Class #1637

Fundamental Mat Flow

35 min - Class


Kristi teaches a fundamental Mat workout dedicated to the YMCA in San Diego, California. She breaks down the traditional Mat exercises with preparatory movement designed to touch upon the heart of each exercise. Explore preparations for the Hundred, Single Leg Circles, Double Leg Stretch, and Spine Stretch, among other exercises, and feel better in your body by the end of class!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Apr 26, 2014
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This one is going out to the AMCA and San Diego Level one class, um, designed really just to get you to the heart of each exercise and to feel a little bit better at the end. So if you start just sitting cross legged, you might, there's going to be a fair amount of sitting in this class, um, throughout transitioning through exercises. So you might want to have a box nearby or a towel or somebody you can elevate yourself on if you need to. If your hip flexors get tight or if your back feels tight though, that's a real easy way to just elevate yourself and feel better with that. So I'm going to turn sideways. You just, uh, maybe you'll need to do the same depending on where your mat is. You're sitting up tall. And for now, just hold onto your knees and find a way that you can just sit right up on those bones are the bum, the sit bones and length.

And if you can imagine the crown of your head reaching up to the ceiling, take a moment and just inhale. Let the shoulders reach up to the ears holding on so you don't feel like you're having to hold your legs or even yourself up fully. Let the shoulders fall or slowly slide down. Not Too much work there. One more of those. Inhale. I hope you exhaled in between. I didn't say it, but I trust you. Exhale down.

Now holding on just without thinking too much, just round your back. You're going to hear me talk about tucking the pelvis or rolling the pelvis. This is the position, I mean where you roll back off your sit bones and then come right back on top. Inhaling up. Exhale, I'm pushing almost my knees into my hands so I've got a firm grip there. As I roll the pelvis back and inhale.

Now just make it feel kind of good or smooth. Exhaling and inhale. Let your spine go. That means your head is going to move to Kinda just loosening up. Inhale, gently rocking and exhale.

We can do the same motion of course lying on our backs, but it's a Tuck as a Tuck to me and it for me. It means that the low back is going backwards and left up. Let's do one more like that or exhaling back. Now as you come forward, inhale, sit right back on top so the shoulders are over your hips and just exhale, staying tall here. Now we're going to inhale and go a little more into an arch of the upper back. The trick here is not thrusting the rib cage. Just forward to do it.

Rather hold the hips still if you can. It's going to be small and inhale to try and take the chest up. It's like the chest almost pushes your chin out of your way and I'm still holding on and then exhale back. Now try to keep the hip still. We do it again. We inhale, we feel the chest rising. You feel energy in the upper back, hopefully not so much in the lower back.

Preferably exhale back to what I'll call neutral. Do two more. Inhale, fill up. Hold on. As you wish, elbows wide, you can use your arms. Why not? And exhale. Something you want to watch for is that you're not just leaning back, right? You're going up. One more in here looking up a little, not a lot bleed, and then exhale. All right, let's just scoot forward if you need to and lie on your backs with your knees bent with the arms down by your side, pretty close to your side so you can feel them.

Gently press the whole arm into the mat. Being careful that you don't put so much emphasis on your hands that the shoulders pop up. If anything, I'd rather you focus on letting the shoulders be heavy into the mat. Feet are flat. I have them about sit bones, distance apart, right? It's certainly not real wide and they're not real close. Here we go. We're just going to rock the pelvis the same way. Inhale, exhale.

You can use your feet a little push into the feet to press the low back into the mat, your tailbone kind of tilt upward. Inhale, just really sit back down to what we'll call neutral. Exhale. You can use your feet. You might notice as you blow out, the belly drops down naturally in how released. If you don't notice it, put one hand there and check it out. Start exhaling. Feel how the belly just naturally falls. You don't have to make that happen. It'll do it for you. Bodies are amazing, and inhale, release to neutral. I'm not going into an arch on this one. Exhale, it's a, you know, we know that if we start class free of tension as much as possible, we're more efficient. So that's what I'm doing here. Exhale, rolling into the back. Inhale back to straight.

Now we're going to go a little further. Exhale, roll into the waist like you did. Stop there. Check it out. You can look and look at yourself. Make sure you're in that curve. And at this point, most of your low back is on the ground. If you haven't already. Inhale, we're going to go up a little further. That means your bombers is coming off, but you're still trying to roll up.

