Class #1589

Mat Building Blocks

45 min - Class


Benjamin Degenhardt brings his vibrant personality to this Mat workout. He takes you through a progression of exercises, giving you building blocks so you can choose the variations that work best for you. He includes Bouncing, Standing Footwork, Elephant Walks, and other fun exercises that will be sure to have you smiling during the entire class.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Apr 19, 2014
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Hi, I'm Benjamin Degenhart. I'm here to take this wonderful group of teachers and practitioners through a math workout. Um, the way I like to teach the mat work, especially with people that I'm not super familiar with, which includes you as well, I guess, um, is to take them through a progression of the exercises. I like to use the traditional exercises by Joseph [inaudible], but offer, um, stepping stones and building blocks along the way so that you can choose your own variation, the one that is appropriate for you. And I should say that I'm going for the most advanced version. Doesn't get extra points in my book. It's choosing the one that's right for you.

That is really the way you want to practice. Um, we have padded mats for some people here and um, we actually decided to double up these mats here as well, which is something you can do at home if you only have a yoga mat. Double it up, get a second one. Um, just for the exercise that required articulation through the spine just to keep ourselves nice and healthy. All right. With that, let's get started. Come onto your mat. I like to start standing just to get the body moving a little bit before we expose it to tortures gravity. I want you to find a nice comfortable position and just about hip distance apart parallel and the first thing we're going to do is a very traditional way of starting. Apply these mat workout, which is just to start some running, some jumping, and this has nothing to do with technique or with form. It's not going to look pretty or anything.

We're just starting to get the body moving, so just allow your knees to balance your ankles to bounce. Let your shoulders and your arms move naturally. This might feel a little silly at first, but you will get the hang of it. The only purpose we're doing this for is to stir up the slug and set things in motion. If this feels all right for your knees and ankles, start to shift away from one side to the other and again, no shape or form or technique to this. You're just bouncing around, getting things moving, starting to excite your heart a little bit, your nervous system. If that feels all right to you, start to pick up the foot that is pointing. So you're taking a little skips and again, feel free at any point with just staying with what we're doing right now before taking it to the next level. Start to jump from both feet at the same time.

And if you like to pretend you're holding a jump rope and you're skipping it makes it feel a little less silly. Alright, so most of you already see that the corners of the mouth are lifting. That's a good sign. Body starts to move in. Things started moving inside of you too. If that feels good to you, take one foot in front of you and continue skipping just on one leg. Allow your heart race who increase. Feel how your body starting to heat up. Switch the foot and again, allow your chest to just relax on top of your legs. Let's alternate the legs, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, left.

We take 10 more here and then we're coming towards the end of this warmup. Bring your legs together, Genio arms, and we'll do knee ups. You try to hit your knees all the way up against your elbows. And if you're on a higher mat, make sure you don't fall off to the side. There we go. It's fun.

Get the knees up as high as you can and feel how the opposite leg is actually stemming itself against the ground to get it up, up, up, up for four, three, two, one last thing. Kickbacks fare to kick your heels against your seat. Feel the front of your thigh. Stretch. That's right. So by the time we get to the ground, we're nice and warm and then pause. Do Nothing. Ah, allow your breath to come back to normal feeling. Warmish yes. Bring your feet a little closer together.

Think inner hip distance. Spread your toes into the ground. Shift weight into your toes, and then allow your heels to rotate into one another until they meet, but continued to push them against one another as if they could go past one another. Feel that energy through your inner thighs and stay with that as you slowly lower the heels back down. Take your hands behind your head, interlock them strongly. I'm going to do a breathing exercise here. I want you to inhale and really inflate your rib cage. Allow your collarbones to expand your elbows to go back, and then as you exhale, just relax your ribcage down. Repeat that.

Inhale through your nose and then exhale through your nose or mouth, whatever feels more comfortable, so you just allow your ribcage to open. There might be a little back bend here, even resist with your hands and then Xcel at the front of your rib cage. Just sink into your body. Fill yourself. Get longer through the bag, longer through the front. One more time. Inhale as you exited, rather ribs inward. Stretch your spine up and at the end of that extra, push the floor away with all 10 toes and lift your heels just one inch off the ground and relax them back down. Let's do that again. Inhale, expand your ribs and chest. As you exhale, relax the front of your rib cage. Towards the end of that Xcel, pickup your heels. Justin edge doesn't have to be more than that and relaxed down last time. Inhale, open your elbows wide.

Give yourself a little Beckmen peak up against the ceiling. Xcel, relax the front of your rib cage. Push the floor away and we'll go into our standing foot. Work from here. So maintain this verticality. Open your knees and try to sit down on your heels and a nice slow count of three and then press away from the floor in the night. Low Count of three, and we go again coming down your heels to stay an inch away from the ground and they stay together and you press back up to three. We'll do that two more times. Feel like your head is attached to the ceilings. Who as you come down, there's still that upward energy. Push the floor away to live.

And one more time. Lower to three. Press the floor away. Lift yourself up to three. Lower your heels down and let your arms come down by your such. Shake it loose for a second. That was good. We're going to repeat that. We're going to play with a rhythm a little bit. We just went three down, three up next, we're going to go three down. One up. Now you might fall.

