory in which you hone your skills. And then, when you teach other instructors, it’s not something that you’ve made up, but, rather, something that you did the day before with a real person.”

3. “A great instructor must love to teach. You can be a very accomplished mind/body practitioner, but you won’t truly be great unless you have a passion for education and for facilitating the healthy evolution of another person. You have to take an intrinsic delight in that.”

Lawrence Biscontini 

Lawrence Biscontini is an internationally active trainer, consultant, and program developer who works with leading clubs, including Equinox Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and Bally Total Fitness

1. To become highly skilled, says Biscontini, “You need to find a mentor, study, read, join groups, and, most importantly, practice.”

2. “A consultant who has their finger on the mind/body pulse, and who knows what’s actually effective, can take your program from good to great. There are just so many aspects to consider, and having a seasoned expert on hand can be very valuable.”

3. “In my new book, Cream Rises, I detail lots of ways to help you become a successful, standout instructor. For example, I suggest being an edu-tainer—that is, educate and entertain your clients. Make it a true experience, not just another class. Also, ideally, your cues should have three components: visual, verbal, and kinesthetic.”

Jill Miller, r.

Jill Miller is the founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide, Inc., based in Studio City, California, and her programming, including her Yoga Tune Up workout, is offered at leading clubs, such as Equinox Fitness, Crunch Fitness, and The Sports Club/LA

1. “To be a great instructor, it’s critical that you pay close attention to your students. Learn to read the room constantly and, whenever possible, address everyone by their name.”

2. “Commit to being novel. Don’t teach the exact same class or sequence every time. If you’re too repetitive, you run the risk of having your clients feel as though they’re in a mental and physical rut. Use vivid cues and hone your communication skills. And, as you teach, don’t neglect hands-on adjustments; students in mind/body classes are generally more open to having skilled hands fine-tune their posture and poses.”

3. “For club operators, I’d recommend that you find solid teachers and then take good care of them—incentivize them with good pay, provide them with insurance, and give them permission to grow.”

- Patricia Glynn is an associate editor of CBI and can be contacted at p.glynn@fit-etc.com.

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