So I planned on writing this post all about the details of becoming a Pilates instructor, the history of different schools, and how I created my own teacher training program. But that’s not really what I want to talk about in this post. It’s definitely important, and I can go on and on about it and love talking about it! Really, if you have questions about any of those things, comment below or email me and I’m happy to explain things in more detail. This post about Pilates training schools and this document about the program I created will help as well. Today I just want to talk about how awesome it is and how anyone can do it if they really want to!
For a little background, I created the Harmony Pilates Teacher Training Program in 2010 when a client approached me about training her in Hawaii. She had been turned down from other programs due to her lack of experience in the health care field, but she was passionate about Pilates and just wanted to learn more about it. I took a year to research all the respected teacher training programs out there and the recommended guidelines set forth by the PMA for Pilates Instructor training programs. I had been a physical therapist and Pilates instructor for 10 years, but I hadn’t thought about teaching other people how to be instructors themselves!
My program at Harmony was accepted by the PMA to be a part of their Registry of Schools, which really is something I’m very proud of. I created the program and decided I would just offer the mat course to my one interested student and see if anyone wanted to join. We had seven students for that first course, and many of them wanted to continue and learn Pilates reformer. So I created a comprehensive reformer course and taught it later that year. Since then, I’ve taught more than 8 different groups both the Pilates Mat and Reformer Teacher Training courses. I have been amazed at the response and the dedication of these students, and I have found I absolutely love teaching the coursework. I learn something new every single time I teach it, as I go back and research more and more about the history of Pilates and Joe himself. I try my best to combine the original principles, exercises and intentions of Joe with the current anatomy and physiology knowledge we have. My goal is not to promote the Harmony Teacher Training program as better than anyone else’s, but simply to contribute something to the amazing body of work that is Pilates and to do my part in teaching students how to be knowledgable, skilled and professional in their instruction. I want students to understand Pilates, and to have a lot of fun while they learn and teach! I want new teachers to feel supported and empowered, and to really know that they can make people feel better and change lives with what they are learning.
The obvious reason you would go through a Pilates Teacher Training Program is if you want to become a group fitness instructor and teach Pilates, but I have had many people go through this program for a variety of reasons!
1) You are a healthcare professional and want to add another set of skills to your “toolbox”. Pilates exercises and principles can help anyone, especially physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, yoga instructors and osteopaths. Your clients will love to know that you have this extra set of skills!
2) You love Pilates and want to learn more for yourself. I have had many clients go through the program who have no intention of ever teaching, but just want to be immersed in the knowledge and details of how to do the exercises correctly.
3) You think you want to teach Pilates equipment classes one day. The Pilates Mat Program is a pre-requisite for most Pilates equipment programs, and it’s a great way to get your feet wet and see what the coursework really entails.
Don’t think you need to teach at a big, fancy gym or studio once you get trained. The sky is the limit on what you can do with your training. I have students who have: offered a Japanese language mat class once a week (she teaches this at Harmony now and I’m so glad!), started a class at the local rec center, offered a mommy and me class to friends and use it in their personal training with clients. I recently spoke to a former student who has been a respected yoga instructor for years. She moved to LA and said the market is saturated with yoga instructors, but she’s been able to stand out because she ALSO has the Pilates training.
I’m holding the next Pilates Mat Teacher Training Program in January of 2015 in San Diego, CA, and anyone is welcome! The only requirement is that you have a passion for learning about Pilates and you are dedicated to putting in the time required. It definitely is a sacrifice of time and money and I understand it isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it for those who really want to learn more and have some fun! Please do not hesitate to email me or comment with your questions. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing some of you in January!