Aug 14 2008
Need some pilates in person, and fast? Whether you’re taking the plunge into pilates as a beginner, or are experienced and have just moved to a new city, or you’re vacationing in a different city and want to drop by the local pilates class - it can be a challenge to find a studio. And even if you find a studio, how do you know it’s good and worth your time and money without attending first?
Scout-out/Research a Pilates Studio Near You
Of course, almost everyone nowadays turns to google to search for what they want to know and that can be done with pilates too: search for “pilates” and your city name (or zip/postal code). But go one step further and do a little background work: pull up the studio’s website, if they have one, and read the biographies of the teachers. You want to see that they are certified pilates instructors from a reputable school/system. More about that below…
Pilates, Methods, and Evolution
If you’re not aware, many methods of pilates slam other methods for not being “correct” or “true” pilates. But I think almost all of the legitimate - meaning serious, systematic, and having some history - pilates certification methods have valuable things to offer to pilates overall.
The short story is, pilates has evolved since Joseph Pilates’ time, and generally that evolution has been for the better. However, what hasn’t evolved is the desire of some to freeload a ride and bilk the general public: there are too many weekend-long pilates certification courses out there, churning out instructors that can barely do pilates themselves - this is unacceptable and what you want to avoid.
Finding a Studio Made Easy
Skip the hassle and uncertainty of whether your soon-to-be instructor’s certification method is legit, and play in the list I’ve made below. This is a list of reputable pilates schools which train and certify pilates instructors. To know what I mean by legit and reputable, read further below. But if you’re impatient and can take my word for it, the links I have added are each school’s “find an instructor” or “graduates” page. Within this list you should be able to find qualified instructors and studios near you!
Pilates Instructor and Studio List
(In alphabetical order…)
- Core Dynamics Pilates
- Peak Pilates
- The Pilates Center
- Pilates Method Alliance
- PhysicalMind Institute
- Romana’s Pilates
- Ron Fletcher Pilates
- Stott Pilates
Again, these eight pilates certification methods are by no means the only certification methods out there, but I want to steer you clear of the fly-by-night, flash-in-the-pan certifications out there. I am posting these eight because I either have directly experienced these schools (e.g. I myself am certified via Stott Pilates), or my fellow instructors - who I know and respect - have experienced the methods above.
Classical and Contemporary Pilates
In your reading you might come to realize that this list is quite dynamic. Some of these pilates methods are of the Classical Pilates style (Romana) while some are of the contemporary style (Stott and Fletcher.) While there is some dispute in the pilates community as to what should be legitimately considered pilates - I say, “Stop the cat fight!”
Both the classical methods and those which build upon the classical method have legitimate things to teach students, and both will be done in a safe way. By using the list above, you will avoid walking into a pilates studio with someone unqualified, e.g. an instructor who doesn’t know why you “pump” the arms in basic pilates exercises like the Hundred. (I kid you not - I answered this question earlier today on the internet for a student whose instructor thought it was to tone the arms.)
Summary: Insist on Quality Pilates
In all cases, it’s important that a certification system involve many training hours, self-practice hours, observation hours, practice-teaching hours, and functional anatomy training which spans over several months or more. Because each school’s system can vary, depending on how they schedule the in-class time (e.g. every day for a continuous month vs. 4 day weekends consistently for several months), it’s tough to give a strict day allotment of how long a legitimate pilates certification should take. But one thing is certain: It should NOT be just a weekend-long, or two-weekend long, course.
Well, as you can see, the pilates method is a little harrier than your dog Fluffy. Pilates is a way of exercising but there are several different schools and systems who teach their own madness. But deciding what is good madness vs. incompetence should be easy - hence my beautiful list that I’ve made to save you time (and sanity!) Now, you should be able to find at least one quality pilates studio or independent instructor near your homestead.
Happy searching, and working out!
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