Class #1048

Pole System Tower

45 min - Class


Cara teaches a Tower workout that combines traditional and non-traditional exercises. In this Pole System Class, she starts with a 10-count sit-up and shows you how to reference that sit-up for each exercise that follows. With her 6 limb system and exercises like the Scoop with a Walkout, you will incorporate your entire body into this workout.
What You'll Need: Tower

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OK. So hi. My name is Cara Reeser. And we're going to do a pull system class. I'm teaching Meri and Kristi.

And the way this is set up today for this class is we have the roll down bar on two yellow springs. And I think these are what Kristi was calling the short spring. A shorter arm string. And then I have two push through springs on, because on one of the exercises, we'll use two. I have a red and a blue.

I have that on the next setting. And then we have a set of leg springs on the high setting for legwork. We might change that. So we'll be using the roll down bar, push through bar, and the leg springs. And all right, we're going to get started.

OK. So I'm going to actually have you turn around. And you're going to sit up. We're going to start with 10 count sit ups, just to get our bands on. OK?

So this is a traditional Kathy Grant sit up. The reason I'm doing this is because we're going to refer to this throughout. So I want you to have this little internal map for yourself, because I'm going to say, hey, where's your number one? Where's 10? You need more 10?

So it's just a little way of sort of knowing where we're motivating from in our spine. So we're going to start sitting up. And just visualize this. So at the very lowest part of your spine, your pubic bone is going to be 10. You're going to come up.

Nine, eight around the navel, seven waist line, six below the ribs. Five, we're into the rib cage. Four, below the breasts. Three, at the sternum. Two is really for me the base of the neck.

And one is the very top of the skull and the neck. And that number one is a really important. Actually, we're going to be really referring to one and two and 10 and nine the most. And I call that my six limb perspective. So basically, what we're thinking is that we want to be able to use our arms and legs and our head and tail really animated.

Really specific. So here we go. We'll just warm up with a couple sit ups. You're going to start sitting up right. Take a deep breath in.

And you're going to start going down. And I'll count for you. So you're going to bring 10 down. And then move back, and let your eyes just go down the front wall, like there's a wall here. Eight, seven, six, five-- yeah, it's great.

Four, three-- and then your head. Two and one. Now give me a head lift. One. So just your head.

And then two, also just your head. So not changing the spine yet. So let's really get those heads moving independently. Yeah, Meri, curl your chin in though. There you go.

And then come up three, four, five-- just visualizing that. Eyes up six, seven, eight-- and you're all the way up-- nine, 10. So you could think of that in any plane. In any plane. You could be on all fours.

You know where this is. You know where this is. You could be laying on your side. You know where those points are. So we're just making sure you're really clear where the very top is, and where the really bottom is.

Because that's going to be relevant. Turnaround. Let's start the class. All right. Put your knees over the roll down bar.

So I'm going to teach some traditional exercises, and some exercises that have come along from other sources. So we're going to start with shoulder bridge with the roll down bar. Hip width apart. Feet really planted. Go ahead and just touch in with where your shoulder blades are right away.

And I'd like you draw them slightly in towards one another, so they're supporting your ribcage. Uh-huh. You're going to stand in your feet. And I want you to just traction your heels back toward your sits bone slightly. That's going to bring your hamstrings to the party right away.

Yeah? So go ahead and start with 10, and nine. And curl up all the way up into a bridge. Eight. And don't drag four down when you do that.

Seven, six. Standing in the crown of your head. Five, four. You're up. Three.

Good. You're gonna take a couple deep breaths. Pull those heels back, and keep curling your tail. So you're actually spinning your 10 the whole time. Because gravity's trying to take it down to the basement, is what we call it.

Crown head reaching out. Untuck your chin, Meri. Untuck it. Untuck. Perfect.

And then roll down. Good. Nice. All the way down. Stay strong in your feet.

And we're going to take your hands behind your head. Now we're gonna do what I call flossing the other end. So we're going to start one, two, three, four. You're doing a big curl. I'm gonna ask you actually to bring your elbows narrow, and wrap with your shoulder blades.

Right now you're going to be able to get up higher. Now, keep your pelvis where it was, guys. Right. And then roll back down with that upper body. Mm-mm.