You might tip over that. That'd be part of the practice. Allow your body to fall. Allow it to fail so that you can get better at it. All right. It's just us. Bring your head into your hands. Press your head back. Open your elbows nice and wide. Push the floor away with all 10 toes. Even those fifth little pinky toes down in three counts. Open the knees. Three, two, one or press up in one count and go again. Three, two, one.

Press up in one count. Remember falling out. If this is not weird, staying perfect is weird. Coming down. Three, two, one. Press it up one more time. Now let's go down in two counts going down. One, two, press up, one down in two, one, press up, one down in two, one press up one last time down to press of one and hold. Put your head against the ceiling and see if he can keep it there. As you stretch the heels slowly down in to the ground and we're lax. Nicely done. You guys come to the front of your mat.

We have to find our way down with the exercise that has no name. I call it getting down and getting up. All right, I'm going to face this way here. We're going to do a simple version first. If you have tricky knees and ankles, you might want to stay with this one, but we'll do the more traditional form afterwards. Wheat your arms out in front of you. Give yourself a nice little uplift. Bend one knee, place it down on the ground behind him, slightly turned out so that you can sit your hips down behind you and then see if you can reverse out of it. You reach forward, you come up on that foot and you step all the way up to standing.

Let's switch to the other leg. We in the other leg behind you, lower the knee, sit down behind your heels and then come up the same way like somebody pulling you forward by your wrists. Excellent. Let's go one more time each side. Keep reaching those arms forward like a counterweight. Lower yourself now. Good and coming back up. Let's change to the other side one more time. We're going to have plenty of opportunity to practice this later.

Keep your chest and eyes lifted. You're already looking forward to that, aren't ya? Come all the way back up. Come to standing, and then from here, if you want to make it more challenging, take your hands, one behind the other, behind your head. Come down to the same way, but this time do not use your knee against the floor. Just keep your foot touching lightly. Lower yourself down. Pick one side, come to a seated position and bring your legs out in front of you. Lie yourself down on your back and you made it to your mat. Isn't that great? Ah, yes. Exactly. Give yourself a good little side. Take a nice little breath here and just feel for a second how much support the mat gives you. As I said earlier, they're all nice and padded and squishy, so your body has an opportunity to really sink into it.

I recommend keeping the eyes open because I don't want you to fall asleep. You want to have to work again in a little bit. All right, inhale, feel your ribs expand. Exhale. Feel your body get longer, like you've standing tall, and then bring your legs together. Lift your arm straight up to the ceiling. With your next exhale, reach the arms forward and peek past your fingertips. Roll to the tips of your shoulder blades and parts. Now we're going to practice this curl quite a bit.

I want you to think that the spine extends itself through the head and down through the tailbone, and that at the end of that curl, those two ends meets somewhere far away from you, so your whole spine is curling. Your whole spine might be shaking slowly. Relax back down. Reach your arms up to the ceiling. So that's where we start, what I call the low teaser. Bring your arms forward, lift your head, neck and shoulders up. Feel how the low part of your spine has to adjust here as well. Now in addition to that, if this feels right for you, stretch your right leg out of the hip and pick it up parallel to your arms. Keep reaching through the toes. Keep reaching through the fingers.

Relax the leg down. Relax your head down. If your arm straight up to the ceiling and we'll do the other side. Deep Inhale, curl yourself up. Feel like your lungs are flotation device and it's pulling itself away from the ground. Pick up your left leg, stretch it parallel to your arms. Keep reaching long through those finger to relax the leg. Release the head, lift the arms up. You know where this is going, right? Bring the arms forward, curl your head, neck, and shoulders up. Same spot. Now squeeze your legs together. Stretch them out of your body.

If you can pick up both. Next, here's your a hundred breathing in, two, three, four, five and exhale two, three, four, five. Inhale and exhale. Good in through your nose, out through your nose or mouth, whatever feels more comfortable. Deep breath in and say, or now think again about that extended spine and how those two ends need far away from your big circle. Breathing and breathing apt. If you need to pick up your legs to get your low back in a happier place, by all means do so. You guys look strong. Inhale and exhale, and I usually call this a hundred years because I always lose my count egg sale. One more time. Deep breath. Lift your shoulders high XL. Pump all the air out of your lungs and relax completely for Lexia feet.

Lift your arm straight up to the ceiling. Here's our roll up now, just like in the a hundred before, feel like you're stretching the legs out of your body. Pick up your head, look through the arms and Xcel round all the legs. Push the heels out of your body. Take a stretch over your legs, release the head, and then roll yourself slowly down. Try to keep your heels in one spot. Fold the toes back, reach the arms over your head and we'll do that one more time. Slow. Pick up your arms first. Peek through the arms x around forward. Think again of both ends of your spine rounding into itself and slowly coming down and then we go three times a little quicker. Reach the arms back. Inhale, lift your arms and head XL round forward.

Take a bigger stretch than you have before and then slowly come down. Keep pressing the heels out in a way from you. Couple more times. Lift the arms and head. Exhale, take a stretch long and easy through the neck and with control. Come down one more time. Last one, I promise. Inhale, lift your arms and head x around your head into yourself. Good. Keep pulling the toes back to stretch to the heels and then with control.

