Class #2100

Mat Workout

35 min - Class
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Get inspired during this Mat workout with Kristi Cooper and Meredith Rogers! They encourage you to keep pushing yourself to go deeper in the movements so that you can feel lighter, longer, and freer by the end of the class. They also deliver a continuous flow with a playful abdominal series and many more creative sequences.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Mar 19, 2015
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Hi there, I'm Kristi and I'm here with Meredith today. And something we've been wanting to do for a long time is our workout together again on camera. So, join us for mat class. We'll trade back and forth, and hopefully inspire each other. Hoping you inspire yourself at home, or wherever you're doing class.

Let's begin. Just starting somewhere on your mat, I'm just gonna start with a standing roll down and wake up to the whole idea of this class. Feet are apart, just under your hips. Shift your weight forward, and as you do, kind-of imagine getting longer through your spine right at the crown of the head. Let your arms be heavy.

Shift your weight back, just a little. And then slightly forward again, just slightly forward of center. From here, we'll do a little rise up. Take an inhale, and as you exhale, you might feel the sensation of the inner thighs drawing toward each other, the belly zipping up, rise up a little or a lot on the toes. Leave your head on the ceiling as you stretch your way back down.

We'll just do two more. And if you're wobbly, like I am, fine, just sort-of note it. Know where you are, just kind-of, "Oh, okay, that's how much I've got to bring it together!" And down. I would look at you, Merry, but I can't. Last one, up.

And as you stretch yourself down to the ground with the heels, take an inhale. Exhale, let your head draw forward. Try not to shift back, just roll it forward. We won't go too slow here. Bend your knees a little, and then, feeling the anchored feet into the ground, start to tilt the tailbone, roll yourself right back up.

And let's go ahead and take the arms out to the side. Take a deep breath in, bring some energy. Stretch if you need to, lets the arms begin to fall, your head goes forward even, a little faster this time. Blowing out your air. Bend the knees a little if you need to.

If you don't need to, that's okay too. And then inhale, exhale, draw the belly away from the thighs. Roll the pelvis over the thigh bone. Start stacking your spine. We'll do one more, reaching through the air, turning those palms up, look up if it feels good, exhale and down we go.

This time, let's stay down there. Letting the hands go down. Bend both knees quite a lot, but as you do, encourage more curve to the spine. Feel the feet push through the ground towards straight legs. Roll bend again, twice more.

Bending as if the spine were definitely directly connected to the knees and is pulled forward, straighten, exhale. One more time. Bend, and with this, stay rounded. Go ahead and roll up, leave the knees bent. Leave the knees bent, leave the knees bent.

When you get to upright, go ahead and straighten your legs. Reach the arms up, big stretch up. Try not to arch a whole lot in the low back. And exhale. Let's go to the floor.

So just have a seat, somewhere in the middle of your mat. And we'll go all the way down, so you're lying down, feet are still apart. And take a moment just to feel the back of your body. Notice what is so. Inhale, this will be your pelvic curl.

Exhale, scoop the belly in, roll up, so it's one vertebra at a time for the moment. Getting up nice and high, standing into your feet, stand in to the back of your arms too. Inhale there, exhale and soften your way back down. We don't need to overdo just at the moment, or ever really, but here we are. Inhale at the bottom.

Exhale, feeling the sort-of sequencing of the body as you roll up, standing into your feet, notice your feet, notice what wants to happen. And try to keep them straight ahead. Inhale and exhale back down. You may need to readjust the opening of the chest, or the pressing gently into the back of the arms. Two more, exhale, peel up.

Using the time to connect with the breath, your body, inhale at the top. Can you step into your feet a little more? Encourage the glutes, exhale, roll it down. Yes, little adjustments have to be made along the way, but try to keep it seamless. Last one, exhaling up.

Stay up here, and maybe you'll need to drop a little, just to ensure that you are, in fact, in one long line and you have a stretch through the front of the hip. If you don't, you may need to stay low. In any case, step into your feet a little bit more, feel the glutes, inhale, and on the exhale, pick up your right knee without anything else changing, just exhale, bring it up, kinda high. Inhale, put it down, the same leg will come up again. Number two of three.

