Exercise for MS and Pilates for MS with Mariska Breland 2015

Mariska Breland, founder of the Pilates for MS™ Teacher Training Program will be Mariska Brelandin Dublin to teach her Exercise for MS Course at Live & Breathe Pilates this November 28th & 29th. We have also just added a third day on November 30th for Pilates for MS.

The initial two day course incorporates the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into a Pilates based exercise program designed to address common problems associated with multiple sclerosis.

Exercise for MS is an acclaimed course that covers the MS disease process in depth, as well as issues common to many neurological diseases, including balance difficulties, weakness, muscle spasticity, bladder problems, gait abnormalities, as well as the principles and applications of neuromuscular rehabilitation and neuroplasticity in exercise. You will learn how to assess causes of balance problems, work with single side weakness to create better muscle balance, diagnose ineffective compensations and help remedy them, the importance of how and when to stretch to manage spasticity, and techniques to create “detour circuitry” in the brain and spinal cord to work around existing nervous system damage, and much more. Since the course covers so many problems common to the general population too, you will have tools to work with other students too, especially the aging, and those with neurological conditions or muscle imbalances.

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We have also just added a third day to this course on Monday 30th of November – Pilates for MS. This additional day is open to those who have previously completed and passed the Exercise for MS course. It focuses specifically on the Pilates apparatus – Reformer, Cadillac etc. This is a 7 hour course and runs form 09:30 – 17:30 on Monday 30th of November 2015.

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We are also hosting a Mat Masterclass with Mariska on Friday 27th at 6pm. This 90 minute mat class is open to instructors as well as clients. Not for the faint hearted this energetic workout will get the blood pumping while getting your body strong and supple. This class is not suitable for beginners, those with injuries or underlying conditions or pre / postnatal clients.

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Pilates brings a variety of benefits to one’s health, including increased body awareness, control, and circulation.

“In addition to the physical benefits, there are also emotional benefits,” says Mariska Breland. “Being able to do Pilates is a huge mood booster. Depression and suicide are both higher with MS patients than with the general population. That and many other symptoms can see improvement with the right kind of exercise.”

The course is open to anyone working with MS patients – Pilates and Yoga instructors, physios, occupational therapists and movement teachers.


The First Day of the course: Theory Objectives

  • Overview what MS is and why individualised exercise programs are essential
  • Review basic MS symptoms
  • Learn the Pilates for MS basic class structure
  • Recognise influencers of balance and how to improve them
  • Understand the causes of bladder/bowel problems and relevant exercises

The Second Day of the course: Exercise Objectives

  • Recognise causes of MS weakness
  • Understand what types of strengthening are most effective
  • Discover how to work with hemiparesis
  • Learn exercises for common weak muscles/muscle groups
  • Understand the differences between muscle tightness and spasticity
  • Learn different types of stretching exercises and when to do which type
  • Begin to discuss gait problems commonly seen with MS

 An additional Third Day Pilates for MS: (this is a separate course)


  • Learn repertoire specifically using the large Pilates apparatus for working with MS clients



Exercise for MS (Matwork & Accessories) is taught over 14 hours on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th November 2015.

Pilates for MS (using Pilates large apparatus) is taught over 7 hours on Monday 30th of November, 2015.


The cost of the 2 day Exercise for MS course is €499. Our early bird discounted rate of €475 is now sold out.

The cost of the 1 day Pilates for MS course is €265. If you are already attending the Exercise for MS course, cost of course is €240 and the difference will be refunded.

If you wish to avail of a payment installment plan then please get in touch.

Please note cancellations are subject to an administration fee of 25%. Course fees are non-refundable within one month of the course start date.

Further Details

Pilates brings a variety of benefits to one’s health, including increased body awareness, control, and circulation.

Pilates also includes core exercises for stabilization, back and spine strengthening that improves posture, and dynamic flexibility that relieves muscle spasticity. This all is helpful for fighting the problems associated with MS and various other health conditions. Plus, many Pilates exercises are done sitting or lying down with no or low impact movements. This makes the workout accessible for any age and fitness level, and serves as a great introduction to make changes to one’s body.

About Mariska

In 1999, acting under the fear of a slowing metabolism, Mariska took her first Pilates class. After a 2002 diagnosis of MS, she became a devoted yoga and Pilates practitioner and taught her first class a year later.

Today, Mariska is the lead instructor for Fuse Pilates, a contemporary Pilates method based in Mariska Breland TeachingWashington, D.C., for which she developed all of the group classes and training programs.

Her studio and its teachers also use both classical and contemporary Pilates in private training for students ranging from children to the elderly, from professional athletes to those recovering from (or trying to avoid) major surgeries, as well as people rehabbing from injuries or chronic conditions.

