If you’re new to Pilates, knowing what to look for in a teacher may not be straightforward.
The time spent with your teacher can evolve into one of your most personal relationships. We know when our clients are happy or sad, stressed or relaxed, tired or wired. So it’s worth spending some time making the right decision.
Here are 5 key things you should consider whilst looking for a teacher to start your Pilates journey.
ONE: Make sure they’re technically skilled
You want to be comfortable that your Pilates teacher knows what they’re doing. This is where knowing about Pilates training schools can be useful. There are a few “big” names: Body Control Pilates, BASI, STOTT and Pilates Foundation. If a teacher has trained with one of these schools then you can be assured that they have a certain level of knowledge. They are demanding and time-intensive courses that include anatomy exams and practical exams. Each school has a different emphasis and so does every teacher who has trained so keep an open mind. If you are going to Pilates with a specific clinical need then make sure your teacher has experience in dealing with it and if necessary a further qualification (eg, pre/post natal).
TWO: Ask them about their continued professional development
Any Pilates teacher worth their salt will put a lot of effort into continuing their professional development. This is true of even the most senior and experienced teachers. Sports science evolves, different approaches develop and so on. Anyone who thinks they know everything there is to know, no matter how experienced, is probably someone to steer clear of.
Three: Ask how long have they been doing Pilates
Because Pilates has become trendy recently lots of people have jumped on the bandwagon in the last couple of years. A good teacher will be an experienced practitioner, with many years of personal practice under their belt. Look for someone who really understands the movement in their own body and the best guide for this is how long they’ve been doing it themselves.
Four: Classical vs Contemporary – check out what style of Pilates they teach
If you’re looking for your first Pilates teacher then you may not know that there are different styles. The industry has adopted a distinction between Classical Pilates and Contemporary Pilates. Most of what is out there is a blend of both. Classical Pilates simply refers to a series of exercises which are taught as Joseph Pilates would have taught. Contemporary Pilates has been heavily adapted from the Classical repertoire, usually to make the exercises more accessible.
There is no better or worse when it comes to this distinction. Just keep it in mind when you’re looking into how a teacher chooses to teach.
FIVE: Most importantly, pick someone you like spending time with
The likelihood of embarking on a long and fulfilling Pilates journey will be so much higher if you enjoy your time with your teacher. Don’t give too much credence to celebrity followings and social media fanfare. Go for who you feel best with and you’ll get so much more out of your session.