And down. Nice simple movement. Last one on that leg, up. Changing sides for three. Nice and seamless, exhale, lift one.

Inhale, it's not about the leg. You probably know that but just feel for that too. Sometimes you just have to take a moment and feel the easy stuff to know where you're connected. This time we'll leave the foot down, inhale, reposition if necessary, and roll it down. When you get there, just slide your arms out to the T-position and bring up your knees to about a tabletop or 90 degrees at the knees.

Taking it to the windows, inhale as you stretch it over, lining up the knees and really lengthen out of the hip to exhale, drag it back to center. Other direction, inhale, lift the hips, so those knees don't slide on each other, you can almost feel like you're reaching to the back of the room, and exhale back to center. Do your best to keep both shoulders down. Keep going, inhale, stretch. Feeling that rotation, and exhale.

Just preparing the body, so that when we get to the tricky stuff, you're ready, your body doesn't fight it. What tricky stuff? (both laugh) Ah, that's your section. (laughing) Over. And back.

And again, reach and lift, you can take it a little further if you want to look in the opposite direction that will be alright too. I'm gonna do one more each way. One to the front, one to the back. Last one. And then we'll do one more exercise here with the chest lift before we hand it off.

So bring your feet down, together or apart. I'm gonna have mine apart like they were before, gliding the hands behind your head. Just finishing off this little bit of the warm up. Elbows off the ground, pressing your head gently back into your hands, we inhale, and now the whole spine curls up, softening the breastbone down. Nice and high, inhale.

And then exhale, elongate your way back down. Exhale. This is that time where you can use the function of the shape of your body to decide the breath. Inhale and exhale down. So now that your body's long, you can enjoy the long inhale.

And then you make the shape that allows you to more easily get all of the air out. Curling up, prove it to yourself. Inhale, hold and exhale down. Big inhale at the bottom, or longer one, and up we go. Just seeing where you're at, try not to tuck your pelvis.

Inhale. And down. Always worth checking when you're in that up position, are you reaching your face forward instead of your spine forward as a means of making you think you're higher? Check it out, inhale and hold at the top, and down. I'm gonna do just two more.

And our dear friend, Merry will step in and keep us going. Big inhale. Exhaling down, connecting one move to the next, here's one more. Inhale, and down we go. And now for the chest lift with rotation, we exhale to lift into the same position, pause on the inhale, exhale, turn the body to the right, feel the left rib slide towards the right hip, the right rib slide towards the spine, and then center.

And then exhale, turn to the left. Right rib slide to the left pelvis, left rib slide toward the spine. Inhale to center, exhale as you lift up to rotate. Notice that you don't fall as you come to center. And rotate.

So the pelvis is still. The elbows are wide. We're wringing out the body with our breath. We'll do one more to each side. Exhale, rotate, lift higher and center.

Exhale, rotate, lift higher and center. Take the arms out from behind the head, stretch them up towards the ceiling. Place the head down on the floor, pick up one leg, followed by the other, back up into a tabletop position, reach your arms over your head without lifting the bottom side of the ribs. Exhale into the hundred prep, we bring the upper body up, we press down through the arms, like you're pushing against something solid. Inhale, lift the arms and reach back.

Lift the arms, head and chest. Reaching for the ceiling first, and then following through with the arms. Inhale, lift the arms, and back. And again, exhaling to lift, and back, and lifting to hold. Stretch the legs out on a long diagonal, inhale and exhale, into the hundred.

Inhale for five. And exhale. Curling higher and higher. Just to maintain that concentrated effort. In.

And out. One more like this. And out, and out. Inhale, bend the knees in. Keep pumping through the arms.

Exhale, stretch the legs out. Inhale, pull the legs in. Exhale, press the legs out. Inhale, pull. Exhale, press.

Last one. And press. Bend the knees, place the feet on the floor. Keep the body lifted, stretch one leg out straight. Stretch the other leg out straight.

Inhale from here. And we roll the spine up. Staying long and round in our spine. At the top, taking a breath. And then the feel the rotation of the pelvis that gets the movement going, start lifting the arms when it suits you, sooner is a bigger challenge than later.

