Class #2574

Mat Workout

45 min - Class


You will get more than just another class in this Mat workout with Debora Kolwey. She invites us to share a workout with her, showing the Pilates method in her body after practicing and teaching for over 30 years. This is a wonderful opportunity to go into yourself and your body so you can begin to appreciate your patterns and movement qualities. She reminds us that each day feels different, but you can always come back to your "home" on the Mat.
What You'll Need: Mat, Towel, Pilates Pole

About This Video


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I'm Debra Colet and I'm visiting here at plotters anytime from Boulder, Colorado. So what I really wanted to say is thank you for joining me. And, um, I wanted to share a workout with you, not just to another class because I've been teaching plots for over 30 years and I've been doing plays and teaching PyLadies sort of for the same amount of time. And if there's one constant through all that time, it's is my relationship with the work and how I know myself through this work. And there's no substitute for that kind of exploration. And it's, it's so wonderful and powerful to pay attention to your body in these ways. The body, this is what we express through. We are not a tree or any other kind of animal where this kind of animal and the time that we spend shining the light of awareness on our, on our body just, it opens up. You just have no idea. We never, any of us have any idea what, what's inside there, what, what the level of consciousness that can come through. And I just, uh, I hope that you enjoy yourselves and uh, enjoy being with me. Thank you. Okay, so this is a little series that I do every morning.

You can have a rolled towel or a rolled blanket or even if you have one of those really, really tiny foam rollers at works. Do you want to get it right behind your knees and then you just relax and kneel there and let the knees open, release the pelvis. There's really a difference between collapsing down, right? And using the buoyancy of the knee joint to allow the sacrum to release. Sure. Just gradually opening up the knees.

Some days they feel tighter can stay there for a minute, a few minutes, and then maybe if you feel a release, you can take the towel or the blanket a little further back, opens up the knee joint a little more, puts a little more weight on the Shin and across the top of the foot. And again, it's nice to just find your center ground down through the tail release up through the top of the head. Start feeling your breath. Inhaling and exhaling. Smooth inhales, smooth exhales, and then come forward and Tuck the toes under and just wiggle the heels back and forth to open up the knee joint a little further realigned things. And then keeping that rolled towel or rolled blanket behind you just lift up and back into a squat.

So now the towel is there in case I don't get my heels all the way down. But even if I can get my heels all the way down, it's nice to have that space and here to just relax. Maybe take a moment to pull the toes out, rock back, and get the weight more on the ball of the foot instead of gripping with the toes, crease deeply into the ankle. Again, feel the difference between collapsing and actually feeling the release of the sacrum. Almost like you had a sling or a swing that was supporting your pelvis.

You can almost imagine that that buoyancy in that lift, so the NIESR releasing back, not falling forward, and then just release into the squat. Take a couple of deep breaths and then again come forward onto the hands and knees. There's no place like home, right? And then push back. This is my least favorite, but it's definitely gotten better over time just to sit back on the toes, on the ball, the foot, trying to get the toes out in long, get the little toe out. Sometimes I do this grab with my heel. Just find that, that position. And even if you are having a day where your feet feel tighter and you really can't get that bend in the toe, if you know what you want, you can kind of imagine reaching the toes forward, sending that ankle down through the ball, the foot, lifting the heel up and back, maintaining the buoyancy. So again, we don't want to crash down, right?

But even if I can't get any real movement in there, just imagining and knowing what I'm trying to do, starts to wake things up a little and gives me a sense that I can get some space in my joints, deepen the creases in the ankle, the hip, and then again, come on to all fours, wiggle things out a little bit, and then take the top of the toes, put that on the plane ticket, sit back again, opening up the foot from the top, can get your knuckles in there and massage a little bit. Just open up, open up. Okay. This changes over time too. Ah, it feels really good. And then one more time, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. And then you can just get rid of the towel. What I like to do here, start to wake up the connection between my hand and my arm and my shoulder girdle. So just lift the knees a little, feel my quadra peatal self and then slide back.

Start to rock through that whole foot, ankle, hip complex. And then just do some circling around the top of the foot. [inaudible] both directions [inaudible] and then come into the other side, slide it back. Notice if on a given day sitting into the hip and just try to come to center rock back and forth, a little circle around, opening everything up and the other way [inaudible] come back and tuck up the toes, lift off again, maybe start to stretch the back of the legs up toward the ceiling, rocking a little bit again and trying to work with the openness that I've gotten now instead of just dropping down, really reaching back through the heel, noticing the tendency to push into the knee or press back through the Shin, but instead keep the Tibia lengthening down through the front of the ankle. And then just any amount that I can s damp through like a little thumbprint cookie right in the middle of the heel.