As part of Mariska’s comprehensive Pilates certification through Body Arts and Science, International (BASI Pilates), she completed a research project on Pilates for multiple sclerosis patients, which she expanded into an in-depth multi-day Pilates for MS advanced teacher training, incorporating the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into a Pilates program design for MS and other neurological conditions. A “casual student of medical neuroscience,” Mariska has also designed additional workshops focusing on how to integrate brain science into exercise programs to enhance performance and improve neurological function. Her workshops and classes have been featured on the popular online website, Pilates Anytime. She is also the author of the upcoming book, MS: A Memoir.

In addition to experience directly working with students with MS, spinal cord injury, neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral scelrosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease), and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Mariska regularly consults with Pilates teachers around the world as well as neurologists, physical therapists, and physiatrists for their clients with MS. Mariska is a member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Wellness Committee. Additionally, Mariska’s Pilates for MS course is generously grant-assisted by the UK MS Society.

Mariska’s education in the movement arts is vast, including mat certification through Power Pilates, additional apparatus, mat, and anatomy training through Balanced Body Pilates, Peak Pilates, and a certification in PureBarre.

From 2010 until his death in 2013, Mariska studied in a one-on-one mentorship with renowned Pilates Master Julian Littleford, founding member of the Physical Mind Institute and one of the world’s most innovative and creative Pilates instructors. She also studies regularly with Jennifer Kries, 2nd Generation Master Instructor, who is credited with bringing Pilates to the masses, as well as other 2nd Generation classical teachers Lesa McLaughlin, Chris Robinson, and Andrea Maida.

Mariska is a PMA® (Pilates Method Alliance) Certified Pilates Teacher and Continuing Education Provider. The PMA is the only third party professional certification in the Pilates field. In terms of advanced trainings, she is a Pre and Postnatal Pilates Specialist, trained through the Center for Women’s Fitness directly with its founder, Carolyne Anthony, who invited her to join the organization as faculty. She is also a Post Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist, trained through the Pink Ribbon Program. In 2013, she completed Pilates Studio Techniques in support of Heroes in Motion, overviewing skills to work with amputees and persons with traumatic brain injury. Additionally, she has advanced certificate training in Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies and specialized training in Pilates for athletes and for men. Still, Mariska’s heart (and most of her time) remains in the group fitness setting, inspiring the masses to learn to love to work out, and work out hard.

Outside of fitness, Mariska received a 2006 holistic health coaching certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (at that time – part of Columbia University’s continuing education curriculum) where she studied with Drs. Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Barry Sears, and dozens of other leaders in the alternative health field. A former award-winning writer, video producer, and creative director, Mariska puts those skills to good use as a frequent guest on fitness and lifestyle blogs, as well as the occasional television appearance. She also creative directs Fuse Pilates’s website, marketing materials, and photos.


Feedback for this course

“Learning Pilates techniques has helped me enormously with my MS. Fine tuning each move has not only re-awakened muscles that had long been asleep, particularly in my feet and legs but has also helped me to relax more and improve my outlook. My walking style, speed and balance have all greatly improved, reducing my need for over-reliance for walking aids. Since starting with Jane, I have gone from mainly using a wheelchair to mainly using elbow crutches and for shorter distances, a walking stick. I can even climb a few stairs! The freedom this gives me is amazing. I’m determined to continue working with Jane and to use Pilates to keep on improving.” – Stephanie Hanna, August 2014

“Stephanie and I have now worked together for 12 one to one Pilates sessions. We will however continue to work until we achieve our goal – for Steph to be able to walk with a stick around the house (enabling her to carry things.) And short useful distances with a stick e.g. from a taxi into a restaurant, or theatre or from the car onto a friend’s house. We are close to this goal and may well re-evaluate soon!

We did the first one to one on 7th May 2014. At this point Steph could walk very short distances with her crutches, her major walk of the week was from her car into my Pilates class on a Thursday, about 50 metres ,then back to the car after the lesson.

Steph started to attend my Pilates classes (non-specialised, general class) in March 2013. At this point she used her wheel chair to go every where. She progressed to walking into the class using crutches during February this year. She can now use a stick to walk around the house.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Steph, she’s determined but sensible so she makes the perfect client. The moves and methods I learnt at the Mariska Breland course are remarkably effective and it’s a joy to both Steph and me to have been able to make this life changing progress. I refer to the excellent training material all the time as there’s plenty in the book we have not yet utilised. –
Jane Christie, August 2014

“Exceeded my expectations – I rarely get so many new exercises. I enjoyed the whole course from start to end. Having copies of the overheads was very useful. Both manuals were very good.”
May 2014

“I feel that I’m going away with so much information! Very impressed from start to finish – enquiry/registration/actual course. Thank you very much.”
May 2014

“Really enjoyed the course, can’t wait to get out there and teach! x”
May 2014