image of brain and stroke
Teacher Mariska Breland   Date 01/08/2020
Location Body Organics
6 Ambleside Street
West End
  Time 12 pm - 7 pm
    Duration 6 hours

Stroke affects people of many ages and in a variety of ways. In this course we look at the classification of stroke, the affects of different types of stroke and exercise options and programming considerations. The course will look at how to differentiate between types of stroke (Ishmic and Haemorrhagic) and recognise the types of brain damage caused by each type of stroke. It will also look closely at a range of symptoms of stroke, such as memory issues, physical and mood issues and anxiety symptoms.

We will look at the effects of stroke on human function and the relationship of this to muscle atrophy, cardiovascular conditioning, stability and balance, and learn to understand the relationship between the motor systems and the musculoskeletal system. The concepts of neurological pathways will be explored and we will look at how we as movement professionals might assist clients in developing new pathways.

This course was developed by Mariska Breland.


Mariska Breland

In 1999, Mariska took her first Pilates class. After a 2002 diagnosis of MS, she became a devoted yoga and Pilates practitioner and taught her first class a year later. Today, Mariska is the lead instructor for Fuse Pilates, a contemporary Pilates method based in Washington, D.C., for which she developed all of the group classes and training programs. Mariska is also the inventor of the Fuse Ladder. She also runs the Neuro Studio together with Meghann Koppele Duffy (

Mariska completed a research project on Pilates for multiple sclerosis patients as part of her comprehensive Pilates certification through Body Arts and Science International (BASI Pilates). She later expanded that research into an in-depth multi-day Pilates for Neurological Conditions advanced teacher training course and incorporated the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into a program designed for people with MS, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological conditions.

As a student of medical neuroscience, Mariska has also designed workshops that focus on how to integrate brain science into exercise programs to enhance performance and improve neurological function. She has worked directly with students with MS, stroke, spinal cord injury, neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral scelrosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease), and Charcot-Marie- Tooth disease. She regularly consults with Pilates teachers around the world as well as neurologists, physical therapists, and psychiatrists to help them work with clients with MS.

Mariska’s education in the movement arts is vast and includes Pilates mat certification through Power Pilates and additional apparatus, mat, and anatomy training through Balanced Body Pilates and Peak Pilates. She is also certified in PureBarre, and maintains a thrice-weekly habit of private Pilates and physical training to maintain her own fitness. From 2010 until his death in 2013, Mariska studied in a one-on-one mentorship with renowned Pilates Master Julian Littleford, founding member of the PhysicalMind Institute and one of the world’s most creative and innovative Pilates instructors.

Mariska is a Pilates Method Alliance (PMA®) Certified Pilates Teacher and Continuing Education Provider. She is a Prenatal 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. In 2013, she completed Pilates Studio Techniques in support of Heroes in Motion, which overviews skills to work with amputees and persons with traumatic brain injury. Additionally, she has advanced certificate training in Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies, the Pathology of Neurodegenerative Diseases, and specialized training in Pilates for athletes and for men.

Early bird special $750 – ends 30 April 2020! Full price $850. 

To secure your spot pay 50% deposit now. To take advantage of the early bird special the full amount needs to be paid by 30 April 2020.

Mariska Breland is visiting Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane when she’s in Australia and teaching the following courses:

Pilates for Neurological Conditions – Melbourne & Sydney

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease for Movement Professionals – Sydney & Brisbane

Understanding Stroke for Movement Professionals – Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne

Fuse Ladder Teacher Training – Brisbane

For full details of courses with dates and times please click on the respective course under the relevant city on the website, or follow link above.

Book more than one course and receive 10% discount. Please contact us at to receive your discount.

Please contact us at  if you have any questions.


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