Welcome to Fletcher Polonius with the magic circle. Now this syllabus has been developed over a period of time and I believe there is an anecdote that said that Ron once mentioned that he doesn't do windows and he didn't do a lot of magic circle either. However, this syllabus is adapted to fit the principles, so we will be using the percussive breath from Fletcher pilates as well as the standing in centering cues and some of the fun variations that have been developed throughout the years. One thing to remember is that the circle throughout the work and especially towards the end of class tends to have more of an on or an off switch and we want to attempt to keep it on more of a dimmer. So we use the resistance throughout and we're not just holding a prop but actually working it into the body to enhance everything that we do. So our theme is circle.
We have a circle and we're ready to go. So we'll start with some circular breath. Just rounding the arms to the side, taking a nice deep breath into the full three dimensional space of the rib cage. Inhaling and exhaling.
Open the circle to the side. Inhale, lifting arm ups at Exhale, place it back down to your side. Inhale the left and the focus. So follow your palm up and take it out directly. Side lifting and back down through mid line. Let's keep that arm in front of us. Adding the left and opening to the side. Lifting and back down together in limb. Let's take both arms, reaching up and open, facing forward.
One more time and lift and open.
So we'll go inhale out and exhale and inhale out a little balance and exhale
We're going to take the hands on the rib cage along the front. We're going to do some rib isolation. So go way back to jazz class and let's see what happens. I'll take a little bend of the knees. We're going to send the ribcage forward on the inhale
Again, forward to the right, to the back, and to the left and forward, and now to the left, back to the right.
We're going to send the hips under in a postier till sending the right hip out to the side. Send the tail back as we go into an anterior tilt and send the opposite hip over. So inhale,
As you make a play, a round your body into that contraction. Make a circle with the arms. Reach the side bend up and over to the left. There we go. And then come all the way back to center. Let's do that again. A full breath off and over.
[inaudible] round the body up and over to the opposite side and the lift and reverse to the left round and deepen your play to the right, up and over. One more time to the left and deepen to the right.
Up and over to the left please. [inaudible].
So take the circle. We're going to keep the fingertips by the side of the circle for a moment and then just bend your knees. Inhale, lift your hips up and let your head reach down towards the circle as you exhale. Inhale, bend, exhale, stretching the hamstrings. Just a bit more. And one more time, Ben and stretch. And then go ahead and take the circle. We'll roll all the way up to a standing position, standing nice and firmly on the three points of the feet, drawing up through the mid line of the body. When you reach the arms forward, feel the shoulder blades down into the back.
We'll start with elbows bent and fingertips reaching long. So we'll start with the chest press. We're going to inhale, press into the circle. Exhale, control the release. So as you breathe, feel the sides of your ribs. Expand the chest, the back of the body, bringing as much breath as you can. One more time.
Think of the biceps moving inward towards midline and Xcel. Control the release. Inhale, press and easy open. And again, press keeping the chest wide. Constantly thinking about the placement of the blades on the back. Adding a play as you press, bending and stretch. So all of these variations we're working with, the legs are just a way to change up and add some coordination.
Do a little more than just stand and press the circle. Let's this time. Stay in the plea a-hole the circle. Pulse, the play.
Now from here we're going to press in, extend the arms up overhead. Inhale, Bend and press.
Finding that side bend and Paul
We'll take a full breath to rotate the body to your, your right and then back to center. So think of using the turning of the rib cage and the turning of the sternum to turn the circle rather than just moving the arm side to side.
Adding on were take a full breath to rotate to your right. Should the arms lift up overhead while you maintain the rotation. Come Center and lower. Rotate left. Reach the arms and lift the torso up and center. So anytime those arms go over head, we'll try to form, find more length through our spine to the right lift center and lower last time to the left.
Lift up away from the hips center and lower down. Good. Walk the feet back into the center of your mat. We're going to inhale here. Exhale, roll down to contract from here. Place the down, place your fingertips to the mat. We'll lift the heels up, come into a small ball, lower your hips to your heels. That's it. Round your spine. And just take three deep breaths to feel your selections.
So deep breath in, opening up the low back, curling the pelvis again.
