How to Find a Great Pilates Teacher
I’m frequently asked for referrals from people across the country (and the world) in search of a Great Pilates Teacher or Pilates Studio that they can check out and take Private Pilates lessons and join group Mat and Pilates equipment classes.
Here are a few frequently asked questions, and Five Tips to find a Great Pilates Teacher near you:
Q. I use Pilates books and videos at home, why should I participate in lessons at a Pilates Studio or Health Club?
A. Books and videos can be good tools to help you remember what you’re doing. However, nothing can replace the eye of a qualified and experienced Pilates teacher to help you understand the exercises and find the right muscles to do each exercise correctly. Books and videos will show you the basics of the exercises, but won’t help you become aware of the ways you’re cheating, or help to identify your bad habits and assist you in correcting them. Also, not every exercise is for every person. Following exactly what’s on a video may be dangerous for your body. Besides, just doing Matwork is only half of the system, so you’re missing out on half the benefits Pilates has to offer. Use of both the Pilates equipment and mat exercises is the ideal and best way to utilize the Pilates system.
A Qualified Pilates Teacher Can Help You:
- Find the right muscles to get the most benefit from the exercises.
- Learn how to modify or tweak the exercises for your body to be in safest position.
- Identify which exercises are appropriate for your body and which exercises you should skip or wait awhile before adding to your workout.
Q. How do I know if my Pilates instructor is a qualified teacher?
A. Great Question! Anyone can call themselves a Pilates Teacher – If they’ve read a book and watched a video, participated in only a weekend workshop, or completed an intensive 500+ hour Comprehensive Pilates Teacher-Training program.
To the uneducated consumer, without asking questions, you may not know if your teacher has the background and experience necessary to really help you get the most from your Pilates training experience.
The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is an international non-profit organization to provide information and education to Pilates teachers and consumers.
The PMATM recommends that anyone wishing to teach the Pilates method:
- Participate in a Pilates exercise program prior to attending a teacher training program.
- Attend a comprehensive training program, and maintain a commitment to education.
The following are general guidelines, questions, and information from the Pilates Method Alliance that you can use to help search for a qualified Pilates teacher:
1. Are the instructors trained through a comprehensive training program?
2. Did that training program require a written and practical test, lecture, observation, practice and apprentice hours?
3. How many total hours were spent in the training program? (The Pilates Method is a knowledge based method of exercise and training. Time spent in certification training produces qualified teachers.)
4. Does the instructor have any other movement related teaching experience.
5. How long have the instructors been teaching Pilates?
6. What is the instructor’s / studio’s philosophy and specialty? Are they able to handle special needs, injuries and rehabilitation?
7. Does the instructor or studio teach the full repertoire of Pilates on all pieces of apparatus?
Q. How do I find a Pilates studio with qualified, comprehensively-trained Pilates teachers?
Five Tips To Locate a Great Pilates Teacher Near You:
- See what’s listed in your local phone book under Pilates.
- Inquire with your local health clubs.
- Call sports medicine / physical therapy / or kinesiology / chiropractic clinics and ask where they refer their patients for Pilates Training.
- Check with the Pilates Method Alliance. The PMA is an international membership organization for Pilates. You can search on their website to locate a PMA member Pilates Teacher/Studio at http://www.pilatesmethodalliance.org/curntmemb.html
- PilatesStyle Magazine also has a good studio referral network at http://www.pilatesstyle.com/web/directory.aspx
Remember…Pilates is for Every Body! Find a Great Pilates Teacher and check out what Pilates can do for you.
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