So don't just pop the hips up, roll upstanding on your feet, trying to come to a long line from the shoulders to the hits. Look down your body. If you see the ribs, but you don't see your knees, I know it doesn't feel good. So let's drop the ribs down. Reid, attempt to round your back and won't look around, but that's what you're trying for. So you feel the back of your legs more than your actual back. Inhale and exhale, roll all the way down. I'm trying to do it sequentially until you're back to the start. Inhale. Exhale.

Roll the low back into the mat. Step into your feet. Keep Rolling, keep rolling. Eventually, yes, you're going to come into a straight line, but if you don't attempt to keep rolling, you're going to hang your butt low. It's not gonna feel good and you're not going to look straight. So tuck it, push it. Wallah. Inhale, and now from your throat. Roll it down, blowing at your air, softening where possible. Inhale at the bottom. Start the exhale. Notice the abdominals just falling and step into your feet.

It's almost as if you're reaching your knees out over your ankles. Another quick position. Check that you don't splay the knees. Keep them in. Inhale. If you haven't an exhale, roll down, down, down. One more time in here. Start the exhale, roll it out. Notice yourself getting a little looser up and exhaling down, down. Pay attention to your feet.

Hopefully they're still straight ahead. We have all sorts of ways of modifying positions. Just slide your feet fully together so my big toes are touching as best they can. My ankles are touching as best they can. These are definitely touching right now. Then from here, slide your feet in a little closer up to the balls of the feet and let's take the arms out to low v and have the palms up. You'll have the floor. Hopefully I'm just, you don't have to hold your arms up.

I pretend my floor goes a little further coming towards me. You're going to inhale and rotate from the waist, the knees towards me. Take a look at the needs that are lined up. It doesn't happen naturally. You've got to make that happen. Otherwise it's a different exercise. Start exhaling when you feel that you need to and let the heaviness of the ribs or the waistline sink to the mat and bring the legs back to the start.

Other way. Inhale, knees or exactly side by side. Look at it. If you're not sure, start exhaling and it's as if the ribs are heavy and it forces the knees up toward the ceiling. Let's do it again. Slightly faster. Not much though. Inhale, start the exhale. You don't have to worry too much about the legs as long as you keep them side by side and together. Inhale to the back. Exhale, drawing them back in. Sometimes we over commit or over contract. It doesn't take much.

It just takes a focus of where do you want the energy and if you, if you're not sure my my QCI you would be, keep going to the back in here would be to start exhaling and just notice, feel it and almost automatically, eventually toward the end of that exhale, it'll make your knees want to lift because the abs of Titan, one more each way. Enhanced or wretched. Exhale. Last one. Inhaling and exhaling. We're back to the center. Just glide your hands right up behind your head. Lace the fingers together fully together. Okay.

You're going to commit to your movements. Placing your hands, right, not at the top of your head, not at your neck, but right underneath sort of where that ridges, you can kind of almost hook there. The elbows will be wide, but not so wide. It forces your shoulders up, right? Let them fall. Elbows. You're probably gonna to see them in your peripheral vision. Uh, let's see. We had our feet together, so we'll leave 'em that way. Elbows just off the ground. We inhale, start exhaling, and just lift your head. That's all. Blow out the air though.

You'll feel the abdominals tighten. You're just lifting your head and rolling the chin towards the chest. That's it. And then take it back down in help. Prepare, start exhaling. And maybe you can feel your knuckles slide along the floor of the Mat. It'll roll the head.

And then you're looking somewhere around your hips probably at this point, and take a back. So that's how it's going to start. But we'll make it a little more challenging for you. Inhale, start the exhale at your head and come off the mat. Now your chest can drop down. Keep curling up to about the bottoms of your shoulder blades. Ideally, inhale here. Exhale, and just reverse that and go back down sequentially. Your head is the last to unwind. Inhale, isn't that the truth? Exhale, Chin towards the chest.

There's a subtle sense of me pushing my head backwards into my hands, so I'm not just pulling it up with my arms. Inhale and start the exhale to take it back down. Really common thing to do is to Tuck here. We're going to try not to Tuck the pelvis if it happens, just untuck it when you see it. Exhale, Chin toward the chest. Feel the chest fall. Feel the spine curve. Oh, did you tuck with the pelvis?

Check it out. You can gently press into the tailbone to find out and roll it back down. Inhaling as you go, start the exhale coming up up. So this is a key part of a lot of plotters exercises. Stay here. Inhale. See if you can without moving your torso, let go.

