Class #2348

Connecting to Your Body

45 min - Class


Feel the awareness in your body in this Mat workout with Karen Sanzo! She takes the exercises you already know and brings them to life with new cues and ideas. This is a great class to let your body be where it needs to be so you can release tension and move forward in your practice.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Hand Weights, Overball

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Hi, I'm Karen. I'm glad to be back here on Claudia's any time. And today's lesson is going to happen on the mat. It's a beginning level class. And we're going to use Amy and Lynn here. And when I say beginner, it doesn't mean beginner as in it's your first time. It means beginner. As in you're actually ready to move forward. You're actually, it's actually time to take the exercises that you already know, bring them to life. And I'm going to add a couple of tidbits to it. So to start this class today, you'll start on your hands and knees.

So come to this quadriped head position and take your fingers over the front edge of the mat and feel the weight right into your palm, your elbow creases. We'll face each other and you will look straight down in this position here. You'll monitor that your head and your chest and your sacral area are about in the same plane of action. So take an inhale and as you exhale, can you gently pull your belly in without changing your spine. So you're just asking yourself or an independent action? Very good. Just like that and take another inhale and then do that one more time as if your abdomen is pulling upward towards the ceiling, but your spine is not going to the ceiling. Very good.

And then relax right there. Now Curl your toes underneath. You get acquainted with your feet real quick. So curl those piggies up underneath you. Press the balls of your toes down, and then in this position here, judge, rock yourself back and forth a couple times and don't worry so much what's happening, but just make the action here happen at the shoulder joint and at the hip joint. One more time forward. One more time back. Stay back and just pause right there. Take a peak again at your elbow creases. Make sure they're facing each other.

Now imagine just for a second that there's a little band around your forearms and you're actually pressing your forearms away from each other so that you feel that little awareness pressing the forearms away from each other. Now keep that action and bring yourself forward to Quadro pad. One more time and ask yourself this question. Am I just resting in my hands or can I energize the musculature through my arm bone, keeping my shoulder blades where they need to be and just engage upward so that you're not just making a resting force down. Okay. Now we're ready to get started. Hold that. Take a big inhale. As you exhale, pull your abdomen up, drop your tailbone down, and go ahead and curl that spine into a rounded shape.

Hold yourself there and ask yourself another question. Can I simply just lengthen from the crown of my head all the way through to my buttocks or do I have to round my shoulder blade so I want the shoulder? That's better. Can you feel that difference? I want the shoulder blades to stay on their ribs. The ribs create a house for the shoulder blades to live, so you need to nod your head a little bit more. Pull this tummy in here.

We're in real time here and didn't this lesson drop the shoulders. Nice opportunity for learning there. Take another inhale, engage the feet down, pull the tummy in and recognize that if I turned you upside down, now I might be able to put you in the rolling like a ball shape. Does that understand? Take another inhale. As you exhale, pull your belly in so deep that your knees kind of lift up off the ground chest to tell dad and if you can't lift them, you just think about lifting them. Take another inhale there. Soften shoulders, scooping belly, lower the knees all the way back down. Now let's take a journey out of this position.

Kind of flip your booty behind you. Arch your lowest back, let your shoulder blades live on the ribs and then let your chest bone shine forward. Kinda like you have a new necklace on and it's going to shine right out like that. Good. Take a big inhale there. Exhale, head nods, belly poles in as the chest bone rises. Take your spine on that journey again into flection. Hold right there. Now hold that flex shape rock back and forth a couple of times. Press into your chose. Keep those toes curled well underneath you.

Push the mat away. As you go back, pull the mat forward as you return. One more time, go back, stay back right there. Now nod your forehead a little bit more like you're gonna look right between your knees. Take an inhale there and as you exhale you can go ahead and let those toes rest down just for a second. Now we're going to move on to a mobility exercise for your ribs.

Take your right hand and put it right behind your back so the small of your hand is in the back. Very good. Just like that. Leave your head where it is. Open your elbow towards the ceiling. Turn your chest towards that elbow with an inhale. That's an inhale. Open the rib package and then exhale. Look down right between your knees, so the head and spine. Stay inflection.

Inhale, open the ribs. Open up the ribs, open ribs, open ribs at your inhale. Exhale, return down. Keep your left arm pressing. One more time. Inhale, open. Exhale. Stay there. Hold that. Can you press your hand into that sacred area and let your right shoulder blade chase your left one to try to open those ribs any bit more. Hold that right there.

Take another inhale and take another exhale and understand that the mobility of the rib cages so important, and then lower yourself back down to level. Now switch hands. Take your left hand behind your back. Let your left shoulder blade chased your right one as you open up the ribs. Big Inhale, so less turning of the head, more turning of the trunk. Very good, and then bring yourself back down. Use your inhale to open yourself up. Inhale, open up the chest. Inhale, inhale. Inhale. Inhale. Feel the rotation. Exhale, return yourself down. One more time. Inhale, reach and rotate. Left shoulder blade Chase's right one.