Inhale, arms, head, chest up off the floor, reach for your thighs, exhale, curl the spine. Pause at the top, inhale. And exhale to roll the spine back down. Making a change at the top. Inhale, lift the head, chest and arms.

Exhale, roll the spine. Now from that rounded spine, open the arms out to the side and lift the back, turn the thumbs up, lift the chest even more, reach back with the arms, round the spine, and roll back. Manipulating the spine, working through it piece by piece. Inhale, head, chest, arms. Exhale, curl.

Long and round, inhale, open the body, open the arms exhale, thumbs back, inhale, exhale, press the arms forward, round the spine and roll back. One more like that. Inhale, head, chest and arms. Exhale, peeling the body. Inhale, open the arms, lift the back.

Exhale, press the arms back. Inhale, hold, exhale, round the spine. And roll back, and reach back. Last one, coming up to stay, lifting the head and chest. Curling the spine, open the back, reach the arms, open the arms, inhale here for the twist, exhale towards the window.

It's a double exhale and inhale to center. And exhale, turn and then turn further. So don't think about it as like trying to bounce your way through this movement, but instead trying to maximize and then go slightly past what you feel is your maximum. I think we all have a little bit more than we believe. And turn, turn.

And turn, turn. And more like this, so coming towards this way, and hold. Now here's an interesting game, stay here with your spine. Now just turn your eyeballs in the direction that you're twisting. And now take your spine with your eyeballs.

And center, and turn to the other direction. Finding it, now turn the eyeballs, and then the spine swallows the eyeballs, and we find center and we bend the knees. Reaching for the ankles. Dipping the pelvis under, picking the feet just up off the floor. Here we go, rolling like a ball, we rock back, inhale, and balance at the top.

And inhale, and balance at the top. And inhale, and balance at the top. And inhale, and one more. Now we place the feet down, we stretch the legs out, separating the feet. Reaching the arms forward, inhaling here.

Taking the head forward first, start rolling the spine down. Reaching down towards the floor, and then sliding the spine between the legs further. Inhale, keeping the shoulders away from the ears. Exhale, peel up, bone by bone, stacking the spine vertically over the pelvis, inhale, and exhale, rolling the spine down. Pause, inhale, and exhale, rolling the spine up.

We'll do two more, and then we'll hand it back to Kristi. Exhale, rolling the spine down. Reaching, reaching, and rolling, and just almost rebounding up, without a lot of tension, without any tension, can we try for no tension at all? Rolling down, easy, easy, easing our way further and further forward. And easing our way back up.

We'll keep it going and add a piece to it. Inhale, Merry knows I love this one, thank you for giving it back. Now exhale, down we go. When you get there, start to stack your spine, this time on a diagonal, so you stay forward, you allow the arms to come alongside the ears, you could also do this with your arms down, right. Looking for that length, there's an inhale in there somewhere, exhale, round forward but right away start to pull yourself back to the original upright position.

Start zeroing in on the back extensors, exhale, round forward, energize the legs, reach through the heels. Can you get your forehead on the ground? Try, inhale to back extension, nice long diagonal, stretch your body, not just forward but up and on that diagonal, exhale, round and come back up. Just two more, sort-of. You're moving through each part of this, even if you kind-of find what looks to be your end range, you're still going for it, inhaling up.

You'll notice you get a little further perhaps each time. Exhale forward. And up, we'll go into that position one more time. Inhale, growing tall even here, exhale. Inhale into the back extension.

Staying here, it's as if someone were pulling you further on the line you already are, thumbs are toward the ceiling, gently pull back, one. Gently, two, you might sense this as a reaching forward with the chest, but just, let's not thrust it, it's more of a diagonal line we're going for. We can do about four more. One, reach into it, lean into it, flex the feet too. Here's three and four, nice easy through the arms, long through the spine, inhale, exhale, round over.

Roll yourself up, bend your knees along the way, adjust yourself for the open leg rocker. Holding on, let's say, either underneath or on top. I'm more on top at the moment. Both feet hover off, extend the back leg once. And the front leg.

