Class #2378

Mat for Posture

45 min - Class


Get out of slumping with this Mat workout from Cara Reeser. She focuses on ways to keep the body upright so you can get out of being in a forward, slouched position. This class will definitely make your back feel better and it will make your hips feel free.
What You'll Need: Mat, Towel, Theraband

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Hi, you guys, welcome. So I'm Cara Rieser, and we're doing a mat class. And basically, what I am gonna focus on is ways of really working with keeping our posture upright. You know, getting out of the slump, getting out of sort of being forward in our posture. So that's the focus.

We're gonna do good old-fashioned Pilates with some other things sort of wrapped in. So let's sit down. And if you wanna use your towel to sit up on or something, we're not gonna stay seated for a ton of time. But I want you to take your TheraBand, and I want you to wrap it around your ribcage, 'cause we're gonna start with some breathing. And the TheraBand's gonna give us a sense of feeling.

You can just hold it across like this, you don't have to tie it, yeah. Okay, and then we're gonna sit as comfortably upright as we can, I know, Tim, and it's not always that comfortable, right? So you're like, lady, get me something to sit on! Which is exactly what your Pilates teacher should do. So Tim, you should sit on these two yoga blocks, 'cause we want you comfortable. Alright?

Ah, much better. Ah, much better, exactly! Okay, so just pull on the band a little bit. We're gonna do a slow count inhale, and we're gonna try to push the band out with our side ribs, so we're gonna inhale one, two, three, four, and then as you exhale, let the band shrink a little. (breathing) Yeah. So as you inhale, lengthen your spine up, breathe, inhale one, two, three, four, and exhale.

So feel the volume of your body change. Two more, breathing. And exhale. Feel the volume of your body changing in the back. One more time.

Yeah, that's right, that's right, 'cause it lifts you. And exhale. (breathing) Great, so we're gonna take the band away for a moment. Here, and we're gonna do a little bit of breathing where we're snapping our belly inward on the exhale. So we're gonna do, in yoga, it's called kalabhati, I think. But we call it percussive breathing in Pilates.

So we're gonna go. (forceful breathing) Okay, we're gonna do a round of 20 of those, okay? Yeah, it's kind of hard, so we're gonna sit up tall. We're gonna go ready, inhale. And then let the exhale out quickly with your tummy pulling back. (forceful breathing) Five more, that's good.

Nine, 10, good, good. So, this feeling of pulling our abdominals back, we're gonna practice doing as much as we can to support our backs as we're doing the workout. Alright, so take your legs in front of you. Take your, you can come off those blocks, Tim, 'cause we're gonna lie down. Scoot forward on your mat, take the TheraBand under the balls of your feet, and hold pretty tight.

So you can bend your elbows. You're gonna bend your knees in this case, 'cause we're gonna roll backwards. So you're gonna just pick your arms up slightly. They can be bent or straight, and slowly start to put your spine down on your mat, using the band to help support you. Super, that was terrific.

Everybody pull your arms back towards the mat. Now you're gonna lift your head, lift your shoulders, bend your knees, and let that band assist you up. Yep, you've got it, you've got it. Bring your eyes back up, lengthen your spines. Now think of that breath we started with.

Inhale wide through your ribs, exhale all the way down, you're just warming up that spine. Yep. I'm giving Tim a pillow here, there you go. And lift your heads up, and bend your knees, exhale, move through that spine all the way. Bring your eyes back up.

Yeah, last time, take a deep breath in. Fill your lungs, exhale, take it back, easy does it. So the band helps you, so you don't have to panic and you can really concentrate on getting through the spine. Right, perfect, alright. So bend your knees and slide that band off, and put it to the side of your mat.

Alright, so your feet are planted, put your hands on your thighs. Bring your feet close enough to your bum, and separate your feet a little bit. Okay, so we're gonna work towards opening the front of the hips right now. I want you to use that same deep breath. That breath is lifting your chest wall up, and you're going to lift your hips up into your hands and wrists.

