Class #1720

Your Primal Tensegrity Body

40 min - Class


Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle is back with a Mat workout she calls, "Discovering Your Primal Tensegrity Body." She focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of being in the whole body, and she explores primal postures which are the functional ways that we are in our body. Wendy uses spiraling movements to find release and to connect everything, from your fingers to your toes. What a special treat!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jun 08, 2014
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Well here, we are so fabulous to be together again and so wonderful to be with you. And today there is a special treat because we're going to deepen our understanding of what does it mean to be in my whole body. We talk about whole body in [inaudible] and we do things from a whole body perspective. But really how can we mine that on a deeper level and really look at what is the relationship of my hand to my foot? What is a relationship? My head to my foot. So we're, we're calling this math class, discovering your primal 10 segregated body.

So what is, what do we mean by what do we mean by primal? What do you mean by primal is what, what are the, what are the functional ways, the functional ways that we are in our body, right? So usually when you look at people, a, your traditional people around the world and how they're not sitting in chairs all the time. So they're able to do a full excursion of their hips are able to sit down, particularly with their heels down. So just explore, go into your squad right now and just feel, just feel what it feels like. Cause we're gonna come back to this. So you're exploring right now.

What is it that's going to allow you to let your heels be down in the, in western squats we lift the heels. Why don't we lift our heels? Cause our back is tight, our hips are tight, are quads are tight and our calves are tight. To let your heels release down and stay up. Turns on releases the calf, releases the quads and works the hamstrings and the front of the spine works the abs like mad and releases your calves. So it's an, it turns on your inner thighs. The lift of the inner thigh.

You see? So it's so important to know how to keep building that. So the next thing we're going to really look at is how does this part of the hand, so hold your hand up and som first finger, third finger. So it, you know, all the Meridians in the body begin and end at every finger and toe, all of the Acupuncture Meridians, right? So inside hand. This part is like the shoulder blade on this side. This part connects to your front body.

This part of your hand is your periphery. We're going to explore this more when we do our stretchies mat and a later. And you'll see how you'll be able to find and see that, uh, on another time. But when you, when you go out into the periphery like this and work the outer perimeter of your body, that is your outer and back body. So right now, take your hand and lead with your thumb on the right side and go across your body. Go down in a figure eight knows, we're watch me and notice how I'm moving my feet and come up leading with your thumb and then go down and notice how your hand is related to your whole inside body.

So what I'm doing is I'm doing this. I'm doing a figure eight across my body, but my feet are moving as my hand is moving and I'm looking at my thumb as I go into the figure eight and begin to notice how as you come off your left foot going to the right and you come off the right, your heel comes up a little and you go into the down in the up. Feel how you're using your inside outside your, your arm is related to your whole body. How the arm moves. Figure eight with your thumb. We're spiraling, spiraling down, up. You feel how you can feel it all the way into your hips, all the way into your foot. Go down.

So how far down can you go and how far up can you go without straining? Just feel your hand to foot, head to foot, and feel your body. Follow the figure eight inside, outside. Now pause. And we're gonna do a figure eight leading with the binky finger. Now we're going with the outer hand. This feels different. Go down, coming up and spiral figure, right?

Feel the movement down and up leading with your pinky finger. And it may even feel awkward because you're going into muscles that you don't use. Isn't it odd? It's like whose arm is this anyway? You know, isn't an odd feeling. Yeah. So down to go down, up over [inaudible]. Oh, I see that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's it.

So just feel how that arm feels in relationship to your feet. Do you see that? And we'll play with the other side. Now leading with the song, coming up, down, leading with your thumb, it's like your thumb is a little, little arrow. It's taking your whole body for a ride. You're following your thumb. You're following up and down, following and feel how what we're doing is like, like I've talked, I shared in the the workshop discovering your inner teacher that um, we are finding a whole new way of being with ourselves. How do we discover the deep intelligence of the body?

How do we move from the deep intelligence? And now I'll come up and now leave with your pinky finger. So down, up round. Feel your squat. As you go down and feel your lift, how do you press down through your feet to feel the lift? How do you press down to lift up and feel how moving inside, outside, moving from your whole hand energizes your whole body. This is not exercising. This is energizing because it's a whole body perspective.

