BASI Pilates Module 1 via Virtual learning 

A New Way of Learning Pilates

Starting a Pilates teacher training course during a pandemic isn’t what our Brisbane BASI students had planned for 2020. But when the coronavirus hit Australia in March and we all went into lockdown BASI Pilates Australia was able to offer a comprehensive Pilates instructor training course for our Queensland students via virtual learning. Three very different students began their Pilates studies in April 2020 from home.

We caught up with Bec, Beth and Renae (our Brisbane 2020 Virtual students) after they recently completed Module 12 to find out what inspired them to study the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Global Program and what it was like to begin their Pilates course in the middle of a global pandemic. We’ve already featured Bec’s story and Renae’s story, now it’s Beth’s turn…

Part Three – Beth’s BASI Pilates Story

Beth Courtice – Absalute Pilates, Bundaberg, Queensland

Beth has worked as a swim coach and teacher’s assistant for over 20 years and is passionate about teaching and sharing knowledge.  Five years ago she discovered clinical Pilates and another passion began. Beth decided to take it to the next level and enrolled in the BASI Pilates Global Comprehensive Program. But at the beginning of the year, life threw her a health curveball and Beth was faced with a tough decision. Should she continue with her dream of training to be a Pilates instructor or defer? Read on to discover Beth’s BASI Pilates story. These are her words…

Q. What is your Pilates background and what made you decide to study a BASI course?

I’ve actually been doing clinical Pilates for about 5 years or so. I hurt my back a few years ago and I got into Pilates because of that.  I worked mostly with the Reformer and Cadillac so really until this year, I hadn’t actually done mat Pilates! Pilates has really helped me these past few years with my body strength, flexibility and a healthy mindset.  I want to help others enjoy the same benefits Pilates has given me. I’m so passionate about it! Not long after I registered for the course  I was diagnosed with osteoporosis which really threw me a curveball. I’m nearly 59 so that’s 20 years older than the other girls. I’ve always been active and a lot of the exercises I was doing without realising apparently were not advisable for someone with my condition. I initially received a lot of confusing information about what one should or should not do; a lot of really mixed messages. I even started to question whether I should do the course. The diagnosis messed with my mindset for a couple of months but I’m not normally the sort of person to go down without a fight so I tried to take a different approach. Rather than people telling me what I can’t do, I proceeded with the mindset to be aware, careful and cautious. I do the exercises in a controlled environment and I understand my condition better through doing the BASI Pilates course. I also think it is helping me to be a better instructor and to help others in a similar situation.

Why did you choose BASI Pilates?

I looked at other Pilates training organisations but there was something about BASI Pilates and I kept getting drawn back to BASI and the technique. I’m the sort of person that I like to know why we do things? Perhaps it’s because of my background as a swim coach and teaching assistant. I teach every day in some form and when I’m teaching others I like them to know why they are doing a particular activity and the benefits of executing it correctly. I  felt with BASI Pilates that it had more depth and intensity of knowledge.  My philosophy is that if I can get through the next 12 months I know it will definitely be the best thing for me personally and professionally.  I’m happy I chose the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Global teacher training course.

Q. Did you have any reservations before the course?

No, I was keen, I was feeling great physically and mentally. When I got the osteoporosis diagnosis, I did question whether or not to proceed with the course. When you think you are fairly healthy and all of a sudden they tell you to be careful or you’ll crumble. I’ve really had to work on changing that mindset. I now believe I can’t let osteoporosis be me or rule me. I have to control it as it was starting to control me. And I think that would go for anyone with any sort of pathology or injury…and even age.  I’ve got some years on the other girls in age; I haven’t had to study for many years, so I’ve definitely had my fair share of challenges throughout the course. But they say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I’ve tried to keep that mindset throughout the course. BASI staff and the other girls, Bec and Renae have been very supportive and made the BASI journey worth all the challenges.

