Join us at The Pilates Barre Portland October 21, 2017 at 10:00am for a Donation Mat Class taught by Master Instructor Jessica Schultz. Donate what you can. Every dollar will be given to the American Red Cross to aid continuing hurricane relief efforts. Any Peak instructor attending will receive 1 CEC no matter what they donate. This class is open to the public. Love wins!!! Let's do this people!
People often ask me which is better - mat or equipment Pilates. Or people will tell me, "I hate mat" or "I only do mat." So which is better? Well, let's start by looking at what makes each unique. As I say to my children when they complain that someone got a bigger piece of something or a longer whatever, "You are not equal, you're unique."
Some things that make mat unique:
1. It's portable. You can do it just about anywhere with very little equipment. See Keeping Up Your Workout While Traveling.
2. It's affordable. You'll probably pay $10-15 for a mat class, while equipment classes will run you about $25-60, depending on how many people are in a class.
3. It's what Joseph created first. It's the beginning of the work. It connects you to the largest equipment available - the earth. It's is the foundation to everything.
4. It's done using your own body for stability and is more open-chain (exercises where the hand or foot is free to move). This means that you will have to work in your core a lot to hold your body still or mobilize it during an exercise.
5. Mat has more flow. Since you're not getting up to move a box, change a spring, or attach a bar, you can just keep moving from one exercise into the next.
So how is Equipment Unique?
1. It uses more resistance. Most equipment (outside of the barrels) have springs. These springs give resistance in both directions to every exercise. So, if you're looking to strength train and up your metabolism, the equipment will help.
2. If you need more support and alignment cues, equipment has the edge as well. On reformer alone, you have a head rest, shoulder blocks, and a foot bar so your teacher can easily see exactly how your body is moving. I call my Reformer the diagnostic piece of equipment.
3. There are more exercises on equipment. There's about 50 mat exercises, and on reformer 250, chair even more than that. So it's great to help keep variety in your Pilates routine.
So which is better? It's important to understand that Pilates is best as a system. If you've always done the hundred on the mat, imagine pumping your arms with resistance (that's Reformer). If you've always done Short Spine with springs to help you, imagine doing it without them and you'll really build up your Powerhouse and train it how to lift your pelvis while performing the Roll Over on the mat.
I've seen it time and time again, clients who only like one or the other, and they don't progress as much as clients who perform the entire system. What you learn on one informs your body on the other. You'll build newer connections faster and deeper if you do both.
And sadly, whichever one you "don't like" is probably the one you have to do. Sometimes tighter people don't like mat - it's a lot of sitting or straight legs extended in the air if your hamstrings are tight. But guess how you help lengthen your hamstrings? By performing mat. People who don't like equipment because it's too much stopping and starting probably have a hard time connecting their mind and body without distraction. But guess what helps with that? Unlocking the rhythm sections on Reformer.
So, yes, I love my two children equally. Does one get on my nerves sometimes? Do I feel more connected to another at points in my life? Certainly. But that doesn't mean I stop loving one or the other. So challenge yourself to explore new exercises on the mat, or try an equipment class. You may just find that it helps push your body in a new way help you go deeper into the work.
I once had a conversation with a client and I told him that I figured out my body could go three days, four tops without Pilates or I would start to feel some tightening in my SI joint. His reply to me was, "It sounds like you're addicted. It's like Pilates is your crack." I do think my body does go into withdrawal when I don't do Pilates, so whenever I travel, I have a plan. Here are some simple ways to keep up your workout while you're away from your favorite studio.
1. Did you see those cool note pads from Pilates Nerd? It has the classical mat order, power circle, wall, toe work, and space to write more notes! It's perfect! I write out my client's workouts on these papers, and it saves time since I only need to fill in reps or modifications for them. Some of my clients even take a picture with their smart phone so they don't even have to travel with the piece of paper.
2. Have you made friends with classical Pilates yet? All you need is a mat and your brain. You barely need much space at all. You can even travel with a Power Circle easily to do a Power Circle Mat. Or what about Reformer on Mat? This very challenging workout will take your Pilates to a whole new level. Have a certified Pilates instructor teach you it before your trip. If you know the Classical Reformer order, it won't be hard for you to remember how to practice Reformer on the Mat.
4. Other options that cost money include: a skype lesson with your teacher, or drop in on a Pilates class where you are traveling. Find a list of Peak Pilates certified instructors here.
We're gearing up for another busy fall at JSP! Do you want to start by tipping your toe into Pilates teaching or just firm up your personal practice? Join us for Basic Mat this September and December! And don't miss out on our full certification beginning October 3rd - this certification includes mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Barrel, Chair, and Small props like Wall and the Power Circle. Do you need CECs? Two fabulous ones to choose from are Lengthen and Strengthen with Elastic Bands and Jump Board Intervals, both October 26th. Hurry, space is limited! Make your passion your career!
Peak Pilates is challenging people to make a change for the next 100 days - it can be a workout, a healthy eating choice...anything to help you live a fit lifestyle and make yourself a priority. I'm using it as a personal challenge to do Pilates. Every. Single. Day. I'm posting my workouts on the JSP facebook page to keep myself accountable. Why not join me? Post with your workouts as well. 100 days of Pilates? Why not? It can just be the Ab Fives!
Peak Pilates® Props Shop (4 Hours)
Set up shop and gain new skills to increase support, resistance and proprioceptive feedback and help your mat students understand and get more out of their workout. Don’t just grab any old prop—develop a thought process that will help you to decide why to choose which prop, how to use them to full advantage, and how to work with flow. Balls, bands, circles, rings and more!
Sunday, July 27th 9am-1pm