Hold that and then bring yourself all the way down. Hand comes down, body comes over, the hands curl to chose. One more time underneath you and then push yourself back and then bring yourself forward. Push yourself back and stay right there. Now feel the stretch through the soles of your feet. Also another important area to that. You feel that feedback through your feet.

And now let your toes rest down one more time and sit your buttocks back and come on up to Neely. Take an inhale here. Exhale, pull your tummy in again. Now can you slide your hands down and take them out in front of you again? And how much flection can you get in your spine without lifting your bottom? Okay, so try that. Take an inhale. I'm going to get a couple of props and just try that a couple of times.

Try that little flection force in your spine. That is so important. We're going to build this exercise now into an understanding of our shoulder blade. So it's going to look like this. I'm going to put this right here and you're going to nod your head. Lengthen your skull here, so that's good. Almost feel like the back of your skull is going towards my hand this way.

Good. So that you feel your chest lift up that way and your net get along of that way. Very good. Now can you take these ribs a little higher to the seat and there you go. You hold that shape right there and now we're going to give you this one.

It's going to be a little bit flatter because you have a little bit more flexibility. There you go, just like that. Now take your hands in front of you towards the edge of the mat and straighten out both of your arms. Your forearms will kind of rest on the mat with your palms facing down. What I want you to notice here is that the neck is actually inflection and the reason why we have that neck inflection is so now we can occupy and use the lower trap muscles. Okay, so we're going to do this exercise with your right hand. It's going to reach in front of you, rotate towards the ceiling, and then lift that arm up.

You feel that back here in this blade and then lower it down. Do that right arm again. Reach, rotate straight. Now bow and then lift from the shoulder blade area and then lower it back down. One more time. You reach that shoulder blade. It's an upward, yes, it's an upward rotation. You rotate it and then you lift it, hold that lift there. Notice that you can't use your neck extensors because your neck is actually infection. And then lower that down, rest that arm, left arm, reach from the blade, like it cuddles away from your row.

It comes away from your ribs. And then rotate it. And then as you lift that arm, the blade kind of cuddles into the ribs as you all lift. Oh she's got a quiver. And then lower yourself down. Two more times like that. Very good. So reach, rotate, good. And then live from underneath here and then lower yourself down. And I think there's one more. And if not, one more is always good. Inhale, reach it, rotate it, and then lift it up.

And then lower that all the way back down. Take your hands, put them underneath your armpits, ish. Press into your hands and then unwind yourself up as if your buttocks is dropping down. Your belly pulls in and your ribs come away from your shirt and you come all the way up to high kneeling. Very good. So now we'll come to lie on your back. I find that when we increase rib mobility and increase the understanding of what happens in the lower trap than the other exercises come to life a little bit more there. So now go ahead and just lie flat on your back here.

Take an inhale and as you exhale, just kind of melt your chest, melt your bottom and just feel the awareness of your feet. Now start to curl your tailbone underneath. You just thought you know how to do as a little pump, a little fundamental pelvic curl and hold it right there and ask yourself this question. Can I indeed just use my belly to curl or do I have to engage my feet in my glutes? We want the answer in this case to be a, you want to just see if you can scoop that pubic bone up. Oh, little bit more good. Hold yourself right there. Big Inhale, exhale, unroll yourself back down. One more time. Inhale, big exhale. Pull the pubic bone up ever so slightly and hold yourself there.

Now check in with your head, neck, and shoulders in. What does that feel like? Just make a mental note of that and we're going to get to that next and then roll that pelvis down. Now I'm going to take a little cushion. I'm going to put it underneath the back of your head. So you're going to put this here and I want you to feel like this cushion is actually lifting the back of your head up, okay? So that you feel like your Chin is kind of approaching your neck. You're not, you're not smashing your chin down, but you just feel like it's approaching it.

Okay? So take an inhale here, and then as you exhale, relax your shoulders. Think about lifting your forehead towards your knees, but don't. And as you start to feel like you're going to lift it, feel the anticipatory response of the front of your neck and your deep abdominals. Okay? Take another inhale and then exhale, relax. And again, inhale, big. As you exhale, think about lifting your forehead to look at your knees, but don't. And now take your eyes and look into your cheekbones because that creates a flection force.

One more inhale and this next exhale, go ahead and just lift your head only to look at your thighs, not your shoulders. Just do neck flection. Hold right there. Now smile seriously and stick that tongue on the roof of your mouth because that lifts your high. You are a bone. Gravity is going to get us folks, but so we got a smile that anti-gravity and you got to stick the tongue on the roof of your mouth. Now hold that. You can feel that can't you? And now lower the back of your neck down the lowest part of your neck first and then the back of your skull and then your chin. Just like the front of our spy. We have to learn how to articulate into a pelvic tilt and release to neutral an interior tilt.

