Class #1174

Magic Circle Variations

30 min - Class


In this Mat workout with Jillian Hessel, you will find length in your body while you are strengthening your body. She adds the Magic Circle to exercises like Swan Dive, Open Leg Rocker, Side Kicks, and more. Jillian also adds a few of the nuances she learned from Carola Trier.
What You'll Need: Mat, Magic Circle

About This Video

Aug 29, 2013
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So here we are. We're going to do a magic circle mat class and we're going to begin with the classic Palladia sit to the Mat. So I'm going to come up here and you're going to cross one leg in front or in back. The classic is in front. I've had knee surgery, so I'm going to do a ballerina. Sit with the leg in back. So cross one leg either in front or in back. Squeeze your legs together like you have one leg. Extend your circle out.

Take a big breath in and lengthen through the crown of your head as you slowly come to the mat and sit nicely. Very good everyone. All right, so now position yourself with your feet hip width apart and you're going to hold this circle like a steering wheel. We all know what that feels like and walk your feet far enough away that you can really lengthen up out of the hips, sitting very tall and we're going to do a slow roll down to the mat. Take a breath in and exhale. Curl the sitting bones under and roll the spine slowly to the mat.

And bring that circle back over your head. Inhale and bring it back up. Exhale, tilt the pubic bone. Rule yourself back up. Written Nice, gentle, roll-up. See shape here. And then release your hips and focus the eyes straight ahead. Inhale again. Exhale, gentle.

Squeeze on the circle so that the shoulder blades are placed well on the back. Imprinting the spine and release. Inhale and bring it back up. Exhale, scoop and roll up tall. Focus those eyes. Inhale. Exhale. Curl the sitting bones under Ian Printing one vertebrae at a time and release.

Inhale and exhale, curling back up and sit tall. And one more. Exhale rolling down and release and bring it back up. And exhale, roll back up. And one more roll to stay down. Sit up tall last time and roll it.

Curl the tailbone under. Release the ring behind you and bring it back up. And let's take the circle. Now bring your knees to your chest and place your feet inside. So you're gonna press out for breathing 100 today.

You can slightly outwardly rotate the lay, but keep that pressure out on the handles. And we're going to take a breath in and roll up on an exhale. Reaching the hands alongside the body. Long. Exhale all your air out and breathe in for five into four. Five, four, five, two [inaudible]. Sure.

Three [inaudible]. Sure. For [inaudible] sh five. Okay. Okay. Into three, four, five, six out, four, five, six into three, four, seven out to five. Six, seven into four. Five, eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, two, three, four, five, nine, two, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine into four, five, 10, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Take a breath in, bend your knees, push out on the circle.

You can keep it and just squeeze your knees into your chest, Bri. And then take the circle straight up in the air. Again, hands down at your sides. And we're going to do a rollover. So take a breath in. Exhale all the air out. Turn your feet parallel, press the shins out, and we're going to inhale to rule over. Flex the feet. Exhale, roll down. Imprint the spine to the mat. Point the feet, lower the legs, and inhale over.

Exhale, rolling down, lengthening the hips away from the ribs, point the feet and inhale over. Exhale, reaching and point the feet over. Flex and down. Two more. Inhale over. Exhale, roll Dan, and one more. Inhale over flex. Exhale, rule down and bend your knees. Push the shins out and gave yourself a squeeze. Take the circle now and remove it and place the feet on the mat.

Press together. Let's bring one leg in and press the metatarsal against the pad. Extend the other leg out and flex that foot. Now just raise your head for a minute and check that that leg that's extended is right out under your hip and really pull back on the pinky toe so that you're stabilizing that supporting side of the Pelvis, holding the other pad in your hands. Take a breath in and push that metatarsal and lead with the heel and stretch your hamstring. And again, inhale and exhale, stabilizing that imaginary belt across the pelvis.

