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  • Writer's pictureSimmone Cser

Why have we forgotten about mat Pilates?

The beauty and fluidity of the matwork is accompanied by strength, stability and absolute control. As with everyday movement the primary resistance in matwork is gravity. 


Mat is the foundation of the practice of Pilates so why have we forgotten about it? There is such a rich historical tapestry around the mat-work practice with its beginnings taking shape during Pilates detention in an internment camp throughout WWI (circa 1914-1918). It was during this time that Pilates began to develop the foundational exercises for ‘Contrology’ (*now known as Pilates) as a means to maintain mental health and overall well-being not just for himself but others within the camp.

Reformer craze sweeping the fitness industry! People love toys and to some point we may even think that our clients just want to work on machines. Without understanding the beauty in the depths of Pilates practice, sadly the Pilates apparatus seems to have become a means for profit above what its purpose was originally intended to do. Which was to support and give feedback, from the machines resistance, to the person as they performed the exercises.  


With a growing emphasis on pushing using the reformer as the only form of Pilates and without acknowledging it's actual purpose and employing it as a piece of 'gym like' apparatus, we blur and even erase the line between the foundations of Pilates with a healthy lack of understanding or appreciation for the method itself.

Good teaching of foundational mat-work may become a lost skill. If it is not being taught, it is not being learned.


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