We need to spay pay special attention to that in the neck area as well. So we're going need to do that again. Take an inhale, exhale like the back of your skull is going to lengthen. The Chin looks down, your eyes look down, and then your head lifts up. Stick the tongue in the roof of your mouth. Sorry. Elbow corners of your mouth upward. Take a big inhale there. Exhale, hold that. Stick the tongue in the roof of your mouth. Good. One more. Inhale. And then one more. Exhale. Lower yourself all the way down.

May seem kind of Corny, but it really does work. Okay, so now from this position, or going to take these cushions out from behind you, and you're going to imagine that they're still there, okay, so that you can feel the difference between the back of your neck lengthening. So drop your chin down a little bit and then raise it level you. Come on back down for a second. So just drop your Chin and then look to the ceiling, and then raise your chin up. Look behind you. There you go. And then come to level. Good. Put your head down please. Good.

Now just drop your chin, but don't lift your head there. That's a better cue, right? So dropping your chin without lifting your head. You feel the back of your skull. Lengthen. And then release that to level. Now let your Chin float up a little bit and let your eyes look into your forehead. Okay. That is a length in front of the neck, and then bring yourself a level from there. Okay, just a little weirdness. Now this will come to life again when we come back to Quadro ped into our plank position, but now we're going to feel the awareness of your neck as you come into a bridge from down below. So start to curl your tailbone underneath. You start to curl your pelvis up, take an inhale, and as you exhale, curl up any bit more and feel when your buttock starts to leave the ground, your glutes have to start to kick in, right?

And then continue to lift up your pelvis until you're about the level of your thighs. And then ask yourself what has to happen to your neck. It's different for everybody. Some people kind of jam their neck down, some people play with their chin. What I'd like you to do is to feel how your shoulder blades cuddle into your ribs and it's your blades are kind of presenting your ribs to the ceiling. Hold that right there. Big Inhale. And then as you exhale, let your chest drip back down without tucking your bottom. Just let the ribs roll down and the pelvis will automatically kind of posturally tilt and then it'll come back down to neutral. Okay, let's do that again.

A big inhale. Exhale, belly poles, tailbone curls, and then slowly roll yourself up. Now with yourself, lifted your pelvis about as high as your thighs. Hold that now and I want you to start to lift your pelvis higher, but I don't want you to do it by arching your back. I want you to do it by imagining your necklace is coming closer to your chin. So I want you to take this thoracic spine and lengthen it this way.

Can you feel how that is now a lengthening of your chest. So let the necklace here. Relax your chin. Let this piece of your chest come closer to your chin. This piece. Really? Yes, that's it. Can you feel that right there? Let the show. Wow. That's it. And feel what that does, how it makes your belly flatter. Scope Beer, if you will. And it tightens up the buttocks. Now hold that right there. Good.

Now, just for the heck of it, push the tongue in the roof of your mouth. It doesn't have to be a massive amount, so right into your hard palate. Yeah, and that again, your hyoid bone is underneath there and those are separate hyoid muscles. You can Google them if you want, but anyway, they're all up in there. Now take your right leg and just bend the knee and lift it up off the ground and just hold that right there. Now keep the chest lift. I know this is hard for you. Hold that big inhale, you're quivering.

Put that leg down. Pause, inhale, and then the other leg comes up. Feel what wants to change first in you? Is it your head? Is it your thigh? Is it your chest bone? Come on, lift up their hold and then put that leg down and then drip your chest all the way down. All the way down. All the way down. Okay, one more bridge lifted on it. You're going to take this ball, then you're going to put it underneath your bottom. Excuse me. Take this and put it right underneath your bottom. And now from this position here, now open up the chest.

Give me a karate chop on the mat with the side of your hands, and then go ahead and turn your palms up and feel when you turn your palms up, how it opens the chest. Can you feel that there? And then when, go ahead and turn your palms back down without changing your chest position. One leg comes into table, top. Other leg matches. Okay, you've been here before. This is a common exercise here, but what I want you to pay careful attention to now is the position of your neck on purpose. I want you to think about your neck. Squeeze your heels together. Your toes can come apart just a little bit. Now listen carefully here. It's your thighs that are going to go away from you.

Your knees aren't going to straighten, the thighs are going to go away just to the distance that you start to feel a little connection in your trunk or you start to feel a little lurching in your neck. Okay, so you may go ahead and go out and then take yourself away and come on back. There you go. So we're going to keep these shins in the same shape to the thighs. We'll go away and then the thighs will come back. Good. One more time. Thighs away and that. Hold the thighs away. Just hold that right there.