Come all the way down and let your arms come down by your sides. Really feel what it takes to push your arms into the math so much that your collar bone start to expand. Push the mat away with your shoulders, your elbows, your wrists, your fingers, your fingertips, and then pick up your legs. Lift them straight up to 90 degrees. I'm going to do a little circle here the same way they would in a rollover. With the hips down though, open your legs to about the frame of your shoulder.

Stretch your legs forward and away from you as close to the mat as you can. Bring them together and pick them back up to 90 degrees. We're going to add some rhythm to that open and lower. Inhale, exhale, squeeze him and pull him up. Hold. Inhale, open. Reach the legs away from you. Close and hold. One more time. This way, open and reach. Squeeze them and lift. Reverse it down and reach into your legs. As you open.

Pick them up and close them at the top down. Again, open, left and close at the top. Feel those hips nice and long on the mat last time. Open and lift. Stay here. Lower your left leg down to the ground. All right, now for this next exercise, the one leg circle, I want you to think of it like a one legged corkscrew. We're going to prepare the exercise like this. I want you to lift your forearms up so that your hands point up towards the ceiling, sort of in line with your legs so you have a bit of an angle here at the arms.

Palms face in towards one another and you bring your hands far enough away from you so that the leg could be on that same line as your hands. Now here's how are we going to start? You bring your right hip up and away from the Mat, lifted up and let the leg fall across the line until your leg and your left hand meet. Right? So connect your left hand and the leg and press those two into one another. As you stay there, notice how your spine is rotated.

Notice how your right elbow can still press into the ground. Your right shoulder is still attached to the floor too and slowly come back to center. Good. And again, so the leg is just going to go up and across and you let it fall into the hand. Press the leg into the hand and the hand up into your leg. Press your right elbow down all at the same time and come back through center. We'll do that one more time.

Just going up and across just the very first portion of your circle. Hold that counter. Rotate your left leg on the ground so that's nice and parallel. Open the front of your hip. Bring the leg up and switch legs rightly. It comes down, left leg comes up. All right. So again, if you need to adjust your hands, they're not perfectly at a right angle, your leg should comfortably fall into the hand. All right, lift the left hip up, ticket across the leg comes over.

As a result of that, and once your hand and leg meet, press them together. Press your left elbow down, feel your neck length and fill your right heel. Stretch away from you. Come back to center two more times. Notice how this is the same stretch we're going for in our corkscrew, our saw all those twisting exercise, right? So this is your first twist for right now. Slowly come back to center.

Take it one more time. Really find that position where your leg falls into the hand and then pull the head down first to pick the leg back up. Switch your legs again. Let your arms come down by your sides. And now we're going for a full circle. Started the exact same way. Lift your hip hop. Let the Lego across. Circle it down around. Slice the leg through the air to come back.

Center over and around, down, around and up. Two more times. Oh, down around and up. Last one, a cross down around and up. Four Times. Reverse it. Open the leg first, let the hip lift as you take it across. Three more. All the time. Key press. Sing the mat away from your shoulders down to your fingertips. This is your last one, and switch the legs, right leg down, left leg up.

Flex that rifle strongly like you standing on it and then go over, down around it up. Three more, over, down, around and up. Make sure that you keep breathing all throughout. Find length in your body. One more time over, down around it. Up and reverse. Open down, across and up. Good. And you can even stretch those toes straight up against the ceiling. Slice your leg through the air. Let's take one more over, down, across an up and lower the leg all the way down.

Shake out your legs against the mat for just a second. Ah, all right. Now next up is our rolling like a bar, but going into the position itself will be an exercise. Remember how in the hundred we went through that low teaser position where you picked up both legs just a couple of inches away from the ground, arms parallel to your legs. Head comes up all in one motion. You do that right now and take a deep breath in to prepare. Exhale, lift into your low teas or low back, long on the mat. Hold that position for a second.

Second step as you bend your knees and you'll come up into your rolling like a bar position. Hold that. Pull your heels close to your seed without your feet touching the ground. Feel like your shoulders curl up and over your knees. Now we're going to come back down to the low teaser. Stretch your arms and legs forward, low back flat.

Hold that and then relax completely hah, and again. Lift into your low teaser, head, neck, shoulders, arms and legs. Lift. Bend your knees. Come up into your role like a bar position. Try to pull it a little tighter this time. So your heels come to your seat, your chest against the nice, your head is relaxed and then come back into your low teaser. Stretch the legs, stick the legs forward, reach the arms towards your toes and relax completely. One more time and then we're going to roll like a bar. Lift bag up low teaser, lift your arms or leg stretch forward. Bend your knees curl are, make the Titus ball yet and off you go. Roll back and forth, back and up. Roll back and have some fun with this one.

You've worked so hard to get to this point. Now you get to play a little bit. Roll the hips under your wrote to your shoulders and lift back up. All the while. Maintain this really tight bar position a couple of more times and last one and hole. Stay at the top. Come back into your low teaser. Reach the arms next forward and hold that going right into her one leg stretch.