Back leg down, front leg with, we'll just reverse it, just kind-of testing our balance, right? One, one down, one, one. Let's bring them both up. And the appearance of a pretty straight back is good. Let's not overdo in the front of the hips.

So allow your spine to bend more. Here we go, roll back, inhale. Exhale, up, binding that line. And again, it's from deep into the belly, high into the waist that gets you going. It's not a toss of the head, again, back.

And up, try for a little more in the parallel legs, even though they're in a V-position, again. Whew, back extensors, find them again, one more. Come up, stay up, we're gonna hold our legs here, but before we psych ourselves out, again hold from high in the waist, so it's as if you're gonna bend your back more. So the legs are effortless. Or sort-of.

Set 'em down, sit yourself up on the sitz bones, or something. I never know if positive thinking is gonna work or not. Kinda helped that time. Let's do a little saw and you can have it back. To the front, we rotate.

Keeping a pretty straight back, we're gonna hinge forward. And yes, the back will round, but because we're focused on keeping weight even, we can also encourage a long spine, sit back up. And center, so far parts inhale, rotate. Exhale, hinge. Inhale, back up on the rotation.

And then center. Inhale, rotate, you're still upright, now we reach long outside that toe, use the back arm. Inhale, up, and center. And it's almost mechanical, almost. And reach.

Sitting up, you could certainly make it flow, just make sure checking in that you're hitting all those pieces, that you're not having to overly correct throughout the exercise, but you're kind-of maintaining it. I'm gonna do one more to each side. Get all the air out, reach, reach, reach. Last one. And center.

Okay, we're gonna get a little playful now. Bring your legs together, bend your knees again. Take your hands to the tops of your knees. Shift back so you're just behind your pelvis. And you're deepening into your curl.

Pick the legs up, start curling away down towards the floor, push your knees into your hands to help you manage that in control. Do your best to come down with the utmost control. Into the double leg stretch position. We now reach the arms and the legs out, and back. Inhale, legs and arms out, and exhale back.

We're gonna do five. Reach, and pull. And reach, and pull. And reach, and pull. Now we hold both hands on the left knee, reach the right leg straight.

And change, pushing down on the knee that's bent. Using the back, keeping the body centered. Last two. Two, one. Hands behind the head.

We rotate to the bent knee, rotate, think about the rotation in the ribs. Strong, energetic legs. Here's two, two, one, one. Same leg center, put the arms down. Stretch the legs out.

So we place our head down, we lift our legs up towards vertical, we're gonna roll over, we're gonna take the feet towards the floor, and then lifting into the jack knife, pressing the legs away from you, reaching up, reaching up to touch the ceiling. We're gonna go back down, so pivoting around the hips, the legs come back down towards the floor. Gonna roll the spine down, lift the head up, roll through the spine and reach up into the T there, all the way up with the arms, bend the knees, hands on the knees. We're gonna do it again, roll back. Double leg stretch, five times.

Reach out, and around. And two, feel that there's always activity, everywhere, in the arms, in the waist, last two, and one more, hands on the right knee, reach the left leg out, right leg out, stopping the knee just past 90. Reaching long through the extended leg, last two, last one, and criss cross, five, lifting up and across, four, four, three, three, two, two, one, one, bring the knees in, bring the arms forward, stretch the legs out, place the head down, lift the leg, roll over first. Clip the floor with your feet, then start reaching up through your back, reaching up through your legs, reaching for the ceiling and pressing the legs away. And then we fold back into ourselves, like a pocket knife.

And we roll the spine, as the pelvis is coming down, the head starts to lift, it's a little boomerang-esque. And then the arms, and we bend, last time. Curling down, curling down. Good, and here we go. Settling in, you know what's coming, reaching out and back, and reaching out and back, really trying to pull the knees in from deep under the ribs, last two, one more, let's do the single leg stretch with the hands behind the head, we kick one, one, two, two, reach, last two, one more, here comes our rotation, we twist, and twist, trying to wring out the spine, last three, three, two, two, one, one, knees in center, arms forward, arms down, legs out, head down, legs up and over, clip the floor, reach through the spine, lifting up, up, getting straighter and taller, pushing the legs away from you, and then breaking in half at the waist, bringing the legs back down, control it, keep the back long as that happens, roll down, lift the head, roll up, reach out, reach behind you, place your hands down, setting up for back support, and then Kristi can have it back.

