Class #1349

Control from your Center

35 min - Class


We again welcome Christi Idavoy as she joins Pilates Anytime as the winner of the 2013 Next Pilates Anytime Instructor Competition. Christi teaches a Mat workout that implements a variety of detailed cues to help you find control from the powerhouse and enable you to feel the exercises more deeply. We hope you enjoy experiencing this mind-body connection during your day!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jan 15, 2014
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Hi. I'm Christi Idavoy from Miami, Florida. And we're here today to do a mat class. So we'll go ahead and get started. Go ahead and come onto your back, please.

Let's start lying down. And we'll place the feet about hip width apart, thinking about the width of the sits bones when we think about the width of the hips. Just take a moment to close the eyes, inhaling through the nose, exhaling, releasing through your jaw, with your eyebrows, your shoulder area, ribcage, and pelvis. As you inhale, noticing what part of the body expands, as you exhale, allowing gravity to support you, letting go of any tensions you may be holding onto. Taking a moment and noticing the temperature of the room, noticing the sounds that you might hear, and slowly, noticing the space of the body and the way it falls on the mat.

Noticing the weight of the pelvis, noticing the weight of the rib cage area, maybe an area that is not easy to become aware of in terms of how it relates to the floor. Noticing the way your shoulders weight down on the floor, and finally, the back of the head. And on the following inhalation, go ahead and reach the arms up and over your head, taking them all the way over as long as the shoulders are comfortable with that. Exhale and reach really long, like your whole body is yawning. You want your fingers to glide up and your shoulders to find your ears.

And notice the ribs expand and lift off the mat. And as you breathe, we'll reach the fingertips back towards the ceiling, bringing them down along the side of the body to the mat. Inhale, reaching them right back up and over. Go all the way over and stretch out really long. Make the seams of the body grow from a heavy pelvis.

Exhale and bring the arms back down along your side. We'll do that one last time, becoming conscious of the whole space of the body, settling into the moment. All of the running around is done. Exhale. Bring the hands down.

You made it. We're here. Let's bring the palms on to the front of the pelvis. And as we inhale, guide the tailbone down towards the floor so that the lower back will rise off the mat, exhaling taking the tailbone up towards the ceiling so that the lower back will move towards the mat. Allow the breath to happen first and then the movement of the pelvis to follow the breath.

Exhale the tailbone towards the ceiling. Inhale the tailbone towards the floor. And just follow your own speed, your own timing with your breath, synchronizing the movement of the pelvis with the speed of the breath, noticing that it feels, hopefully, smooth and comfortable in the lower back. And if it doesn't, make the range of movement smaller. And that'll just be a general rule of thumb.

If we do anything that creates any discomfort, you'll do less of it, changing the range of motion to one which is comfortable and you feel like you're in control. And on the following breath, go ahead and find the place that feels like it's the in-between point of these two extremes. And then notice that at that place, the sits bones are reaching away from the ear lobes. And they're in line with the ear lobes. So if we took this lateral image of the body, we've got the ear lobes, the center of the shoulder, the sides of the ribs, and then your sits bones reaching out long out of your seat.

On the following exhale, let the back of the right hip move towards the mat so that the left hip reaches to the ceiling. Find the center where they feel balanced, and then switch, now taking the hips from side to side. It feels like the movement when you're about to take a step so that the hip that's reaching towards the ceiling, that would be the foot that's about to walk or take a step forward. That idea of walking through this part of a pelvic clock exercise might help it make a little more sense out of the movement. We'll do that one more time, noticing if there's any discrepancy between rolling to the left verses rolling to the right and just making a note of that.

And hopefully, as we move on through our class, you might find that things change and level out. And then take a moment where you settle and find the balance. And on the following inhalation this time, roll the tailbone back up and towards the ceiling, this time peeling the spine up and into a bridge. As you're rolling the pelvis up, reach the knee caps over the second toes. Hold it there for a moment and allow the space between your shoulder blades to melt down into the mat just a little bit so that we get that feeling of the sternum melting down between the blades.

