Sayezz Pilates Self-Practice Guide to Mat FUNdamentals
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Sayezz Pilates Self-Practice Guide to Mat FUNdamentals

Learn the Sayezz contemporary approach to Pilates in 8 easy-to-follow and fun-to-do lectures and workouts.
4.9 (11 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
69 students enrolled
Last updated 9/2014
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Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 3 mins on-demand audio
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Breathe deeper
  • Strengthen your "core" from the inside out
  • Learn simple choreography
  • Learn basic Pilates anatomy
  • Learn basic Pilates terminology and principles
  • Take the Sayezz challenge of integrating fitness into your life every day
  • Put a smile on your face
  • Live pain-free by practicing simple movements
View Curriculum
  • Your presence both in mind and body
  • A Pilates or yoga mat
  • A small pillow or towel to be used as a head rest, if needed
  • A floor space large enough to reach vertically and horizontally without interruption
  • A pen or pencil handy

Looking for a simple way to integrate fitness into your every day and to build strength, flexibility, balance and flow into all that you do? This FUNdamentals Pilates course is designed to give you the tools to begin your fitness goals the fun, effective Pilates way.

What's included in this course:

  • Over 2 hours of HD video workouts and lectures.
  • A Wellness & Self-Care manual to get you started.
  • An Action Plan to help you sustain your Pilates habit after you finish the course.
  • A detailed Sayezz Workbook explaining Pilates history, principles, basic anatomy and outlining the FUNdamental exercises.

Mastering the FUNdamentals is key to opening up the world of Pilates to your mind, body and spirit, and when you are finished here, there is another course in this series, the Level 1 & 2 Self-Practice Guide to Mat. I look forward to joining you on your journey to integrating strength, balance, awareness and flow into your every day.

Who is the target audience?
  • The total Pilates newbie
  • The fitness trainer looking to expand his or her repertoire
  • The Pilates professional looking for a fresh look at the Pilates fundamentals
  • The avid cyclist or diver or runner or soccer player looking to find simple and effective core strengthening exercises
  • YOU!
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Curriculum For This Course
32 Lectures
The Contemporary Approach
5 Lectures 42:39

This is who I am, what Sayezz Pilates & Beyond is all about and what YOU will be getting from the course. Enjoy and Sayezz to YOU!

Preview 06:15

In this first audio presentation, you will get an introduction to the overview of not only the course materials, but the Stages of Change model as it relates to mind/body work, to help you gain insight into your own views on working out, exercise and some of the principles of mind/body work. Use the interactive Power Point presentation to guide you through a questionnaire and provide useful additional resources.

Preview 02:12

In this course, we will be concentrating on physical wellness, but it is important also to think of the whole self. In this first video lecture, along with the downloadable Wellness and Self-Care Manual, you will learn the components of overall wellness, how they are defined and how we can improve our own self-care.

Wellness & Self-Care OR Sayezz to the WHOLE you! (Lecture 1)

Before we begin moving together through the Sayezz Sweet Sixteen Pilates Mat Exercises, we can learn from the history and principles of the work and the words from the man himself, Joseph Pilates. In this second video lecture, along with the downloadable History and Principles Manual, you will be introduced to the origins of this mind/body method, learn the basic principles of the work and gain insight into the mind of Joseph Pilates from the words of his original text, Return to Life Through Contrology.

What are the benefits of Pilates? OR It's not really torture, right? (Lecture 2)

The way we think about our anatomy, specifically the pelvis and spine in a contemporary approach to Pilates is slightly different than the classical approach. In this third video lecture, along with the downloadable Anatomy Manual, you will learn how to approach neutral pelvis, neutral spine, the plumb line and the basic antigravity muscles.

How is our anatomy used in Pilates? Or Use it or Lose it! (Lecture 3)
Pelvic Stability & Deep Abdominals OR No Pooching Allowed! (Lecture 4)
7 Lectures 17:38

In this fourth video lecture, along with the downloadable Mat Exercises Manual, you will be introduced to the first 6 Sayezz Sweet Sixteen! Once you master this series of exercises, you will have a better understanding how to access your deep abdominals (find the flat tummy!), how to stabilize the pelvis and then mobilize your legs (feel that strong core!) and release tension in your low back by creating space in your spine (live pain-free!). Though the exercises are divided into separate lectures, they are best practiced together as a series.

