MARCH MATNESS is a celebration!
It's a month-long, awareness raising, global event shedding light on Joseph H. Pilates’ original 34 mat exercises.
The goal is to share in some form (photo, video, drawing, poem, etc.) one, and sometimes necessarily two, exercises a day for the whole month of March.
We begin with The 100 and end with The Pilates Push Ups.
March MATness was started in 2013 by Pilates teacher Benjamin Degenhardt with engagement growing each year. Here's a link to the full history.
I dabbled in the early years and managed to post every day for the full month in 2018, 2019, & 2021! #challenge accepted.
In 2020, because of various reasons (including putting our house on the market at the beginning of a global pandemic) I could only film a crazy 25 second time lapse video of all 34 exercises...on April 1st! Oh well, sometimes real life gets in the way and messes with our plans.
Here's my video compilation from 2019. I teach AntiGravity Pilates and for the exercises that are one of Joseph' original 34 but not officially in the AG Pilates repertoire I had to get a bit creative - Cleo, Charlie, & Tish - the dogs and cat - also sometimes make their presence known.
These were IG posts with no sound so I added a couple of groovy tracks which now upon re-listening maybe aren't so groovy??
photo by Thomas M. Evans
Back to more pertinent info on March MATness...
Every year there is a theme, for example 2021's was #thankyou Pilates and how it got us through the pandemic craziness of 2020. (how naive we all were at the beginning of 2021 thinking that the worst was behind us)
In 2021 my “thank you” was not only to the Pilates Method for maintaining my body, my mental health and my livelihood, but also to my clients for staying or becoming connected to/with me that year. Through lock-down. Over Zoom. And through house sale and relocation.
I still thank the Pilates Method every day because it's given me so much.
Is it the be all and the end all?
Of course not it's just an exercise system but for me it's been the springboard to dive into my health and fitness and have a way to share that pathway with others.
Photo by James Allen
The theme for March MATness in 2022 is #pilateshereandnow.
This is from the March MATness official website, I really like the second paragraph:
"This year, our caption theme—sponsored by 360° Pilates—focuses on the relevance of the Pilates method TODAY. How does Pilates support you in your everyday life? How is something that was established many decades ago still working for us? What does Pilates look like for you, especially after having been somewhat limited to the Mat work for the past two years?
“Pilates here and now” is also an invitation to get real with the work… no need for filters, staging, rehearsing, or trying to make it look “good” (as if there was such a thing in Pilates)… instead, we want you to feel comfortable to share your practice and perspective in the real-est way possible."
So how should you interact with March MATness?
Well, any way that suits you and your life.
- simply take inspiration from all the photos & videos that will be all over social media in March (not just mine, there’s a ton of content online)
- get down on your mat and give the daily exercise a go: Keene For Pilates on Instagram
- book a private Pilates session: Info Here
- research any or all of the exercises: Rolling Back / Rolling Like A Ball
- just move and breathe and breathe and move!! 😉
Here's a list of the 34 Exercises and how they're organised into the 31 days of March.
(If they're different, I've added the names I was taught along side the March Matness ones)
1st: The Hundred
2nd: The Roll Up
3rd: The Rollover
4th: The One Leg Circle (Single Leg Circle)
5th: Rolling Back (Rolling Like A Ball)
6th: The One Leg Stretch (Single Leg Stretch)
7th: The Double Leg Stretch
8th: The Spine Stretch
9th: Rocker With Open Legs (Open Leg Rocker)
10th: The Corkscrew
11th: The Saw
12th: The Swan-Dive
13th: The One Leg Kick (Single Leg Kick)
14th: The Double Kick (Double Leg Kick)
15th: The Neck Pull
16th: The Scissors / The Bicycle
17th: The Shoulder Bridge
18th: The Spine Twist
19th: The Jack Knife
20th: The Side Kick (Side Kick Series)
21st: The Teaser
22nd: The Hip Twist
24th: The Leg Pull Front / The Leg Pull Back
25th: The Side Kick Kneeling
26th: The Side Bend
27th: The Boomerang
28th: The Seal / The Crab
29th: The Rocking
30th: The Control Balance
31st: The Push Up
If you’re more into the visuals, here you go:
These are the photos from March MATness 2018 in composite form. Hint - it’s a thing that I try to wear a different outfit every day and yes, that means that I have over 31 pairs of tights!!! (I live in them and some of them are decades old so don’t judge me, lol) 😉 It looks like I doubled up on days 6 & 27 but other than that, if I have on the same pair of tights, it’s the same day and is either a couple of views of the same exercise or a two exercise day.
I hope this inspires you to check out March Matness a bit more deeply.
As always, be well,
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and Rebecca Forde disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this post
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