Let's Make Pilates imagery magic


“Now, do the same movement as though you’re pulling a rabbit from a magician's hat.”  As soon as the words left my lips, both my client and I burst into laughter.

Ok this may be a hilarious, even borderline ridiculously example of imagery. But imagery is such a powerful tool as a Pilates instructor. What makes sense to one client may not to another. Some clients need anatomical, visual, or tactile cues. While others relate best to imagery. So, getting good at pulling imagery out of your teaching toolbox is important.

Holly Furgason Pulls a Pilates Rabbit from her hat

Here are some of my favorite imagery cues:

Exhale through pursed lips like you’re blowing out a birthday candles.

Birthday Candles

Lift up and out of your shoulders like a wine bottle opener.

Wine Opener

Like you have a the face of a clock on your pelvis i.e. tilt the pelvis from 3 to 9.


Make your body straight like a pencil.

Colored Pencils

Like there is a very small campfire under your belly and you’re trying to lift up to not get burned.

Mini Campfire

Move your spine one piece at a time like a string of pearls.

String of Pearls

Zip up a zipper from your ankles up through your pelvic floor


Lengthen your neck like you have on long diamond earrings.

Ear Rings

And last but not least, keep your abdominals connected like there Blueberry under the belly button (from prone position).


Now, build your own Imagery Toolbox:

  1. Create a specific place that you will write down all your favorite imagery cues. Maybe just a section of your teaching notebook or it's only special imagery notebook.
  2. Anytime you observe or attend a Pilates class, write down your favorite cues.
  3. The act of writing down the cues will help you remember them when you’re teaching your own classes.
  4. Before you teach a session, refer back to your imagery list.  

As always, I'm here to lend a hand LOL :D


Be sure to share your favorite imagery cues in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and wishing you good teaching!XO

Holy Furgason


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