Class #1566

Rotating Disc Exploration

30 min - Class


Amy Havens brings to Pilates Anytime our first Mat Workout using the rotating discs. She uses these discs to help you explore your body's central axis, stability, balance, and your ability to rotate versus side bend. These discs are a wonderful way to give the body feedback from the movement and a new way of feeling the exercises. Enjoy!
What You'll Need: Mat, Rotating Discs, Knee Pad, Magic Circle

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Hi everyone. I have Lizanne with me today. We're going to do a little rotational disc mat class and props. You're going to need um, two kneeling pads or cut up yoga mats would work to a magic circle or magic ring and the rotator discs and any size really will be fine. Just got the nine inch here and uh, let's go ahead and just kind of get down. What, what I really wanting to do with this approach today with the rotational discs is talk about uh, the, the central axis and when we are in our central axis and maybe when we're not, and there's, there'll be some side bending that we do on purpose, but you might find that you're going into side bending when we really want to be going into rotation and vice versa.

You might be going into rotation when the objectivist side been in is pretty small. The differentiation between the two. So explore that. And I think if I can speak for myself and maybe for Lizanne we were just talking about it, it's not uncommon that we have aside that we favor or bias or we might call our strong side or something like that, just to know that we all have that and don't judge it. Find maybe a new feeling on the not so strong side or maybe not so coordinated side. There are the discs are going to give you quite a bit of feedback I think and just experience that and then hopefully take that into standing exercise.

We have some standing work and also then when you're on rate the other equipment that you're not on an unlevel surface, you may bring this back into your training so that you can feel, oh yeah, that's what I felt on that exercise on the discs to awaken that weaker side, possibly all. Okay. So we're starting, we're going to go into some basic ways. It seems like basic, uh, pelvic curl. You'll have your disks. I have them very close together and um, aligning your feet in line with your sit bones. Just a nice level spine. Let's just take three nice deep breaths. Inhale and exhale, that funneling of the rib cage in and down toward the navel, down toward the pubic bone. Inhale and allow your back to spread on the floor.

Again, exhaling and engaging these lateral muscles, these external lobe leagues, deep then into the inside wall of your abdominals. And one more, just a preparatory breath and exhale. All right, so before we start our pelvic curl, I want both of us to just press our feet more firmly down on the discs. Then we might, if we were just on the mat. Arms aspire sides is fine for now and hopefully we won't move the disks too much. Take your breath. As we exhale, feeling that pelvic tilt begin in the abdominals. Put a little more pressure down into your feet on the discs and roll up the middle of your spine, right on that central axis.

So here already, if you have a tendency to dip a hip, it may start showing up right there. Take a breath. So here we go. Rolling down. Stand firm in the feet, try to reach each and every vertebra toward the discs. So it's that long articulation down. Let's do it again. Inhale level pelvis and exhale through the pelvic tilt. Nice deep abdominals. And we're really angling these hipbones upward toward our cheekbones or deep pelvic tilt stand firm on those discs. We're right up on the upper back between the shoulder blades, breathing in and exhale again. We're rolling down, staying right in the center of the spine, reaching each and every vertebra toward those discs.

Okay, let's do one more plane. Went up and down. Inhale level pelvis. So far, so good. Exhale. So throughout the class there might be some suggestion to keep the discs quiet. There'll be some exercises that's not possible at all. So this one, we're trying to be kind of quiet and then we're gonna roll back down. Press those feet from onto the discs and hopefully they're not moving.

Okay, so one more to get us up and we'll add some variation. Exhale, curl up. So the, the connection we have with our feet against the disk means lot. How we're Stan, how we get ready to move. If you're biasing and cheating on your feet, there's a chance that you might be also kind of doing some weird compensation in your body somewhere. Okay, so there we are. We're standing. Let's raise our arms up now hosanna.

We're going to have our palms facing each other. We'll just do three open close of the arms. Inhale widening through the chest. You can lower your arms all the way to the floor. If that feels good. And exhale, bring the arms back up as if you're hugging this space to shoulder with the part. Last two. Inhale, strong feet on the discs slightly.

Imagining the inner thighs spiraling together. They're not. You're just imagining it. Inhale, open. Are Your glutes working like minor and exhale and lift. Now turn up arms of palms, face the thighs, arms reaching overhead. And if you have the flexibility in your shoulders to lay your arms all the way on the floor, go right ahead. Breathe in here. Now we're rolling down our spine.

