What It Takes to Become a POP Pilates Instructor

akansha agrawal POP Pilates

akansha agrawal POP Pilates

I have received a few questions on what it takes to become a POP Pilates instructor so I am going to break it down in this post!

For those unfamiliar with POP Pilates, POP Pilates adds a twist on traditional mat pilates by choreographing the moves to different songs (mainly POP songs!). It’s faster paced that classical pilates and it is specifically designed for a group setting. The format was created by Blogilates founder Cassey Ho and it’s inspired by her POP Pilates YouTube videos (which are extremely popular!).

I’ve been following Cassey Ho and her workouts since 2012 so I felt like this certificate was the best way for me to get started in teaching. Also there is a pretty low barrier to entry which I will explain below.

If you are interested in getting certified, you can check out the list of upcoming trainings here!

The Training

In order to receive your POP Pilates certificate, all you need to do is attend a one-day training and submit an audition video to demonstrate your teaching skills within 3 months of the training! If you are looking for in-depth pilates training, the POP Pilates instructor training is not for you. The process is best compared to that of teaching Zumba or a Les Mills format like Body Attack.

The training day is 8-9 hours long and it consists of a master class, teaching instructions, and a final practice teaching session.

After the training you have 3 months to submit a video of you teaching a 30 minute routine to a group of at least 3 people. I’ll be honest, I was quite intimidated by video portion and I waited until the deadline to film (I might have even extended it a week). But I grabbed two of my best friends and my mom and we shot at our local club house. It wasn’t that bad in the end!

Once the team receives your video they will give you detailed feedback on your teaching and will let you know whether you passed.

 pop pilates instructor training

Finding a Job

If you pass, woohoo that’s great! Now it’s time to find job. If you live near a 24 Hour Fitness you are in luck because 24 has partnered with POP Pilates official and they are actively looking for instructors.

My experience finding a job was very positive as my group fitness manager made the process smooth and less intimidating for a newcomer like me (thank you Roberto!). He knew I was a first-time teacher so he offered to do a 1:1 audition with me instead of group audition with all the other instructors watching. For the audition all I had to do is prepare 5-10 minute routine!

The audition was far from perfect but my manager saw potential and personality in my teaching and decided to move forward!

Teaching

It took a few months before I actually started teaching at 24 due to scheduling conflicts with my full-time job. Once I started teaching I realized that certification was the easy part, teaching was much harder.

Memorizing new choreography each week, attracting students to your class, and accommodating for injuries and skill level is where you really start to learn. On top of that you are understanding how to cue efficiently, learning how to use a mic (confession: I still don’t know how), and changing your playlist often enough but not too enough so you’re students stay engaged but comfortable with the choreography. I learned quickly that my students are my best teachers.

I have been teaching with 24 for the last 7 months and I still feel like a beginner! Along with teaching at 24, I occasionally host a few pop-up classes with local brand and studios to bring the format to even more people. It keeps it interesting and challenging learning to teach in a different environment with new student.

In the end, what it really takes to become a POP Pilates instructor are the following: passion, time, a little bit of cash, and the desire to learn. If you really want it, I can guarantee you will be great at it!

Check out the upcoming instructor trainings to see if there is one that fits your schedule. If you live outside of the United States, there is also the international training option.

Please reach out if you have any questions!

Receive my free Turmeric eBook here!

A Quick POP Pilates Update

pop-pilates

Happy MLK day my friends! Hope you all enjoyed your day off.

It’s been a while since I’ve given a POP Pilates update so I thought we play a little-catch up.

pop-pilates

To rewind a bit, POP pilates is a workout inspired by traditional mat pilates but the biggest difference is that the moves are choreographed to music! The format was created by Cassey Ho, one of the top health & fitness influencers in the media (she has over 3 million followers (on YouTube). I’ve been following Cassey since 2012, around the time when I started my own health journey. Fast-forward to June 2016, I somehow mustered the courage to go through the POP Pilates teacher training. I was certified by August, I auditioned for a position at 24 Hour Fitness in September, and now, a few months later, I am officially hired!

The process was longer than expected but I was a bit relieved because I needed sometime to let it fully sink in that I was now an instructor. I taught a couple of free classes at local studios to keep my teaching chops up to speed, but I’m ready to be thrown into teaching to experience a real learning curve.

I am a still a little nervous I will admit. I had a dream a few nights ago where I was teaching my first class at 24 and it took me 20 minutes to figure out how to play the music! Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in real life. I’ll be teaching twice a week at a 24 Hour Fitness 2 block away from my full-time job. Not bad, eh? They will be 7am classes so I need to adjust my schedule so I can wake up early!

Even though I am a bit anxious, I’m going to accept I’m a beginner in this process. We all need to start somewhere. We aren’t going to be naturally amazing at everything we try from the beginning and that’s okay.

Anyways wish me luck! If any of you are fitness instructors, please share some words of advice! What should I expect for my first few days of teaching?

Citrus & Gold Year in Review: 2016

2016-best-nine-instagram

2016-best-nine-instagram

Like many people, I was interested to see what my “2016 best nine” were for Instagram. It’s a fun thing to do but it leaves much to be said about the year! 2016 was not just a year of smoothie bowls, overnight oats, and fun photo shoots. It was a year filled with many other amazing memories and events, and some not so amazing events and memories. Today I want to talk about the good, bad, and the ugly for 2016 (I’ve always wanted to use that saying!).

