Class #2606

Grounding Wunda Chair

65 min - Class


Allow gravity to ground you in this restorative Wunda Chair workout with Christi Idavoy. She works on getting the tissues to open up so you can create more space in your body. She progressively increases the challenge throughout the class, adding instability and load so you can add strength after you have created space.
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair, Yoga Strap, Bolster, Foam Roller, Reformer Box

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Hi. So today we're going to do a different type of chair class. I think of it as a restorative chair class. We'll be using an array of props starting with bolsters, which you can see on the floor. If you don't have these kind of traditional bolsters, you can also use the pilates mat, the squishier mat, roll it up, make it or fold it up so it'll be more like a soft cushiony bolster a base.

We'll also be using foam rollers, a long box and yoga blocks. So make sure to gather your props as it before we get started. Okay, so I'm going to have Aaron and Juliana with me today. Come to have a seat facing the chair. Um, and you'll want the back of your pelvis pretty snug up against the bolster so you can just have a seat. We're just going to have our feet on the floor to start and you're going to roll back. Go ahead and lie down.

You do want the back of your head to make it onto the bolster and you feel like your butt is just dropping down. If you do have lower back pain. If you've been sitting all day long, you're doing this at the end of the day, you might be a little tight and short. This might be a bit uncomfortable. So you'll want to prop up your pelvis, prop up your seat, and then as you let go, you'll notice that it'll slide down. You'll be able to move the prop and let your butt sink all the way down to the floor. Um, is there any tension? Do you guys feel any discomfort? Juliana, you could scoot down just a little bit more. Okay.

Yeah. And let it feel like your butt really wants to drop down. So actually Aaron, you can come down a little bit to what the prop is going to do is it's going to exaggerate some of your, um, what feels like a lumbar extension. So it really feels like you're letting your butts stick out and drop down into the floor, which will deepen the cavity of your hip socket. Um, you should feel comfortable. If anything feels uncomfortable, short, kinda tight. Again, this position might be too much. It's going to depend on what you're starting with. You can also choose to prop up your head a little bit with a small towel if you feel like you need more support.

So let's just take a moment to inhale slowly through the nose and let everything expand. And as you exhale, let your eyes close for a moment. Let your shoulders and your pelvis release and we'll just continue to repeat the breath that way and as you're exhaling and letting things just kind of settle and fall where they'd like to. Again, if there's any discomfort, feel free to move around a little bit to fidget, to get your body to feel like it's in a place where it can really start to let go, and so that Juliana's feet are on an even surface. I'm just going to scoot the chair back a tiny bit. Yeah. That being said, bring your awareness to the soles of your feet.

Just noticing is there more weight under one versus the other? Is there more weight to the front or back of foot? Maybe just noticing the contact with the floor. If that information isn't that easy to tell, and on your following, inhale is your belly starts to expand and the rib cage grows a lot. The shoulders to shrug up towards the ears, drawing them up and as you exhale, allow them to fall away from your ears and back towards the floor.

We'll repeat that a couple of times. Allow the breath to happen and then the movement grows and adds on. Exhaling, allowing things to settle down, bringing the shoulders down. Please follow the rhythm and feeling of your own breath. [inaudible] as you exhale, noticing the contact that the back of your pelvis makes to the floor.

If you find that this starts to feel good and things start to release as you breathe and your body gets more accustomed to the body position, I'm going to give Juliana a little bit of, um, some feedback here. Not really pressing her down. As much as I just want to send a message of gliding the head of her thigh bones back so that she feels a little more weightedness, more connection through the back of her pelvis. You can do that for yourself. If you have, um, a sand bag, sometimes there are pillows that mold, um, to different shapes. You can put them on the front of your pelvis to help you create that sense of allowing weight, gravity sinking in, feeling to happen through the hips. And on the following inhale as your shoulders glide back up to your ears.

Do that a couple more times. If you've stopped doing that, exhale that them release back down. Start to really notice that upward quality that the inhale has, it creates space and it creates length and we're exaggerating it by pulling our shoulders up, which creates some length through the side body and up into your armpit as if the waist were getting longer here. And on the next exhale that the elbows released down the idea of some weight maybe across the outer shoulders, the back of the arms, just allowing gravity without pushing, but gravity to help weight them down. And on your following inhalation, start to turn your palms open towards the sky, bend the elbows and glide the forearms along the ground as they start to come up. And may be overhead. If there's any discomfort, sharp pinching, feeling in your shoulder or anywhere else for that matter. Don't go that high. Exhale, glide the elbows back down, coming back towards the start, keeping the palms of the open palms of the hand open and in Hail, gliding the back of the arms.

Notice how that rolls the arm bones out as you're coming up and you might feel like it wants to increase that feeling of back bend in your back. If it feels good, let it happen. Exhale. Let them glide down. Perhaps feeling the opposite, the feeling of the rib cage settling into the mat a little heavier. We'll do that one more time. Inhale gliding up and if you run out of inhale, just exhale and then continue to inhale high and then again, then in the back of the throat and the jaw release as well.

On your following breath. Now let your knees open up and splay apart. Your hands can also go overhead and you can combine all of that. Really opening the front of the body together and then exhaling the hands and the knees gliding back together. In the arms coming down. Depending on the Diet kind of day you're having, that might be too much information you guys can keep going so you can also first integrate your legs and then combine it together with the arms. And we'll do that on the next one.