Upper back. Reach the arms long. Reach the spine toward the fingertips and the discs. Yeah, right down the center of that spine. So that gave me a little awareness. I was trying to cheat a little bit. Let keep the arms there. Let's roll back up. Strong pelvic tilt. How much can we do with the abdominals?

Press into the feet. Start to contract those glutes. Feel how they work with those back extensors to help us arise. Another breath and actually exhale. Let's bring the arms back up to the ceiling. Palms facing each other. Now lift your heels just a little bit off of the discs and set them back down.

Now rock onto the heels. So you lift the balls of the feet up right, and then balls of the feet down again. Heels up, heels down. It doesn't take much movement here. Heels are down now toes are up, toes are down to more patterns. So heels up, heels down, all of feet, up and down. Last one, heels up, heels down, balls of the feet up. Hey, we did pretty good balls of the feet down. Let's reach our arms back overhead for one more reach. Breathe. We're going to roll down our spine. Vertebra by Vertebra is even through that central axis as possible.

All right. Once we're level pelvis is go ahead and stack the hands of places right behind your skull. Adjust your feet if you felt like, yeah, I felt like I was slipping off a little bit and you know I'm going to actually take a quick look up and make sure that I am evenly spaced between. Okay, Jess left. Take a breath, curl the head neck and chest up again with pressing the feet down on the discs and notice just right in there to have we tilted right left, too much. Tuck are we level and roll ourselves back. We'll just do three. The shoulder blade staying nice and wide on our back so as not to pinch those rhomboids together. Keep them wind like wings. Here we go. Exhale, curl up.

Now this, that was pretty easy. We did pretty good. We're gonna start adding in, lifting a leg off or hip flection. So I'm just going to really think of creasing the right hip joint. Not even tabletop with my leg. Lower back down without any noise on the disc. Other side left one.

So really tapping into hip crease and down. Nice and quiet. Other side. Exhale, the lay comes up. Keep renewing the fundamentals of placing your shoulder steady left side. Exhale, funneling that rib cage narrow and toward the pubic bone. Again, right side. How are we doing? Feeling a little deeper. Yes, so the for the foot that stays on the disc, you need to push. Press it onto the disc just a little, little bit. Okay, let's add a little bit in a moment. Let's give her neck a tiny Britta rest.

That's all axial. Come right back up. [inaudible] first leg again, so right side is going to crease again. You don't have to do tabletop. I'm just letting my, my foot and Chin relax a little bit. I haven't now adding rotation, upper body rotation. Notice if that other side moves. You want to keep pressure down on that ankle. Reach the arms up toward the ceiling. Just reach.

Put the hands right back behind the head. Come out of your rotation as you set the foot down. Left side. Take a breath. Tesla, even Belvedere. Breathe in first. Now as we exhale is floating that left femur up. Press on with the right foot on the disc. Find that torso rotation, thoracic. Just now reach for the ceiling.

Nothing special with the arms and hands behind the head. So we're going to come around out of the rotation as we set the foot down each side. Again, breathe in. Exhale. So funneling down with the ribs. So as we rotate, pressing down through the left foot slightly, let's add a little bit of leg gesture there just because, and hands behind the head. Ooh. Depo, bleak work and center. One more annex. So as you'll notice, these are going to build in intensity into rotation.

So leg, gesture, arm gesture, pelvises level, standing firm on that single foot and hands behind, head under the road station and bring yourself down. Okay. Pretty good, Huh? Okay. They're tough. Well here we go. So moving on. I don't know why they're that much harder, but I think just knowing there could be some possibility of movement. The mental piece comes in, hopefully. Okay. So in the next little round, we're moving the desks and we're going to set them, um, like this. You'll want the padding cause you're gonna put your sacrum on one pad, one desk, and then your shoulders or rib cage on this next one. And you may have to fiddle for a second, getting them, um, in the right placement.

Now you'll notice when we get set up that the head is not, it's going to be below the shoulders, so that's okay. And won't be up. It won't be down for long. So you're safe from woo Amy w way too far, doing so much Polonius it felt like it was really tall, not five, three thing. Okay. So what's you're going to want to do? Maybe just test your chest lift. And if you don't feel like you're right at the tip of the shoulder blades, you can either move your body or move your disk. Okay, good. All right, so the series of five, but we're going to start actually first with a 100 instead of 100. So here's where things can really start to get exciting. Um, let's evaluate chest lift up. I got to get myself set.

