Class #2760

Creative Mat Play

45 min - Class


You will have a great time moving with this group of fun women in Meredith Roger's Mat workout! She teaches Bonia, who is visiting from London for her 40th birthday, as well as other friends she knows. She includes creative variations to exercises like Saw, Reverse Rolling Like a Ball, and so much more!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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I'm excited to have a bunch of really great girls in this room with me, Bonia's here from London. She is here for her happy 40th birthday. (group cheers) Eileen is here from Los Angeles, I'm guessing, and she is Julie's Pilates teacher. Julie is our behind the scenes person. And we know Amy and Erin. (group cheers)

So I got a bunch of good, fun girls and we're gonna move and have fun. So that's what's happening, I hope. We're gonna see what happens, right? Okay, so close your eyes. Just take a moment to feel where you are in space, to find your sitting bones, or the bones of the pelvis to lift the spine upright from there.

Just checking in to feel weight on the feet. Equally weighted on both feet and then bringing some awareness into your arms and allowing your arms to give you a little support, an uplift for your spine. Feel there the shoulders sliding down the back and the top of the head reaching up towards the ceiling so we just create that tall, strong spine. And then we support it with the muscles. As we inhale, we feel the ribs expanding out to the sides.

And as we exhale, we allow the abdominal muscles to draw back, the ribs to slide down the front of the body, the back of the head to reach upwards and backwards. Just reinforcing that straight body, reinforcing that posture, and whenever you're ready you can open your eyes, you can also keep them closed for the whole class. Inhale. We're gonna move the pelvis now, so I want the pelvis to rotate in a posterior direction. Flex the lower spine, feel the pubic bone reaching up towards the nose.

And then inhale, allow the spine to just rock back up towards straight. Again, exhale, hips go under, shoulders stay put. So if you hold yourself up with your arms but you deepen into your spine, deepen your abdominal muscles into your spine to stretch the spine, and inhale to lift. We'll just do that one more time. Exhale to round the spine.

Inhale to lift the spine. And take the arms out in front. And inhale, and exhale. Round the spine. Roll backwards towards your mat.

Feel again here the heaviness of the feet. Julie you can separate your feet just a little bit. Inhale there, and then we're gonna exhale, curling up. Bring the shoulders over the pelvis and then lift the spine to straight. Inhale again.

Exhale, flex the spine first. Reach the arms oppositionally to that flexion of the spine, roll back, feeling the lower spine coming to touch the mat. Pause there, inhale, deepen into the center of your body. Exhale, curl forward. And inhale bringing the back up tall.

Again inhale, again exhale to round. Good. Pausing at the bottom, turn the palms of the hands face down inhale, exhale, lift the right leg. And inhale, but that same leg down. Coming up again same side.

Exhale right leg. Shoulders falling down the back. Exhale right leg. And down, now lift the left leg. Exhale, one.

Feel that the leg is being pulled up from right underneath the ribs. We deepen into that abdominal curl position. Place the leg down, inhale. Exhale, roll up. And lift so we can create some lightness as well as some force, or contraction.

And round. And now we're gonna go left arm. Yeah, just the arm, Erin. Just one thing. I'm getting excited! (laughs) And inhale.

And exhale, Erin knows me too well, she's guessing what I might do. I'm sorry! (laughs) That's okay, maybe we'll do that next. What a great idea. (laughs) So we're gonna let Erin tell us what we're gonna do in class today. We're gonna roll up.

And now, yes Erin we'll do that. So now we're gonna. (laughs) Now we're gonna alternate arm and leg, okay? So let's say left arm, right leg. And down. Keeping the body stable, opposite side.

And down. Two more times through, reaching up and back. And down. And reaching up and back. And push the arm away, and one more.

Push the arm away, keep the curl. Last time, hold yourself where you are. Put your head down. Scoot yourself towards your feet, getting ready for a pelvic curl. So head is down on the mat.

Arms are down on the mat, long and straight. Feel the weight of your body on your feet, inhale. Exhale again flex the spine, so feel the lower spine flatten into the mat. And then start to pick the hips up off the mat. As we pick the hips up off the mat, we're gonna send the knees in a forwardly direction and pull the heels of the feet back towards the fingertips.

