As I do each year, last weekend I attended the Pilates Foundation AGM and workshops in London. It is a great opportunity to discuss Pilates and movement issues with other professional teachers, catch up with old friends, make new ones and continue to develop and learn from one another in our shared passion for the Pilates Method. In turn these new ideas I bring home with me and share with my clients. This not only helps to keep my classes fresh, but also at the cutting edge of new thinking about health and well-being.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the Pilates Foundation. Founded in 1996, it is the UK’s first and therefore oldest Pilates Teachers’ Association. One of the founders of this not-for-profit organisation is Alan Herdman. He was taught by Joseph Pilates and is credited with introducing Pilates to the UK. One of the other founders of the Pilates Foundation, Hana Jones, herself a student of Alan Herdman, luckily for me, was my teacher on the Pilates training course I took in 2003 at The Place, the London Contemporary Dance School.
The Pilates Foundation was set up to promote the work of Joseph and Clara Pilates, honouring the original repertoire and principles, while at the same time bringing current knowledge and research to teaching the Pilates Method.
In a nutshell, the Pilates Foundation is dedicated to maintaining excellence in the practice and teaching of Pilates, and through this powerful method, promoting health and well-being. That is our mission and guides everything we do as Pilates Foundation teachers. To gain membership of the organisation, students must undergo extensive training and pass a rigorous examination process, which takes at least a year. This is not the case for the vast majority of teachers delivering Pilates classes in the UK.
Membership of the organisation is renewed annually and Pilates Foundation teachers have to meet on-going professional development requirements and adhere to a Code of Ethics and Conduct.
For all the reasons highlighted above, this means when you attend group classes or private one-to-one sessions with a Pilates Foundation teacher, you can be sure you are in safe hands. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what West London Osteopaths’ David Tatton has to say about the Pilates Foundation…
“At West London Osteopaths we have been referring patients to Pilates Foundation teachers for over thirty years. The training and knowledge of the teachers from the Pilates Foundation fits in very well with the needs of our patients for exercise and rehabilitation. Osteopathy and Pilates is a very powerful and effective combination, with many patients maintaining and improving on the benefits of Osteopathic treatment with Pilates.”
To close, here’s cover queen, Lissie with her version of Kid Cudi’s Pursuit of Happiness. Being happy, making others happy – perhaps the key to physical and emotional well-being…