Class #1822

Foam Roller Stability

55 min - Class


Sharon Gallagher-Rivera is back and she's ready to test your balance! She uses a Foam Roller to work on stability and to challenge the traditional Mat work. Sharon begins with fundamental exercises to find space in your body, and then moves into fun exercises like her Rolling Like a Ball variation that improve each time you try it.
What You'll Need: Mat, Foam Roller

About This Video


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Hi there, I'm Sharon Gallagher-Rivera and we are gonna do a mat class on the roller today. So it's a really great way to challenge your traditional mat work and add a little balance challenge to it. We're gonna start with some skills actually. So this is just a nice way of preparing for Pilates before you do it. So, everybody is lying down on their roller already, so go ahead and lie down on your back.

And you just want your feet to be hip width apart, parallel. You wanna let your body just allow its full weight to sit, lie down into the roller. Let your bones get heavy. And from here, we're just gonna start with some puppet arms. Take your arms up to the ceiling, right, and lets do this with fists, so you can imagine that you're holding onto weights, we won't have them, but let the weight of your arms be the weight.

Inhale, reach your arms up as far as you can, shoulder blades wide and drop. Inhale, reach, and drop. And I want you to really reach as far as you can, so you feel the shoulder blades widening around the ribs, good, and drop. And as you keep going, I want you to notice that you're practicing your back breathing here to start with. So when you inhale those back ribs widen into the roller, and when your shoulders drop, see if you can maintain that connection.

Right, there's a tendency for us to pop those ribs right away. Good, now just the right arm. And, drop, and lift. And drop, and lift. And drop, and lift.

Good, and now start to go quicker. And its gonna start to sound a little bit more rhythmic. It feel like a massage between your shoulder blades. Really important to keep those elbows straight. So try to go bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop.

Good, and both arms up. Inhale, and melt the shoulders down, good. We're gonna do sort of a quick version of this arm series. You're gonna inhale the arms back by the ears, without letting that yank on your spine. Exhale, the arms heavy into sockets to bring the arms back.

Inhale, arms back. Exhale, settle, right. Continue. So if you're one of those people who feels like you have really tight hip flexors, like a lot of us do, this is actually stretching the top part of psoas, as long as you keep the ribs anchored into the roller. And it's also giving you a great stretch to your lats, which can also be part of what kinda anchors us down, and prevents us from lengthening, decompressing.

One more time to go back by your ears, and we're gonna take a couple of breaths here. Really anchoring the lowest of the back ribs into the roller. Continue breathing without letting your arms hang. Settle the weight of your arm bones into the back of the shoulder socket. Good.

Good, and one more time, just make your fingers long here. Turn your palms to the ceiling, and now exhale bend the elbows wide. Stay there, breathe into that. How far to the floor can you get your elbows and hands? You want your elbow and your hand to stay level with each other.

Right, this is going to be different on everyone's body. As you breathe, still connect those back ribs to the roller. Gorgeous. And now, with your own flexibility, as close to the floor as you can, inhale the arms back towards the ears. All the way straight.

Exhale, bend the elbows as close the floor as you can, nice. Two more of those, inhale. Maybe you're dragging your arms on the floor. And maybe their hovering above the floor. Right, one more, in.

Good, and exhale, bend the elbows down. Let your elbows continue towards your sideways, then wind the forearms all the way. You're gonna inhale the arms up through the ceiling, back by the ears, wrists down. Exhale, deepen the rib connection as you initiate to get the arms, nice. Two more them.

This should feel great on your spine. Should feel kind of luxurious. So really soak in the big stretch for your shoulders. And one more. Nice, and then I want you to continue where your arms end to the ceiling, make fists again.

Great. Bring your feet in line with your hip bones if they're not already, great. And we're just gonna challenge the torso, holding together of your core by keeping those arms up. So you're gonna inhale here, gather your center together and on your exhale, just float your right knee up. Imaging your arms are weights, to give you some stability.

And it is hard, if you wobble, that's totally fine. That's what we're working on. Inhale, lower your leg back down. Exhale, left leg, nice. So there's a system, there's the deep abdominal layer, which is three dimensional, it goes all the way around.

You have your pelvic floor, your diaphragm, and its all narrowing in to hold you together. A lot of the time, I think we lose the sense of the back wall of our core. So the more you can tune into that, right, the more that helps I think. And one more. Awesome, and lower that leg down.

Great and then bring your arms down. (sighs) I want you to scoot, if you're not down far enough, I want you to scoot where your fingertips can grab the bottom of your roller. We all have different length torsos and arms, so its gonna be different on everybody. But if you can grab, go ahead and grab. Feet are still parallel, hip width apart.

What you're gonna do is press your feet, bridge your pelvis up. Right, and I want you to really stand in the very tops of your legs and see if you can open up the hips a little bit more. Keeping the inner thighs gathered. And then from there exhale, settle your chest. Peel your ribs down.

See if you can use your hands to help lengthen the spine as it comes down onto the roller. Right, once you're down, release your glutes. Right and again, press up. Nice, all the way up, so you wanna feel like you can go up the legs, yes! And then keep the pelvis up as you sink your chest. Yes, use your hands to really lengthen the spine forward.

Gorgeous. Every time, feel how the low spine gets more length. One more time. You're gonna press up, let your shoulders remember to stay wide. Good, and from here you're gonna peel down.