And then keeping your hands where you are, curl your tail and come into a bridge again, curling. So we're just moving both ends of the spine. So we're really animating tail and head. And then, rolling down. And as you roll down, as your sacrum comes down, you can start to lift number one and curl through the head.

There we go. Something like this in Feldenkrais I've done before too, where you're doing both ends like this. Then start to roll down the upper body, and you can go ahead and start curling that tail as the shoulder girdle comes down. Coming back into a bridge, standing in your feet. Last time.

Now, start to amp up the breath. Good. Now roll down. Let the breastbone come away from the chin, Meri. Really move.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good. Good. Curl the upper body. Good.

Go ahead and slide your knees together. Stay up. Wrap your shoulder blades with your anterior serratus, around into your armpits. A little more, Kristi. Yeah.

Now, pull both knees in towards your nose. Inhale. And exhale, take your legs halfway down, opening the front of your hips. Inhale, pull the legs in. Exhale halfway down.

Let the front of your hip open. Nice job. Inhale. Exhale. Wrap your shoulder blades.

Reach your elbows for the ceilings, you guys, so your shoulder blades stay on your ribs. Inhale. Exhale. And then pull those knees as far in as you can, arms down by your side for the hundred. Two, three, four, five, exhale.

Inhale. Now animate your feet for me. Flex and spread your toes. And keep pulling the springs. And keep curling your one.

And don't pull through your shoulder girdles. Because that's not what's making this shape. What's making this shape is your tail and your head. And your arms are simply expressing. Yeah.

Good. So you could pull down a little less. Yeah. But stay up. Last round.

Looks good, Meri. Pull the springs, though. Keep it active. Yeah. And lie back.

Good. I know, right? Take the bar out. And roll up to seated for roll down. Put your feet against the bars.

So we're going to start sitting upright and roll down. Pick your position, shoulder width apart for your hands. Yeah. And we're going to start rolling down from that 10. So straighten your knees.

Animate your feet. And open the front of your hips, so you rotate your pelvis to come down. That's right. Great. Nice.

Bend your elbows and inhale. And exhale. Now notice how much that makes you want to pick up your spine. And don't do that. Just move your arms.

Yeah. So your shoulder blades might change towards the end of the range. But that doesn't mean you have to arch your lumbar spine. Good. One more time.

And then, give me another head left. One and two, and then follow the spring all the way up. And here is where the spring is headed. So you're going to follow that energy. Great.

Roll back down again, inhaling. Good. And make sure it's your hamstrings and not just your low back. So your pelvis is gliding under. Straight arm presses.

Straight arm presses. That's right. Good. Roll those shoulders back a little, Meri. Yeah, that's right.

You too, Kristi. Now what's that spine doing of yours? Oh, boy. Don't pick that up. That's right.

Good. One more time. Yeah. And chin to chest. Roll it up.

Good. Nice. Good. Take your hands to the center. Cross your right hand over your left for laterals.

Rolling down. Same thing. Tail is changing. Take that right arm into a big circle and reach over to the outside of the mat. Take your right leg to meet your left leg.

And I'm gonna ask you actually not to cross. I like to sort of squeeze. Yeah, so it stays engaged. And just take that stretch. And if you have a friend nearby, they can give you a little tug.

But reach through that foot, so you have-- yeah, exactly. Now, you're going to cross this arm under your breast line. And we're going to now do oblique sit ups. So nose is going to curl onto the center of you. And you are going to come onto that diagonal.

Yeah. And lots gets revealed here. You can kind of curl forward a little here. Both of you drop your heads a little. And then roll back on that same trajectory.

So you're coming back down on that diagonal line. Crescent roll. Yeah. That's right. Yeah.

It's good. It's got a nice little spatial challenge to it. So you bisect your sternum with your nose. You curl up. Your going this way, babes.

Yup. So, especially if you have scoliosis, or some sort of curvature in your spine, it's very helpful. It'll give you a lot of information about what your tendencies sided-ness wise are. Good. Take that hand.

Bring it under. Take your leg back, and do side stretch on the other side. Yeah. A little sequence. Clever choreography.

Now you get the love. Take the leg over. And now reach that foot as I pull. And you could give yourself a hook. Big breath in the ribs.

