5 Ways to Get Ready for March MATness


March what?

You heard right. March MAT-ness.

If you missed out last year, don't worry, it's back.

Each year Pilates lovers from around the globe pool their collective wisdom, talent, and inspiring tidbits into a giant campaign to get people onto their Pilates mat.

Spearheaded by Benjamin Degenhardt, March Matness is a guerilla-style motivational machine. Those at the helm will be sharing largely visual items designed to catch your eye and spark your Pilates mat envy.

At the core (forgive me, really) of the whole idea is the work of Joseph Pilates from his original text, Return to Life: Thirty-four specific moves meant to be performed as one complete sequence. And therein lies the rub. The work of the late, great Uncle Joe has become harder and harder to find. Rarely do people perform the Mat work as he prescribed in his very own book. The man took the time to lay it all out, repetitions, sequence, breathing and more. Truth be told, and this is, in fact, the gods' honest truth, it's really really hard. The full mat, in the complete order, was designed for the normal, healthy body and it packs a wallop.

If you really want to participate in March Matness, you're going to need to get some practice in ahead of time.

Get Ready for March Matness

Here are my 5 best recommendations to start you off right and help see you through 31 days of awesome Mat work designed exclusively by the Master of Pilates himself, Joseph Hubertus Pilates.

1) Get the Book

No really. Just get it. You can not get closer to the source. Here is Joe's work described step by step in his own voice. Many will be shocked to see the economy of words he chooses, giving the simplest and barest of instructions to accomplish each move. If you can't wait that long, here is a link that can buy you some time until the book arrives.

2) Take Stock

Know your limitations before you dive into this robust workout. Sit with the book or list. Carefully attempt one of each exercise. Take your time. The sole purpose of this is to be able to craft your own custom mat routine so don't judge yourself. Just note the moves you can manage, and those you can't. Don't overindulge this process. Try performing just one rep of each move to assess your ability.

3) Create Your Lists

You'll need to make at least two lists for the month. First, create a "Yes I can" list of all the moves you can manage to do right now. The second list will be your "Working on It" list. if you need a list of moves that won't be on your personal list for particular reasons, go ahead and make that list.

4) Map Your Timeline

March is 31 days. Make a calendar of your timeline. Your ideal schedule will get you to the fullest list possible by the last day. Plan to weave in new moves every second to third day.

5) Set a Timer

The Mat is not a 60-minute workout. This mat is meant to be done smoothly and briskly with a minimum of fussing between moves. Set your timer for 30 minutes maximum. Go through as many moves as you can complete in 30 minutes. Each day, try to add another move in.

If you beat the clock and can finish it all in 30 minutes, then cut back to 20 minutes and keep pushing yourself to complete the full mat in record time.

A Word From Verywell

Remember that Pilates is a practice, meant to get better and better and inform all your other activities. This is the perfect month to discover or re-discover all the benefits that the Mat has to offer.

Join the movement and share March Matness with everyone.

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