Gently continue to roll down and through the spine, articulating one vertebrae at a time. Once you find your pelvis back on the mat, go ahead and allow it to release, feeling like everything is let go and we're starting from an even, clean slate, inhaling again, the tailbone reaching through the knee caps, sending the lower back in towards the mat, feeling the contact with the spine against the floor as it peels away from it. Take a breath or let the breath go when you're at the top, and then gently rolling down. As we roll vertebrae by vertebrae, you can also think of the movement like the wheel on a tractor, which is rolling through space. And it's also moving in advancing through space so that every time you come down and release, you might feel like your tail is a little further away from your crown.

And we'll do this bridge two more times, reaching the sits bones through the knee caps and really thinking about pressing down into gravity, pressing down into the mat as opposed to pushing up, emptying or filling the lungs when you're at the top, and then gently gliding down as if you wanted to suspend the pelvis at the top, rolling the spine down in between the blades, the ribs, the low back, releasing at the pelvis. The next time will be the last one, rolling the pelvis up. Holding your pelvis at the top, bring your breastbone down just a little further into my hand there, and then slowly curling back down. The next time that we find ourselves on the mat, we'll allow, again, the pelvis to release completely. Hold it there for a moment.

Now take your left hip towards the ceiling and let the right hip roll back into the mat. We'll curl up the right side of the spine now, so we're going to go keep the pelvis that way, where the one side is pressing down. The other one is lifting up and then peeling up so that you feel like now you're articulating the side of the spine. Take a breath or empty when you're at the top, and then curl back down that way. And it almost feels like one half of your back is hanging off of the other side.

As that pelvis approaches the mat, roll back into center. Take a moment and notice if you have to correct yourself so that your hips are back in line with your head, and now curl up the other way. So we'll let the left hip reach down, the right hip reach up, and then roll the spine back up and off the mat, peeling the left side off the mat this time, and then connecting the left side of the spine down and onto the mat as the right side continues to reach up and through that knee cap and towards the second toe. Find the center when the pelvis comes down. And we'll curl up the other way.

So it's like you travel around your tailbone, roll back the pelvis with the rotation and then articulate back up, keeping that rotation. Throughout the entire movement, the head, neck, and shoulder area remains very quiet and still, hopefully. And if you find that your shoulders start to creep up to your ears because you're thinking about what you're doing, just notice that that happens, let it all go, release in the center, and then start again. Beautiful, you guys. As you curl up to the top, be very mindful the back of the heart wants to stay connected to the mat, at least energetically.

That way, we avoid going into too much extension in that upper back area. We'll find the center, bring it all the way down, and then this time, curl back up through the center. Take your time to get there if you're not there yet, doing one more bridge through the center, noticing if it's changed at all. Do you feel lighter? Do your legs feel heavier?

You feel like you can get more movement out of the segments of the spine? Keep the pelvis reaching long over the knee caps, and then start bringing the breastbone down. Again, it's as if you want your sits bones to stay at the top, and the spine continues to roll down, creating that sense of opposition. Once the pelvis is released all the way down, we'll keep it there. Appreciate the curve between your lower back and the mat.

Inhale and reach the fingertips up and towards the ceiling. Interlace the hands here, and then bring them right behind your head with your elbows biased towards the ceiling. With the elbows biased towards the ceiling, we have more space to move our shoulders around. We want to keep the shoulders reaching down and away from the ears in a gentle way, without jamming them as far down as they can go. As you exhale, allow your head to rest into your hands.

And think about your ribcage wanting to taper in and down, as if the exhale could pull the ribs down towards the pelvis, and with it, press the breastbone into the mat. Inhale and allow the ribs to expand. Do that just for two more breaths. Exhaling, the ribs gliding in and down, as if it wants to help push the breast bone down-- and notice if it feels like that would want to start to lift your head a little bit. So on the following exhale, the ribs glide down.

The breastbone moves between the shoulder blades. Then the head, neck, and shoulder area is going to roll up and into chest lift. Hold it there for a moment and look at your pelvis. Did it stay on the horizon? Are the sits bones still reaching long and towards that line away from your ear lobes?

Slowly curl back down and allow everything to release. So it's extremely common that as soon as we lift our head, neck, and shoulders up into flexion, our pelvis wants to tuck under. We're going to be really mindful of keeping the sitz bones reaching long and through the heels. Exhale first with that feeling of your ribs funneling down towards your pubic bone. And then lift your head, neck, and shoulders up as a result of your ribs and breastbone reaching back into the floor.