Pause here to inhale. And now exhale, roll down. Roll down, roll down, roll down. So I think we'll do that two more times exactly the same. So as you're lifting your pelvis, feel the arms reaching forward.

Feel the heaviness of the arms. Maybe the arms reach towards the feet as the feet reach towards the arms, and inhale. And then as the spine is being placed back down into the mat, feel the head reaching the other direction so literally trying to pull your spine in two directions. Energetically, of course. Inhale, and exhale rolling up, last time.

So what we're gonna do next with our bridge is repeat the same thing that we did with our abdominal warmup. So after this, we're rolling down first. Rolling down first. Okay and inhale. And exhale, rolling up.

Transferring the weight of the body onto the left leg, keep the pelvis and the trunk still, lift the right leg. Up, and down, same leg again. Up, and down. Up, and down. Place that foot down, can you do it without shifting around a ton?

And other side. Left up, reach it away. And two. Can we feel the abdominals working maybe not as much, but can we try for that same connection? Just three, and then we're gonna bring the body down, slow.

Creating space in the spine. Okay, so now we'll call this next one The Erin. (laughs) So roll the spine up, and we'll alternate sides. So let's go left arm, right leg. And down, so you're taking away two points of stabilization.

Reach. And down. So, if you're watching this video and you're wondering why does the teacher's arm look (laughs) it's injured, so don't pay any attention to my arm. It might not do what I'm asking you to do. But that's okay, you can.

And down, hold here, lifting a little bit higher, inhale. And exhale to roll down. Down. Down. Isn't that life, right?

A series of injuries. Reach back and put your hands behind your head. My life anyway. So we're gonna interlock the fingers behind the head. So with the hands behind the head, walk the feet together if they're not already, gluing the inner ankle bones if you can and the insides of the feet.

Keep the elbows just slightly off the mat we're gonna tip the knees towards me on the inhale. That means to keep the knees together, we're gonna have to lift the opposite foot off the floor. Then I want you to exhale and use your breath, your abdominal muscles and your breath to bring your knees back to center. Inhale as we reach the knees over in the other direction. Feel the scapula, the opposite scapula going outwards.

And exhale as we come back to center. Inhale reach towards me, feel the ribs trying to stay down on the mat. Now that's not a reality. They'll lift a little, the opposite ribs, but can we create some sort of oppositional energy with the ribs, pulling the ribcage back away from the knees. Maybe not in a way that feels super constricted but just feels like, I don't know, opposition.

Stay here, take that top leg, straighten it, and then use it to push yourself over a little further, take a little bit more of a stretch. Inhale, bend that knee, put it back. And exhale, some back through center. Inhale, reach over to the opposite direction. Exhale to stretch the leg.

Inhale to fold the knee back in. And exhale to center, keeping the feet on the floor. Imagine that they're stuck. Stuck, glued to the mat. Inhale here.

Exhale, curl the head and chest up. As you inhale, attempt to lift the feet which are glued to the mat. So they don't actually lift, but we're trying. And then exhale to lower down. And just that intention of coming up into hip flexion, inhale, exhale, ribs draw down the front of the body.

Sternum curls forward. Inhale, attempt to pick your feet up. And exhale to lower down. It's so hard, huh Amy? Let's do one more, so I like this kind of a three.

I'm working in three's today. So this is our last one. For me, the feeling of trying to pick the feet up actually might be harder than letting my legs lift up. We're gonna find out, we're gonna do both. So now exhale, curl it up, head and chest.

Let's take the arms away from the head and just let the arms gently guide the body up slightly higher or you can think of just into a little deeper flexion. Then take your arms back and behind your head. Now we're gonna go into a rotation, so we're gonna rotate towards me and try to lift that foot. It's not lifting, it's not lifting, but we're trying. And inhale back to center.

Like it's stuck with gum. A lot, a lot of gum. And center. And two more, towards me feeling that underneath rib slide towards the spine. And center.

Underneath rib slides towards the spine, opposite rib comes over the top of it. They exchange places. Exhale, twist. And center. And twist.

And center. And inhale. And exhale to go down. Okay next idea. Exhale, curl the head and chest up.

So now we're gonna hold ourself here in flexion and we are gonna lift the legs. So, let them feel that heaviness, though. So pulling up, and down. Just three. Exhale, lifting up.

