Pilates was discovered and introduced almost 100 years ago. In Thailand, it only has about 10 years of history and I started travelling between Korea and Thailand to teach instructors in 2006. It was quite surprising that Thailand did not pick it up as fast as the other countries ; especially given the varied nationalities within Bangkok and the many expats coming from countries that have studios on every corner. I think Pilates was overlooked by the locals and there was a lack of English speaking local instructors. Despite 10 years of history, it is now starting to be recognised by locals and expats in Thailand.
Recently, there was a television commercial which showcased a Thai actress performing an advanced Pilates exercise on a Cadillac (Pilates equipment, not the car) and then diving into the water. After this commercial was released, our studio received the most numbers of phone inquiries for”Pi-la-te”; they were asking if they needed a swimming suit! This is what the industry is facing today in Thailand.
Is it improving? Yes, more so than at any time in the past ten years. The popularity of Pilates is definitely on the rise but the industry needs more experts in order to direct the market for future growth.
One of the changes that can lead to positive effect is the increasing numbers of mini-gyms opening after the collapse of one of the biggest fitness chains in Thailand. Hundreds of employees lost their jobs and many of them started their own venture Since Pilates requires less space, many of these brand new mini-gyms are offering it as an option.
Not all of them are well staffed and some may well close down but during this process.
clients will get more opportunities to experience a variety of of instructors and sessions (some better than others ) and they will become smarter. Clients will be left with studios which offer up-to-date education to their staff and excellent customer service.
At The our studio, we train 6/700 hours of private Pilates per month in Thai, Korean, Japanese and English by seventeen full and part time instructor s. In the studio, I see the rapid changes and improvements of our clients. Pilates used to be seen like general fitness to locals before but today we get more detailed questions from our clients and they are
coming to us with more specific needs.
I now offer weekly training sessions for both Essential and Intermediate level of instructors at our academy alongside the Stott pilates international instructor courses and continuous education Programmes to keep the instructors bang up to date.
My number one tip for people interested in trying pilates is to search out and find properly trained instructors. Ask for the instructor’s background and qualifications and always look for studios that offer ongoing education courses. There are few well recognised Pilates certification course besides Stott Pilates. An experienced instructor will never offer the same sessions, even to the same client and continuous ongoing education will ensure that instructors have a bigger repertoire.
I encourage starting with private sessions because it is the most effective way to learn and practice the art. Pilates teaches you all about your body in detail and since we all have individual requirements, private sessions will be the most beneficial for you.
If you want to take group class, search out and find a small group. I think that if the group is bigger than eight to ten people, the quality of the instruction and the safety of the session cannot be guaranteed. The instructor will have to hold back on a lot of the information to keep the group moving and captivated.
This is why we encourage private sessions and ideally four people to each group on equipment at our studio.
For those that are already enjoying Pilates, I have a tip for you to fall in love even more than you area already, Communicate with your instructor! It is the key to improving your session.
Sessions can be pricy so make sure that you get the best out of them. Tell your instructor how and what you feel. Don’t worry if you can’t do it or it does not feel your instructors are sure you are doing the exercise correctly and safely and they know many modifications to ensure that you can do the movements and feel successful at the end of every session.