Below you will see a list of Pilates news articles.

Join One Billion Rising on 14 Feb

About One Billion Rising




On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.


A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being


Whilst we can’t ‘dance’ on our mats – we can allow our spirits to lift and dance with everyone. Visit the website

It’s to raise awareness  regard to the violence on woman & people being perpetuated worldwide

SA Pilates Association is here - subscribe now!

The South African Pilates Association (SAPA)

The South African Pilates Association (SAPA) is a non-profit, professional association that is dedicated to the teachings of Joseph and Clara Pilates.

SAPA represents the South African Pilates community, promoting quality, evidence-based education and professional conduct. SAPA exists to support instructors, students, business and the public and to foster integrity, respect and diversity in the growth of the Pilates Method in South Africa.


·  Any student currently training to become a Pilates instructor

·  Any Pilates instructor

·  Any studio owner

·  Any Pilates course provider



·  We are a professional body for Pilates in South Africa.

·  We are a Section 21 (non-profit) organization.

·  We represent the public and professional Pilates community in South Africa.

·  We assisted REPSSA in determining minimum educational standards for Pilates in South Africa

·  We protect the public against sub-standard instructors.

·  We provide advice and support in legislative and statutory matters.

·  We provide recognition for accredited education providers and qualified instructors.

·  We protect students from non-accredited and sub-standard education providers.

·  We represent Pilates instructors at a national level in terms of regulations,accreditation, lawful adherence and communication with other statutory bodies.

·  We subscribe to a code of conduct and ethics.

·  We maintain regular communication through our newsletter subscription.



·  SAPA board members have kept up to date with the legislative changes in the fitness industry for the past few years.

·  SAPA has made constructive comment to government regarding the current Draft Fitness Regulations in order to protect and support the growth of Pilates in SA.

·  SAPA chairperson and other board members attended the official Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) presentation at the 2011 Discovery Fitness Convention, where they participated in a discussion regarding the imminent regulation changes and the establishment of the Fitness Board.

·  SAPA chairperson has attended further official constructive meetings with SRSA subsequent to their Discovery Convention presentations.

·  SAPA board members attended official meetings with members of the Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority (THETA).


SAPA supports The Register of Exercise Professionals South Africa (REPSSA)

We would like to introduce you to the SAPA Board Members:

Chairperson - Theo van der Riet - BASI Pilates

Vice-Chairperson - James Raaff - James Raaff & Associates

Secretary - Sandra van den Bergh - Classical Pilates

PR & Marketing - Tanya Thompson - Pilates Unlimited

Education & CPD - Gerda Miller - Healthy Living Education

Fitness Board Rep - Anita Vos - Pilatesinfo

Membership Admin - Lisa Schneider - Tricfocus Pilates

Ethics & Standards - Theo van der Riet & Kyrie Hardiman - BASI Pilates & PilatesHere


Subscribe today and assist us to ensure QUALITY Pilates in South Africa

Register of Exercise Professionals launched in SA!


REPS, the international Register for Exercise Professionals, launched their South African operation end March 2011. South Africa now has a public register for the Fitness Professional (including Pilates Instructors), recognized by International Bodies.  International affiliation is via ICREPS.

Exercise Professionals can only register on REPS by meeting the industry standard and international benchmarks for their chosen modality of fitness. For the first 8 months (up to end November 2011), fitness professionals are allowed to get a provisional registration and are given 12 months grace to get their qualifications up to the standard. After end November, professionals will only be allowed to register if their qualifications meet the REPS standard.

Pilates instructors will require an Exercise Science qualification and Pilates education that meet the REPS standard to register. Provisional registration for Pilates instructors can be done at Pilates Instructor level 4 on REPSSA – Pilates instructor level 5 is for instructors that meet the REPS standard and is equivalent to UKREPS Pilates instructor level 3.

Education providers have to be registered with Theta, or at least in phase B of the application for registration, to be recognised as an approved education provider with REPSSA. Or registered with other International companies that are affiliated to REPs. (i.e. CYQ). A number of Pilates education providers are in the process of registering with Theta.

Why should I register with REPSSA? – make use of the grace period until end September 2011, associate yourself with a commitment to standards & continuous education in our industry and demonstrate to your clients (and employer) that you are serious about your Pilates career.

 For more information visit, or email  
Pilates Industry Survey 2010 - Results!

Why a Survey?

With all the pending legislative changes, it is important for education providers and legislative bodies to understand the Pilates industry – how many instructors are working in the industry, where you work, what training backgrounds you have and your views on the legislation and registration of instructors. A South African Pilates Association is being formed and the survey also tested your views on how this Association/Board should be formed and who should be represented.