And down. Exhale, lifting up. And down. And now exhale, lower the spine. Okay, so last thing, we're gonna do something a little bit harder.

We're gonna curl the head and chest up, or different, we could just think about it as different. Lift up. Okay, so now we're gonna float those legs back up. Now what I want you to here is drop your feet. Now curl your knees, reverse roll like a ball, knees into your sternum, keep your feet down.

Lower your pelvis, lift your legs, and place them back down. And now the body's gonna go down. Good thing we're only doing three. Here we go, exhale to lift. Float the legs.

Drop the feet. Curl, trying to put your nose right on those inside knees. And then lower, feet come up, and hinge. Oh, and all the way down, last time. Exhale to lift.

Inhale maybe, pick up the legs, breathe as you need. Maybe we could, I don't know, keep breathing. We're gonna bring the knees in, in, in, in, in, in, hold it here, hold it here. Take your hands to your feet, pull in a little deeper. Do you think we can get up from here?

We're gonna try, Erin says she can. I'm gonna say it's doubtful that I can, but we'll see. Okay, so let the pelvis start rocking up, two, and on three. I did it and you didn't, whoop whoop! (group laughs) okay, just kidding. So rolling like a ball.

So we're gonna go back, rock, rock, and balance. Back, up, and balance. And back, up, and balance now. Hold here, arms forward, legs stay right in tight. No arms, Julie.

Here we go, rock back, roll up, it's not so hard. It's fun. Last one. And then place your feet down, stretch your legs out. Hands behind the head.

So we're gonna go inhale prepare. As you exhale, spiral upwards in your spine as you rotate towards me, keeping the feet and the hips aligned, inhale center. Exhale, twist the other way. Eileen, just shift slightly forward, not your whole body just your spine, and so you're just a little bit behind yourself. And center, and lift and twist.

Nice that's much better. So here's three of three, then I'll tell you what's happening. So Erin has to keep guessing. So now we're gonna go over this way. I want you to take same elbow to same knee.

So bending over, I'm not crossing the bottom going down to that same side leg. Roll up the spine, and come center. So here's a suggested breath pattern. Inhale, exhale diving in. Inhale building the spine up.

Exhale center. Inhale rotate. Exhale down. Lift, center. Inhale lift twist.

Exhale. Like you're rounding over something, is the idea that I'm trying to work with, and center. In my own body, anyway. And up and over, shoulder blades down and wide. Inhale, build the spine back up.

Exhale center. Last time, inhale. Exhale down. Inhale up. Exhale center.

Reach forward, bend your knees. Hands on the tops of the knees. So we're gonna push the knees into the hands. We're gonna tuck the tail under. Now this is one of the hardest things for me, is just can we lay the spine down really controlled, without shifting the pelvis at all.

We can sure try. Can always try. And then into the double leg stretch position, so the feet are parallel to the floor. We're gonna reach out and back. And inhale stretch, and back.

I just don't feel like three is enough of these, so we'll do five. And back. So holding here, gonna take the hands behind the head. Now we're gonna just do legs, single leg stretch legs. One, one, two, two.

Three, three, four. Five, now were gonna do bicycle legs. So one, reaching that straight leg away. Two. Three.

Four. Five. Now both legs up, bend the knees. Criss cross, me first. Twist one, one.

Two, two. Three, lifting up as you go over. Four. Five, criss cross bicycle. So you stretch the leg that you're turning to.

Two, two. Three, three. Four. Last time. Both legs up in center, arms down.

I just had to check if there was space for my head to go down, there is. And we're rolling over. Flexing through the feet. Push your feet away as you roll down. Down, down, as your pelvis comes down, lift your head.

Take your legs out in front of you. Roll out, teaser! Roll back down, tail tucks under, spine comes down, legs come up. Roll over. Flex your feet, push your legs away from you as you roll down, down, down, down, head comes up. Pelvis goes down, and you can keep your knees bent.

Or you can hold yourself up as you come up. Totally acceptable. And now bent knees or straight legs, holding, holding, holding if you need to. Last time, rolling over. Flexing, rolling up.