Yeah, so they feel how I feel, how everything's enlivening. So we're sitting down and we're going to do the very same thing. Now spiraling through our feet. So what I'm doing is rolling through the inner foot on my right and the outer foot on my left. Now as you roll, just let your hips relax and let your eyes turn in that direction and just go to your end range. You'd go all the way around and notice how it is an indolent incredibly deep release and stretch for your body and then unfurl and come back back to center.

You see how you're just following and letting the joints release. This is all deeply fashional how you release your muscles by releasing your fashional system, right? You're rolling in the other direction. You're rolling inside, outside, and as you roll, you just gently turning. You're following viral. See, this is what a saw wants to feel like the song [inaudible]. How can it feel internally deep and then you unfurl and you come back to center. Do that again. Just do three to each side. Roll through.

See how each time is your eyes. Follow the movement. How do you go deeper? How can your sacred relax your tail be heavy. And how do you just feel like, wow, I went even further that time it was the spiral. Come back to center and roll through. You see Lynn gravity move. You. Let the weight of your body gently create, release and feel how you go deeper and deeper and deeper.

And last time we're rolling. Rolling. This is an amazing release, by the way. This is a way to let go of stress. Let go of tension in your body when you get this internal support from the base, your shoulders, your neck, everything. Let's go last time in the other direction. Rolling through and coming back to center.

Great. Yeah. And then come back to center. And now just sitting up, begin to curl, sit up, feel your feet, feel the weight of your legs, and then just release your tail, inner ears floating up. So with no effort, you just feel your head floating to the ceiling. You to allow your tail to release and just begin to curl down. Now you're only going to wear, you can straighten your arms, feel the weight of your legs. Then allow your inhale, their breath into your back. Exhale and begin to curl forward. As you curl forward, rock onto your sit bones and float up. Inhale up.

Exhale. Feel your feet as you curl back. Have your legs take weight and feel the weight of your legs into your hands. How can you feel the back of your leg? How can your deep belly connect with your shoulder blades and then roll through to float up. Good. Inhale to float up. Exhale. Feel your feet. Take weight, Curl your tail as you curl back, right this time, latch your legs. Come in, feel your internal support and just come forward.

Feel the weight of your legs and float up and feel how teaser is not so hard coming from shoulder blade to d valley, especially if you're laughing. Then inhale there. Exhale, relax your feet and curl back halfway and then curl forward and float up. Good sitting tall. Now stay on your mats and just come into toe sit. So here's a primal posture. The people around the world sit in.

Now what's important about this particular movement is how do we allow the tail to release? What is rest? What is resting down? How do we allow, and how do we find the reach through the heel? So you don't want your heels to be forward. You want your heels to be reaching back. So walk your knees back so you can really reach back and you'll feel more and more stretch happen through your feet.

More lift happen through your inner thighs. Lift up, tail releases down. You feel a natural lift. Now from here is that everybody's knees? All right? If you have a problem with your knees in this, you just put a little something behind your knees, like a towel or something like that. But the reach back here is really important for hip extension. So let's do that again. As you come back, walk back with your knees, reach back through your feet as you reach back.

Find the hip extension and notice how that releases your quads. Asks your inner thighs to turn on and turns on your hamstrings. How do we connect the hamstring to the front of the spine, which is what gives us lift. If your hips are here as you come forward, you'll never ever get that and you'll always have to work hard to get this lift. So once again, how do we reach through the feet? Bring the hips forward here. Good.

And then step forward with one foot. Now this is what's important. Push off the back foot as you push off the back foot. Go forward to step. That's it. Yeah. So feel how you've got that. Reach two directions of the spine. That's what's super important.

How do you reach back and how do you come forward? Let's turn around, do the other side. So go back down into Towson. You sit down, walk your knees back, feel the reach back, feel the lift of the inner sigh, and then reach back through the feet as you bring your hips forward. So your hips come forward. Feel the downs through the knees. The reach backs are the heels, the lift of the low belly. And from there you step forward with the other leg.

