March MATness 2022
By: Kerrie Murphy | 04/04/2022
This year, I decided to join the worldwide phenomenon of #marchmatness, originally started in 2013 by Pilates Instructor, Benjamin Degenhardt.
March MATness is a celebration of Joseph Pilates’ original 34 Mat work exercises as presented in his book ‘Return To Life Through Contrology’ – “Contrology” being the label he applied to his own method. Pilates Instructors, clients and enthusiasts from all around the world come together and present an exercise a day and share their explorations and innovations under the hashtag #marchmatness on various social media platforms.
It has been wonderful to return to Joseph’s original source material and instructions! As an instructor, we can get so caught up in the choreography of an exercise or the modified variations for current day clientele as we progress them through the work – both on the mat or in studio – that to return to the ‘basics’ was refreshing and inspiring!
I set myself the task of undertaking the exercises as precisely as Joseph wrote and demonstrated and coordinated each video with an appropriate and inspiring quote from his introductory chapters of his book. Then, when a beautiful sunny day presented itself, I unrolled my mat, set up my video camera and methodically filmed myself.
Whilst much of the material was very familiar, my favourite exercise was The Spine Stretch…
Not only is this spinal articulation – and stretch – delicious to do, I really began to appreciate just how much this simple and effective movement underpins many of the traditional exercises.
My least favourite exercise: The Hip Twist. With my long arm and leg levers this exercise was particularly challenging – and one I confess I have hardly practised over the years! The 3 minute video of me trying to psyche myself up for this exercise, working out precisely where my arms and legs needed to be in space and on the mat – and the few awful repetitions that occurred – was particularly telling…and quickly deleted!
But I DID persevere with each and every exercise – wobbles, challenges, triumphs and all – and shared these on Infinity’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Click the hyperlinks to check them out and watch the images above come to life!