The Real Pilates Standards of Training are distinguished by our focus on 4 key elements. Your weekly assignments are designed to develop your skill in each of these areas as well as your Anatomy, History and more.



Q. Integration:

Pilates should be done “at the rhythm of your heart”.

Practice Drill - do your own session according to the rhythm of this recording.

Play this on your headphones or smartphone and do 1-2 full workouts with this soundtrack.  

a) How did you find the rhythm? Faster or slower than you prefer?

b) Was your full session shorter or longer as a result of the soundtrack?

This experiment can reveal that you have been moving far to slow or far too fast. There really is an ideal tempo. Flow doesn’t mean break neck speed. And while the heartbeat is brisk, it is speedy for some moves and quite slow for other moves. This variation is intentional. Pilates is not meant to move so fast that we lose the “deep” work. Moving faster than your comfort zone but still allowing time for adjustments and corrections is the tempo where the perfect workout lives.

Use this information to build your class times. If your session runs short - plan for more exercises. If you run long - edit repetitions and exercise selections.


Q:  Let’s talk about breathing. There is much talk about the Breath in Pilates.  

1. Respond to a new client who wants to work on her breathing and tells you that she heard that Pilates is good for her to learn to breathe better. Include anything you might say to prepare her for what to expect in your session together.  

“Pilates is ideal to improve breathing quality, timing and capacity. We’ll work on the breathing techniques that accompany each exercise. In the beginning it’s important that we learn the moves and build your foundation. Gradually we’ll layer in the breathing and focus on any areas we decide need to improve.”


Q. Theme Sheets!

Breathe!  Design a class or session this week on the theme of Breath.  Be certain to explain why you chose certain exercises and HOW this will work to reinforce your theme.

Teaching Preparation ForM:                             

1) What is the theme of your class?  (In a few words or even one word)

The breath or breathing

2) Which 5 exercises will you use to reinforce this theme?

Got carried away - here’s (7)

  • Hundred

  • Single Leg Circles

  • Double Straight Leg Stretch

  • Spine Stretch Forward

  • Saw

  • Spine Twist

  • Mermaid

3) What props or pieces of equipment will you use to address the theme and how?  Give specific examples.

I will use the mat and the pressure created between the hands and the body against the mat to create resistance and build muscle tension which increases effort and therefore, breath!

4) List 3 verbal cues (metaphors or analogies) you will use to illustrate the theme to your clients.  

           1.     Inhale to prepare, Exhale to execute.                             

           2.     Exhale twice as long as you inhale.               

           3.     Exhale into the back of your throat Think of a fireplace bellows expelling the air.                                               

5) List 3 key phrases you will use to remind your class of the theme they are focusing on.

1.  Don’t hold your breath         

           2.  Let me hear you breathe                                           

           3.  Exhale when it’s hard                   

6) Which of the six Pilates principles (Concentration, Centering, Control, Breathing, Precision, and Flow) would you like to emphasize in connection with your chosen theme?  

In connection with breathing, flow is a natural pairing. To combat any tendency to freeze up or move too slowly while focusing on breath, flow can reinforce that breathing done at a normal, human tempo.

7) Think outside the box. Give one exercise that seems unlikely to fit your theme and then convince us it does!

Side kicks isn’t a series you typically think about breathing but using your lungs effectively can improve your results. When kicking to the front, a complete exhalation will facilitate a deep abdominal scoop. This scoop makes more “room” for the leg to kick even higher and consciously migrates the work of the kick into the Powerhouse.

Inhaling expands the lungs as the leg kicks to the pack naturally assisting spinal extension and again increasing the possible range of motion with the extending leg.

So increase your breath timing, capacity and control in this move and you will get a greater range of motion throughout the exercise.

8) Who says you cannot work up a sweat in Pilates? Tell us how you are going to insure your clients lather themselves in hard work?

I may slow down some individual moves to focus on breath and timing but will spead up transitions using my uptempo voice and short chirpy instructions to move clients from one exercise to the next with a minimum of wasted time.