Mariska Breland, PMA®-CPT

mariska breland founder of fuse pilatesFuse Pilates® Founder, Creative Director

In 1999, acting under the fear of a slowing metabolism, Mariska took her first Pilates class. After a 2002 diagnosis of MS, her dedication to mind-body fitness grew. She became a dedicated yoga and Pilates practitioner and taught her first class a year later.

In 2005, she started a Pilates program at DC’s Flow Yoga Center. Bored with teaching traditional mat work, she started mixing in elements of barre and yoga, created new exercises to add to the mix, choreographed class to upbeat music, and started taking requests. Fuse Pilates was born.

Mariska has a savant-level ability to remember exercises and the knowledge and creativity to design new ones. With thousands of hours of training under her belt, and even more in front of a class teaching, she knows why an exercise will work and how to make it (and you) work better, smarter, or harder. She has written 7 training manuals for the Fuse Method, with additional books in the works.

Her fitness education includes comprehensive Pilates certification through Body Arts and Sciences, International (BASI), where she apprenticed with Karla Adams. As part of this training, she completed a research project on Pilates for multiple sclerosis patients, which she expanded into an in-depth “Pilates for MS” advanced teacher training, incorporating the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into a Pilates program design.

Mariska also has mat certification through Power Pilates, additional apparatus, mat, and anatomy training through Balanced Body Pilates, Peak Pilates, and iM=X Pilates, and a certification in PureBarre. She was one of DC’s first barre instructors, trained under Lotte Berk disciple and PureBarre founder Carrie Rezabek. She taught barre classes at B.Fit Studio from 2006-2011.

Mariska is a PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher, the only third party professional certification in the Pilates field. In terms of speciality training, she is a Pre and Postnatal Pilates Specialist, trained through the Center for Women’s Fitness directly with its founder, Carolyne Anthony, who invited her to join the organization as faculty. She is also a Post Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist, trained through the Pink Ribbon Program. Additionally, she has advanced certificate training in Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies and specialized training in Pilates for athletes and for men.

Since 2010, Mariska has been working in a one-on-one mentorship with renowned Pilates Master Julian Littleford, founding member of the Physical Mind Institute and one of the world’s most innovative and creative Pilates instructors. She also studies regularly with Jennifer Kries, 2nd Generation Master Instructor, who is credited with bringing Pilates to the masses.

Beyond fitness, Mariska received a 2006 holistic health coaching certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (part of Columbia University’s continuing education curriculum) where she studied with Drs. Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Barry Sears, and dozens of other leaders in the alternative health field. A former award-winning writer and creative director, Mariska puts those skills to good use as a frequent guest writer for fitness and lifestyle blogs (as well as creative directing Fuse’s website, marketing materials, and photos). Follow Mariska on Google+.

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