How to Get Your Pilates Certification
Becoming a certified as a Pilates instructor is a great way to take your practice to the next level and help others improve at the same time. But with so many certification courses now available both online and in studios, it can be overwhelming to figure out the best way for you to make that first step.
These do’s and don’ts will point you in the right direction. Heed this advice and you’ll be on your way to becoming a Pilates teacher in no time!
Do Your Research
Before jumping in and signing up for the first certification course you can find on Google, slow down and do some thorough research. You may find one method of certification is more suited to your style than another.
While most courses are still held at local schools and studios, there has been an emergence of online certification courses. Both styles have their pros and cons: Online courses can be much more convenient; but courses held in-person give you the opportunity to more thoroughly learn the tricks of the trade. Figure out what works best and what will make you into the best instructor possible.
Do Distinguish Between Mat & Reformer Pilates
Before beginning the certification process, you should have a clear idea about whether you want to teach primarily mat or both mat and reformer Pilates. The certification process differs greatly between the two.
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Reformer certification is usually included in a “comprehensive certification” process that leaves the instructor able to teach both mat Pilates and Pilates with the use of all apparatuses. If you only have experience in the mat-method, you may want to start with that certification before moving onto the more comprehensive instruction. Comprehensive courses tend to be much longer and more expensive, which leads to a higher level of training, but also includes many unnecessary courses for those who are only interested in mat Pilates.
Don’t Feel Obligated to Obtain Certification
Obtaining certification is an excellent idea, but don’t feel like you’ll never be able to teach if you don’t already have official training.
Talk to some instructors and ask about their pedagogical training:
- Did they obtain a certification?
- Was it before they started teaching?
- What method/apparatuses are they certified in?
- What course did they take?
All of these questions and more can guide how you want to develop your own teaching style. You may have had wonderful teachers who were never certified, or you may find that the only teachers you have liked held comprehensive certifications.
If you decide you don’t want to obtain a certification right away, do keep in mind that it may be more difficult for you to obtain a job teaching at a studio, especially if the staff is not familiar with you and your Pilates experience.
Don’t Do Training You Don’t Believe in
Even if you have already paid for and begun attending a certification course, don’t feel obligated to apply all their teaching methods—especially those you do not feel comfortable with. Your certification process and training should provide the foundation of your teaching style, but it doesn’t have to all be followed by-the-book. If what you’re learning in the certification process isn’t something you would like from a teacher if you were in a class, then don’t apply it in your instruction.
The average cost of comprehensive Pilates certification in the United States is approximately $1,200.
Do Take Your Time
Going straight from a certification course into the first teaching job you can find may seem like a great, fun idea, but it may not be the best way to begin your new career.
Don’t let yourself get swept away in the excitement of teaching. Remember, you want to become the best instructor possible for both your sake and for the sake of your future students. Rushing into things won’t help either of you! Take time when choosing your certification course (if you decide to take one), take time in selecting where you want to work, and, always, take time in teaching.
Do Make a Plan
When you decide you want to start teaching, sit down and make a plan: How long are you willing to train before teaching? When do you want to start teaching? What forms of Pilates would you like to teach? Do you have an ideal place in which you would like to work?
Ask yourself these questions to formulate where you want to be in a year and how you’re going to get there. If you’re absolutely clear on your goals as a Pilates instructor, you will be better able to achieve them.
Do Go for It!
If you’ve made the choice to become a Pilates instructor, congratulations! It’s an exciting job with many benefits and boundless joys. Just make sure to get the training you need to become the kind of teacher you want to be!