Class #2024

Deepen your Mat Practice

35 min - Class


Join Deborah Lessen for a Mat workout that will work your brain and your body! She encourages you to pay attention to what your whole body is doing, including your hands and feet. She also includes many subtle movements to get into the deep muscles of the body. Enjoy innovative variations like the Prone Hundred, Saw, and so much more!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Deborah lesson. Please join us for this mat workout. So we're going to start on your backs with the feet hip width apart, knees bent, and pay particular attention to the outside edges of your feet being parallel to each other. I want you to feel your big toe, your little toe, and your heel like a tripod. And the same thing with your hands, the heel of the hand, the thumb, and the little finger. All right, so let's take a couple of deep breaths for nothing. Inhale, expanding the whole rib cage and exhale. Let the breath out and inhale. Open the ribs on your exhale. Draw the abdominals down into the mat.

Peel the tail off and roll up one vertebra at a time. Take a deep breath widening the bottom ribs at the top. Exhale, soften the sternum and roll down. Inhale, release the hips at the bottom. So far, so good. Exhale, empty out through the abdomen. Peel off. Inhale.

Feel those three points on your hands. Exhale, drop the sternum. Let your back widen as you roll down and inhale at the bottom. Good again. Exhale, empty out. Inhale, high up. Exhale, soften and [inaudible] role. Inhale, releasing your hip joints. One more time. Exhale, empty. Inhale, send your knees forward over your feet.

Exhale, soften. Keep traveling forward, staying connected to your feet. Good. Release the hips. Very good, and just flip over onto your stomachs and you're going to place one hand on top of the other and your forehead on your hands. Alright, now I want you to feel that your elbows are sliding away from your pelvis. Keep your abdominals engaged. Wrap around under the buttock. Take a deep breath into your back on your exhalation.

Drop your sternum into the mat. Very good. Just that inhale, expand. This time you're going to drop your sternum and send your eyes forward over your hands. Crawl your eyes up the wall in front of you as high as you can. Pressing your down into the mat.

Now keep your focus there and you're going to come down from the bottom to the top one vertebra at a time and take a deep breath. When you get to the bottom and on your exhale, drop your sternum, open the chest, send your eyes forward, peel off, and inhale, high up. Exhale, roll. Send your stern and forward your face. Forward your elbows forward. And the head finishes last one more time on your exhalation.

Drop an open the front of the ribcage. Inhale, eyes coming high up to the ceiling. Exhale, roll from the bottom to the top. Stay when you get to the bottom. Now keep your abdominal wall supporting your low back and you're going to stretch your legs an inch off the mat. Keep your hands attached to your forehead and bring your upper body and inch off the mat. Good. And you're going to do little beats with your heels.

Five to inhale, five to exhale. So we're doing this hundred prone and you want your abdominal wall to support your organs in the front. So your weight is on your two bottom ribs and your two hip bones like four legs of a table. Good. So just keep going until you finished your 10 breaths and when you're done just come down and wiggle. Waggle good. Okay, so everyone just take a quarter roll so that you're facing me. You'll be on your side and you're going to take the arm below you straight out.

That's it. Actually. Let's start with your knees bent first. Okay. The hand in front of you is right at the center of the chest, fingers pointing away from you. That's it. Okay. Now you're going to inhale up into your top ribs and on your exhalation let the ribs drop back down into the mat. So your inhalation is bringing your spine up parallel to the floor and on your exhalation, draw good again.

Inhale up. This time you're going to hold. Slide your legs down. Good. So try to do this from your breath. So you're supported from the underneath side and now you're going to take your legs just an inch or so off the mat so they continue the line of your spine right out through your heels. Keep your torso supported and lower. Just the legs.

Good. And take the legs off. Hold to three. Lower the legs for two more sets. Legs off. You want the top hip right over the underneath hip and lower and legs off two, three and lower. Now we're gonna add, take the legs off, slide the top like farther away. Come back to center and lower both legs, down and legs off. Slide the top leg.

Good Center. Lower down, two more legs. Off Slide Center. Lower down. Make a mental note so you can compare the amount of movement. When you do the other side, lower down, come up and stay. Now you're going to do a small scissors, top leg forward underneath, leg back, and come together and reverse and come together.

So the pelvis is stable and together and back and together. Feel the support on the underneath side together. Back together. Good. Keep the pelvis very quiet so that your leg doesn't pull your pelvis off. Hold. Bring the front arm up and balance.

Excellent. And let's turn over to the other side. So let's, let's face away from me for the other side. Okay, so the underneath arm is extended. Now I want you to feel that you're lying right on the edge of your back. Okay? Not on your arm pit and we'll start knees bent.

The front hand fingers are pointing away from your body, so you have all right angles at your shoulder, your elbow and your wrist and inhale up into the top rips and exhale as you drop. If you feel resistance in your ribs, use your breath to stretch your intercostal muscles. Exhale, drop. Inhale up. He feel how that tops hips slides away from you and exhale down. You're going to come up one more time.