But reach to the back of your legs. Exhale, pull on your legs. Make the elbows wide and sink the belly a little deeper. Inhale and now just exhale. Let your arms go. Let your head come down and return your hands behind your head like you had a moment ago. Inhale, start the exhale. Chin to chest. Feel it sequentially folding you up. Check your pelvis.

Inhale, reach your arms to the back of the legs. Pull yourself another entire without tucking Xcel. If he didn't keep that height this time, like go without falling. And then come on down. Taking the hands behind your head and inhaling when it feels right to do so.

Exhale curls. You app. Are you pulling your head out of your hands? Let your hands be like a pillow. Inhale, reach to the back of your legs. Pull yourself forward. Use the arms, but also not flatten, but gently. Let the ABS press. Let go. Inhale. Return the hands behind your head and down. Ooh, I threw that one at you. We'll do one more of those. Inhale hands are where it behind your head.

Elbows slightly off. Exhale, start to roll your head, neck and shoulders up. When you're in this up position, chances are, and hopefully your low back is relaxing on the mat. Inhale, reach to the back of the legs. Exhale, pull yourself towards your pelvis. Hold that height in how return your hands behind your head. Oh, we just got heavier there and exhale all the way down. This time, changing it a little bit. Take your hands out and we're going to take them so that they're one over the other. Okay, so there's lining up those fingertips.

Separate your feet a little wider than hip distance, almost as wide as your mat. Probably if you're using a yoga mat or just a normal size mat, that's about right hand over hand. And then for a moment, um, without lifting your head, reach your everything, your arms and shoulders forward and, and, and just kind of glance towards your hands and you can see how you're wrapping the sh the shoulders forward and around. We want to avoid that. It's really hard to avoid it. That's why I'm making you look at it now. Key as if someone were holding your fingertips, and then you had a string on the back of your shoulders. Let the shoulders be pulled.

Just a hair more than the fingers so that they come back down and it's a straight line basically across the collarbones. All right, from there we inhale. You can uh, just leave your arms there. On the exhale, your head comes up, you're gonna roll up. Just let the arms follow that motion. So now your hands are almost right in between your knees. Take an inhale coming toward the front. On the exhale, just are to rotate so that the pinky finger of that top hand or, or whichever pinky fingers nearest the outside of that leg is there. And exhale center or sorry. Inhale, center to the other side. Exhale, you stay up, stay up, inhale through the center. You can just kind of pass it right on through and exhale. Now keep going.

You're inhaling. As you come through the middle, you exhale to the back and you keep the pelvis still. You keep the knees still inhale through the middle. Exhale. Maybe you can reach up a tiny bit higher, but watch the shoulders inhale. There's just too much to think about, isn't there in him? The breath ever messes you up. Just breathe. It's really the truth.

It's not that we're cheating by not doing it exactly as I say. Keep going. I forget the breath right now. Exhale. Inhale through the mental home and doing one more each way, but if your neck has taken over, you should take a break. It's not worth it. Last time to the back. If you're with me, come to the center, separate the hands and just lower your upper body. Reach your arms overhead and walk your feet back together.

If you need to shake out your neck, you should. From here, can you imagine your arms were being pulled at the wrists? Let the shoulders go up then and your arms are just off the mat. Let the shoulders slide back down towards your hips just a little bit. No, no extra pressure needed. From here, we're going to do another curl up that's preparing us for the a hundred we inhale. Start exhaling. Bring the arms up. Let your head follow it and watching almost your hands until your hands get just above the hips reaching forward. Inhale, go back down. If you're not ready for this purchase, put your hands behind your head or even one hand behind your head.

I'm giving you only three more. Exhale, curl up so you can adjust your hands like that. If you want, blow up all your air reaching forward in nail to go back down. Start playing with the idea of not letting go down here. X. He'll be ready to come right back up. Reach retreat. Pressing the whole arm down, not just the hands. It's a different feeling in hell back. This is it.

I'll change it for you up here. Exhale, curl up and you can support your head with one hand if you want. Then it's inhale. Just slide the arms, the legs, um, just outside the thighs. Exhale per it down. Inhale up for two. Exhale down for two. Inhale, deepen your breath and exhale. Can you do it with expanding the ribs and closing the ribs?