So you're gonna curl your tail, right, and you're gonna keep your legs parallel, and you're gonna push your thighbones into your hands, right? Exactly, good, get up a little higher if you can, Candace, and just push those thighbones into your hands. So you're using the backs of your legs to stretch the front of your legs. Take one of those deep breaths again. And exhale, come on down, roll through your spine.

Yeah, super. Let's do that twice more, inhale, lift those hips up. Push your thighs into your hands. Right, exactly. So right away, you could also think of pulling your heels back towards your sitz bones, and that will get the backs of your legs working to stretch the front of your thighs.

Now, you're holding your jaws, all of you. Relax your jaw, relax your throat, breathe. So you're working, but you can still be relaxed. And then come down, exactly, that was great. And easy does it, down you go.

Alright, great, take the towel that you have, and I want you to fold it lengthwise, longways, a couple of times. We're gonna do some headlifts and some abdominal exercises here, so you're gonna take that towel exactly behind your head. Alright, so strengthening the neck is actually crucial. It's part of our front body. So we're gonna start by lifting just your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat.

Good, looking down towards your navel. Use that towel to stretch the back of your neck. Take a deep breath, and that looks awesome. Exhale, out, there, out, good. Inhale again, deep, deep, deep, deep.

Exhale, let it go. Inhale again, deep, deep, deep, deep. Exhale, let it go, and lie your head back down. Woo-whee, that was good, you guys, how's that feel? Really good. Yeah, it's super.

So we're gonna do that in a little bit of a different way now, so just come on up again. The same idea, right? So you've got this towel and it's helping you. It's not doing all the work for you, though. So add your own body to it.

Now, bring your right knee into your chest. Bring your right knee back down. Bring your left knee into your chest, that's an inhale. Left leg down. Again, right leg in, keep bringing yourself up.

Exhale down, one more time. And exhale down, super, lie back down. Great, go ahead and let your towel just go for a minute, put your arms down by your side. We're gonna do an exercise called crossovers. Cross your right leg over your left leg, all the way down, cocktail party style.

If you have a hip replacement, who's got a hip replacement? Nobody? Wow-whee, go California. If you have a hip replacement, this might not be a preferable situation, to cross the leg, so you can do the same exercises with the legs together. Lots of hip replacements out there, nothing wrong with that.

Here we go, you're gonna go to the outside of your supporting foot. Inhale, let your legs come over, going that way, you two. Yeah, twisting your spine. Exhale, come back. Yeah, let's take your arms out, I love that idea, Wendy.

So the arms are there to support you, inhale, cross it over, inhale, good. Now take that belly back towards your spine as you come back for support. Super, and again, inhale, good. Exhale. Good, uncross that leg, let's recross and go to the other side.

Great, so as you're going over, feel your tail, your buttocks come off first, then your waistline, then your ribs start to move, so it's sequential. So you're getting a little bit of a twist each time, then ribs, low back, buttcheeks. Again, inhale coming over, sequential. You could think of pulling something off something sticky, like a tag or a label, yeah. And back in, exhale.

Super good, you guys. Inhale, take it over. Beautiful. Exhale back, and uncross. And perfect, okay, take the towel again.

Yeah, just when you think you're doing something relaxing, we get the towel again. So you're gonna lift your head, neck, and shoulders up again. Good, you're gonna bring your right knee into your chest, you're gonna bring your left knee into your chest. Okay, so now, this gets harder. So don't fall back into your towel, Wendy, yeah, stay up.

Stretch your legs out as best you can to the ceiling, sorry, my bad, I should have said that first. Now, you're gonna lower your right leg. Inhale one, two, three, exhale three, two, one. Left leg goes one, two, three, exhale three, two, one. Go, keep staying up with your head, and keep doing the gesture a little higher.

Wendy, you've got it a little higher, yes, I knew it. Nice job, you guys. And pull your knees in, and stretch your legs out. Good, all the way out to the mat. Good, let go of your towel, take your right knee into your chest.