Introduction to the Sayezz Sweet Sixteen Exercises 1-6

Breathing will teach you to breathe from the ribcage while “scooping” the belly for optimal flow throughout your body and every exercise you perform. You will learn to use breath to access your abdominals and create a rhythm and pace for your movements.


Pelvic Tilt will teach you how to efficiently move your pelvis, using your deep abdominals and pelvic floor, and to release your legs and hip flexors (think of how good that will feel after all the sitting we do!). Mobility in the pelvis also leads to mobility in the low back, which means a strong core, front to back.

Pelvic Tilt

Single Knee Fold will teach you how to stabilize your pelvis in neutral while mobilizing your hip joint, literally “greasing it up” for easier motion. Ideally our legs simply swing in the hip socket with ease and without effort, and the more synovial fluid we can stir up, the better! This simple exercise does precisely that.

Single Knee Fold

Knee Drops will tone your waistline by challenging the obliques and teach you to rotate from the ribcage while creating space in each vertebra - great for golfers and anyone looking to become more "twisty", which of course is all of us!

Knee Drops

Double Knee Fold is a more challenging version of Single Knee Fold, will work on flattening and hollowing those low abdominals, and is one of my favorites! Reinforcing the strength of the neutral pelvis, Double Knee Fold also challenges our upper ribs and neck to remain "soft" and tension-free.

Double Knee Fold

Bridging will teach you how to use your hamstrings and glutes most efficiently while articulating the spine and staying connected in the ribcage. More space in our spine and long, lean legs are just two of the benefits of this simple but powerful exercise.

Ribcage Stability OR Let's Knit! (Lecture 5)
5 Lectures 09:14

Don't forget to use your downloadable Mat Exercises Manual in this fifth video lecture to take notes on how to stabilize and mobilize your ribcage using the strength of your upper abdominals, breath and lats and back. Enjoy deeper breathing, stronger upper abs and more mobility in your middle back, easing tension through your shoulders and neck. Though the exercises are divided into separate lectures, they are best practiced together as a series.

Introduction to Sayezz Sweet Sixteen Exercises 7-10

Arm Circles will teach you how to keep your shoulders away from your ears by stabilizing your ribcage with your breath and abs and mobilizing your shoulder joint from the back, allowing for more efficient movement and range of motion in the whole “shoulder girdle”. It also emphasizes an isometric reach through your arms to create a long and lean musculature.

Arm Circles

Say goodbye to crunches and hello to chest curls! Chest Curl will teach you a more efficient way of “curling” up and over your "6-pack", for a long, lean torso and strong control of your upper abdominals. Great for low back and neck health as this “curl” teaches you to keep your pelvis stable in neutral when moving your ribcage and to rest your head heavily in your hands for optimal strength and mobility in all the right places.

Chest Curl

Chest Curl Rotation will strengthen your core and tone your waistline by challenging your obliques. It emphasizes the 3-dimensional movement of the transverse plane (on the rotational axis) to keep the spine twisting and turning and supple - in other words, healthy and happy!

Chest Curl Rotation

Hundreds Prep will teach you the beginning step of the quintessential Pilates exercise, The Hundreds. Combining pelvic stability in neutral with shoulder girdle stability (everything we have been introduced to so far), adding deeper core strength and a rhythmic breath, this challenging and complex exercise truly has it all.

Preview 01:31
Leg Extensions & Spinal Mobility OR Move Like a Dancer! (Lecture 6)
4 Lectures 08:27

Don't forget to use your downloadable Mat Exercises Manual in this sixth video lecture to take notes on how to reach through your legs and move your spine, giving both the suppleness of a dancer! This lecture adds to the previous five by giving you more mobility through your hips (better sex, as one benefit!) and spine (even stronger, longer, more balanced core!). Though the exercises are divided into separate lectures, they are best practiced together as a series.

Introduction to Sayezz Sweet Sixteen Exercises 11-13

Leg Lifts and Leg Circles builds on the work of Single Knee Fold and Double Knee Fold by challenging your deep abdominals to maintain neutral pelvis and those upper abdominals to maintain neutral spine by adding straight legs and lateral (side-to-side) movement to the mix. Both variations will increase range of motion in the hip joint and hamstrings, giving you long, lean legs and a strong, long core. Don't forget to reach through those sitting bones!

