Most Pilates instructors will gravitate towards complementary training programs once they’ve established their client base. Often, you’ll find Pilates instructors who offer more than one movement modality while others will keep Pilates their primary offering but integrate key components of different movement disciplines into their clients’ workouts.
Below are some different ways to approach continuing education beyond the Pilates paradigm so that you’re focusing on appropriate, effective options that are of interest to you and pertinent to your clients progress.
Deepening your body of knowledge:
Most comprehensive Pilates training will delve into anatomy, physiology and specific conditions or populations. Deepening your knowledge of the body is a great way to strengthen your programming skills and hone in on areas of interest that can parallel your clientele base.
For example, if you have clients who are working with specific, neurological conditions, learning more about neuro-anatomy and specific guidelines for conditions that fall under this umbrella (stroke, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis) can provide you with current, up to date research and protocols. And it can propel you towards being an expert in that area of focus.
Furthermore, the knowledge gained from taking workshops/courses that are specialized in one area can prompt you to consider how to use the Pilates equipment in a way that makes it even more accessible and appropriate for all of your clients.
Or perhaps you might find yourself training those who are coming to Pilates because of a sports injury that requires a specific and time sensitive training that progresses their rehabilitation. Understanding where Pilates is situated in the return to sport process while fully comprehending the key components of their rehab, strengthening and conditioning can allow you to properly bridge between their initial treatment and regular training programs.
Complementing your Pilates:
On your path to learning about the modalities that will benefit and inform your teaching and clients, you might find yourself immersed in a program that demands the same level of commitment as that of your Pilates training. If you have the time, energy and interest to pursue something that you can offer in addition to Pilates, the end result could be well worth it.
Keeping in mind that many programs will have a cost similar to that of your Pilates training, you’ll want to ensure that it’s something that you can transfer into your offerings so that you recoup the fees of the course in either your hourly rates and/or your client base.
Unlike workshops or specific focus classes, undertaking an education in a different modality, like, for example, Yoga, Osteopathy or Gyrotonic, may mean taking time to reflect upon where you’d like to see your career within a 3-5 years span. Some questions to ask yourself is:
- Can I expand my current hours to offer what I’m learning to more than just my existing clientele?
- Is this type of movement approach something that my clients will want to do?
- Am I able to combine this training with my Pilates or is it something I’ll offer separately?
- Is there specific equipment required to offer this training and if so, am I prepared to make that investment?
Continuing education is a key part of keeping your training and what you have to offer both relevant and refreshing. By assessing who your clients are and where your interests lie plus taking into account where you’d like to see your career in the not too distant future, you’ll make wise and pertinent choices to keep your Pilates teaching as interesting and exciting to you as it was when you first began.