You could bend your knees here if you needed to and use your arms to help you. We're gonna go up, gonna take the legs apart. Gonna put the feet down and sit all the way up and bring the arms out in front. And inhale, so if you need to readjust your position that's fine. That's fine, stretch forward.

As we exhale take the head forward. Reaching the head out through the finger tips. Inhale, exhale restack the spine, so one bone lands on top of the next until we're all the way back upright. Inhale, nice. Exhale rolling down, down, down, top of the head reaching in to the insides of the legs.

Inhale, and exhale stacking up, up, up, up, up. And inhale last one. Exhale down. And inhale, and exhale rolling up. Okay adding extension, starts the same.

Exhaling to round down. Inhale, reach out, flatten out the back. Reach the arms forward, pull the abdominals back. Exhale reach back down between your legs and articulate one bone at a time coming up to the top. And inhale and exhale feel that head, the dropping of the head.

The forward reach of the spine, the elongation of the spine, tailbone reaching back. Back of the head reaching back, inhale. And exhale as we come back down. And float back over the top of your pelvis. And inhale.

And exhale. Nice ladies, and reach. There's nothing like being in a room with girlfriends moving your bodies together, makes me feel so happy. So thanks, girls. And lift, well there are things that are nice too, but this is one of my favorite things.

Lift up all the way, so now we're gonna open the arms out to the side as you rotate towards me. Gonna stretch forward, send the arms away from one another as we reach out on that diagonal. Back arm's gonna spiral and come up and then we'll twist the other way. It's just a variation of the saw reaching the back arm back, reaching the front and back arms away from one another. Lengthen out, find your long diagonal.

Back arm comes up to meet the front arm in the center. And inhale, and reach. And reach. And up. And inhale.

And dive. And reach out. And up. Big lift as we spiral last time. Dive forward.

And reach out. And up. And over. And stretch. And out.

And up. Hands behind the head. And we're just gonna bring the chin into the chest. I want you to imagine that you're curling into the center of your body. You can let your elbows start to drop.

Just reaching, using the weight of the hands to give the spine a stretch. Breathing in. And breathing out, and then allow the hands to fall away from the head. And roll up all the way. Okay and turn this way, face me.

So we're gonna lie down on our side, all the way. Lining our bodies up in a straight line from the head to the feet. From here, draw the abdominals in away from your clothing, reach out with your legs, reach out and up with your legs. Out and up. And out and away.

So it's that out idea all the time. And the arm that's on the floor can do a couple of things. As options, it can push like you're gonna do a single arm pushup. It can stay very light, like you're trying not to imagine that it's there at all. You could do a backward glide, like energetic towards the knees glide, I like that one.

Gonna do three more like this, checking and making sure that your head is lined up with your spine. There's not an accumulation of tension in your neck. One more. Okay so now what I want us to do is I want us to take that arm all the way off the floor. Now if this doesn't work for you, feel free to put that arm straight back down.

Lift the top leg up, and now try to lift the bottom leg. Up to meet the top leg, and up to meet the top leg. And up. And three. And two.

And one, holding both legs up. And lowering both legs down. Let's bend the knees. And then once you get the knees into about a 90 degree angle from your hip to your feet, you're gonna take that top leg and send it out in space. So what I want us to do here is internally rotate the hip, meaning knees facing the floor, the foot's facing the floor we're gonna go down and out with that leg.

Like you're tying to push it away from you. If you're feeling a lot in your quads or in the front of your thigh and not enough in your hip, or not as much in your hip, try to bring the leg a little bit backwards and turn it in more. So out and up, and we're gonna just do that four more times. Out and up. And three, and I promise you by the end of what I have planned for us, I'm over the three's just so you know. (group chuckles)

Well we're gonna do three things, how's that? We're gonna go forward, up, down, back. And again, forward, up, down, back. Girls love to change your mind. We can go faster, is that more fun?

Forward, up, down, back. I like that little pause at the back cause I feel like it's just that moment of reach. And I'm doing really really really my best to count, but I honestly have almost no idea, I think this is seven. Is it, Amy? I think so.

Cool! Plus I sometimes feel like we can like intuitively feel a number, I mean I don't know if that's a reality, but I've guessed enough times to think maybe we might be there, hold it here guys. And now go down, down, down, down, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, bend. So that's how we all have nice butts when we're 40. (group laughs) Right? I don't know, do you know any 40 year olds who don't want a nice butt?