Inhale and exhale. Elbows are open. Shoulders drop down and keep it straight there. Take a breath and we're going to inhale that leg across the body. Exhale, small leg circle one inhale, exhale to use that XL to bring the leg home. Three inhale, exhale, four. Inhale, exhale, five, reverse outside. Inhale, exhale, five and four and three and two, [inaudible] and one. Give yourself one last really good hamstring stretch. Pulling that hip down into the socket, reaching the heel to the ceiling and bend that knee and change legs.

Extend the other leg out. Once again, raise your head up. Check that that leg is reaching right out of the hip. Pull back on the pinkie toe. Bend that working leg. Just a little inhale. Exhale, stirrer at church and again, inhale, stabilizing that pelvic belt and again, inhale, exhale, one more and hold it straight. Little leg circle across the body. Ready. Inhale. Exhale, five and four and three and two.

Stabilize the supporting hip on reversed. Inhale, exhale what? And two and three and four and five. One last good stretch there. Really flexing the foot, reaching through the back of the leg, drawing the hip down into the socket, GRI and bend that knee and remove the circle. Just place it to your side for a moment. We're going to roll like a ball. Both knees are into the chest. Take a breath in. Exhale. Raise your head up and down. Roll up to seated. Move to the front of your mat.

Make a tight ball shape. Wrap their hands around the ankles and balance on the toe tips. Remove the toes. Now we're going to do Corolla tree years breathing for rolling like a ball. It's a little bit different. It looks in, sounds like this.

We're gonna take a quick in-breath in the balance point and a two part. Exhale on the roll. So we were all backing up. Do your best not to crash the feet to the floor. Yes, let's do eight of these. All right, take a breath in and roll back one and inhale. Exhale no. Next to the floor, four and five and six.

Two more. Seven and eight. Hauled your balance there. Take a breath in. Exhale. Put your feet down. Scoot your hands to the middle of the Mat. Scoot your tush between the hands and you're going to grab your circle as you down. And we're just going to do a variation of single leg straight, a straight stretch with the circle. So extend both legs to the ceiling and there'll be pointed your hands. By the way, I didn't mention, but we ideally want the fingers pressed together.

The shoulder girdle is pressed down. A little gentle squeeze, but keep the finger grip open if you can't, don't grab on for dear life. Yes. All right, so now we're going to release one leg and reach the circle across to the raised leg. So there's a no bleak stretch there. Inhale to switch. Exhale to three h four sheesh. Hi Sh sh seven last set. Cool.

Sorry that was the last two sets, wasn't it? Okay. So now let's place the circle between the ankles, not on the outside and we'll do a double leg stretch. So make sure your pads are opposite one another cause you're going to be extending your legs out and pulling in and you don't want that circle to crash onto your face. Roll your head up and grip the outside of the shins, right where the circle is. And we're going to hold one thumb with the other, like we're learning to dive. This is the grip, so this is from Corolla. Also. We inhale and extend on the in breath. Open your arms wide, holding the breath to second exhale, pull it all back together. Inhale, stretch one circle wide to exhale. Pull it together.

Three inhale, stretch one, circle wide to pull it together. Three, keep the shoulders down. Any hail one, circle wide to exhale. Pull it together. Three, one, one. Inhale, one circle wide to exhale. Pull it together. Three and we're going to roll up with the circle there and take the circle. We're going to go into a spine stretch, so the legs are going to be the width of your mat. Place the circle so that the pads are really one on top of the other. Palms facing down point. Feet. Take a breath in.

As we exhale, we're going to curl the sit bones under into a c shape and press down. One, two, three, point the feet, roll up, focus the eyes. Inhale, exhale, flex and press to three point. Inhale, stretch, annex, heel flex. Two, three. Inhale, stretch. Two more. Exhale, press two, three. Inhale, stretch. Last time. Flex to three point and release. Very nice. Everyone looks extremely elegant. Okay, so we'll just do an open leg rocker. Now Scoot your tush forward.