Let the shoulders relax as the sternum drops. Standing in your legs, let your sternum drop. There you go, and let your shoulders relax as you peel the spine down, gorgeous. Great, and then stay in this place where your low spine is really lengthened into the roller, and the abdominals are helping to keep that, right. See if you can release any effort in your glutes.

So the only thing that's keeping you there is the spine. Not the pelvis. There's a feeling of shoving the pelvis, and a feeling of the spine lengthening through the pelvis, that's what we're after, gorgeous, there it is. We're gonna do an active psoas release here, so what I want you to do now, is take your hands to the right hip bone, yes. And just go a little bit center to that, and I want you to just kind of anchor that point down.

Keep your low spine completely lengthened into the roller, so no space if you can help it. And then you're gonna start to slide that right leg forward away from you, I want you to stop if you feel your lower back start to get yanked off. So you may stop in a bent leg. So stay there, deepen the abdominals. Remind the spine to lengthen through the pelvis, and then see if maybe your leg can go further.

And you're really kind of pinning down the tissue here. Yes, to create a release, right. You're working towards straight. But not at the sacrifice of yanking on your spine. Good.

Wherever you are, you're just gonna do a little windshield wiper action. Internal, external. And I want you to try to get a release in that feeling. So, yeah right, sorry I didn't mean to knock you off. Yeah, right, so released hips.

Active center, good. And then I want you to deepen the head of the femur into the socket to bend the knee and slide it back in. Nice, keep that long, low spine. Take your hands to the other side. Nice, remind your glutes again, and remind your lower back again to lengthen through the pelvis.

And then start to slide that left leg long. Good, notice when you start to feel that popping up into your fingers. That's sort of the length of your psoas letting you know that after that you're going to start to feel the spine get tight. So we're working through this, trying to get the abdominals to pin that psoas longer. Nice.

Yeah. Once you get out to your end length, you're just going to do that little windshield wiper. Releasing the hips. Right, and see if you can still remind the spine to lengthen through the pelvis. Right, good.

And then deepen the head of the femur... Yeah, right, there you go, and slide that back in. Yeah, nice. Release. Just see if you feel a little more space in your torso here.

Great, we're gonna do this one more time. Stand on your feet. Press through your legs lift your pelvis up. Get your longest spine this time. Settle your chest, peel down.

Right, you don't need your shoulders to help you. You just want your spine to lengthen down, and see if you can find a longer connection to the roller, in the lower back. Good. And you can just keep your arms down by your sides. This time, slide your right leg away from you, once your lower back is all the way down.

And this time, we're gonna flex and point that foot. Every time you flex, I want you to feel like your leg gets a little further out of the socket, but without pulling the spine. Right, so you just have to keep reminding the abdominals to hold that low back long. Yes, and then deepening the abdominals, slide that leg in, gorgeous. And same thing with the left leg.

Nice. And point and flex. Yeah, you can see that active opposition, every time you flex the back line of the leg gets longer, the belly deepens. Nice. And then settle the femur into the socket to bend the knee.

And release the pelvis. Ah, okay. We're gonna do two more kinda stretchy things. I want you to scoot back so that the back of your skull ends at the edge of your roller. Good.

And your gonna feel kind of like you're falling off the edge with the back of your skull. It should give you... A little further back, actually. It should give you the feeling of somebody grabbing your head and pulling it long away from your spine. Make sure that your chin is sort of dropped into the back of your skull.

Not shoved, but not holding itself up. Nice. Breathe into that. Maybe you can anchor your tail a little bit, and feel that, give you a little oppositional length. Good, walk your feet bank a little bit, Nadia, that's it.

Good, and then from here, turn your head to one side. Try to keep your head heavy. And think of you heading being on a spindle. Good, it's always interesting to see which side you go to first. Good.

Okay so, from here, lengthen through the back of your neck, as you stay facing that side and then let the full weight of your head just drop. Let go. Good, then your gonna rotate your head to the other side, try to keep it heavy. Good, see if you can avoid side bending your neck as your rotate your head around that spindle. Good, and from that side get heavy.

Good, and now your just gonna go back and forth a couple of times, little quicker. Try to keep your head heavy as you roll, so it'll just feel like you're carving into those attachments at the occipital ridge, at the base of the skull. I want you to tune into any areas of extra tension for you, and go to that place for you. Wherever that is for you that you would like to spend a little more time. You're just going to draw little circles with your nose there.

Notice how circular your circle is. And reverse it. Good, good circles. And then come back to center, nice. You're gonna prop yourself up now onto your elbows, and I want you to scoot your body back, so that the roller ends between your shoulder blades.

Good, a little too far, yeah. Right, so come forward a little more, right. Take your hands behind the back of your neck, and stretch back around your roller. You can let elbows stay a little more narrow. So that you still get to feel that traction of the back of the neck.

So, with narrower elbows, you're gonna reach your elbows back to the back wall, good. So here we have this long spine. Can you as you breathe, keep those back ribs completely anchored into the roller? Right, we've lengthened both ends of the torso here, now we're just gonna practice a little upper curve in this position. So, inhale into your back, and then on your exhale, slide your back ribs backward on the roller to curl your upper body up.

So, think, not head, not head by itself, but connect the head, yes. If you pick your elbows up its gonna help you find that curl. Good, now, look at your sternum. Keep your sternum dropped like that. You're gonna arch back around the edge of the roller with your extensor muscles.