Keep your arms down now and only let your knees open and then exhale and gently draw them together. Do that a couple more times. And again, notice if there's any tendency to want to lift the body. Sometimes as a new user coming together, especially if your hips are feeling kind of tight and you've been sitting for a lot of hours, you might find that when your knees come together, your butt wants to lift up or you know you get some movement in there. Keep that feeling of having a sand bag of having some weight through the back of your pelvis against the floor while your thighs are moving. And the next time will be the last one.

We'll integrate with the arms reaching up and over head. Take a big inhale when you arrive there and as you exhale, letting everything glide back down. And these coming together and resting there for a moment. But the arms and jaw feel relaxed. Again, tune into the souls of your feet. Are they in line with your sits bones is the mound of the big toe and the Pinky toe in touch with the floor.

And on your following exhale we'll start to roll the pelvis like the waves of the ocean up towards the sky, peeling up into a bridge. Keep the back of the ribs in connection with the bolster or rolled up mat. And as you're ready, gently glide back down as you come down. Have that moment to let everything release. So it's really helpful to think about the movements happening on a dimmer and slowly start to dim the lights on. Noticing that the wait under your feet gets heavier.

So we can think of that weight as the light getting brighter until you're at the top and then slowly coming back down, dimming them all the to that off position where there's the least amount of effort in the body. So the idea you guys will keep doing this is that we're using the breath gravity and this prop to help create some space and do our own kind of myofascial release of getting the tissues to really open up and have again, just more space, more expansion and turn the movements on and off slowly and gently so that the movements also help to send that message to the body of I'm breathing in. That's why I'm moving. And with every breath I take, the movement helps create more space and length. We'll do that one last time and the next time that we come up, we're going to stay there for just a moment. While you're here again, continue to inhale and really start to tune into taking your breath into that space between your shoulder blades. So it's helpful here to get that sensation because of the position that your body is in. Um, and also because of the feedback you get from that bolster.

We'll take one more inhale to create space and expansion through the back of the rib cage. And then as we exhale again, we're going to melt all the way down. And let everything release there. Now as you're ready, you'll turn onto your right side. You're going to come off of the bolster and you can just slide it out of your way. And then for a moment, live flat on the floor and just notice what your back feels like and just take a second. Notice the space between the back of your head and the space between the shoulders. So the distance between the back of the head and the shoulders. Does the neck feel long? Is it hard to tell?

And then notice the distance between the shoulders to the top of your pelvis to your hip crest, and then noticing the weight of the sacrum. And it can go either way. You might feel very weighted and heavy into the ground. After doing that, you might feel a sense of like something's missing and it's not. You know, it just feels awkward when you're ready to go ahead and hug one knee into your chest at a time. Give yourself a little squeeze and then bring your other knee in as well. Hugging them both in big hands on the kneecaps, keeping the legs relaxed. Allow the news to move into your hands and then circle the mountain around while you're circling your hips around or while they're circling their hips around.

I'm going to go grab the next prop and make sure you're moving in both directions and then when you're ready, go ahead and bring your knees together. Gently take one foot down at a time and you'll roll onto your right side. Again, this time to come up to sitting. So now we're going to lie on the foam roller with our feet on the foot bar and I think the most challenging part of this part of the class is just getting on and off of the foam roller that close to the chair. So it does require some hip mobility to get into that position. So you guys can just fly the foam roller behind you and what you really want to make sure is that your foam roller is lined up with the middle of your chair.

If you're using a chair with a split pedal, that's going to be easier because it's marked. If you're not, just make sure that you're really lined up in the center cause that will make a difference when we start incorporating the pedal of the chair. So that looks good. Go ahead and bring one foot up at a time to rest on the pedal and we have the pedal sprung with one heavy spring all the way at the top of the chair at first, think of the pedal for your feet as just a foot rest. Try and have the least amount of effort in your feet when you're resting them on the bar. And just for a second, notice how it feels to be on the foam roller now, right? Appreciating the width across the chest.

You might feel like your shoulder blades are wrapping around the foam roller. Again, we want to allow gravity to help us just kind of fall into place here while we're here. We're going to exhale, start to reach out through the fingertips and reach the hands up in towards the ceiling and just hold them there for a moment and right away as you're doing this, just notice where did your weight go. So a lot of times you're on the foam roller. As soon as the arms come up, you'll learn a lot about yourself in that moment. Is the weight rolling into one side more than the other? If so, try and find balance and balanced typically means constant movement that is helping you stay in that place, right? It's not a static position. So if you feel that you know a little bit of of a, of a wobble of a dance, let that happen.

If it's helping you feel more stable rather than just holding and creating the opposite pattern. As you're ready here, you're going to bring your fingertips together and bring them onto the tops of your shoulders. Bring your elbows to meet in front of you and hold it there for just a second and notice how that opens up the space between your shoulder blades. If it doesn't really feel like it does that reach your elbows towards the ceiling as well. And as your inhaling, think about creating space, even more space with your breath and that space against more space, space, space. And as you exhale, reach the elbows overhead and then circle them out and around. So this first part of our class is all about using the breath gravity and the way you're directing your movements to create lots of room for growth, right? What we're going to do towards the half end of the class is add more load to it so that when you walk out of the studio with that space, so as they're circling, as you're circling, think about your elbows reaching away from you the whole time, especially on those inhales and then reverse the movement.

