Currently, there are three styles of Pilates commonly practised: Classical, Clinical, and Contemporary. The Immersive 4 Week program teaches students how to adapt to all three styles, which gives graduates the ability to develop into versatile instructors within a competitive industry.
The program, like many, highlights movement mechanics/principles and technique. It also focuses on helping students develop the skills necessary to teach these techniques to their future clients. Teaching movement to others can be challenging, as each person has unique needs and is unique in the way that they respond to and process information, so the program prioritises offering guidance on how to develop effective teaching and communication skills.
In addition, Saria, the program’s Master Instructor, is very interested in and passionate about developing the mind/body connection required to proficiently execute Pilates exercises. The nervous system is highly adaptable and influenced by movement, and exploring this relationship is something that is highlighted.
Entering the movement/fitness industry can feel daunting. The program offers insight on how to get started and how to grow professionally.
The quality and offerings of each program, boutique or branded, are unique and vary greatly. And the overall experience of each training session within these programs is dependent on the Master Instructor leading it. Participating in boutique vs branded training will not impact your ability to develop a successful career in teaching, but you should do your due diligence and research to make sure that you are choosing the right program with the right Master Instructor for you.
What is the PMA?:
The PMA is a third party organisation based in the US that offers professional association/membership for individual instructors within the Pilates industry, both nationally and internationally, through its NPCP certification program.
Basic information about the NPCP certification program:
Recently, the PMA changed the branding of its certification, and it is now known as the National Pilates Certification Program (NPCP). According to their website: “Candidates that provide evidence that they meet established professional standards are awarded the title of Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher (NPCT)”
This “evidence” is primarily verified by taking their paid exam, a written test meant to measure professional competency based on their standards. Retaining membership long term requires paying additional fees and providing proof of continued training/education. Please note there is no practical, hands-on teaching exam involved, which is extremely important in measuring teaching skills/competency.
Is NPCP certification required to gain employment or purchase insurance?:
No. NPCP certification is an option for training graduates, but has no impact on an instructor’s ability to teach or build a career in teaching. Pilates instructors are not required to obtain certification from an organisational body with third party accreditation in order to gain employment or purchase insurance.
Eligibility requirements for taking the NPCP exam:
Eligibility requirements and additional information RE the NPCP program can be found here.
Please note, eligibility is NOT based on whether you graduate from a boutique or branded program. Anyone can sit for the exam as long as the listed requirements are met.
Also please note that sitting for the NPCP exam requires that you be comprehensively trained on ALL of the following apparatuses: Mat, Reformer, Trapeze Table (Cadillac), Wunda Chair, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector, and Magic Circle.
Though this program will help prepare you for the NPCP exam if you wish to take it in the future, it does not currently cover all of the required apparatuses. Training on the additional required apparatuses will be offered in the future based on demand. If this is something you are interested in, please let the program instructor know.
Prep materials for the exam can be found here.
Status and reputation of the PMA within the Pilates community:
The PMA’s relevance/status within the Pilates industry/community is often a topic of debate, and largely depends on who you talk to. Opinions about the PMA’s leadership, governance, reputation, and ethics also vary widely for many reasons.
Recently, the PMA was called into question by many in the Pilates community regarding their lack of leadership/response in the areas of inclusivity and racial diversity. If you would like more information about this please let us know and we will direct you to additional resources.
For the reasons listed above, along with others, Master Teacher Saria is currently not a member of the PMA (she was in the past for a brief period of time). Please do your research and decide for yourself whether the PMA is an organisation that you wish to support and align yourself with.
Additional information about the 4 Week Immersive program can be found on the Sunset Pilates website. There is a pdf document with detailed information about the course offerings, structure, and tuition.
If you would like to get in touch with past/current trainees for testimonials and more input, please let the program instructor know and she will provide their contact information.
Email Saria directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sunset Pilates Bali offers a comprehensive 4 week Mat + Reformer Pilates Teacher Training program. This is a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a quality educational experience while experiencing the iconic natural beauty and rich culture that Bali has to offer. The program is taught by Master Instructor Saria Bartholomew.
Program space is limited and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
This program is intended for those who wish to teach professionally*. Students will learn how to proficiently execute the exercises in their own bodies, as well as the skills needed to instruct others in the Pilates method. They will learn basic anatomy and movement principles, safety, cueing, class planning, and more. Upon the completion of the required hours and the final exam, students will receive a “certificate of course completion.” After the completion of in-class hours, there will be a four month online follow up with each student to track progress and provide mentorship. Students are encouraged to maintain contact with Saria for continued guidance.
For those interested in NPCP certification (formerly known as PMA certification), eligibility requirements are available here. Please note, the NPCP exam asks questions about apparatuses not covered in this program, such as the Trapeze Table (Cadillac), Ladder Barrel, Wunda Chair, and Spine Corrector. You will be ready to sit for the exam when you have been fully trained in ALL of these apparatuses and meet all other eligibility requirements.
Those interested in comprehensive training on the additional apparatuses (Trapeze Table, Ladder Barrel, Wunda Chair, and Spine Corrector), should let Saria know. Additional training will be offered based on demand. Please also note, the Magic Circle and Jump Board will be covered in this course. They are more props than apparatuses.
*Although this is intended to be a professional program, it is also offered to those who wish to deepen their personal practice and learn more about a hobby they love.
During the in-class portion of the program, there will be lectures, practice teaching, and self-practice. The main focus of in-class time is to learn how to perform and teach the exercises under the guidance of the Master Instructor.
Other topics like – client intake and assessment, cueing, modifications, integrating props, exercise deconstruction and progressions, safety, designing a class plan, etc. – will also be covered to help students become effective and dynamic teachers.
In the last week of the program, we will have a photo shoot with a professional photographer that will take “headshots” of each student to help start their portfolios.
Classes will be held 6 days per week, starting at 1:30-2 PM. You will spend the weekends at Berawa (we can start in the mornings on Sunday) and the remaining four days at Legian. You will likely have Fridays off, but that is flexible based on majority student preference.
Test Out Fee
1) Mat + Reformer
$40-50 USD (these can be purchased online)
Practice Teaching Hours
Self Practice Hours
1) Foundations + Anatomy
In addition to in-class hours, practical hours outside of class are required:
Sunset Pilates Bali will offer the following resources to help apprentice students with their practical hours:
Apprentice students will be informed of the studio’s schedule and will be expected to maintain studio etiquette when they are in the space.
Recommended texts (not required)
My Pelvic Flaw by Mary O’Dwyer
The Anatomy Coloring Book (4th Edition) by Wynn Kapit and Lawrence M. Elson
Anatomy Trains by Thomas W. Myers
Pilates Anatomy by Rael Isacowitz
Students will be ready for the final exam when they are done with all of their required hours. Test out date/time will be arranged between student and instructor. All final exam materials will be submitted online.
Written Exam: students should be familiar with the subject matter presented in class, such as anatomical terms of movement, exercise names, client assessment and evaluation, appropriate modifications, etc. This will be a multiple choice, T/F, fill in the blank, short answer test.
Practical Exam: students will perform advanced level Mat (30min) AND Reformer (30min) repertoire. The Master Instructor will pick the exercises. Appropriate modifications are encouraged.
Teaching Exam: students will teach a Mat AND Reformer Pilates session (60min total). They will “design” the class. Students should consider the unique needs and goals of their client(s) and will be required to explain their plan to progress their client(s) over the next few months.