Moving Well Podcast

The Moving Well Podcast gives you fitness advice for efficient, effective and pain free exercise.
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Now displaying: February, 2018
Feb 22, 2018

In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with Mariska Breland and Meghann Koppele Duffy about Pilates and movement training for neurological conditions.

They discuss:

  • Common neurological conditions such as MS and what to expect when working with these clients
  • The importance of cross training and a taking an interdisciplinary movement approach when training clients with neurological conditions
  • Different types of neuropathy and how to address the symptoms with a movement approach 
  • Vibration and gait training
  • Mariska and Meghann's new project The NeuroRehab Movement

About Mariska Breland

Mariska is the founder of Washington, D.C.-based Fuse Pilates®, an award-winning creative director and writer, and a self-proclaimed “casual student” of medical neuroscience. 

Mariska has been teaching Pilates since 2003, and developed her signature style, Fuse Pilates, as a mat class at a yoga studio in 2005. Over the years, the Fuse Pilates method has evolved to offer unique hybrid mat, tower, reformer, and chair classes, as well as private instruction. Her classes are heavily influenced by her background in Pilates, yoga, and barre, as well as a three-year mentorship with Julian Littleford. Fuse is a proud affiliate of Julian Littleford Pilates and was voted the Best Pilates studio in Washington, D.C. by Washingtonian Magazine

In addition to her passion for creating fun and effective workouts for her group classes, Mariska is passionate about educating teachers and patients about exercise for neurological conditions. Her Pilates for MS™ Teacher Training incorporates the latest research into neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into a Pilates program design for multiple sclerosis, stroke, and other neurological conditions. It is core curriculum for Carolyne Anthony’s Center for Women’s Fitness’ Women’s Health Pilates Certificate. Mariska is a PMA@ Certified Pilates Teacher who completed her comprehensive training through BASI Pilates. She has additional training through Power Pilates, Peak Pilates, Balance Body, and PureBarre, as well as several specialty certifications. She also studies regularly with friend and “spirit guide,” Jennifer Kries

A frequent guest writer for fitness and lifestyle blogs, Mariska is currently writing a book on exercise for neurological conditions, developing additional training manuals for the Fuse method, teaching internationally, running a studio, and spending rare time off with her husband and their dog-child – a Basenji named Zoe.

About Meghann Koppele Duffy
Meghann Koppele is a Kane School, Pilates Method Alliance, and iM=X certified instructor as well as a Certified Strength and Condition Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She has also completed the Functional Anatomy for Movement & Injuries Workshop at Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

Meghann received her undergraduate degree in exercise science from the University of Scranton and a Master's degree in Applied Physiology from Columbia University. After completing her Master's degree, Meghann opened a Pilates studio in Hoboken, New Jersey, where she worked with clients with a variety of conditions including severe back pain, sports injuries, pre- and postnatal, and multiple sclerosis. She also worked with clients who simply wanted better fitness or to achieve their weight loss goals.

After five years running a studio, Meghann decided to sell her business to refocus on her first love of teaching and helping others. Over the past twelve years, Meghann has had the privilege of working closely with many clients with multiple sclerosis (from early stage to advanced), as well as their doctors. After compiling medical research and anecdotal evidence, she created her own Pilates-based protocol to help her MS clients. Realizing that teachers were ill-equipped to work with this population, she joined forces with Kelly Kane and Matt McCulloch via the Kinected Mentor Program to help her further develop her work into a workshop for other teachers, personal trainers, physical therapists, and other rehab specialists.  

 In 2014, Meghann and Mariska Breland decided to combine forces to help educate other movement professionals about Pilates for Multiple Sclerosis. They realized that their programs were entirely complementary (down to the way each teacher believes a session should begin). Meghann then joined the Pilates for Neurological Conditions team and teaches a 3-day Pilates for Neurological Conditions course based off Mariska's book Pilates for MS and Neurological Conditions in addition to teaching her own Advanced Neuro workshop based on the Koppele Method. Since 2014 Meghann has taught her method nationwide and across the world in Australia.  She is also currently working with top hospitals to incorporate her method into the standard treatment plans.   In 2017 Mariska and Meghann joined forces yet again to create the first online movement education tool for people with Neurological Conditions.  They were both sick of Pilates being so cost prohibitive and decided to create the Neuro Rehab Movement to help bring their successful methods to everyone at a fraction of the cost.  The Neuro Rehab Movement will be live in March 2018, sign up  for our newsletter to stay up  to date.  

Meghann is also the Resident Coordinator and Teacher Trainer at the acclaimed Kane School teacher training program at Kinected in NYC.  For more information about getting certified through the Kane School or continuing education at Kinected please email or visit Kinected's website.  
Feb 16, 2018

In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with licensed physical therapist and certified Pilates instructor Jessica Valant about working with pre and postnatal clients in a Pilates and fitness setting.

They cover:

  • What it means when a client has a diagnosis of endometriosis and how to work with them in a Pilates or fitness setting
  • Signs of pelvic floor dysfunction and how to know if you should refer a client out to a medical professional
  • How to stay in your scope of practice when working with pre and postnatal clients and the difference between assessment and diagnosis
  • Exercise recommendations + suggestions for your postnatal clients
  • Precautions to reduce your risk of causing a diastasis recti during pregnancy
  • What you should know when working with someone who's had abdominal surgery
  • What to know about working with a client who is undergoing IVF
  • Signs of prolapse and what to do if you suspect you or your client has one
  • Why Jessica started Momentum Fest and how to be a part of it

About Jessica Valant

Jessica has been a licensed physical therapist and certified Pilates instructor for over 17 years. She first experienced Pilates during a short inservice at her first PT job out of graduate school. She quickly fell in love and realized Pilates could be used as an amazing tool in helping to rehabilitate her patients.

She received her Pilates training through Polestar Pilates and is a Certified Pilates Teacher and continuing education provider under the Pilates Method Alliance. She has a successful fitness DVD series, YouTube channel, women’s health program and online Pilates studio called Jessica Valant Pilates. She was named a top 10 finalist in the 2015 Pilates Anytime Next Instructor Contest and teaches workshops and courses to other health care professionals and Pilates instructors.

Jessica’s love and passion for the Pilates industry led her to co-found Momentum Fest with her husband, Brian. Jessica believes movement should be empowering and exciting and she hopes to help all people in her classes feel the same. To learn more about Jessica visit her website


Feb 9, 2018

In this episode, movement educator and professional classical musician Kayleigh Miller interviews Janet and Nikki about their experience creating the podcast.

They cover:

  • How their perspective of movement and fitness + their own workouts have been influenced by their guest interviews
  • How they reconcile conflicting perspectives when they and their guests don't agree
  • The mission + future of the podcast

About Kayleigh Miller

Kayleigh Miller is a movement educator and professional classical musician who helps people move better so they can be the best version of themselves in all aspects of their lives.

Drawing from the Pilates method, yoga asana, current research, and more, she helps people to strengthen, challenge, and integrate mind, breath, and body.  Although music and movement may seem like disparate modalities, she's found them to be extremely complementary, and is constantly learning to become a better, more embodied musician.

She's passionate about creating connection, using music and movement as means to connect people with the human experience, and  reconnect people to their own bodies and internal experiences.

To connect with Kayleigh visit her websites or