Class #1936

Meditation in Movement

35 min - Class


If you are looking for a good daily routine to keep your body well-maintained, then try this Mat workout by Rael Isacowitz. He focuses on being in the moment and finding "meditation in movement," so the class seems like one flowing sequence of movement. Rael also adds a bit of artistry to the workout by creating beautiful lines in the body.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Nov 25, 2014
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Welcome to everyone. Thank you to Pilates Anytime for providing this great opportunity. Today we're gonna do a relatively short fundamental intermediate mat class. This is a perfect daily routine. This is to get the juices going.

A daily routine whether you're at home, on the road, it's perfect to just keep everything well maintained and the machine well oiled and greased. So, thank you to you all. Let's begin. I encourage you with every session but so much with the mat work to regard it as one flowing sequence of movements. It's like meditation in moment, in movement but being in the moment.

Meditation in movement, being in the moment. That is what we're trying to achieve. So let go of all other thoughts. Sitting close to the front of your mats. Holding under your thighs.

Notice how my arms are active. I'm not just letting my arms sit here. I'm actually using my arms for support as I build the spine lifting up, lifting up, lifting up, through the head beautiful, beautiful and inhale bringing the mind and the body together and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale as you exhale this time you don't lean back but you simply round the spine. It's like you're stretching the spine. In fact keep the body forward slightly.

Keep your shoulders over your pelvis and then this rubber band simply pushes back into position or snaps back into position. Not harshly but very gently and exhale as you round up. Good. Good and slowly up. Keep your body forward a little as you round up and round up. This time take the arms forward.

That will provide a bit of feel of the energy reaching out of your arms but something pulling back on your spine and this time we lift up and around and exhale as you round the spine and inhale As you lift up, circling the arms. Feel how those shoulders become alive and exhale and reaching up to the ceiling and exhale and this time what we do is we simply roll back the pull on the spine is so intense that it pulls us down just to the sacrum and then we roll up. Shoulders over the hip joints. We lift up. Feel how beautiful it is to move that spine.

Exhale and we roll back. Feel we go a little deeper this time. A little deeper into the spine. Into that lumbar spine and we draw in the abdominals and we lift up. Take it around and round.

It's all about energy. All about energy and rolling down. Make every movement so meaningful so deep into your core and like a wave we roll up. We've got these beautiful waves outside. I want you to draw inspiration from nature as you round.

What a great privilege to have the waves and we feel like a wave and a little rut, it's like a swing. It's like gathering the energy as you lift up and around and one more time. We round and we roll back like a wave and it swishes up on the shoal and pushing up and lifting, lifting. This is where we awaken our mind, bodies, spirit. Take the arms out around the back and rolling down.

Now pause there. Just in that lumbar spine of the lumbar. It imprints into the mat. Bring your heels to here so you can touch your heels. That's a perfect position for a pelvic curl.

Can you bring your legs any deeper? That's perfect. And simply roll down. Feel the comfort of the mat and although the muscles are working I want you to feel quite relaxed in the body. Feet are flat on the mat, arms reaching down by the sides of the body, fingertips to the feet.

We inhale into our pelvic curl. We exhale as we articulate the spine out. Inhale and exhale. This must be very familiar to your body, to your mind so it's almost like second nature all the way to neutral and inhale and exhale as you roll up and inhale and exhale as you roll down and inhale and exhale all the way up. You want to feel a straight line running from the shoulders through the hips to the knees.

Feels those adductors working. The hamstrings. The feet are relaxed and inhale and exhale as you roll down all the way and inhale and exhale as you roll up and inhale and exhale. This time as you exhale down let the arms float up to the ceiling palms face each other squeezing the legs together. Open the arms nice and wide keeping those legs squeezing and exhale bring the arms to parallel to each other no further than that as the arms open out the scapula, your shoulder blades remain still and exhale.

We live in a world that tends to round us forward. This is so important because it opens out the front of the body. We feel this beautiful opening and exhale together and inhale. Allow the arms just to hover, hover above the ground. Hovering, hovering.

Now place them on the ground but don't lose that energy. The energy is still shooting out of your fingertips and bring the legs toward me like one leg. It just simply, the pelvis moves to one side, the legs follow and exhale back to center and inhale keeping those legs together. It's one leg it's not even the legs it's the leg. They're together, they're one leg.

