In 1945 Joseph Pilates book ‘Return to Life through Contrology’ provided a list of 34 exercises with anatomical instructions to be practiced on the mat. Regular practice of these exercises will train the mind and body holistically in order to reduce the damage caused by modern living and improve many aspects of mental and physical health and wellbeing.
The original exercises are generally known as the Classic Mat and although these are very challenging and gymnastic at times! many of Mr Pilates’ apprentices and subsequent generations of teachers have been inspired to develop broken down or ‘prep’ versions of those exercises and create a progressive approach that help to develop each individual client towards their wellbeing goals.
Mat Classes at Iain Dunn Pilates are in that spirit and are designed to offer a broad spectrum of movement therapies catering to the needs of all level of clients, including massage, stretching and meditative relaxation when needed. Iain has also developed many of his own unique exercises and approaches having had to work so hard to restore his own body in order to achieve his Master of Matwork Certification.
Some of us may never roll up from the mat or do full side bends but there is an inherent value in training towards the goals of those classic exercises. In working on our limitations we build healthy strong spines, we lengthen our tight stiff muscles, we restore the balance of good health in mind and body… Oh aye, and it’s a good laugh too by the way!
Iain Dunn, Matwork Master Teacher
A fundamentals class is ideal for total beginners or those seeking mainly therapeutic exercise with a lighter challenge level. If working with a specific health challenge you may want to seek a quick consultation with the teacher before starting a group class. The fundamentals of Pilates; alignment, breathing, centring etc should be revisited occasionally by all practitioners but are how we all begin our Pilates journeys.
“At this level we spend time exploring the basics of matwork and calmly progressively work on our individual areas of challenge. Working from the ground up is a healing process and is how to make meaningful change in our anatomy over time. Refining the fundamentals will improve how we feel in our own bodies and move in our daily lives”