Now what wants to change? Is it the shoulders, your neck, your head? You have to make that decision. You have to learn that lesson in yourself that more away isn't always better. It's what's going to happen to the neck and the chest and when you need to change it. Very good. Bring yourself back to level. Pause right there. Take your right, like open it out like a book to the right. Take an inhale.

Exhale, come back to center. Left leg opens out. Inhale and come back to center. Now take that whole leg away from your other leg. Now take the whole leg away. Hold right there. One extra big inhale, one extra big exhale. Good. Don't try to hang on. Nothing's going to save you here except for your trunk.

And then bring yourself back. Left leg goes out. Big. Inhale there. Exhale, melt the shoulders. Give that tongue a little press every once in a while. Just feel how it changes the articulation, if you will, or the appreciation of where the neck position is, and then bring that leg all the way down. Very good. Lower the legs down to the Mat. Pick up your bottom and take the ball away. Good. They're going to come up to sitting. We're going to use the ball again, so come up to sitting and scoot yourself back so your feet are level with the mat. The next exercise we're going to do as a roll back in a roll up. We're going to use this ball. You may have used it like this in the past, but as we roll back and roll up, I'm going to cue you and take special care to the re articulation up because if we lose the articulation of the spine in the up shape, then we grab right into the hip flexors. Okay, so go ahead and bend the knees. It takes us a second to get this position.

So start to take your hands behind your head please, Amy, and then I'll help you in just a second. So when you roll back from this one, I want you to take these hip points and roll them away from your thighs. This hit point, right? They're good until you kind of feel this ball. There you go. Night. Wish you had a bigger ball right now. Hold your hands down lower on your neck. Now you support yourself right there. Now take an inhale. As you exhale, it's almost like the back of your spine press don't.

You're not going to come all the way up off the balls like the back of the spine presses into that lower part of the ball and you're up. That's what I want right there. Can you feel that? Okay? You play with that for a little bit? Okay, so hands behind your head. Roll yourself partway back to you. Feel this ball. Now you're right here. You're going to take this hip point back. Hold that right there.

Look straight ahead to my hand here. Good. And you get that quiver right there. Hold, hold. And then curl up over and then back down. Now you each play with that a couple of times. Feel how sometimes you want to come all the way off of that ball, but I don't want you to come all the way off the ball. I almost want you to press back into the ball from the lower ribs and lift the upper ribs off the ball. Can you feel how that's a good sound you're making?

That's really good. That's really hard. Good. Can you get less in your hips by curling your trunk more at the, that's it right there. Can you subtly feel that difference right there? Good. One more time down. One more time up. Hold that up. Shape. Hands behind the thigh. Sit yourself all the way up and then slowly roll yourself all the way back down.

Very good. Okay. Because sometimes that front of the neck needs to do what we call in East centric lengthening on the way back, or an isometric holding to keep the safety of the neck and check. Does that make sense there? Okay. So now with your arms down by your side, I'm going to lift your head up here. Lynn. I'm going to put your head right on this. And I'm doing that to give her neck a little headstart.

And I'm going to go ahead and do it for Amy to not because she needs it, but because I want to make a point. I mean if I'm going to put another one back there. [inaudible] so now, yeah. So drop your shoulders here. So I've asked your neck to be lifted. I'm asking your neck to be a little bit in next selection. Okay. So what, and Ben, both of your knees and put your feet flat. Take your right like to table top and then, uh, take an actually a little bit further towards your chest.

And notice that as you take this chest further, excuse me. As you take this thigh closer to your chest, you kind of feel your pelvis do a posture, your rotation right. And then lift your other leg to match it. And actually let your shins rest right now. Good, good. And let your thighs come even closer to your chest. Okay.

So now your lumbar spine is inflection and it's kind of flat. Can you feel that to the ground? But you're not pressing it. You're, it's, it's flat to the ground because your thighs are curled in. Make sense? And notice you don't have any lurching in your chest because I've lifted up your head a little bit. Okay? And then from here, take your right leg up to the ceiling and exhale, bend it, and then the left leg goes up and then it bends. And then two legs go up to the ceiling and then they bend. One more time, right leg up and down, and then left like up and then down. And then two legs up and then down.

And then lower both your feet to the floor. Good. Stretch both of your legs out long. Now, just for the heck of it. Let's take this away. We'll not just for the heck of it, but I mean for the purpose of this exercise here, let's go ahead and take this away. And so now take your right leg to table top and just leave it at that 90 degree mark. Okay. Ish. Okay. My favorite cue ish. Now as you lift your second leg, I want you to notice what may or may not happen to your head and chest.