Knees one at a time. Up to table. Take your time. No. So even in this moment. Woo. There do. Yeah. Let's actually stay here cause I think this is worth this. Looking at her feeling, do you feel like you could easily side bend accidentally or hike a hip? Yeah, so my, the I think a Tennessee would be done kick one side up there. So it rather than that, I'm trying to think of both sides of the sacrum.

Also reaching to the tailbone. Okay. Now let's go ahead and extend the knees a little Palazzos v take it the arms by the hips. Try not to move these discs. Here we go. Inhale, three, four or five x sail three, four, five, two, four, five three x three four or five four so that both a s I s or even both pelvis sides or even not one's higher, not higher than the other. Squeezing the heels together. Try to just unweight the upper back just a little bit up off. That does rise. A really honing in upper abdominal strength. Hi, five nine five exhale, three four, five, ten two, three, four, five. Exhale, three, four, five, parallel.

Even this count is bringing the knees in, hands on, and you can let yourself go back. Again. Like I said, our head is not the same height as the desk. So your neck is extended just a little bit. Pretty good, Huh? Here we go. Curl back up to chest lift. Grew a little higher. Extend. Let's go left just to keep it consistent and have your hands on that rate.

Shinbone right ankle on the or hand on the ankle. We know, or a single leg stretch. X, uh, positioning. So inhale, exhale. We're going to change slowly so that we're really in the center body working that central access center line. Ah, doing our darnedest not to hike a hip. So we're really lengthening both sides of the waist and into those hip flexors. It's really easy when one leg comes up into this folded position to hike the side of that hip.

What that's doing is really bulking up that hip flexor and TFL. So can we keep some length in there? Okay, one more each side. Inhale. Exhale. So far so good on the noise. Keep the left in. Bring the right one in and let's just relax our neck. All right. Double leg stretch, curl braca up.

This is a fun one. Inhale, exhale, arms deep and reach for those angles. Just three times. We don't need to do as many reps. These are deep, ah, I suppose, and beautiful, and then head back down. All right, scissor is next. We really haven't done anything to stretch our hamstrings, so we're going to curl up and not do so much of a hamstring stretch, of course. Anyway, but more just control right now. Let's take a moment and yeah, right leg is up. Press the leg into the hands. So the, yeah, we might unweight our shoulders just a little bit. All right.

Here we go. Inhale. This is where things could start to really be more noticeable. Did you feel anything? Okay. Yeah. [inaudible] it's a big shifter. It probably, well, I'm going to say this cause I know it might feel big. It's probably not that big, but you're aware.

That's the whole objective with props. I think. What are they doing for us? Sometimes they're adding a challenge, absolutely. Of tapping into new strength or things. A lot of the feeling for me is a prop is awareness and this is definitely helping me understand some leveling feelings. Some challenge. [inaudible] one more each side. Well, one more you side.

I'd better not turn my head. Woo. Okay. Knees in. Head down. Alright, two more. So let's go ahead and support the neck now with the hands. Bring them behind your skull. Legs Up. Imagine doing this on a Balance Beam, Huh? That kind of same image. And I've used that before in certain math classes.

If you're really honing into the center line, you could do this on a balance beam. I've never done that, but I can try so down with the legs. Exhale up. We'll do all five of them. Inhale down, no puffy belly. Exhale and lift to try to get up off those shoulder blades a little bit. Inhale [inaudible] last year. We don't have to take the legs nearly as low. Exhale, no. Last one. Inhale, we're going to stay up in this transition for one knee and right knee in. Okay, so Chris Cross, this is fun. Think small first. Do small first.

You know why you can feel it. Change. Okay. Inhale, bring them in. Exhale and rotate. Hopefully we're not moving too much on the disc. I'd love to do that today, but I don't want to. And then other PSI, one more each direction. And last one to the left center. Head down, feet down.

Lift your pelvis, take that one away. Lift the other one off your back. Let's just lie on the floor for or the mat for a moment and just let your system go. Oh, thank God there's the ground. Yeah, and you can even just check in to see how your pelvis feels, how your back feels. Hopefully fairly even. Okay. So we're going to test all of this centering and we're going to come up and do some standing exercises. All right, so we don't need our pads anymore. We will want our magic circle. So we'll bring that up. Okay. And why don't, yeah, let's put them on a map.

