Comprehensive Studio Course Description

Comprehensive Studio Series

The Polestar Pilates Studio Certification course is a comprehensive program providing Fitness Leaders and Pilates enthusiasts in-depth training to become a Pilates Studio teacher. Each student will receive comprehensive didactic and theoretical review and practical training using a clinical reasoning approach. Students will receive instruction in teaching techniques, Pilates exercise benefits, self mastery and practice.

The Polestar Pilates didactic curriculum has earned the reputation world wide as the most scientifically based Pilates curriculum available, taking Pilates education to a new pinnacle, consisting of formal lecture, reading assignments, research literature review, and writing assignments.

Polestar Education is best known for its “critical thinking” model and original design of the Polestar Fitness Screening, Polestar Health Model and use of problem solving rehabilitation assessment tools.

Studio Prerequisites

  • Certified fitness instructor or instructor of movement arts (e.g. yoga, Tai Chi, practitioners of somatic movement)
  • One semester of basic anatomy/physiology or equivalent
  • Participation in 25 hours of group or private Pilates classes

The Polestar Pilates Studio Series consists of an online course (Principles Online) that you complete in your own time, followed by 6 two-day on-site courses.

The Series must be taken in the following order: Principles Online (PO), S-1, S-2, S-3, S-4, S-5, S-6.

PO – Principles Online – in your own time

The first course to be completed for all Polestar Series is the Principles Online (PO) course. This non-apparatus course applies current research in movement science, biomechanics, kinesiology and motor learning to instructional practice through six basic movement principles that are utilised throughout the Polestar curriculum.

The PO course also introduces Polestar Pilates Screening, which includes postural evaluation and functional testing, to prepare participants to properly design and implement Pilates exercises for patients and clients. This unique component
significantly enhances decisionmaking skills as a Pilates practitioner.

The online course is divided into the following 8 segments, can be taken in multiple sittings and can be watched several times for optimal learning:

  • Introduction
  • Principle 1: Breathing
  • Principle 2: Axial Elongation & Core Control
  • Principle 3: Spine Articulation
  • Principle 4: Organization of the Head, Neck, and Shoulders
  • Principle 5: Alignment & Weight Bearing of the Extremities
  • Principle 6: Movement Integration
  • Principles: Additional Resources

Short quizzes are offered throughout to identify the most important concepts and to help students organise their thoughts and study time.

Upon completion you will be able to:

  • Deepen your knowledge in current evidence-based research pertaining to movement science, motor learning, bioenergetics and communication
  • Understand the Polestar Principles of Movement
  • Demonstrate the ability to correctly execute and teach over 130 exercises and their variations
  • Be able to use the ICF Model or the Polestar Screening, specifically designed for the movement professional, which includes postural evaluation and functional testing to determine your clients’ strengths, weaknesses and goals

Please note that for those participants undertaking more than one Polestar Series course, it is only required to complete PO ONE time.

Once payment has been received, access will be provided to the online resources.

S1 thru S6: Pilates Studio Levels 1-6 (12 days, i.e. 6x 2-day on-site courses)

After the Principles Online course (PO), the Pilates Studio program continues with six course modules scheduled approximately one month apart. The time between courses allows you to practice and become comfortable with the material before continuing to the next course. Each course is two days, usually Saturday and Sunday.

The Friday evening before each course (beginning with S-2) there is a 2-3 hour self-mastery check-off session with your instructor where you show the course instructor the practice log book (given in the first course) and get passed off on your mastery of the exercises by demonstrating and teaching them. This session is included in the registration fees, and is in addition to the 96 hours of class time.

For certification, you will be required to complete at your own expense, the required reading and writing assignments, 40 hours of observation, 200 hours of self mastery practice and 200 hours of apprentice teaching.

These courses review the postural screening methodology and the six principles learned in PO, then applies them to exercises on the Studio Reformer, Trapeze Table, Chair, Ladder Barrel, Mat and small props.

You will learn:

  • Verbal and tactile cueing combined with mental imagery to facilitate accurate execution of the movements
  • Program design and exercise sequencing
  • Practical application of the repertoire through use of case studies
  • Exercise modifications for a variety of populations

Phase I – S1 thru S3: Pilates for Studio Levels 1-3 (6 days i.e. 3x 2-day on-site courses)

As per the above, but should you need to spread your certification out over more than one year, we recommend you consider completing Phase I, followed by Phase II the year following Phase I.

Studio Certification

Certification involves completing the series, completion of assignments and short quizzes, as well as a number of hours of observations, self-mastery, assistant teaching, and practical teaching (as outlined below). Full certification is given once the final written and practical exam is passed – pass mark is 80%.


Online Lectures




Apprentice Teaching

Assigned Homework

Exercise Check-Offs

25 hrs








Text Books

As part of the training students will be required to purchase the following course textbooks (additional to course fees):

  • Anatomy of Movement , Blandine Calais-Germain: Eastland Press 1993
  • The Complete Writings of Joseph H Pilates (Return To Life & Your Health) , Joseph Pilates: Bain Bridge Books
  • Dynamic Alignment through Imagery, Eric Franklin : Human Kinetics 1996
  • Energy Medicine, The Scientific Basis, James L. Oschman: Churchill Livingstone, 2000 Chapters 1-4, 15

Polestar may have copies of these books available from head office in Auckland – please enquire by clicking here


As shown above students will be required to complete practice hours (self-mastery), which are in addition to course fees. Polestar have a national network of New Zealand mentors that can offer assistance with practice and teaching hours: please contact Polestar for a list of names and locations.