The Good:

Creating the Citrus & Gold brand: Early in 2016 I decided I want to take blogging more seriously and in June I launched Citrus & Gold. I’ve had the opportunity write about my passions, interview some amazing people, and host a couple of fun events. It’s taking some time for me to believe in myself 100% but I’m prepared for even more growth in 2017.

Getting Certified as a POP Pilates Instructor: For a long time I had been thinking “one day I will teach a fitness class.” I had no idea that would happen in 2016! The certification process were nerve-wracking and a little scary but also so fun! It was so worth it and if all goes well, I will start teaching a regular class at 24 hr Fitness by the end of this month!

pop-pilates

Traveling a ton: I feel enriched and nourished by the travel I’ve done in the past year. The places I visited include: Big Sur, New York, Chicago (twice!), Austin, Sedona, Yosemite, and Costa Rica. I actually just came back from Costa Rica a few days ago and I’m itching to plan my next big trip (well after my trip to Mumbai next week ;).

big-sur-mcway-falls

sedona-arizona-cathedral-rock

costa-rica-el-sabanero

The Bad:

Dealing with Health Issues & Anxiety: This past summer I was dealing with some bad gut issues and anxiety that had left me feeling exhausted and unhappy. Other than taking time to heal myself, what really helped me was working with a nutritionist. I had no idea how much the mind and gut are connected.

I actually took some herbal antibiotics last month to start the healing process (I’m thinking of writing a post on it soon – would you guys find it helpful?). I’ve learned that treating gut issues is a marathon not a sprint, so I know I will have to be patient and persistent.

Experiencing my First Running Injury: I’ve been an avid runner for the last 3-4 years and in 2016 I suffered my first running injury. Many experienced runners have had their own set of battles but this injury was a major bummer because it caused me to miss not one, but two half marathons! I started working with a physical therapist right after the injury so the recovery was manageable, but I’m still slowly trying to build up the mileage.

As I’m trying to get back into normal running mode, coincidentally, I was contacted by WholeYou to try out their Dynamover Knee Brace. I was pretty excited because the drugstore knee braces just weren’t doing it for me – they were too stiff and itchy, and never fit me correctly. The Dynamover Knee brace comes in six different sizes so you are virtually guaranteed to find one that fits (my size fell into the kids category – go figure :)).

wholeyou-dynamover-knee-brace

I’ve taken it out for short runs and I love how it feels more like a compression sleeve than a brace. It’s a lot softer and flexible. It gives the right amount of support without constricting your knee too much. Plus it looks way cooler than traditional braces! For a limited time you can use my promo code “CITRUSANDGOLD” for 50% off and free shipping (they have a money-back guarantee as well which is nice). If you have knee problems, I’d recommend trying it out!

The ugly:

My birthday was the same day “you know who” was elected as President. That’s all I need to say.

All in all it’s been a good year, even though there were some less than pleasant things we all had to deal with. Personally it was a year of lot of growth, which wasn’t always easy. There were many moments of self-doubt, confusion, and exhaustion – but that’s what growth is about, right? In 2017, I’m hoping to build on the “growth” foundation I created for myself in 2016.

What do you all have to share for 2016? Please do tell me :)!

*Psst! my review of the knee brace is sponsored post by Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own.

POP Pilates Instructor Training

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pop_pilates

I am so thrilled to be an instructor-in-training for POP Pilates! For the last few years I’ve had a dream about becoming a group fitness instructor. I imagined it would be when I was a bit older, with kids, and maybe at a point where I was more “comfortable” with my life.

However, when I heard about the POP Pilates training in the Bay Area I knew it was a sign for me to take this chance. What’s the point of waiting for something if it excites me now?

POP pilates is a format that takes traditional mat pilates to the next level by choreographing all moves to the beat of music. It was designed by the creator of Blogilates, Cassey Ho!

I discovered POP Pilates through Cassey’s YouTube videos about four years ago when I began my fitness journey. I remember days in my dorm room where I would be jumping around my mat and listening to Cassey’s voice to motivate me.

It used to be only Cassey & I on the mat. Now, I’m excited to bring it to a whole community of old & new POPsters.

On a serious note, it was extremely inspiring being in a room of women who love teaching fitness and who truly believe in the message of POP Pilates. The message essentially conveys that fitness is supposed to be fun, inclusive, and help both your body & mind. I met some amazing people who I know I’ll be good friends with in the future.

So what’s next? Well in the next two months I need to learn all the choreography so I can tape my video evaluation where I’ll be teaching a group of people! If I pass, I can officially start teaching. Finding a place to teach will be another challenge but luckily a lot of 24 hr fitness clubs actually have POP Pilates classes.

How am I feeling about this? Scared. Nervous. Excited. But most of all inspired! I have a new level of respect for fitness requires. The job not only requires a certain level of physical fitness and knowledge, but also it asks for genuine passion & personality.

I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on what’s next! And if you anyone want a free workout in the next couple of months let me know and we will make it happen :).