Keep going if you can. Up. If you're using one hand, you should change hands. Exhale and inhale. Your spine doesn't move. Exhale. It's just can you breathe in this position to Moria now and rs and in and out. This time you can take your hands to the ground and let your head come down all the way shaking out your head. Who I think that might be harder than the final version of that. Okay, we did that. We did that. Here we go. Keeping your knees bent.

You might bring them a little closer to you. Let's extend the right leg straight up to the ceiling and then without pushing into the left foot or the low like that's down, just reached that right like way up there. You almost clear the butt shake off the floor and then get heavy back on that butt cheek or hip back right down. Then you're going to turn the knee out or turn the leg out just a little bit. Okay, so the kneecap, if you put your hand on is going outside, away from the midline of the body. From here, all I want to do for the moment is take that leg and cross it toward just a little bit over that other leg and by the middle of the body I should say, and then go the other way out and across the middle.

And the goal is to not move for now the lower leg at all, not even a little bit. There'll be tiny adjustments, but you're trying not to counterbalance yourself with the leg you're trying to hold from the pelvis or really more accurately from the abdominals and a few other things that will allow you to move the leg without rocking the hips back and forth. So if you can do this, and when you go out with the leg, you don't feel more weight on that side of the body and when you, and when you cross the body, you don't feel more on that side, then you're doing a good work. So let's do a few more. It doesn't matter which direction you're going, just sort of back and forth. All right. Now we're going to cross the body, make a small circle all the way around and stop at the starting position again. Cross the body a little. Make a circle with the big toe and stuff at the top.

You're going to keep that knee and whole leg turned out right just tomorrow. Cross. Take it around. Same Rolls. Nothing moving besides the leg that's in the air and around. Let's go the other way. Heavy legs meaning there, you're not tightening them a lot. They're just sitting into the hip socket. I went out and I'm circling around back to the center. Then he gets in the way.

Just move the leg out a little bit or down a little bit and around and I know I haven't given you a breath pattern. That was intentional. One more time. I'll give it to you on the other leg before we go to the other leg. Just bend the knee was in the air close to you and change sides, so your level on your pelvis, you're reaching the leg way, way up. You can kind of, how much can you lift it without really stepping into the other leg? Settle the hips back down and even, and now turn the leg outward a bit.

So that inner thigh you're almost looking at. Okay. From here, just crossed the body. It's different on each leg. I just saw myself modifying. And how about we just inhale across, exhale out to the side and paying attention. You know, very few of us, I don't know that I've ever met a symmetrical person. And if I do I'll be suspicious. Um, the one side is going to be different. And in, for example, as I go out with my leg, I feel my whole body wanting to rock with it. So I have to hold back just a little on this side.

If I really want to go by the so-called rule, let's do one or two more where I don't move my pelvis. All right? So I told you I'd give you a breath pattern. Here it is. You're going to cross the middle. There's your inhale. The rest of the circle is an exhale till you stop at the top. Go across the body again. Inhale, exhale around and step.

It's not meant to be real big at this point. And stop. Inhale across. Exhale around. Stop. One more. Inhale, still got that leg turned out. Stop. Go the other way. Inhale out, exhale around. Bring it up. Inhale. If you feel like your thighs getting really grippy and tight, sometimes it just takes practice. And another way you could do this is to wrap a theraband around your foot and hold your elbows to the ground. This is your last one. Bend the knee and hug it in. Okay, here's play time holding on underneath the thighs or the knees.

Um, curl your head up at, but as you do, press the thighs away from you. So it, cause it creates a little, um, circular resistance, right? So I'm pushing my legs away. Um, but I'm not fully extending my arms. I'm keeping the elbows bent. So now I'm pretty comfortable, almost like in a boat shape. My pelvis is tucked, right, it is rounded a little bit. Give yourself a rocking motion and don't make it any bigger than you can. Keep it smooth. In other words, if it's, if it's a two parter, rock and slam and rock can slam is no fun. So keep it smooth and easy and where the shape doesn't change, it's inhale back.

Exhale. Inhale back. Exhale. Don't let the thighs coming closer to you and yank cause that is definitely cheating and not even fun in heel back. Cheating for fun. That's different. [inaudible] exhale I'm going to do tomorrow. We're going to stay sitting up one inhale, exhale. This is the play on the breath. Stay up on this one. Ah, there you are. Um, let's try just one or two full rolling like a ball.