And then I'm going to just come onto the back [inaudible] I really feel my feet under my hips now, so I like to start with just a few pelvic tilts, checking out the relative ease of the hip in any given day you start to really get into the breath. Obviously, I'm not talking when I'm really doing this by myself, but where is my air going? Am I really getting the movement through the chest, neck, head, get a little oscillation going, maybe take it into a larger tilt roll through, opening up the chest, opening up the shoulders and getting some lengths, reaching all the way through. Maybe again, tilt role using the lift of the arms to open the chest and shoulders cause I don't want to push into my lower back. I want to find the connection of my feet through the sacrum and then lengthening down, release the arms and then maybe take it to the side. Some days there's a lot of clunking, especially off to the one side. And what I found is that if I have a clunky day, if I go back and connect into my feet, there's better connections up through my body and I don't hang out in my hypermobility as much, which reduces the clunks, had the head side to side start to get some more movement up through the thorax with that twist and then put the whole thing together, circling through the other way.

And then come to the center, let the leg drop to the side and let the pelvis go to resting that thigh and come back side to side. Just opening the hips a little more and then taking it into the Omelet. She start with the legs. Maybe if you're not on a mat, it's a little easier. And then opening up the upper body, working through the chest, shoulders, upper middle, lower back. Start with the legs again and hopefully not fall off the mat. And then open upper body one more and then just coming up onto the belly.

Little Sphinx, just checking out the lower back, the openness through the hips, taking a couple of curve over curve, reaching out, just finding the comfortability of my spine today and then coming up onto the hip. This kind of z shape, leaning into the hip, opening up a little, getting a little twist, and just start to get the flex point. A little bit of movement through the hip on this line. Through the middle and in [inaudible]. No out a little stretch. Go the other way. Just getting some openness in through the hips.

Little rotation. Stretch it out. Rocking foot. Ankle is so much fun. Just really lubricating everything. Getting the movement flow through the body.

A little bit of stretch now. I think I'm ready to just go right into my mat. Don't feel like doing foot work today. So I think we'll go right into the a hundred uh, uh, uh, uh, lengthening opening. Just looking for the little places in my body that needed to open up.

Ah, maybe one more. Reach out. One last breath and release down. Might as well. Use the strap. I'm going to go ahead. Here we go. Breathing in [inaudible] if I feel tighter, maybe bend the knees a little.

Keep releasing out shoulder girdle onto hand. Using the flex of the ankle to help tilt the pelvis and then really stretching, lengthening all the way through. Ah, finding the timing of the breath. Inhaling, suspend, really feeling the relative tightness in the hips. Maybe turn in a little, read through the whole of the foot. All that nice openness from the beginning really serves.

Let's just do one more inhale right here. Right. I could push this my back, but I know I don't really want to do that, so how am I going to find that? Fill the connection of the legs coming back up into the hip to support me to lift the spine and then we'll just roll down for the rollover open circle, see if there's any clunks today over flexing, feeling that lovely openness through the lower back, keeping the breath spending and then circle around. Maybe some days you want to stay. Take a little extra rolling, reaching. If you had little dowels, you could hold on to them. Roll back down and we'll just come up.

Go into the tree here. Again, just feeling the relative range, relative tightness, flexing ankle, knee and hip. Extending. Planning ahead just a little bit. Knowing that I'm coming up for the tree, someone a length and down the whole right side of my body. I don't get pulled off to the side pressing into the leg to help me lift up. Feel that connection from earlier in the Mat, right of the hand to the shoulder girdle, to the buoyancy of the spine, up, up, up, tilt, back.

Exhaling, roll back down, lift the back of the leg, right up, connect into the poem to help you up, and then rules through the pelvis back down. And one more time using the reach of the foot to help pick me up. And then flexing and pointing. Just get a little bit more, a little bit more fluidity, a little bit more release. Getting ready for single leg circle. So I want to make sure I don't fall down into my pelvis or my lower back.