Leg Lifts & Leg Circles

Rock'n'Roll is something I used to do as a gymnast after bridging, so think of this exercise as the opposite of a bridge, in fact, as the deepest "scoop" of your abdominals you can find in a curl to maintain the ball shape (as opposed to an arch). Not only do you strengthen your core in this simple-to-watch-challenging-to-do exercise, you will also open up your low back to a new dimension of pain-free living - it's like giving yourself a free massage!


Half Roll Back works on articulating the spine from pelvis to head, much like Bridging works on articulating the spine from head to pelvis. It develops a strong core and mobility in the spine, both of which help to keep us standing tall.

Half Roll Back
Moving Planes & Finishings OR Put It All Together Now! (Lecture 7)
5 Lectures 16:34

Finding neutral pelvis and spine is all well and good when gravity is working with us. The real challenge to our strength, stability and balance comes when we change our relationship to the ground and gravity. Use your downloadable Mat Exercises Manual in this seventh video lecture to take notes on how to keep calm, cool and collected when we move on our side, belly and hands and knees. We need to remember that we are 3-dimensional beings in order to stand tall, move efficiently and gain strength and balance, inside-out! Though the exercises are divided into separate lectures, they are best practiced together as a series.

Introduction to Sayezz Sweet Sixteen Exercises 13-16 and Finishings

Side Lying Double Leg Lift will work the side-body, which is so important for stability when standing upright and will tone those long, lean legs. It specifically targets the inner thighs (adductors) and outer thighs (abductors) for balanced musculature & strength and stability when balancing.

Side Lying Double Leg Lifts

Swan Lift is performed to teach proper usage of the whole spine and shoulder-girdle in order to balance out all the exercises we have done in flexion. In order to stand tall, we need strength and length in our abdominals as well as our spinal extensors! Improved posture, long, lean abdominals, release of tension around the shoulders and neck and stretch through the hip flexors are just some of the benefits of this amazing exercise.

Swan Lift

Cat reinforces the articulate, supple spinal strength and control of Half Roll Back by flipping it over onto its hands and knees to add weight-bearing and balanced use of the abdominals and back extensors against gravity. It reinforces neutral in a new way, changes our relationship to the ground by adding the push of the hands to strengthen the arms and shoulders and feels great as a back stretch!


It’s important to stretch to keep our muscles supple and long. The best kind of stretches are the dynamic ones you performed during the Sayezz Sweet Sixteen exercises, so these static stretches at the end of the workout, when your muscles and joints are warm, serve to refocus our breath, calm our minds and release any tension that may have built up. Finishings is a series of 3 stretches that encourage you to breathe and release your hamstrings, back, neck and hips. Enjoy the sensations!

Your Very Own AnyWhereAnyTime Tidbit! (Lecture 8)
5 Lectures 27:42

Hurrah! You made it to the Sayezz Pilates AnyWhereAnyTime Tidbit! This is your piece of Sayezz choreography to do anywhere anytime, as many times as you would like. It uses the vocabulary of exercises you already know and creates a short sequence. As you may not be used to learning choreography, I have broken this lecture down into 5 parts. First, I lay it out visually and verbally; then I cue you through the choreography, slow then fast; and finally, I provide music that will guide you through the choreography, slow then fast. Feel free to take your time and learn over a course of several days or watch and do the Tidbit variations as a series. Good for your body. Great for your brain. Sayezz to YOU!

Introduction to the Sayezz Tidbit

As this is the first time you will be putting all the pieces of the Sayezz Sweet Sixteen together, you will be cued verbally through the sequence at a SLOW pace. Feel free to watch and listen first, and then practice the choreography as many time as you need!

Preview 06:14

You will be cued verbally through the sequence at a FAST pace. It's the same choreography, but the pace is double-time. Again, feel free to watch and listen first, and then practice the choreography as many time as you need!

Sayezz Tidbit with My Cueing FAST

Now it's time for me and my voice to say goodbye and for you to try the Sayezz Tidbit on your own, with music. But don't worry - you already know the choreography! This time around, you will simply practice the the same sequence at a SLOW pace, to a cool tune.

