Erin Brown tells us why she values space

Sep 14, 2022
Erin Brown is the owner of Sync Bodywork in Ashville, North Carolina. She has studied intensively with Jay and Sandy at Vintage Pilates since 2017. Erin lights up the room with her love for learning, and willingness to put the work into improving her craft.


Allowing space to feel great.


There are a multitude of challenges to teaching Contrology well, but every day is an opportunity for learning. Teachers and students alike may relate to this one.

I’m mid-session with a student. I have just given her something on which to focus in her session. I step back and let her work…until I see something else. I fight the urge to blurt out the next correction. I trust that my good intentions to “help” must be kept in check, or I may overload my student with too much information.

Mid-exercise, my student mutters “This feels sooo good.” and I breathe a big internal sigh of relief. I’m thankful I didn’t interrupt or steal that precious joy she was experiencing in her body. She was having fun moving, feeling, and connecting to herself. Had I hovered or offered additional corrections, she would’ve missed out on the moment where Contrology felt good. 

As a practitioner and teacher, one of my most potent lessons followed what felt like an incredibly sloppy 1-rep mat. Sandy asked me “How was that?” and I said “It was a mess!” This was wrong, and that was funky, and so forth and so on. To that she replied,“But how do you feel right now?” I said, “I feel great.” Then she asked me: “Is it better to feel great or to be “right”?

Wow. A profound question as a student, teacher, and human in general. Pilates goes deep like that. Without all the hovering, interrupting, or self-judgement, we can truly experience the joy of Pilates and all the corrective goodness that comes with it. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I try to stay patient and allow myself and my students the space to feel the exercises. With consistent guidance and practice, we’ll find and improve those connections, moving the needle closer toward right. Nonetheless, every time we step on our Mats, I stand by my discovery that it’s better to feel great than to be right.