Pull the riden into your chest. Stretch to the left leg long and hold switch. Pull the left knee in and hold switch again, right in Haute and left and hold going fast through right and left and right and left. Let your breath even itself. Um, make a d. Let each inhale lift your shoulders higher that each egg sales match your spine longer. One more deep breath. Inhale and exhale. Bend both knees into your chest and relax your heads down. I hear some sighing. That's good. Let your head just relax side to side.

All right, we're going to have some fun now. All right, we're going to put together the low teaser with the one leg stretch. With a squat. It's going to look a little something like this. So Fun, right? All right, so come back up into your seated position for a second. We're just going to explore the first part of it before we puzzle it all together. You're in, you're rolling like a bar position or you can follow along with me here. You pull your heels to your seed, you round your spine evenly, and we're looking for nice, high lifted, see curve. As you feed come down, I want you to take your hands to the mat behind you.

You bring your chest as close to your knees as you can, and then you just push yourself up into a squat position. All right? Ultimately what we'll try to do this without our hats, but for right now, this is an option for you. All right? So from here you sit yourself back down. You pick up your feet, you roll to the tips of your shoulder blades, and you come back up. Find that position here. Hold on behind. You try to have your feet flat because ultimately we want to be able to stand up. All right, we'll try that a couple more times. Just this much. So this is the easier version. Press against the floor.

Stretch and lift your chest. Now one more time. Rolling back, lifting up. See from here you can come so far forward that you can reach one arm forward. What would it be like to take the other arm up? Not Pretty. Maybe. Oh, okay, I got it. Now. How are you guys bring your hands back. So we're going to try that same thing again and see if we can come up to standing from there. All right, so start on your back.

We start with our low teaser. Take a deep breath in to prepare. As you exhale, lift your head and chest, arms and legs up. Now from here, bend your knees. Come all the way up. We're going to take one roll to come back to our shoulder blades and then exhale. See if you can push yourself forward onto your feet and maybe all the way up to standing. This works better when you do it quicker. All right, coming down as the same. Reach your arms forward. Let your hips round against your heels. Pick up your feet, roll back and lift back up. Come all the way up to standing.

Everybody's still here. Let's try that again. Sit on down. Sit yourself down as close to your heels as you can. Pick up your shins. Roll back to your shoulders. Come up to your feet. Hold and come to standing. Very good you guys. One more time. Reach your arms forward as a counterweight. As you sit your hips back, roll to your shoulder blades, come all the way up to standing and last time coming down to one roll at the bottom and then just come all the way up into your squat, so not to standing Justin to your squad.

You can use hands again. Now later on, we're going to take this a step further for right now, but just going to test this out. If this is a comfortable position for you to be in and your feet are flat, see if you can stretch one leg out in front of. See we can always make things a little more fun. Press the Mat away, stretch their legs out and away from you and then pull it back in and stretch the other leg out. One of the many reasons we do stomach massage on the reformers right here, you want that flexibility through the hip, that lift through your chest up. Pull the leg back in. That's changed one more time, each side, and then we return to our regular programming in the mat work. All right.

Bring your right foot down, left leg out, keep the chest open. Left leg comes in. Sit your hips down. Find your low teaser holded and we take our double leg stretch from here. Exhale, bend your knees in. Inhale, reach your arms out in front of you. For today's double leg stretch, we do a Joe style.

Push your hands into your thighs. Exhale, come back in. You got four more times. Inhale, reach. Exhale, hug the knees into you. XLR The air for three in. Exhale, come back in a hold onto the size of your thighs with your flat palms. As you extend out, it's like you're holding a magic circle with your hands. Exhale, come back in and this is your last one. Deep breath in. Stretch it long.

Make this your best one yet. Exhale. Bend your knees in and collapse. All right. Do you guys come up to a seated position? Police, I'm going to face this way and I have my feet down. For those of you that have tight hamstrings, a good modification, four, four spine stretch forward is not so much would just bend your knees, but you can double up your mat and sit on an elevated surface or for you guys on these meds, you can open your legs and place your heels down. That way you get to straighten out your legs.

You still have the experience of sitting up tall without compromising the length and the backs of your legs. All right, so find a position that's good for you. Pull your toes back as strongly as you can. Sit on top of your sits bones and I don't have the space right now, but you want your fingers on the mat right between your legs and you use them to lift your spine up as tall as you can. Think of your arms like brackets. You're take a nice deep breath and you press down into the mat and you lift your spine upwards. As you accept, push the air out your lungs through your nose or mouth and keep the length. We'll do that a couple more times. Just breathing.

Inhale because sitting up straight as hard enough, isn't it? Exhale, push all the air out of your lungs. Keep growing taller if you can. One more time. Exhale. Now as we start adding the forward bend, I want you to maintain that much space in your spine. All right. Inhale. As you exhale, bring your chin over your chest. Give me the high as lifted seeker curve. You plan as you round forward, stretching your whole spine top to bottom. Inhale, roll back up.

We'll take two more of these. Exhale round over, high lifted c curve. Push through the heels. Pull the toes back. Inhale, lift back up. One more time. Keeping those fingers sliding on the mat. Feeling your low back. Pull in opposition to your arms that reach forward. I think again of those extensions to your spine that meets somewhere in space and a big circle. Inhale, lift yourself all the way up.