We're gonna stretch that leg up to the ceiling. If you'd like to grab your TheraBand, you can use your TheraBand. I'll bring you mine, yeah. So it's nice to use the band, because you can practice actually focusing on straightening your leg. So the band actually starts to behave as your quads.

So you can relax your quad, but you can't bend your knee, alright. And then you breathe, okay? So let's go ahead and point and flex the foot here a little bit, point and flex, yeah. And notice if that makes you sort of get uptight somewhere else in your body, because of the stretch in the calf, and try to relax your jaw, your neck, your shoulders. That's right.

Perfect. Alright, so we're gonna do single-leg circles with the band. So hold the band with your right hand, everybody. Okay, you're gonna cross the leg over, inhale, bring it around, out and up, exhale. Inhale cross, around, and up exhale.

Now you crossed over a minute ago, so use that same sequence, right, your butt comes first. Around and up, one more time, inhale, good, stop at the top. Okay, let's take a stretch out to the side, so just open that leg out to the side. Good, and then bring that leg back up. We're gonna do that a couple more times.

Mean Pilates teacher, what are you doing? (chuckling) Good, one more time, inhale. Exhale in, good, bend the knee, take that knee into your chest, and I'd like you to slowly roll up to seated. I know we have another side, but we're gonna take a vertical break. Yeah, so now, stay there with that knee in. Tip back a little balance.

Yeah, and Tim, let's take that heel off. Yeah, baby! Alright, so let's do a couple little circles here. Oh boy, oh boy, that's right. Good, super, pick up your chest wall. Stick your chest wall out.

Right, and then drag that heel in, switch legs, roll back. Easy does it, find your way back down. Good, super organized, you guys, gorgeous. Take that leg, stretch the hamstrings. We're on the second side of that leg series now.

Right, so what I'm suggesting about the band is that, sometimes we'll cramp in our quads when we're stretching. So really let the tension of the band be the muscles of the front leg. So then, you can actually stretch the back leg, instead of struggling with like, oh, I'm cramping, right? 'Cause the hip flexor's like, uh. So the band is not for resistance here as much as it's assisting you.

Big breaths, guys. Yep, longer hamstrings make happier low backs. Point and flex the foot, nice. Yeah, keep the back of the knee open. Super.

Yeah, super, guys. Alright, you have that band in your left hand now. We're gonna do those circles. Put your other hand down on the mat, keep your shoulders open, inhale, cross the leg. Exhale, take it around.

Yeah, inhale cross, that's good. Exhale around. Let the twist be in the spine, exhale around. One more time. Yep, that's great, it's like in canon here.

And rest, great, now we're opening the leg out to the side first, stretch one, two, three. And back. Now if you notice that you're tipping over, you gotta squeeze your bum. That's British for butt, and all the way up, yeah. And again, go out, one, two, three, squeeze the side bum, yeah, that's it, and in, great.

Take the knee into your chest, keep breathing, give it a squeeze. That squeeze is to help that hip flexor fold, right? And then you're gonna roll up to seated. And lift your chest, nice use of the band, good. All the way up, let the band go, keep that leg in.

Pick the leg up a little, and just little stirs with the leg. Right, and what's interesting about these is that we kinda wanna stir everywhere, so see if you can stiffen up your trunk a little, and primarily move in the hip socket. Sort of, I know. (Wendy chuckling) I know, it's like, who does that, and why? And bend your knees here, good.

So I want you guys to take your towel and put it under your heels. Put your heels on the wood floor and stagger in front of the person in front of you, so you go that way, you go that way, yeah. 'Cause you're about to straighten your legs. So you're gonna go like this, let me show this exercise. You're gonna take this heel, we call this sand towels, this is to stretch your hamstrings.

You're gonna hold your toes, I know. You don't have to go as far, you don't have to go as far as me. (group chuckling) Almost though, you're gonna exhale, you're gonna just slide that out. And then you're gonna pull it back in, that's gonna contract the hamstrings. So we're gonna get a little bit of both. It won't be so bad.