The survey was structured in 5 sections:

  1. Summary of all respondents (Pilates students & instructors)
  2. Pilates work environment feedback
  3. Training course feedback
  4. Regulation feedback
  5. Provinces, rates & income

Students skipped sections 2 and 5, as these relate only to instructors working in the industry.


How was the survey distributed?


The survey was done during October & November 2010. The survey was distributed to databases from Pilatesinfo and some education providers – thank you to the education providers who assisted in this regard. It is difficult to determine exactly how many Pilates instructors received the survey information, but a rough estimate is that 1500 Pilates instructors and  students received the survey information. 468 Respondents took part in the survey (response rate of 31.2%).


The response rate for the Pilates 2010 survey is in line with online survey rates. Half of all surveys receive a 26% response rate (median rate) and 32.52% is regarded as an average response rate. Source:


The Results


Section 1 - Respondents (have been teaching Pilates for):

Less than 2 years+


3-5 years+


5-10 years


10-15 years


More than 15 years


Pilates student+



+Almost 70% have less than 5 years experience, which illustrates that Pilates is a young industry in South Africa.


Section 2 – Pilates work environment:


The majority of instructors teach a combination of group, private and semi-private sessions.  Most classes are 1 hour sessions. Two-thirds teach Matwork & Equipment, with the rest teaching Mat classes only. The specific equipment used vary - more than half use Reformer, and almost half use Chair & Trap/Cadillac. Accessories are used by almost all instructors. Most group sessions are fairly large with 6-8 clients and a quarter have 3-5 clients per group session.


The most surprising information about instructors is that only 38% teach Pilates full time! Part-time teaching accounts for 62%, and these instructors teach for less than 20 hours per week, with most of them also having another profession. This may be due to Pilates being a second career choice, i.e. instructors qualify while working in another profession and then continue with both career choices part-time. 15% Teach Pilates as part of a medical profession which is a good fit, as the two professions complement each other.


Almost half of the instructors are studio owners, while 15% teach in a medical practice  and a further 24% teach in studios as employees or rent space in a studio. Less than 10% teach Pilates at client’s homes, while 12% teach Pilates in gyms.


It is clear from the survey that there is no standard scope of practice definition, i.e. it seems that some instructors take on medical cases without being medically qualified. While 19% of the respondents are Health professionals (registered with a Health Council), 39% use Pilates in rehabilitation. More than half teach clients recovering from injuries and pregnant clients. The draft Fitness Regulation states that clients with medical issues should be trained only on referral by a Health professional. Pregnancies can also be high risk, so medical input should be sought and high risk periods of the pregnancy should be avoided if the instructor is not a Health professional. In our view the SA Pilates Association should clarify the scope of practice for Pilates instructors.


Section 3 - Pilates training course feedback


Most respondents trained with a specialised Pilates education provider. What is shocking is that 6 respondents trained themselves via DVD’s and books and 4 were trained by another instructor! Maybe it is time for some standards in the industry…


Exercise Science will be required as part of Pilates instructor training in future. Survey comments indicated that there are some confusion about the definition of Exercise Science. The REPS definition includes Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Lifestyle Management & Modifications, Health & Safety, and Communication. About a quarter of respondents do not have an Exercise Science background, so they will be required to complete their education in the near future. About 10% of respondents did not complete their exams - they will have to qualify before being able to register with REPS as instructors in the future.


Course rating

Answer Options






Course content (what was covered)






Time allocated to cover the content






Course materials (14.5% avg or poor)*






Guidance received during my course






Support after my course ended (28% avg or poor)*






Overall course experience







It seems that course materials and support provided after the course could be improved.


Regulation feedback


Awareness about the pending Fitness Regulation is high – 94% know about it, but some are unsure about the specifics of the Regulation. There is overwhelming support for regulation to ensure the public is protected from poorly trained instructors.


Most respondents are aware of REPS, the official register for Exercise Professionals that will come into effect in 2011, but some are unsure how it will benefit Pilates. Most respondents regard the international mobility offered by REPS as important – they want the option to work in other countries.


Almost everyone support a minimum education standard for Pilates instructors and most support ongoing education. REPS will require 12 CPD (continued professional development) credits per year. This means 12 hours of training per year which can easily be done by attending 2 or more workshops.


The South African Pilates Association (SAPA) is in the process of being formed and will interface with REPS (from Jan 2011) and the Fitness Board (once the regulation is in place). Most respondents support a Pilates Board/Association and the majority  want instructors represented on the Pilates Board – as opposed to having education providers only on the Board. The majority also want to vote for the members of the Board or Association. 79% of respondents are not currently registered with any industry Board or Association.


