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How to Choose a Pilates Instructor
Consult your local fitness club or dance studio, or use our Instructor Finder service. Then, ask some important questions.

1. What kind of training do you have?

Because pilates is a knowledge-based method of exercise, the most qualified teachers are those who have completed a program like STOTT PILATES’ Comprehensive of Intensive certification programs, which have a functional anatomy component and incorporate significant hands-on practice.

2. Why should I do pilates?

The method of exercise offers a no-stress approach to better posture and stronger, leaner muscles. It’s the perfect complement to aerobic exercise or can be used to help you get back on your feet after an injury.

3. What kind of benefits can I expect?

Many! Essentially, the no-impact, neuromuscular technique is designed to improve posture, strengthen and lengthen muscles without adding bulk. An emphasis on breathing leaves you feeling refreshed, not exhausted.

4. Is the STOTT PILATES method different than the original pilates exercises?

STOTT PILATES teaches a contemporary approach to the original method of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s – one that preserves the essence of the original technique but incorporates modern biomechanical knowledge.

5. How often should I do pilates?

For the best results, STOTT PILATES recommends three one-hour sessions per week.

6. Do you emphasize pelvic and shoulder girdle stabilization and “neutral” posture?

Not all instructors do. The STOTT PILATES approach incorporates these contemporary concepts because they are integral to developing core strength and restoring the natural curves of the spine. This is an important departure from the original pilates system and many other popular forms of fitness.

7. What kind of equipment do you use?

Many of the exercises can be done on a mat; but, for the full effect, exercises should incorporate specially designed resistance equipment, like the STOTT PILATES Fitness Circle* exerciser, Reformer and Trapeze Table.

8. Should I take private or group classes?

It depends on what you like and can afford. Because of the technique’s extensive repertoire and complexity, STOTT PILATES recommends six introductory one-on-one sessions, before getting into small group equipment sessions. A teacher:student ratio no larger than 1:12 is ideal for Matwork* classes and 1:6 for group reformer classes. Either way, you should be encouraged to work at your own pace.

9. How much is a class?

Depending on whether you take classes at a fitness center or a pilates studio, prices can range from from $12 for a group session to $100 for one hour of private instruction.

10. Can I do the exercises at home?

Yes. But proper instruction and quality equipment are essential. STOTT PILATES’ introductory Matwork videos, such as Basic Pilates and The Secret to Flat Abs, and quality equipment will help get you started.

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STOTT PILATES, a subsidiary of the Merrithew Corporation, is the only full-service organization of its kind providing high-caliber pilates education, videos and equipment worldwide. Founded in Toronto in 1988 by Lindsay G. Merrithew and Moira Merrithew, the company’s mission is to promote the benefits of mind-body fitness worldwide. Visit