Yep, you know what to do. We're almost done. Keep those feet together. Try for getting the feet down as well. And then just hinge at the hips, sit down, come up out of those shoulders, let the arms come up, reach them back, fingers face your feet if you can, lift up again using those hip extensors, long stretch, hinge down as if you're pushing away from the floor, lifting up.

Two to go, push down, lift up. Being mindful of the back of the knees. Meaning, let's not hyper-extend there. One more, back, lift, lift, hold it. And come on down.

We'll just turn onto our sides, we can just face this way. And let's go down, not the tip of the elbow, but sort-of closer to the triceps. So almost all the way down, but ever so slightly lifted. Feet slightly in front of you, hips and waist are long. For the side kick, we lift the top leg and the bottom leg for now, think of pushing it into the ground for help.

Kicking forward, flex, exhale, two, point back. And kick, kick, stretch. Kick, kick, reach a little motion is fine. Four, four. Five, five, this time kick forward, hold it forward.

Go forward there, bend the knee, right in close to your glute, but the thigh is still close to your chest. Keep that position, but take the thigh back for bicycle. Reach away behind you and sweep kick forward. Bend. Keep the heel close as you take it back.

And again, bend. Back, two more. Kick, bend, reach, keep that heel close. One more, we'll hold it, or we'll go to the side to finish it. Right alongside, reverse it, take it back.

Get the reach, bend, drag the knee right up to your chest, elongate, watch the waist, try to keep it long, take it back, number two, heel to glute, knee to chest, stretch. Number three. Finding a long breath with this. Here's four, stretching as if the leg were connected right at the chest, and who says it isn't? And here we go.

Back, go ahead and finish it to the front. And then line it up, turn the legs out from the hip. From here, with a long waist, we're gonna kick up and flex down. Kick up, flex, reach down, one. Up, reach, two.

Here's three. Four. Keep it down on five for five, small circles, pick a direction, one to quick, two, three, four, five. Reverse, get it behind you a little, one, two, three, four, five, and from there, you can lie all the way down. Bring that foot to your glute for a quad stretch.

Might need to grab onto your pant, or you could put the foot on the floor, it doesn't work quite as well, but try and get the stretch at the front of the thigh, pelvic curl might help. Let's just switch to the other side. So come on up, and down. Hips are stacked, legs are stacked, you go for that little bit of a banana shape for the side kick. We kick forward, one, two, sweep it back, you might want that forward hand for balance, or you might not, challenge yourself, here's three, long through the hamstring, here's four.

One more time. Come back to the front, kick forward, hold. Bend the knee so the heel comes to glute. You can hold the foot if you need a little help to get it behind you the first time. Then stretch it back.

Here we go, number two. Remember that bottom leg can push down in the ground to help you. Sweep and forward, three. Bend, keep it close and controlled, you'll get a lot. Here's four.

Big sweep. Match the legs up side by side, go to the back. Take it back, line it up heel to glute, bring the knee way up and stretch. Sweep, bend, knee to chest, stretch, number three. I never get tired of this one for some reason.

I like it. Yeah, is this the last one? Must be. Yeah. Okay, so we lined it back up.

We stacked the hips and kick up and down. Here we go, kick up, flex down, one. Reaching, two. Little tough to the leg, three. Here's four, reach.

Five, keep it down for those circles. Begin, one, two, three, four, five. Reverse, back, two, three, four, and five. Take the stretch, foot to glute. Let your head rest.

Your turn. Turn over onto your stomach. Let's bend the elbows and just place the forehead on the hands for right now. Stretching the legs long along the floor. Feel the abdominals just lightly engaged, like there's a piece of ice under your belly button.

Slide the shoulder blades down away from the ears, so do like a dragging action with the upper arms, and then pick the head up. From there, we're gonna bring the hands to the head, keep everything else still, and lower everything down. We'll do three, pick the head up as we slide the shoulders down, dragging the upper arms backwards. We bring the hands to the forehead, and we lower the body down. One more like that, shoulder blades down, head comes up, hands come to the head, everything comes down.