Yes! Good. And we'll try two more of these. Slide those back ribs back away from the pelvis. Nadia, let your head get heavy and pick your elbows way up to the ceiling, stretch your elbows up out of the shoulders a little, there you go. Right, now, take an inhale here, and then on your exhale, reach your elbows really actively back around the edge of the roller as you maintain your, yes, rib placement.

Last one. (inhales) And exhale curl up, try not to let the ribs hang. Pick the elbows up to the ceiling as you come up. Really nice, yes. Inhale into your back.

And then exhale, feel those front ribs continue toward your pelvis as you actively reach around the edge, good. Take your arms back by your ears. Good. Slide your legs out straight. Good, you can take your feet as wide as you need to to balance here, good.

And just breathe the back ribs wide. Nice. On your exhale, bring your arms back to the ceiling, bend your knees. Good. And actually, lets take the arms, keep your head down, keep your arms down on the mat.

You're gonna ooze off to one side. Just slip your body off to one side. That's the easiest way to get off. Lay on your back for a second. Take the roller underneath your sacrum.

Good, perpendicular to your spine, nice. Good. And then, lets just get you straightened out a little bit. So when it's underneath the sacrum, then go ahead and draw your knees into your chest, with that support of the roller. And let it fold you into a tiny little ball.

Good, so yours probably needs to be underneath you a little bit more. Right. And then feel that same length that we did where you lengthwise on the roller. Can you lengthen your low back, yes, to increase the bend of your low back to the floor? Take your feet into the shape of a V.

Knees are all the way into the chest. And long toes, and you wanna energize the backs of your legs here as if you have spring tension, or resistance that you're pushing away. Inhale, your legs away. Exhale, deepen the bend of your low back to coil in. Right, inhale away.

Exhale, in. Now, as you inhale your legs away, can you let the sternum get heavy, let the back breathing give you some weight to your upper body so that... Nice Amy, yes. So that you don't feel yanked. Good.

Inhale, exhale, we're gonna do two more. Inhale. Exhale, curl in. Think of this as a lengthening for your spine. And all the way in, stay in, knees all the way together.

Right, flex your ankles, wrap your toes like you're holding a pencil, and here we go. Inhale forward, and then recoil the spine, right. Inhale, so you can think both ends of the spine are lengthening to bring you back into that recoil. Nice. In, strong flexed ankle.

There you go, right. Keep that flex even as your legs go, right. And good, last one. And in, stay all the way in, you're gonna flex your ankles really deeply, toes back to your shins. Inhale, flex deeper.

And exhale, recoil. Nice, all the way together parallel. Good. See if you can keep your knees moving up towards your pelvis as you straighten the legs. So you wanna make sure the knees aren't driving to the floor, great.

Super strong flex, yes. And one more. Stay out there, exhale, point. Inhale flex, exhale point. Really work through the feet, so that when you're pointing, you're going balls of the feet, toes.

Toes, heels, right, balls of the feet, toes. Keep deepening that scooped out belly, and one more, nice. And bend your knees into your chest. Take a couple of breaths here, really enjoying that long low back. And then your knees are gonna go side to side, small little movements, side to side.

Let your roller come out from underneath you. Great, and you hopefully feel even longer in the spine here before we do the mat work. The mat work on the roller, the version of exercises that we're doing, is pretty challenging, so it's nice to start out with a little lengthening work. So, here we go, you're gonna now take the roller back underneath your spine. Great.

And you're going to lean back, but you're gonna prop yourself up on your forearms. One technique you could use, is to grab the edges of your mat, and press your mat towards your feet for leverage. Right. Good, now if this hurts your neck, then possibly you're doing it all the way down. Not curled up, and you would need to be probably scooted a little forward.

So your head is all the way on the mat. Okay, so from here, see if you can give yourself a little oppositional length, right. Now, more challenging... Amy, lets get you more forward this way. More challenging is narrower legs.

So, try legs all the way together. Just try. Right, squeeze those inner thighs together, and pull that inner thigh line up and then float your arms. Float your arms for 100. Here we go and in...

Ex. (breathing) Big pumps if you can. Ex, and I like to not clamp down on the lat and the pecks. See if you can let your arms drift back and really feel like you're pumping the back of the shoulder, right. Now, if the knees all the way together is not working, go hip width apart, or as wide as you need too, for balance.

Good. (breathing) One more. We're not doing all 100. We'll do, and come on down, excellent. Good, Amy, lets scoot you down, yeah.

(laughing) So you want your head on the roller with you. This is for everybody, head on the roller with you. Excellent, okay so, feet are hip width apart here. Arms to the ceiling, good. And we're gonna do our roll ups.

So you're gonna inhale, begin to curl your upper spine up. Now, feel that low spine lengthen into the roller, and scoot backwards to curl you up. If you get stuck, grab behind your thighs, and help yourself up. Right, and see if you can clamp those feet down into the floor, good. And then reach your arms forward, and begin to roll back.

Inhale as you begin, exhale as you continue, right. Right, so there's different versions. We can work bent, bent the whole time, or we can work bent to straight. Lets do that on this version. Inhale, curl up.