And so remember as it gets more difficult for the abdominal muscles to not just let this be something that's stressing your shoulders out, but really a tool that can enhance your connection to your back and help you through the exercise. So we'll start sitting nice and tall. When we come up. We'll be recovering into a diamond and the forward spine stretch and then rolling up through the spine to close the legs back. So we'll inhale, lengthen. We're going to take a pelvic tilt to roll back, find your sacred, and potentially a little bit lower. But since this is the first time, we'll just hold here. So let's squeeze the circle. Pressing in. Inhale, exhale deep in the belly. Slow release on the circle four times.
Let's pulse forward
Last time. Deepening the belly on the exhalation. Opening the legs to round up and over into the diamond and pulse. Four three, two and row up through your spine to sit tall. Once again. Inhale here. Exhale, contract to roll down. This time we're holding center and simply lifting the arms up overhead and lower down. Try not to send your head under the circle, but rather bring the circle back over your head.
We're going to rotate your body to the right. You're going to lift all the way up and over and back to center. So we inhale left. Exhale, ceiling to the right, to the center, to the right and to the ceiling. Left and center again, left
Excellent. So we're going to go through the abductor patterns. So take your circle and place it at your knee magnet, which is right down your VMO, just above your knees. And then place your feet flat. And I like to start everyone out a little bit more engaged than open. So bring your heels into the closest position to hip.
With that you can go. So you're really starting. Yes, very. You may be can go out a little bit. Perfect. Okay, so again from here, let's remember those three points that I mentioned before. The magnet points is what we call them, right between the ankles, above the knees and at the end seam. So as the legs come together, it's an as if those three points are coming closer to midline. We're going to take the arms out to a t, nice, wide chest, palms facing down, and then inhale, squeeze into the circle and Exhale, control the release in. Inhale, engage the full length of your inner thighs and exhale with control. Making sure that our pelvis is more in a neutral position than a tilted one.
Can you breathe into your right lung as your leg opens and feel the right side of your body expanding to this side. Let's go left. Inhale, open and back to center, making sure that your pelvis stay stable as the leg opens so that femur bone is just rolling in the hip socket, slightly out and back in last one or more with both legs. Inhale and exhale. Finding the midline together. Good. Always interesting to see which leg is the leader. Two more. It's you're right.
Last one. And come in to stay and will pulse in going. Inhale. Inhale. Exhale. Exhale. Four, three, two, and one. Good. Hold onto the circle. Reach your arms up over your chest. Breathing in and contract forward to take the circle in your hands. Good. We'll take the circle out from in between the knees and from here, draw your legs into tabletop. And we're going to thread the needle, reaching the feet right through the circle. Placing on the circle, onto the outside of the ankles. Yes. Good.
And then from here, extend your legs to 90 and lower your head back to the mat, arms and a t. So let's flex the feet here and we're gonna really route through the center of this sacrum. So we're trying not to curl the tailbone up, but rather reached the sitz bones long and we're gonna work the outer thighs, pressing the legs equally open. Inhale, and then exhale against the low release without letting the circle drop. Okay. Inhale, open, and exhale, release. And let's try to really press up through the heels, stretching the legs. This time it's your left leg. That's the leader.
And exhale four more times. Press Open and release. Imagine that you're standing on the ceiling, feeling the bottom of your foot, the sole on the same plane as the ceiling too.
And now we're going to go add doctor from here. So with your legs long, you could really feel the full length of your outer thigh line with your legs short and bent. It sometimes feels like you're just moving your knees out and pushing into your it band. So let's think not only of pushing from the knees, but also from pushing from what we call the side bolts or the hips. So as you move the legs open, inhale, press out the full hip with, and then exhale, slowly release the resistance. And again, inhale, move out from the outer ankles, outer knees, outer hips, and exhale. And this is also great time to practice that lateral breath. So breathing along the sides of the ribcage to expand and exhale.
Good. One more time. Inhale and exhale. We're going to add a posterior pelvic tilt and we'll inhale. Press the circle. Exhale, curl this hail back and feel the waistline weight. Excellent. So from here we're going to keep the circle pressed out and continue to press the hips up towards the ceiling all the way articulating. And at the top, the outer thigh position gives us a really nice length and hip flexor. And as we roll down, we're going to let the chest go first.