So this is where you bring the feet in closer. Okay. Yeah. I'm holding one hand on each and like, so you can, um, there's a couple of ways of doing it. I'm going to give you the version where you keep your feet together, but you can let the knees come apart. Elbows are wide. Don't worry if you don't get up, this is how you learn. Sometimes you just gotta try things. I tried trapeze this week.

I was not good at it, but it was fun. So that's what we're going to go for. Rocking back on an inhale. Exhale, come up and see if you can keep your feet off the ground and balance. How about two more? Inhale back. Keep the shape. That's what helps. And the breath. One more good. Set your feet down. Maybe scoot back a little. You can, uh, just roll back onto your back. Bringing your right knee into your chest.

Just left my head up. If yours is down, just bring it back up and hold on. Uh, I'm going to go laced fingers today, right? Actually, no, I'm not. Hand over hand is easier for me. So you can do either pushing that knee away to about tabletop or 90 degrees at the hip and the knee. From here, you're just gonna pull it in and then change legs, trying not to move your body and change again. So here's my inhale. As I switch to the legs. That's my exhale. Inhale, switch again. Exhale, switch. So I guess I'm doing an inhale and an exhale. One for each leg.

Inhale and exhale. What kind of holds me when I'm up here and I'm holding onto a knee is, is the fact that I'm holding that knee and I'm not letting the knee collapse in and in and exhale and belly is still, it is working, but your body isn't moving. Next one, bring in both legs. Let your head go down. Curl right back up if you can. This next one can be done with your feet on the ground if you want to. Um, it's, it's one step pre where we're headed. So you curl up again, I'm pushing my knees into my hands.

My hands are kind of serving like a little bit of a wall. I don't want you to do is inhale and let go of your hands, but don't move your spine so you can just put your hands anywhere for a moment. Exhale, grab on and sink the belly. Inhale without moving the spine. Let go. Exhale, sink the belly. That's too easy. Don't move the legs, but inhale, move the arms further up or back. Exhale, grab on. Sync. The belly. Focus on that exhale really helps. Inhale. That's the hard part is that inhale, exhale, recommit to belly to the spine. Inhale, arms back.

Exhale. Let your head's rest. Whew. Changing it. Come right back up from here. Support your head with your hands, keeping that angle of the knee. Inhale. Let the thighs go away so you're meaning you're not straightening the knees.

Exhale, bring it back up again. Back to idea of not moving the spine, maybe a one or two inches and exhale, bring it back up. Inhale, let it go away. You can squeeze those inner thighs together. I would exhale, I am. Inhale and exhale rest all the way down. Rock yourself up to seated. This is one of those ones you may want to sit higher on something.

Got My feet again about the width of the mat, so it's about, I dunno, wider than your hips and not off your mat. How's that for repeating myself? Okay, we're up, right? This is the spine stretch. B, be mindful of the front of your hip. If it starts to really grip, I would elevate myself or you can also move the feet a little bit further away. What we're interested in in, in the setup is that your back starts very straight. And if you're real tight, either in the low back or hips, you're gonna end up here and you're not kinda get anything from it.

So it's worth it to sit tall or keep the knees bent. But maybe you have to stretch them out a little. Lace the fingers fully behind your head in that same spot we did before. Inhale. And now on the Exhale, just roll your Chin down, Roll Your Chin to narrow your upper back down and come down far enough that your elbows can actually grab outside your knees. Press your knees into your elbows and your elbows into your knees to draw the belly back. Then inhale, just let go and sit right back up. Okay, so the idea, so you know is to try to tighten the belly round the spine, but we're not just sinking. Okay, so we're trying to keep this front tight.

Here we go in here. Elbows pretty wide. Exhale, head goes first. It's almost like you're coming up and over a ball. Don't let the knees drop out to the side. Cause you're going to grab outside them. I think we exhaled and take an inhale for a moment. Just right here, do that little press into the elbows, elbows into knees, and exhale.

Roll it back up. You got it. Exhale. Try not to sit back on the low back. It doesn't really change a lot. Give it a little squeeze on the inhale and keep the abdominals tight as you let go and just unfurl back to the top. So I'm doing a to breath cycle. Inhale, prepare. Exhale. Using the shape of your body to get the air in here. Grab onto the outer, the knees and the knees into the elbows and exhale back up. Another way of doing this, I'll show you in case that feels strange for your head, is to have your arms just outside your legs the whole time and stay straight.

