Have you ever wondered as a Pilates teacher what the Pilates Mat work is really about? How to use the Pilates mat to help your client and see what is happening for them in movement? Did you know that Joseph Pilates used this time and the Pilates Mat work to “see” what was going on in terms of movement for that body? Did you know the Pilates apparatus was developed to try and help that body find those connections to move better and understand the Pilates mat work better?
The Mat work can give us as Teachers so much feedback and help in terms of what is going on with our clients body, mind and movement that day and in that moment. Starting with the Hundred and seeing what patterns or “issues” appear for you as a teacher that maybe say “Hey! This body needs to get moving in a better more functional way”. Joseph Pilates has his system taking the body lying down on your back to sitting, to lying on your stomach. You are rotating and extending, flexing and on your side and kneeling and then on side supported only by one side to more and more complex moves eventually standing. So going from supportive to really no support right? That is a lot to look at with someone right?
What is the client thinking as they are moving and what is happening for them? How do we help them to find a way to become more connected to that work and their body movement? Let’s just think of 3 things in this Assessment of our client in the Mat work, as I could go on forever on this!
What is something you notice or “shouts” at you right away? What do you notice first when the Hundred is happening? As they keep their breathing and arms pumping does it sort itself out or get worse? Does it get better? Or stay the same?
Moving further into the work from Rolling up and more does that first thing that “showed itself” to you continue? Is it gone? Is something else now showing up more? Did that first “notice” change when the movement changed?
In regard to the Mat work you can ask yourself Is it possible to use the matwork for “pointers” on what your client needs that day? As you can see what we have been discussing the answer is yes! I touched on it with my workshop and those participants at this years PMA Conference in Vegas. This Pilates workshop, “Using the Mat to Assess and where to go from there is one of my favorite to teach to Pilates teachers who are newly certified or have been teaching for years. The group of Pilates teachers who showed up at the PMA Conference were open and ready to see where we could go! I was so amazed to see these fellow Pilates teachers jump up and fully participate with me for the 2 hours we were together.
With no issue of finding volunteers to be the “client” for the class we started moving through the mat work from the Hundred and through 3-4 or so exercises using the Traditional Mat order. We started to see what patterns showed up that we were seeing and even though some teachers “saw” different patterns essentially the “issue” was the same. The lightbulb moments from noticing the pattern to then seeing what the apparatus could do to “correct” or help the body “engage” was wonderful to witness. We saw how the mat work really can give the feedback we need as teachers to lead that client through their Pilates work and get them moving more functionally, freely and challenging them to maybe discover something about their body that day.
I love giving this workshop and showing teachers how the Mat really is seeing where you and your client need to go that day to get them moving in the best way possible for their body. You can see also what you need to work on to make those challenging moves such as Handstands, inversions or the more complex moves happen for them that day.
As I said I really love this workshop! This week what do you think you will “see in your clients Mat work? Fill out the form below and find out where this workshop will be in 2019 or to have it in your studio!