The month of March every year is a time when the Pilates community around the world celebrates Joseph Pilates’ original Mat series consisting of 34 exercises. These exercises are highlighted in Joseph Pilates’ first book “Return to Life”. We won’t be highlighting each of these on social medial this year but will be making sure you all get to experience the majority of them in your classes or sessions at the studio.
The Mat work is, in my book, considered the most advanced in the Pilates repertoire as it doesn’t provide much support or feedback like the equipment does.
My gross description of the mat work “is you laying on a mat holding your head up for an hour”. Now, not all the exercises are like that and it is possible that we modify and support you as needed to make Mat work accessible for you but the full mat repertoire is really more advanced than the equipment work.
Mat work is typically the most widely available as it doesn’t really cost much to hold. It is unfortunate that it is the most widely offered as the equipment really does give us a lot of information, control, and support as we start our Pilates journey.
However, it is possible for all levels to be able to do the Mat work. The fundamental movements and basic mat series are very attainable for most individuals. And with excellent guidance from an experienced teacher, all exercises can be modified and made more challenging, making it a great movement practice.
All Pilates exercises have a strength and stretch component. Of course, the core is a huge focus but as always, focus on proper alignment, muscle usage, and breathing is paramount to a Pilates practice with integrity. You can build overall strength and increase your flexibility through the mat work. As well as improve your posture and ease back pain, among helping other pain points.
Since March is the month of March MATness, in the Pilates world, we are offering a workshop on Saturday, March 14th called “Build Your Home Program”. In this workshop, we will focus on Pilates exercises that can be done at home to keep you moving and feeling good when you can’t get to the studio. We will be covering the fundamental exercises of the Pilates Method, some basic Mat exercises, and other exercises that will help posture, flexibility, and strength. All levels of experience are welcome in this workshop.