And no with this, no, so narrow, but not too wide apart and just stand. So ideally your legs are right underneath your hip joints. Okay. And parallel to start. So we're going to do some things in parallel and turnout and let's put our magic circle just right at the base. Oh my abs are feeling that word. It feels good.

Okay, so let's just kind of feel first, right? All right. Our circle, our circle and how we're wrapping around it. Completing some d three. So we've got this dimension, this one, this one. Let's do some basic please. So parallel, liaise. Well, Amy's moving already and then so feeling the feet again, pushed down through the, the feet rise through the legs. We're going to do five, four or five down. Probably four actually. So I'd like to, can I keep cuing about pinky toes and that side of the foot?

Sometimes we don't use that side as much as we should. And and the tempo today of course in this class is slow because it's deliberately slow on purposely slow. Okay. Now let's do that in external rotation with the femurs. Not as much as you probably have because I want to see if we can maintain what we do. You'll see what I mean. Here we go. [inaudible] knees out over those second toes. Press the feet down into the floor, rise up through the leg bones.

So as if we're kind of leaving our head in the clouds as we bend down into the knees, good pinky toes and that spiral energy all the way up into the top, back of the leg. One more time for this basic little, we are good. So it's a way to get your glutes but not gripping. Gripping so much. So let's do this. We're going to come back to parallel and if we weight shift and just take one, your body to one leg and just stand.

Awesome. We're going to move on. You're going to lift that foot. I'm going to gently bend my standing knee and touch the floor in front of me. I'm gonna imagine all that Ab work I just did. We just did. And use it to rise. And then we'll move that foot to the side.

Little Bend on the standing knee. Push down into that foot and rise. Use those hamstrings pulled at the add. Nice. Either they're not, look at you. I might lose my balance. And then Ben and gesture the foot behind just a little bit. We're still on that balance beam. We had to pull into the middle of the body, good for successful balancing and then we're going to stay on that foot on the desk. Other side. Okay, so shifting to the second lane, feel the foot really stand on. It seems so simple and bending the standing knee light touch of the forward foot.

So if you notice your disk moving, I just did to check your pelvis for a second. Yup. Or feel it there. I did do the same thing. Yeah, I know. And then leg to the side. What I'm trying to do is just keep bringing my mind, my, my attention into what did I feel like when I was lying on my back during the series of five. That intensity right in the center body. [inaudible] yeah, so I'm on my different side.

I'm like you wouldn't, you said different side [inaudible] good. Okay, let's try it and turn out. So if we step all right, same thing. So we're going to shift slightly it into one leg, pull up into the center body. Now my dance training, I'm more used to turn out, so this is more familiar. It might make me feel like it's easier, but it may not be nice. Full in the center line, central axis and then behind. Nicely done. We good? I think we're doing quite well myself. All right, standing on the second side.

Here we go. Yeah. And again, remember that disk is there to teach us, you know, just give us a little partnering. What can we do with it? Can we stand more firm on it? That was better. Stand on it. What's your weighed into it? What's your weight down into that foot? Pull the back leg up. Good though.

Zan and Ben and yeah. All right, so a little bit more to do what? I want us to just stay in turnout and not your biggest rotation, but you know, we're, we're doing a little uh, opening of the hip joint and do that little demi plea. I get our small bend and our heels are staying on our disk. Now. I think this is just as fun and we're going to rise the lift the heels off.

Not too high of Relevate and just hold your balance there so by, if we think about that, all that's core strength or that abdominal strength is centering. Lift the center up. Bring your inner thighs toward one another and lower your heels down. Good. We'll do four like that. So we have a bend. We're lifting our heels, spreading the Metta tarsals.

They use the highest hamstring muscles and zip, Zip, zip up and lower the heels to more down. He'll rise and lower. Last one and ple a. Lift the heels. Take that strength and rise and lower. Reverse that four dimes. So rise first. The knees, reach out, stay there.

Height-Wise just lower your heels and as the highest rear leg that pulls up and rise. So says if we leave our head right up in the clouds there. Great work. Two more here. I thought this is hard to do on the floor. I know you thought it was hard on the floor and then we're doing it on these things that turn around. Whoa. And I realize I've been talking so much, so I'm going to be quiet for a second so you can hear a quiet. We are on our disks. Yeah. Good. Okay, let's do a um, parallel again. So toes forward, we're going, I'm going to rotate my whole entire central axis of my torso to my left. And so what's gonna Happen?