So we feel the upper spine articulate, roll through the rims, and then roll out towards the tailbone. And if that position didn't feel very stable, sometimes we need to walk the heels in a little bit more towards the sits bones, right? So we're pressing out into the circle. On the inhale, we're curling the pelvis back on the exhalation. As you start to peel up through the spine, think of energy reaching out through your knees to the sides into the front and good press down through the full width of your arms. Feel the back of your underarm, opening your chest, and then keep that pressure as you inhale and exhale, letting your sternum slide down, letting each pair of ribs imprint towards the Mat, and then reaching down through your spine to your tail. Excellent. So there's our public press and now we're going to do pelvic press in a circle.
So we take the first beginning, the same way we inhaled to press the circle out or exhaling to curl the tailbone under and roll up feeling the backs of the legs engaged. Now we're going to work a circle around the spine, not necessarily the sides of the body, but closer towards midline. So we're going to start rolling down along the right side of your spine. So take a breath and feel that right side more weighted than the left. And you might even feel the hips twist slightly as you come down to your right hip, you'll pass through center, you'll wait on the left side of the spine and then start to curl up for a little bit more oblique work on the way up. Good and come through center.
So let's circle this same way, kind of like a cement mixer. So we'll inhale and exhale, roll down halfway along the right inhale and exhale, roll all the way out to the tailbone. Inhale and exhale. Roll up halfway on the left. Inhale and XL roll up to the top and then we'll go down one more time on the right
So let's draw the knees into the chest. We're going to take the circle out. Unthread we'll keep this circle over the center of the chest and take the legs up to 90 degrees straight up and we'll flex the feet and point
We're not done with that one yet, but we'll take a little break. Pull the knees and pulsing.
Lift a little higher again. Inhale back. Exhale, lift up two more times back and reach the circle up towards the toes. Last one back and whole. Now without coming off of your sacred fold in your right hip to bring your right leg back to the circle and exhale, bring the legs together and then the left light comes back and together and from the hip folds both legs come back without losing the tail connection and together. Now let's go left. Inhale, back and together. Right side. Anchor the pelvis down and fold in the hips as close as you can and together and roll down to the mat. Drawing the knees in. Taking this circle over the shins. We'll pulse them in again for eight, seven we have one more to do.
Four, three, two. We're going to extend the arms up legs to 90
And three, sinking the belly down as you reach the circle up. One more. Four, take a full breath and scissor the legs to switch.
And we're reaching the arms up to the ceiling and you're going to contract all the way up to sit at the top. All right, and we're just going to do a little variation to roll up through your spine. I'm going to go into a bit of a side stretch. So we'll take our fourth position. Let's go right leg in, front and left leg behind. Excellent. And from here we're going to take the left arm up and over and we're coming into a side bend down onto the elbow. So as much as possible, reaching that opposite hip down, pulling the rib cage up and feeling a nice arc through center.
And then using your torso to lift you up and over rotate. We'll take your right hand to your knee, left hand to your ankle and pull back into a stretch. Almost a pelvic tilt here. Good. And then we're going to come back up and back to the t. So let's put it all together. Inhale and XLF and over. Yeah.
We're going to rotate the knees to your right, keeping the chest facing fronts and come to center to the left and center. To the right and center and to the left and center. Now a little prep for hip circles. So going to the right, let's see if we can extend the legs up. Bend and center, left, extend staying tall. Good. And then [inaudible] and center to the right and extend. Bend and center. Left then and center.
And then you're going to split the legs back to the fourth position. Other side. Alright. And we'll bring the arms out to a tee. Once again, we'll come up and over to a side bend. Inhale and exhale, you're going to your left. Bingo. Good. And then inhale and exhale. Find the vertical coming up and over, pulling back into that little pelvic tilt, curving the spine and up to the t. Full breath again. Up and over.
Center in help pull XL center and
And then we are sitting in the best approximation of a long diamond. So it's about the distance between your middle finger and your elbow, and it's a position that allows you to get right up on your sitz bone. So we're certainly trying not to just sit back into a comfort zone and then the hands can be on the floor in a low B. I'm gonna take mine slightly to the sides and we're sitting nice and tall. So using lateral line, whole outer line, we're going to inhale and press the circle down as best you can.
