8 Ways to Recession Proof your Pilates Business

While it may not happen anytime soon, experts are predicting that an economic downturn will happen in the next year or two.

Many studios were not in business the last time our economy turned down, of those that were, some did ok, a lot went under and some thrived. Below are some tips on how to prepare now so that you are not one of the victims but instead thrive! Read more...

Author: Katie Santos, PMA®-CPT, PMA Board of Directors


Member Spotlight

How did you learn about the Pilates Method?

While I was working 70+ hour weeks as a Chef, I sustained a severe back injury, herniating two lumbar discs. In the hospital, I was put in traction and loaded up with IV Roboxin, then scheduled for spinal fusion surgery.

Speaking to the surgeon, I asked about the details of the procedure.  A piece of bone from my illiac crest would be "inserted" between the injured vertebral bodies, fusing my spine.  I chose to find another way.

Over the next few weeks, my left leg began to weaken markedly. More Xrays showed the nerve root was being impinged by calcification around the facet window. I was in extreme pain and very much terrified. An EMG study confirmed the nerve was deteriorating. Still, I had enough faith to find another way. I took to the gym and made every effort to strengthen myself by means of weight machines. Had some very small success.

I was considered totally disabled, and placed in the Vocational Rehabilitation system. The doctors warned me that I would lose my ability to walk if I didn't have the fusion procedure. I kept searching.

After several tries, I found a chiropractor who afforded me some relief. A temporary fix, because every two weeks or so my back would go out and I'd be right back in his office. 

One day Dr. Scott said: "Aren't you tired of all these adjustments?" I was in agreement, and he said "I am sending you to Pilates". I started with Julian Littleford at his studio in Del Mar, CA. 

The first several months were tough, progress was slow. Julian never gave up on me, nor I on him.  Julian and my Pilates my work ethic gave me a new body and a new outlook on Life. 

Harry M. Rau
PMA Member since 2010


"Pilates? That's Like Yoga, Right?"

As a business owner who offers both Pilates and yoga at my studio, I run into this question on a regular basis.  

My answer can be detailed or basic, depending on my audience. Here are some comparison points about the two disciplines based on my personal experience with both. For the purposes of this discussion, I am comparing yoga to Pilates on the apparatus. Read more...

Author: Jo Ann Graser, PMA®-CPT, PMA Board of Directors


Member Spotlight

Why did you fall in love with the Pilates method?

Some people think in words, and others feel their way through movement experience.  Life is created and meant to be filled with strength and awareness. Pilates gives us a platform from which to feel “alive.”

Thank you Pilates for giving me breath and centering, from which I move innately.  Pilates has allowed me to have self confidence and the ability to share this experience with others.  Joseph Pilates, in his book

Return to Life through Contrology, likened his theory of exercise as a way toward “world peace.”  It is this reminder that allows us to remember to feel grounded, and know that within the Pilates community there is hope for a peaceful, healthy life now and into the future. We must bring this awareness to humanity. Thank you, PMA and Joseph Pilates...

Kathy Sagmiller, PMA®-CPT
PMA Member since 2013


Make the Most of the PMA Conference!

Conference season is ramping up for the year. How can you make the most of your money and time?  

By making an effort to plan and strategize your conference experience, you can maximize your investment in continuing education.

Let’s talk about the benefits of attending the PMA conference and how can you make the time away from the studio worthwhile! Read more...

Author: Katie Santos, PMA®-CPT, PMA Board of Directors


Member Spotlight
Why did you choose to study to become a Pilates teacher?

I chose to study to become a Pilates teacher when I understood, through ballet instruction at 21 years of age, that I could articulate my joints and use my myofascial system in so many more ways than I had throughout my youth! The work of Joseph Pilates, and his amazing devotees who have expanded upon and shared their wealth of knowledge, felt SO good to me because I was able to use my whole body, and my concentration of movement control and expansive breathing brought me exactly to where I needed to be, present. It was the "thing" that I could get lost in. Since I decided to study to become a Pilates teacher, my intent has been to help my clients find that spark of interest in learning and understanding more about themselves, and to help them be more present for their life vessel, that is their body. 


Dr. Lindsay Branzel, PMA®-CPT
PMA Member since 2009


5 Tips On How To Sell Pilates
(to even the most skeptical clients)

Are you wondering how you can get more new clients through the door of your studio and onto your schedule?

If so, you're not alone. Most Pilates teachers struggle with this from time to time in their careers. And selling can often feel uncomfortable - not everyone is a natural salesperson! And that's ok, because when it comes to selling Pilates, we have more than one chance to get new client to commit. Read more...

Author: Seran Glanfield, PMA®-CPT, PMA Board of Directors


Member Spotlight
What is your biggest Pilates accomplishment?

My biggest Pilates achievement is becoming a PMA Certified Pilates Teacher at age 60.