Feel the beautiful stretch across the obliques and exhale together and inhale as you roll to one side. The shoulder blades are beautiful and stable and exhale to center and inhale. Have pride in every movement you do. It's never too easy, never too difficult. It all is part of your vocabulary, your movement vocabulary and bring it back to center and reaching over to the side, yes take that stretch and exhale back to center but keep the legs where they are.

The hands glide behind the head. Interlace the fingers and let the head sit in the hands as if it's being supported like a hammock. Inhale, prepare for the chest lift and exhale as you lift up. The eyes are everything. If your eyes look up your head's gonna go back.

You're eyes must look straight forward, right forward, directly forward. Inhale and exhale as you go back and inhale and this is the chest lift, exhale. Inhale, put your hands behind your legs. Exhale lift up a little higher. This is good for everyone.

This is good for everyone. All of us need that extra little boost and then take the hands behind there. Don't lose any height. Don't lose height and exhale down and inhale and exhale lift and inhale. Exhale a little higher.

Yeah no tension this is just a bit of support. Hold that height. Inhale and exhale. Let's do another like that. Inhale we're enjoying this.

Exhale. Wrap around. Inhale, exhale lift that a little bit higher yes. Oh I'm proud of myself today. I got a little bit higher.

Be proud of yourselves today and inhale. Stay there. We rotate to the one side toward me and then away but we keep that same height and keep that same height and keep that same height. Elbows a little wider and eyes, eyes, eyes are the gateway to the soul. I want to feel confidence as you look.

Confidence as you look out. Confidence as you open the eyes. Take the world in, there and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale. Wrap the hands around, ahhh we love that. Lift that a little bit higher.

This time we take the arms all the way back over head and we do want we call single leg lifts as we go exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale. Change legs and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale one more because now we're going to make changes as we exhale to change. Inhale, exhale to change. You don't rush it. Inhale and exhale to change and exhale to change.

Think about those arms reaching back. They aren't just sitting there, they're reaching. They are making it more challenging and exhale. Now stay with the upright leg and bring the other one to join it so you're in a tabletop position. We lift into the 100 as we exhale, inhale and shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh.

Bend the legs, stay up, hold behind the knees and pull up a little higher so you give that back a moment to elongate and we do 20 more. Stretch out, inhale and shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, lovely. Bring the legs in. Put the feet down. Stretch the legs forward.

You're there. You're there and take the arms all the way back for the roll up. We inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale all the way back and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale, reach that position pause there. You don't want to swing through this position and exhale. Now I said the eyes are the gateway to the soul they are.

The other gateway is the hands. That's the next window to the soul so if I see pitchforks I know that more than likely you're tensing up in the body so to everyone relax your hands, relax you're hands and inhale and exhale as you reach back pause and one more and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and we pause just there. Here, while we're here makes it safe and sound for the body. Bend the knee closest to me. Stretch the leg up, flex the foot and now put the body down for our legs circles and inhale.

Last two. Ready for the other direction and inhale and exhale. Last two. Pointing the foot, lifting the body so you see what's happening. It give you an opportunity to engage those abdominals.

Bending, putting it down. Remember it's just like a roll up right? Yep it is. Bending the other leg. Stretching it up, flex the foot putting it down toward the other leg we go inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale ready for the other direction and one and two and three and four and five and six and seven and eight and nine and 10.

Point the foot, looking up. Bending the knee, stretching out and rolling, rolling up. Bend the knees preparing for roll like a ball so it flows from one into the next. Each exercise prepares you for the next as you inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale. Probably the biggest thing you need to remember to everyone in this exercise is to keep those shoulders quite relaxed.

There's a tendency to start pulling up with the shoulders and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale. We're gonna come back to it but for now put the hands on the knees. Slowly rolling down for the single leg stretch, holding it right there, hands on your knee closest to me as you go one and exhale. Inhale to change. Exhale.

Notice how the legs swoosh across each other and use those arms and exhale and exhale. Hands behind the head rotate towards me and one and two. Now it's not important that the elbow reaches the knee. It's important that your chest go toward the knee. I want rotation and lifting stay high, stay high, stay high, stay high and high and reach and reach and reach and reach one more toward me.