And then open the hands so that the arms rest just on the outsides of the mat. Inhale, we're gonna reach into breaststroke. Take the arms out, lift the spine up, continue to inhale as you circle your arms around, as you bend your elbows, reach the elbows towards the floor. And exhale to lower the body. And inhale, reach out.

Continue inhaling as we stretch around. Bend the elbows and exhale, one more, reach out, circle around, bend the arms, and lower the body, stretch the arms out to a T-shape, rotate the palms to face forward, so the thumbs come up on top, pick the hands up off the floor, let the chest come up with you, and then reach up and back with your thumbs. Five, four, three, two, one. Rotate the hands down and lower the body. We do it again, just like in the hip, we want to feel that deep rotation of the arm, happening all the way in the shoulder joint and in the upper back, pick the arms up off the floor, the spine hovers, and five, four, three, two, one and down, last one.

We rotate at the should joint, lift float the arms, float the spine and reach up and back. Up and back, staying supportive through the front of the body. Two, and one. Bend the arms, place the forearms on the floor, lower the body down and rest, press the forearms into the mat, push up onto your knees, walk your knees in, and from here, sit right back onto your feet, stretching your arms out. Letting the spine have a little rest.

And then coming back up. Aligning the hands directly under the shoulders, knees directly under the hips, find a neutral position in your spine, and take a breath. As you breathe out, feel the abdominals lift up into the spine, the spine naturally starts to move under the tail, curls under, we find that deep rounding of the lower spine, and then inhale as we come back to center. And now exhale, hold the pelvis still and try to stretch and open through the upper spine. So just a small upper back extension.

And inhale into neutral, and exhale. Feel the shins heavy on the floor as the pelvis curls under, looking for a stretch in the lower spine. Inhale to center, exhale, extend the spine out, long, lifting and opening the chest. And center, one more time, exhale, curl the pelvis. Inhale, neutral, and exhale, extend the upper spine, and let's just let the pelvis come with us this time, taking the back all the way into an arch.

Yeah, and then tuck the toes, pick the hips up, press back into your up stretch, and then just, with straight legs, or try for straight legs, and let's just start picking up one leg at a time, and walking your straight legs in towards your hands. So you have to pike the legs in towards your hands. Once the feet are matching, you feel balanced over your feet, let the knees soften and let the spine hang there for just one moment, letting tension flow out of the body. And with that, you can straighten your legs or keep them bent, I'm choosing to keep mine bent, you're gonna roll the spine up, just noticing energy in the body, softening and then as we come up, we stretch the knees, reach the arms up, and just let the arms fall, just slowly fall down to your sides and one more, just the arms. So we feel the spine elongate and lift as the arms lift, and then we keep lifting the spine as the arm is coming down, we're pulling our spine out straighter and taller and lighter and freer and we'll take that into the rest of the day.

Comments

2 people like this.
Loved this! Going into favorites.
2 people like this.
Awesomesauce.
3 people like this.
Be still my beating heart. (and that is before taking the class. lol) Off to join you ladies NOW.
3 people like this.
This team approach was terrific. Thoroughly enjoyed the stretching exercises and the handoff to each instructor. Looking forward to more level 2/3-3 level classes with props as well in the future.
1 person likes this.
Wonderful! A new suicide sequence (very sneaky of you Meri since we didn't know it was coming)...love it. Especially with the hands behind the head on the third repetition. I needed that! Watching and listening to you both ....I felt like I was triangulating with you from my laptop.
1 person likes this.
Love the flow!
Joni you may have seen the look I gave Meri when she snuck that extra bit in on this body (mine) that perpetually tries to keep up! Love feeling you here with us... and come back again soon please!
1 person likes this.
Fun class and it felt even shorter than 35 minutes. It just zipped along!
1 person likes this.
great class....
2 people like this.
Wow, thank you both for this treat! I did not expect my wish for a team-class of the two of you to get fulfilled so quickly. I reckon you both really enjoyed this, too, and could not wait any longer. This was the first time I went back to a 2/3 class after giving birth exactly 8 months ago and it felt great and safe. You are the best!
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