Apparatus How To – Basic Gratz Mat

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In this detailed demonstration, Kathryn Ross Nash explains how to use a raised Pilates Mat and why Joe's authentic dimensions and features can help provide a deeper and better workout (the mat in this video is made to Joe Pilates' original design by Gratz). She takes her student Lynanne Escatel through a Basic level workout to show the purpose of the exercises, the proper body position and how an instructor can assist her student. Kathi's wealth of knowledge is an incredible learning tool both for instructors or anyone wanting to know how to practice the mat better. If you enjoy learning about the mat here, you can put your new knowledge to use in the class that follows this one: Flowing Basic Mat where Kathi takes Lynanne through the same exercises with the correct flow, completing the same workout in 12 minutes. Filmed at American Body Tech, Kathryn Ross-Nash’s Allendale, NJ studio.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Buxotic
    Buxotic 6 years ago

    Brilliant. You know how you think you are doing these exercises perfectly for years and then you “reverse” learn as your body says “hooray!!” Yup. Finally, no more lower back pinch; I’m putting my diaper on stronger 😉 Thanks for all the cues, Kathi, you rock.

  2. louiekelly 6 years ago

    Loved this! Love your energy!

  3. Beautiful and really enjoyable video! I wish I was in it 😉 Keep this amazing work up! Thank you

  4. Linda 8 years ago

    You inspired me to buy the raised Pilates mat, and the difference is amazing for anyone wondering… I also bought a year membership to Pilatesology to continue studying from you.
    I am very grateful, and thank you!

  5. Kathi Ross Nash Author

    Thank you- truly, thank you

  6. Kathi Ross Nash Author

    lol romana always taught in a heel and sari teaches in platforms..
    the outfit is from Yumi and it is a leotard and pants. i like to teach in heels as it makes me use my tush all day!!!!!!!!!!! thank Goodness for the foot corrector LOL

    • 2redfrogs 8 years ago

      Both films are deep and truely inspiring pieces of work. Than k you for your wisdom, knowlege and generosity in sharing….;)

  7. Kathi Ross Nash Author

    Push ups!!! Elbows tight to the ribs
    Shoulders over wrists- I like knuckles and heels directly over balls of the feet
    Lengthen forward but keep heels over toes and you descend
    And arm springs
    I break them down to really focus
    Hummmmm may have to be the next video! Thanks for the compliment !!!!! You made me smile

    • 2redfrogs 8 years ago

      You’re the best, for real!
      I don’t think I’ll ever see any one else teach in a backless Cat suit and heels!! like

  8. 2redfrogs 8 years ago

    Fabulous, informative, a gem!
    Please Kathi can you tell us how you get your beautiful arms??

  9. Ynowak 8 years ago

    Your cues help me get so much deeper!

  10. Reb 8 years ago

    Thanks again, Kathi, for a marvelous presentation. Who coined the name the “diaper” and is that an exercise in and of itself or a deconstruction? Can’t wait until your next class! Spoilers?

  11. Suebelle
    Suebelle 8 years ago

    Thank you, again. “It’s all in the details.” Might have to steel the.” Hot date, you ate beans”, analogy!!! Cheers, Sue

  12. joesmat 8 years ago

    May I say, I am hopeful you will continue this series and teach the “entire mat repertoire” to include the same amount of detail.Gained a lot of little very important key points in this video piece.

    May I also ask a couple of questions please:
    1. Spine Stretch Forward – What is the reasoning for not taking the hands below the feet when you stretch forward?

    2. Side Kick – Front and Back: What was your thinking when you corrected the amount of turnout or rotation of the top leg when Lynanne initially placed her leg in position to kick?

    Ahhhh………..Who was it said the Mat is the very foundation of the Method?

    Truly an excellent presentation. Most grateful indeed. Thank you very much indeed.

    • Kathi Ross Nash Author

      1. That is the original way- it actually helps the student find the correct position.
      2. I looked at her leg alignment and where I wanted her to work- or where she wasn’t working- and then adjusted
      I always think about what the exercise is FOR – then adjust to achieve that
      JP said the Mat was the heart and soul
      THANKS!!! Glad you enjoyed it. having Lynann is a JOY

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