Sayezz Tidbit with Music SLOW

Now it's time to try the Sayezz Tidbit FAST with MUSIC! Once you have got it in your brain and body, I challenge you to integrate it into your every day by doing it once, twice, as many times as you want during the day! Feel free to change up the music and pace as well and Sayezz to YOU!

Sayezz Tidbit with Music FAST
Moving Forward
1 Lecture 00:50

To bring your course to a close, listen to the brief lecture, print the attachment, fill in the blanks and put it in a visible place. Then simply, continue to Sayezz to YOU!

Action Plan!
About the Instructor
Stephanie Yezek Jolivet
4.9 Average rating
15 Reviews
99 Students
3 Courses
Pilates, Fitness and Dance Professional


Stephanie Yezek Jolivet was first introduced to classical Pilates as a sophomore at Bucknell University under the heading “Dance Fitness”. A fresh face to modern dance and a Division I lacrosse player, Stephanie was not entirely convinced of the merits of the mind/body exercise form, but a seed of interest had been planted. After graduating in 2003, she pursued her study of classical Pilates at Excel Studio in Washington, DC, but discovered its true benefit to her mind and body only after a summer at Avon-by-the-sea, NJ, studying with Carol Myers, who trained at the Pilates Center of Boulder. The following winter 2005, Stephanie returned to Myers’s studio to train with BASI master teacher, Kristy Cooper. After successfully completing her mat certification and sharing the goodness of mat Pilates at home and abroad – she pursued an MA in English Literature and Language at Oxford University from 2005-2006 – she decided to further her Pilates education in 2008 with Fit to the Core, a Physical Mind-based studio in Potomac, MD where she completed 450 hours of comprehensive study, and with BASI master trainer, Karla Adams, where she completed her second 450 hour comprehensive training in Washington, DC. Stephanie’s teaching credits include Elements, Pengu Pilates, National Cathedral School, Trinity University (Washington, DC Metropolitan area), The Healing Path, Aura, Merritt Athletic Club (Baltimore, MD), University Club, Bourton Mills and LA Fitness (Oxford, England), and a week-long workshop in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. Stephanie has developed her own system of Pilates self-practice and her own online Pilates resource to deepen her and her clients’ practice.</span> </p>


After graduating from Bucknell University in 2003 with a BA in English and a minor in dance, Stephanie Yezek Jolivet returned to the Washington Metropolitan area and trained and performed with The Playground, Jane Franklin Dance Company, AirDance Bernasconi, Gesel Mason Performance Projects, Deviated Theatre and BosmaDance. She has toured to New York, Canada, India and Bangladesh with Dakshina, a contemporary Indian company and has performed in the works of David Dorfman, Anna Sokolow, Darla Stanley, Florencia Lopez-Boo, Ofra Idel Lipshitz, Meisha Bosma, Gesel Mason, Samantha Speis, Er-Dong Hu, Danna Frangione and Kelly Knox among other local and international dance artists. In 2006, Stephanie helped to co-found Freefall, Oxford University’s contemporary dance ensemble while earning her MA in English Literature and Language. Her choreography has been commissioned and presented by Oxford University, Cambridge University, Bucknell University, Howard Community College, Oxford Playhouse, Dance Place, BosmaDance and Dragonfly Dance Experiment. In 2008, she and Francesca Jandasek established a collaboration, baredances, and their work has been presented by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Baltimore Theater Project, Dance Place, Burton Taylor Studio as part of Oxfringe (Oxford’s fringe festival), and most recently was accepted to the 31st Annual Choreographer’s Showcase at University of Maryland College Park. Stephanie was a finalist in the 2009 Dance/MetroDC awards for “Emerging Choreographer”. She was selected as the sole dancer finalist in the 2010 Howard County Rising Star competition and as one of ten dance artists to the 2010 Dance Omi International Dance Collective. And most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council granted her with a 2013 MSAC award for solo performance. Outside the studio, Stephanie shares the power of Pilates and GYROTONIC® with her clients who continually amaze her. She just accepted a fellowship from University of California at Riverside for an MFA in Experimental Choreography where she is excited to explore further the dichotomous nature of femininity in her choreography. Rock on.