Do Reformer exercises exist on the Mat? Yes, no and maybe so! Well, actually, it’s more yes than no and a lot of similarities. Why? Because, when Joseph Pilates first created his method it was on the Mat. And, then what he noticed was that most people could not do the Mat work on their own. They needed help, strength, flexibility, awareness. So, he created the Reformer and his other apparatus to allow his students to be able to rock the Mat.
But, what if you don’t have a Reformer? Are you stuck only doing the Mat? Or, what if some of your Reformer exercises need a little extra work? Well, in theory, if you had a studio with all the equipment you could simply practice the Reformer exercises on the Wunda Chair, Cadillac and more. But, most of us don’t have regular access to equipment. So, having the option to hit your Mat and practice your Reformer work is essential!
Recently I was teaching at Momentum Fest and I created a class called “Reformer on the Mat.” It was inspired by the Mat class I taught for Pilates Anytime where I talked about all the Reformer exercises I wanted my students to pull from while doing their regular Mat work. So many students loved this class that I created a workshop it for my latest Pilates Retreat in Maui.
Some exercises on the Reformer look identical to the ones on the Mat but without the straps or springs. For example, the Hundred the Mat looks like the 100 on the Reformer. Overhead looks like Jackknife. But what about Tendon stretch? How can you recreate that one on the Mat? Or, the Headstands?
Getting creative in thinking and imagination is key. But, it’s more than just doing the choreography of an exercise. You also want to recreate the essence, the concept, the why behind the exercise. So, that when you go back to the Reformer you are stronger, connected and able.
If you missed out on my Pilates Retreat in Maui you can still get all that I taught in this workshop online. And, if you want your own Pilates Retreat Maui experience 2019 is your year! But, it’ll be a different workshop. So, get your Reformer on the Mat here and then be sure to tell me your favorite exercise in the comments below!