Yoga and Pilates instructors provide one-to-one sessions and group workshops either on a mobile basis, renting space in venues such as community centres and gyms, or from their own studios. Yoga, which has its origins in ancient Indian religion but is now practised globally as a fitness activity, promotes physical strength and relaxation through a series of postures, meditation and breathing techniques. Pilates is closely linked to yoga and has similar aims, but places more emphasis on core strength and stability, and was developed in the early twentieth century by Joseph Pilates. Both yoga and Pilates are practised as forms of exercise as well as complementary therapies. Typical clients include individuals seeking to improve general fitness and wellbeing, pregnant women, new mothers, and those suffering from chronic conditions such as MS or arthritis. Yoga and Pilates instructors are not subject to statutory regulation, but are able to register voluntarily with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and the General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapists (GRCCT). This profile provides information about starting up as a yoga and Pilates instructor. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also identifies some of the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information. cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Suitable qualifications include those provided by the Red Cross (www.redcrossfirstaidtraining .co.uk). Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) is a one-day course covering topics including the role of the first aider, recording incidents and accidents, assessing the situation in an emergency and administering first aid to a casualty who requires CPR. It is delivered at centres across the UK and costs from around £110 (excluding VAT). EFAW certificates remain valid for three years. Anyone starting up in business as a yoga and Pilates instructor will benefit from training in general business and enterprise skills. Courses include: • The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) provides a Level 3 Certificate in Starting Your Enterprise, which covers finance, market research, legislation and regulations and preparing a business plan. For details of centres around the UK and course fees go to www.i-l-m.com/learn-with-ilm/1062.aspx. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) provides free business workshops on topics including 'Newly self-employed' and 'Becoming an employer'. Go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/bst/adviceteam-events/work1.htm for details. Learndirect Business provides online self-study courses in sales and marketing, which cost from £18 to £42 (www.learndirectbusiness.com/sales-and-marketing). Yoga and Pilates instructors that trade online will benefit from an understanding of e-marketing and e-commerce. Learndirect runs a range of self-study eCourses costing around £18 (www.learn direct-business.com/e-commerce). and continuing professional
What qualifications and skills are required?
No mandatory qualifications are required to operate as a yoga and Pilates instructor but extensive experience and knowledge of both disciplines are essential. An understanding of the wider complementary therapy sector will be useful, as will marketing skills and all-round commercial acumen. Training options for a yoga and Pilates instructor include: • The British Wheel of Yoga (BWY, www.bwy.org.uk/courses.htm) accredits a number of courses for yoga instructors including a 60hour Foundation Course, which provides an in-depth exploration of yoga and includes practical and theoretical work on topics such as meditation and concentration. It also provides a Teacher Training Diploma, which is studied over two to four years, and covers topics such as anatomy, physiology and pranayama (the art of breathing control). The Pilates Foundation accredits...