The Pilates Mat... a series of 34 full-bodied movements, all strung together to create a flowing, challenging bodyweight workout, originally laid out by Joseph Pilates in his 1945 book 'Return to Life Through Contrology'.
That's what we're going to be celebrating through March... an exercise a day (more or less), aiming to look at each of the elements in the wider context of the Pilates Mat METHOD...
We've been chatting between us teachers here about our relationships with our own Pilates Mat practice...
"For me, it’s a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts with the mat work. It moves the body in different planes in space, challenges it in different ways against gravity, moves the spine through all of its possibilities and all without any help from equipment! From the lowering to the mat in controlled and fluid way at the beginning to to standing up to finish at the end, the mat work is one long chain of continuous, challenging moves, each one prepares the body for the next. The flow of movement along with the transitions between each position are a challenge in and of itself."
And on teaching the whole mat series to our clients: "It’s rewarding to see how a person's body changes and progresses, no matter how incrementally. They become, stronger, connected, efficient, flexible from doing the mat sequence regularly. The mat work is fantastic because there’s no need for equipment, and once the basic skills are acquired it’s something that anyone one can practise anywhere: at home, the gym, on holiday(!)"
We're going to show you the whole mat series as described by Joe Pilates... of course not all exercises are suitable for all people all of the time, and we don't learn them in order 1-34. If you would like to get learning, come and join us at the studio! For those of you already on the journey, practise what you've already learned with us and see how what you have so far fits into Joe's ideal of the full, very challenging series.
We hope you'll join us through March to celebrate Joseph Pilates' legacy and to delve a little deeper with us in how these movements string together to make his full mat workout.