And from there you reach back with the back foot and you step to come forward. Right? Beautiful. Do that again. Come back, right. Go to toe, sit, reach back through your heels. Feel the lift of the low belly. Feel the hip extension as you reach back through your feet. Right? And that's it. And then you step forward and from there, reach forward with your arms as you come off the back foot. Right? Right, right. So you're enlivening that feeling of down the back of the front.

Last one, turn around other side. Right? Keep reaching back. The more you can develop this feeling of reaching back through your heels, the more you'll get knees off, knee stretches, knees off. You'll get that feeling of internal support. How do you open up your hips? How do you let the tail release reach back through that foot?

Beautiful to step forward. Fabulous. Fabulous, fabulous, good. So now you're going to lie down on your mat and you're going to do this. You're lying down. Your feet are going to be as wide as your mat lying down flat. Your arms are going to be above your head like yes.

And then you're going to side bend, flex your feet, reach through your heels, right, straight legs, good. And you're going to side bend over to the right. Now as you side bend to the right, notice you've created space. Your ribs have lifted away from your hips, right? So you've created space on that left side. Now you're going to move into the space by reaching across with your right arm.

Reach over. That's it. And as you reach over, keep going. As you reach over, growling ral across your left shoulder and reach that arm toward the wall in front of you. Reach it in front of you. That's it. And as you roll over, keep bringing your your right hip on top of your left hip. Feel it roll forward. Now here's the question. Imagine that my one hand is on your low belly, on the right side and the other hand is on your shoulder. Blade connects your shoulder blade to your deep belly.

And notice if that helps you to lift your head. Can you lift your head from the internal support of shoulder blade to deep belly? Keep feeling that and you feel the down the back up the front. Yes. And keep feeling that hip. Yes he had. That goes deeper. Now can you move your head? Can you look from side to side?

That's a measure of feeling the shoulder blade to deep belly. That feeling. Can you move your hands? Can they move freely? That's it. Yes. Good feeling that internal support, right? And then roll back to center. I'm going to go the other way.

Beautiful. Flex your feet wide. Legs Open Up, right? So this is a whole body movement. You can feel how everything and what you're going to notice is we're going to do it times 10 each side each time. Keep noticing what connects, how do you feel more connected? How do you feel? So its side bend left now side bend over to the left.

Create space on the right side so you side them before you rotate. Cause every rotation Canadians contains a side bend and then go over reaching with your left arm as you reach across. Keep your feet flexed. That's it. We'll have your head follow your hand, right. Connect your shoulder blade to deep belly. Notice what it is that allows the shoulder blade to belly.

Lift your head. Can you lift your head? You see how that connects you? That's it. That feeling and that roles you hit. Yes. That's it. Yes. Notice how you get more and more connected, right? That's the feeling down the back up the front lifts your head.

Yes. Can you look from side to side? That's it. Keep reaching through your heels. Keep reaching through your heels. Well done y'all. That's it. And keep rolling your hip from that internal support. Yes. Feel that's bringing this forward more and more beautiful. That's it.

And Roll back to center. Very good. Other side, just immediately go to the other side. Side Bend, right, right. Create space on the left and reach across. Flex your feet because when the flexing of the feet gives you your down the back, it gives you your relationship to gravity. The shoulder blades sit bone tailbone into the tripod of the foot and that turns on the lift of the inner ankle. Inner thigh, internal belly along the front of the spine to the inner ear. And that's what lifts your head. Shoulder blade to deep belly. Good job.

Keep feeling that internal support. Yeah, and feel the waterfall, the shoulder blade down your back. Beautiful and still have that connects even more. Right? Because remember this is not a right wrong. This is about getting in touch with your deep intelligence. We're not used to really just asking the deep intelligence to move us and roll back to center. Doing great other side.

So side bending to the left and reach right as you go across. Flex your feet rolling. See what is it? What's interesting about this is what is it that lifts your back leg? Notice how Jennifer, you have your leg is starting to lift. It's interesting. It's not about lifting the leg. It's about what connections.

Lift your leg so that your leg begins to lift off the floor. You see how you're not lifting your leg? It's just starting to lift. How does your leg begin to get more connected to your head? How do you get more internally supported? Yes, yes, yes. See how your next getting lighter. That's it. And see how this is beginning to lift more. That's it.