Beautiful. Slowly come back down-- last time. Elbows biased towards the ceiling, take an inhalation into that space between your shoulder blades, then exhale the ribs down to lift your head, neck, and shoulders up, keeping space between the chin and the chest, holding it here. Now, float one leg up into tabletop. Float your other leg up into tabletop.

Exhale the ribs into the mat a little further. Beautiful, everyone came up a bit more. Hands come behind the knees. And our legs are going to push us away to help roll us up to sitting. So reach the thighs out.

Beautiful. Inhale and grow up tall through the sits bones, hopefully finding them against the floor. And if you don't, that's OK. Maybe let your knees separate a little bit so you don't feel like you're struggling with your hip area. On the following exhalation, we'll keep this idea of growing the crown of the head towards the ceiling.

And then start to curl back from the sacrum. So rolling the pelvis back, we'll hold on to the legs the whole time. Allow the arms to lengthen out as your pelvis is rolling away from your thighs. And your arms will bring your legs with you when it's time. So we'll let the movement of the spine inform the movement of the limbs.

Inhale when you're at the bottom. Let your head relax. Exhale, the ribs glide in first. That lifts your head, neck, and shoulders up. Then you reach your legs away from you as if we wanted the legs to end up out into the ocean.

And then we grow really tall and out through the sits bones. Last one-- rolling down, allowing the arms to become the hip flexors, in a sense. So the arms lengthen out. The legs stay really heavy. And we experience the softening and opening around the front of the hips as we roll back.

Last time-- we exhale first. The ribs funnel in. That lifts your head and your feet press away. And you float up with the least amount of effort possible. Lengthen the legs out in front of you now, about hip width apart.

We'll bring the arms down along our sides. Inhale and walk the fingertips out just a little bit so that you feel like your fingertips are an extension of your shoulders. And we create this image of having a pyramid or a triangle from in between the shoulder blades and out through the crown of the head. On the following exhalation, again, the ribcage will glide down towards the pelvis, but the crown of the head is going to reach in opposition throughout the whole thing. And we'll start to roll forward towards spine stretch.

You can pretend there's a big cactus in front of you. You don't want to prick yourself. Hold it there as you inhale into that space between the shoulder blades, really expanding the space between the shoulder blades, looking down through your knees, and broadening your collar bones. On the following exhale, again, allow the breath to happen first, the ribs to draw it in. And that will start to move your spine back, stacking yourself back up and over your sitz bones.

Exhale when you arrive. And we'll inhale this time, gliding forward-- inhaling into that space between the blades, like this is creating a big helium balloon which is helping keep the back of the head elevated and the space between the shoulder blades elevated so that we keep all that space through the front of the hips we created in our last exercise. Exhaling, the ribcage is going to glide back and down as we stack the bones up and over the sitz bones. As you come to the top, last time, feeling the crown of the head of growing maybe a little longer away from the seat, and then again, we guide the movement forward with the breath. Every breath is an opportunity to create that lift of the spine, that lift of the heart area, and the broadening of the collar bones.

Every exhalation is an opportunity to guide the ribcage back and allow the breath to inform the movement, the movement of the spine to move your head and limbs around. As we inhale, we'll reach the arms up and over the head this time, shoulders gliding away from the ears, exhaling rolling all the way back. And as you roll back, let your fingertips start to point to your toes so that it doesn't get too heavy for the neck, coming all the way down in a roll up-- in a roll down, really. Inhale. Reach the arms up and over their head.

As we exhale, again, the breath happens first. The arms follow the ribs, drawing in. And we'll peel the spine up and off of the mat. Beautiful, ladies. Inhale when you come to the top.

And reach the arms to the ceiling, growing really tall, and then exhaling again, sits bones rolling to the heels with this feeling of wanting to reach through the fingertips and the crown of the head in opposition to the roll down. Inhale and reach the arms overhead, last time. Exhale. Follow your breath, ribs pulling in, helping us articulate all the way up and over that imaginary cactus. Reach for the toes.