Lift up a little higher. Yes hands behind the head. Other side, hand on the knee, lift a little higher not around the knee but on top of the knee. There we go. Lifting, lifting and to center.

Put the arms low on the leg. You know what I'm gonna do right? Roll like a ball. Bum, three more and two and three hold it. Hold it and stretch the legs out for the spine stretch ready?

Inhale and exhale as you roll down and inhale and exhale so we get this beautiful extension of the spine and then flexion of the spine rolling down. Inhale and exhale. That extension is so important. Inhale and exhale as you roll down. Inhale and exhale as you roll up and inhale and exhale as you roll down.

Inhale and exhale as you roll up. Inhale and exhale as you roll down. Put your hands on your legs so you hold your legs. Inhale, stretch the back while you're holding your legs so you get this great stretch for the hamstring and watch that the head is an extension of your spine and then let go with arms and you roll the back up again. We'll do two more like that.

Inhale and exhale as you roll down so we get the articulation of the spine. Now the extension of the spine stretch of the hamstrings and then down and roll up through the spine one last one inhale and exhale as you roll down and stretch the back, elongate the back, elongate the hamstrings and let go rolling up and now open wide. Rotate toward me keeping the back nice and long we go down and we come up and we rotate to center for the saw and inhale and we reach over. We need these hamstring stretches in Pilates. There are not that many in the mat work and lifting up and exhale and this is where it's important to be able to sit upright and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale.

Bring the legs together and you simply roll onto your sides facing me. Facing me roll onto your sides. Perfect, lovely. I want us now for this exercise to put the front leg in top, the top leg in front of the bottom leg. Top leg in front of the bottom leg.

Okay. You're pushing down into that elbow. This arm is over here and what we do you can't let this, yes perfect. Draw in on the underside. Underside top leg in front of bottom leg as you lift up.

This gives us a little stability. Are you a plank? This is a side plank yes. Can I walk up your body? Yes I can and slowly down.

Don't let go of that shoulder. Thank you and up, up, up, yes I love your position. It excites me and it looks good, it looks beautiful, it's exciting because there's some emotion there and down. It's not just a movement and up, up. Look straight forward yes and you gave a smile.

That was a double bonus there and now we've got three more but we add a little arc to it and up and we go over and you look down at your elbow. Get reach up and up. I've never seen a mermaid but that kinda makes me feel like a mermaid. Don't know why. Maybe a dolphin would be better.

There are dolphins outside today and over and up and down. One more and lifting, over, up, up, up, up and down and behind the head and we go pull, pull and back, pull and pull, pull and back, pull and pull, pull and back, pull and pull, pull and back, pull and pull, pull and back. Now we put the arm here and lean just slightly forward into the arm and we go lift one and two and three because we needs strong gluteals. Yes we do and up and up and up and up. We come back to center, you bring your legs to the front, to the front sitting up here.

Right there this is going to prepare us for exercises like the teaser lifting your right leg as you go up and two and three and four and five try not to lean back. I love it because you're not leaning back. You're working hard for me. We're going to the other side. We just did five and up and two lean forward a little and three lean forward a little and four and five it's pretty tough isn't it?

Yes it is. Lifting up, opening up to your other side. So, top leg in front. Ready? You're doing very well.

You're doing very well. Everyone is doing well. Hang in, remember this is our daily tonic and up yes hand down. I love seeing a position that all comes together. It's about the lines.

Its about the lines of the body. It's artistry. You have the absolute capabilities to create beautiful drawings today with your body and up, up. Yes and down. Was that two or three?

Three? You sure? Okay. No one was counting. Let's go over.

We have one lady in the room that was counting as we're not sure that she knows how to count and then up and down and up and last time up and over and up, up, up, up, up and slowly down. Good. Bring your hands behind your head for the side kick lifting up in the ribs and pull and back and pull and back and pull and back and pull and back and pull and stay back, stay back. We now lean into it and we go up and two lifting the chest slightly, three so you've got the back working, you've got the gluteals working. Great gluteal work here and up and keep that elbow close by your side, up and up and now I've got a surprise for you.

Come back to center, put that leg over the other one, lift up and now what is the surprise? What is the surprise? What could happen from here? You simply go into the front. Ready with the leg closest to me.