They say that 50 is the new 40, but this wasn’t the case for me! When I turned 50, I began to notice signs of aging; stiffness, less flexibility, more aches and pains, not being able to do things I did when I was younger. I figured that if I felt this way at 50, what would life would be like at 70 or 80? My excuses for not exercising disappeared when a new fitness center opened where I worked. One day a personal trainer encouraged me to try a Pilates class. I entered the class reluctantly but left it feeling like I’d come home. I had discovered a way of exercising that felt right; for my body, mind and soul. I felt stronger, breathed deeper and stood taller. I had more energy and my flexibility improved. The stiffness I’d attributed to “getting older” had gone and I was more confident about maintaining a great quality of life. I soon developed a thirst to find out more about the Pilates method.

I found a local studio and delved even deeper into the Pilates world. The more Pilates classes I attended, the more I wanted to attend! I started thinking about teaching Pilates but didn’t know how I would be able to do the training and work full time. Sometimes, fate works in strange ways.

When outsourcing eliminated my corporate job I decided to take the plunge and join the training program. It consisted of 750 hours of instruction, workshops, observations, and student teaching, covering the mat and all apparatus. The instruction helped me understand the exercises and get them in my body. Observations exposed me to different instructors and their styles. Workshops deepened my understanding of the method and taught me proper cueing. Student teaching helped me practice my skills. Tests on Pilates principles, anatomy, and exercise order ensured comprehension. Practice classes provided feedback and the final exam, performing the entire advanced reformer series, was like a rite of passage.

Fifteen months later, at age 60, I became a Pilates instructor. Quite an amazing transformation! Now, I enjoy enabling my clients to realize their own transformation. Working with “Baby Boomers” like myself, I feel I am best able to relate to their particular needs and concerns. It has been an incredible journey.

This year I celebrated my 7 year teaching anniversary and have never been happier. Joseph Pilates taught until he died at age 86. Many of Joe’s original students, collectively known as the Pilates elders, taught into their 80’s and even 90’s.  I look forward to teaching as long as I can.

Len Palombi, PMA®-CPT
PMA Member since 2012


Eight Ways to Make Your Classes a Refuge from Modern Life

Life today is full to say the least.

We have so many opportunities and also so many responsibilities. One of the great things about a Pilates session is the chance we have to focus on ourselves and leave our responsibilities for an hour. Here are 8 simple ways to create this oasis for your clients and students. Read more...

Author: Shelly Power, PMA®-CPT, PMA Board of Directors


Member Spotlight
What do you wish more people knew about Pilates?

What I wish more people knew about Pilates is that each apparatus is a specific tool to help with a specific issue in a specific situation. Joseph Pilates invented his apparatus with specific students in mind. They are form-fitted and tailor-made.

The majority of people only know mat Pilates, they're not even aware that there is apparatus involved. Then there is a certain group of people who have heard of the Reformer. People contact my studio and ask if we offer "Reformer Pilates". I try to explain to them that yes, we do have Reformers but we also have a Ladder Barrel, a Trapeze Table, Spine Correctors, Chairs and many other apparatuses, and that we use whatever equipment is necessary to work on the area of the body we want to work on. Some of them insist that they only want to work on the Reformer because someone recommended that they would benefit from it.  (I suspect that that other person meant to do Reformer instead of mat work, which I would agree with.)

If I want to hang a picture, I need a hammer to put the nail in the wall. I won't get far with scissors or a wrench. Equally, if I want to improve spine mobility, the curved apparatuses like big and small barrels will be better suited than the rectangular Reformer with a flat surface. Pilates teachers are trained to recognize what the body in front of them needs and have learned the best tools (exercises) to help them. Please trust your instructor.

Lastly, I wish people knew that bad posture of all sorts, even bow legs or knock knees (as long as they're not bony deformations) can be corrected. I wish more people knew that there is a middle path between suffering the pain and having surgery. Gentle intelligent movement by the name of Pilates will help them feel better. I wish more people knew that there is no need for them to skip their session when something's aching. The goal of Pilates is to make you feel better after class, not aggravate your symptoms. 

Mara Sievers, PMA®-CPT
PMA Member since 2011


Tired of the old routine? Teach our of your comfort zone!

It is an age old saying that learning does not occur when we are too comfortable.

To learn we need to be challenged, step out of our comfort zone and explore. As Pilates teachers we often push that edge with our clients, by encouraging them to try an exercise they think they might not be able to perform, by challenging their perception of how they think the human body can change, or by exploring with them a new way to move in their own body. We also build our knowledge and understanding of the work by attending continuing education courses. We learn new exercises, modifications and variations. We deepen our knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics and varying health issues we may encounter. But in our studios and in our teaching we often allow the comfort zone to thrive. Read more...

Author: Deborah Mendoza, PMA®-CPT, PMA Board of Directors


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