Now try to keep your legs heavy, and when you get to the hard place, start to slide your heels forward, find your long psoas and reach your arms forward and go all the way into your stretch. Your tail will stay curled under a little bit as you reach forward. Good, and then inhale, begin to roll back. Slide your heels back to your pelvis, to articulate through your low spine. Gorgeous, nice.

Nice Hayley, yes. Relax your glutes, if you can help it, right. So you can stick with that version, or you can go all the way straight. So you can go straight legs here. Inhale, begin to curl up.

Find the opposition of the spine stretching back away from the thighs, keep sliding those heels, that's it Nadia, yes. And reach all the way forward. Inhale, begin to roll back. So each one of you in class, pick your version. Yes, gorgeous, nice Amy.

Right, and we're working for longer legs in general, because we want the long psoas. We want the long hip flexors. So, you work at the level that lets you work through lengthening. And not go to hoisting. Yes, right.

And one more, I know, lots of fun, right? No glutes, no glutes. Relax your but. Excellent. Good.

All the way down, nice. So, from here, we're gonna skip the rollover, but we're gonna do our single leg circles. So bend your knees. Good, and we're gonna do them lengthwise on here. So just, feet planted.

We're gonna do a long oval version of this exercise. So take your right leg to the ceiling. Good, what you wanna do is lengthen your standing leg a little bit further forward so its out of your way. So its a long bend, right. And the right leg is gonna be really super externally rotated, right.

You wanna inhale your leg across your center, and then directly down under your hip, and exhale, scoop the belly to bring it up. So it doesn't go outside line. Across, down, and up. Inhale across down and up. And when you're bringing it up, see if you can reach from that lengthening of that psoas and reverse here.

You're gonna go straight down, across, up. Gorgeous, right. So it gives you a lot of information about your ribcage, about the length of your spine in this exercise. Try to keep it turned out. And nice, and hug that knee into your chest.

Great, and then plant that foot down in a long bend, and bring your left leg up to the ceiling. Externally rotate, good. And you're gonna inhale, across, down and up. Inhale, across, down and up. Nice.

Really use that wrap of the back of the leg to take your leg across. One more. And reverse, go directly down, across up. When we cross over, we really usually want to internally rotate that leg but, work against that urge. See if you can really, yeah, stay wrapped in nice.

And good, hug that knee into your chest. Nice, okay. So keep that long bend of both legs. Good, and what I want you to do is reach your arms forward, curl your upper spine up, good. And continue to curl up if you need to grab behind your thighs.

Good. Great, now, this one is the challenging one, so just go for it. So you're gonna plant your feet really close to your roller. Good, and this is inspired by a Kathy Grant exercise, going through your rolling like the ball, and then going from your squat and up to standing. So we're gonna practice squatting here.

So just picking yourself up off the edge of the roller. Feet really close to the roller. And what I want you to do is just shift your weight forward, hands are just gonna reach forward, actually. You're just gonna shift your weight forward, and see if you can just scoop your belly... Don't pick yourself all the way up yet.

Just a little hover and back down, right. And then plant and hover. And feel that effort of your rolling like a ball here. And back down, nice. Hollowing the belly, shift forward, that's it.

Nice. And hopefully you don't have runaway rollers. And good, now here we go, you're gonna shift forward, stand right up, good, and come right back down, and squat. Good. And shift forward, roll up.

Good, now, we can take this into laying all the way out. Legs will straighten as your spine goes back. But, lets go with momentum. This one is challenging. So you're gonna stand up.

Squat down and then everything at once. Lay your legs and arms out and then curl back into your squat and stand up. There we go, good. And good. It's a one to grow on maybe.

Nice. Good. And back, and... Nice. Find your...

(laughing) Runaway rollers. And last one. Come into your squat. That's it, yeah, no worries. That's what happens.

So, from here I want you to do slowly roll back you can use that leverage of hands into the mat. Get your low spine super opened up here. Good. So elbows are bent. Like Keila is showing.

Like Amy is showing. Excellent, draw your right knee into your chest. Now you're gonna find your balance here. Left leg forward. Straight forward, right.

Right knee all the way into your chest. There we go. Ab fives, here we go. Inhale, switch, inhale switch. Ex, ex.

And in. (exhales) Use the inhale to inflate those back ribs to help you counter the weight of your legs. One more set. Knees all the way into your chest if you can. And both knees all the way in.

Exhale completely. Inhale both legs forward. Curl the spine, exhale all the way into your face. Yes, inhale. See if you can curl the upper spine as the low spine curls.

Nice. And curl. Great. Gorgeous, yes. Two more.

(breathing) And... And stay coiled in, right leg to the ceiling, left leg low. Inhale, pulse, switch, exhale, pulse. Reach and lengthen from the psoas. Right, so don't let your hips do it.

Not from the front of your hips, from the spine. Yes, yes! And one more. And both legs to the ceiling. Externally rotate those legs. Inhale the legs away just a couple inches, and exhale curl the spine to come back, right.

Inhale, right. Not so far that you get popped off the back ribs. You want those back ribs to counter-weigh the weight of the legs, gorgeous. Right, the spine is to lengthen, not to press into. Bend the knees into your chest.

Inhale, exhale, twist your torso a little bit as you send your left leg long. Yes, inhale, tiny little ball. Exhale, twist. Inhale, tiny little ball. That's it, and twist.

In. And... (exhales) Good, and one more set. Last one. And nice.