So rather than just thinking about moving forward or back or overhead, constantly thinking about reaching away from the center. And I saw that shift in your movement there, Juliana, so that when your elbows are coming around exactly, your armpits are getting deeper. And then as they're circling back and around, see if you can still keep that feeling of reaching the elbows away from the center of your body or from your heart. And then reverse that circle, even if it limits the overall range of your movement. That's okay. This is, we want to increase the feeling of the arm, feeling like it's getting pulled out as it circles around. And last one. And then go ahead and rest your arms. Come down at your sides. Let's find our hipbone. So we'll place our hands on our hip bones, those round knobs at the front. Just for a moment, notice if your knees are more or less in line with them. And there's are, so they're not gonna move their legs.

But if you notice that your feet were either really wide or really close, get them more in line with those two hip bones. And now as you're inhaling, again, that feeling of length, stick your tailbone down into the foam roller so you're arching your lower back. And then as you exhale, roll your tailbone up towards the sky. So if you're familiar with pelvic clock, you're doing, you're tipping from 12 to six o'clock tilting and tucking of the pelvis without any muscle use. So that's the idea, right? Obviously muscles are being used. Um, but your intention, your feeling of the movement is like you're just a bag of bones that is moving with your breath that is gliding around, right? So when you had that bolster under you, we had gravity almost tractioning your back a little bit. Now we want to add some movement to it in a less stable surface, which is the foam roller, but yet it still gives you lots of feedback.

So stay tuned to how your feet relate to the pedal. Cause if you notice unconsciously as we start moving and making the patterns a little more complicated, you might find that you drift into that first pattern. You notice when your arms came up. So if you find that again, let, let it go back and forth. Just keep noticing that again so that we're staying as close to moving through our center as possible. Now the next time will be the last one and we'll find that in between place where your intention is to go neither, you know, towards the mat or towards the ceiling.

And now we're just going to let our hips rock from side to side, so letting one side of the hip go towards the floor. And then the other one goes the other way. And if you've had trouble with pelvic clock, just getting that side to side movement in your pelvis, this is a really nice way to start to find it because the foam roller rolls with you. So you can really start to feel how one hipbone drops towards the floor as the opposite one reaches towards the ceiling and it's okay and more than okay if you notice that your knees are also shifting as that happens, right? That kind of has to happen because you really are letting the back of one hip drop down while the other doesn't.

And again, and again, remind yourself to let gravity really help you. So we exactly, really just dropping towards the floor. The, the challenge with moving this way is, is moving with very little effort and moving with the intention of having the breath move you rather than doing something right. So it's that, um, I forget where I read it. I think it was in the first book of conversations with God, which was a really right, I'm aging myself, was really popular like 20 years ago. Um, and it says about reminding us about being human beings rather than human doings. So if we can approach the movement without doing, but rather just be in gravity on a foam roller and let yourself slosh slump, just kind of go with it and then say, Oh wow, when I let go, this just kind of happens. Right? Then the challenges to find that place of ease when gravity and the load is on. That's a great metaphor, right? Okay. Find the center.

As we exhale, reach the hands back towards the ceiling and notice if centre just came a little easier. Did you still shift if you found that before looking very good and reach the fingertips towards the chair, like again, your arms are going really long. They're going to come alongside of our body and I'm going to be nice cause I like Aaron and Giuliana. I'm not just going to sneak this up, sneak the sin. We're going to break it down a little bit. Fingertips on the ground to start. If you really need a little more stability, you can also get the elbows down, but we're going to start with the fingertips here and then you'll take it from there. As you exhale, now float your right leg up into tabletop and then slowly bring it down to the bar and alternate sides move in the range that you can control.

If you find that as soon as one foot comes off the bar, you really your balance there, then make the movement really small and slowly let it grow. While you're doing that, notice just how much you're relying on your hands and or your elbows. Try and soften the grip in the fingers and in the elbows and as you continue to move through your legs start to exhale and start to levitate the fingertips off the ground by really reaching towards the chair. So if you magnetize your fingertips towards the chair, that's going to create some tone for you under your armpit. Exhale to help organize that tone and notice if it also helps you find some balance.

So we're just asking for a really long reach and a nice exhale through the back of the throat. Okay. [inaudible] one more and they are doing a good job of making it look pretty easy. Um, if you're finding that you really still need the fingertips, that's, I get that. If I were doing this, I probably would too right now and the next time that foot comes down, rest. Let your arms rest for a moment. Let everything release. Exhale, reach the fingertips back. Energize the arms this time reaching for the ceiling.

Let's soften at the elbows. And remember when we started and the elbows were reaching around in a circle, create that feeling now of like, I like to think I'm inside of one of those physio balls, one of the stability balls and I'm pressing out from the back of my nails, back of my hand, forearm, elbows, triceps, shoulders, back of the heart. Creating that feeling of really pushing out and if it, if it's helpful to turn the hands to have something to push into for that image to kick in as an experience, you can by all means try that. Also try it this way and see which one is more helpful. On your following exhale, you're going to start to float one leg up just like you did before and remember the goal is not to move the leg in a big range, but rather to stay balanced on the foam roller as we alternate, alternate through the feet and then we'll bring that leg back down.

Exhale first [inaudible] push out and then float the leg up and then slowly bring it down. Continue to alternate. If you find that the leg that stays down is really working hard, see if when you come down, try and release that a little bit and tune more into exhaling and pressing out in that 360 way kind of feeling so that the leg that stays down, does it feel like it's really working hard and again that little wobble. That's great. We're going to do one more on each leg this way. Looking very good ladies. Last one.