Inhale. Stack the spine. Reach the arms to the ceiling, exhaling, curling all the way back. Last time-- this time, we're staying down. Bring the arms down and along our sides.

On the following exhalation, point through the toes. Reach the right leg up towards the ceiling, and then reach the left leg up to the ceiling, setting up for rollover. On the inhale, let's reach the legs up and overhead, hopefully keeping the legs in line with the floor at 90 degrees. Chin stays away from the chest. We'll separate the legs to the width of the shoulders, exhaling and slowly rolling back down.

That imaginary cactus is still living between your thighs and the front of your tummy. You can circle the legs down and around, although you don't have to. Bring your heels back together again. We'll take it back up and overhead. Keep the space between the thighs and the front of the body.

Separate the legs about shoulder width apart. The heels reach away from the direction the spine is rolling in. So always thinking about the body moving in two directions at once is going to help us create lots of length and control. Last one-- circling up and around, this time keep your legs together when you find yourself overhead, going back to what we did in the bridge. We're going to rotate the pelvis now while it's in the air, taking the knees over that left shoulder, curling down the left side of the spine, curling down into corkscrew.

The left hip approaches the mat. Now, both legs circle out and around, and we curl up the right side of the spine, lining the legs back up in the center and then taking the hips in the other direction, rolling down the right side of the spine, circling the legs out and around. Keep it going, remembering that the crown of your head and out through your collar bones is a very stable pyramid that's helping create an anchor for the movements of your spine here, finding the center and then rolling to the right shoulder. And the next time you come down, the right side of your spine will be the last one. And once you finish that circle, finish coming all the way down and through the center, bringing the spine back down and into the center of the mat.

As you come down, give yourself a hug, bringing the knees into the chest. We'll hook the hands up behind the knees. And on the next exhale, we'll do that assisted roll up we did before as a way to bring ourselves up. Exhale, head up, legs push. Beautiful, you guys.

Let's take our legs behind us now and come up and onto all fours. Coming up onto hands and knees, we're going to spread our fingertips apart. We won't stay here for too long. Go ahead and use both so that your knees are at the same level. We'll spread our fingertips apart.

And just take a second and notice that your body is aligned, which means your shoulders are over your wrists, your hips are right over your knee caps. As we inhale, create an idea in the body of reaching the crown away from the sits bones, feeling like they're two magnets pulling you in opposition. As you exhale, keep this feeling of being pulled in two separate positions. And bring your shoulder blades together on your back, which means your body's going to drop down closer towards the floor. Then press the floor away, lifting the shoulder blades up towards the ceiling-- or the space between them, really, up towards the ceiling.

Continue to glide up and down here. Appreciate the movement of the shoulder blades and the feeling of keeping the crown of the head out through the tailbone unchanged as it's lifting up and down because of the movements of the shoulder blades, not because there's movement in the spine necessarily. And the next time that you press the floor away and you feel like you're lifting your heart up and in between the shoulder blades, hold yourself there. As you exhale, go ahead and tuck the toes of the right foot and slide that leg all the way back. Then do the same thing with your left leg, coming up into a plank, holding it here.

Now, if you know that pushup's not your best position, you can bring your knees back down to the mat and slowly lower yourself down and onto your tummy. Otherwise, go ahead and bend your elbows and bring yourself all the way down and onto your tummy. Slip the hands back just a tiny bit and then hover the face over the mat. We'll bring the tops of the feet onto the floor. Hold it here for a moment and come back to your breath.

Bring the hands back just a little bit more towards your hips. Yeah. And as you're exhaling, allow the lower back, the glutes, and the thighs to feel very heavy and relaxed, like you have a very lazy lower body resting on the floor. As you inhale, allow your shoulders to roll up towards your ears as if the inhalation were filling the cavity of your lungs and pushing the shoulders to the head and then exhaling that helium balloon we talked about is now losing air and drifting down towards your very heavy and relaxed lower body. Inhaling, the breath will lift the shoulder blades up.

Exhaling, the breath will help glide the shoulder blades down on your back. We'll do this one last time, feeling that the shoulders are staying wide on the back. And the next time that you exhale and the shoulders glide down and away from the ears, start to reach the breast bone forward and up, gently using the hands to help lift your heart area up and away from the mat. Hold it there for a moment and inhale. Exhale and gently come back down.