Into the center, lower your legs down as you exhale. Take a big stretch back. Ah! Nice. From here, walk your feet away a little bit. Curl your spine forward to come up.

Good, and we're gonna straighten the legs out for spine stretch forward. You're legs are gonna go much wider than your shoulders. Right, and you're gonna feel your hip bones grounding on each side of the roller. Right. Nice.

If you have imbalances in the way your pelvis holds itself together, you're gonna feel that here. So it's a great way to work through that. Let both hip bones feel like there's kind of weights hanging from them and dragging them toward the floor, and when you get your pelvis grounded in that way the spine reacts by lengthening up, nice. Lets do hands on the floor. You're gonna inhale, and on your exhale, round your spine, dive into your own spine as you reach forward.

Let your hands really push into the floor. Yes, fingertips I should say, into the floor. And inhale, stack back up. Pelvis goes down, spine goes up, backs are round, all the way forward. Right, no butt.

Yes, just pelvis down, spine up. Inhale. Exhale. Reach, gorgeous. In.

Exhale, reach. And one more, in. And exhale, your biggest stretch here. Dive your eyes into your chest, stretch your arms all the way forward. Good, and inhale, stack back up.

We're gonna go into our saw. Take your arms up to the side. Inhale, twist to the right. On your exhale, saw off your right ankle with your left pinky, stay there. I want your right palm to flip to the ceiling, and push the ceiling up, good.

And I want your left hip bone to get heavy again. Remind it to stay heavy. Right, couple of deep breaths here. Exhale, go a little deeper into your stretch here. Good, inhale into your back.

And last one, exhale a little deeper. Nice, and keep those arms reaching in opposition. Inhale, lift yourself up, twist to the left. And we're gonna take that really mindful version, exhale. Both sides of your pelvis are grounded.

Left palm to the ceiling, exhale, deepen. (exhales) Remind the hip bones to stay level. And exhale, deepen. (exhales) Good, one more. Exhale, little deeper, and we're gonna go quicker now.

Inhale, lift up, twist right, exhale. Inhale, try to imagine three exhales in your one exhale. Right, so you keep going deeper, deeper, deeper, nice. Finding that opposition of the arms each time. Nice and stay here.

We're gonna do a different version. Hands behind the back of your neck. I learnt this from Kathy Grant, and I love this exercise. So you're gonna inhale your right elbow to the outside of your right knee. Toward, it doesn't have to go to the floor.

Anchor that left hip bone and exhale up. And inhale, left elbow to the outside of the left knee. Anchor the pelvis and exhale up. Inhale, outside of your right knee. Pelvis is heavy, exhale up.

And in. And up. We're gonna add something to it. Inhale, outside your right knee. On your exhale, take your left elbow, and close toward your knee, right.

Like your clumping your knee. Inhale, open that left elbow. And exhale, pelvis down, nice. Inhale, left outside the left knee. And exhale, right.

Inhale, open the right elbow, there you go, and the pelvis is grounded to come back up. Gorgeous, one more time. Inhale, right elbow on the outside of the right knee. Exhale, close. Rounding the spine, so elbows narrow.

Inhale, widen the elbows again as you open. Exhale, up. Last one, inhale. Good, and exhale, contract, nice. Inhale, open that right elbow, and exhale up.

Lovely, okay, from here, you're gonna come around onto your belly on the roller. Heads to the center. Good. So you want your roller to be back a little so its not in your face. So, it's on your sternum.

Right. I think scoot forward a little more Amy, yeah, good. Okay, what I want you to do is take the tops of your feet onto the mat, good, straighten your knees all the way, and squeeze the inner thighs into the roller. Hands underneath your shoulders. So bring your hands all the way back underneath your shoulders, right good.

Before you go anywhere, straighten your knees all the way. Feel those inner thighs kind of gather the roller, right. Before you go anywhere, wrap your shoulders into your back. Nice. From here, the abdominals are gonna take a journey forward, away from the pubic bone.

On your inhale, drag your crown forward, your eyes forward. Your sternum forward. The belly chases the sternum, keep going. Think of it as a forward movement more than an up movement. This has to be all the way gathered in, yes.

And come back down. Now, you have a little extra room than you do on the mat, so you can get all the way straight with your arms even if you don't normally. So wrap your shoulders. Can you drag yourself all the way forward to those straight arms by pulling the belly forward out of the pelvis? Yes! Nice.

And then on your exhale, keep drawing the belly forward out of the pelvis, yeah wrap your shoulders into your back like crazy. Present your sternum forward more, yeah there you go, gorgeous. One more of those. Wrap your shoulders into your back. Create length.

So that pulling forward is so there's space in your extension. Good, and exhale, lowest belly keeps pulling forward. Try not to hang the ribs. Nice. Okay, so we're gonna go through our single leg kick, double leg kick.

What I want you to do is, plant your forearms underneath you. Good, and for these, you're actually going to balance on top of the roller. All the way together. Long feet. Squeeze your inner thighs together.

Press your pelvis down into the roller, so the front of the hips are open, and lift the thighs a little bit. Great. From here, with the feeling of the thighs floating, you're gonna take your right heel and kick your butt. So you're gonna go kick, kick, reach it long. Left leg, kick, kick, reach long.

