In life, not everyone you meet is a good fit for you, whether that is a new person you meet out in the world who might be a friend, or a teacher or guide. The same is true when it comes to choosing a Pilates instructor. When looking for a Pilates instructor, you should first ask yourself why you are looking for Pilates in your life. Is there a specific injury in your body you are wanting to work on? Are you looking to improve your overall health and strength? Are you looking for a new way of challenging your body in movement? And then you want to ask yourself what type of atmosphere do you thrive in? What kind of guidance best serves you to be the most supported and successful individual possible?

A few other things to keep in mind when looking for an instructor. Is your Pilates instructor properly certified and in what type of Pilates? Are you looking for a more intense session or one that is more focused on recovery? Does your Pilates session have a meditative element to it? After you dig deep, to really see why you are looking to add Pilates into your life, then look for instructors that meet the guidelines you’ve identified. 

When it comes to Pilates certifications, there are many out there, but not all of them are thorough trainings or highly qualified trainings. When looking for a qualified teacher, it is okay to ask them questions regarding how many hours of training they have completed to become an instructor. You can also ask how long they have been a qualified teacher and were they trained to understand the body and your specific injury? All instructors are taught the moves and how to use the equipment, but not all are taught the purpose behind the movement or understand why Pilates is actually beneficial for the body. 

You should never leave a Pilates session feeling worse than when you walked in. You should always leave feeling stronger, longer, and more confident in yourself. If you are noticing that something is always hurting more when you work with an instructor, then it’s possible they are not the right instructor for you. You should not be experiencing pain while doing Pilates exercises. While you might feel some uncomfortable stretching during the exercise and perhaps be sore after the session, you should never hurt more after an exercise is completed. Most exercises are designed to push your limits and visit an uncomfortable place, but all will leave you feeling better when you finish the exercise. 

Pilates is based on the following 7 principles: awareness, control, concentration, centering, precision, breath, and flowing movement. Each of your Pilates sessions should tap into these principles so that you can get the most out of your session. Remember, you are not solely there for a workout, you are there to improve the overall health of your body, both physically and mentally.  Keep in mind your body is not meant to ache and have pain throughout your day – we are meant to move. Pilates is something that can help keep those aches and pains away when properly taught.