Me neither. Do you, Julie? (laughs) Well then. (laughs) Case closed. Case closed.

Other side, face me still. I have to just get there in a really strange way, sorry. You know, that's the thing about life. Sometimes it's not perfect and we just have to deal with it. So we're all lined up straight, and we're gonna reach legs.

See that the knees are facing straight ahead of you. And now reach the legs away from you. So we have three arm choices. You could play with them all, you could do one, you could do none. We had that pushup idea, like a pec pushup.

Or we had trying maybe not to just feel any weight on the arm at all. Or we had that backward slide, like a scapular glide down towards the hip on that side and we're gonna do two more here. So reaching out and up. And down. And reaching out and up, awesome.

So now we try to take the arm away and we lifted the other leg. And now we go up, and down. Up, what if you could lift your bottom waist at the same time as you lifted your leg? Would that be fun? It might, you could try it and see what you think.

Last one, holding, holding, holding, and now down. And then we bent the knees, and created a hip to knee to foot 90. And then we're gonna take that leg and take it out straight. And again you want it to be at least in line with your body, maybe slightly behind. We're gonna internally rotate that hip and now we're gonna go down, and out.

Down, feel this right in here is where I want you to feel your work, right at the top of that hip, right underneath the hip crest. Out, and five, four, keeping the abdominals working to support the spine. Last two, last one. Here's our second movement, forward, up, down, and back. Push back.

As you go backward think also of reaching back and away from you, almost like you're trying to stretch the leg out of your hip. And we went a little faster here. Four, and back. If I counted with my voice I would remember, five. And six.

And stabilize. And enjoy, or not. Last two. One more time. Okay here's the most fun part.

Go forward, now go down. It's like a drop catch, drop catch. Four, three, two, one. Done, so help yourself up. And bring that leg around for a stretch.

Lifting the knee into the chest and putting some weight into that hip. Building the spine up taller. And breathing. Okay let's bring this leg around to the side. I wanna do some mermaid.

I like mermaid. Okay so we're all going in the same direction, that's great. So we're gonna go out with your arm. So we're gonna reach out to the side we're gonna let that arm find the mat. And we're gonna turn, so rotating the body.

Rotating the body. Unwinding the body. Lifting, arm comes up and hold. And pull up first and then stretch. And then back.

And over. I'm gonna do this a little differently. I'm gonna come onto my elbow, you can come with me if you want, just better for what's goin' on with me. And rotate. And back.

And up. And hold to stretch. Just thinking. Just thinking about who might wanna to some pushups. I did promise you might not have to didn't I?

But if I have one, two, three, four, five people doing pushups for me, does that count? Does that mean I did some pushups? Okay let's just swing. I'm pretty sure it counts. I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

I'll follow my promise, no pushups for today. If you love pushups, you should do pushups today. We won't do 'em in class though. Reach over, and down. Isn't that sad that the only thing I care about, well not the only thing, but if I have an injury and I'm just sad that I can't do pushups.

I guess it's not a big bad problem to have, right? Up, and over. So that up part is important, I feel. It's the idea of creating length before you create compression. And rotate, drop to your elbow if that's what you did on the other side.

I like it with a straight arm better, I just needed to make a change in that moment. Up, and you could pull, right? We pulled on the other side. And out. Last time, over.

Arm twist, a lot of rib rotation. Your pelvis can even come with you just a little bit. Unwind. Lift up. And reach over.

Okay and then we're gonna come down onto the mat, onto our abdominals. You guys can maybe turn your heads and come in this way so you can see me if you need to. Okay. So put one hand on top of the other and rest your head in your hands. And then bring your heels together and your toes apart, and feel that if your legs were a zipper, your heels would be zipping all the way up to your belly button.

And now hold that energy and lift the legs off the mat. Flex the feet, and then we're gonna to leg beats. So one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. One, two, that's our pace for now today. Beat beat beat beat beat beat beat beat beat.

I don't know how many we're doing so we just keep going until I say. And stop. Point your feet. Make a tiny teeny tiny circle with your heels. Like a golf ball size circle.

Golf ball size circle. Squeezing together, squeezing together. Lift and squeeze. So we'll do three more. Two more.