Kick, kick, reach long. Good. Use your swan skills, everything you did in swan, yes, to keep the upper body pulling away from that hip opening. So you're getting oppositional length in the whole front line of your body. Last one, and kick, kick, lengthen, and both legs come back down to the mat.

Right, so you're gonna go just on the outsides of the roller like how we did our swans. So, they're wide enough that your feet can touch the floor but straighten your knees. Excellent, and hands go underneath your shoulders for this one. So, just hands. What we're gonna do is, keep your knees right where they are, they're still squeezing into the roller.

You're gonna kick your butt three times. Kick, kick, kick. Then plant your feet down, inhale, reach your arms forward. Find your balance. Press your feet down, good, and then open your arms out to the side, like you're doing T on the reformer.

Good, and then hands come back down as you kick, kick, kick. Ex, ex, ex. Inhale, reach open the chest and around, come down, and next, two, three. Inhale, reach the arms forward. Out and around.

Good, and ex, ex, ex. Inhale, reach. Out and around. Nice, last one. And ex, ex, ex.

Inhale, reach. Out and around. And come on down. Nice, press yourself back into a rest position. And what you're gonna wanna do is, move your roller back quite a bit.

So that it's not in your face. So your pelvis gets to rest on the roller, like Nadia's doing here. The pelvis gets to rest, it feels great to have that support, yes. And then let your pelvis really anchor into the roller. Great, and then curl the tail under and roll yourself back up, nice.

Come forward on your mat. Bring your roller forward on your mat. And we're going to do neck pull. (laughing) I hear squeals of delight! (class laughing) Okay, so pelvis way forward. (laughing) Pelvis way forward.

Generally, your legs are hip width apart on this exercise. You're gonna do what works for you for balance. So wider is gonna be a little easier to balance. I do want you to start with your legs straight. Legs straight, good.

Hands behind the back of your neck. So let the roller give you feedback about the anchoring of your pelvis. Which give you the length of your spine. So inhale, lift those back ribs out of the pelvis to go back, no glutes. No glutes, Hayley.

Yes, drop your chest. And then when you need to, exhale bend your spine. Try to keep your legs straight if you can. And if you need to bend, you can bend. Good, and inhale, curl your spine forward all the over your legs.

Exhale, as you start to fold into that. Good. And then stack up, inhale, lengthen the ribs out of the pelvis. Lengthen the back of your body out of the pelvis. Right, not arched, lengthened out.

Good, and flex through. Gorgeous, nice. Amy, bend your knees as you come down so that you can articulate, gorgeous, yeah. Yeah. Excellent.

And lets do one more. Good, all the way forward as you exhale. Okay, now in the neck pull, we're just gonna take a moment here. Try not to push your head to the floor. Your head meets your hands, as much as your hands are pulling the neck long.

Right, that's gorgeous. Okay, then use that as you curl the spine up and lengthen out. And one last time to peel the spine down. Nice. Great, okay, so roll off to one side here.

I want you to take the roller back underneath your sacrum. Good. And then, take both legs up to the ceiling. Right, reach your legs apart. We're gonna do our scissors, bicycle here.

So reach your legs actively apart from each other. Good, and lift to switch. See if you can find the balance where they're splitting the ceiling equally. And lift to switch. So the leg that comes back towards your head needs to really curl from the spine, yes, that's it.

And try not to let either of your legs get heavy toward the floor. And reach, and reach, good. Lets, everybody go right leg forward, and we're gonna go into our bicycle from here. Bend, and peddle through. See if you have the scissor between each bicycle.

Nice. So the bicycle's just a deepening of the scissor. Great. Doing great, doing great. Good, and lets back peddle that.

So you're gonna dip down and out. When you dip down, try to keep that other leg straight as long as you can, you're gonna get a really awesome stretch. Yes. And... Good.

And both legs to the ceiling, great. Lets bend your right knee and plant your right foot on the floor. Good. So, press your foot down so much that you could actually support yourself without the roller there. And the roller's just giving you feedback about where your pelvis is.

So wrap that under, good. From here, you're gonna flex that left ankle, and bring it down toward the floor, without letting your pelvis drop. Inhale, lift up. Exhale. Good.

Nice and level, you guys look great. And one more. You're gonna bring that leg up. Bend the knee, and place it back down. And lets take that other leg up to the ceiling.

Good. See if you can keep that slight hover above the roller here. Yeah, lots of power in that left leg, and then flex down. Inhale, point up. Flex down.

And you'll know if you're dropping your pelvis. If you start to lean into that roller. And then up, bend that knee. And place that leg down. Both knees...

Oh sorry, make sure your pelvis is down. Both knees into your chest, excellent. From here, take both legs to the ceiling. Nice, and then externally rotate the legs, good. So we're just gonna do our walks from our legs series with springs.

So you're gonna walk down for eight counts. Inhale down, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Exhale up, two... As your legs get away from you make sure you're using that back breathing to anchor the upper body to the mat. Seven, stay here.

Squeeze your heels together. Right, you're gonna lower your legs down, like to a quarter of the way. Eight claps. Clap, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Squeeze and hold.

Settle your chest, lower your legs, little bit further down, right. And clap, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Squeeze and hold. And then go to your lowest that you can work, and still stay anchored. And clap, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Squeeze and hold. Small circles here. Little tiny circles, good. Make sure you're breathing. And reverse.

