Magical Mat With Magical McDonald (Jo that is)

At Cascadia Pilates we continue to push ourselves in our industry and offer you, our clients, creative ways of Pilates movement philosophy with precision and focus.  One of the ways we are able to share this nerdy awesomeness with you is through our specialty workshops, and we have one just around the corner.  We decided to take this moment to pick Jo's brain on her upcoming Magical Mat workshop This is what we found out.


Q:  What inspired the name "Magical Mat."  Are you going to teach us how to levitate, or use our mat like a magic carpet and ride around like Jasmine and Aladdin? (Interviewer asks in hopes to hear a resounding "yes!" to the magic carpet ride.)
A:Though it would be awesome to throw all the rules of physics out the window, I simply love alliteration!

I also thought Magical Mat sounded better than super-duper butt-kicky mat. Think I should've gone with the first one?

Q:  What are some of the things you will focus on in the workshop?(...or if you tell us will you have to kill us....with ab work!!!!!)

A:  I'm not planning to "kill" everyone, but I love taking those great fundamental movements and adding all sorts of fun, crazy variations to show people there is always more progress to be made. I love when people are surprised by their own ability!

Q:  What makes you love the mat so much?

A:  What's not to love? You need a little TLC because you're hurting somewhere? I got some mat stuff for that. You need to unwind your stiff, tense body? I got some mat stuff for that. You want to push your body to the best of its ability? I got some mat stuff for that

I love how portable and approachable mat work is too. It gives clients a tool to take home and care for themselves when they can't get into the studio.

Q:  Most of us know you taught a full capacity, people had to wait in line at the door and still couldn't get in, mat class at the PMA's.  How was that experience?  Did you learn anything about mat, teaching, or yourself (besides that you look fabulous under a cool blue hue with bright pink lipstick)?

A:  Aw, shucks! I am blushing!

It was a great experience! So great in fact, I'm teaching again this year! I was very intimidated because at the conference, I take classes from all of these well-known teachers who are just one or two "generations" away from Joe Pilates himself, or they have masters degrees in movement and travel the world, teaching teachers. As lame as it sounds, I'm just a Kentucky gal who loves Pilates and learned through apprenticeship. I learned that I can step in front of all these impressive people and teach them a great mat class. It gave me a lot of confidence ( though I did spend a lot of time deciding on my outfit!).

Q:  If I have never taken a mat class before, or am new to Pilates, should I sign up for this workshop?

A:  Magical Mat is going to be challenging, for sure, but we're going to have a lot of fun, and it's my job to make it accessible to anyone who may be in my class. Everything can be modified!

Q. Seriously, how are you so awake in the morning?

A: It just comes naturally! The amusing thing is that the rest of my family are all lions. They all could sleep until noon if time allowed, so can you imagine how annoying I was growing up, trying to get my sisters to get up and play with me? Now that I'm an adult, it's a skill!