Part 1 of DNS Certification for Pilates Instructors



Course 1  focuses on the critical principles of DNS and their application to Pilates instruction. First, we look at how developmental kinesiology gives us physiological "blueprints" for ideal stabilisation, core control, and breathing.   
Next, we explore posture as a dynamic "neuromuscular" function requiring ideal alignment of ribcage and pelvis and centration of the spine and peripheral joints throughout movement.
Participants then learn a series of DNS functional tests that are used to identify movement and breathing dysfunctions and pinpoint root causes. These tests can also be used as exercises and incorporated into Pilates fundamentals training.
The developmental positions and Pilates exercises practiced in the first course focus on  "undifferentiated" movement patterns  (both extremities are doing the same thing) on the sagittal plane. The undifferentiated patterns form a strong foundation of dynamic stabilisation and equate to most of the basic or foundational exercises of Pilates, as well as progressions to higher, more challenging positions on the sagittal plane.
Undifferentiated positions include supine exercises such as footwork, leg springs and arm springs, prone positions such as swan, on all fours positions such as knee stretches, elephant, long stretch and push ups, sitting positions such as the rowing series and seated footwork, and squatting and standing positions, such as frog, squat variations and standing arm springs.


  • Introduction to DNS principles and Developmental Kinesiology (DK) - relevance for Pilates instructors.
  • Summary of philosophies of Joseph Pilates and similarities to DK, e.g., upright spine, physiological breathing, "core" stabilisation.
  • Understand relationship between development during the first year of life and dysfunction of the movement system in adulthood, including common postural and breathing dysfunctions.
  • Discuss and demonstrate the basis of human movement: support, stepping forward, biomechanics of motor function, the verticalisation process & functional joint centration in postural development.
  • Evaluate and correct poor respiratory patterns and instruct correct respiration in isolated and integrated DNS and Pilates exercises.
  • Understand sagittal stabilisation and assess the integrated stabilising system of the spine (ISSS), visually and utilising DNS functional tests.
  • Integrate DNS tests into pre-Pilates exercises and instruction.
  • Integrate corrective exercises based on developmental positions into corresponding Pilates exercises in global movement patterns (supine,
  • prone, low kneeling, quadruped, bear and squat positions).
  • Explore basic support function in undifferentiated (homologous) and differentiated (ipsilateral, contralateral) movement patterns.
  • Discuss similarities between developmental positions/progressions and Pilates exercises and progressions.
  • Understand and practice the importance of maintaining joint centration through the entire kinetic chain and with the addition of resistance, support and instability, from Pilates apparatus.
  • Understand the influence of Pilates apparatus on kinetic chains – including the possibility of semi closed and semi open chain exercise.
  • Review Pilates instruction (verbal and tactile cues) from a DNS perspective
  • Apply basic neuro-physiological principles to Pilates program design  and progression