Think of your hip opening and think of really working from the top of the hip as you exhale, lifting back up. So as you inhale, the leg presses down, the spine lifts up as much as possible, and exhale slowly recover. We'll do this a couple more times.
We're going to work the arms out to a second position. Nice and lifted. Stay lifted through your torso. Inhale, press and exhale, lift. It does not go down quite as far as it did before. We're trying not to use the body weight to move the circle. Just working the leg.
I'm talking to myself as much as anybody and good and then come all the way down. Boy, take that c-section. You're placing the front down and the other one on top. So finding the nice lifted spine, deep hip, fold arms slightly behind so you can keep the chest open and then make sure the foot is in a full turnout. Yes, so you're more on the side of your ankle. And then from here, inhale, press that. Half of the diamond down and lift.
I'm going to take your right foot up into the circle on the ball of the foot first and second foot centers and then just extend it. And if your leg is not at nine knee, try not to force it yet. You can let it kind of hang into the circle and use your arms for help. We're still trying to work on lengthen and we'll keep the opposite leg bent. We're going to push through the ball of the foot into the circle to just extend and engage the calf and then flex and give the circle a little tug.
As you tug on the circle. Think of pulling the top of the foot towards your Shin for a little extra support and engagement. So we're inhaling press and exhale. Flex.
Extend your bottom leg long along the mat. Try to feel the hamstring. We're going to keep the left hand on the circle and the right hand. We'll go out to a tee on the floor, keeping your hips evenly weighted. Use your inner thighs to bring that leg across the body so you can feel the whole lateral line lengthen. And this should just feel yummy or sensational depending on where we're at.
Good. And if you love this and want even more sensation, you can turn the sole of your foot in the direction that your leg is going and get a little bit of your perennials to open up. So you would turn the sole of your foot to your left. That's it. Good. And then release. We're going to take the circle and the foot back to center. Switch hands, which sides, and then open the leg out to the side without letting your opposite hip lift or falling off a table. And we'll hold there for one more moment and then bend the knee all the way in and we'll take the other side. So right leg is bent, left leg comes up.
We're prepping for a nice big leg circle from mat work. So think of your boundaries as we go through each position. So we'll point or push the sole of the foot up and flex and pull the top of the foot towards your shin. Inhale, push. Exhale, flex
We're going to take the right hand onto the circle of left arm up to a t and use your inner thigh to draw the leg across until you reached the point of tension that feels out of your comfort zone, but certainly not into pain at all. And once we're there we can turn the sole of the foot. If you want to go farther, you can certainly keep breathing and then we'll come back to center. Exchange hands. Keep the opposite hip long and end connected as you're on the mat and reach out through that.
So really stretching open the abductors that we worked before. Good. And then we'll bring the leg all the way back to center. So that was just a little interlude back to work. We're going to take the circle off to the side and Ron's leg circle is a more um, advanced in that it has a big range of motion. So certainly we're working from an understanding of where the pelvics is placed in regular leg circles.
We're going to take the arms out to a t and we'll take the right leg of the legs along on the Mat. And the right leg up to 90 degrees. Okay, so the first action is to actually lift the right hip to slice the leg across to come to a hover above. And ideally we're working that 90 degree angle. So you still have the hamstring stretch, right, without hiking the hip? Uh Huh. Good. So from here the belly pulls back to return the hips down as the leg slices down to meet the opposite and your internal. Then you glide, float the leg all the way out to the side and use your inner thigh hip flexor to come back to center. So we're going to take a full breath for each position and then we'll ramp it up a little bit. So inhale and exhale, reaching over chest stay centered.
Inhale and exhale. Slice the leg down, place the pelvis, reach the like out to the side. And then back to center. Let's do a little faster. Inhale, hip. Inhale. Exhale, hip, excuse me. Inhale out to the side and to this ceiling. And one more time.
One more hip and hip and leg and reverse going. Open inner thigh across hip lifts, out hip places, flip places and open and inner thigh. Exhale, reach and center. Inhale leg. Inhale, leg and hip and hip. One more.