Once your foot comes down, let your arms release. Go ahead and take a moment to rest. Notice where there's tension, sometimes between the eyebrows. Let your face relax and on the following breath, bring the heels up in onto the pedal and we'll start to energize the feet a little bit. The toes can point up towards the ceiling. Now here's the thing though. If you feel a ton of tension through the front of your shins and your calves because of that and your your ankles, rather than don't do that.

Find a place where there's more ease through the top of your foot, but you're still balanced on the back of your heel. Arms and shoulders, jaw and the back of the head will stay heavy and released. And on your following breath, start to curl up through your pelvis so you choose if it's on an inhaler, and exhale, come up to that space between your shoulder blades again and then very gently start to curl back down when you come down. Allow everything to release so that every time you repeat the movement, you're starting from having that dimmer turned off. No muscle energy, and then gently peeling back up again. Tune into the weight distribution under your feet. If one foot has a lot more weight than the other, see if you can balance that out. Does that change the way your body relates to your foam roller?

Allow for a big release. We'll do this one more time. Feeling like you're massaging your back on the foam roller is you glide up and down. Once you've come down, notice if the ankles feel a lot of attention. Change the foot position. Really keep that relaxed. Reach the arms back up towards the ceiling.

Now we're going to combine that feeling of reaching fingertips towards the sky and elbows out towards the sides and when you're ready, you'll start to peel your spine back up and off of the bar. Keep coming up. Keep your jaw relaxed. When you're ready, gently start to curl back down. Allow every inhalation to remind you of a helium balloon that's lifting up. That's creating space.

Lots of space between the kneecaps and back of your eye sockets and crown of your head. As you're coming down. You're growing long along the foam roller last time. This time, hold yourself up here. Keep reaching the pelvis over the knees, energetically. Let your arms start to float down, but your pelvis stays up as you're ready.

Allow the left side of your spine to come down towards the foam roller. Still moving through the segments of the spine. Once you feel the back of your left hip on the roller, find your center. Notice if you've got to shift a little bit, that's okay. Curl back up through the center.

Keep that feeling of reaching evenly through both kneecaps and now that the right side of the spine glide down. Think about the back of the right shoulder blade coming down the back of the ribs through the small of the back, the pelvis until finally you're down and finding center. Curling back up through that center one more time and we'll do that rotated bridge if you will. Once more gliding down through the left. Inside of that left shoulder blade is not only peeling down, it's going long through the back of the ribs, through the small of the back, out through the pelvis. And then finding center on the Sacrum, curling back up through that center last time. Go long at the top, letting the inside of the right shoulder blade glide down first and out through the ribs. Lower back, Elvis and center. Very good.

Let the balls of your feet come down to the mat now or I'm sorry, down onto the pedal. I meant not on the mat. Lifting through the heels, just a little bit, not, not the highest high heel. Uh, definitely feeling though. Like you could wrap the tops of the feet around the pedal. Now bring your hands onto the lower aspect of your abdomen, the top of your pelvis. And as you exhale, visualize the rib cage gliding down and under your hands. Yet your bum and your legs are staying still. Inhaling, you might feel some movement under your hands when you inhale. That's fine.

As you exhale, maybe think about the ribs crossing on the front of the body and sliding down into the opposite front pockets. Last one. Exhaling that way. Okay. Inhale into that space between the shoulder blades we spoke so much about earlier and on your following exhale, you're going to start to add pressure pulling the pedal down towards the floor. It does not go to move a whole lot and as you inhale, slowly bring it back.

If you feel like your foot might cramp when you do this, just put more of your foot on the pedal. You can be on your arch, not necessarily on the balls of your feet. You definitely want to do that before the cramp happens because once your foot cramps, you'll probably have to get up and walk around before you can continue. So if you know yourself and you feel like it's a threatening, just get to the balls of the feet. I just kind of notice where. What do you feel more of when you're adding the pull on the pedal?

Where does it go? Is it the back of the legs? Is it the calves lifting? Sometimes it's feeling more connection through the hips. If it is through your hip flexors, you're going to bring the heels up and onto the pedal instead. So why don't you going to do that really on ais caught that body language. Right. And that's very common, especially if you've been sitting in the chair driving for many hours.

So instead of pressing down Giuliana think about drawing the pedal towards you. You too, Aaron, you're feeling that as well. No, but you'll just join her and okay. Good solidarity there. So if you think more about the heel gliding back towards the hip and the knee wanting to pull out this way over the top of your foot, that might help the back of your thighs kick in a little stronger so that it quiets down. These guys that worked. Cool. Um, yeah, typically changing to the heel will help that, but not always. Okay. And last one.

So now we're going to hold it up here and we're going to challenge all of these little bits that we've been putting up. Um, I'm going to change the springs for them because I'm here at home. You can roll off your foam roller. Um, we're going to change it to two heavy springs on, closer to the bottom run. So go ahead and bring your feet down for a moment. I'm going to do that for you. And you're going to split the pedal [inaudible]. If you don't have a split pedal, you can still do this.

Um, but you wouldn't need to change your springs. So now they're going to bring their feet back up onto the pedals one at a time. Let's go to the heels straight away. As we exhale, we're going to curl back up into bridge. And you can start with your hands down, curling up into that bridge where you feel length out through the front of the knees. And yet you're still balanced on that space between your shoulder blades.

