This is part of our Meet Our Visiting Instructor Series where you get to read about some of the visiting teachers to our studio. Meet Mariska Breland, co-owner and founder of Fuse Pilates, Washington who was with us in November 2015 to teach her Pilates for Neurological Conditions Program.
What have you been up to recently?
My business partner and I are working with a franchisee on opening an NYC studio in early 2017. I’ve also been teaching my Pilates for Neurological Conditions course all over the U.S. I’m heading to Vancouver in two weeks for the first Canadian course ever, and I’m back in Europe in September.
How long have you been a Pilates teacher and what inspired you to become one?
I’ve been teaching since 2003 (regularly since 2005). I never really planned to do it as more than a hobby, but the students are always what keep me coming back!
What’s your favourite Pilates exercise? Why?
Short spine massage is always a favourite, but I’m currently loving the challenge of all of the inversions on the Cadillac. It’s like being a kid doing flips again!
If Joe Pilates was still alive, what would you ask him?
What exercises he taught that never got recorded. I bet there are some great ones in there!
What are your top three tips for clients and students for progressing their Pilates practice?
1. Don’t get frustrated practicing the basics repeatedly. Magically, they make you able to do the advanced work some day.
2. Try to do Pilates at least three times a week.
3. You can “find” Pilates in the other movement practices you do – in swimming, you work on pelvic stability and rotation; in yoga, make sure your extension isn’t just in your lumbar spine.
Pilates is the ultimate cross-trainer and best way to learn safe exercise!
Describe your teaching style in less than ten words
Contemporary mixed with a solid understanding of classical Pilates.
Where are your three favourite places in the world?
Nevis, West Indies; Rome, Italy; and the Pacific Northwest, U.S.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
Visit Bali, swim with a dolphin that is not a captive dolphin – just one that comes up to me, and teach Pilates to the Obamas.
Tell us about someone who inspires you
I have a client with ALS who has an amazing positive attitude. She works hard, has a great sense of humour, and faces challenges with the ultimate grace.
When you’re not teaching what do you do for kicks?
I read a lot, travel with my husband, eat out (my hometown of Washington, D.C. just got a Michelin guide – we have great food!), spoil my dog, watch Game of Thrones, swim, snorkel, occasionally sail (if I could be in the water everyday, I’d be thrilled).
Tell us one last thing we might not know about you
I’m a huge introvert. I’m very happy spending time by myself.
If you are interested in courses we are running or would like us to run them again, get in touch.
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