And then come back. Cross the arm under the-- yup. Now, my teacher would always say, you better look where you're going, or you're not going to get there. So you're going on that diagonal. So no, you're not going over there your actually going there.

There you go. And then roll back out. Correct. Yeah. So if you energize your feet more, you guys-- so we have six limbs.

We have hands, feet, head, and tail. Push through the feet, so as you curl up, you can really gesture with your spine. And don't let those springs harass that shoulder blade too much. Yeah, nice. And back down.

Beautiful. And uncross. I mean, put your hand back on the bar. Sorry, and bring your foot over. And then bring your chin to chest, and roll up through center.

Great. Gorgeous. We're going to do a little version of jack knife. You're going to spin around. Or roll over, or you could think of it-- and you're going to lie on your back.

And you're going to take the bar into your hands. And I would hold on the outside of the springs. Yeah. So come away a little bit, I think. You'll have to figure out your position.

And pull your knees into your chest. And then scoot your legs through the bar. Voila. Great. So what I love about this is that--my knees are going to stay straight-- is I'm going to keep my legs in contact with the bar as best I can as I rise up.

So I'm really using my hamstrings to rise. OK. So you're going to press the bar down the back of your legs as you lift up into a jackknife. Woah, don't lean on it. And then exhale, roll down.

Oooooh. You gotta really use those armpit muscles, yeah? And your hamstring. So that's your 10 curl. That's what I call the 10 curl.

So pulling down, breathing, inhale. Up you go. Nice, you guys. Exactly. Exhale down.

Now be careful that you don't tuck your chins in. Meri, keep breathing. Hold in your breath a little bit there. Good. You can keep your legs on this diagonal.

You don't have to go for like, the gold here. I mean, the gold. The inside gold, for sure. That's better, babe. Yeah.

That's right. And roll down. Good. And then bend your knees over that bar. And take your hands to the poles for colitis.

Colitis is what we call this exercise. I don't know. That's kind of a weird name. But I'm not sure where that comes from. But anyway, this is called circus fantasy sometimes.

This is how it goes. I'm not sure what this is called. Somebody will certainly Facebook me and let me know. All right. So you're going to curl your tail.

You're going to come in. Right. Now, you're going to open the front of your hips, keeping your pubic bone where it is. And then, you're going to come slowly floating down. Your feet come to the mat.

You're going to sequence your spine down. Breastbone. Two ribs. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. What do you call this?

Fun. Fun. Good. So, it is fun. And it really takes a lot of hamstrings again.

So we're looking at that same thing. You're curling in. Now what's happening here is you're keeping your pelvis where it is. Animate your feet, guys. Flex your feet more.

Yeah. That's a girl. And then come on down. Right. And if you don't keep this active, you're going to come like boom.

Right? So that's what keeps you lofty and roll down. What do you think, Meri? Feels good? Yeah.

Yeah. Curl your knees in again. Curl your tail. Zip it. That's it.

Open the front of the hip. Reach the legs. Untuck your chin, ladies. OK. Now we reverse it.

I actually would take you out of that V. Because when you do too much V, it makes it hard to open the front of the hip all the way. Yeah? Roll down. Now we reverse it.

Curl up. Now this is the fun part. If you really get that tail, you'll just float. Perfect. Yeah.

And the assist is to put your thumb in the butt crack. [LAUGHING] And it helps to get them up. And roll down. That's how we learned it where I come from. All right.

And curl up again. That's right. And float. Yeah. And so, you know that becomes really relevant in a lot of the later advanced work.

So it's great to get that assist from the springs. One more time. Curl it. Nice. Try not to use your arms too much.

And roll down. Good. And rest. Take your bar out from under your legs. And actually, we're going to take your push, no the roll down bar-- no, we can just leave it.

Go ahead and let go of it. And see where it lands. Yeah. That's just fine. Now, take you right leg spring on.

We're going to start a little bit of leg work now. We're going to start with single leg circles. Actually, let's do the opposite. Right strap on left foot? Yeah, right strap on left foot.

Yeah. And go ahead and make straight arms. And really stand through this supporting foot. So I'm going to ask for a flexed foot, just so you pretend there's really like, a wall there. Yeah?

And we're going to cross over. Inhale. Exhale as you come around. Good. Now, just touch in with the acceleration spring.

So, go again and feel what happens. Because there's a moment-- woah, right? So you get to really tune in. Figure out what that spring does to you at that diagonal, that low diagonal, and control and reach through it. Nice.

Meri, you had a little bit too much foot. Keep using your leg. Inhale around. Exhale. Nice.

Now go the opposite way. Inhale. Exhale around. Nice. Right.

Exactly. It changes. I mean, that's what's so fun about working with the springs. Inhale. Exhale.

Right. And you want your pelvis to stay relatively stable, which you guys are doing really well. Good. And rest. Good.

Change legs. So that circle can be taught with the side spring or the opposite. But that opposite has that interesting pull there, which I like. OK. So here we go again.

Inhale across. Exhale around. Good. Inhale across. Now, really stand-- yeah.

That's right. So it's like you have six limbs, remember? So your tail is actually standing down next your opposite foot. Uh-huh. Yeah, keep that breath moving.

Inhale. Good. Now go the other way. So pretend that you have an ejectable leg coming out of the sits bone of that right leg. And stand with your other foot down here.

And that's going to keep your hips from hiking. That's right, Kristi. That's it. Now you used turn out to get that, which was a good strategy, but you could do it either way. Inhale.

Right here. There's a leg that comes right out here, babe. Yes. The ejectable leg. It's one of my secrets.

Yeah. It's just imagination. And take that off. Good. And actually, go ahead and put both on.

Let's do a double set now. So get both on, and we'll do some classical or traditional leg springs. So take both legs up to the ceiling. We'll start with circles. Now, it's practitioners choice how much turn out you want to use.

So it's up to you guys. Inhale open. Exhale, scoop around. Inhale open. Exhale, scoop around.

I think wider. Inhale. Take it. Go for it. Yeah.

I mean, really go for the wide. Yeah. And then reverse it. Now I want you to pretend while you're doing this that you're laying on a raft, floating right out there in that beautiful sea. And I don't want you to drop your booty into the raft and get all wet there when you do your circles.

That's better, Meri. Do you feel that difference? So you don't leverage down on the mat to do these circles. And then take your legs straight up to the ceiling. Straight leg, walking down, down, down, down, down, down, all the way to the mat.

And up, up. And don't sink that raft. Yeah, don't put your booty in the basement. Down, down, down, down, down, down, down. And up, up, up, up, up, up.

And down, down, down, down, down, down, down. And up, up, up, up, up, up, up. And one more set. And heels together, toes apart. Frogs.

Out and in. Yeah. We'll do them without the circles at first. And then, we'll add the circles. So one more.

And then open wide. And up. Close, bend, and push. Go right along the mat. Yep.

That's nice. So you're sort of staggering so you don't crash into each other. This is not their first rodeo either, so that's good. And good. And then reverse it.

So you open. Now I love this part. Zip, and then really stand in the straps to come home. And don't rock your raft. Up, open, zip, and pull.

One more time. You have a little butt grip in there. You don't need that. Use your hamstrings more. Let me see.

Pull. Right there. Don't grab your ass so much. Yes. Good.

And rest. Yeah, you feel that? You know. And take your straps off. That's good.

Let's put your push through bar up please. So we're going to do a series on the push through bar. OK. So you're we're going to start with side bends. Let's face out this way.

And no, we're going to do kneeling side bends. So you're going to be up. You know, the thing about the push through bar is that before it goes down, it actually comes closer to you, doesn't it? You feel that? So we shouldn't pretend that's not the case.

Because sometimes I think people are like, oh, I gotta push it down. But you've got to adjust a little. You let it come towards you. Instead of trying to-- because then your shoulder's going to change this way. So we're going to start here.

You're going to make sure you're the right distance. Sit the other arm up, looking straight out. Get your alignment, head and tail. Standing on your legs. And then you're going to let that bar come closer to you as you push.

And then when you get on top of it, stretch over it, and use your spine to take that spring open. Yeah. And then, coming back to center. That looks great, you guys. Now I'm looking and making sure your scapulas aren't crashing towards your spines.

so they're going to stay wide. Pull with your arm. Under arm pit muscles, Meri. That's it. Now this part, let your head start, Meri.

And then, you guys, let the bending of your spine be what moves that spring. And that's something you can think about in a lot of the pilates works. What opens and closes those coils? And then, you're going to come back up changing that. Yeah.

And again. Over. That looks great. Yeah, Meri, you can let your head be part of that gesture. Kind of like a modern dance move there.

That's good. Your guy's booties want to stick out, so you may want to keep curling your tail a little bit and come back up. Good. And then take both hands onto the bar, kneeling forward for cat. OK.

So your tail is standing straight down. So if you had an ejectable leg coming out of your tail, it would be standing in between your two knees. Yeah? And you're really anchoring here. So as you pull down with your armpit muscles, and you curl your head, you're going to roll into a cat position, but you're going to keep your tail standing between your legs.

Now reverse. Stick the fannies out. Stay there. Stick the butt out. Go 10 into extension nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, head up.

Look out, Meri. Way out. Yeah. Go for it. Now coming back in, curl the tail first.

And let the head finish. So you guys did the sit up, so you know how to go with that. All the way up. And then we'll finish by taking a little extension. Press the bar, and bring the chest through this way.

There's lots of ways, but that's just the way I picked today. I'm not against any of the ways. And push down. Curl. I'm not.

All movement is good movement in my opinion. Yeah. And then stick your booty out. Now really [HISSING]. That's a cat.

So be a real cat. Stick it out. Don't be like, shy. And then press your shins down and start with your tail, guys. Bring those springs back in.

Don't push up through here so much, sweetheart. You know what I mean? I know, I'll explain. Good. It's good.

OK. Just pause one second. Little teaching moment. Let me have this. Yeah.

So let's see. You're down. You're standing in your tail. You go down. You reverse the spine, right?

Now on the way back, you guys want to push up through your upper back. And watch my tail here. I'll give it up. All right. So you want it to curl from there.

So I'm here. I'm going to use that to change the spring. And then that will follow through. So it's exactly how you did the sit up. And then this last gesture goes armpits, and then you can really-- and I'm not afraid to take a real stretch in my neck.

So let that go. Yeah? Yeah. Good. Let's try that again.

Two more cats. There we are. So breathe. And transform. Be a cat.

Don't push. Shins down, ladies. Shins down. Now really get it out there. Stick those booties out.

Get those chins high. That's it. Now reverse from the tail. Curl. Yes, Kristi.

Much better. All the way up. Drop your head at the bottom, Meri. All the way up. You guys are gorgeous.

Good. And then take that back bend and give me a real big extension. Yeah. Don't be afraid. Yeah.

And then come back to center. OK. You know, it's something we have to learn how to do, is extend our cervical spine without collapsing. That's eccentric control of these neck flexors. So you have to just watch that your don't collapse.

So only go-- exactly. Straight arms. Go as far as you-- yeah. [INAUDIBLE] I know. It's good though.

Because if the terodactyl is coming down to eat you, you got to see it and run. Let's come back facing this way. All my students for whom I teach a class are laughing, because we talk about running from the lion. Anyway, it's a long story. Here we go.

Pull down side bends. Good. Inhaling. And then you could stand in that tail leg to come back up right. To send it right down to the mat.

Do you understand that feeling? Yeah, so it's like, I'm going to go over with this, and the bar is going to come with me. I'm gonna open the spring, and I'm just going to give this little animated picture here. So you're going to send that tail in straight down, and that's going to bring you back up to center. So you're really standing on three legs here.

Yeah, beautiful. That way, when you take a leg away, it's not so devastating. Or two legs away, for that matter. Good. Yeah.

And back up. Very nice. So I want you to slide under for teaser, please. Good. So let's go ahead and straighten your legs.

And stand on your feet, whether they're pointed or flexed. Make sure there's a [INAUDIBLE]. So you have six limbs going on here, right? Your have your head. Your tail is with your legs.

I'm going to ask you guys to bend your elbows narrow. I'm interested in you staying connected. Don't pull your shoulder blades down your back, however. Go ahead and come back out for a second. Right.

So bend narrow without pulling down. So we're going to wrap. There you go. Pull through. That's it Kristi, you got it.