Go try to lift the second leg. So do you feel how you felt lurching land, right? So you may, you may at home feel like when you lift that leg, you try so hard to make a tabletop down below that you learned she and do all this other stuff above. Okay? So go ahead and put your feet back down again. So now I'm going to keep Lynn up on this cushion and she's going to nod her head a little bit and then Amy's going to stay down because she didn't have lurching. One isn't better than the other. It's your ability to recognize if you lurch or not. I, it sounds kind of weird, but you know, just so that your body doesn't always take over in that, uh, uh, other fashions. Let's go ahead and bend both knees, lift one leg up, match it with the other one. You feel how you have less lurching there. You gave your head a little headstart and makes a difference, right? So look down into your cheeks. Take an inhale. As you exhale, curl up to your hundred beat position and the first set of a hundred beats we're going to do.

Let your thighs come closer to your chest and let your chest come closer to your thighs. So you're not in neutral right now, but you're breathing. You're getting closer. Inhale, big. Exhale big. Now start pumping your arms. Inhaling, and then exhaling. Good. Two more sets like that. Inhaling, pull the thighs closer. Y'All pull your trunk closer. Yes, one more time. Inhale, one more time. Exhale.

Slowly lower your chest down and the back of your skull down. Stop the exercise. Put your feet down and pause right there. Inhale again. Exhale. Just come to tabletop with your legs. One tabletop, other tabletop. Pay attention to the neutralness of your pelvis. This time down below. Lift the head the eyes. Glance into the cheeks, Curl Your Chin as your trunk, brings you four there. Forward.

And now pump again. Inhaling, squeeze those fingers together. Tighten those triceps. Good. Inhaling, and then exhaling. And then one more time. Inhaling. And then one more time. Exhaling, pause. Fold your knees way into your chest. Take forehead between your knees, almost hold, and then everything comes all the way back down. And then rest right there are two legs come out long. Okay, so now we start to pick up steam. Take your right leg to the ceiling, get ready for a single leg circle. But before we do it, you're going to take your leg way out to the side and you're just going to hold it there. Tighten up that right knee, tighten up your legs, and then pull it back to center two times like that. Over.

Exhale, return. Good. And then take it over. And then exhale. Pause right there. A tiny little circle, three times across your body, even tiny circle across the body. Good. And then reverse the direction of the circle. Good. Last time. Now Ben, that knee into your chest, give it a hug with your hands. Lift your head and curl your trunk. Think forehead to knee. Hold right there.

Now Hover your left leg a tad off the ground. Pause. Reach your arms out long by your side and give me 20 more beats. Inhaling, thank forehead to knee. Think ribs to thigh. There you go. Exhaling. And then slowly lower yourself back down. Pause right there. Left leg comes up, right, like comes down. Get that connection right there. Tighten up that leg. Take that left leg out to the side. Inhale, exhale.

It comes back very nice. Take it out to the side. Inhale. Very good. Exhale it comes back last time it goes out. And then last time it comes in. Pause right there. Can you melt your front ribs down? Can you Kay stay Lincoln in the back of your net? Good. Inhale. Big exhale. Cross over the body. It comes back up. It stops around, down and stop. One more time in that direction and pause.

Reverse it around. That's it. Deliberate work. No neck, no jaw. Bend it in. Hug that knee into your chest. Lift your head in curlier trunk. Are you pulling your head closer or are your trunk muscles pulling your body closer? You want the answer to BB this time? Reach your arms down. Long. Hover that right, like up off the ground just as Mitch go. Inhale, exhale. One more set and I think we've reached a hundred I'm not sure, and then exhale and then slowly lower yourself all the way back down. Pause right there with your legs out long. I'm giving you one weight.

In your right hand, you can use a two pound, three pound, five pound weight. The name of the exercise is, they have no idea what I'm doing here. Okay. They have no idea. Heavy that arm bone down. It's actually called single arm circle. Pause right there. Now let's glue these legs together. Let's squeeze your heels together.

Let your toes come apart a little bit. Tighten up your thighs, sink in your belly. Let your ribs be heavy. Take an inhale, cross your arm over the body, circle it down around. It comes back up. It stops. It circles across the body comes back up. Stop Straight, elbow around, down. It stops. One more time around, down, and now reverse the direction. Yeah. If you have a weight in your arm, kind of challenges that connection in your trunk. The where your arm connects to your trunk. One more time. Okay. Switch hands, right arm down. Inhale big. Get firm. Exhale.

Cross the body and come back up and then around down and come back up. Relaxed the throw. Yes. Very good. And then the direction and too good. And then last time, three very good. And then take that arm down. Could take two arms to the ceiling. No weights in the arm. Drop your shoulders down. Take your two legs into table top. Very good.

Now pull your thighs closer to your chest. Let your shins rest today. Lift your head and curl your trunk. Much like you're going to do the exercise. Double leg stretch. Grab your hands to your ankles. Open your elbows. Why did the side now just breathe into the back ribs and then exhale. Curl up any bit more? Good. Inhale again. Breathe.