Take your circle. I think we better put it on the outside for this. I don't want any crashing while we're sweating. So point the toes and extend your legs a little bit. Turned out good and hold there. You can. If you need you, you can hold the circle. And let's do an open leg rocker t same breath as we did with rolling like a ball. So if it's an inbreath two-part exhale, roll back and roll up and roll back and roll up high.

I'm falling. And three maybe I should watch you guys. There we go. And four and five and up. Remember not your roll onto your neck and and seven. No, that six. Sorry. Add two more back and, and what was that? I didn't see.

Hold your balance on your last one. Hold, hold, hold. Lift the chest. Lift the breastbone. Good and relax. That was an easy, was it alright over? So you can face into one another and we're going to do a swan dive, but it's very slow and controlled with the circle, so you're going to place the circle one pad vertical over the other. The legs can be a little bit apart if that's comfortable for you or if you really want to challenge yourself legs together and you're going to hold like a steering wheel the outside of the circle. Okay, so the elbows will be just slightly banged, doesn't work with sweaty hands.

Does it lengthen the head out as if this is your crown and your crowning yourself and the elbows are out. But we're going to press the shoulders down and inhale, lift the front body up, lift the ribcage off the mat as best you can. Exhale, dive and lift those legs and press the circle down. Inhale, lift and exhale, dive and lift the legs, seesaw. Action. Inhale, lift. Exhale, dive. Lift the legs. Inhale, lift, exhale, dive. Lift the legs little quicker. Inhale up. Exhale, down and up and down and down.

Two more. Up and down, up and down, and place your circle aside for a moment. We've learned to reward. Bring your hands under your shoulders, press up. Inhale, exhale. Sit your buttocks back towards your heels. And here for a moment, let's do two cycles of deep lateral breathing. So you're in rest position and the ribs are going to expand sideways on the inhale. And as you exhale, curl the sitting bones under, towards the heels, round the back. And once again, inhale and exhale. And one last time. Inhale.

Okay. And exhale. And now we're gonna work our way back onto the abdominals. Back onto the belly. Grab your circle and you're going to put it between your ankles. This is the hardest part of the class.

And I'm going to do a double leg kick here. So we're going to make sure your pads are even, your feet are flexed and you're going to press that pubic bone down. Work to extend at the hip. Okay. And we're not going to have the hands behind the back. So fold your hands under your forehead. Press those hips up. I'm sorry. The uh, feet up.

The hips are pressing down and press inhale, two, three, exhale, point. Lift up and kick to three mm. Point. Lift up and [inaudible] kick two three point lift up. Two more. Kik, two three n point lift up last time. Kick two, three. [inaudible]. Lift up. Anyone cramping almost? Yes. All right, so now let's turn sideways.

You can stay as you are and you'll each be on opposite sides so it doesn't matter. And we're going to do a side leg kick. So aligning yourself for side leg kick. You want to have your elbow on the bottom, shoulder and hips level with the back edge of your mat and the feet are going to pike forward parallel six position, but to the front edge so everything is aligned. If I put a skewer from the top hip through the bottom, the hips would be level. You're going to use your circle here.

This is a little odd for me with the a bed that I'm raised on, but use the circle here in front with the elbow pressed down, elbow out in the shoulder. Press down. Okay, everyone all right up on the neck if you're uncomfortable. Yes. Make a little pillow. People at home. If you have a neck issue, bring the head flat. So the purpose here, you're going to notice that the hips and shoulders want to move. This is going to help you stabilize a little bit. So let's lift that top leg. We'll do double pulse on the inhale forwards and then point lift that bottom ribs. So there's some ribbon on the back extension. Okay, let's do eight. Ready? Inhale to exhale to lift two and to the back three.

Keep that leg level front to back and for reaching out of the hip lift and five lift and six and lift and seven and lift and a and lift hold. Bring it together and down. Okay. Right now before we go to the other side, let's bend. Oh, there's the train. Move your bottom leg right underneath you soon. Now you're straight and the top leg is like. So again, pressing down on that circle and lift the bottom leg. Flex point and lower add flex point on low and three point lower and four point and lower stay pointed. Lifted, pointed, flex reach out to lower and point, flex and lower.

