I completed my Pilates teacher training in San Francisco about a year ago. I still remember exactly how I felt before and during my training: TERRIFIED, EXCITED, CONFUSED, LIT UP, INSECURE, JOYFUL, PROUD. These cocktail of feelings still come up everyday.
After taking my certification exam – and passing with a great score – one feeling stands the strongest: PROUD. Sooo freaking proud of myself AND all the instructors who have done it or those still in the process! I’m so freaking proud of each and every one of you. It’s a big commitment and a rewarding experience!
Before diving into my tips for choosing the right program for you, I’d like to answer the most frequently asked question:
The story of how I started my Pilates career.
In August of 2016, I had just finished grad school but wasn’t passionate about my field, linguistics and teaching English. I didn't feel like I fit in the world of academia. I was also dealing with major homesickness and adjusting to life in the USA in general. Depression and anxiety hit me hard that summer and I was feeling completely lost and helpless about my life.
One day I find myself crying on the bus going to work. Next day, I quit my job and decided to only do the things that bring me joy. Things that are good for my wellbeing and health. Things that make me jump out of bed in the morning. Pilates! I loved going to class and how it heals not only my body but soul and heart. I always leave class feeling so much better!
So now that I was FUNemployed now, I researched Pilates teacher training programs like a it was my job! Weeks of research, coffee dates, IG stalking later, I enrolled in a STOTT PILATES® course at a local STOTT training center Blue Sparrow Pilates in San Francisco. I'd highly recommend it. Still one of the best decisions of my life!
If you are interested in enrolling into a Pilates teacher training program, here are my 5 top tips for you:
1. Get clear about your WHY.
Why do you want to do a teacher training? Is it to better understand the method, to deepen your own practice, to become a teacher? List goes on… Whatever your answer is, just make sure you are in it for the right reasons. It might seem like a cool and easy job. But truth be told, it takes a lot of time, money, and a real commitment to train as a Pilates instructor. If you have a good, heart-centered reason, go for it! You can absolutely do whatever you put your mind to!
My why: Pilates transformed my mind & body and I experienced the amazing benefits from practicing it for years firsthand. So my goal was to share this mindful movement with other people and help them feel amazing too. Though I wasn’t sure if I’d teach Pilates as my career back then..
2. Do lots of research to find a program that is right for you.
No two training is exactly the same. Each program may require different course completion hours, tuition, teaching style etc… Read reviews and forums online. Don’t settle down until you find an option that feels right for you. Here are some things to look for in a well-respected and reputable program:
• Instruction that includes basic anatomy, physiology and biomechanics
• Lectures that take place over several weeks
• Providing students with internationally recognized qualifications
• Small classes with lots of one-to-one coaching
• A combination of written and hands-on assessments
• High-quality teaching materials, including manuals, videos, and in-class instruction
• Offering apprenticeship and/or interships that allow you to observe and teach under the guidance of a mentor
3. Consider how much time/money you are willing to invest.
Start by making a budget for your training. Reach out to studios to learn about payment options, early bird pricings etc… If a program is in your desired budget, see if the training time and schedule works for you. There are usually trainings throughout the year. So, don’t rush to enroll. Choosing the right time to commit to the program definitely sets you up for success.
4. Get financially, emotionally (and physically) ready.
You will probably sit down for hours during a training day. There will be a lot of new information for you to digest. Many exercises to study, practice and observe. So be ready for it.
I remember feeling so overwhelmed during my first teacher training weekend, I just wanted to quit. During those difficult moments remind yourself why you started. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and be patient. Know that you are not alone, everyone goes through it before they become great instructors.
5. Reach out to instructors, go on coffee dates to get the inside scoop of an instructor’s life.
This one I did A LOT. Basically, I lived a stalker life. I reached out to the past-students of programs I liked on Instagram. Almost everyone I messaged replied back and they were all so nice and helpful. So, I definitely encourage you to do the same!
Hope you find this helpful! If you have any other questions or any tips please leave a comment!
Lots of love,
What I'm wearing: