I saw a post on social media recently where someone had asked if anyone knew of anywhere that did a cheap pilates class as the studios were so expensive! so I felt compelled to write and explain.
A Pilates teacher who has qualified with a specialist reputable Pilates authority has devoted time, commitment and lot of money to do this option, (a few thousands) and it shocked me recently when I saw an online course to become a Pilates teacher for £12.99!! Physios, chiropractors and osteopaths often recommend to their clients who have a weak core or back issues to ‘do pilates’ but does the member of the public then thoroughly check what qualifications the Pilates teacher has? A reputable Pilates certification program should include 400+ hours of training, practice and student teaching training, this all takes place over a period of months (not just a day or two!).
Everybody has different capabilities and restrictions, does your pilates class and teacher offer you modifications and assess that you are doing the right exercises for your body? Just because you CAN do an exercise does that mean you SHOULD? If you turn up to class with a bad back from gardening at the weekend, or an injured shoulder from carrying something incorrectly your Pilates teacher should be able to assess you and give you alternatives whilst at the same time still being able to carry on teaching the rest of the class. Before joining a class have you completed a Health Screening Form so the teacher knows of any pre-existing injuries/restrictions and knows which exercises are therefore unsuitable for your body?
To ensure that you are doing the Pilates exercises correctly and safely for your body and therefore getting the most from the exercises have you been taught the ‘essential basic techniques’ first before just turning up to an existing class? The number of participants in a class is really important too, any more than about 12 means that your teacher won’t be able to come around and check that you are doing the exercises correctly. Just a small change of position can sometimes make a huge difference, but if your teacher either just teaches from the front or isn’t able to get around everyone you may as well be at home and doing it to a DVD! Are you taught about how important the breath is to your core connection and the exercises, throughout the class are you constantly reminded to breathe and engage your core or are you just left to your own devices?
So the next time you hear of someone asking for a ‘cheap’ pilates class, please explain why a Pilates class SHOULDNT be cheap!