Why did the side exhale curl? One more time. Inhale, one more time. Exhale. Recognize this shape now as rolling like a ball. Okay. Now lower your legs down to the Mat. You're going to roll yourself up to sitting to prepare for that exercise.

Rolling like a ball. Fold your knees into your chest, grab those ankles low, and your elbows are why? The first thing we'll do is lean partway back just to get the breath. Okay, so just and remember when you curl back, you're curling back from those pelvis tips, right? Yes, exactly. Two breaths. Inhale, big exhale. Look right between your knees. Good. Inhale big and wide in the back ribs. Exhale. And then five balls. Have it. Go back and come up. Inhale and exhale, and then inhale and exhale. You're all at your own pays. It's okay, you just work. The exercises are real workout.

Try to keep your heels very close to your bottom. Very good. Last two, wherever we are. And then last one, come up and balance, or right here, my favorite transition right here. So the right knee comes in, grab your right hand towards that ankle there, hover that left leg up off the ground, and then start to roll yourself back to about the level of your shoulder blades and then stay curled up. So you've got to roll back. Keep Rolling. You're going to be, that's beautiful. Just like that. Now switch your legs. Go. Inhale, and inhale, switch. Exhale, and exhale. Breathe in. Blow out. Curl your trunk. Breathe in. Good. Blow out. Yes. One more.

Set. Reach. Good. Blow out. Nice job. And then lower yourself down to the mat. Pause right there. Take your arms way back over your head. Big Inhale. Exhale. Curl your trunk up to hands to the outside of your ankles. We've already been here before. Hold yourself right there.

And then double leg stretch, arms and legs. Reach away from each other. Circle your arms, and then hug. Go. Inhale, reach. Circle your arms wide to the side and hug. Two more. Reach and then circle and hug. And then last time, reach. Circle in. Hug. Lower yourself down. Pause right there.

Press your feet, lift into a bridge. And now this time in the bridge, we're going to work through the spine here. The back of your skull is on the Mat. Don't over press it and don't over tighten it. Just let it be where it needs to be. Now open up the chest, lift up the heart just like we did. That's it. She feel how your pelvis got higher from the lifting of the chest.

I'm going to cue you through that again. You're going to lift this chest right here. They're going to see, there you go. You feel that work right there. Very good. Now hold that right there and now you're going to take your right pelvis and drop it downward. Good. You hold right there. Don't let the knee change. Dip your pelvis down. Good. Now roll down that right side of your spine. Roll, not your face. Leave your face to the ceiling. Just roll your spine down.

You're doing good. You're doing good. There you go though it set, and then roll up that same right side of your spine and then bring your pelvis level. Lovely, and then drop the left pelvis down, pause and then drip down the left side of your spine. Can you leave your neck alone? Can you roll down and then curl and roll right back up. Big Inhale, bring yourself level pause. Can you lift your pelvis? Lynn? Lift the pelvis. Take that necklace up to it. Yes, that's good. Long through those arms. Big Inhale there. Exhale. Guess what?

Right leg lifts up to the ceiling straight. The ceiling is falling. You need to press the ceiling with this leg up as much as you're pressing the other leg down. Hold for five, four, three, two, one. Put that leg down. Rest, press right, lift left, lifted up y'all. That's it. Take that sole of the foot. As much as you're reaching this leg up, up as, as much as that one's pressing down through the chest business, they're good. And then put that leg all the way down.

Drip your chest and roll yourself all the way down. Very good. Bring yourself up to sitting for spine stretch. And let's go ahead and turn and face this way for spine stretch. I like it there. We're going to do something just a little bit different or the same but different. Kinda like your haircut. You know, you always want it the different than it's saying. Take your two hands.

Put them right behind your head. Just like this. There you go. Now lengthen up tall. Reach your elbows. Why take an inhale and as you exhale, spine stretch forward, but your head is gently pressing back. Okay, so that as you do that the crown of your head is going forward. The back of your spine is rounding very good. Now give a little pressure back into your hands. If you have that lengthens the back of the neck again and then take an inhale and then as you exhale, return yourself up from your low back.

There you go, and then you articulate that spine all the way back up. Inhale again. Lengthen. Exhale. The head actually presses backwards. As you round forward, keep doing that. I'm going to explain a couple things. You do two more on your own. When you press your head gently back into your hands, what that does is it allows for a little passive relaxation in the front of your neck to allow the entire spine to articulate in deflection.

Go ahead and do that one more time. I love how you both are spine stretching forward and not collapsing backwards. Very good, and then bring yourself all the way back up. Now take your hands and put them in front of your forehead like this. Okay. And now before you even do the exercise, look your eyes down into your cheeks and think that your forehead is going to press down towards your thighs. Can you feel? How about now?