So it Kinda has this think about, well what is it that really creates lift inside kicks? How does my leg get light? How does my head stay connected? Yeah. How does my neck get light and not gripping? Internal support. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Beautiful. Isn't that fascinating? Yeah.

And then come back last time. Each side side bend to the right, right. And create the space and reach over. Good. Y'All are doing so great. I'm gonna Challenge you a little bit more. So keep feeling the role. Notice how your head Fellowes your hand, your hip follows your hand, right? And shoulder blade to deep belly. That's it. Reached through your heels. Re Yes. Beautiful. He see how that just completely turns everything on. Beautiful. Now, right here, just play with lifting and lowering your top leg.

How do you feel? What is it that lifts and lowers it? Feel the weight down. Feel the bottom leg. The bottom leg has weight and that allows the top legs. See how that's connecting more? That's it. Yeah. How does the bottom leg help the top leg to lift naturally?

Yes. From an internal deep intelligence place rather than me telling you to do something, you're waking up a very deep way of being with yourself and then come back to center. That was gorgeous. Y'all fabulous. Last time. So, and you're noticing each side is unique, right? You want to see what does this side want? So as you're going over to the left and reaching, right, right.

And what do you notice each time? Each time is going to reveal something new as you go over. Right? Right. How do you feel that beautiful. Yeah. You see how it's connecting more and more and more. That's it, right?

Keep letting that hip roll and reach through your heels. There we go. There we go. Yes. Feel the waterfall, the shoulder blade down your bag. Yeah. Gorgeous. That's it. That's it. Yeah. And what is it that allows that leg to lift from internal shoulder blade to deep belly support? How does the bottom leg release down as a top leg lifts up?

Yes. Yes. Fabulous. And then come back to center, right? Yes. And from there begin to roll up. So as you come forward, spiral your arms spiral so your baby fingers are on top. As you come up, baby, be fingers spiraling and moving in this direction, right?

So have your baby fingers lift. There you go. And then roll back down. Curl. So you're noticing, what does it feel like to have your baby thinkers up the other way? That way? Yeah. And notice what that does to your back. Notice what you feel as you, as your pinky fingers are on top. How does that open up your back?

How does that allow your belly to fall back into your wide back? That's what we want to get. How do we, how do we get the back open? How does our back open? So our belly falls back and we get shoulder blade to deep belly with no effort. How do we allow ease, effort with ease instead of creating tension with a lot of tightening in the abdominals? See, you're playfully.

You're being with your deep intelligence. How do you feel gravity helping you to curl up? That's it, right? Creating that release. Beautiful. Yes. And last one, right? Let me get up.

Fabulous. Yes. And Curl of right. And now turn to your side. I'm over. You're going to press down into your forearm. Press down into the top foot. Stand on this bottom leg. Once again.

Feel the tensegrity. How's your foot to head? Allow you to feel as though you're going to lift your hip, but don't lift it. So now side bend. Allow your ribs to release down and then stand on your foot. Release into your arm and feel your connection. But don't lift your hip yet.

Just feel the lift. Feel you get more connected foot to head, then allow your ribs to release and floating up right this time. Lift arm up and over and feel hand connected to standing foot. Right? And from here, just turn and look. Look behind you, look around, look up towards your arm pit and look around again. And notice how deep that conversation is looking.

You're just looking, you're, you're, you're following a line. And then come back to center. And now from here, press down through your arm, lift your hip. And from here just turn and look. And then turn and look. It's like you're just keeping your head on a line.

You're looking around and then come back to center and release downed. So you feel how deep that is. Go the other way. [inaudible] and you'll see what you notice on each side. So how do you develop internal strength and tone your abdominals internally? Well, it's amazing how just moving your head.

Do you notice how just moving your head is? Wow. So you're just side bending and then press down to your forearm, down into your foot and lift your ribs up. And then release as you release, notice how you're lengthening the bottom, shortening the top, and then you come back to neutral. That's it. And how your head move away from your standing foot and release. Now coming up. Yeah.