If you're comfortable here, you can exhale and reach your fingertips towards the foot bar or towards the pedal I should say. And let the hands hover. You don't have to, you can keep your fingertips and our elbows down. Now keeping your pelvis still exhale and press one pedal down just a little bit. And then switch and switch and switch. And the movement is very small. Honestly, when I first started experimenting with this, it was the idea of a movement and just the weight shifting and changing. So this is a really good way to challenge all that stability that we've spent some time creating and really just conceptually tuning into, right? That's like an opposite pelvic clock. Pelvis stays still, but we want to increase some movement at those legs. And now when you're ready, bring both feet back up to the top, slowly curl down and let everything release.

And as my a dear friend and mentor and Colleague Shelly power would say that has a very short shelf life. So you're not going to do those for a very long time because something will catch fire, either your ankles, your calves, your hamstrings, all of it. Um, if you feel like you want to build endurance there, it's awesome. It's really a great little sequence to do before you go out for a run because it wakes up the back of your body so much. All right, so let's bring one foot down at a time. And before we come off with a foam roller, just kind of gently rock from side to side and give yourself a break there and a little massage. It feels very good when you do that for the, uh, inner aspects of your shoulder blades.

And also for the the hips famous Piriformis, right? That's like one of those really popular muscles, that tight spot in the outer hip. So we can do that a couple more times. And then as you're ready, you're gonna roll off of it coming onto the floor and just have a moment where you lie flat on the ground. After all of that, notice what it feels like and give your nervous system a chance to soak up that new information. And while they're doing that, I'm going to go and grab the long box now. Okay, so now we have our long boxes. You guys can go ahead and turn onto your side.

If you feel like you'd like a child's pose or some cat cow, you want to throw something in there, um, go for it. Going to put the dowels back through the chair, through the pedal. Now you guys can grab those boxes. We'll turn them into a long box just in front of the, of the chair. Yeah, that looks good. And we're going to sit on it facing this way and you'll want to come in a little closer. So yeah, exactly. Closer to the chair and you'll just want to notice that you can place your, in this case, left hand on the pedal just in front of your shoulder.

So that's how you know that you're in a good, good spot. Okay. As far as the spring goes. Now for this exercise, I'm going to use one light spring all the way at the top and you might find that you need to fidget with the spring and I'll explain how you'll know if your spring is in the right place or not. Got It. All right, so before we go anywhere, we're just going to let our arms come down to their sides. We just want to have it set up for, for adding movement.

So separate your feet as wide as your hips will go and honestly to where you feel like you can comfortably sit tall without feeling any of that shortness through the front of your hips. If that's really challenging because you're maybe very tall or just feeling lots of stuff in your hips, you might need to sit up a little taller, so you also have the option of putting a yoga block or another bolster, maybe something to just get your pelvis up a little higher so that you do feel ease in the start position. And what we're going to do at first is just bring our hands in front of our chest onto the outside of the shoulders. You can bring them up a little higher and first second, just close your eyes and visualize where your rib cages. It's basically underneath your arms and a little lower than that.

Your movement is going to come from this part of your body. If you can find in space where your elbows are right now, and let's say from your elbows to your belly button, that's, that's the part of your body that's going to move from your belly button down to your seat. That's going to be your base of support. So we're going to try and keep that just pretty heavy and pretty quiet. Um, again, let gravity help you do that and finding the right body position so that it feels easy rather than feeling like I've got to really fix and create rigidity in the lower back. Um, let gravity help you. Okay. As you're inhaling here, again, the idea is that when you inhale, your body is growing in all dimensions. So up through the top of the head, back through the space, behind you, around to the sides and out in front of you. Like you're really in a big cylinder. So every time you inhale, think about filling that cylinder up from where your belly button is, say up the round, the arms and overhead. And as you exhale, continue to feel like you're just kind of suspended there when you exhale, right? It's like the exhales, this invisible set of suspenders really deep inside that makes staying in that place very effortless. On your following exhalation, you're going to start to side bend to your right feeling that the left side of the ribs is opening while the right side of the ribs is closing up.

And then as you take a breath, you're going to come back up and through center. Inhale there and then exhale the other way. Continue to bring your awareness towards your elbows and just under them towards your belly button and feel like your movement starts there and then it travels up towards the top of the head so that it feels like as a result of your rib cage moving, your head is traveling through space rather than feeling like you're going to pour water out of your ear. Again, the reason is that really want to make sure we're getting the movement into this sticky, top part of the back between the shoulders rather than taking a lot of slack up in your spine and your neck. So if we keep, so go ahead and bring your head back to center. Start moving here. Bend over my hand here. Yeah, exactly. And then coming back up.

We'll do that one more time and think about keeping the sides of the neck really long as we're doing that, almost like, and I know these girls, so I'm going to go ahead and do this. Almost like as you bend to the right, your ear wants to get pulled up and up and up and you keep bending to the right and it's like Dr Spock reaching out, up and over. Go ahead and come back to center. Now inhale in that center you can let your arms come down at your size. That probably feels like a relief and let's cross them the other way. Now it might feel like you've got someone else's arm. Yeah, right. Wait, what?

Pat My head and rubbed my stomach. Okay. Now this time we're going to go into rotation. Same idea though from the elbows up through the top of the head, starting the movement at the bottom. So inhaling up at the center, exhaling, twisting towards the chair, feeling like the left side of your ribs. Move back as the right side of the ribs. Move forward and around. Inhale to bring yourself back and around the center.