That's an active connection through your deep neck flexors. Okay, we're doing a tutorial on this later, but for right now we're going to keep this in this in the session here. Inhale, big exhale. Press your forehead down as you round forward. So it's going to be the same exercise, but now you're getting engaged into the deep neck flexors, not just the sternocleidomastoids, but the deep neck flexors. Stay the where you both are taken. Inhale, as you exhale, pull your belly in. Gently keep your forehead pressing down as you return your spine back to the vertical position, cause you kind of feel that those were two different actions. Okay, inhale again. Exhale. Forehead presses into the hand, the belly pulls in, tidy up the thighs.

Stay connected through your legs as you do the exercise. Spine stretch forward. Good. Inhale big by your down there. Exhale. Return last one. Release your arms. I love the exercise spine stretch. Okay, now take both of your hands behind your back like this. Okay, so now in this position, lift up the chest as if you're growing tall. Just like that. And now inhale big here. Now as you exhale, the elbows stay back, but your spine rounds forward. So notice that in here.

Now you can't rely on your shoulder blades to protract and to shrug. Can you feel how now you may be actually spine stretching less because you are indeed just in your spine. Stretch. Take an inhale while you're down there, tidy up the legs and then scoop that belly back as you unwind your spine all the way back up. Inhale again. Exhale, head gently nods, that's it. And then you open up your back ribs. I kinda like to say make your back horizontal stripes longer and your front horizontal stripes shorter. Very nice. Inhale there. And then exhale, bring yourself all the way back up. Very good. Hands behind the head. One more time. Not the full Saul, but just some trunk rotation. So here's the access coming down through the top of your head, through your spine. Inhale to the left, and then exhale, center. Try to grow up in your inhale.

Try to lengthen as you rotate and then exhale, release, tighten up the thighs. Go. Inhale, twist, twist, twist, and then exhale centered. And then go. Inhale, twist, exhale, center. One more time. Inhale, twist. Let your left shoulder blade trays, chase your right one and then center. And then one more time, twist and then center. And then release your arms down. Whether you talk to the front body or the back body depends on what your client hears. Uh, please come back to lie on your belly. Now we prepare for spinal extension for Swan.

So go ahead and put your feet down at that end and face it this way first. Now slide yourself back off the edge of the mat. We're going to do just a little bit of something different here since we're on these raised mats. You could also use this with a blanket underneath the pelvis if you had to. So slide yourself back just so that your thighs right at the hip crease.

So you're right here, right at the hip crease. Put your forehead down on your hands and minimize any extension in your spine right now. Pretend like have a little cotton ball on your belly button and like you're going to vacuum up that cotton ball underneath your belly button. Almost like you're going to lift those ribs up. Now press your toes down and reach your heels long. Your knees will straighten.

Now for $1 million. I want you to try to pick your legs up off the ground, but you can't pick them up. I need you to feel that relationship from your buttocks to your thighs. Can you kind of feel that now? Keep your left leg pressing down like mad through your toes and lift your right leg up a tad. Hold yourself right there. Now point those right toes and when you point your toe, I really want you to link than the front of your ankle.

Not Point your toes to get a calf cramp, but really length in the front of yes, exactly that quiver right there. Now lower and raise this right leg a million times. That's it. And as you lower and raise it, check in, not the back. Can you do the belly lift? Can you make the connection in possibly through your pelvic floor to kind of feel the bottom of your core. And then pause that leg right there. Switch legs.

This connection from your buttocks to your thighs is what prepares your pelvis to receive the swan exercise. Okay. Other leg lifts up and down. So go ahead and point that left foot, that left toe as your right foot stays pressing down. Good. So as you do so, lengthen out long through that left leg, up and down. Two more. And then last time, and then lower that all the way down. Come on and crawl on your tummies and come forward on the mat.

Now we'll prepare for our swan and our forearm plank and our single leg kick. We're hitting the home stretch. So do this for me. Prop up on those forearms right here and pull your elbows back as if your chest can get any bit longer. And then turn your palms down. Now you start to lower your body down and slide your palms backwards towards your arm pit area just a little bit. Yes, yes. So they're gonna get a little bit lower here. Yeah.

So feel your elbows into your ribs. Now remember those legs, your heels don't have to touch, but they still need to be a connection there. Okay. Press down into your hands. Lift up into a low swan first. So the chest lifts up into a low spawn. The front of your chest lifts up. Now the shoulders stay down. You take one, inhale and go for a straightening of the elbow. Go for it. Lengthen the chest. It's okay. Tighten the buttocks without rounding the she beautiful.

Now the elbows bend in towards your ribs. As you take that time to lie your hip crease down. That's it. And you're dripping your spine down, dripping it all the way down, and then your forehead goes down and it looks to the Mat. Inhale again. Exhale, the arms press, the chest lifts, not the head, just the chest. First shoulder blades. Stay. Hold right there. Depress him, drop the shoulders down. That's it.

