In the months since I've created my website, I've been receiving quite a few inquiries from Pilates enthusiasts in search of information to enhance their personal practice and their teaching.
First and foremost, I recommend finding an instructor you trust with whom you can develop a rapport. Private Pilates sessions are incredibly insightful and I find them a necessary part of my personal development. Adrienne Fitzmaurice is currently rocking my Pilates world. Here I am (showing off) in her home studio:
Group classes are a wonderful way to take the work done in your private sessions into an atmosphere that will enhance your ability to self-teach. It may also pick up your pace and inspire camaraderie amongst like-minded people. In November and December, I decided to take group classes at a bunch of Minneapolis area studios and I found classes that really appealed to me.
Marcia Svaleson's barrel class at her studio, Kensho Body and Mind was a stand out. Marcia was VERY welcoming. I was having trouble turning my head to the left because I had built this website that week. Being masterfully led through an hour class on the spine corrector was fabulous. Movement was medicine that day!
Michelle Stuteman's chair class at Alota Pilates was super fun. Alota Pilates has a dedicated and physically capable client base that is very supportive. Michelle knows how to put together a class with great gusto and humor and she always has an eye on everyone.
Cady Eddy's Saturday mat class at Six Degrees Pilates is a phenomenon. It is packed with dedicated people interested in developing more body awareness. Cady is the right kind of bossy with a huge dose of generosity and positivity.
Adrienne Fitzmaurice's mat class at The Firm kicked my ass. My first impression of The Firm probably needs an entire post dedicated to my feelings about fitness, but Adrienne is doing a spectacular job of promoting The Big Three Guiding Principles of Pilates: whole body health, whole body commitment, and breath. Remarkable in a gym that seems to promote physique over health and attracts people wearing teeny outfits that seem to unknowingly pay homage to Joe Pilates.
For folks that are limited in time, finances, or perhaps geography I wholeheartedly recommend www.PilatesAnytime.com. This fabulous website offers classes, tutorials, lectures, and interviews with some of Pilates most dedicated and talented instructors. It is devoid of the divisiveness that is sometimes present in the Pilates industry. The reductive superiority argument pitting "classic" against "contemporary" Pilates is avoided in favor of an awesome collection of online classes in which all the instructors strive for excellence in Pilates education.
If you're a teacher looking to refresh but would like a more immersive experience, I would suggest visiting an inspirational studio to observe master teachers at work in their own environment. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to visit The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO for a couple weeks of observation, classes, and private sessions with Amy Alpers, Rachel Segel, and Debora Kolwey.
It is easy to fall into a rut during your daily Pilates practice. Mix it up, take an online class or be the new kid at a Pilates studio you've never tried. Treat yourself to some private Pilates sessions and gain a fresh perspective. I promise it will pay off!