And then from here you're just turning and looking, looking behind you, looking around, just following line from the front to the back, turning and looking, and then come back to center and stand into that foot and that arm. Lift your hip. Feel your shoulder blade to deep belly and turn and look. And as you look, how do you feel that internal support move you and then come back down and then just take this arm over and lengthen, right? Yeah. Beautiful. Good. Come back. Great. And now come back this way, right? Allow your feet to open.

Widening. Just hold your ankles on the outside and let your knees release open. Let your inner thighs begin to open. That's your feet begin to open. So feel how your hip begins to release open as you allow your leg to fall into your hands. So it's like you're pulling up. Pull up just lightly and let your knees release open to see how that's, so a little bit of a tensional release for your legs.

And then from here, extend your legs open. Sit up tall. Inhale, lift, [inaudible], exhale and spine stretch. Go forward. And as you go forward, soften your knees so you can hover over that. Feel the waterfall down the back of your shoulder blades and your sit bones, and then relax into your sit bones. And Inhale, sit up, exhale and hover. Dive over right. And as you dive over, feel the waterfall down. Yeah.

As you dive forward. Beautiful. Yes. And then inhale the float up, Eh exhales. You dive. And as you go forward, feel the widening of your chest opening. Nice. Beautiful. Yes. And then inhale and sit, oh eh. Exhale and Hubber. Right. Going forward, forward, forward. And as you go forward, keep falling and dropping the shoulders and keep going forward even more, even more, even more. Yes, yes, yes. It's like rowing's in many ways. You feel the release forward as you're releasing the waterfall down and then stay up. Great. And then open out to the side. Inhale, lift and twist to the left. Exhale, dive over. And as you go over, press your left plate, but play with pressing your hand against your leg.

You like against your hand and feel the spiral as the arms. Reach away from one another. Yeah. And then pull back to come up and hail to sit up tall. Open up, twist. Exhale. Yeah. Unreached the arms away from one another. As you dive, dive, dive sitting on those hips and then pulled back to come up. Inhale, lift, tall, twist. Exhale back.

Ho backhand to the ceiling as you dive over. Over oh for, and then inhale to float up to more. Exhale. Yeah. Right. Allowing your arms to reach away and you're diving, diving, diving. Fabulous. Yes. And full back to come up in her liftoff. Twist.

Exhale over right. And go forward. Forward, right, right, right, right. Yes. And feel that reach back and then pulled back to come up. Beautiful. Bring your legs together. Turn over on the map. Swan. Put your forehead in your hands. Right. And, and from there, just begin to look up.

And as you look up, allow your hips to relax into the mat. Let your hips relax into the mat. As you look up, chest opens. Feel the waterfall of shoulder blades down your back and how that spirals your elbow under your shoulder, your elbows come under your shoulders as you float up through your chest right now. Feel your hips opening. Allow your legs to rotate in and out. That internal and external release. How that gives you shoulder blade to deep belly lifting you up.

Then inhale there and release Dow. Good. And then do that again. Look up and as you look up beautiful. Feel the waterfall down the back. Bring the elbows under. Yes. Now feel the float. Imagine my hands are at the low belly.

Feel the lift up as you exhale your shoulder blades down and stay lifted. Yes, keep releasing and opening up. Then inhale, exhale and release down. Good. And again, look up. Floating up. That's it. And as you look up, feel the spiral of your elbow, right. Fabulous. Feel that internal support, yes.

And have that take you up naturally onto your hands. Lift up, keep lifting through your inner ear as you straighten your arms, lifting up right. And from there, weight shifts through each hand as you weight shift, look in the opposite direction, right? So feel the spiral through your spine. As you weight shift, feel the hips opening your hand. Stay on the mat, and you're just spiraling through your spine. That's it. As you hand weight shifts through each hand, that's it.

You're massaging your spine, massaging your hips. Yes. Beautiful. And then from there, keep your hands on the Mat and swan dive. Look up, chest up. Go down and up. Lift up. Inhale up. Exhale down. Right. Lift up. That's right. Hips opening. Chest opening. That's it. Yes. Good. Keep looking up as you go down. Keep looking up.

