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Archival Mat

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Join Simona Cipriani for the workout Joe Pilates wanted you to do every day, the Matwork! You’ll begin with standing archival exercises from videos of Joe and then Simona takes you through the matwork the way it’s described in his 1942 book Return to Life. If you’ve been doing Pilates for a while, you’ll be surprised to feel some subtle as well as major differences in the instructions. Have fun! Visit Simona's studio in Stamford, Connecticut at The Art of Control.


This was wonderful - it gave me new insights into both the movements and myself!

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 26/02/2020 8:16 am

Thank you so much!
insights:):):) I love when that happens 🙂
I am happy to hear you learned something new:)

Thanks for watching,

Topic starter

Hi there,

thank you for is so good to go back to the origin right?
hope this will allow for more curiosity:)

be well 🙂

Avatar 24/02/2020 9:24 pm

The exhale drop on the jackknife was tops! I adore the time-tested approaches. I would love to see more of your work on Swedish Bars, too, as it's such an underrated apparatus. Grazie mille

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 26/02/2020 8:15 am

Ahhhhh!!!! Grazie a te...for paying so much attentions to details :):):)
I agree, I remember exercising on the Swedish Bars when I was 13 years old and I loved it then and I love it now:)
did you see all of them here on Pilatesology?
just wanted to make sure you know there are multiples to watch:)

A presto!


Did Joe Pilates not pump the arms directly above the thighs, rather than at the sides of the hips?
Single Leg Circle:
I always thought Joe Pilates lifted the hip of the leg crossing the body off the mat?
Open Leg Rocker:
How do we know that this actually was Joe Pilates favourite exercise?

Interesting. Thank you.

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 29/02/2020 6:37 am

Love your name "MatMan" and thanks for your observation.

I am not sure I understand you question about the Hundred, but if you look at his picture on RTLTC you see the high of the arm motion.
I hope this helps!

On the Single Leg Circle Joe shows the hip off, and yes I teach it that way to my super advanced students. However, Romana tough me to teach it down to my students in training, basic and Intermediate clients. The sacral joint is a peculiar one...make sure people can handle Joe's way:)

The story about the interview of Joe with the Open Leg Rocker position was very popular story during my training with Romana.
She told me about that story....and I believe Sean news it as may want to reach out to him about is a fun one:)

thanks for watching.


Thank you indeed for sharing and responding to my enquiries.

What I was getting at here about the positioning of the arms was as follows:
In the set up, the arms are reaching over the top of the thighs, and the pumping action of 6" - 8" is directly above the thighs. This makes the exercise more challenging, and you have to really focus on your breathing. It will be cardio efficient.
Many thanks and appreciation.

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 01/03/2020 6:00 am

absolutely! you are right and I love practicing it that way, it makes a big difference in the shoulders, neck and as you saying in the breathing.
Thank you for being detailed oriented....there is so much to discover in the genius of Mr. Pilates:):):)

Keep practicing 🙂


Fun way to get the body moving in the morning! Thank you so much!!

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 25/04/2020 8:07 pm

Hi Kerri, 

that is great to hear:) 

you are a morning bird... 

I am getting better now but still love my afternoons workouts 👍👍

anyway let’s keep moving 🌺

thanks for watching




Thank you - so fun - love the standing work!

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 25/04/2020 8:02 pm

Hi pilatesmo,

thank you so much for letting me known.... I am hoping to do more standing work..... Mr. Pilates did quit of bit of that 👍👍👍


thanks for watching 




Great short workout for Day 3 of the challenge and a Saturday night. Thank you. Loved all the twisting and side bending.

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 25/04/2020 8:12 pm

Hi Suilven,

Good for you! Hope you enjoyed the challenge 🙂
And thanks for watching 🌺


Lovely & refreshing ! Thank you 🙏

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 25/04/2020 8:15 pm

Hi there,

Thank you for the comment....
We need some refreshing these days don’t we !

Hope all is well.... stay safe and keep watching 🌺


Thank you! That was a very lovely workout for a Saturday afternoon! I love learning new movements!
Have a great weekend 🙂

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 30/04/2020 8:18 am

yes....that is the fun! learning, learning, learning:):):)
keep watching and let us know what you would like to see more:)
Stay well,


Thankx Simone , Nice and quick Jack knife oohh La La

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 25/04/2020 7:57 pm

thank you... yes, I love the way it feels.... always learning 😉

Thanks for watching 



Nice quick workout, I am sweating and I am about to go for my sweet dreams. Late workout but still following the challenge and day n.3! Thank you Simona. Are you originally from Italy? I am in the Northern of Italy, next to the alps and I enjoyed the lock down thanks to the great method Joe made for us. See you soon and take care.

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 30/04/2020 8:17 am

Ciao Sabrina,

sorry for the delay here! and Yes, I am from Italy but leaving in the States for over 30 years!!!!
I miss it so much....I wish I were there during my quarantine 🙂
enjoying the videos and keep moving....
hopefully I will get to meet you in Italy soon:):):)
Ciao, a presto


Love this class so much!! Many thanks! :))

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 30/04/2020 8:13 am

Me too Jennifer:):):)
Keep moving and have fun....

Hope to see you in person soon:)
be well,


Grazie mille! Loved this workout!

Simona Cipriani Simona Cipriani Topic starter 30/04/2020 8:12 am

Ciao Jenny,

thanks so much for watching:)
thank goodness we have Pilatesology...right?

Let me know what else you would like to see ok?
be well,