When it's time to exhale, you do and you just let the arms go forward and I'm kind of maintaining the pressure of the arms into the legs and the legs into the arms. Inhale, hold deep in the belly. Exhale, roll a back up one more like that. Press, press, press, press, press, check your shoulders. You're not hunching here. You should feel kind of strong even if it's not that tough of a move yet. And then bring it back up. All right, still sitting.

We come back to that cross-legged position we started with. I'll just face you cause it's just as easy to show you this way. So it talk cause we're going to be here a moment. I've got one arm over the other pushing the bottom form into the top form, but not so high that it forces anything. Not so pretty. Push on the forearms and lengthen your spine.

It's like pushing on a tabletop, coming to the front or to the front. Go to your rate. Inhale to rotate. And we're not leaning right. We'll just rotating. Exhale, come back to the center. I want you to Kinda notice where the risks about our right about mid chest. That's where they stay. So it means your chest has to go with you.

You can just right inhale as you rotate equally weighted on ball. Sit Bone still. Where's your wrist? Are they getting ahead of you? No. Exhale, back to center one more like that. Get Tall, ill grow, grow, grow, exhale, and go all the way through the other side. Inhale, twisting. You're not leaning away. You're right on top and center. Exhale, I'm going to change the breath on you, but before we do that, change the arms, so the other ones on top, top on, pushing down, bottom on, pushing up, neck long to the right. Inhale, rotate. Go as far as you think you can without coming off your hipbones. Exhale, extend your arms from there, right opposite each other. Inhale, twist a little bit further. Exhale, come back to the center and refold the arms. Other way in here rotate. I can just feel the lubrication in the spine. XL.

Extend the arms worth a quick peak. You don't have one in front or behind. You're trying for opposite. Inhale, twist just a little more. It's from the spine at the arms. Exhale, refold the arms and come back. If you can remember which one was on top. Start alternating. We're just doing two more. Inhale, rotate. Exhale, expand the arms, keeping that chest lifted.

Inhale a little further rotation. Exhale. Huh? Last one. I forgot what Jerome was on top. Inhale, rotate. Exhale, extend, reach, reach, reach. Inhale. See if the spine can twist more. It helps if you look where you want to go. And exhale, come on back. Folding the arms. Okay, almost there a coming down onto, let's say your left elbow.

Bottom knee is bent to about 90 degrees. Top leg is straight and the hips are stacks. You're not rolling back. You're kind of proud. Bottom hand down or topic, both. Hands down, stretch the top like a little bit and then lifted. So when you lift the leg, we don't want to sink the ribs, right? You want it. You might even grab onto the ribs and lift out of them, but keep the leg at about hip height. From there, we're just going to kick forward and kick back. Keep the leg straight and try not to move your spine so it might limit the range of motion. Kick forward, kick back, paying attention to stillness in the body.

The way you're going to often see this as you flex the foot forward, you point the foot back. Don't let that be the main point though, yet you want to keep the stillness of the body and let the leg move for here's three more. Here's two more and one more. Hold it to the back. As you press the thigh back, make sure it's actually behind your body, not the foot, but the thigh. As you gently press this top hip forward, that's enough. Let's go to the other side. Elbow down. Um, bottom knee is at about 90 from the hip. And something I didn't mention and should have is what's going on over here on the shoulders. So easy to just collapse here. It's a, it's a comfy position until it's not. So I'm gonna encourage you to, to lift not just the ribs, but to gently press through the whole forearm to kind of feel like you're almost gonna lift off the mat top, like reaches lifted up.

Make sure that you haven't turned it out one way. I can sometimes tell for myself as I turned the knee cap forward. Right? All right. Start just kicking forward. Okay, come back. Be kind of gentle with it if you're not used to it, because you're going to get a good hamstring stretch there in front and a little hip flexor. Stretch to the back and kind of want to be ready for it. Just see what your ranges while keeping the rest of your body still.

If you want to flex forward, point back, flex forward, point back, give yourself four more. Here's three more, two more. One. Hold it to the back. Check it out. Your low back should feel quite comfy. If it's not, chances are you've gone into a big arch of the back. See about finding the feeling in the back of the leg with a straight leg and that the thighs and deed behind the hips. That a little bit. All right, that's enough of that. We're going to go face down for a back extension exercise. What you'll do is you're going to put your head, your forehead on the floor.