Excellent, and bring the knees into your chest. We're gonna finish off with a really nice one. Gonna do a little performance stretch here. So, bend your knees so that both knees are to ceiling. Like this, right.

Actually, I take it back. Take your left leg to the ceiling, straight. Your right leg's gonna cross over. And when you bend your left knee, you wanna make sure that the lower leg bones stay vertical. So let gravity help that left knee fold in toward you.

And so the foot stands on the ceiling, you know. Yeah, but bend this knee towards you. And you can imagine, if you had like a little scorpion tail, that could wrap around the underneath side of the roller to anchor the stretch, right. There you go. See if you can find your scorpion tail, not from your chest.

But from the length of the low spine. Good. And then both legs to the ceiling. Lets do that for the other leg. See, isn't that nice?

Other side. And bend in. Good. That's it, yeah. Lower leg bone, vertical if you can.

That way gravity helps you. Little scorpion tail around outside edge of the roller, that's it. Good. Good, and then come on out of the stretch. Both knees into your chest.

Little side to side action of your knees, as you push the roller out from underneath you. Good, okay, so here's a fun one. We're gonna come up and do spine twist. So, sitting on the roller again. And spine twist, usually, legs are all the way together.

So that's the challenge here. You're gonna work as close together as you can. It's best to sit all the way forward for this one. Right. And arms out to the side for balance.

Good, so at first just sitting here you're gonna go whoa, whoa, whoa. Right, so see if you can tell both of your hip bones to anchor down. You need the support of the low back extensors to help you here, so that its not all in the front of the hips. There you go, right. Inhale, squeeze those inner thighs together, and exhale, twist to the right.

Keep deepening as you twist. Inhale, center. Heavy pelvis. Exhale. Good, inhale.

Right, if you're having a really hard time balancing, and you're not able to find your center to do that. Then go a little wider, right. Good, make sure that the inner thighs are pulling up. Last set, right and left. And...

Nice. And center, excellent. We're gonna do just a quick leg series on here. So, go ahead and take your roller perpendicular. And what we'll do is, everybody face your, go to your right shoulder to the roller.

So you guys will face me. You guys on that side will face that way. The roller's gonna go underneath the side of your hip. Yes. Right.

Good, you're gonna prop on your forearm. Prop up on your forearm this way, right. Your bottom foot is gonna kickstand into the floor. There you go, good. So this is...

Go a little higher. It is on the, just below the outside of your hip crest. So in that muscular area where your side glutes live. Excellent, good. Now take your bottom foot forward quite a bit.

And here we go, we're gonna do front, back. So you're gonna go, this hand can go behind the back of your neck, so its out of your way. Right, so here we go, you're gonna go flex front, scoop, point back, arch. Flex front, scoop, point back, arch. Good, keep going.

So what's nice is it lets you know what your pelvis is doing. It lets you know if you're teetering. Right, if you're rolling your pelvis forward and back. Scoop the spine as your go forward, and arch as you back, and good. And stack your feet.

You're gonna point up. Flex down. Point up. Flex down. Point up.

Flex down. One more. Reverse. Flex up. Point down.

Flex up. Point down. One more. Good, and lets do a grand rond de jambe. You're gonna kick front, lift that leg all the way up.

All the way behind you, and through. Up, around and through. One more in this direction. Good. And reverse it.

Pull it back, big hip stretch there. Externally rotate to bring it around, nice. Doing great. One more. Lovely.

Okay, what you're gonna do, is slide the roller down your thigh a little bit. And then roll onto the front of your thigh. You're gonna prop up on your forearms. So its really the highest part of your thighs here, good. Float your feet, both thighs.

Yeah, forward to the floor. Good. Little higher up on the front of your thighs, and clap your heels. Clap, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, seven. And squeeze those heels, and turn to your other side, nice.

So you just are gonna adjust the roller goes a little bit higher on the outside of the hip crest. Feet forward for balance. Hand behind your head. And here we go, you're gonna flex front, bend the spine, point back, arch the spine. Try not to tuck the pelvis as the leg goes back.

You wanna arch, yeah, let your extensors have a moment to work for you. Yeah. So you have to let it translate up your spine. Yes. There you go, that's it.

And one more. And arch, arch, arch. Good and stack your feet. Good, Hayley, your bottom foot could come forward for balance, a little bit more. And here go, point up, flex down.

Point up. Flex down. Point up. Flex down. Point up.

Reverse. Flex up. Point down. Flex up. Good.

And big circle. Front up and around. Find that big hip opening behind you. Good, did we do two or three? Three.

And good, reverse it. Pull back, up and around. Nice. Pull back. Up and around.

Last one. Up and around, excellent. We're almost done, teaser! Teaser, what? Roller lengthwise on your mat. Great.

And come all the way forward. You're gonna use your little propped up position. (laughing) So, legs are down, all the way straight. And elbows are back, good. And then on your inhale, float your legs up, float your spine up.

So you're gonna come up, elbows can straighten length. Like Keila just showed us. Keep your legs there. Exhale, lower your low spine onto the roller. Inhale, your spine right back up.

So try not to bottom out. You just wanna stay in the place that you can recoil from. Yes that's it Nadia, good. And one more. And stay up there, exhale lower legs just an inch or two.

And curl the spine. And lower, look at that. And curl, one more. And curl, both. So you're gonna go upper spine, low spine, and curl right back up.