Provinces, Rates and Income


Gauteng and Western Cape provinces provided over 80% of respondents with KZN third largest. This corresponds to where most of the Pilates studios and training providers are at present. Rates for group, private and semi-private sessions:


Rates per person per class



Gauteng Avg R

WCape Avg R


Group class





Private session





Semi-private session (2 clients)





* Highest rate







Three-quarters of instructors earn less than R15 000 per month from teaching Pilates. Around 12% earn between R15 000 and R20 000 per month. As 62% of Pilates instructors teach part-time, this could explain why the Pilates income is fairly low.




What did we learn form the survey and how will the information be used?


·         Pilates in SA is a young industry with most instructors having 5 years or less training

·         About two-thirds of Pilates instructors practice part-time and have another profession

·         The scope of practice for Pilates instructors should be clarified

·         Exercise Science, as required by REPS and the Fitness Regulation, should be clearly defined

·         Instructors want to be part of the SA Pilates Association and have a say in who the Board members are

·         There is overwhelming support for a minimum education standard for Pilates instructors

·         There is a high level of awareness of the pending Fitness regulation and REPS, but a lot of uncertainty on how exactly this will affect instructors


The information gathered via the Survey will be used by the SA Pilates Association, REPS, SRSA, Education providers and Pilates instructors – we now have an idea what our industry looks like and what the training and information requirements are.  Thank you to all the respondents who completed the survey.


If you want a copy of the detailed survey results, email us on with ‘Survey Results’ in the topic line to get a copy. The detailed results were emailed to everyone who selected this option via the survey or email.

Red flags for Pilates Instructors

Workshop: Optimizing Spinal Biomechanics in Mat work - 16 October Cape Town, 23 October Pretoria

Back pain affects at least 80% of us some time in our lives. Nearly $90 billion (Germany: EU50bn; UK: GBP10bn) is spent annually by people looking for relief from back pain through surgery, doctor's visits, X-rays, MRI scans and medications. After poor medical assessment, narrow clinical approach and symptomatic focus (rather than functional focus) leaves them frustrated, many sufferers seek remedy at Pilates studios. This presents a dilemma in that Pilates education seldom covers the skills required to deal with situations like these.  In this workshop you will upgrade your understanding of spinal biomechanics allowing you to create more specific and effective mat exercises for this population. Very interesting new research will help you understand potential problems that may be caused by some classical Pilates exercises when prescribed for back care. Although rehabilitation is not the domain of Pilates instructors, some Pilates instructors can play a great supportive role in the prevention and treatment of back pain. Do not miss this one!


To book, email or call Sue-Ann on 021-4652870

New South African invention in Pilates

New South African invention gets to the core of fitness training
Pilates enthusiasts could soon find themselves challenged to learn new exercises, using an innovative piece of equipment developed by a South African physiotherapist.

The D-SEBECS, an unstable platform that rests on a flat, disc-shaped base fitted with multidirectional castors, acts like a balance board, with any movement on the platform causing the apparatus to slide and tilt in different directions. The device was designed to improve several biomotor abilities and movement control. The acronym stands for Dynamic, Symmetrical

High-performance physiotherapist Ryk Eksteen, who invented the D-SEBECS as an exercise rehabilitation accessory and strength-training tool and tested it on the Blue Bulls, says the body's core stabilisers are best trained when moving in an unstable environment. Core stability involves recruiting the trunk muscles to control the position of the lumbar spine during dynamic movements.

Pilates instructor James Raaff, who studied sports medicine, has developed a D-SEBECS/Pilates workshop, using the balance board to create mat-based exercises similar to those done on a Reformer.

The D-SEBECS, which costs under R3 000, will be available at special prices to workshop participants.  The workshop fee of R900 includes an exercise manual. Earrly-bird workshop fee R750 if you book and pay 2 weeks in advance.


To get more information about the 21 August 2010 workshops in Cape Town & Pretoria, contact James Raaff and Associates on or 021 465 2870 or visit


Business Solutions for the Pilates Studio

Giving Pilates studio owners a framework for success

First-time small business owners often make decisions that later prove detrimental to their businesses because they do not have a structure on which to base their decisions. The Business Solutions workshop will provide such a framework as a key focus to help aspirant and existing studio owners overcome the hurdles often encountered in getting a business off the ground and building long-term sustainability. 

While the workshop content is based on proven business principles, it is "packaged"ť in a user-friendly format that will allow studio owners to implement the skills they learn in their businesses immediately.

The workshop covers a wide spectrum of topics, for example: what form of business entity is most appropriate;  what documentation is required for a bank loan; information on how to structure employment contracts and client agreements; awareness of the labour laws and other legislation with which Pilates businesses must comply; control of outstanding fees & motivating employees.

The workshop will be examining the whole issue of 'money in and money out', to try and help entrepreneurs feel more at ease with the financial side of business so that they can run their studios more effectively and place them on a more profitable footing.

To get updates on the dates for the Business Solutions workshop, visit or email

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