Video Fitness

Stott-Pilates Essential Matwork - 2nd Edition

Moira Stott

This tape is a wonderful introduction to Pilates if you're in a place to receive it. There were years between my initial dabbling in Pilates and my current embrace. Stott's precise, intelligent style helped open me up to this type of work.

2nd Edition Essential Matwork is an hour-long tape that runs through the fundamentals of the beginner Stott mat work. There is a new 22-minute tape that is also a beginning mat work tape. There are also second edition intermediate and advanced mat work tapes which offer challenging variations to the beginner exercises, and in some cases, additional exercises. The 2nd edition tapes include changes in the sequence of the exercises and provide more detailed instruction than the original series

Please note that all these tapes now retail for under $15, a considerable price reduction from the original price of $25.

Pilates is done in a definite series of movements with specific instructions regarding breath technique, number of reps, etc. Moira has altered the traditional Pilates sequence in a way which she credibly believes reduces injury risk and enhances results. My trainer tells me that Stott is more precise then other pilates methods, and if you compare Stott to Ana Caban, Jennifer Kries, even Karen Voight, it's not hard to see what she means Ana, Jennifer and Karen sometimes leave me in a lurch - first asking me to do things that seem quite rudimentary and suddenly shifting to stuff that's way over my head. That doesn't happen with Moira. She methodically describes each of the movements in great detail and provides preparatory exercises that bridge into the more difficult Pilates movements. There is alot of attention to form, biomechanics and the progression from one exercise to another.

Detractors argue that it's all so smooth that they're ready to fall asleep. I guess it's true there's not a lot of spice in her tapes. The set is very simple, there are no students, there's quiet background music. So what's the hook?.

There are a few. Even for a first timer the workout itself is quite pleasing . In a few months of semi serious study which has included the Stott mat tapes and some personal instruction from a Stott trainer, I have seen profound differences in my body, things that I never believed could change. I've had a life long issue with neck strain during abdominal work, and neck alignment in general. By carefully following the Stott technique I now understand that it's not my overly huge head (my previous theory!) but that I was holding my neck wrong and there was, indeed a describable and doable way to make a correction. I've been doing bodywork of various sorts for 25 years. No one has ever come close to figuring this out. Stott has also changed my posture (largely around the head-hold issue) and allowed me to do work I never thought possible (i.e., teasers, or "jackknives", more complete push ups, plank work etc.). I feel lifted, strong and poised, more confident with choreography. I've been provided a foundation that will allow me to do many things with grace and ease.

I still like traditional strength training and believe it has a different set of rewards, I also enjoy the aforementioned Kries, Voight and Caban. But the Stott work has been unique in its ability to reform very deep-rooted posture and alignment problems and that's nothing to sneeze at! It's what makes the difference between awkward and graceful.

Jane C.
7/26/01



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