Good and point. Flex and Lower and point. Flex. Hold it there. Little baby circles. Eight times. Ready? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Reverse two, three, four, five, six, seven and a n. Relax. Okay, so we're sitting up to go to the other side. Okay, so align your elbow, shoulder, hip with the back edge of your mat. Stack the feet in parallel and use your circle.

Adjust your neck as needed. Elbow is out from the body. Shoulder is pressed down. Good. And lift that top leg, swinging it forward eight times. Inhale to exhale. Lift the writ to gentle pressure down on that ring. Three. Keep it fertile. One pad over the other four and reaching out of the hip. Five.

Your leg is going too high to the back. Juliet. Yes. And six rich imprint. Chin lift and eight and lift. Good. Okay. Cross it over. Boom. Move the bottom leg directly underneath your hip and lifting it.

What did we do first? Flex. Yes. Lift. Flex point. Lower and flex point. Reach out and three point lower and four point. Laura, how many did we do? Oh, so we have to lift it pointed now. Lift point. Flex. Thank you for counting. I appreciate it.

And three and four, flex it. Keep it up there. Little circles. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Wevorce two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, eight. Very nice everyone. All right. Okay, sit up. So now let's place the circle aside and swing the legs to the outside and sit on one hip. We're going to do a mermaid. Now the idea for mermaid, if you remember on the reformer is we want to sit stacked if possible, knee over knee, which is really hard for me cause I'm short waisted, but we want to not give into collapsing sideways. So pretend you're in a little narrow cylinder. Prop yourself up.

Pull that marionette string up through the top of the head. Hold onto the ankle for a moment. Lift that free arm and pull yourself all the way over and see if can drape your elbow right over the crown of your head. Really stretch, stretch, stretch. Lift that arm up now long and we're going to reach it to the Mat and bend at the elbow and have a nice long reach in the opposite direction. Reach through the crown of the head and lift up. Inhale and exhale.

Place that elbow on the head and Ben and lift up and all the way over. Nice Arc of movement and one more lift up and over. Now this time last one, we're gonna Roll into our mermaid show. Elbow down and open and lift up and stretch away and come back up through center. And you're going to switch sides around. Flip your tail and bring it back under. Good.

Hold that ankle tight. Lift up the free arm. Pull the elbow up and over rib lifts away from the hip to rip your head and lift up and place the elbow and reach over and lift up long on both sides of the ribs and oh over stretch up. Inhale and exhale and one more. Lift up and stretch all the way over. Elbow on the top of the head. If you can roll yourself into the show, elbow down, open it back up, stretch that arm, lift all the way up and flip your tail once again and come face down and let's push back once again into rest position all the way back. Buttocks to heels.

Breathing, two cycles of breath. Again, deep lateral breathing, stretching out the back with the breathing. As you exhale, imagine you have a fishing reel at your hips and you're curling it under. Rounding back, stretching the vertebra apart and roll your forehead from side to side. Is he proceeding? No. Release the neck and then curl your tailbone under. Roll up to a kneeling position and [inaudible] take your circle. Once again, we're just a new, do a little bit. Sit to the thighs and to thigh stretch, so take your steering wheel, extend your fingertips and align yourself so your buttocks aren't sticking out behind you. Press the shoulders down. Squeeze in just a little on the circle. We're going to do a break at the hips, keeping the spine vertical and sit to within a half an inch of your heels.

Inhale and exhale. Come right back up to that kneeling position. And again, inhale, don't sit, but almost sit and exhale, come up and inhale and exhale. And one more. Inhale and exhale. Adding on. We're going to inhale to sit. Exhale, posterior tilt. Roll the hips under and release the hips and come back up again.

