If you are wondering what March MATness is - you might want to check out the blog I wrote last March, so we are all on the same page! March MATness 2021
Last year, I put out a lot of content using many props and variations on Instagram. I added the March Matness 2021 Instagram links below each video in this post, so you can have access to those posts with variations immediately.
To note - If I remember correctly there was a bit of an issue one day where I accidentally filmed my ceiling instead of myself and decided not to redo it! LOL! It just goes to show that things happen and we can move on!
This year, I want to recap each week with some videos for the exercises. I'm using the Balanced Body C-Shaper as my main prop to showcase how easy it is to incorporate it into mat. It helps you find your work, but it also extremely supportive. My inspiration for doing this comes from my mentor Carey Sadler of Rivercity Pilates, who created an amazing workout one day for me and my Pilates partner in crime, Cindy.
I have the Golden Corn color C-Shaper and as soon as I got it, I knew her name was Goldie. It's the only thing I think I've ever named, with the exception of my childhood plushies. I love my Goldie!!
Here we go!!! Recap of the first week of this super fun celebration of the Pilates Mat work.
Day 1 - The Hundred
The C-Shaper is giving my head and back support to reach my legs up to the ceiling. I am able to keep my connection to the C-Shaper without any strain to my neck.
Another amazing option, as a BONUS:
Playing with having both or one leg down allows me to feel more of my curl. I am able to engage and connect more of my back to the C-Shaper. My head is still supported, so no neck strain. It feels amazing and it's still a lot of work!
Day 2 - The Roll Up
The C-Shaper is an amazing way to find the spots in your back that "skip" the mat while doing your Roll Up. It happens to most of us. The C-Shaper just gives us some information to process [where is my back missing the connection?] .
Allow yourself to pause and figure out how to find your connection to the C-Shaper. Sometimes we just need to slow down and other times we might play with our breath. It's a fantastic experience!
- Feet under a strap, if you have one. It doesn't necessarily make it easier, but the strap helps you connect more all the way to your center. The strap is great for either bent leg or straight leg.
- Bent legs. With a bent knee it's a little easier to press those heels into the mat to create connection to your center.
- Use the hand straps. By pulling into the C-Shaper straps, you can find even more curl and connect more to the C-Shaper.
Day 3 - The Roll Over
The C-Shaper can be used as a prop to lift the hips into a higher start position for Roll Over. It's also a very cozy prop that feels amazing as you roll up and over and then back down!
- I recommend placing a sticky pad under the front and back of the C-Shaper or it will slide away with each repetition! You can see this in the video below. By the end, I was pratically doing a regular Roll Over.
Day 4 - The One Leg Circle [aka Single Leg Circle]
The C-Shaper is giving my standing leg support and at a higher angle. The other thing that I found is that the C-Shaper gives me all sorts of information about what my hips are doing when I circle each leg.
- Is one hip "heavier" in the C-Shaper than the other?
- Is one hip lifting more than the other?
- Is it easier to circle one leg over the other?
- Does one leg have more range?
- Is one standing leg harder to keep still than the other?
Again, this is all information for us acknowledge and probably just move on. If you like to geek out about it, you can always play with your range or trying to pull in to your center more or putting more weight in one hip...etc. I don't like my clients to overthink things, either. It could just be the day we do something. However, it is really interesting to get this feedback from a prop.
Day 5 - Rolling Back [aka Rolling Like a Ball]
It's like the C-Shaper was made for Rolling Back. Keeping a "C" shape for this rolling exercise is....interesting? I posted on Instagram that this one is "a total burner" and it's true! I really LOVE it, though, so don't be scared! Rolling Back provides the ultimate experience for connecting to your center and your C-Shaper at the same time.
- Keep your legs a little higher that you would on the mat
- Allow your legs to move you for the first few. Sometimes it takes a hot second to figure out how to roll back up.
- Keep the arms wide and connected to the legs. I like my hands behind my thighs the best. It makes it easier to keep my shape.
-BREATHE!! Use your breath to help you roll back and up.
Have you been participating this year? If not, feel free to use this post as inspiration to try a few of the mat exercises this month. I'll have more options, other than my C-Shaper, posted in my Instagram feed. There are plenty of ways to play with the mat work!
Inhale Love. Exhale Gratitude.