That's it. Look up as you go down. Yes, that's it. Yes. Good. Yeah, that's it. And sit back to your heels. Fabulous. Really good breath into your back opening. Why? Back? Walk your hands the right side of your mat and breathe wide back. Opening.

Yes. Then spiral. Walk your fingers to the other side and breathe wide across your back. Putting out. Good. Good, good, good. Yes. And curly toes under. Come back into toe. Sit Right. Notice that you feel deeper. Yeah. So feel the heavy release of your tail.

Notice that there's more internal lift, more open chest, right? Walk your knees back, feel the reach back through your feet, right? And then reach through your feet. Hip Extension. Feel the lift hamstrings. Right? And from there you step forward, reach back through that back foot and come forward. Right?

And turn around, do the other side down, right. Reach back, feel the reach, the opening. And then as you reach back through your seat, hip extension forward, feel the waterfall, the shoulder blades down your back, right? And then you step forward. Reach back to step up and forward. Right? So we're going to finish with a wonderful spiral that Ramana used to do.

At the end of Matt's her. We'll test standing twist. It's beautiful. But it's really from, it's this whole perspective of tensegrity. It's from that, that whole way of thinking in the body. How do we go? Head to foot, hand to foot. So once again, we inhale, lift up, exhale, and go down to the back foot. So you're just spiraling down. Then you come up, inhale, lift up, opening, opening, exhale, and you go down just wherever it works on each leg for you.

You're really reaching to your back. And then you come up, lift up, inhale, lift up, exhale down, feel playful in your body and feel the flow of it. Inhale up and exhale and inhale, lift up and exhale, and in the health floating and x, and then come back to center. Bravo.


1 person likes this.
Love this! Need a modification for the toe sit please. I have bone spurs in the big toe joints of both feet and can't bend my big toes. Thanks so much for this fun and interestingly new way to examine movement.
2 people like this.
Definitely there are modifications for developing the articulations of your feet to whole body connection.....for Toe Sit, you could place a blanket or bolster under your knees so you are not placing so much body weight forward...also, you can put more support under the metatarsals, allowing your toes to be off the padding, which takes more pressure off the big toe joints. Let me know what you notice!
4 people like this.
Loved this approach. I normally teach really challenging physical classes but shared some of your exercises with 3 of my groups and they responded so well. It was challenging them in a different way. Thank you for continuing our pilates journey even further with your guidance to our deep intelligence.
thanks so much, Lynne! You're right, these movements challenge our human movement patterning which gives us deeper access to more difficult Pilates and yoga moves. When we open our feet and hands, we awaken access to more fluid whole body movement!
1 person likes this.
Many of these movements I have done for several decades as I have studied with pioneers of somatic movement, bodywork, and Embryology and that so informs how I teach Pilates and yoga. Last year, I fulfilled a vision by bringing Phillip Beach to the U.S. He is an Osteopath and Acupuncturist from New Zealand who wrote the ground-breaking book "Muscles and Meridians: The Manipulation of Shape". It's a complex book, yet it's written from his experience and studies, and when you allow yourself to digest it over time...the deep intelligence just rings true. Primal movements are patterning that we know throughout our human history....we don't need to exercise, we need to energize!
I'm mentioning bringing Phillip Beach to the U.S. last year and this year, because the 3 workshops he taught last year and again this year to a wide audience in the Pilates community are creating quite a ripple effect. Senior teachers like Madeline Black and Elizabeth Larkham have experienced real break-throughs in new ways of thinking about movement. We need to move beyond cadaver-based assessment and cueing (pull your shoulder down, navel to spine, etc.) The study of Embryology and Primal Postures helps us to sense how our bodies work, and how we can become self-regulating, adaptive and self-healing....the true vision of Joseph Pilates.
Wow. Fascinating how one become more aware of what's happening. Amazing how Isolation comes into play during the movements.
Very interesting approach. Thank you
thank you, Leonard and Cherhine....I'd like to hear more about what you mean by "isolation", Leonard...what are you noticing?
Whatever movement/exercise we do, we recruit so many muscles which we don't need to use to do the exercise. With this you become so aware of the body and can almost focus on a specific bodypart or muscle group. Even though you release the body (and I know my body) you become aware of the imbalance from within. Does it make sense?
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