Exhale to spiral the other way. Inhale, coming up and long through the center. Exhale, twisting, keeping that space between the ribs and the pelvis the same so that again, we're really moving the body in rotation in a twist rather than a side vent. While you're doing this, notice if there's a big weight shift underneath your hips and or feet. If there is, you probably are adding some side bend, so be mindful of that, of trying to keep it as there will be a shift because you are moving towards one side. It shouldn't be very significant though. We'll do this one more time in each direction.

Now we're going to exhale. Turn to the left and stay here. Inhale, feel like you're inhaling into the tops of your shoulder blades. Reach up and around and go into some flection as well. Feel like you're a unicorn in the top of your head or your horn wants to reach to the horizon. As you exhale, we're going to lift ourselves back up, crown of the head to the sky, and then unravel the spine to the center where you inhale. Exhale, twisting towards the right. Inhale, reach up and over the imaginary ball with the crown of the head shooting energy and light. Exhale, coming back up towards that twisted tall position.

And then unraveling to center one last time. Exhaling as we rotate, inhaling as we had flection, really want to open this space up. Keeping the lift on the left side as well. Coming to sit tall and then on winding the spine last time in the opposite direction. Ending up here. Yup.

And then rest. Let the arms come down and release for a moment. So we're gonna take those movement patterns now and add a little load. So now the left hand is going to come just in front of the shoulder, on the pedal, and you can start. It's fun. I think it's fun to stick your hands in your armpits. Saturday night live. I won't do it. Bring the right hand under the left arm pit, sit tall and again, same ideas. I inhale, I grow, my shoulder blades are wide. Look straight ahead and as you exhale, soften at your elbow and start to press the pedal down just a teeny bit.

Notice if anything happens under there or not and then slowly release the pedal and let it come up. If you don't feel like your muscles turn on under there and there's a tension that's created, it's probably because your arm bones rolling forward like that. So roll that back, soften at the elbow and make it feel like there's a sand bag hanging from your elbow. And then as you exhale, press down. And that same idea that we offered for drawing the heels towards the body to get the back of the Fi's to kick in here, you can feel like you roll back, soften at the elbow and then pull the pedal towards you rather than just pushing down, which might send you into that. Very familiar, a movement pattern at the shoulder, which is extremely common because of texting and driving and are very flection heavy lives. So see if you find that right, that feeling of lift. So as we pressed down into the tension, the left side of the body lifts up.

We'll bring the right hand out to the side now and you can keep the arm along. If you were having a bit of a challenge with keeping the movement in the neck quiets, you can also bring that hand to the back of the head and the nape of the neck so that you can feel if you are moving from there. Because remember, we want to encourage the movement from that space between our shoulder blades and our thoracic spine. So we'll inhale, grow tall, exhale, start to press the pedal down just enough to wake up the side of the body. Then lift the right arm up and over and continue to move your body over your left arm. You don't have to move the pedal any further. Slowly come back up to sit up tall. Once you find center, your arm comes down, release the tension under the left hand. We'll do that again. Exhaling.

We'll start to add a little bit of tension by pressing the pedal down. Go for it, and then notice that your body is moving up in over your left arm here and then slowly coming back up and tall through center. One more time. This way, so you're lifting up and over, keeping that pressure under the left hand until your body's back in center and then let it release. All right, now this time you're going to scoot back on your box just a little bit if you still have some space to do that. And we're going to combine the side bending now with the rotation into flection, right? Just like we did before. So we'll place that left hand back on the pedal and this time let's bring the hand to the back of the neck for starters because we are combining more body is more movement patterns rather.

So it's good stuff to know where your head is throughout. On your inhale. You're growing tall, traction the back of your head with your hands as you exhale, starts to press down just to touch with your left arm. Lift your right elbow up and over. Finding that side bend position. Hold it there. Take a breath. When you're ready. Exhale the right elbow down towards the left hand.

Keep that feeling of your elbow moving out of your body and really creating space through the front of your body. As you're ready, we're going to unravel the movements. Still feeling the reach here and then coming back up and around to center. So we're going to do that one more time. Let the left arm come out of tension. Always let it come out of tension cause you'll get really tired really fast and run out of speed. Exhale, press down when you're ready. Reaching up and over.

Then turning towards the hand and keeping the back of the neck really long. Look down towards the floor just a little bit. That's it. Then coming out of it, coming back into the side, bend over the left arm and then coming back up and around through center. And we'll do that again. Exhale, lift up and over the side first. Then start to rotate and keep the back of the neck long. So your chin, when you're here is more or less in line with your breastbone. Go back towards the side, bends to the left and then up through center and let the pedal release to the top. Let your arms come down. Close your eyes for a second.

Notice of one side of your body feels different than the other. What do you guys think? Is there any shift? Right side feels longer for you and your, your left arm is eight feet longer than your right arm. All right, so you can see how different the perception is. So there's, there's no right or wrong answer. You notice what you notice and it's just kind of cool to feel different. All right, we're going to do the other side and we'll see if you get your arms meet up and the size of your body meet up. And again, as you set up, you just want to make sure that your arm is in front of you. We're not going to move just yet.

We will move a little bit and not quite as much as the other side cause we know what's coming now, but we will do it a little bit for symmetry sake. So you just want to make sure you're in a good start position. And now as you're ready, you're going to bring your hands in front of your shoulders. And just for a moment, again, take a couple of breaths here, especially if you're, you feel a little wonky after having just one side notice if with your breath and bringing your mind into it, if your body starts to feel a little more even, it may not. You might feel that when you inhale you're really able to inhale into one part of your body more than the other.