My teacher made us whistle during this one so we wouldn't realize how much we would possibly be suffering. So you can whistle, you can hum, you could sing a tune. Alright, we hold our toes? Yes, you hold your toes. So the image is that, if you were on sand, you're trying to dig tunnels in the sand.

So drop your head and push that out, everybody. You've got this thing, now pull it back in. Right, now don't fight, breathe. Ah, let go, let go, let go, yes. And back in, super gorgeous.

Yeah, it's like a little game, so it slides, and look, Tim, it almost straightened all the way, dude! Right on, do it twice more, he's going for the full straight, I could see it coming. Yeah, 'cause it's just about repetition, to let that muscle go. Look, yeah, do it, right there on TV. That's amazing, yeah. Go to still.

Perfect, good, and rest, yeah. Expectations are high. Yeah, well, it's good, because it's not a static stretch, right, so you're moving, so you kind of trick yourself into going a little further before your nervous system says like stop. You know, so that was great, okay. Let's do some rolling like a ball, so come to the top of your mat, you can just leave that towel somewhere near you.

We'll come back to it, and let's roll like a ball. Okay, now here's, yeah, perfect. Let's roll like a ball that's kind of like big and not like super-scrunched. So like a giant full ball that's up, because I want your chest a little more lifted. Hands on the outside, lift the chest, curl your, yeah, perfect, roll back, inhale.

Exhale, come up, ah, super. Inhale back. Exhale up, good. Inhale back, you guys are awesome. Exhale up, super, two more, good, keep smoothing it out with that breath we started with, that wide breath.

And stop at the top, take your towel. Put your feet down. Take the towel behind your head, sit up tall. We're going back down, nice and slow, knees are bent. Use that towel to pick you up, Tim, pick up your chest wall.

You've got this thing, take it back. Good, keep lifting, guys, yeah, the towel's gonna help you. Or I will, ah! (group laughing) Alright, good job, and let go of the towel for a second, I'm gonna bring your pillow back under your head, yeah. Okay, super. Okay, guys, so I wanna do another set of bridges, so you're gonna put your hands on your thighs again, and you're gonna bridge up again.

So the repetition gives us an opportunity to stretch the muscle a second time. It's gonna give you more length this time, so take it up. Lift those hips up. Nice, it's already better, so that's what I want you to note, huh, I've done another round. I have more skills for this, I have more stretch for it, and come back down.

Great, one more time, take it up. Good, take it down. Super, take your right knee into your chest, roll up. And you're gonna come onto all fours, we'll have our hips facing in for some cats. Okay.

So, we're gonna get our hips moving here. So the first cat I wanna do is called sexy cat. And I didn't make it up, my teacher did. Cathy Grant, so we're gonna send your hips over to the right, you're gonna curl your pubic bone towards your navel, and send your booty out. Look out in front.

Send your booty to the other direction. Curl your tail under, you can drop your head a little. And then arch it all, look out. So you're making a half circle with your hips. Back under and out, good.

Just do what feels good, move your hips as much as you can. Yeah, think of yourself like you're a cat. Good, yeah, and then let your hips really move under, yeah, that's it, and then back out. Stick your butt out, yes, over, under. Stick your butt out, yes, nice, you guys, super.

Alright, now you're gonna hold that butt out, and I want you to push yourself back slowly. Inhale, come back up. Stick your butt out a lot, Tim, this is gonna stretch those hamstrings, and push it back out. And one more time, up. Big breath in, look out, Wendy, lift your chin, look out everybody.

Super, crawl all the way down onto your bellies. Okay, so back body, we want it strong so we can really stay up. So we're gonna challenge it a little bit today, we're gonna put your hands under your forehead, this is a different way of working swan. I'd like you to lift the backs of your legs a little bit. Now, lift your head, neck, and shoulders a little bit.