Keep the stretch, keep the lift and then over we go. Circling around and reach up. If I'm having a clunky day, got to make it smaller. Maybe bend the knee a little. Really focus on the foot picking up the pelvis that's leftover from the little bridge we did earlier, right? That connection one more time and then reverse it. Take it out to the side, length down.

There's that moment, right? Just wants to fall. So we pick it up again. Exhale, AH, start to cultivate smooth soft breaths. Don't need to get tense. Okay. Bend the knee, slide it under other side.

[inaudible] each side's different. Stretch up. Timing of the joints, the relationship of the flexing and extending in the flexing, extending and then use everything. Use all of yourself, lift up, you go different on this side. And then exhale. Noticing that when it starts to get a little difficult tendency is to brace, right. Push into things. Where can I go softer? Where can I feel more of my whole body?

Maybe I don't want to flex that foot. Maybe you need to point that foot and let it help. Pick me up a little bit. [inaudible] yeah, we go to the circles. No waivers. Um, a crunchy. Let's see what that's all about. Here we go.

Don't let it fall. That's when the crunch has happened and into rolling like a ball. Nice to use this strap just to get a little bit more curve and release into the feet and the ankles. Maybe rock a little bit and here we go. [inaudible] and right into the single leg stretch. [inaudible] really enjoying now how much more open the body is at this point, playing with the how much length you can get and still stay connected. How much, where are you, where does your mind go? Right?

What parts are calling for attention? What parts are still kind of dull? Where's the breath going? Where's the breaths? Stopping. Inhaling, exhaling and inhaling and exhaling and inhaling and exhaling. Picking it up, opening it up. Ah, find the suspension for double leg sometimes just doesn't feel like I have the strength. I think it's the c level.

Sometimes in Colorado you can't do this at all and this is my way. Sometimes I have to put my head down and then elbow to knee. [inaudible] always kind of asking, where am I? Who's in there? [inaudible] Ah, ah. And really I really do think the c levels are very helpful.

More oxygen. Ah, AH, okay. Extend out. I think all of that will skip openly rocker so that my battery pack doesn't get wrecked. We'll just do this little balance instead. How much length do I have today? That doesn't throw me into my back. Kind of feel how I'm rolling off to the right and get to play with that a little bit. Feel the differences in the hips.

The timing of the extending of the legs kind of noticed that just locked out my elbows. So I'm going to go into corkscrew. Hopefully I won't wreck it and just stay. Maybe twist a little [inaudible] in the suspension down the side and roll up. Lift and open and enjoy. Enjoy the tracking of the movement side to side crossover. How much do I need to connect so I don't hang my legs off my body, but can I keep the breath smooth and, and explore bigger movement without tensing. Fill those hands. The jaw. Keep it soft.

Keep opening and breathing and just enjoying. Never knowing really what the next one's going to feel like. He soften the knees a little. Let's just do one more at that breath. Lift. Suspend. Come down right up into Sa. Oh, here we go.

Uh, sometimes it's great to just lift up and rotate the whole spine kind of leftover from the corkscrew that I just got. See how tall I can get. Keep breathing, keep finding the softness. How much can I really work back into my flection skill? Little bit more rotation. And up. Noticing the tendency, the differences in the two hips. So how can I, how can I level out?

Usually comes around to not pushing down into my legs so hard. Just enjoying, enjoying the ability of my body to respond to the breath, to my intention. What do I want? I want space. I want space in my joints. I want space to move. I want, I want to squeeze all the junk out of my organs and I know that I'm going to be doing the promo work soon. Uh, warming that up, making a further connection of my arms through the shoulder girdle. So here we go.

Oh, okay. Sometimes it's good to just stretch the quads out for a sec from all that sitting. Just rolling a little bit. I don't need a roller. Just rolling on the it band a little bit. I get that all done up just a bit.

This one is tighter, tighter side. Crankier low back. Take a little extra time. All right. Okay. Just wind your way through it. What do you need? Go along.

Ah, oh, some days I feel like I can rock. Some days. I don't, let's see. Pretty good. Really what I'm looking for is, oh, just looking to be able to open that chest up again. How strong can my LIMS be to help me find that space? Oh, okay. Okay.

Ah, ah. [inaudible] here's that space from the saw palms and soles. Not Too much neck. Uh, [inaudible] [inaudible] here we are again. Back, back at the beginning. Right, right. Ah. Chickie moment, right?