Articulate the spine as you come down. Exhaling, shoulder blades glide away from the ears. Inhaling, we start to lift and fill the space between the shoulder blades. Exhale and gently come down one vertebrae at a time. Last one-- the next time that you come up, hold it there for a moment.

Take an internal snapshot of your body, hopefully feeling like the curve in your thoracic area is now meeting or matching the curve in your lower back. So we've got this long harmonious line from the sacrum area up and through the crown of the head. Keep that the way it is. And as you exhale, press down through the arms, floating up onto your knees for swan, looking out on the horizon, looking really long and really pressing the floor away, feeling like there's a zipper from deep in the pubic area up through the crown of the head. As we exhale, start bending the elbows, coming back down, feeling like we keep that zipper supported, and the upper body comes down without allowing the low back to feel like it's kind of hanging.

We'll do that two more times. The exhalation glides the shoulder blades down and starts to lift the upper spine just up to the point where it matches the curve of the lower back. Then we use the arms and the strength in the upper body to come up and float onto our knees, keeping the collar bones very broad. Beautiful, you guys. Bending at the elbows, exhale to come down, feeling almost like you don't want your pubic bone to touch.

Beautiful. That looks really good. Last one-- exhale, shoulder blades glide, upper body lifts. Inhale, press the arms through the floor, floating up onto the knees, and hold. And on the following breath, lift the seat up, coming back onto the knees, and folding back into child's pose for a moment.

Take a breath while you're there. Inhale, come back up onto your hands and knees, this time lengthening the legs out again into a plank, holding the plank this time, stretching the fingertips apart. And that idea of pushing the floor way becomes really important when your whole body is in the air. As we inhale here, we're going to take our sitz bones up and towards the ceiling, pushing the floor away with the upper arm and broadening the collar bones. As we exhale, walk the hands towards the feet.

Notice that as you do that, your heels start to approach the floor. Allow the heels to come into contact with the ground. And yet keep some more of the weight through the front of your foot. Bring your hands closer to the feet. Keep bringing them in, bringing them in.

We're going to come up into standing roll up. So we'll slightly bend the knees-- like a micro bend at the knee. Think about bridge-- sits bones glide towards the heels and we start to stack the body up. Notice the moment where your pelvis becomes vertical on top of your thigh bones. It stays there.

And then we continue to grow the spine on top of our very sturdy feet and hips. Inhale, reaching the arms back up and overhead. As we exhale, shoulders are wide and we dive up and around our cactus. And it just got bigger, because now we're standing. So we need a bigger cactus to wrap ourselves up and around, keeping space between the front of the body and the thighs.

That's what the cactus is about. So it would be filling all this space up. And we don't want to get pricked by the cactus. So we breathe into our back like a furious cat. Walk the hands back out and into a plank, coming all the way to the point where the wrists are back under the shoulders and we're long.

If you need to bend your knees, bring your knees down to the mat. Exhale. Bend the elbows and lower yourself all the way to hovering the face over the mat. Let the body come down and the feet release. Take an exhalation while you're there to glide the shoulder blades away from the ears, lifting the upper part of the spine up into extension like we did a moment ago, and then pressing down through the hands to come back up onto swan.

Push the floor away and continue to look out on the horizon very long. As we exhale, now, lift your seat up, coming into quadruped. Tuck the toes under and continue into inverted V. Reach the sits bones away from the head. Holding it here for a moment, broaden the collar bones. And then start walking your hands back in towards your feet.

Once the heels are on the floor, slightly bend at the knees and do the best job that you can to create space between the lower abdominal area and the top of the thighs. Sits bones glide down until the point where the pelvis is vertical on the legs. And then the spine floats all the way up to standing. Reach the arms over your head once you're there. Last time-- diving up and around that imaginary cactus.

So as you're going forward, think about your ribs lifting up and your pelvis rolling forward. Walk the hands all the way out, back to the top of a plank. This time, we hold the plank. We float the right foot up into the air. As we exhale, we lift ourselves back into inverted V, this time with one leg in the air.