And your hands, and take a deep breath in, and come up a little higher. That's awesome, and one more breath in, a little higher. And drop down. That's great, let's do that again. So your head comes up, your hands come up, your elbows come up, your legs are up.

So all the muscles in your back body are working. Now, stay there, float up, Wendy. Now everybody just lift their eyes and look over your hands, so pick your chin up, a little bit more, Tim, pick your chin up. Yes, and bring your head back down and lie back down, super duper, twice more. This way, you're not cheating with your arms on your swan, yeah, you're really having to use your upper back.

There you go, there you go, now look over your hands, so I want you to extend your neck. Yay, and down. I wanna do one more, 'cause that looks so good to me, it's so healthy for your neck to get that moving, so peek over your hands, let your head extend, it's okay, it's okay, yeah. There you go, all the way down, and rest. Nice, come up onto your forearms for single-leg kick.

Okay. So let's, yeah, I like this position actually. So I'm gonna pull my chest through. I'm gonna look out, so let's not look down, we spend a lot of time looking down in the world these days. And kick, one, two, stretch.

Kick, one, two, breathe, inhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale, one more time, good, and rest for a second. Okay, so can you guys feel how when you kick, that's when the body wants to drop forward?

So as you're kicking, pull your arms onto that mat a little bit towards you, and keep your chest up. Look up a little higher. Yeah, I think you can look up that high, does that feel okay, yeah? Yep, it's a challenge. Okay, so as you kick, keep this, don't let yourself drop.

Here we go again, kick, kick, nice job, and home. Kick, kick, yes, you guys, kick, kick, yes. Kick, kick, again, kick, kick, kick, kick, and rest, good, lie down. Let's take your hands behind with your palms up interlaced, or intertangled. Good, good, turn your head to the right, everybody.

Okay, triple kicks, here we go. Kick, one two three, and then stretch, reach your arms, lift your head, good, hold. Turn, exhale, one two three, inhale up, and turn. And go, one two three, and up. Open those shoulders, good, and in, last time.

One two three. And up. Great, put yourself back down, put your hands under your armpits, let's do a couple big swans from the repertoire. Lift your head. Press all the way up, now we've stayed in the back body for a while, so you might find yourself getting up a little higher.

And back down, exhale. Good, keep your elbows tucked into your side body if you can. And up, good, and let your shoulders relax, super. And back down. Everybody lift your eyes, let your neck be a part of your spine, it actually is a part of your spine.

So come on up, yeah, look out here, there you go. You know, it's funny, we don't realize that we do that, and come down, good, and pull back into child's pose. Super. Yeah. Okay, good, swing your legs around.

Let's take our band into our hands. Take your legs out for spine stretch forward. Right, so sitting, but it's a little easier now that you've stretched out, yeah, so that's the great thing, that's why we do this thing. Actually, it's like way better already. So pull out on the band just a little bit.

Take a deep breath in, lift the chest. Exhale, reach the arms forward as you drop the head, and do spine stretch forward. Keep pulling out on that band a little bit. That's it, nice, Tim, and come all the way up. Super, now, you guys, externally rotate your upper arm bones this way a little bit.

Good and, other way, Tim, yep. And then, go forward. Yeah, super. Take your ribcage with you. Relax your upper shoulders, everybody in this room and on TV.

And stack your spine. Good, and one more time, take it out. Relax your upper shoulders and let your head lead. Let the back of your neck stretch. Just pull that band out a little bit.

Yep, you've got it, beautiful. Stack your spine back up. And good, band down, super. That looks terrific, how's that feeling? It's hard. Good.

It is hard, yeah, it's super hard, but it's worth it, right, makes you feel better. Okay, so let's bring our soles of the feet together, okay. Let's get into our hips a little bit. Yeah, hey, you have those blocks there, do you wanna sit on one of them? Yeah, yeah, grab it.