And push all the way back. You could do it either way. But I'm interested in this power of the serratus here. And you're going to come back. Good.

And now, lift your chin to your chest. Float those legs up. Curl 10, curl one, curl two, curl nine. Nice ladies. Straight knees, Meri.

Good. Now let me see you roll down from 10. Don't drag your arms. 10. So you're going to open that spring from down here.

That's what's cool. Is you put this spring in your body. You don't just pull the spring with your shoulder blades. The spring becomes part of your whole body. And again up.

So you're going to close that spring with your body, not your arms. Yes. Lovely. Great. So let's try bringing our legs really close to our nipples without falling backwards.

And back away. Good. And close. Right. That takes a lot of strength.

Yeah. And up. Beautiful. And roll down. Tail first.

So open those springs, not by falling out of your shoulder blades, but by rotating your pelvis and changing your spine. Open the front of your hips to finish. That's great. We're going to push the bar through. Go onto your bellies for swan.

And let's do both versions of swan. Let's do the straight arm swan. It's origin, I do not know. And then, we'll do the bent arm swan that I learned from Kathy also. So the straight arm swan-- actually, we did both of these in her studio.

Legs are together. Now your tail limb, ladies, will be curling towards the mat and towards your heels as you come up for your swan. So the front of your hips can open. The front of the hips have to open on your swan. So your going to lift your eyes first for head lift one and two in extension.

Good. Here we go. Keep your arms straight. Come on up. Keep watching that wall.

Keep your elbows straight, Kristi. Now let your tails rotate, guys. Nice. Get all the way up. Good.

Zip your zipper. Get up. Get up, ladies. And then slowly back down. I think we cheat extension in pilates, you know?

We think there's like, a place they're going to be like, ah, take a picture. But really, you should keep moving. Yeah? Go ahead. Up.

That's it. That's it. Gorgeous. Yeah. You're right on the edge of losing control of that.

That's good. That's good. You know, I mean, it's much better to take a risk then be all like, I don't know. That's what I think at least. Obviously.

Now let's do turn your head to the right. We'll do the bigger swan with the bent elbows. Right. So this is taught various ways. I'm going to actually teach us to bend our elbows.

Let your shoulder blades slide towards each other. Then you're going to bring the forehead to center. Turn your head. Now I want you to start, eyes up. Yeah.

I want to go up with the gesture. Yes, Meri, go. Stretch it out. Gorgeous. Yes.

Straighten your arms, Meri. Yeah. Are your tails curled? Yeah? And then you're going to roll down.

And then it'll be revealed too, I think, when you need to bend your elbows. And turn your head the other way. So some people come up through this with the head down. I personally think that we're not like, learning to lift our heads well. So I'm interested in you doing that right now.

OK? So you're going to come through, and you're going to turn your head to the forehead. And this is what Kathy called number 14 head. So you lift that head. You reach those arms up.

Gorgeous. Look up the wall, guys. Now let's just make it a little harder. Stay up there. Keep it all together.

A little less. Bend your journeys. King Cobra. Oh, yeah. There's the party in the backyard.

Nice. And straighten your legs. And come on down. That's right. Good.

Transition out of that, please. You're going to put your feet on the bar. Yeah. But you're going to push it all the way through. So it's going to start down with your feet on it.

So this is a little series that I teach with the shoulder bridge in pull classes that I just think is really nice, bringing a little bit of the mat work in. So you're going to have your feet together. Now, these are metal and slippery. So you have to-- [INAUDIBLE] Yes. But for our finale, we couldn't have the grip on, so I chose.

So be cautious. I'd put more of your foot rather than less of your foot on there. Yeah? Arms over your head. Roll up.

Inhale. Lift your arms up. Push into the bar to curl up into your roll up. Keep standing in your feet. Here's your six limb prospective.

Head, hands, feet, tail, roll back, inhale. Push through the bar, guys. Stand in that tail. Nice. And arms back.

Gorgeous. No strap. Inhale up. Some people will be pleasantly surprised that they can do this. Because you have resistance.

That's good, babe. Super good. If you have to cheat a little, it's a very good strategy for survival-- and roll back-- in my opinion. Yeah, one more time. Isn't that nice feedback, though, yeah?