Holding it there, we slide the right knee up towards the right wrist. So you're right knee is going to come up and onto your right wrist on the floor, sliding it forward. We'll go ahead and bring that left knee down to the mat now. Turn to your left, finding yourself set up for mermaid. Again, fingertips are on the ground, giving us that information about having this very long pyramid and triangle on the head.

As we exhale, the left hand will become like a kick stand for the rib cage. And we'll reach the right arm up and over the head. Notice that your head is staying back in line with your shoulder area. And when you do that, you tend to feel a little bit more of an opening, on the right side of the body, in this case. As we inhale, we're going to think about inhaling into these top ribs, creating that big helium balloon.

Exhale. Press the floor away gently with the left hand. These ribs glide down to help bring you back up and to your center. We'll bring the right hand down and onto the mat this time, leaning on to the right palm just a bit. As you lean, press the floor away with your right hand so that pushing the floor away with this hand will help bring this left hip down a little bit better, only to your comfort.

Don't force it to come down. There's no rule about that in my book. Inhale and reach the left arm back up and over your head. As you exhale this time, bend your right elbow softly to lift up and over the right side of the ribs. As we inhale, we want to fill the left side of the ribs up with the inhalation, really getting those ribs to move apart with the breath.

As we exhale, we'll press the floor way with the right hand, coming all the way back up and into center. Let the left hand tap the mat. We're going to the right side one more time. Inhaling, reaching the left arm up and over, the right hand is on the mat as the kickstand to support. Bend the right elbow as you come up and around.

This time, holding it here, we'll exhale. That left arm is going to thread itself towards the right arm. While you're there, hold it for a moment. Imagine you've got one of the really big physio balls and you're wrapped around it. And when you inhale, you can use your right hand to push the floor just a little bit so that it helps lift you up.

And then you breathe into this area, creating this feeling of becoming a very big cylinder. As we exhale, the left arm will come back up and around the head. The left ribs move back. Press the floor away, and come all the way back up and onto your center. We'll take the right palm back to the floor one last time.

Reach the left arm up and over your head, turning back towards the mat again, coming back into quadruped the way we came down. Lengthen your left leg out. Your right knee is now in the air, and we'll slide that right leg all the way out into the top of a plank. Inhale and find your long plank position. As you exhale, bend your elbows and slowly lower yourself down.

Use your knees when it's necessary. Inhale, setting up. Exhale, coming up into a small thoracic extension and hold it there. Use the hands to float up onto the knees in swan. Inhale, looking out and over the horizon.

Exhaling, slowly we lower ourselves all the way down this time. Tuck your toes under. Slide your hands back just a little bit more. As you exhale, you'll try and push up into a plank or use your hands and knees to come up. Inhale when you're at the top.

Exhale. The sits bones will reach up towards the ceiling. On this following breath, we'll lift our left leg up into that three legged inverted V position. Exhale, bend your left knee, and slide it towards your left wrist. You'll bring your right knee down to the mat.

And we'll turn to the right now for mermaid. As we set up, bring that back knee up a little bit if it's necessary so that your right hip feels like it's a little more inclined to find the mat, although, again, it's not necessary to force it down. We'll walk the fingertips out so we create that idea, again, of a long pyramid or triangle. Inhale. The left arm will reach up and over the head.

And we'll move to the right side, the side where it makes you feel like you don't have a whole lot of space. Hold it for a breath or two here. And when we're inhaling, again, we want to inflate the ribs of the top side of the body. As we exhale, we'll press the floor away with the right arm, coming back up into that start position for the mermaid. Now, the left arm will become the kickstand.

Inhale. Reach the right arm up and over your head. Exhale. Bend your left elbow. And let your right arm continue to travel over your head.

As you're there, push the floor away with the left hand gently enough to get that right hip to come down. Inhale, the right side of the body expanding up to the ceiling. On the following exhalation, glide the ribs down towards the right hip to come all the way back and into your center. Inhale at the top. Exhaling, the left hand, again, becomes the kickstand.

The right arm reaches up and over. And we start to bend that left elbow just enough to keep the length between the ears and the shoulders. Press the floor away with the left hand, but hold it there as you inhale. And on the following exhale, bring your left ribs back and your right ribs forward. So we're going to hold it there and go into rotation.