Lift your arms up and away from the Mat and if you're too far back on your mat, actually come forward so that you hear that in the front corners. That will make for a better transition into our open neck rocker. Now we're going to take a roll down. From here. You can relax your feet. I want you to find a spot in your roll down where the weight of your torso and the weight of your legs even each other out so that you can pick up your legs just a couple of inches away from the ground. Hover here, lower the legs back down, and lift yourself back up to a seated position. We'll just do that a couple more times.

Roll yourself back to the tops of your pants. Stretch your legs away from you. Reach your arms and legs parallel to each other. You could do anything here, right is all held in your core. Lower the legs. Lift yourself all the way up. One more time. You could do anything, but we choose the open leg rocker. All right? You reach your arms, the legs forward. You pick up your legs, try to grab on to your ankles or as high up as you can. Stay here as a good exercise already. Rocking back is even better, so go for it.

If you got it. Inhale, exhale, lift up. Keep ongoing in her rock back and Xcel lift up. Try to keep those arms long and strong, committed the entire time. Exhale and lift the chest at the top. Three more. Inhale, exhale and lift. Two more. Inhale and exhale. Last time.

Deep breath in. You guys, make it look so easy. Exhale, lift yourself all the way up and hold. Now bring your legs together, release your arms parallel to your legs for teaser of the day. Curly hips under. Slowly roll yourself down. Let your legs relax in front of you and again, shake them out against the mat. If you haven't exhaled in a while, this is a great moment. Oh, there we go. Much better, right? All right, so since we've done our one leg circle with a little bit of a spinal twist already, the corkscrew is now just a a a progression to that or I'd bring your legs together, lift them straight up to the ceiling, press the arms away. We're going to keep the rollover out. Just keep your hips nice and long. Let your right hip lift off the mat. To bring your legs over to the left. See how far you can go. Now, circle the legs away from you.

Pick them up on the other side and stop in the center. I take it the other way. Reach them away. Keep the opposite shoulder down. Sweep the legs across and pull them back up. Let's go a little quicker through this one. He'll stay together. Inhale over, down around it, up reverse. Inhale and down around it. Up Two more and over, down, around and up. Last time, over down, around and up. Open your legs.

Sit Up for yourself and flex your feet. Again, same position as before. If you need an elevation, you can double up your maths. That's what they're there for. Open your legs a little wider than mat. If that's available to you, bring your arms out to the side. We're going to take them very slow twists to start. This is a tricky exercise for a lot of us because the spine doesn't really have all that much space to twist into.

I want you to make sure that you're not over rotating through your chest and neck, so think that the center of your chest has to stop right above your leg. It's a very small twist. All right. Inhale. If your ribcage of your hips, exhale, twist to your right until the center of your chest is pointing the same direction as your right leg. Stay with that for a second. Reach arms away from each other. Continue to lift your rib cage up and away from the hips and just see how tough that little twist already is. Push the left. It's burned down more. Now reach your left arm forward over your right leg, right on back, round down, and return to center. All right, nice and slow and torturous.

Take it to the left. That's how I like it. I'm sure you've got that already. Keep the center of your chest right over your left leg. Now your right arm is going to go forward. Your left arm. That makes sure you don't over-rotate open your low back. Feel the same stretch you did in your one leg stretch here. Sorry, your one next circle. That is and your quirks are going quicker.

Twist right round it. Take a stretch and lift back up. Take it left and route in. Make sure both shoulders have the same distance to the ground. Come back center one more each way. XC around over the right.

Good and back through center. Take your last one over. Left. Round on down. Switch all the way up. Stay here for a second. See if you can lift yourself off your sits bones more. Reach your arms away from each other. Give me just that extra millimeter in your spine. I know it's there, you know it's there. There it is. Good and relax. Good.

Flip over to your stomachs with your head in towards the center. You can do that any way you like. Freestone moment. Am I going to do a little bit of extension? Now the way I like to start, this is with your next super long, so think that your hairline is touching the mat. Reach your arms long by your sides with your palms facing down. Feel the backs of your shoulders. Pull slightly towards one another, but keep the back of your neck nice and long. Bring your legs together too.

And no matter what happens in the next few minutes, your legs stay together. Deal now, reach your fingertips back towards your heels. Let your chest lift forward and up just an inch or two high enough that you can see the front of your mat but not so high that your lower back gets all wrinkly. Alright, keep reaching your fingertips back towards the feed. Allow your collarbones to expand. And if you got it in your, lift your hands ever so slightly off the mat and relax back down. So that's our basic move into our float, into our lift from here. Again, reach forward through the chest. As you reach back through your fingertips.

You're not lifting your arms until the chest is at its highest point. Again, keeping the low back nice and long. Unifor lift your arms at the end if you got it and will aspect down. We're going to add on, but you're welcome. Just stay with this much. Lift back up. Keep the chest, this high off the ground and reach your arms towards a t position, but only go as far as you can. Keep the chest this high up the second it starts coming down, you stay.