Like there's no reason to suffer, you know, in a position. It's like, yeah. Yes, get your friend a block! That's how I like it. Alright, okay, so, we're just gonna let those hips open. Here's what I'm gonna ask you to do.

Put your right hand down. Put your left hand on this left leg of yours. Good, and you're gonna twist a little bit as you push on that leg. So push that leg down, yes, gorgeous. Pick up your chest.

So not flexing your chest. And come back around. So I'm pushing, I'm lifting, and I'm turning. Nice job. Yes! Push on that leg a little, Tim, you've got this thing.

And relax, good, then come to center. And then just lean forward into your legs and take a little stretch here. Relax your shoulders. Yeah. See, the shoulders just think they're coming to help you.

(chuckling) Yeah, they do, they're like, hey, I can do that! I'm super mobile, I'm super mobile maniac. But really, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Exactly. Oh, a whole new, yeah, whole new space.

And then stack your spine back up. Stay on your blocks, open your legs out wide. We're gonna do some laterals. Okay, so we're open. And I'm thinking to myself, let's take our hands to our forehead.

Now why? Because this can be like hard on my shoulders, right? But I wanna be upright. We're going sideways to the right, three counts, bending to the side, one two three, come up. Easy does it.

Go to the other side, bent, it's gorgeous. Gorgeous! And back up. Now also, you can use your hands to help you with your head alignment, yeah. And over, right. So if you push your head into your hands and your hands into your head, it might help you, yes, indeed.

Yes, yes. Give yourself some feedback. Nice, gorgeous, gorgeous. One more time, or square it off, whichever comes first. Yes, and, gorgeous.

Alright. Arms down, good, take a little stretch forward in between your legs. Yep. Yeah, and you know, we all come with different types of rubber bands in our bodies, don't we? So, for some of us that's torture.

Okay, good, so come on off your block, you guys, come onto all fours again, please. I want you to send your left leg straight out, and pick it up. Now we're doing some balance work, so I want you to just notice as you move to a three-legged animal, what you have to do in your body to change things. Right, feel the length of your spine. If you feel interested in lifting your opposite arm and sending it out for bird dog, feel free.

Gorgeous, everybody here is a pro, so you've got this thing. So, what happens? Now, can you do that with a little less tension in your shoulders, everybody in the room? Perfect, yes, you can. And switch.

Yeah, so the body adds tension 'cause it thinks it's gonna be useful, like it thinks your head might fall off or something, so it thinks it's important, but then you just tell it, hey, I don't need you right now. So upper shoulders, I don't need your, exactly, Tim, I don't need you right now. See you later, I don't need you right now. That's it, and down. Super, pull back into child's pose.

Mm-hmm. Great. Okay, so what I wanna do here, I'm gonna demonstrate this next one. This is, again, a shoulder stretch, go in pretty easy. You're gonna take your hands like you did before, but you're on your knees, and you're just gonna pull your sitz bones back towards your heels, looking, glancing slightly up.

You don't have to have your head cranked, but enough, we're going for again, opening the shoulders in this. And since we're all a little bit twitchy through here, wanting to help here, let's stretch that out. So, take your hands, interlace them like this, correct. Yeah, right, and then, it's sort of easy, 'cause you just start to pull your bum back, and suddenly your arms are in front of you. Right, that's it, good, breathe.

Now, you wanna let your upper back arch. Arch means arch. Arch means not round. Good, super, now everybody drop your head and just let your head be heavy. Let it be super heavy, let it be on the mat heavy.

Let it be asleep heavy. Big breath into your ribcage. Exhale. One more big stretch there. Exhale.

Super, and roll up to kneeling. We're going to lie on our sides now, facing this way. And I'll actually come to the front here for this part. Okay, so we're gonna have our hands behind our head, like this, and our knees in. Okay, and we're gonna lift this top leg up, straighten it out.

And we're gonna turn it out and in. We're gonna turn it out and in. Out and in. Out and in. Bring it back to parallel, and slowly bring that leg forward.

