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For anyone looking to start Pilates it can be very overwhelming as there is so much choice of teachers and studios that it can very difficult to choose the right one for you.

I was having this discussion with a friend the other day and she suggested I write this blog post as a helpful guide to those searching for Pilates.

A lot of people are recommended to Pilates by doctors and physiotherapists after an injury, so it is important to find the right person that will give you the best results.

Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates in the late 1800's. He invented the mat exercises initially but after noticing they were not being executed very well he then start building equipment with spring resistance to help students find their internal spring.


Where did they train?

This will give you a bit more knowledge about their style of Pilates and whether it is the right fit for you or not?

How long was the training?

Most good comprehensive teacher training schools last at least a year and they have to go through rigorous training and practice to become a fully qualified comprehensive teacher.

Are they qualified to teach on equipment or mat only?

There is nothing wrong with training with a teacher who is only mat qualified if that is what you are looking for, but it is important to know so you are aware of the depth of their training. A comprehensively trained teacher will have in-depth knowledge of how to use Pilates as a system on both the equipment and mat and be able to choose exercises depending on the body in front of them. A mat trained teacher will have studied and practiced the exercises performed on the mat.

What is the difference between CLASSICAL and CONTEMPORARY Pilates?


Classical Pilates is Pilates in its authentic form as it was invented by Joseph Pilates.

A typical classical Pilates workout in a fully equipped studio will include a workout on the mat and/or reformer following an order as Joseph would have taught it, followed by a few exercises on other pieces of equipment depending on the body.

A typical classical mat workout will follow an order as Joseph Pilates taught it, and the workout will always start with the ‘HUNDRED’ an exercise including vigorous arm pumps to warm up the body and co-ordinate with the breath.


Contemporary Pilates is based on the work of Joseph Pilates but the exercises have been modified depending on what contemporary teacher you are training with. The exercises do not follow a specific order but are chosen randomly by the teacher.

I have both contemporary and classical certifications. I did my contemporary certification with Polestar Pilates, at that time I did not know about Classical Pilates. A few years later I completed a classical certification with Power Pilates through PI Studios, it was after this that I was inspired to dig deeper into the method as it felt completely different to the training I had originally done. Coming from a sports background I felt like a was really workout out and sweating, something I had not experienced before.

After this I went on to train with Jay Grimes, a highly respected Pilates elder in Vintage Pilates highly selective masters program ™The Work this is where I took my practice and teaching to another level of practice and understanding of the exercises. During this intensive year long study, I had to practice all the exercises on every piece of equipment and be required to do assessments before gaining entry to each module. From continual practice of the exercises with ongoing support from Vintage Pilates through private tuition and classes made me go deeper into my understanding of the exercises, this changed my practice and the way I teach it to others


Whether you are interested in changing your body shape or recovering from an injury the results is the part of Pilates that will keep you coming back for more.

It is important to note that this is not a quick fix exercise but something that requires a lot of practice and commitment.

Joseph Pilates said:

‘In 10 sessions you will feel a difference

In 20 sessions you will see a difference

In 30 sessions you will have a whole new body’

I remember one of us asking Jay about this quote during one of our training weekends in ™The Work. He told us that in order to get the results above you had to come at least three times per week, not from attending a mat class once a week.

Could you commit to this?

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