The Pilates profession is currently being inundated by weekend/short courses, which teach a lot of repertoires but provide little to no understanding of pathology, physiology, anatomy, and even worse… with little to no understanding of the actual Pilates Method. This sometimes, unfairly, results in the Pilates Method being blamed for injuries, as well as leading it to be considered as an “alternative therapy”, even though there are science and evidence that supports its many benefits when it is practised correctly – and the best way to achieve this is under the guidance of fully-trained Pilates teachers.
Being a Pilates teacher is a great profession and is highly rewarding. Currently, it is an unregulated profession in Australia, meaning anyone can call themselves a Pilates instructor. In Australia, the Pilates profession has two industry bodies, the Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA) where Susan Cottrell will present a workshop in September 2018, and the Australian Pilates Method Association (APMA). These industry bodies set a standard for our profession, so it can be recognised by the public and the healthcare system as a legitimate therapy, and not merely a form of exercise. Currently, the minimum standard required for membership with these bodies is comprehensive training, comprising both Mat and Full Studio training.
All teachers of Pilates play an important role in our industry and community as they get people moving, which is vital for our community’s wellbeing and health. However, the level of training your Pilates instructor has undertaken may determine whether your Pilates practice is an exercise routine or a comprehensive method that incorporates all the benefits for which Pilates is so renowned.
Comprehensive training also requires 270 hours of practice under the guidance of a mentor. The result of having this guidance is a confident and knowledgeable teacher who can program his or her own classes and modify an exercise in the case of injury or pathology.
Professions that you trust with your body, such as medicine, physiotherapy and optometry all have minimum standards in their profession. As a profession that is also looking after the body and health, Pilates should be no different. Ensure you are learning from a true professional who has undertaken the required training.
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