So you can really reach, and you can keep the front of the hip open. And again up. Because you know where you have your little spot that gets to be flat? You're in that challenge moment there. That's right.

So now, just put your hands on the bars, and bend your knees into your chest a little. Then straighten your legs, exhale, and stretch your hamstrings this way. That's right. I caught you. Inhale.

Bend just a little. And then exhale. If you do this at home, it might be a little more difficult. Apparently, these are not tight hamstrings here. Bend your knees.

Inhale. And exhale. Good. Now stack your spine and roll back again. Stack your spine, look at the wall, and roll back again.

When you get down there, take your right knee into your chest. Yes. And take your ankle and stretch your hamstring. Just one big stretch. That's it.

However you want. Head up or down. I like both actually. Now bring the leg to 45. And tree, walk up.

Walk up. Use your hands. Yeah. Look up the wall. Because you'll never get up.

And then change your pelvis to go down, babe. So you got to do 10. See, remember how you like this? None of that. Use your hamstrings.

It's the same cat butt. Close, Meri. It's a little slung back in your upper ribs, I think. Pick them up more. Nipples high.

And move your pelvis. Nice. And now, walk up again. We're getting in the zone here. Slowing down too much.

Go on up. Good. Now take your arms out to the side. Now lift your chest wall high and roll down. You've got it.

You've got it. Ooooh, it's like molasses. All right. Take your arms down buy your side, and lift that leg up. And then cross that leg all the way over.

Just do one tick tock on each side. All the way. Suspend it there for a second. Yeah. And then pick it back up.

And then take it all the way out. And pick it back up. Good. Put the foot down and change sides. Hamstring stretch other side.

You know, I like to sometimes-- go ahead and grab your ankle. Lift your head, and really pull that in. Now lie back, straightening your arms, and you'll be in the splits. It's like a surprise. And then take your leg a little at lower.

And then walk up for tree. So you guys have to look where you're going. You have to go in the direction you're going to. So if you do this, you're going backwards. So you can't get up.

So go up. And walk down. It's funny how we do that. Because we have a shape in mind. But it's really about movement through space.

So we want to actually go through space. So get up and keep going up. It's not that hard. Go on up. I know.

I know. We're human, so we make things more difficult. Unlike dogs, who make things easier for themselves. There we go. Nice.

Take the leg up. Arms down by your side. Oh, did you go up one more time, and then you had your arms out? Yeah, one more time. Sorry, my bad.

Arms out. Now, get your chest high, ballerina style, and move your pelvises. So open the front of your hip, not by tucking your ribs in, Meri, but by moving your pelvis under. So you got connect here. Oh, I don't feel it.

Oh, yeah. I know. Put your foot down. Good. Tick tock.

They're very good. They're reminding me. I know. I love that. And up.

You could do single leg circles here too, but we did them. So I'm just showing how that standing leg really knows information. Now bring this foot down. Scoot down for shoulder bridge, last part of the series. So, shoulder bridge, you're going to come all the way up.

So your legs are straight. And I think in general, you're at least flush to the bar. Let's get that leg spring out of the way. All right. Go ahead and get a little closer, guys.

Yep. That's good. All right. Here we go. Straight legs.

Bend your knees slowly. Knees come in. Now you got to control this. This a heavy spring, and it's set pretty high. Yeah.

Untuck your chin, Meri. Straighten your knees, curl your tail. Start coming up. Push that bar up. That's gorgeous.

You want to do battements, which are kicks in ballet. Kick forward. And down. Other side. And kick.

And down. Other side. And kick. And down. Other side.

And kick. And roll down all the way. Good. Bend your knees. Press through.

And one more time. Good. Let me come support you. Yeah. I took the thing off.

Let me put your foot on there. There we go. Bend your knee in. Because we're going to do something that I thought it would be dangerous. But you could put a sticky pad.

All these bars are different. Mine are wood, so they don't slip as much. And it's more slippery in California than Colorado. Yeah, it is. We don't have any humidity.

Nothing gets wet. There we go. And battement. And battement. And this is actually a really useful spot, yeah?

Yeah. She's there. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And roll down. Yeah.