Ah, yeah. I just want to stay light. Ah, uh, I don't want to have to brace. I just wanna feel my way through my spine knowing, ah, that were going into the shoulder balances. I want to let myself know I need that support through the upper back.

Some days the calves won't quit cramping. Some days I'm lucky. Uh, uh, little more extension does a foot touch almost. Oh, I know. It's not going to transition into shoulder bridge today, so we'll just come down. Do it this way. [inaudible] mm.

Uh, all that pointing and flexing, opening and closing, lengthening and connecting. Uh, [inaudible] Ah, then here already today, right? Double leg, lower lift and corkscrew. How's it different now? Anything more open? [inaudible].

Oh, sometimes I like to just fool around on the side with a few different things. He's my tribute to honey home. The series part of a series we used to do with the Nikolai studio and I know that, ah, there's gotta be a relationship to what Hanya taught us from Joseph [inaudible] work we did on very hard floor. Just again, getting some freedom, turning out, turning in and then just a little and then reach [inaudible] and bringing it in. So knee to knee, total knee, total ceiling, total knee, knee to knee. Try saying that several times in a row. Total knee, total ceiling, total knee, knee to knee, and then, ah, back and forth.

Ah, we can take that into sidekicks. Ah, oh. Let me just one more. Ah, no falling. Take a moment and just feel the connection again. Support the support of the supporting, like coming all the way through and then onto the belly. Okay.

Oh, grasshopper, uh, [inaudible] to the other side. Oh, can the hip. Oh, there's this other part. I didn't do it on the other side. I forgot. This feels so great. [inaudible] circling arm over, open the chest, and then lengthen all the way from the tip of the finger to the tip of the tail. And then again, this beautiful opening and circling reach back. Take hold of the foot release. And here we go.

Up to the shoulder and down to the knee. Uh, uh, and just let it, let it move. You don't have to be too static. [inaudible] just pay attention to where all your parts are. Let it flow. [inaudible] feel a clunk. Soft go softer.

[inaudible] uh, uh, uh, uh, I feel a clunk goes softer and more connected. [inaudible] do I want to do teaser in front of everybody? Okay. Uh Huh. Uh Huh. Oh, ah. Oh yeah. There's the corkscrew.

There's that original hip side to side movement. Oh, okay. Swam. Ah, there's that. The root, the beginning all over again. Let's see. Ah, it's to boomerang.

Ah, and let's just go right into seal. [inaudible] Ah, oh. One more. Check out the crap and there's the ground. No more crap rocking. [inaudible] it's Kinda like you just have to wait for it. And these mats are really great for some things. All you have to be so strong not to fall into the cushiness. [inaudible].

Okay, let's do a little control balance. [inaudible] workout that cramp. Ah. [inaudible] well, you know, it's really fun to do, which I left out. Just it's fun to do a kind of a seal twist one combo. I'm afraid I'm gonna fall off the mat. Let's see what happens. So you don't really do the wholesale. You've done this, you've done a few, right?

Then you'd come up and you just kind of add that feeling of rocking, and then you switch over onto your side and come up into the twist and then come back down and rock and just go to the other side. So it's kind of fun at this point. I'm pretty shaky, but I'll just do a couple more because it's so incredibly beautiful here. I don't want to stop looking out the window. Cool.

Okay. [inaudible] all right, let's go to work.


2 people like this.
Thanks Debora. Appreciated hearing your thoughts as you moved through your practice. This was lovely!
3 people like this.
Thank you for the invitation to join you in the intimacy of your practice.
1 person likes this.
Beautiful. I performed this mat workout in the peace and quite of my backyard, in the beautiful Spring sunlight. So relaxing, invigorating and moving. Thank you Debora.
4 people like this.
Deborah, this was the most expressive version of the mat work that I have seen in a long time. This truly is a journey into ones body and finding what's in there. Often the work becomes more about perfecting an "exercise", rather than what can your body get from the exercise. So appreciate you sharing yourself so honestly and with integrity. Truly inspirational.
Loved this so much! So expressive so connected internally!
A privilege, thank you :)
Wow Debora
Your enjoyment of knowing and feeling (and controlling) the body is inspiring!
It gently empowered me, and now to work.
Thanks Debra!!! Enjoyed the flow.
Thanks for responding and having fun with me. I was so relieved my feet did not cramp up! I wonder if it has something to do with sea level
1 person likes this.
Like a flowing meditation. Fantastic!
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