While we're here in the rotation, again, your left hand, your supporting hand, or the kickstand hand presses the floor away gently enough to create that feeling of expanding, yes, and lifting the back of the heart. Bend this elbow a tiny bit. Think about your shoulder going out with that elbow. There it is. And with every breath, you inflate your ball.

You become a little rounder. The crown of your head is the extension, reaching the energy out and beyond the boundaries of this room. As you exhale, unwind your position, coming back into that side bend position. And then gently press the floor away. Come all the way up and find your center.

On the next exhale, we'll turn back towards the mat on the left hand, bringing the right arm up and over your head, coming back up and onto your left knee, reaching that right leg behind you. So we come back into plank. Take both legs all the way back. Inhale both sits bones up towards the ceiling, finding the inverted V. We'll walk our hands back towards our feet.

Notice when your heels touch, yet keep them light. As you inhale, guide your sits bones down towards your heels, stacking the spine up. Pelvis becomes vertical, and then the spine grows on top of that vertical spine. Inhale and reach the arms back up and over your head. Exhale and bring your hands onto your hips.

Last one-- we're going to inhale and stand up very tall now. And as we exhale, we're going to start inching forward, keeping the alignment from your ear lobes down to your heels, except the left leg is going to stay on the floor. The right leg's going to start to go back as we pivot forward, standing on the left leg. So we're coming into a standing leg balance, sometimes known as warrior three. So go ahead and start to tip your upper body forward as your leg reaches behind you.

Yes-- keeping the hands on the hips, yep, and very strong in that left leg. Tuck the chin just a little bit if you feel like you're looking ahead of yourself. Hold it here. Think of the shoulders rolling back towards the leg that's in the air, and with every exhalation, pressing the floor away with that standing leg. One last breath, and on the following inhale, start to come back up to standing, sliding that right leg right underneath the right hip.

Hold it here for a moment. Inhale and grow very tall through your center. As you exhale, the other leg will slide behind you now. Keep that feeling of growing very tall and wanting to reach the foot away from the head, as well as reaching the body away from the floor. And breathe.

When we exhale, the ribs can lift up towards the ceiling. I've got you. We're going to bring your left hip down just a little bit more and bring your left shoulder back a little bit more. There we go. On the following inhale, we'll start to push down through that right foot, guiding ourselves back up to standing.

And then we'll do both legs at the same time. Instead, we'll inhale and reach both arms up and over your head. Shoulders glide down away from your ears. Exhale and start to curl back down. Last one-- rolling the spine down and over the pelvis.

Roll the weight into the front of your feet, now, where your heels are just slightly lifting off the ground-- just a little bit of space between the heels and the floor. Notice if you can keep that space between the heels and the floor as you start to curl back up to standing. You are allowed to bend your knees a little bit. And if you really press down through the mound of the big toe and feel like your big toes want to squeeze into one another, it might help you get a little more control and connection into those deep lower abdominal muscles to control it on the way up. Beautiful.

Let your heels float down. And let your breath release. And thank you very much, ladies. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]


7 people like this.
Excellent class- I see why you won the Next PA Instructor honor. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Really enjoyable!
4 people like this.
Ear lobes through side of rib cage through sitz bones! killer (as in GREAT!) cue for me! thank you!
Erica V
3 people like this.
Very good! Love the way you teach.
The girl in the blue shirt moves so good, she knows what she is doing!
1 person likes this.
Awesome Class !! Love your transition cues ~ makes my movements flow more gracefully :D
AND Im pretty sure that is Meredith Rogers (PA Instructor) in blue as well as Kristi Cooper herself in front :)
1 person likes this.
Excellent cues!
1 person likes this.
Thanks for a terrific class, Christi! Just what I needed after I pinched a nerve in my neck. This did the trick and I feel 10 times better.
Thanks everyone! I'm so glad it's been helpful. I'm really grateful to get the feedback!
1 person likes this.
Loving her already! Perfect class for those days when you're really sore, but you still want to do something
Loved this class. Helped me put in to words cues I was trying to tell my clients. Thanks!
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