Not All Pilates Are Created Equal......
I am frequently asked the question, "What should I look for in a Pilates Studio and Pilates instructor?" And my answer is always, "Well it depends on what you are looking for."
The possibilities are endless today but it's important to note that the presence of a reformer doesn't automatically mean you will receive authentic Pilates instruction. You have many choices ranging from a "True Pilates Studio" which train students in the method Joseph Pilates developed, to a "Pilates-Inspired Studio" which may incorporate yoga, boxing and any other number of different techniques. Both will offer many physical benefits, but it is important to do your research to ensure you are receiving the highest possible quality of instruction in the method to gain the most physical benefit for your body. Many studios today offer their own certification program and the quality of these programs vary greatly.
Here are a few questions to consider when selecting a Pilates Instructor:
- I list this question first because, in my opinion, it is one of the most important questions to ask. Has the instructor completed a nationally-recognized, comprehensive Pilates training program including classroom lecture, written and practical exam, self practice, observation and practice teaching?
- How many total hours were spent in the training program? Did the instructor spend a minimum of 500 hours in the program? The more hours spent in training will produce a more-qualified teacher.
- Does the instructor pursue continuing education in the Pilates method?
- Is the instructor trained on all the Pilates equipment? Proper training on all equipment is imperative for getting the most out of your session, and more importantly for your safety.
- Is the studio and its instructors able to handle special needs, injuries and rehabilitation?
If you have thought about trying Pilates, it's likely because you've heard about the many benefits and perhaps feel the practice could help you achieve a specific goal for your body. So just remember, the presence of a reformer does not automatically equal a Pilates workout. Choosing the right Pilates instructor is important because you're going to invest time and money, and as with any investment you'll want to get a good return.