One more and now we're gonna reverse. And if this doesn't feel good to your back, please keep the legs very low to the mat. They don't have to lift very high at all. We're just feeling the rotation of the hip. And we'll do four, three, two, one, and come down.

Okay so now what I want us to do is, yup just checkin', come up onto your arms. I want the arms to be quite far away from you, with the palms face up. So not so high, I would go way back, Bonia. That's it. So your arms aren't pushing you up into hyperextension, you're just resting on them.

And we're gonna take the left arm and the right leg and we're gonna reach them away from each other, palm face up, and down. And then so it's like the palm of the hand is pulling away, pulling away, pulling out in front of the foot. And down. Arm and foot reaching away. And down.

And reaching away, nice. This can stay quite low to the floor. One more time like that. And back. And then lower down everything and turn the palms of the hands to face the other way.

Just feel the difference here. Feel the difference in the freedom of the shoulder now as we lift one arm one leg, and down. Reaching, stretching the arms and legs away from one another. And now I'm back to three's again so we'll do two more. I find that I don't have such a hard time counting to three.

Last time. Okay, and now we're gonna do one more thing. So what I want you to do is re-bend your elbows. Place the head on the hands. Let the legs just rest on the floor but make sure that they have a little bit of energy in them, a little bit of life.

Lift the abdominals in like you have an ice cube underneath your belly and you're trying to pull up and away from the coldness of it. Lift your head. Feel your shoulder blades slide down your back. Now don't lift too high with that head and don't push to high with the arms cause you're gonna have to lift the arms off the mat right now, bring your hands to your forehead. Lower everything down.

Lift the head, as the head lifts feel the shoulder blades glide down the back. So the shoulder blades are gliding down, the head is gliding forward, it's not high, it's small. And then we bring the hands to the forehead. And then we lower the whole position. And let's just do one more, head comes up.

Energy through the legs. Hands to forehead. And then lower everything down, and then put your forearms on the mat and push your way up onto your knees. And just reach back an sit into your rest position. So reaching the hips down towards the feet.

Sometimes it's nice to reach back for your feet with your hands. And actually use your arms to try to pull your pelvis a little closer to your heels. And then we're gonna start rolling up, so allow the top of your head to drop towards the mat. And we're just gonna roll up so we're sitting on our feet. So just sitting on the feet, everyone seems fine like that.

Let's take the arms out to the side. So we're gonna do like a wind mill with the arm. If you bring the arm closest to me down, just where fingertips can touch. Or if you can reach all the way down, try to put the palm of that hand down and then reach the other arm up and over. And then quarter turn forward, stretching the back, pulling the abdominals back towards the spine.

And then unwind and lift back up. And then the other side. Reaching up, you push the arm into the floor, push away. And then rotate. And then back.

And then up. And then taking both arms in front. Just let the arms be soft. And so as they come down, my favorite thing is to imagine that my arms move like water falling down glass. Or whatever granite, rippling through the ocean.

And then reaching forward one more time, inhale. Finding ease, a moment of ease in our experience. And open. Maybe going slow or taking a moment to close your eyes and just feel into your experience in this moment right now. Allowing the arms to come and rest or hang at your sides.

And when you're ready, open your eyes again and we will move forward with the rest of our day. Happy birthday, Bonia! (group cheers and applauds) Thank you for coming. Time for wine. Time for wine, go get wine.


2 people like this.
Happy birthday to you!!! You are my inspiration!!!
Asun from Spain!!
1 person likes this.
2 people like this.
Great Workout Thank you xx
2 people like this.
Meredith you are such a fun teacher!!
1 person likes this.
Lovely workout .A birthday present to me too!
Thank you so much Meredith, I'm reliving this beautiful day, I had so much fun. Thank you so much for making it so special. Best birthday gift ever. Kisses from London!
2 people like this.
Meredith, I love your classes! I live in London as well, you're such a great teacher!!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Meredith! Such a fun, energised class and great chat too- especially the wine directive at the end! Love the side line series and at 42 I am def glad about the effects it will have on my butt! Thanks a million. J
1 person likes this.
Thank you ALL!
"Twas a special day Bonia!
Happy birthday to YOU Judith.
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