When I first started teaching Pilates I was not certified. I’d just learned what Pilates was that week, had taken two Pilates classes and somehow found myself teaching three classes per week immediately after that.
When I asked about enrolling into a Pilates certification program, I was told it takes a really long time and is really expensive. They said “you’re a dancer, you’ll be a natural at teaching Pilates.” Although my gut doubted it, I was up for new challenges and trusted their opinion.
To prepare myself to teach I read a Pilates training manual somebody had photocopied for me and picked up a few DVD’s from the local Chapter’s bookstore.
I taught for years without getting trained. Overtime, the words got easier to verbalize and I got slightly more comfortable with the exercises I was teaching. My body felt tight and tense after most classes, and my core didn’t feel much stronger either. I kept my head up and smile on my face. Deep down, I felt like a fraud.
One day I injured my rotator cuff while teaching a Pilates class and that was the last straw. I attended some workshops at a fitness conference and then a local 2-day Pilates Mat Work certification program. Both helped, I knew it wasn’t enough.
I knew an instructor who held full equipment certifications in Pilates through two different schools and one day she convinced me to get certified through a proper program. She raved about Body Harmonics and told me it was the best out there because it was based on biomechanics, the latest scientific research and really got you in tune with the clients and what they need. I enrolled in the Body Harmonics Mat Work Certification program and found out she was right. I am forever grateful to her for guiding and encouraging me.
My first class after completing my Body Harmonics Mat Work certification was magic. I still remember it to this day. It was creative and well thought out. My cues were purposeful. My participants felt great and I was able to teach them a bit about their bodies and how they moved. For the first time since starting my journey into Pilates I finally felt proud of what I taught and was excited to teach more.
If you’re on the fence about taking a Pilates certification course, here are a few things I got out of my training process that may help you make a decision.
You’ll have integrity in what you do
Walking out of my first Pilates class post-certification was very different than before. I had put in the time and effort to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to give them an amazing class experience. This made me feel honest and proud of myself for the first time in this environment.
You’ll have the tools and resources to help more people
The number one reason people report getting into Pilates is to help people. Helping people is also the number one reason they love their work as a Pilates instructor. When you’re properly certified, you’ll be taught the skills needed to cue better, create more intelligent programming and speak the same language as other industry professionals.
A full certification in Pilates repertoire is important, but don’t stop there. What I loved about Teacher Training at BODY HARMONICS is that there were more than 40 continuing education workshops I could take during and after my Pilates training program. I learned how to work with pre & post natal ladies, athletes, men, kids, clients who have a variety of conditions like back pain, scoliosis, rotator cuff injury, Osteoporosis and so much more. This expands your world and can give you the opportunity to work with many people that have a variety of conditions. Each day is fun, exciting and so rewarding.
You’ll have a competitive edge when looking for teaching jobs
If you’re the only one in your town, it may be easier to find a teaching job with any training you’ve got. However, in most major centres there’s a lot of competition and those who hire look for instructors trained at a reputable school. Many even specify which schools instructors must be trained through on their job posting. Bottom line, the better training you’ve got and the more of it you have, the better your chances are of landing a position at the venues of your choice.
You’ll never be out of work
Today more than ever there’s a HUGE need for all types of people to move their bodies in smart, effective ways. Pilates does just that. Sitting has become the new smoking and working aged people are developing health problems and injuries from being too sedentary. Baby boomers are at their peak and want to stay forever young and able. Thanks to mass media people recognize that movement needs to be part of their weekly routine to stay healthy and strong.
You’ll have pride in being Pilates certified
Although a lot of people haven’t taken Pilates, many have heard of it as an excellent solution for back pain, core strength and intelligent exercise. A lot of celebrities do it and pro athletes use it as conditioning. When you are a Pilates instructor, you can be sure that people will respect and be impressed with what you do.
You’ll have the freedom to work anywhere in the world
Just a couple weeks ago I took a 2-day workshop where I met a Pilates studio owner from Abu Dhabi. We spoke over lunch and I found out that she regularly hires instructors from all over the world and pays for them to live and work at her facility for two years at a time. I’d heard of some instructors travelling the world, but found it exciting that I actually had the chance to meet someone offering one of these opportunities to others.
I’ve also known a few people who have also set themselves up to teach at cruise ships and resorts anywhere from a week or two to a few months at a time. This is a great way to see the world, work a few hours a day and meet so many interesting people.
Last point on this, if you ever have the desire or need to relocate, Pilates is something you can do anywhere as long as you can speak the same language as the clients you work with. We’ve had several instructors leave Body Harmonics because their spouse got a job in another city or even another country. It’s always sad to see someone go, but they all keep teaching and relocate with ease.
Author: Larisa Makuch
Larisa Makuch is a Pilates & Movement teacher, teacher trainer and ELDOA instructor. She draws on her experiences to create innovative teaching and business strategies. Larisa has a Body Harmonics Comprehensive Pilates diploma, several Specialist diplomas and a BA.
“For me it’s all about helping people move better, feel better and build their confidence each and every day. I especially enjoy those ‘aha’ moments when clients and colleagues make discoveries that translate into more freedom, more joy and less pain in their lives.”