Good job. Good. So you can take your knees into your chest. I have your bars. Go ahead.

Beautiful. All right. So the last thing we're going to do in our class is called scoop. And some people call it water skier. And then I'm going to add Kathy Grant's walk out into it to squat.

So I'm going to demo this on your mat, Meri. I'm going to put two springs. It's really important that there are two springs. Super important. OK?

So you're going to start. I have my balls of my feet planted and my heels planted. I'm going to go through the whole series. So I'm going to curl my tail. For some people, their tails will have to lift before their head's down, like you will, because you're tall.

I'm so little, I could just get down there. And then, I'm going to come into a nice backbend, shoulders back, bend the knees to the top of the head. And chin and roll. You might want to put those up higher. I'm OK, though.

I'm OK. Go ahead and put them up. Yeah. That makes it easier, right? It's going to make it easier.

Yeah. And then I'll show the walk out. Yeah, let's give it to them. So for the walk out particularly, so then I'm going to roll. And then Kathy put this in.

So you're just going to walk back until you're centered. Yeah? It's super fun. And then we'll just do some nice squats. Double legs and single legs.

All right. So we're doing the scoop with the walk out, which is something that Kathy added to this. Balls of the feet on the bars. Heels off the bar. So your foot, you're going to take a look at the foot position.

Very important. Two springs. Super important. Now, everything we worked on in class, that tail curl, those hamstrings drawing-- so curling the tail, rolling back. Now this is what we-- you're going to lie all the way on your back-- what we started class with was a shoulder bridge.

So you're going to do a shoulder bridge here, and you're going to make sure your pubic bone is high. Yes, ladies. Now straighten your legs and come into an extension. That's a girl. Now bend your knees, tap your head, and straighten your legs.

Bend your knees, tap your head. Now, chin to chest, and curl through your whole spine, to come down. It's of like break dancing I think. Yeah. Right?

Chin to chest. Roll up. And again, roll back. I don't see this exercise taught as much as I'd like to see it. You know, it's really pretty easy.

It's a lot of support. And up. Good. And touchdown. And then straighten your legs all the way, Meri.

Yeah. That gives you more thoracic extension. And plie. And straighten. Now both of you start walking backwards.

Just walk until you're upright. Look at the wall. Look where you're going. Look where you're going. Look where you're going.

Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk.

Hey. So we articulate up too? No, you just walk. You just do it. You just do it.

Yeah. Some things, you just can't think about, right? Scoot back a little bit, and squat down. Yeah. And up.

Now I wouldn't squat with feet together. And down. Now Kathy used to always say, don't go to the bathroom here, right? So you've got to-- no, curl your tail a little bit. Yeah.

Now take your right leg out. Straight out. This horribly difficult, so I apologize in advance. And down. And then use that ejectable leg to get up.

[LAUGHING] Oh, I know. I didn't demonstrate that one, you noticed. And one more time. I know. Let me help you.

Elevator. Elevator, please. And switch legs. So this is where you can think about that ejectable leg. So take your own leg up.

I'm with you, sister. Don't go to low. Here we go. Plie just to there. Now push through the sit bone.

Yes. Yeah, you don't always have to go all the way. You have to do it 17,001 times before you can be perfect. So don't worry. And rest.

All right. Nice. We're finished.


3 people like this.
Cara is soo funny and such a great teacher. I have had the pleasure of working with her many times since 2001 and its always a learning experience.
Paola Maruca
beautiful class, superb teaching.....more, more more.....
1 person likes this.
1 person likes this.
Great class, very cool!
lovely class enjoyed hearing you teach looking forward to seeing you when you get to london
Emma Jane
Great Class Cara! Liked it a lot. Thank you!
Glad you all are enjoying it. I watched it myself and thought wow those girls look fantastic! Impressive Ladies!!!
Always a pleasure to ride the rodeo with Cara. Thanks! btw we called it "colitis" as well has something to do with the massage of the colon ;)
Just as wonderful the second time around! Thank you Cara!
1 person likes this.
Yowza...studied first - will attempt tomorrow. Love the 6 limbs concept. The whole session looks like, " man, this feels good!" Colitis...i learned as rolling stomach massage. Thank you 17,001 times!
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