I first was introduced to Pilates through a friend. She invited me to a mat Pilates class near where we both worked and after that first class, I was hooked! I found another studio nearby that had plenty of mat classes I could choose from. I changed my work schedule so I could take class five days a week! I was obsessed with Pilates. But, I didn’t really know what to look for in a Pilates teacher and truth was back then there wasn’t a lot of information out there on how to find the right instructor. I basically decided if I would go back to class based on how I felt during class and comparing the instructor to the other classes I already knew I liked.
That process worked back in 2005 but it really failed me when I moved to Los Angeles, Ca in 2007. The teachers I was recommended to take from either didn’t have classes at times I could go or the memberships to take their class exceeded my budget. So, there I was a Pilates lover with no teacher. It was me and the world wide web trying to find an instructor that would work with my budget, my schedule, and my needs.
I honestly feel that it was by the graces of luck and the universes divine intervention that I found my first LA Pilates instructor. Through her, I found my training program and the teachers I study under today.
But, I don’t think that the best advice to you in your hunt for a Pilates instructor is “google search and the luck of the SEO spiders will pick you the best teacher!” In fact, that could be a recipe for disaster. Because now there are so many Pilates instructors out there how do you know which one is right for you? What should you look for in a Pilates instructor?
- Start your search by location for where you work or live: The truth is if it’s not convenient for you to go you will dread going or end up canceling more than you go.
- Know your Availability: Knowing exactly what days and times you can go will also help you narrow your search and will also help make the scheduling process much easier. When you reach out you can say exactly when you are free to come in.
- Use Referrals: Ask your friends, doctor, physical therapists, co-workers if they have recommendations and what they love and don’t love about their teachers.
- Use Pilates sites like Pilates Method Alliance, Pilates Pal, and PilatesAnytime to find fully trained instructors. Pilates Anytime allows you to see an instructor teach and you can see if their teaching style resonates with you (use LLOGAN for a 30-day trial).
- Talk to the instructor over the phone: Tell them why you’re interested in taking Pilates from them, what your goals are and any injuries you have. Listen to how they respond. Are they excited to work with you? Do they sound confident about your injuries or goals?
- Check out their website and bio: How long have they been teaching? Sidenote: it does take a long time to become a teacher so even a new teacher may have an extra year under their belt already. For more info on how long it takes to become a teacher check out this post. Did they get trained on all the Pilates equipment? Why did they become a teacher? Does their policies and schedule work best for you?
Because of social media and youtube, you can often get a glimpse of your future teacher. Do a little shopping and if you don’t love the workout on the first try take a moment, try another instructor. Compare and contrast. What did you love, what did you hate (ps the exercises we hate we often need the most) and how did you feel the next day? Did you feel seen, heard and valued?
If you still can’t find a teacher that rocks your mat then have no fear! That is why I have my online Pilates teaching sessions and mat classes. You can get the Pilates you love and need in the comfort of your own home or office. Register for my weekly classes here or contact me here for a private lesson via Skype/Facetime.
Happy hunting! And feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.