A referral from someone who knows a studio or teacher is the very best way to get connected to a good class. If you know someone who does Pilates, or overhear someone talking about their instructor or class, ask them about it.
Find out the name of the place your contact takes classes, but also go further. Since you are getting info from someone who has direct experience, find out who their favorite instructor is and why, what they like and don't like about the place they take class, and where it is. Location is very important. If a class is too difficult to get to, it's not likely you will keep going.
Check Local Papers and MagazinesYour local newspaper might be a place to keep an eye open for Pilates ads or announcements, but I see more Pilates ads in free papers and magazines -- the alternative papers and the kind of papers and magazines that showcase happenings around town. So, if you are in the market for a Pilates class, glance through a few of your local "rags."
Use the Phone BookThe good thing about a phone book is that it will give you the names, numbers and locations of all of the Pilates studios in your area. Also, with all the studio numbers in front of you, you can go right down the list, calling and asking questions. You can learn a lot from how a studio handles phone calls.
Ask at Gyms, Rec. Centers, and YMCAs
Pilates classes show up at all kinds of fitness locations, so don't limit your search to Pilates studios. While it is a great boon to find a studio you like, there are enough qualified instructors teaching at general fitness locals that it is worth checking them out too, especially if they are close or the only resource. Be sure to ask questions and make sure the instructor is certified in Pilates (not just sliding over from some other discipline because of demand).If you are going to a gym, you might want to read up on Pilates fusion, as those kinds of classes are more common in gym settings.
Find Pilates Classes Online
This is an obvious solution. Do a search and see what you come up with. Most Pilates studios have some kind of web presence and that will let you find out a lot about their offerings before you have to follow up in any other way. If you do a Google search, you will probably get a map of your area with the studios pinpointed for you as well.
Use Certified Pilates Instructor Searches
Below are links to some of the websites that offer Pilates instructor searches. You might also check the sites that are listed in my Pilates Teacher Training Programs article, as most of them feature searches for their graduates.
Sites with Pilates Instructor Searches:
Pilates Method Alliance Certified Teacher Search
Ron Fletcher Certified Studio and Teacher Search"
Romana's Pilates Certified Instructor Search"
BASI Pilates Certified Instructor Search
The United States Pilates Association
PilatesInfo Directory for South Africa
If You Can't Find a Pilates Class
You will find a tremendous amount of information right here at Pilates.about.com. There are over 100 free Pilates exercise instructions here, as well as Pilates DVD and book reviews. You might also want to read, How to Design Your Own Pilates Workout.
Once you do find a place that offers Pilates classes, read Pilates Classes for Beginners which will tell you more about the types of Pilates classes there are and what to expect.