Inhale, sit. FCL contract. Inhale, release to neutral. Exhale up. Two more. Inhale, sit. Exhale, contract. Inhale, release. Exhale, sit. Last time. Inhale, exhale, inhale, and exhale into the thigh stretch. So keeping that lift really work right at the junction where the buttocks meet the leg. Squeeze the ring a little bit and lean back on an inhale. Exhale, use the ring to pull you up.

Inhale and exhale. Those of you who are bold and brave in how back, let the head go. Bring the head back in alignment and Ah, and inhale. Had back back in alignment and up and sit down and release. Let's place the ring down. Back to all fours here.

Tuck the toes under and let's arch the back. Release everything. Draw the chest forward and round it under. Exhale. Inhale, arch. Exhale. Under inhale, arch. Snuggle your toes and get all five toes in connection with the mat.

Go ahead and stand up in an inverted v what we call up stretch in PyLadies down dog and yoga. Never been able to figure that one out and tread your feet. Go ahead and look at your heels as you tread. Lift one heel high and then the other marched out. Stretch calves breathing. Wrap the shoulders away from the ears and then press both heels down Bree and either walk your fingers to your toes or your toes to your fingers into a forward fold.

Widen your feet till that hips with apart toes facing parallel and bend both knees so that your ribs are sitting right on your thighs. You're going to reach your right arm around the outside of your right leg and grab through to the front of your left ankle. Reach your left arm around your left leg and cross those arms. Reach forward to the front of your right ankle with your left hand. Take a big breath. As you exhale, send your sitz bones to the ceiling and work to straighten.

Folding yourself in half. Stay there and breathe very wide and deep into the back of the ribs. Inhaling and exhaling. Notice what the breath does in this position. Inhale wide and deep into the back of the ribs and exhale. Let your head be free. One more breath.

Slowly unwind your hands. Stay in the forward fold. Just hang there for a moment like a rag doll. Shake your head out, bre. Shake your body out like a rag doll and then bend the knees just a little so they're tracking right over the toes and curl your tailbone under. Your fishing wheel is reeling in as you roll spine stretch recovery back up to standing one vertebrae at a time. The knees are still bent and as you arrive and unfold your chin off your chest straight and your knees and do a quarter turn to face me, I'm going to step down because I can't balance on that vinyl.

Go ahead and draw your feet together now into six position. Put magnets between your inner thighs. Feel equal weight on the big toe, little toe and heel of each foot and three-way initially front to back, side to side, bottom to top. Let's turn the palms out. Inhale, reach the arms up and exhale. Press the arms down and inhale. Reach up and press down. One more. Stay up there. Inhale. Interlace your fingers. Exhale, stretch the sides of the body.

One More Little Mermaid. Take a big breath. Lean over towards the ocean. Bend your knee that you're leaning towards. Stretch the ribs away from the hips on that open side. Come up through center. Go the other way and stretch up through center. Focus your eyes straight ahead. Bring the hands just to the side. There's a of energy here, stretching sideways and vertical, and you're going to squeeze everything together.

Press down and see if you can rise and hold your balance breathing. Stay as tall as you are on your tippy toes. Slowly lower your heels to the mat and that's class. Thank you very much.


1 person likes this.
Amazing when an instructor totally sticks to the method and adds her own creativity Love It!

2 people like this.
nice class, not hard at all but you feel that you worked!
Super, just what I needed a little ring blast.
Great job!
1 person likes this.
Fantastic! I feel completely rejuvenated after that class. Great working with the ring as well.
Thanks Marisa, for taking the time to write your positive comments on my MC class! Hope you will enjoy another class with me soon, Best, J
FYI, I am VERY excited to announce I will be offering several courses in 2014 through Balance Body's Passing the Torch Program:
Passing the Torch w/ Jillian
This was just delicious, did it right after he staying magic circle class.... I feel amazing;)
Louise Renee S
Very love the classics w/your twist! Best to you, ReneƩ
That was lovely! Loved the work with the magic circle, nice flow.
Great class! I really love meeting new teachers I haven't tried before and doing other classes by them!
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