Try not to bottom out, so you stay again only in the place that you're still actively in it. Last one. And good, just for fun, a little balance moment! And come on down! Gorgeous, look at that. We're gonna do a little stretch to finish off with. So you're gonna straddle your roller.

So scoop back a little bit. Shins underneath you, like this. Ah! You're gonna take your left food forward. Yep. Lean back.

Straight arms, nice. So your right knee is down. You're standing on your left foot. We're just doing a little hip opening to finish off with. Press your pelvis up, good.

Press your shin down. So your pelvis may lift off the roller, depending on your hip length. Curl the tail under and lay your sacrum down on it. Just sit your sacrum down on the roller. Right.

Then from this position reach your knee down into the mat. Breathe. Can you feel the belly actively drawing away from the thigh? So I want your knee down all the way, if you can. Knee down all the way, yes.

So maybe you're higher up on your hands to get your knee down all the way, right. That's it, but you're trying to be a little bit rocked back on your sacrum, yes. Nice. Now, if you want a deeper stretch here, you're gonna take your right arm up, and you're gonna twist toward your left shoulder, press your pelvis up again. Inhale, lift.

Like a kneeling arched back bend. Lift your pelvis up. There you go Keila, yes. And then curl the tail and let your pelvis come back down, stay in that stretch. Good, breathe into that.

If you want deeper, all of these are options, if you want deeper, otherwise stay in the stretch you're in. If you want deeper, go to your left forearm. Take your left forearm to the mat. Reach and stretch. As you reach and stretch, that right knee is going down into the floor.

Or not. Or not! You do the stretch that lets you work for something new. Excellent, good. Now use your right hand to grab your left knee, to help you come back up. And you're gonna straighten that left leg, good.

And stretch forward. So let the roller to remind your pelvis to stay level. Flex your left ankle. Nice. Curl the tail under and stack back up.

Other leg. So, that right knee is bent at first, good, nice. And then hands come back. Good, press down through your shin, lift your hips open. Press up.

Good, and then curl the tail under a little bit and let your pelvis come back down on your sacrum, in a place where your knee can still be on the mat. So pelvis comes back down onto the roller there, yeah. Breathe into that. Good. If you want deeper, you're gonna take your left arm.

Take it up, twist up over toward your right shoulder. Press your pelvis up again off of the roller. Open your hip. Let your pelvis come back down, lengthening that low spine, good. And then, only if you want deeper, go to your forearm and stretch, or not.

Right. Don't force. The stretch is just taking you a little bit further than you're working at. Good. Nice, and then use your left hand to help you back up.

Bring both feet into your... Oh sorry, that's right, yeah, stretch forward. Getting a head of myself. Right. Let the roller help you anchor both sides of your pelvis.

Good. And then curl your spine to stack back up. Plant both feet. And you're just gonna come forward in your squat. Come forward in your squat and stand up.

Squeeze your ankles into that roller. Good, and there's many versions of doing pushups with the roller, and this is what we're doing. We're just squeezing into. Okay, so, parallel feet. On this version, you're gonna roll your spine down as you exhale.

Good, walk your hands forward. Good, and just keep squeezing into that. So your feet will adjust. It's okay if the roller gets picked up off of the floor when you go, yeah. Good, and bend the elbows as you inhale, exhale, ab wall picks you up.

Can you keep your shoulder blades wide in your pushup? What would that feel like? Can those shoulder blades feel like they come around to the front ribs? One more. And excellent.

You're gonna walk your hands back. Get the heels planted. Nice. From here, shift your pelvis forward a little bit. Curl the tail under so that the abdominals have to really work to articulate your spine up.

Head hangs, and its the last to stack back up. And you are done. Good work! (class clapping)


4 people like this.
That hour just blew by! Doing the bicycle with the roller gave me my first opportunity ever to experience my toe grazing the mat. Thanks!
2 people like this.
Thanks for the lesson Sharon. I like it a lot
I feel sensitive on my pelvic floor when I sit over ( spine stretch ....)
It' s normal ?
3 people like this.
Wow that was fun and challenging. Going to try some of these moves on my class. Thanks for being so creative! Hope to see you back!
Sharon Gallagher-Rivera
Thank you Denee and Joni. I'm so glad you enjoyed the class and felt inspired.
Sharon Gallagher-Rivera
Hi Monica. Thank you for your comment. Yes, some people do feel sensitive to the pressure. The harder your roller, the more sensitive it may feel. Possibly try laying a yoga mat or cushy Pilates mat over your roller for those seated exercises and see if it helps. Let me know how it goes :)
3 people like this.
What a great class! Loved your cues. It was a great combination of mindful stretches and then using that length to do the work from a better place. Loved it!
2 people like this.
Entretenida, lúdica. Me encantó!!!! Felicidades
Sharon Gallagher-Rivera
Thank you Jacquie. Yes, one of my mentors, Jennifer Stacey, MS, often worked with this concept of preparing the body to succeed. I like the balance of sometimes working this way and doing some work before the work and other times just sticking to Pilates and finding it through the exercises.
Sharon Gallagher-Rivera
Thank you Karina....I have to admit, I had to google for a translation.....(Entertaining, fun. Loved !!!! Congratulations). I love that you loved it ;)
2 people like this.
Yo también fui a google!;) hermoso trabajo, siempre por más!!! Un abrazo desde Uruguay
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