Further information will be given out on the first day of the course.

Course Dates










AUCKLAND 2016/2017

Studio Series

25 & 26 Feb ’17

25 & 26 March ’17


Studio Series

By 30 Apr ’17

6 & 7 May ’17

10 & 11 June ’17

29 & 30 July ’17

9 & 10 Sept ’17

28 & 29 Oct ’17

25 & 26 Nov ’17


Studio Phase I

By 30 Apr ’17

6 & 7 May ’17

10 & 11 June ’17

29 & 30 July ’17




WELLINGTON 2016/2017

Studio Series

18 & 19 Feb ’17

8 & 9 Apr ’17

20 & 21 May ’17


Studio Series

By 31 March ’17

8 & 9 April ’17

20 & 21 May ’17

24 & 25 June ’17

5 & 6 Aug ’17

23 & 24 Sept ’17

11 & 12 Nov ’17


Studio Phase I

By 31 March ’17

8 & 9 April ’17

20 & 21 May ’17

24 & 25 June ’17





Studio Phase I

By 30 June ’17

22 & 23 July ’17

26 & 27 Aug ’17

4 & 5 Nov ’17




Course Fees

Course fees include attendance at lectures, student manuals and handouts, morning and afternoon teas, as well as GST. Students are responsible for all personal extras, such as travel and accommodation and personal supplies and lunch during the course dates.

Location: Early Bird Price Normal Package Price Early Bird Saving
AUCKLAND – Studio Series $5,650 ** $5,960 * $310 **
AUCKLAND – Studio Phase I only $3,595 ** $3,785 * $190 **
WELLINGTON – Studio Series $5,650 *** $5,960 * $310 ***
WELLINGTON – Studio Phase I only $3,595 *** $3,785 * $190 ***
WANAKA – Studio Phase I only $3,695 **** $3,885 * $190 ****


  • * Normal Package Price – post Early Bird date
  • ** Early Bird Price – Auckland – if registered and paid in full by 1 March 2017
  • *** Early Bird Price – Wellington – if registered and paid in full by 1 Feb 2017
  • **** Early Bird Price – Wanaka – if registered and paid in full by 1 May 2017
  • Should you require a payment option other than credit card, please contact us by clicking here

Payment Plan

Polestar Pilates NZ has a Payment Plan available which enables you to pay for your enrolment over a period of time, rather than in one go. The Payment Plan is available on Normal Package Prices only and incurs a one-time non-refundable handling fee of $100.

Payments are required on the 1st of each of the months outlined below. Late payment penalty or credit card decline penalty of $50 will apply.

For the Studio Series, the following applies:

Location:: Normal Price incl. Handling Fee Deposit* Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6
AUCKLAND – Studio Series $6,060 $800 1 April 17 $877 1 May 17 $877 1 June 17 $877 1 July 17 $877 1 Sept 17 $877 1 Oct 17 $875
AUCKLAND – Phase I Only $3,885 $800 1 April 17 $1,028 1 May 17 $1,028 1 June 17 $1,029 N/A N/A N/A
WELLINGTON $6,060 $800 1 Apr 17 $877 1 May 17 $877 1 June 17 $877 1 July 17 $877 1 Sept 17 $877 1 Nov 17 $875
WELLINGTON – Phase I Only $3,885 $800 1 April 17 $1,028 1 May 17 $1,028 1 June 17 $1,029 N/A N/A N/A
WANAKA – Phase I Only $3,985 $800 1 July 17 $1,062 1 Aug 17 $1,062 1 Oct 17 $1,061 N/A N/A N/A
  • * Deposit of $800 is required at the time of registration


The Studio Certification exam consists of three parts:

  • A written exam consisting of 50 multiple choice questions (50 points)
  • A case study with written problem solving (50 points)
  • A practical one-on-one demonstration of theoretical knowledge, exercise mastery, movement teaching skills and problem solving skills with an oral defence (50 points)

The written portion of the exam (parts 1 and 2) lasts approximately two hours in total, and part 3 lasts approximately one hour. The entire exam is worth a total of 150 points.

The candidate will need to achieve an 80% pass mark on both written and theory sections of the exam.

The Studio examination tests depth of knowledge, skills and ability to facilitate movement in the Pilates-evolved environment. It is designed to establish an essential level of skill, with emphasis on safety and competence, and evaluates cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains as they pertain to movement analysis, problem solving and treatment planning.

The oral defence addresses theory, adaptations to pathology, contraindications and precautions associated with treatment planning in the Pilates-evolved environment.

Registration Policies

Please ensure to familiarise yourself with our Registration Policies (incl. Cancellations and Transfers) on this page before you register.

Click here to register for AUCKLAND – 2017 Studio SERIES

Click here to register for AUCKLAND – 2017 Studio PHASE I only

Click here to register for WELLINGTON – Studio Series

Click here to register for WELLINGTON – 2017 Studio PHASE I only

Click here to register for WANAKA – 2017 Studio PHASE I only

Help with MINDBODY ONLINE registration system

If you need help with our online registration system, please CLICK HERE.