Slide the legs away. Feel one hip right on top of the other and legs off to three. Lower down and stretch. Lengthen the tail down towards your heels. Lower down. Two more sets. Stretch two, three. Lower down and stretch to three.

Add the slide legs off. Reach through the top leg. Come back center and Lower and legs off reach center and lower. Two more legs off. Feel where your balance point is on your hip. Lower and stretch. Reach, hold center right into the scissors. Reach together.

Reverse together how big the movement is. Depends on your ability to stabilize your pelvis. Reach together. Reach one more set, reach together, reach, come together and hold and bring your front arm up to balance. Good.

Make sure you're not pushing your legs back behind you to deepen your abdominals a little bit more. Good and rest and come sitting up facing each other. Good. Okay, so let's start with your legs straight and your feet flexed. And imagine that you can reach each other and reach your hands out. All right, now I want your pelvis to go back, but I don't want you to move your hands away from each other.

So on your exhale, scoop back and roll just until you open the front of your hips. Good and deepen and roll back up toward each other. That's it. And inhale, sit tall and smile sweetly. And exhale, scoop and roll. Good. Stay there. Inhale into your back. Exhale, deepen and round forward. And inhale this time bring your arms all the way up.

And as you exhale, bring the arms forward again. Roll down, try to get down to your bottom ribs this time. Stay there. Inhale, exhale, round forward. Good. Inhale all the way up, arms up. This time, all the way down. Exhale, reach forward and roll all the way back. Arms up to the ceiling. Reach behind you, but don't let your arms drop. You want to stay engaged in your shoulders.

Inhale, arms up like a window frame. You're going to round your head forward through the window and roll forward. Head to the knees. Three little beats. Reach, reach, reach, and roll down one vertebrae at a time. Float the arms up and back behind you. One more time. Inhale up. Exhale, round reach, reach, reach, roll down just to your bottom ribs.

Bring your right knee into your chest. We're going to do single leg stretch so the other leg can come slightly off and feel your bottom ribs on the mat. Good. Inhale, change legs to end. Change. Stay too and hold it too and deepen the abdominals again. Change and change and change and change. Bring both knees into the chest. Good.

Now you're going to stretch your legs forward on the diagonal and bring your arms back on the diagonal. Exhale, come around and pull and inhale, reach, and exhale, pull. Two more. Inhale, reach. Exhale. Let your knees open a little bit so you can bring your legs in against your body. Inhale, reach. Exhale, pull. Now, very unorthodox. Inhale back and roll up. We're going to do rolling like a ball. Good. Okay, so I want you in this position to push your legs out into your hands and pull your hands in against your legs so that you have this wonderful field of energy in the middle of the circle. All right, inhale and rock back and exhale up. Inhale, rock. Exhale up once more.

Inhale rock. Exhale. Now leg straighten as you go back. Inhale toes to the floor and exhale, come back in. Just straighten your legs back there. Inhale, stretch. Good. And exhale in. One more time. Inhale, stretch. Exhale in. Stay. Send your legs straight forward on the floor. I'm sorry.

Let's not make it any harder than it already is. Okay. And you're going to open to a v. Good. And take your hands on the floor in front of you. Okay, so you can flex your point. I don't care which, but I want you to have energy in your legs so that your legs stay straight on your first excalation. Round your waist back and exhale again and slide your fingers away and exhale all the way out and stay there. Empty out in the abdominals. Left the risks dropped down to the floor.

Keep energy in your legs. Now from the bottom to the spine, rising up through the spine. Inhale up to vertical again. Exhale round. Open the front of the hip joints. Exhale deep in the waist, way back. Reach your heels forward and rise up. Good. One more time. Exhales pelvis under deep in the pelvis, deep in the pelvis, and inhale, rise up.

Good. Stay open your legs a little wider. You're going to take your arms up to the side. All right, now you're only going to make a quarter turn, so you're going to turn and face your thigh. That's it. Okay, and come back to center other side. Turn and face your thigh and center. Now on the first side, face your thigh.

Turn your hand over the front hand and you're going to saw and reach through the underneath side reach and come up, increasing the spiral and come back to center. Quarter. Turn to your five. Turn your head over the front hand and reach. Stretch the underneath side. Rise up and come to center again.

Quarter turn, head over the front hand and reach inside your the leg that you're read that set and come up and center other side. Look over the front hand and reach. Good and rise up and center. Now the regular one, so you're going to turn as far as you can. That's it. Now your hand goes to that leg.

You're facing three little sawing motions. Elongate your spine to come up. Good. And then center. Lift and turn. Exhale. Good. Now stretch both sides of the torso as you come up and center again.

