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Become a Pilates Teacher

Allied Health World spoke with certified Pilates instructor, Graza Doyle, for her experienced perspective on what it takes to effectively teach others how to perform Pilates. Graza’s thoughtful responses to our questions will help aspiring Pilates instructors better understand the process by which one enters this profession and the personality traits of those drawn to this type of work:

Steps to becoming a Pilates instructor

  1. Most people who pursue a specialized form of exercise like Pilates do so after some personal experience. It is worth taking Pilates classes to become familiar with the exercises and to experience the results personally to better determine if you would enjoy a career instructing. The time spent in Pilates classes also provides an opportunity to observe instruction in progress.
  2. Choose the level of Pilates training you are most interested in and that is most appropriate for your skill level. This would either be a course specific to just Pilates mat exercises or more advanced comprehensive courses that would include training on how to instruct students in the use of the various Pilates apparatuses. Remember that you can always go on to take a more advanced class after successful completion of a basic Pilates mat exercise training program.
  3. Upon graduating from the Pilates teacher training program of your choice, consider becoming a certified member of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). This membership is completely elective.
  4. Find work as a salaried Pilates instructor in a health club or Pilates studio. For the more entrepreneurial, an independent practice may be more to your liking.

How might one choose to become a Pilates instructor?

Often an individual will choose to become a Pilates instructor after having had a life-changing personal experience through practicing Pilates. Pilates instructor, Graza Doyle, explained to Allied Health World how after spending years in the gym she found herself moving towards a gentler and more graceful form of exercise, “In the 80’s when everybody jumped on the aerobics wagon, I began weight training, and being a member of a health club, and doing lots of running, and 10ks, and starting to see these incredible results not only in my physical appearance but also in my energy level. One thing led to another, but I started to feel burned out. I started moving into a different decade age-wise and started developing my own system that was low-impact because I was feeling pains in my joints and I felt like my posture wasn’t good. At that age there starts to be a concern about osteoporosis, so I started to pay attention to the bones. At the time I had a lot of physical demands in my life. As I was moving and packing boxes I

What are the personality traits of a good Pilates instructor?

When we put this question to Pilates instructor, Graza Doyle, she responded with concise enthusiasm, “Pilates instructors have to really like people and have high energy. If you love to dance, love movement, if you are graceful, and very much able to focus on the body-mind connection, you will be a great Pilates instructor. When performing or instructing Pilates have to believe in the mind-body connection, because you can’t separate the two.”

What is the job market like for Pilates instructors?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects significant growth in the area of personal fitness training and projects that the number of jobs for fitness workers will increase much faster than average for all occupations. In fact, the BLS expects there to be a 27% increase in the number of fitness professionals employed in the U.S. between now and 2016.

Pilates instructor, Graza Doyle, said, “There’s such an opportunity for Pilates instructors of all ages. For the new generation of fitness enthusiasts Pilates seems like such an obvious choice knowing what we know now about how the body works. For my generation of personal trainers and fitness lovers you can add onto your existing fitness experience by learning Pilates.”

Why become a Pilates instructor?

When we asked life-long fitness enthusiast, Graza Doyle, why she chose to pursue a career as a Pilates instructor after so many years in the fitness industry, she took an introspective pause and closed her eyes for a moment. Breaking from her typically exuberant cadence, she answered calmly, “The amount of satisfaction that you get: Can you ever get tired of dancing? Can you ever get tired of feeling high and joyful and elated because you’re agile and flexible and fluid, and you look graceful. You are only as old or as young as your spine is. What could be a better incentive? My incentive is not to make money, my incentive is to stand on my feet gracefully for as long as I can.”

Pilates Instructor Schools