My time is almost up here on Kauai. There is so much I’m going to miss about being here. Besides the amazing beaches, weather and adventures, I’m going to miss my clients so much! 

Whether you’re looking for a studio to visit while you’re traveling or you’re looking for a long term instructor to help you for years to come, here are some tips to guide you toward the best choice for you. 

1. Keep it local: Start with the closest studio to you.

2. If you have injuries or special needs, speak with the teacher/ studio owner prior to your first visit: See how they can best accommodate you and the best way to begin at their studio. Most fully certified instructors should know and understand injuries and special needs. You should feel accepted, nurtured and challenged, regardless of your capabilities. 

3. Understand the style you like and seek out more of the same: If you’ve been studying for a while, ask your favorite teachers what type of certification they have. There are many different certifying bodies across the world. Some are more “contemporary” (that’s me-although I do incorporate lots of classical exercises into my work). And some are classical. Classical instructors teach the way Joseph Pilates taught and stay true to his exercises and his order. Contemporary instructors will fuse the new science of the body into their work and move the body as they see fit. Both types are great! Try them both and see what works best for you.

4. When looking at Pilates studio websites, check out their offerings: Do you prefer group classes, privates or duets? Apparatus or mat? Perhaps a combo? Do you like an intimate setting, or do you prefer getting lost in the crowd? Get specific on what you really want and go from there. 

5. Look beyond a teacher's certification: In the world of Pilates, all teachers are unique. We bring our unique personalities with our varied backgrounds (dance, athletics, moms, former executives, martial arts, etc.).  Look for common threads among the teachers you like. If you're a dancer, you might like working with another dancer.

6. The best way to truly know if a teacher is a good fit is to work with them: Take note of how you feel while you’re working with them. Do things seem smooth and easy? Is she challenging you? Do you feel comfortable? Are they making the appropriate accommodations for your body and needs? 

7. Your first Pilates session with a new teacher is a lot like a first date: You’re both trying to figure each other out. Be clear and discuss your goals with your new teacher. if you’re unsure after your first session, try another and see. It's not always an easy fit.  Many, many times I’ve worked with a body for the first time and it was a bumpy session. The second time, it was much smoother sailing. Sometimes it takes a "second date" for both of you. 

If you’re on Kauai and you’re looking for a new instructor, here is the list of all the Pilates people that I know of on island. 

*Jan Dunn- Pilates Plus Wellness Center in Princeville*
Jan's background includes 25 years directing Pilates rehab programs within physical therapy clinics, as well as fitness programs in clubs and university dance departments. She blends her experience in teaching university-level anatomy / biomechanics / injury prevention into her work, as well as incorporating the Franklin Method -- a movement education system which is grounded in the science of neuroplasticity.  She offers complementary kama'aina sessions and discounted rates for local residents.

*Teri Eliades- Spiraling Fitness in Kapaa*
Integrating intelligent exercise, body awareness, and spiritual awakening,  I am dedicated to your total health and well-being.  I teach primarily Pilates and GYROTONIC® methodologies and so we will spend the majority of our time together focusing on one exercise form, then when I notice a particular issue that keeps coming up and is more easily-addressed with the other exercise system, we switch to that system in until the situation resolves.  I strive to learn and stay abreast of new updates and information,  keeping current with new trainings and offering you the most complete health system I can.  I am starting up new group classes, so if theres a class time or day you are looking for, please let me know and we can work together to schedule the best, most effective time together.  I currently have a GYROKINESIS® (Gyrotonic mat) class on Wednesday mornings at the Golden Lotus, and will be offering a Pilates mat class (also at the Golden Lotus) on Mondays.  I offer private and duet Pilates reformer classes, group Pilates springboard classes and private Gyrotonic sessions.
(808) 640-7627


*Teri Wilkinson- Pilates Instructor and Licensed Massage Therapist*


*Jennifer Setser- Certified Classical Pilates Instructor*

*Daina Fawn Cockrell- Dancer and Pilates instructor* 

*KT Mellon- South Shore- Pilates Instructor, Licensed Massage Therapist & Acupuncturist*

*Pilates Kauai on the North Shore*

*Poise Pilates in Kalaheo*

If you're dragging your heels trying to find a new teacher, start with a phone call. You won't regret it. 

As a reminder, the studio is open through 5/27/2016. I'd love to see you around during my last week.