And on the following exhale we'll just start side bending towards the right or towards the chair. Again, think of that left side of the ribs lifting while the right side of the next days. Long coming back up through your center on your inhale and exhaling the other way. There is no right or wrong way to combine the breath with the movement. Um, if you feel like you're running out of breath, please just let your breath be fluid. Just like the movement. And notice where it feels the easiest to synchronize them.

Is it inhaling to the side or exhaling to the side? We'll do this one more time in each direction. Keep thinking about the head growing away from the seat coming up. So keep the head right where it is and let yourself go. Keep your head where your head back. Yeah. Let Yourself, oops.

Now this time we're going to go into rotation. So as you're ready, you're inhaling and center. Exhaling to turn towards your chair and again, alright. Feel like the movement is happening under your elbows rather than up your head. And a good way to do that is to monitor. Does your chin stay in line with the breastbone? More or less, right as it can move a little bit, but more or less, if you notice your Chin is going over your shoulder, you're probably starting your movement at your head, which is very functional. Um, we want to kind of cross train for life, right?

So think of keeping the head still and instead turning from the area underneath, which probably isn't moving very much during the day in your, in your everyday life. And now when we're ready, we're going to turn towards the chair one more time. And I know you just did that, Juliana. We're gonna do it again. Turn towards a chair, hold it. Inhale and start to round up in over yourself.

Really feel like you're creating space between your shoulder blades. Come back out of it and then turn back to center. And now again, turning towards the left. As you're ready. Lift up in over yourself like there's a big physio ball and you want the back of your neck to stay long. Come back up and through center and unwind the spine to center.

One more time in each direction. Think about creating space here. Bring this back a little more. Yeah. And again, the reason that we're going through the movement patterns without the load is that we want to create space and then finding center. All right, so let's place a right hand now onto the pedal. We're going to do the same thing that we did before. And again, if it was helpful to put your hands under your armpits and press down and notice if you feel that activity under there.

It's a really helpful way to know if your arm is in a good place or not. If you are practicing on your own, you maybe you don't even have a mirror, you know, so it's an awkward, I don't know how often we worked that area out. Um, it's not that easy to tune into it. So please make sure that you feel that when you start to apply pressure under your hand, you are feeling activity in this lateral area and not up around your neck because then it wouldn't be very restorative at all. Right? It might even cause a headache later on.

So it's quite important as you're ready, meaning you found that good spot for your arm, you're going to bring your left arm out to the side or behind your neck or maybe even keep it there. If this is a new idea and as you're exhaling, you're going to lift up and oh over the arm, feeling like the left ribs are lifting up as the right ribs are compressing slightly, and then go ahead and bring yourself back up through the center. And again, we really want to keep the net quiet and as we exhale, press down in the pedal first, then add a little bit of movement in your ribs and then coming back up and finding center. So if you find that the pedal is so heavy that it's hard to move anywhere, it feels like it's not letting you move to freely. Please bring your spring down. So trying not to move into my hands here.

Lift up [inaudible] oh, from under here. Yup. And then come back up one more here. Cool. Just to hear. Yes. And then back up. All right. Now we're going to bring the left hand to the back of the head.

You can keep the elbow slightly pointed forward, especially if you feel any discomfort in your shoulder. As you're ready. Exhale, start to apply a bit of pressure lifting up and over into that side bend and then twisting the left elbow towards the pedal. Feel the right side of the ribs coming back as the left side of the ribs and elbow glide around, unwind the spine, coming back into side bending and then up into center. And it can really feel like a fluid movement, um, so that it doesn't, not so Staccato, right? If it's helpful to feel like you really want to break it down into four parts and first have side bending before you come up, you can also do it that way.

And again, the hand behind the head is helping you both keep your head in line with your body so you can gently have your head come back into your hand. It's also helping you have more information about where it is in space and is your Chin staying more or less in line with your breastbone? If you find that you end up here, you've gone too far, right? You've really moved a whole lot in your neck, which means you haven't moved enough underneath it. Okay, last time. And then once you're ready, you've come up, let your arms release down at your sides. And again, take a moment and notice is one side quite different than the other?

Now you might feel even, to be honest, I don't think I ever really feel even right after I do something, it's always like, no, it's shifted. Now my perception has shifted. Right? What do you guys think? Are the lengths of your body the same now or more even than it was before? Yeah, same thing. All right, cool. Alright, so go ahead now and come up to standing and just kind of shake your arms out. Now we're going to get rid of the long box and grabbed the yoga blocks.

So now we have the yoga blocks. We're going to place them in front of the chair, we're going to use them to stand on them while we do some standing work on the chair. We'll also change the spring. Um, let's do two light springs closer to the top. If the spring, if you feel when you start doing this, like you're gonna get catapulted across the room and it's a real, like you're fighting the chair, it's too heavy. It should feel like it's assisting you, not like it's creating a struggle. I put one all the way at the top and then one at the second to highest as an option. You can use the foam rollers for stability. Um, if you want to have one next to you while you're doing this, so we'll have that option for you guys. Um, okay. Especially if you're using a chair, if you have a chair that does have risers, you could also use that.