And then use your triceps to open up your chest as you lift up. Very good. Hold yourself right there. Keep the shoulders back. Tighten up the thighs and the buttocks. There's always a little bit more to be had there. Big Inhale. Ooh, I didn't know how much I could say in one breath and then exhale. Lower yourself all the way back down.

Prop yourself up on your forearms, getting ready for a forearm plank. Curl the toes up underneath you. Take an inhale here. As you exhale, start to look your hands between your, excuse me, your eyes between your hands. Lift your rib package and then lift your pill. This holding right here, these shoulder blades need to stay where they are. They don't move and then drop your thighs down. Blade stay, blade stage. Chest lengthens. Inhale again. Exhale, eyes glanced between the hand. Lift your ribs to meet your blades.

Lift those ribs. Come on. There's a harder work right there for you. How the blades want to protract. Don't let the blades protract in a plank and then lower the chest down. Good breathing right here. We have one more. Inhale again. Exhale, press the forearms, lift the chest, lift the ribs, lengthen here, head in line with the spine. Tidy up here. Big Inhale. Oh, she's quivering. And then lower yourself all the way down. Prop yourself up on your elbows.

Single leg kick. Stay long in the front of the chest. Reach your right leg very long. Kick your booty two times. Go and bend your knee. Please bend your knees. Hoods, kick, kick. And then lower down Phi does not lift. Okay, kick, kick, and then kick your left leg. And then so this leg stays down. So it's a kick, kick. And then a kick. Kick. And inhale, switch. Exhale, good. Stay. Lengthen through the chest.

Stay lifted up in your chest. There you go. I know that's hard. One more. And then lower yourself all the way down. Sit back on your heels and then round your spine. Nice job, very good. And then turn yourself around. Come to sit on the edge of the mat. Now separate your legs a little bit apart. Reach your arms out in front of you and open your legs a little bit wider and lean your body as far forward as you can.

Almost like you were going to stand up, but don't [inaudible] so as you lean forward, the head stays, nodded the front ribs, stay back. There you go. Woo. Nice job. Look like that. And look straight ahead. Big Inhale, and then lean forward any bit more as if you could lift your booty up off the ground. Come to standing. And very good. Inhale there. Exhale. Sit Back Down five times. Inhale, exhale. Good. Tighten up your arms. Look straight ahead. Very good. And then sit back down. Two more.

And then last time, come up to standing in pause. Turn around, face your mat, put the balls of your feet on the mat and you're going to balance her right there with the balls of your feet on the Mat and your heels off the mat. Good. Just like that. Looking straight ahead. You can [inaudible]. I'll be right here. And then lower your heels down and then raise them up. Try Not to change the position of your pelvis. You've never done this. This is really good. Lower down and then raise up the heels. Hold the heels up, take a big inhale, and then as you exhale round yourself forward with your heels lifted, go down to the mat. You got it. Good.

Just get yourself on down there and then you're going to crawl yourself out to a full plank position. There you go. And you're just going to do one pushup, one, whatever. Push up you've got. Imperfect as it may be. Good. Take your bottom up in the air behind you. Crawl yourself back. Now be careful here. Let your heels drop down. Think tendon stretch. Nod your head please. That's it. Think Tendon. Stretch down. Good. Use your feet. Don't grip your toes and then unwind yourself. Back up, tightening your thighs. Pull your belly in. Very good.

And then step off. It's always good to do a new thing, right? Okay. Very good job. Very good job.


1 person likes this.
This Beginner stuff is VERY sophisticated!

Karen is such a sage body-whisperer ...
2 people like this.
Karen is awesome. Always something new! LOVE!
1 person likes this.
Love the details in this practice- that tongue to palette, hyoid, smiling stuff left my neck so happy. Thank you!
3 people like this.
Karen that was a superb class. I teach a lot of rehab as a physio /pilates teacher and the biggest problem for most people is lack of body awareness which you adressed so well in the class with your cueing and building one movement concept on the next. Thank you
1 person likes this.
Thank-you for such magnificent cues. They are all so deliberate and made me think and work in a new way. The end of the class was a surprising and delightful challenge.
1 person likes this.
Loved this class...perfect for all levels of abilities. Really enjoyed the focus and precision of muscular activation and body placement!
1 person likes this.
Absolutely fantastic queuing! Now I found the words for almost everything I wanted :)
1 person likes this.
Karen, your amazing cues and fun energy inspired me to move more mindfully throughout the practice. Especially enjoyed your creativity on the single leg & arm circles and spine stretch forward variations!! Lovely work! Thank you!!
1 person likes this.
Brilliant class, Karen you are a wonderful teacher .
Karen Sanzo
Always discovering new things. Thank you all for taking this class and for the feedback. I just did this workout myself and it really, really does feel incredible.
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