“I love showing people the benefits of working in their body in new and better ways. And the best part is that they don’t have to sweat like crazy and push through extreme pain to reach the goals they want to attain.”
Q & A Session with Sydney Craig
Q: What is your favorite part of private sessions?
A: My favorite part of working with clients in a private setting is getting to know their specific needs and watching them blossom.
Not everyone responds to the same cues and exercises the same way. In a class setting I’m not able to ensure that everyone is truly connecting and understanding what I’m teaching, and sometimes in classes there are exercises taught that are not the best choice for everyone in the class.
In a private setting I’m able to try different ways of saying things and I can completely adapt an exercise to help a client connect.
It’s also really fun to set goals with clients and watch them achieve those goals as we work together.
Q: What is it that makes your work unique?
A: I specialize in alignment and helping people connect to their deepest core structure. You must have this foundation in place before you can build more complex and challenging exercises and movements on top.
Working with people who have Scoliosis, back pain and foot and ankle alignment issues are also specialties since these are issues I have personally struggled with and worked hard to address.
I have scoliosis and have dealt with severe, chronic back pain. I had to dramatically change the way I carried myself and the way I moved my body during Pilates, and any other physical activities. Scoliosis has taught me how to adapt all of my Pilates movement and strength training for optimal results.
It took time to get used to new ways of connecting and creating new, ideal alignment habits. In fact, I took Pilates for years not having a clue what I was doing. I loved it, but I definitely didn’t “get it”.
So, now I know what it’s like to feel the awkwardness of creating new patterns; but I also deeply appreciate the rewards and the opportunity to help others with similar issues.
I have a lot less pain and discomfort than I used to, and even when my back starts hurting, I now have tools to manage it. And there’s a huge bonus to all my efforts: I’m 2 inches taller than I was in 2008!
Q: What are your 5 best attributes?
- I am passionate about teaching
- I have a variety of approaches and ways of saying the same thing
- I am consistent.
- Follow-through is important to me.
- I will never stop learning. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I still have to learn!
Q: Who do you find yourself working with most often?
A: My most successful client is open to learning a new way of feeling and working in their body. They are patient with themselves and aren’t looking for just another workout. They are looking to build a body that they’ll live comfortably in, and with the widest possible range of motion, for a long, long time. This is a journey, not a race.
Q: What are your biggest challenges when conducting a personal training session and how do you overcome them?
A: My biggest challenge normally starts at the beginning of a relationship with a client.
Most people who come to the studio have never done the kind of work we do and have no idea what to expect.
We make deep connections and work from the inside out. This feels very different from working the big muscle groups the way most people are used to.
You have to be willing to feel a little awkward, since these new ideas and movements can make you feel a bit unsure of yourself, both during and after a session. But this is a great sign!
Feeling unsure and a little uncomfortable means you’re creating new neural pathways in your brain and new movement habits in your body. This means you’re actually feeling what it feels like to create a new version of your body.
Communicating all this in the beginning can certainly be a challenge, but it’s even more rewarding when we make the connection and then start making major progress.
I love showing people the benefits of working in their body in new and better ways. And the best part is that they don’t have to sweat like crazy and push through extreme pain to reach the goals they want to attain.
This process is a journey that’s worth taking!.
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