Reach the arms back again. See if that gives you more of a lift. Keep the legs back and down and then relax your spine back to the floor. You've got one more of the stretch back through your fingertips. Lift your chest forward and up. Reach your arms away from you like a tea pole on the reform or stretch them into that shape. Now stay here. Pick up your legs, an inch or two off the ground with your knees straight and locked.

Keep reaching your arms and legs away from each other. Keep your arms there and relax everything down. Had an arms and t and legs down by your side. Now if you need to adjust on your mat so you don't hit each other, you can stagger slightly. Now I'm going to keep the arms in a tee position and lift everything up into that final shape. Inhale, lift the arms, your head, your chest, your legs, from the tops of your thighs through the knees, through the shins, through the feet. And relax back down. One more time.

And if you've got this, you can go into your swan dive from here, lifted up, lift your chest to start your swan. Dive Up. You go and rock six times six up, five up, four up, three up two and last one. Hold and relax everything down. Good. You guys, sit back over your heels. Do a little child's pose. Notice how your child's pose really is the same position as rolling like a ball as that weird squad we were in earlier when you were trying to stand up.

Notice how you're perfectly relaxed in that position with your spine, slightly rounded in your knees, fully flexed. Use Your hands against the ground to give yourself an extra stretch. Good. And then slowly roll yourself all the way up. We're going right into the thigh. Stretch from here. So bring yourself up onto your knees into a nice lifted position here.

Bring your arms down in front of you for a second. And the first thing I want you to notice is whether your hips are sitting back away from your arm, whether there's a gap, whether there's any light shining through, and if so, just bring your hip bones forward until that gap is closed. Try to even press your hip bones beyond that. It's not a big movement, but it should set things in motion back here. All right? And then release that completely and do that again. Press your hips forward so you're just activating the back of your body, which you will need for the next exercise.

So thigh stretch is one of those exercises that is painful at the first millimeter, right? It's a lot of these magic. Or take one more. So set it up correctly so that you're in your support. Now, lift your arms out in front of you and keep all that activity through your seat and your abdominals and start to lean your body back in one long piece and you don't go far. You go an inch, maybe two, maybe three, maybe 10, whatever feels right for you. And then you spring back up maybe so far that you feed one of lift behind you and feels like you're falling flat onto your nose. Let's make this exciting. It's go back again. [inaudible] eat your body bags like somebody pulling you by your ears, your arms. Reach forward with energy and lift yourself back up.

We'll do that a few more times. Think how this exercise is reminiscent of your double leg. Kick your Singulair. Keep going for the same stretch to the front of the head. We'll take one more deep breath in and your body back. Xcel. Lift yourself all the way up. Come to a four legged position, Tuck your toes under and then round your spine just by pushing through your hands.

Feel your entire spine pall itself up into a nice lifted c curve, right? We call this cat and cow. Sometimes I call this exercise cat cow meow and you will figure out why in a second. So this is your cat. Press through the hands, round out your back. Think again of how your spine create that full circle. The ends meet far away from you. Now reverse the spine. Stick your seat back, pull the chest forward through your arms. Almost feel like you're trying to drag your wrist back towards your knees.

Still keeping. Lengthen your spine. So that's the cow action right now. Perez back into the opposite shape. Here's your meow Perez against the floor. Round out your back. At the end of that, lift your knees a millimeter off the ground. Hold it for three, like an angry cat, and two and one. Lower the nice and go back into your extension. Reach your hips back, lift your chest forward through your arms. Curl the hips under ripple to your spine. Push the floor away.

And at the end of your exhale, pick up your knees again. Nice you guys lower the knees. Roll through the hips to QC back. Your chest comes forward through the arms again. Feel like you're pulling the risk back towards your knees and then reverse it. Push the mat away. Round your spine. And at the end of that, lift your knees up.

Hold it for three, hold it for two. Hold it for one. Andrew, up the knees. Sit back over your heels. And give yourself another little stretch here. Nice work. Was that the stink-eye? No. Okay, good. Just checking. All right. Roll yourself all the way up.

Here's a fancy little transition you can do to get onto your back from here. Make sure that your knees are okay with it though. Bring your feet and cross them. Take weight into your hands. Similar to the crab exercise in Joe's book, lift yourself over your heels and roll yourself down onto your back. Open your chest nice and wide. Place your feet on the ground.

It will go into a little shoulder bridge. From here first, make sure that your fingers are as close to the heels as possible. You might just be able to touch them. Press the backs of your shoulders down. Allow your elbows to rest and press down too, and then lift your heads up. Try to form one long line from your knees down to your shoulders so that if you arms were resting on top again, just like in your thigh stretch, your hips would not sit back. The hip bones would attach right up that straight line.

Keep that position for a second. Breathe deeply. Feel that your knees are pulling forward and away from you and without moving. Feel like your heels are dragging towards your shoulders. See what that does to your seat and lower the spine back down. We'll do that two more times. Lift your hips up.

You can feel like your knees up, falling forward in a way from you and without moving the heels as if they're dragging towards the shoulders. Pressing the Mat away nice and open through the chest and slowly lower down. One more time. Deep breath in, lifted up and hold. Now see if you can spread your toes into the ground and let your heels come off the ground. All right. Allow your hips to come up a little bit higher. Start to bend your elbows and see if your hands would fit right against your waist. So a little bit higher up right at the tops of your pants.

