Sonje Mayo Pilates Mat Workout

C-Curve as Joe Pilates Taught It

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The ideal C-Curve happens in many exercise in Pilates but it is a difficult shape to achieve in the body because because rounding tends to make us collapse. What we want instead is to lengthen the spine and in this workshop Sonjé Mayo, who learned this concept from Joe Pilates himself in the 1960s, covers the common issues that get in the way of your ideal C-Curve. Whether your body is tight or flexible, you'll learn what to do to get the perfect long C-Curve. For teacher training, lessons and Schroth work, visit Sonjé Mayo at http://Sonjé

What Others Are Saying


  1. Costanzin94 7 months ago

    Amazing insightful hints!
    And that Open Leg Rocker was fantastic, Alisa!

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 7 months ago

      Thanks for watching and for your appreciative comments!

  2. jszachara 8 months ago

    That was so helpful!!! I’ve been working on my C-Curve lift but didn’t relate it to open leg rocker or rolling like a ball. I finally can do open leg rocker!!

    It is also helpful that you reference new were clients who are unable to have that kind of strength or flexibility. Thank you so much!

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 8 months ago

      So happy that this has been of help! It is so amazing when one makes that vital connection.

  3. Maigualida
    Maigualida 2 years ago

    there is a problem with the video I can not see it please help

  4. Pilatescollectiveslo 2 years ago


    Thank you for this video! I have a pretty large lordosis and have been teaching and taking Pilates for years, no one has really been able to find the cure as to why I can’t roll up and we are still trying to help my roll up into teaser! Plugging the hole under the lordosis helps my roll up TREMENDOUSLY, meaning- I can actually roll up without a bunch of cheating happening (including rounding forward in the shoulders and tucking the pelvis). I am now striving for that more vertical pelvis you describe since I can actually roll up.

    I am wondering- will I ever be able to lose the bolster under my back? Or will it be something I continue to use forever? No problem either way- just wondering if I can ever graduate or if my back will actually change enough to be without it. Will the bolster help me strengthen muscles I haven’t been using to achieve a new level of strength after years of cheating? I hope so! Thank you again, I can’t wait to learn more from you in the future.

    • Pilatescollectiveslo 2 years ago

      Oops- sorry! Mean to write this comment on another one of your videos: Pre-pilates for different spines. Reposting there. Thanks again :).

  5. Ceci 2 years ago

    Magnifique. So clearminded explanations and close to students feelings and perspective. Thank you so much. Lots of learning in just 15 minutes !

  6. catedavies 3 years ago

    This video has had a great influence on my teaching over the last 5 months. Re-visited it again today. Must check to see if there is a video of you teaching Horseback. Thanks again.

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      Pleased that this has helped. I will make a note to teach ‘Horseback’ next time.

  7. These little videos are SO helpful . Thank you Sonje, ……please could we have more? 🙂

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      Wonderful that you are finding these of value…….there is a lot more to come!

  8. Victoria Sommer 3 years ago

    Thank you, really enjoyed the great explanation! Just a quick Question, you say initiate from the mid spine, but the lift has to start at the sacrum/lumbar connection or? Looking forward to meeting you in person in Stuttgart! all the best victoria

  9. Chazkknight 3 years ago

    What a dynamic explanation of such an important concept. Truly transformative information, thank you.

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      It truly is so gratifying that I can pass this on!

  10. Andrea
    Andrea 3 years ago

    Have watched this several times. Have just taught this lifted C without a tuck today in mat-class. People sweated, loved it and want more – that’s why I am flying to Stuttgart to learn more from you. Thank you!

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      Great Andrea! I kook forward to meeting you at the workshop in Stuttgart…..I will teach you all I know!!

  11. soul_eil

    I just loved this 😉

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      I am delighted that you found this helpful!

  12. Sonjé Mayo Author
    Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

    Thank you!

  13. Martin 3 years ago

    Loved this mini workshop! I’ve been rewatching and picking more little gems. Sonje, I have a question. If there’s a person who’s very advanced and can flex forward with strong abdominal support and strong lift in the roll-up, did Joe permit them to bring their nose to their knees or was that kind of range something he phased out?

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      Good question Martin……Joe really underwent a metamorphosis when he was faced with hyper-flexible dancers like myself.
      I have a short body so there was no way that I could keep my shoulders and hips aligned and get my nose to my knees.
      However, maybe that is possible with a longer torso, providing that they are not hinging forward from the hips and losing the hip/shoulder alignment .
      Ultimately it is about stretching the spine and not the hamstrings . I hope that helps?

      • Martin 3 years ago

        This does help very much! I’m hyper-flexible myself and am always interested to hear how Joe dealt with that issue. Pilates is such a fascinating puzzle to try to piece together. In one of your other classes, when you described an ideal roll-up your wording reminded me precisely of the way Carola taught it in her filmed workshop ‘Carola Shares’. It’s the only other time I’ve seen it described that way. Seeing as Carola was incredibly hyper-mobile, it makes sense that Joe would have emphasized that kind of lift to avoid collapsing as he did with you and your dancer peers. Thank you for sharing!

  14. lauralynnharry 3 years ago

    LOVE this! Thank you Sonje… I am so excited to explore more of your teaching.

  15. catedavies 3 years ago

    Thank you. One that I will definitely watch again. I think you may have just transformed ‘Rolling like a ball for me’. I’ve always initiated it with a pelvic tuck – back to the drawing board!
    I found it really helpful as a new teacher to hear a discussion of when to ask a client to refine their technique & when to let something go until they’re ready. I think it’s really easy as an inexperienced teacher to overload a client with too much information and have unrealistic expectations of what they can achieve. I’ve definitely done that. ‘Get them moving’ is my new mantra.

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      I think that is a wonderful mantra….the refinements will come in good time…..remember clients will only really absorb fine-tuning when they are ready!

  16. valegriff 3 years ago


    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      Thank you,….. I appreciate your feedback!

  17. chubirka
    chubirka 3 years ago

    awesome! love your instruction…ty 🙂

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      Thank you! Pleased that you found it of help.

  18. ewapilates
    ewapilates 3 years ago

    Yet another piece of magnificence from Sonje; cannot thank enough! Awaiting Her next workshops and teaching. Thank you so very much:)

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      Thank you! I look forward to giving you more…..

  19. JuliaWheeler
    JuliaWheeler 3 years ago

    That’s a shame I can’t view this

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 3 years ago

      How come you cannot view this? Contact Alisa for problem solving….

  20. Madhavi Abuja 3 years ago

    Ooh can’t wait for the workshop !!

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