Turn, exhale, reach through both sides. Elongate more to come up and come center and lift and turn and reach. Good and stay there and put both hands on that foot in front of you. Good scoop under. Drop your head. Keep your legs active. Good. Just stay in stretch for a minute.

Now I want you to keep your outside hand on your foot and I want you to turn your chest away from that hand and reach your other arm up to the ceiling and wrap it back behind you. And just stay and stretch for a minute. Good. And Go back facing that leg. Good. Walk yourself across to the other leg. Hold on. Face the legs squarely. Feel your weight equal on two sit bones.

Hold on with the outside hand. Open the chest. Take that arm up to the ceiling and rapid behind you. Good to stay for a minute. Good. And turn back to the foot. Come to center and rise up.

Very good. Okay. And let's have you heads toward the middle on your stomachs. Okay, so now I want you to take your hands, uh, alongside your shoulders, but wide enough so that you can get your whole forearm down on the floor. Okay? Now you can let your head go down or unless you're wearing glasses, sorry, but let your shoulders drop into the mat. All right.

Now keep your forearms down on the floor. On Your exhalation. Just like before, drop your sternum and take your nose forward. Come as high as you can when you can't get any higher. Keep moving from the head, but progress to straight arms. But your energy is crown of the head. Back toward the souls of the feet.

Keep your eyes high up. Pull your elbows back towards your hips. Sternum forward and roll. Don't let drop your eyes. Yep. Keep your eyes high up. Come all the way back down. Very good. And let your shoulders open and drop. Nose forward.

Sternum forward. Inhale, coming high up. Good. And just imagine closing a circle between the crown of your head and the soles of your feet. And now go forward through your torso. Excellent. Nice, clear, open throat and come all the way down. One more time. Nose forward. Good.

Elbows are down into the mat. Inhale, high up. Exhale, pull to go down. Good. Now the next time you go up, it's a preparation for Swan. Dive. Elbows down. Exhale, nose forward. Inhale, come high up. Take another breath. Arms Up. Three rocks and rock. Two, three, come down to the mat. Good.

Very good. Okay. Very good. All right. And now I want you to sit, um, let's see. How can we arrange you the best? Um, sit facing me this side. You're going to be on your right hip. This side, you're going to be on your left hip, okay? And you're going to take this hand out, fingers away from you.

Take your other hand behind your head and I want you to look down right through the center of your wrist. Okay. Now this is to strengthen the underneath side. So you're going to pull your elbow toward your hip and as you bend, you're rotating that elbow forward and then press your way back up with your arm. Good. No, just profile looking into your hand. So pull that elbow forward as you bend. Stay out there in your body and press your way back up. Good.

Two more. Elbow forward, outward. Rotate from the top of the arm and progress your way up last time. Rotate. Good. And press your way up and stay there. Extend your leg straight out to the side.

Good. Okay. And let's change. So just swing around, still facing me. Okay. Knees bent. So you have to find a comfortable distance away from your hip that you can actually move, but still think of that under curve. Yep. Alright, so you're looking into the center of your hand. Take the other hand behind your head and rotate.

Rotate the elbow, bring it toward me. That's it. Keep your weight out there over your hand and press your way up and rotate as you bend. Good. Now keep the top side long as you push your way up. That's better. One more time. Rotate the elbow.

Press up. Now don't change anything. Just stretch your legs out to the side. All right? So eventually imagine that you could take your hand off the floor and support yourself underneath in that position. Okay. That's your insane goal for the day. Okay, good, Ruth. Okay, so now face each other again on your stomachs and we're going to come into a tripod. Okay. Now this is very active, pressing your arms down into the mat, feeling that forward curve through your spine.

So your sternum is coming high up and hopefully you'll be looking straight forward at the top. Okay. I want to do single leg kick in this position. Don't go wild. All right, cause you're already extended here. So just be careful. All right, so everyone right leg first, heel toe and stretch other leg, heel toe and stretch. Heel toe and stretch heel toe. Now taking the leg, just a hair off heel, toe stretch off other leg, toe and stretch and heel. Toe and stretch and heel.

Toe and stretch. Good. And just roll down like your arm. Slide out. Swing your arms all the way around and take your fingers behind your back. Now just hook your thumbs together. Okay. Alright. Now when you bend your knees, pay attention to keeping the front of your hips flat in the Mat.

Okay, so you're going to bring your feet in and turn your head to your right. That's it. Two kicks in. Then stretch and kick. Kick and stretch. Hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it. Rolled down. Head to the opposite direction and kick, kick and stretch.

Good roll from the bottom to the top and kick, kick, stretch. Stay arms to the side, arms forward. Return them around. Reach and roll. Down and kick, kick and stretch. Arms Open. Look over your hands and arms circle. Good.