Check in with how that feels. Is there any way coming crashing down into your elbows? If so, relax your arms back down by your sides. If not, see if you can lower the heels back down without any way coming crashing down into your elbows. Think of your hands just like kickstands. They're holding your hips in place, but they're not holding the weight. All right, can you stretch your right leg straight up to the ceiling? Beautiful. You just gave yourself a spine corrector with your hands, right?

Feel like you're pushing your hips away from you with your hands. Stretch your right leg forward and down as close to the ground as you can take and then kick the leg up four times, up and down. Very and adapt two more times. Up and down. Last one up and lower. Bend your knee. Switch to the other side. We grip your back.

If you must extend your left leg up and remember you can do this with your arms down by your side of this is an uncomfortable. Stretch the leg away from you and down. Feel the stretch in the front of your hip. Four cakes up and a ADAP. Three up and a down. Try to keep the heel as close to the ground as you can. One more time, up and a down. Rebound that knee, place the foot down.

Relax your arms by your sides and ah, relax yourself onto your backs. Oh, that's right. Come up to a seated position. Little spot interests. Anyone. Flex your feet, bring your legs as close together as possible. So now that we've done our mini saw earlier, right now our spine is that much more warmed up that we might just be able to go a little bit further and you can allow yourself to do a full twist. All right, but we pass that point that we had in our size as well. Stretch your arms away from you.

Feel like your whole body is trying to press back against a backboard and a chair. If he like, your rib cage is floating off your hips. Tighten your seat a little bit like you're jumping off your mat. Now take a twist to your right. Take a triple pause. XL three lifted a little high or twist to lifted a little higher. Twist one more. Now live back through center. Inhale, take it to the left.

Three to hold it on. One. I want to stay with this view right now. Inhale, come back to center. Take it to the right twist for three and lift higher too, but even higher. One Neff through center. Take it once more to the left to the left. Three left on to flex the feed.

One lift through center that the arms come down by your sides and then make your way to the front of your mat for the teaser. We need the space behind us. Alright, teaser time, favorite time of the day, isn't it? Now the good news is you've already done your teaser, you've done your low teaser ride, you held the legs out of your body for extended periods of time. So this shouldn't really be all that new for your body in this position, right? Your open leg rocker. This transition is going to help us with the teas as well.

It all comes together in this exercise. You reach your arms out in front of you, you sit up nice and tall. We'll take it from the top, pull the hips under you and find your highest secret possible. So your spine is bending from head to tail, but you're not slouching. You're not sinking. You maintain the lift. You take that down until you feel that you could pick up your legs, stretch them out of your body and see if you can dial them up right parallel to your arms. He reaching through your fingers. Your goal is to touch your toes. Hold that for a second. Let me check in with you guys looking good.

Lower the legs and lift yourself all the way back up to the best [inaudible] position possible. Curl the hips under again. We'll do that one more time. Just the prep. Reach the legs out of your body to pick them up. So before you even think about lifting, you lengthen your legs. Keep reaching through your fingertips. Try to touch your toes, lower the legs and lift yourself back up. Give me a straighter spine possible. Now we're going for the full teaser.

Roll yourself back, pick up your legs, find the position, keep your legs where they are. Roll your spine down three times, three and a up just to your shoulder. Bay Tips is good for too. And Ah, AH, last one down. Lifted up to the highest point possible. Can you touch your toes? Can you touch your toes? Can you touch your toes? Stay there with your arms and chest. Lower the legs. Lift them up. Three and two. Lower down and up. Or You thought you were done? I'm so sorry.

One more time. Down, up and hold and relaxed down. Stretch your arms over your head. Ah, there was a little messy, but that's okay. From your legs against the ground because we're going to do it again from this position. All right. Our teas are three. You can slide onto your mat if you like. Make sure you have space to extend your arms back and just see how good that feels. Extend your legs out in front of you.

The goal is to fold your body in half. Touch your toes and then we come right back down to this position. All right. Take a deep breath in. Stretch your legs away from you. Squeeze them together in one motion. Lift yourself up and hold. Reach your arms are by your ears without changing anything else.

Give me your best poker face and slowly roll the spine down. Reach your arms away from your legs and fold that Jackknife and go again. It up. Lift your chest tall and proud. Nice and slowly rolled it down. Reach your arms past your ears. This is your last one. I promise I lifted all the way up. Highest one so far.

This is the one way you touch your toes. You gotta, you gotta do you got it? Curl those hips under you to get the legs closer to you. See you chose I just a millimeter away from your fingers. You got it. I'm so mean. Roll it down. Flip over to your stomach. Same way you're facing. Just give it a quick little spin.

Keep your four limbs extended away from your middle. Lift all four limbs off, arms, legs, and let's go right into a quick little swim. The antidote to teaser. Fill your low back length. And again, nice and wrinkle-free. The chest is what lifts the arms of lifting. The thighs are lifting knees and elbows. Lock 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two. Hold on one and relax. Ah, like your feet. Tuck your toes under. Take your hands underneath your shoulders, press the floor away and see.