Lift it up, and bring it down. Let's do that three more times, take it forward. Lift it up. Bring it around, right, good. And one more, or two more.

Forward, good, lift it up. Good, good, Tim, lengthen your upper back a little bit. One more time, good. And, terrific, good, lie all the way out on your side body with your legs stretched out and your head down. And you know what, if this position, Tim just made me think of this.

If this position is prohibitive, which it is for some of us, right? 'Cause our shoulders are tight, that's fine. Do it like this. You know, there's no reason to force the matter ever, right, that's not the idea. So you're gonna be here now, guys, and we're gonna just do a little bit of a side lift, very small, just lift up and down.

We're gonna do that four more times, up and down. Your head, too, so your arm, too, so your whole body tries to float up. Yes, and down. Float it up, that's super, and down. Float it up and down.

Good, turn onto your belly. Good, take your hands under your forehead again, and lift everything up. Peek over your hands. Put your head back down, stay up. Peek over your hands, down, last time.

Peek over your hands, super. And come to the other side, bend your knees, and I'm here. So Tim, we're gonna leave this down, guys, everybody leave this down, actually, it's a nicer moment. Take the leg out. Turn it out, turn it in.

Turn it out, turn it in. Turn it out, turn it in, kick the leg forward. Pick it up and make a circle. Forward, pick it up and make a circle. Let your head rest, it's fine.

Make your leg work. Yeah. Two more big breaths, guys, let those ribs move. Gorgeous, super, super. Alright, straighten both legs out.

Get, feel the length of your spine really stretch out. Okay, we're gonna float up both ends, head, feet, and hand. Yes, super, and down. Wow, you guys, that looks great, up. Yeah, and down, yeah, you can use that front arm to help you.

Up and down. Last time, up and down. Good, this time turn onto your back at the center of your mat, that's great. Alright, let's do some teasers. Are teasers something we do?

Has everybody got a teaser in them somehow? Yeah. Okay, so this is how we're gonna do it. You're gonna bend your knees. 'Cause everybody does have a teaser in them, it just, we don't know which teaser is our teaser yet.

So straighten your right leg out to the ceiling, sorry. Like to the diagonal, I should have said. Right, and lift your head, neck, and shoulders, and look up. Right, reach your hands, and just come up as high as you can. That's it, gorgeous, and exhale back down.

This is our teaser, and that's a damn good teaser. And up again, all the way. Yeah, that's it, Wendy, just pull a little harder. It's perfect, and down. Switch legs, now you won't get up as high without me, but crave it.

It will come. Bend your other knee, love. There we go, yeah. Yep, that's it, that's it, that's it. Because trying, getting successful at it will allow you to look for it again.

That's super. And rest, woo whee, guys! Roll up to seated, good, turn around. Face center again. Yeah. Okay, stretch your legs out.

Let's take the towel, I'm sorry, grab your towel. Yeah, and let's take it behind our heads. Yeah, and hold it out like this, and we're just gonna twist to the right and come back in. Good, twist, and that, you're pushing your head back into the towel a little, and that should help your spine stay upright, yes. Twist, and center.

And push that head back into the towel a little bit. Nice, you guys, center, and then just roll down using the towel to help support your head. All the way, all the way, all the way, all the way, good. Scoot back onto your mat if you fell off. Yeah.

Super. Okay, put your towel away, you don't need it anymore today. And bring your right knee into your chest. We're gonna wind down. I want you to hold that knee into your chest, give it a squeeze.

Good, and then bring it a little bit to the outside, and give it a squeeze. Yeah, and then bend the other knee and take that ankle onto that knee. We're gonna stretch the hip fully, and bring it in like, figure four stretch, so bring that leg up. Yeah, we're gonna use your other leg. It's up like that.

There we go. And then bring this leg up. Super. And breathe, now, if you can't reach this on your own, right, you can put your foot against the wall. Right, so for you at home, I might have you put your foot against the wall, and then you can get that, you feel that stretch in your hip, yeah, yeah, perfect.