Q. How did you feel starting the course in a pandemic and moving across to virtual?

It was a case of if we really wanted to do the course, we just had to go with it. It didn’t bother me. Being virtually presented certainly was an experience that I was grateful for during this pandemic.  We missed out on the ‘hands-on’ learning of the first six modules and mat exercises initially but have recently caught up on that in-person which was amazing.  It’s added a bit more time to it but I don’t have any negative thoughts on the whole virtual experience.  It’s been great meeting the girls; Bec, Renae and I get on so well which is unexpected because we are so different. There’s a big age gap but the three of us complement each other in many ways and we are very supportive of each other so it’s been really lovely. I think I enjoyed it a lot more being in a small group and having to do it virtually; we really stuck together. I think it’s a little bit more personal for me and there’s more bonding.

Q. How have you found the support of the BASI Australia faculty team?

I love that they are passionate about Pilates and how they share their amazing knowledge with us.  All the BASI faculty are wonderful. Jordanna, Shayne and Emily are all so different and if I do a class with any of them I take something different away from each one. 

Q How have you found the access to BASI Pilates faculty and other Mat classes?

Access to overseas faculty and online mat classes has been a real benefit because I’m in a rural area in Bundaberg. Bec is in the Sunshine Coast and Renae is in Brisbane. I’m four hours away so I don’t have any access to a BASI Studio or BASI Systems equipment. I’m away from all that so having the virtual resource is really helpful. When I can, I do virtual classes which means I don’t miss out. 

Q. Tell us about the tutorials with BASI faculty, Emily Lamb?

We usually did the tutorials two weeks after the modules and we re-did the exercises with Emily and she answered any questions that came up.  I found the tutorials informative and helpful.

Q. Where do you do your self-practice?

I used to practice where I did my clinical pilates. They allowed me to use all their equipment and take my BASI books in there and practice. That was only one hour a week for a short period only. Now I do my self-practice at home. I have got myself a Reformer machine now so I’ll practice on that and practise when I’m doing the classes.

Q. Having not done Mat before, how do you feel about it now?

Oh, it’s a workout! I’ve done the equipment for years but when I started the matwork I realised the amazing control, breathing and strength needed. It felt like I was starting from scratch again but I’m finding it helps. I find some of the exercises that I do on the mat, like the breathing and articulation help and carries it through onto the equipment. So if you can get that real foundation with your matwork, it helps. My issue is finding enough time. Time is my enemy. I work a couple of jobs and my days are very split and I don’t have a day off. I work 6 days so that’s my struggle being able to switch on and off rather than have a day or a morning that I can just switch on. That’s my personal challenge. 

Q. What about the future? Where do you hope to take your BASI Pilates qualification?

I’ve been swim coaching for 23 years and I’m finding that I’m bringing my Pilates into my sessions now with coordination, breathing techniques and getting the children to do some stretches.  I’m seeing that a lot of kids don’t utilise their core strength, don’t breathe correctly, and don’t know coordination. I realise children could definitely benefit from Pilates. So I’m really focused on trying to get them to think about what they are doing and why they are using certain muscles and how they use them. So my BASI Pilates teacher training will definitely help me with my coaching as well. I’m not in it to make money. I’ll probably continue coaching for a few more years. I’m on half an acre here in Bundaberg so I’ve recently built a shed studio.  I love having my own studio here and creating a home-based business for small groups. I’d like to try and target those people that don’t feel comfortable going to a gym (whether it’s mentally or physically). I’ve got a lot of ideas and because I coach teenagers, I want to integrate teaching Pilates into my swimming and coaching also.

Q. What advice do you have for anyone thinking about studying the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Global instructor course?

I would say it is an awesome experience and well worth the challenge. It will enrich your life personally and professionally.  I’ve certainly discovered that even with limitations, some challenges are worth the many benefits derived from such an intense course as the BASI Comprehensive Global Program.

Thanks Beth. We wish you all the best with your BASI Pilates journey. You can follow Beth via her Instagram account @absalute.pilates.

Beth Courtice

Global Comprehensive @Pilates Studio 64

BASI Pilates VIrtual students with BASI Faculty, Emily Lamb

Global Comprehensive Program at Pilates Studio 64

Beth practising in her home studio

Beth at Pilates Studio 64 – Brisbane Host studio

BASI Brisbane students 2020

If you would like to study to become a BASI Pilates teacher our next face-to-face and virtual courses in Brisbane, start on Friday, 11 March 2022. Registrations are open now!