From here can lift yourself up into your plank position. The only thing better than teaser is a plank right now. Maintain the push through both your arms. Become fascinated with your risks for a second. See if you can lengthen them out.

See if you can let all 10 fingers relate to the mat evenly. All the knuckles are pressing into the padding of your mat. Hold that point your right foot so it leaves the ground and kick it up for double parts. Up and up. Flex it. Bring it down. Point the left. Kick it up twice. One, two for it. Bring it down your leg. Paul. Point the right, lifted up, up for the Lexa. Bring it down. Left side.

Kick it up, up for an exit. Bring it down. One more time. You decide right side. Feel the stretch to the front of the hip. Here's your last one up, up for legs and bring it down. Or keep pushing through your hands. Round your spine and to a high c, lift yourself until the heels can touch the ground and then reverse that. Lift the heels up, ripple through your spine until your back forward in your plan. We'll just do that motion one more time. Push through their hands, almost be like you're trying to drag your feet forward on the mat.

Lower the heels, lift the heels. Give your spinal ripple until you're back in your plan. You guys have one more of those are lifted up. Lower the heels and stay. We're going to do the elephant walk. Doesn't that sound fun?

Bring your hands back towards your feet just a little bit like one step. Get your heels down into the ground. You do not have needs for this next exercise. All right. You don't have them. Flex your feet strongly. Even if your heel, they're not touching yet. See if you can peel your toes off the mat. Take a mini step forward with your right leg. Remember, you don't have any.

Get the heel down first. Let the left leg pass your right. Walk a little closer towards your hands and switch again. Notice how your spine has to start curving into that high c again to make space for your legs to come in. Now you walk as far as you can, as close to your hands as you can. You might just be able to walk through your hands. I don't know. Let's see. Nice. Not Bad.

You guys walk all the way in and when you can't go any further, roll your spine up. Lift yourself up tall. Reach your arms up by your ears. Give yourself a nasal special, like somebody holding you by your wrists. Feel your heels drop into the ground and let your arms just circle out to the side and just turn around where you are right now to go into our pushups. You knew where we're going to end with pushups, right? So what are the end of your map when your arms are by your ears? Again, here's a little stretch I like to do.

Reach your arms a little bit past your ears and let your chin drop in towards the chest. Let your hips come slightly forward so you can barely see your toes underneath you. Feel the stretch through the back of your neck, fronds of your armpits there, and then think of a roll down. Press down on your piles, chair as you curl the spine into a c, taking your hands down until your palms are flat down in front of your big toes. Walk your hands out into your plank position. You're welcome to stay in playing or give me your three best pushups going down and pressing up and two more down, and press it up. Last one down.

Press up. Hold now. Pick your hips up first. Stay elephant. Walk your legs in. Oh, nice. Those elephants are getting quicker on their progress through the hands until you're as far forward as you can. Slowly push your hips forward. As you roll your spine up, lift your arms by your ears.

Interlock your fingers right here at the top. Pull your elbows apart until your hands are behind your head. Give your head that resistance again from the beginning. Press your head into your hands. Take a nice deep breath in back. Bend your spine.

Lift your chest up tall that your elbows fold backwards and then exhale. Relax. The front of your rib cage. Pull yourself nice and long. At the end of that exhale, lift your heels and lower them back down. Inhale, lift your chest. Going right back to where we started, but we're not going to start class all over again. Exhale, relax the front of your rib cage. At the end of your exhale, push the ground away that you hear to come up slightly and lower down. Last one, if you choose with your eyes closed, inhale, lift your chest. Elbows fold open. Exhale, relax in front of your rib cage. Trust your feet to hold you.

Keep your heels together. Push all 10 toes into the ground. A millimeter of a lift is fine for me. Keep the length in your spine as you lower the heels down. Open your eyes. Let your arms come down by your sides. See how long your body feels, and I'll try to hold on to this length as long as you can. You guys are all set.

Very nice work. You guys.


Thank you Benjamin. The prep for leg circles and corkscrew was perfect as I am always a little hesitant to lift my hips off the mat. Also the elephant walks were so much fun!
2 people like this.
Great class! Great teacher! Wish I could take classes where I live!
2 people like this.
Such an inspiring class! I can't wait to see more.
Fantastic! I agree completely with Jackie! Thank you. See you back at PA in June!
2 people like this.
Dear Moderator:
This "Gentleman" is very good indeed.Await his next class with much anticipation. Such integrity of the Method.
5 people like this.
What a great class using the traditional Pilates exercises in a very fresh way! With your great explanation and building up the blocks they somehow felt totally different. This is why I love Pilates - you can do the same movement again and again and each time feel it different than before. Thank you! Looking forward to your new classes.
Wonderful class, enjoyed the teaching method!
Great instructor! Thank you!
Can't wait for the next class!
Simply beautiful! Thank you
Really good class. Has something for everybody. I didn't know it before this class but I needed to work on my teaser and transitions. Looking forward to more mat classes from Benjamin!
A wonderful class! Please, more mat classes with Benjamin!
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