You go one and two and three and four and five, change legs. One and two and three and four and five, down and down. Ready for back extension. You're in the perfect position and reaching the tip of the head outwards articulating through the neck, through the thoracic spine just to the point where your elbows want to lift but your elbow is on the ground pushing into the elbows and down one more. Just stay there as you reach your arms forward and we go into swimming.

We lift the left arm, right leg. Right arm, left leg. Let arm, right leg. Right arm, left leg and tap, tap, tap, tap, tap at your own pace. Keeping the breathing working yes, yes, yes, yes long.

Feels so good. Pause in the air, take the arms back. The legs can go down to the ground now. Taking the arms back, palms facing the floor, palms facing the floor. Lift a little higher.

In this position just the legs flutter kick. Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta. Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta. Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta. Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta.

Yes and now slowly calm the legs down, bring the arms out to the side so you're a T position. Thumbs facing the ceiling and lift the arms up and up and up and up and up. Simply bend the arms so the hands are again under the shoulders, articulate the spine, lifting up but this time now the back is warm so whoever can continue will to feel that range of motion. Only if you can. I don't mind coming half way.

Everyone bend your arms just a little bit. Your elbows aren't on the ground but you're halfway. That is fine with me but if you can we want to explore the range of motion keeping your abdominals engaged and then down to your elbows, just your elbows and push up again however even if it's just an inch and down and up and down. Do you feel those triceps working? Yes we do keeping the elbows nice and tight by you side and down from here push into the elbows drawing the abdominals and reach into a rest position.

Resting the back. Give yourselves this moment to relax the spine and slowly roll up through the spine sitting on your heels to an upright position. Don't lose your focus. If anyone has knee problems they can simply come up into that upright position. If you don't, sit here.

Now I want to do that again because I want you to feel the focus that you felt in the mat work so we glide forward. Take a big inhale and exhale as you roll up through the spine and just focus into the distance. Give yourselves this moment. I'm gonna move, don't worry about me moving. I just want to face forward looking straight into the distance.

It's very important to give yourselves this moment of relaxation and lifting up with everyone, feeling the elongation of those hip flexors, taking the arms around and slowly down and lifting up and rotate to the right as you take your arm back. Some of you will be in different direction and that's okay to the right. Reaching your hand down to your heel so you're resting on your heel to give that hip flexor a stretch and then come up to center and to the other side resting on your heel, lifting up to the center and take your arms down as you sit down. Thank you very much.


1 person likes this.
Thank you Rael!
I Love this class!
Greatings from germany :))
Thanx. This is exactly what I was waiting for. Now i´m happy.
5 people like this.
Lovely little gem of a class. Sparkling, polished and casting lots of light.
1 person likes this.
I love how you don't jump right into basic exercises like the 100 to make sure we are aligned and prepared to do it with intensity and purpose! Great class!
Rael !!! Will you ever be in Chicago !!!! You are my inspiration as a teacher without a doubt !!! Perfect class :))
Thank you all from your lovely comments. Deborah, I would love to come to Chicago and teach. I have intended to visit our BASI host, Cindy Reid from Flow Studio, for some time, but it just has not yet worked out. Hopefully soon, I hear it is an incredible city. Keep warm!
Master RAEL, can finally meet you.

Two years ago, are lucky to reach the BASIpilates teacher. China Hongkong teacher Lin Jiaqi and Kerry Washington master, thank you.

My own body posture has many problems, tried a lot of methods, without success. Accidental opportunity through the Asian Academy for sports and fitness professionals (AASFP) exposed to BASIpilates teacher, through learning, training and understanding of BASIpilates, I know BASIpilates is excellence, very good school.

Through the study and understanding of time, my knowledge of the guest is irresponsible, I chose to resign.

I'm trying to learn English, hope that after two years of English level can be greatly improved, so I can go to the headquarters of the BASI study. The future through the study, I hope I can change more and more Chinese people, and let more people understand China charm BASIpilates.

Omitted here ten thousand words

Chinese: CG
Thank you, Rael. I am Polestar-trained, so I love to explore other Pilates teaching and cueing. Fantastic little encouragements to reach just "that little bit further. "
Dear CG, I welcome you to the BASI Academy in California and sincerely hope you can make it. In the meanwhile continue your practice and studies. Thank you for your dedication.
1-10 of 126

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin