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Hello, and welcome!


Pilates Encyclopedia was created by me, Mara Sievers, NCPT, out of the desire to gather everything I’ve learned about Pilates in one place for easy reference. I had gathered copious amounts of information, exercises, and cues over the years, but it was spread all over the depths of my computer as well as several notebooks, loose pieces of paper, and sticky notes. Some gems of knowledge might be forever lost in the grey matter labyrinth of my mind.

If I only had all that knowledge available in one place!

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The world wide web is awesome. And there is incredible wisdom scattered all over it. But that’s just it. Don't you find it tedious to spend hours sifting through Google search results in an effort to find the one piece of information you're looking for? Furthermore, can you trust the source of the article? Who wrote it? Does this person work with clients day in and day out? Over and over again, I was frustrated that I spent hours at the computer (not my favorite thing in the world) and still didn’t end up with the answer I was looking for.

Nowadays, the edges of what is Pilates and what isn’t are starting to blur. Many Pilates instructors -  me included - are also certified in other modalities, such as various forms of exercise or body work, i.e. yoga teachers, massage therapists, physical therapists, personal trainers and much more. We all want to help our clients to move better and feel better in their bodies. We use whatever tools we have available. I think that’s great. But if we mix everything together, then my head starts spinning.

This doesn’t mean I consider myself a classical instructor. As with spirituality, my foremost desire is to gather as much knowledge from as many sources as I can, question everything, and gain my own insight. I’m incredibly curious and skeptical enough not to take everything at face value. Like a three-year-old - I want to know why. It’s my favorite word.

Out of this curiosity and desire to dig deeper, I started to research any and all styles of Pilates. Some things resonate more than others. That doesn't mean they're less valuable. I think we all have something to share. As we all know from our experience with Pilates, no two bodies are the same, no two minds are the same. I find it fascinating to compare different versions of the same exercise, and understand why I would choose one over the other, and who would be the appropriate person to try it with. Having a huge variety of exercises, variations and cues ensures that Pilates can serve everyone, and it will never get boring.

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Finally, even though I strive to gather all my knowledge here, it can’t be comprehensive or all-inclusive. I’m just one person, and there are many many many Pilates movers out there who have experienced Pilates differently in their own body-minds, as well as in their students’.

Hence, this is a work in progress that will grow as we learn from each other.

If you have something to share, I invite you to contribute to this site. Send your articles to [email protected]

I also encourage you to please send me your questions. I will do my very best to answer them in form of a blog post or course depending on the length of the answer.

In this sense, this site will remain eternally and blissfully incomplete.

My best wishes,

Breaking down the exercises is hugely beneficial to me!

"Thinking about each exercise in more depth deepens my understanding. On top of that, it's so lovely to feel welcomed to ask questions."

Natasha Haresign

Scotland, UK

I have such a huge appreciation for the Pilates Encyclopedia!

"Being a teacher-in-training, I feel like it's essential to have access to this information. There are so many times I need an answer to a teaching question and the Pilates Encyclopedia tells me the information I need very simply and clearly!"

Kristi Paciello

Arizona, USA

A brilliant resource!

"As a teacher, it's great to be reminded to come back to intention, intuition, finding space and flow as opposed to forcing clinical execution of form, which doesn't feel as great. Thanks for working hard to make this."

Kate Cunnigham

United Kingdom

More Success Stories

My Pilates (Continuing) Education

  • Spectrum Teaching: 10 Guidelines for Successfully Teaching the Autism Spectrum with Laurette Ryan | PMA Conference 2022
  • Break It to Build It: Deconstructing Pilates Exercises to Create Success with Misty Lynne Cauthen | PMA Conference 2022
  • Teaching Pilates to Men with Jamie Isaac | PMA Conference 2022
  • The Neck Health Workshop with Shari Berkowitz | PMA Conference 2022
  • Foot Contact Pressures and Technique on the Reformer with Karen Clippinger | Pilates on Tour Chicago 2022
  • You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato with Joy Puleo and Karen Frischman | Pilates on Tour Chicago 2022
  • Pilates for the Professional Athlete with Christine Romani-Ruby in 2019
  • Safe and Effective Pilates For Hypermobile Bodies with Noelle Dowma at PMA 2019
  • Effective Programming for Neurological Clients with Mariska Breland and Meghann Koppele Duffy
  • Lolita's Reformer at Pilates on Tour Boston 2019
  • Oov Fundamentals 2017 with Katrina Hawley
  • Introduction to MS for Fitness/Wellness Instructors 2017
  • Pilates Adaptations for People with Scoliosis Supporting the Teachings of the Schroth Method 2018 with Lisa Stolze and Hagit Berdishevsky
  • Passed the National Pilates Teacher certification in 2017
  • Polestar Comprehensive Studio Series with Katrina Hawley in Hadley, MA in 2016
  • Polestar Principles with Dr. Brent Anderson in 2015
  • Balanced Body Reformer Training 2013 with Zayna Gold
  • YogaWorks 200-hour yoga teacher training
  • Pilates mat certification through educationinMove Austria in 2006

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