One more on each side and kick, kick and stretch. Arms reach, arms back and kick, kick and stretch. Reach forward and reach around and come down. Good. Okay. And come turn on your backs. Okay. Heads toward each other. Now for your rest period, we're going to do single leg circle.

Okay, so actually before we do the circles, bend your left knee. Take your right leg straight up to the ceiling, flex the foot, take your time, go down to 45 point the foot and take your time coming up. Just keep pulling it out. Flex and down to three point and up to three flex and down to three point and up to three once more, down to three point and up. Good change legs.

Flex the foot and lower to three point and up to three flex at least a 45 point and up to three flex down to three point and up. Change to the first side. Keep your right leg up, slide your left leg all the way down. Okay. Let me give you your timing first. You're gonna Cross over. Hold on a second. You're going to go down, up and catch it at the top. Ready and down. Catch it. And up. Two more. And up and up.

Reverse and up. Good. And up and up and day. Bend your right knee in. Hold on. Give yourself a stretch. Good. Slide that leg down. Other leg. Up to the top. Here we go.

And down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, reverse and up and up. This is like the June Taylor dancers here and hold it. Bend the knee. Give yourself a hug. Slide that leg down. Good. And you're going to turn to me on your side and come up for single leg kick.

Okay, so hand under the head, legs slightly in front of you. Straight legs. Now that front hand is for support, so you have to have it in a place that actually is going to work for you. All right, so in your starting position, your ribs are down on the mat and when you take that leg to the back, your ribs are going to go up to the ceiling. Yep. So you don't go forward and back. You go side decide. Okay.

So flex the top foot and kick front, front and s day. Ribs high. Up, up, up, up, up above, up. Bets it and kick. Kick and high. Up and kick. Kick and up. And kick. Kick up. Stay. Find your balance.

Let's do two more and kick, kick and up. Good and kick. Kick, uphold. Beautiful. Okay, let's go to the other side. You can face the other way. Okay, so remember the legs are slightly in front of you. Front hand is in a support position.

Flex the top foot and kick. Front, front and stretch and front, front and stretch and front, front and stretch and front. Front stretch and hold. Find your balance. Good and front. Front and stretch and reach through the heel and stretch and one more and hold. Stay. Excellent. Okay, and come down. Actually, we're not going to come down.

Let's go into plank position. All right, so your arms are vertical. Make sure that they're not too far away, okay. And right leg reach and together and reach. And together. Now the right arm opens as you turn good and come back to where you started. Left leg, reach together. Reach together, left.

Open the chest all the way and back to two hands and right. Reach together. Reach together and open. Good and back to center. Last time. Reach together.

Reach together and open. Good. Come back to two hands. Walk your hands back halfway till you can get your heels most of the way down or for some of you all the way down. All right, now we're going to do a preparation for up stretch. So in this position you're in right now, stay attached in your shoulder joints. Just walk your hands forward a little bit. Okay.

Now you're going to keep your chest dropping down towards your thighs. Start under the buttock and roll through your pelvis. Good. And stay. Not all, not all the way down. Not all the way down. Just equivalent to your hundred position upside down. So you're still up in your hamstrings. Okay.

And now lift your behind all the way up and start again. So you're gonna roll. That's it. Stay deep in your chest and lift the pelvis and come back up. Good. Keep your heels down as much as you can't. Scoop and roll. Keep weight up in your hamstrings. Excellent. And come back down.

Now let's see if you can go toward down stretch. You don't have to come all the way down just as far as you can hold. Scoop under roll, chest forward, head up, lift from the tail first like a big cat. Good. And come back and beautiful and scoop under good. Stay back into your heels and lift the tail up last time.

Beautiful Scoop under good. And come up and walk your hands back towards your feet and slowly roll up to standing. Good work. Thank you ladies.


Thank you Debra. I had forgotten some of these prep exercises. Love how you changed the order to make the more difficult exercises work better.
Almost a meditative session with carefully cued instructions. This would be a great class to take at the end of the day as well. Would definitely welcome a high intermediate class from Debra in the future!
Sarah N
Nice stretch after a long weekend
Laurie C
Love,love, love...the class. She gives such great cueing! Hope to see more of her classes!
Taghrid K
Great meditative class, loved the order, the pace, the holding, the variations in SSF Swan and Saw!! Also how you did preps for some of the exercises! Thank yo Debra
Niedra Gabriel
Such a great class - I have done it twice now, yesterday and today, as it sorted out so many niggly imbalances - thank you Debra
Karen M
This maybe a slower class, but I believe it is necessary to remind ourselves that we don’t need to burn it out ever time. I feel super stretched and properly informed of the movements. Thank you
Laurie C
I love going back to older classes that I have done in the past. Gives me a good idea as to where I have improved and where I need to work/ptactice with. I truly enjoy Deborah Lessen classes. Hope she will be returning to PA soon! Thank you!
Lina S
The class went by in a flash! Great class!

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