The Pilates Mat exercises were where it all began! Yep, Joseph Pilates started with his genius, forward thinking with the hardest workout-the Mat. after he realized just how much support, assistance, and resistance his clients needed to do his Mat work her created the Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair etc. But, what if you only have the Mat to work with? I mean, it would be nice to have a full Pilates studio at your beck and call but until then how can you stay connected while doing your Pilates Mat practice?
- Use Your Mat as a Partner: I know, it seems like an inanimate object. Unlike the Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and other pieces of Pilates equipment it can feel like its just a softer floor. But, the mat is so much more than an extra layer between you and the ground. When you hit your mat lay out on it. Before every online class, I like to make sure we all feel what we are touching. What parts of our back are on, off and what we may need to adjust. I also like to make sure that I’m not trying to force my body into my mat. Rather, if this mat was a partner how could we move together instead of me trying to press myself into?
- Practice Your Double Leg Stretch: This exercise is an incredible tool for EVERY Pilate exercise out there. Set yourself up by bringing your knees into your chest, hug your heels together by connecting to your seat, hold your ankles from your back. And instead of being the tightest, smallest ball, remember flexion in Pilates is the longest round shape. As you reach your arms up by your ears and your legs to the high diagonal notice if you lost your long round shape. Did you moved away from your partner (your mat) or dropped down onto it? If you can do this exercise well it will inform the rest of your practice. And help you stay connected during your whole mat.
- If it feels easy you’re probably doing it wrong. I know, that’s pretty blunt. But it’s true. Pilates as you do it gets harder not easier.
What Pilates exercises are feeling easy to you right now? Or, when do you feel the least connected?
Give these tips a try and let me know how they go in the comments below!