How to Choose a Pilates Teacher

Things to keep in mind when searching for a Pilates Teacher…

Which Pilates school did they train with?

A Pilates teacher should be able to offer you personal tuition or small group classes on apparatus created by Joe Pilates You will be taught exercises on a mat,reformer, chair, cadillac, barrel or many of the other pieces of apparatus designed specifically to assist strengthening and stretching the body This type of teacher is called a “comprehensively trained Pilates Teacher”.

A matwork only Pilates Teacher should have received training from a school whose Directors and tutors are fully trained in mat and apparatus and can refer you to a comprehensive teacher where appropriate. We will post a list of approved schools shortly.

Teacher personality and rapport

Taking lessons with a Pilates teacher can be incredibly rewarding both physically and mentally and it is important that you and your teacher work together.  Personalities that blend well are normally a key to success and your teacher should  always offer an introductory lesson before you are commited to buying a block of lessons. Most studios will have a list of teachers on their websites so do take time to read their biographies and chose a teacher with whom you think you would enjoy working.

Pilates is not a substitute for Physiotherapy or other manual “therapies” e.g. Osteopathy, Chiropractic.

The majority of Pilates Teachers are not medically qualifed and cannot prescribe, treat or offer therapy or describe themselves as such. Pilates Teachers teach exercises created by Joe Pilates on mat and apparatus which have health benefits.  If you have a medical condition or require “treatment” for a condition you should see a Medical Professional first who may suggest that you see a Pilates Teacher. All Pilates Teachers will complete a health screening form and it may be that they suggest that you see a Medical Professional before they accept you for a lesson.  If a Pilates Teacher has a Medical qualification this will be shown on the Register.

Visit the studio or premises

Take time to visit the studio before you book up. See how you are greeted and what the atmosphere is like.  Studios should be clean, welcoming and have an air of calm. Don’t be put off hearing grunts and groans common from participants – Pilates is good for the body!

It might be courteous to make an appointment between lessons as teachers should aways be busy.

Ask if they are a member of the Pilates Teacher Association…?

The Pilates Teacher Association Register has been created to enhance the public experience of the Pilates method and  improve safety, by giving the general public and medical professionals access to a list of Pilates Teachers who meet strict standards of competence and practice in the Pilates Method. This website will shortly list all individuals registere through the Pilates Teacher Association.

While there are some generic national Occupational standards for both the UK and Europe in Pilates matwork there is considerable interpretation of the work which Joe Pilates created in his lifetime and many current training courses offered do not meet the exacting standards of the creator of the work or the continuing generations of his apprentices and former students such as Jay Grimes, Lolita San Miguel, Romana Kryzanowska, Ron Fletcher, Eve Gentry, Kathleen Stanford Grant, Carola Trier, and Mary Bowen to name but a few.  Each of these individuals have influenced the many schools of Pilates we have today. The experience and variety of teaching styles may vary but at the heart there is a sound understanding of the Pilates method.

To find a Pilates Teacher Association registered instructor search our directory by clicking here

What is the PTA quality assurance mark?

A Pilates Teacher registered and using PTA mark of quality is the first indicator to healthcare professionals or members of the public that the Pilates Teacher has a sound comprehensive education in the Pilates Method including all apparatus- cadillac, reformer, chairs, barrels, ped-o-pul, power circles and other traditional and more contemporary accessories.

A Pilates Teacher who have a qualification in Pilates matwork may also display the PTA matwork logo provided they have completed their training with a Pilates school that has an approved comprehensive programme.

Teachers and schools who are registered with the Pilates Teacher Association can display the logo on their place of work, website, and promotional literature. It is an independent quality mark which ensures that the teacher is well qualified and has the necessary skills to teach the Pilates method and has a network of more senior colleagues and Teachers when necessary.

Why should I use a PTA Comprehensive Pilates Teacher?

A comprehensive teacher will have completed, as a minimum, 450 hours of training at a school which offers education in the entire Pilates Method. They will normally practice from a studio equipped with the apparatus created by Joe Pilates.

They can  teach one to one lessons and small groups on any of the Pilates apparatus  (we recommend a maximum of 12 in matwork and 8 on groups of other apparatus).

Depending on their school they may also use more contemporary accessories such as small balls or rollers alongside the more traditional  accessories such as the power circle and small weights.

All PTA Comprehensive members must keep a log of continuing professional education (12 hours per annum)  and a record of lessons on apparatus with a more senior PTA comprehensive Teacher (6 hours per annum)

Why should I use a PTA Associate or Matwork Teacher?

A Pilates Teacher with Associate membership may  be in the early stages of their Pilates career and  using a modular approach towards becoming a Comprehensive Teacher  They will have skills and knowledge appropriate for teaching the Public and will be able to show certificates of their level of competence.  They can teach one to one lessons and small groups on mats (maximum of 12) and should use accessories such as the power circle, small weights and depending on their school may also use more contemporary accessories such as small balls or rollers.

A Pilates matwork Teacher may have chosen to specialise in Pilates matwork as they don’t have the resources available to set up a studio with apparatus They can  teach one to one lessons and small groups on mats (maximum of 12) and should use accessories such as the power circle, small weights and depending on their school may also use more contemporary accessories such as small balls or rollers..

All PTA Associate and matwork teacher will always have the back up of highly experienced  Comprehensive teachers to whom they can refer more complicated conditions or issues. Most matwork teachers should hold a Level 3 National occupational standard qualification in addition to their Pilates qualification but if they have qualified via a non recognised school they cannot request membership of the PTA.

All PTA Matwork  and Associate teachers must keep a log of continuing professional education (12 hours per annum).  and a record of lessons on apparatus with a PTA comprehensive Teacher (6 hours per annum).

There are many teachers in Gyms, church halls, leisure centres and schools please check the qualifications of your Teacher before booking your class. Look for the PTA membership mark.