I'm not going to cause love the mind and then your palms are going to go into your legs. So essentially you're, you're pressing it as much as you can because I've asked for forehead on the floor. You're gonna be rounded. That's okay. That's okay. It's actually a nice way to feel the difference. I'm an exaggerate, but in any case, you'll keep your feet down the whole time. From that down position. Just listen, try for feet together. They're going to stay on the floor, but try for them together. If that's too much pressure, that can be a little bit apart.

You inhale to prepare. Then on the exhale, you just simply slide the arms further down your back and will allow your head, neck, and shoulders to float off the ground. It's not very high. It's almost like you're going to look forward, but we're not going that high. Then inhale, keep reaching the arms down your legs and exhale, come back down, forehead down. Inhale, prepare. As you exhale, you might feel that abdominals drawing up. Slide the arms, let your chin kind of reach forward. Like you're pushing a marble with your nose float, head, neck, and shoulders that stay there. Inhaling and exhale back down. Let your forehead go down. So you can feel that difference in here.

On the exhale you slide the arms almost almost feels like it. Presses your chest down I think, and then look forward a little. Start to hover. Head, neck and shoulders. Keep those arms in tight. Inhale and exhale back down. Such an important one for us. We're going to just do two more for anyone in here.

Exhale, reaching your arms down, floating up. Leave the front of your chest or the lower edge of your chest. Kind of heavy in the mat and if anything else is lifted, that's cool. Inhale and exhale down. Last one coming up. Inhale and exhale.

Reaching to the left inner thighs engaged feet on the floor. One last challenge. Stay up here. Inhale. Exhale. Take your arms out to a tee position. Keep your height of your chest, palms down, reaches far across the room as you can in you. And on your exhale, return the arms to the legs and lower yourself down. Letting go. Complete Lee. Let your legs part if they were fully together, maybe rock side design. And then when you feel ready, you put your hands by your shoulders, press yourself up and round back.

I think knees apart is a good idea. If it doesn't work for you to be on your knees, what you can do instead to your back is rounded. We're just trying to release the back. You could do it here with your hand support or wrist even supporting underneath your knees. Just let the lower leg be free and just give it a little rock. Either way, if you're on your hands and knees still, maybe use the palms of your hands to allow for the low back to stay around or to round more.

It's like you're back to that tucking like we started started with. If you're on your hands and knees, start to walk yourself back up to seated. If you're on your back, move your hands where you can hold on and give yourself a little rock can come to seated and let's just finish like we started with the legs crossed and just see if you feel any different. Hopefully inhale easy, no more work. Exhale, roll back and just see if you're any looser in here. We can go right into the extension here. This is a long inhale, meaning arch, the upper back. Exhale, initiate, rolling back with the pelvis.

Almost like a snake in here. And exhale. How about one more time in heal just to get us back up. When you exhale, stay tall. Just find that neutral place. Free up the hands, and let's take two deep breaths together. And by deep, I don't mean it has to be all your air end, but maybe long is a better word. Just inhale. See what you can do and exhale. And as you exhale, allow yourself to be lighter. Nothing bearing down, no more work, just floating.

Inhaling, filling up and exhaling to let go. That's enough for one day. Thank you.


1 person likes this.
Thank you very much Kristi for your class!! I hope that I can watch it with spanish subtitles soon.
Asun fron Spain!!!
2 people like this.
Hi Kristi, great explanations, as always :)....and a good way to restart my Level I group class tomorrow, after 2 week holiday break
Susan H
3 people like this.
Thanks Kristi, I find the more advanced I get the more difficult it is for me to teach beginning levels. It is so great to have a class that breaks down moves again to get back to the basics.
Teresa C
Amazing class-I love the way you explain things. Reminder that it is always good to go back to basics and it can be just as challenging as the complicated stuff. I will forever look upon symetrical people with suspicion...
Ha! Yes Teresa, you definitely have to watch out for those symmetrical folks! Glad you all are enjoying this level 1 class. Susan, I think Level 1 is by far the hardest level to teach!
1 person likes this.
I've been away from Pilates for a few months. This is a good reminder of proper position.
1 person likes this.
Thanx Kristi :)
Love so much concentration on what my movements mean, not just doing them but REALLY doing them !!
1 person likes this.
This class gave me a positive attitude adjustment for the day! Thank you Kristi.
That's the idea Angela! Wonderful!
Lovely class and great to get back to basics.
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