So we just want to be really careful and mindful of the torso having balanced between the ribs in the hips. Okay, so let's devil pay the left leg up. Just track out the um, range of motion. So we'll take a full breath to lift the hip and slice the leg across to hover above the floor at 90. Good. Press the leg down as the hips replace. Let's reach out to the side, finding it, and then find your inner thigh and your hip flexors to come back. Let's go again. Inhale across. Exhale, pull down through center.
Inhale out to the side and exhale to the ceiling. And then let's double the breath so we breathe in and in and out and out again.
Last one out together and reach and place. Good. Lengthen the leg all the way down. Trying to find midline with both legs. Excellent. Let's reach and find the circle. Funny how we tend to toss it away. Every time we get rid of it, we'll reach the arms to the ceiling. We'll engage into the circle to find the back muscles. Inhale, flex your feet XL, curl the head and shoulders up off the mat and take a full breath to come all the way up in your roll up, forward over the legs. Beautiful.
And then from here you can place a circle at the front of the Mat. We're going to transition onto the belly for Swan, so this works best if you're on the floor for a bit of a slippery surface and we're going to take the palms of the hands onto the circle. Legs can be hip with distance apart or together, depending on your sacral comfort here. And we're just going to start by sliding the circle away as we lift the shoulders up and then drawing the blades back down. As we pull the circle towards us with straight arms here, you're going to inhale, reach the circle away and exhale.
Think of the blades coming down and into the V of the back. And again, inhale, reach, and exhale, pull down, broadening the chest. Great. One more time. Inhale and exhale. So find the connection of your shoulder blades into the back and then start to lift from that connection into your swan. So the circle easily slides towards you as a shoulder blades. Pull back. Good. From here. We're going to inhale to lengthen up and then exhale, reach your body, stretch out through your spine as you lower all the way back down. Good. Let's reset the shoulders. Inhale, slide them up. Exhale, slide them down, connecting, and then a full breath to come up towards yours.
Bond drawing the circle closer towards you from the back. Good. Inhaling through the chest, and then exhale, lengthen out through the lower back as you reach forward with control. Beautiful. One more time. Inhale, slide the shoulders away. Exhale, slide them down into the back and then a full breath to come up to the top.
We'll take your hands under your shoulders and press back to a rest pose. Hips to the heels. Just a stretch from the back for a moment. And then we'll come on to quadro pad. So this is a slightly a cheat, but also a helpful tool towards your pushups. And I'll be really excited to see you guys do push some. Not quite there yet.
Almost almost. But we're going to be inner quadrant pet and you're going to take your circle just below your belly button above your pubic bone. So depending on the length of your femur bones, you might have to fudge around until you find a good position. Once we're in the position with the shoulders down the back line, we're going to step back to a half plank and just make sure that it's, it's stable here. And then we'll bring the opposite leg back to find a full plank. In.
First and foremost, we're just going to breed the plank so you're just inhaling through your back and exhaling to draw the connection of the belly towards the spine, feeling the circle open a little bit more and breathing in and exhale,
So we'll extend one leg back and then the other two meet it, reaching long through the chest, finding the inner thigh connection. You'll inhale, bend your elbows down, lift the belly to lift the body up off the circle. Good. And again, inhale, bend, and exhale. Lift here first, then the arms. Good. Inhale, bend and lift your torso. Then push your arms. Good head bent and press one more time. That's okay. You keep pushing up. [inaudible] and we'll do one more for good luck and bent and press.
And then we're going to let the circle go. Pike the hips, up to the ceiling into an up stretch. Excellent. Good. Let's lift the heels a bit higher on the inhale and then exhale, reach your heels down, accentuating that stretch we found earlier. And again, inhale and exhale. One more time and press the heels down and then walk your feet in towards the circle until you can place them flat. And maybe kick the circle forward a little bit and then slowly roll up through your spine. One bone at a time, placing the hips over the thigh, bones rolling up through the spine, shoulders over the hips had comes up on top, and we'll finish with some circular breaths. Reaching up.
Now that we've gone through all this lovely movement, one more and exhale.