An Apprentice’s Journey – How I Came to Teach Classical Pilates

Posted on March 5, 2024

Over about three months last year, a group of dedicated apprentices undertook an immersive Beginner to Advanced teacher training sessions at Flex Singapore.

Here, three of those apprentices explain why they chose Classical Pilates, how the journey has shaped their minds and bodies, and helped them stay strong as they navigate the challenges of work and family life. 

Sharmila Pinge:

“I am a mother of two young girls and my primary career has been working in the Financial Services Industry across different countries from Australia, London and Hong Kong. We recently moved to Singapore.

“I’ve always been into health and wellness – running, playing tennis, strength training, yoga and I have explored various Pilates methods.

“However, in the last few years, I decided I wanted to add something new and challenging to my current fitness routine. I’ve always been fascinated and curious about human biomechanics and health science, so I did some research and I came upon Classical Pilates (as opposed to Contemporary Pilates).

“I had my first private session with Heather from Flex. It was such an eye-opener for me. I came out feeling physically challenged but also very mindful, as I was having to exert real concentration and visualize the movement of the exercises.

“Post a few more sessions, I was inspired to delve into Classical further. Initially, it seemed almost impossible that I would change careers, but I am drawn towards the potential of what started as a form of fitness and advancing it further, hence embarking on the Teacher Training Course to become a certified Classical Pilates Instructor.

“At this stage, I am still connected to the corporate world and I do enjoy what I do and am very thankful for these opportunities. Undertaking the Real Pilates Teacher Training Course is a personal investment move I am making with the intent of turning this passion into a reality and exploring future opportunities within the Pilates world.

“I feel that Classical is a proven method that works for me. There are so many amazing pieces of apparatus that get used not just the reformer which are all designed to make your body more efficiently and healthier.

“It not only gives me the physical results but it teaches you so much more that goes beyond doing the just the exercise. The discipline, the commitment to keep pushing and improving as the exercises can be intimidating. I do believe the more I practice classical Pilates, the stronger and more confident I become doing it, and discover my true potential in an effective way. I never get bored with it!

“It has been and continues to be such a self-growth experience. Having a dedicated instructor like Heather who is a library of Pilates knowledge and skills, you can’t help but feel inspired and motivated. I won’t sugar coat it though as it is A LOT of work and definitely demands self-patience. But it’s so worth it and I am enjoying it.

“It is a continuous learning process, which is what makes it so beautiful. I believe it’s been transformative. I feel more agile and  flexible, my endurance and stamina has increased.

“In starting this process, I am more conscious of being present in the moment. For example, when I am doing Classical Pilates, I find I am more mindful of my movement, so I can ensure I move with symmetry, stabilize/engage and work the right muscles or joints.

“I have noticed that I am more appreciative of what my physicality enables me and what my capabilities are, that is, a physical workout doesn’t mean a physical wear out.

“Classical Pilates compliments and supports my ability to do any of the other activities or sports I choose to do, and I walk away feeling energised and connected mentally. It is rehabilitative as well, and helps to minimise injuries when practiced properly. This is pivotal for me as it feeds into other aspects of my life. From a body perspective, there are quite a few changes, but two in particular are related to posture and breathing. There is more conscious movement happening as I perform simple everyday tasks. I am more aware of my breath patterns which has also contributed to my overall wellbeing.

“What stood out for me the most is how knowledgeable, kind and nurturing the teachers are. Flex is such an inclusive, friendly and supportive environment. To be part of this is really uplifting and encouraging. I look forward to growing my Classical Practice and experience and soaking up all the incredible energy in the studio.

“The Singapore studio is also aesthetically stunning with all the state of the art Pilates apparatus!” 

Joann Ng:

“I was previously working for a bank, but left to take care of my family – and here I am now!

“I started thinking of becoming an instructor when I realised that Classical Pilates could help get people stronger, healthier and improve their mobility”. (Joann had previously undertaken Pilates mat work).

“I felt it was time to explore courses and teaching experience. Once my kids started school, I wanted to find the time to do something positive for myself. It was tough juggling between work, study, and home but it has been a great learning journey.

“I feel stronger, have more mind-body awareness and control. The Classical method gave me a real insight into the original work of Joseph Pilates and the repertoire allowed me to chart my own progress, compared to the Contemporary style, where charting your progression was not possible due to the flexibility in the repertoire, or at least at the studios here in Singapore.

“It was exhilarating to say the least, because I fell in love with Pilates all over again, and I began to look at mat work in a completely different light.” 

Denise Tan:

“I started my Pilates journey with Flex in Hong Kong, where I was a client for about eight years (pre and post-natal). When I moved to Singapore about three years ago, I was left in what you could call a Pilates gap; there was nothing I enjoyed as much as Flex.

“When I heard that Heather was opening in Singapore, I knew that was the only place I would practice. So doing the Classical instructor training was a way to deepen my practice. Plus, I love Flex and Heather!

“(During my apprenticeship) I enjoyed the rigor of Pilates. It’s a commitment of time and effort, but the instructor gives it back to you the same way. Doing this program was also part of me carving out something new after leaving the corporate world.

“Because of the immersive nature of the training, I have really deepened my practice. For example, when you come in as a client a few times a week, it’s different from the eight hours (apprentices do) to get the work done.

“And this deepening comes from learning the system. Classical Pilates is a system, and there is so much integration between one exercise and another.

“It becomes about how one exercise follows another, and then in to the next and so on. I always say that Heather is the teacher of teachers!

My own journey is that (good) movement is our birthright. When I lived in Hong Kong … I suffered from office body. I worked in finance. There was lots of travelling, lunch at my desk, bad foods.

“I’ve been liberated from all of that (with Classical Pilates), and I am healthier than I’ve ever been.” 

Bookings for the 2024 training cycle are open!

Singapore 3rd cycle training cycle starts 21 March 2024.
Singapore 3rd Cycle 2024 Schedule
Thursdays 6pm-9pm;
Fridays-Sundays 2pm-8pm

Beginner- 21-24 March
Intermediate I- 25-28
Intermediate II- 13-16
Advanced- 1-4 August

Apply Now –
For more information please Contact Us 

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