Try not to resist the stretch. You know, the body gets a signal, like wow, that sort of hurts, so it kinda tenses up, and then you send it the signal, you say, "No, it's not gonna hurt me." So then you let go. That's it, super. Good, take that leg off. Take your other knee into your chest and give it a squeeze.

And then take it to the outside and squeeze. Now keep turning it out and put it on the knee, that's what I should have said before, exactly, perfect. Now it's gonna slide up here. And then we're gonna bring this leg in. And I'm gonna be Tim's wall, and then I can show you how you would do this on the wall.

You know, just this stretch alone, with like a quarter of amount of what we did in this class is gonna make your low back feel better, and your hips more free. Yeah, so big breaths, try not to go on a fight with the stretch. Mm-hmm. And bring the leg down. Good, take your right knee into your chest, roll up to stand seated.

And we're gonna come into a squat. Okay, so you know, squatting is important. 'Cause getting up and down off the floor is essential. So let your joints fold here, yep, that's good. You're gonna straighten your legs, maybe your knees are a little bent there, and you're just gonna stretch a little bit.

Super, let your head drop. Yeah, let the back of your neck stretch. (clicking) Right, bend your knees and squat again. You're going down and up. Yep, look out in the world again, in case the pterodactyl's chasing you, you always wanna know. (chuckling) Evolutionary biology is first! Survival, drop your heads. Yes, and bend your knees again.

Yep, look out, exactly. I mean, we don't realize how much we look down, it's, you know, we just do. And we don't even find any money on the street, like you know. (group chuckling) Whatever, what a drag, alright. It's already been taken. Yeah, it's already been taken by all the other people looking down.

Let's look up, roll up, guys, all the way up. All the way up. Good, just roll your shoulders around a few times. Yeah. Good, and roll them a few the other way.

Yeah, and just step off your mat for a moment, just 'cause the mat is not necessarily conducive to balance. And let's look straight out on the horizon, yeah, let's face the camera, we look awesome together. Alright, so we're gonna just practice going up on our toes, and coming down. Right, going up on our toes, and coming down. Nice, you guys.

Going up on our toes. Yep, and that happens, too, and coming down, that's part of it, that's why we do it, so we know what the difference is. And drop your heels, we're gonna roll down one more time. Drop your head, roll through your spine. Good, check down at your feet, let's put them in parallel.

And you roll down that spine, this is the last hanging down, so just take a few breaths, and really enjoy it. Look, and you know, you take a Pilates class for 45 minutes, and you can touch your toes afterwards. That's, the proof is in the pudding. Roll up. Good, and I want you just to finish this class by letting your shoulders go, I want you to just stand there, you can close your eyes, and just scan the body.

To see, you know, what's changed. What feels more open, what are you still holding onto that you might be able to still let go of, that you don't need? In tension, and maybe even just in your thinking. Good. Good job, you guys.

Thank you. Thank you. (applause)


Cara your teaching is always just what I need, and somehow challenging at any level.
cara, your classes are a gift. I love love love your longer classes. Thanks for mentioning hip replacement. I have several joint replacement students in my classes and it is important to recognize them and lead them.
Thank you Judy! It is so important to me that everyone can do Pilates. One size doesn't fit all is what Kathy Grant always told us.
Absolutely amazing! And your sense of humor .Thanks Cara...
Just the sort of class that is helpful to a lot of my members really enjoyed achievable moves.
thank you Cara for your class.
I love learning from wonderful cuing
and watching you guide your people!
Judy George
Just what I needed after a long day of teaching. Thanks
Thanks Cara for this class. Love to see so much KSG in it.
Really like your teaching style full of body awareness, great use of breath to deepen your awareness.
Thanks Mary
Emily M
Thank for you Cara for your continued focus on using Pilates as an antidote for our stuck forward lives! This is fabulous movement for thought that I will be happily passing on to my clients. You never know when a teradactyl might swoop by and swipe the smart phone. ;)
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