I feel like the statue and I'm going to end up with my torso right over my pelvis, my pelvis, over my legs. Let's challenge this Lowe's and go into a trunk flexor hip flection. A flat back. Now this is an opportunity. Look at your own feet. I just checked mine and I was little bit, not quite as parallel as I should've been. So I want to think of reaching my chest out over that magic circle.

How low can we get? Why is that challenging? The back backs line now. Okay. As we come up, anchor the feet, use the hamstrings, how they feed onto the femurs, how they support and work with the glutes and return to center. We over to the other side. Yeah. So may help to again, concentrate on inner thigh, work toward each other. [inaudible] chest out over the magic circle, parallel with the legs and the feet.

And we're in a prime position to look at those feet so you can see that let's climb, climb back up again. We'll do each side again. Wow. And over. So the back leg for me, I have to think about my heel reaching out a little toward you. That's just my feedback to keep myself parallel because I'm wanting to default again into my normal, which is external rotation.

I'm going to be find partnership with my discs and as I come back out of that trunk flection, Whoa. Now this is a tremendous amount of stability work. I realized that my last foam roller class was a lot about that too. And you know, [inaudible] does not have to be just about this stability, but it's not a bad thing to play with. That is for sure. Good man. And all the way up.

Hmm. And Center. Okay, one more thing. Go to one side. Ooh Boy. We're going to go around the world. Okay. So here is, here's what I think we could accidentally want to hip hike instead of rotate to get us to go around. So I don't care what side you choose. I'm going to choose maybe this side and I'm going to think about putting a little more weight to my right big toe.

If I'm going left. And I'm going to start to think about pulling my left abdominals in to my left butt and rotating around, not lifting the hip to come around. So the ring is helping guide a circle and little heel scoots contract those left glutes. Feed the left abdominals in to your left glutes. Really high. Pull up that central axis. Good. Let's go around again.

A lot is we use that queue so often. You know we're on the carousel pool or barbershop pole. How about work with our own body and turn ourselves? When you're ready, you can go the other way. So wait on the left big toe. Good.

Find the right abdominals to write glutes. Little Scoot, scoot, scoot, scoot. I'm gonna make another trip. And ideally shoulder staying above pelvis. Ribs aren't turning too quickly. Remember, did you ever ever have a music box and a little ballerina and said the music box and she was on that little spring in there and she just went round and round. I feel like that exact little thing. Okay, good. All right.

Now step just down and let's do something completely not, it's just very, very different. Stand this way. First of all, how do you feel? Yeah, a little fun. This is just one example of the the discs. Maybe next time we are talking about we'll do some shoulder rotation and how that can lead into some weight bearing on the hands and things like that, but let's just do maybe eight little swings. Let that stability go now just toss it out of there, but this may make you even feel more unbalanced.

Yep. Four more. And just let the legs read down and up and three and too, and we're going to do last one before we're completely finished is lower your arm, close your eyes and hopefully this also feels more balanced. I do. I don't know about you. I feel like I'm very grounded on my legs. I actually feel my back muscles a lot. My mid back and your feet. Okay, cool.

Thanks for your tech class with me. See you next time. Everybody.


Thank you Amy for this wonderful class. Hope to see more with the discs, maybe also on the jump board.
Excellent class. Thank you. The rotating discs that are available to me are flat. Yours look like they are about an 1" or 2" high. Any suggestions for using the flat discs?
Had not used my discs in years! Had to dust them off! I will definately use with my people. Loved the ab work, could really fee!l Feeling inner thighs too... I imagine from trying to keep those discs still. Thank you Amy for another innovative session!
Fun as always Amy, thank you!!
Jihye K
Thanks everyone! :)
Love this class!! It was so much deeper and harder than you realize watching it! Man I have some stuff to work on! Thank you Amy :)
Thank you Lizanne....yes I doesn't look like much was going on, because we were doing such a great job with our stability! :) Glad you were there with me!!
Rachael S
Cant wait to use these in the studio Amy! I'd love to see another!
Thank you Rachael.....yes, there will be more. I often start basic..then add the layers and progressions. I believe it's important to see things from the foundation, then build --- better for assimilating the concepts! :)
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