Want to train to be a teacher? Read this first.

Jemma is currently participating in bePilates Apprentice Programme which was set up to help our learners (and new teachers from other providers) put into practice, knowledge gained throughout the teacher training process. As she finished her Balanced Body Comprehensive Training Course-but still needs to work hard to complete her teaching hours-she became our Apprentice Teacher!

Jemma shares her thoughts about starting her Pilates teacher journey :)


What is Pilates? This is a question we are asked to define throughout our training, along with explaining what it is to friends, family and colleagues whose first question is often “it’s kind of like yoga right?”

We are asked the question so we understand the foundations of what Joseph Pilates based his method on and so we understand exactly what it is we are trying to achieve in each movement and sequence we perform or give to our clients. Admittedly, prior to teacher training I had not given much thought to the underlying principles. I just knew I loved the movements and the feeling after a session, however understanding the true purpose and technique and then being able to apply this to various body types, is the end goal of training.

So how do we do that?
To begin with, we need a comprehensive understanding of anatomy. Again, something I had not thought of in too much detail before, however Pilates is a technical exercise system therefore you will need to know all the bones, joints and muscles that we are working in each movement.
Once we have an understanding of our anatomy we learn how modern day habits, injuries or medical issues can alter our basic structure and how Pilates can help us move towards optimal health again.

The training for each piece of equipment is a combination of learning the principles and anatomy, watching demonstrations of the exercises, as well as teaching them to a partner or a small group for a full day or week at a time. You will learn the modifications, variations and how the exercises are built up from beginner to advanced. This will vary depending on the school you are training with as well as the piece of equipment and how your training schedule is structured.

Each piece of Pilates studio equipment has it’s own training course and for each course, you must complete a set number of practice teaching hours, observation hours and personal practice hours before you can take your final exam. The number of hours will vary depending on the apparatus and the training school for example The Balanced Body Comprehensive course (all studio apparatus) requires 500 hours before you can test out. This can be a lengthy process, depending on how much time you can dedicate.

Before you sign up to training ask yourself:

*Have I done enough of my own personal practice, to understand the exercises I will be taught (The more you have done the better!)
*How much time can I dedicate to the hours that are required?
*Do I like teaching people?

I believe most (if not all!) teachers begin their training because of the love of actually doing Pilates rather than the love of teaching anything but ultimately this is what we are doing. We are helping people to truly benefit from the method so that they can live their daily lives better.