So at first you're just going to stand and face the chair and you can just slide the yoga block to the side. Um, so that you can get pretty close to it. There should be maybe like a half an inch space between the toes and the front edge of the chair. And let's start bringing the feet together. And at first just standing tall again, noticing the weight distribution under the soles of the feet. And as you exhale, shift your weight into your right foot and lift your left leg up into tabletop position. And then bring that foot right back where it came from and do the other side and notice that you can transition through your legs. Again, the idea is not to have a big range of movement, but rather a solid base of support. Now we're going to challenge this idea.

So go ahead and slide the yoga block underneath your right foot. The stands who with your heel on the block, it's okay if the toes aren't on there, but you want to make sure that the heel, the mount of the big toe and the Pinky toe are on the block. And as you exhale, you're going to press down and onto the block and come up to standing. You can have a little bit of space on the block there and if you push into it, it's going to help you find that center. So the challenge here is to keep your pelvis level. Now you have the opportunity to move through there.

And why don't we just go ahead and do that is let your left foot slide down a bit and then push down through your right foot and bring it up too high and then find a place that's in between. And you know, after all these years, I still like to practice with my hands on my hips rather than take it for granted that I think I know where I am. As I exhale, as you exhale, float your leg up. Now hold it there and bring it to the pedal. Now if that is a really hard way, again, they've done a beautiful job and made it look beautifully graceful. If it's not that graceful right now, you can obviously press the pedal down first and then get on the yoga block. Okay. So you'll figure that out. As you exhale, start to press down and notice if you can bring the pedal down a bit more careful with the bottom foot and then slowly bring it up and then exhale.

And let me know if you'd like for me to change your tension a little bit. You want to be very mindful about the width of the arc of your chair and the length of your toes, right? So you've got to pay attention at first. You don't want to slam down and have it brushed your toe. It's going to depend on so many things. Do One more and then bring it all the way up. Hold your leg up in space.

Notice if that feels any different. Is it easier to hold the leg up there and then slowly slide that leg back down and onto the floor. Stand with both feet on the ground for a moment and notice the difference there. And that might feel really weird. Maybe not. Again, it's, it's hard to tell hips feel off. Yeah. Yeah. So we're going to even that out.

So we're gonna move the pedal now or rather move the block under the other foot. Come up to standing tall again. Again, reaching long through the heel, the mound of the big toe and the pinky toe. Hands on the hips. You can find where you are in space and what options for movement you have, which are quite a bit there. Find that area where you feel level and your ankles are also pretty level and then you'll float your right leg up into tabletop position. Bring it to the pedal and as you're ready, exhale and start to press down.

Okay. And then slowly back up. Remind the moving leg that it's taking a ride on the pedal. It's all about the standing leg, especially now that it's propped up on a yoga block. Let the spring bring your leg up as you really root down through your standing leg.

[inaudible] keep that energy through the back of the head and the crown of the head growing tall, especially as the knee floats up. [inaudible] last one. Good. And then we'll let the pedal bring the leg all the way up. Exhale to hold your leg up at the top and then slide it back down and onto the floor and come to standing on both feet.

And notice if that feels a little better. We're going to do one last thing to make sure that you are a nice and solid and squared off. You're going to take your foam rollers now and you guys can maybe face each other. It's kind of fun and awkward. You're going to slide them above your knees onto the um, soft part of your leg just above your knees. Stand straight, and then bring your feet together. Go and slide it back just a little bit more so that you don't have too much weight. It's good if it's centered. So now there's too much weight back. Yeah, exactly. So that it doesn't weigh a whole lot.

It wants to push your legs apart, straighten your legs and squeeze it as best as you can while still keeping legs straight and the thighs as soft as possible. So not a lot of gripping. And now you're going to exhale, lift one heel up and hike the hip up and then alternate. So there's not a whole lot of space there unless you allow for some side bending which you want to do. And if it feels Yucky in there, that's okay. It feels kind of like a bruise. Um, there's a lot going on, right? A lot of muscles coming together there so that area might get short.

Keep that feeling of rooting down through the standing leg as a heel floats up and you don't have to lift it up too high cause it's gonna really depend on how much available movement there is at the hip and through the um, lower back. And then we'll press both feet down. Exhale with really straight legs. You're going to start to float forward towards one another and then up and off the heels really squeezed into the foam roller to help you get that extra lift and then slow the lower the heels down. We'll do that two more times. Exhale, glide forward and then come up.

The only movement is at your ankles. There is magic under the mound of the big toe. Really press down into it and you're know you're doing it because the foam roller is giving you some good feedback there. And then go ahead and come down. Last one. Exhale, glide forward, forward, forward in the ankle. Press down to float up, and then slowly back down. Relax your legs, move your foam roller out of the way. You can just put it down and then just kind of walk in place and let your arms swing and notice how that feels. What do you think?

How does it feel through your legs? A lot. Lighter. Cool. Excellent. And then we can rest. Awesome. Well thank you guys so much. I hope you enjoy the class.


Yay!!! A Polestar Wunda Chair workout *happy dance* I'll try this when I get to a place with a chair Christi - thank you xxx
Christi, This is great! thank you!
This was just amazing. The first part was so informative and the feeling when getting off the polster... WOW! I improvised it. Would love to get the measures if possible. Good job, Christi!!!
Love this work out Christi. It is fantastic for finding central balance and space. So going to use it for everyone!! Thanks for sharing!!
Would like to know where this bolster can be purchased? Thanks much!
Susan P
 I appreciate you telling us spring load and how to modify and what I should feel as the class moves forward! Thank you

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