Class #2800

Mat Workout

40 min - Class


Learn how to move your arms more efficiently in this Mat workout with Cara Reeser. She shares practical uses for the images and visualizations she shares in her workshop with Jeremy Laverdure. By understanding these concepts, you will have more freedom in your shoulder girdle which will allow you to move though your full range of motion.
What You'll Need: Mat, Yoga Block


Read Full Transcript

Hello, hello everybody. Hello everybody. We are about to do a mat class; this mat class is actually the end, or attached to a workshop, that I just taught with Jeremy, and Laura as our great assistant. That workshop is on the shoulder girdle, you'll see it. If you're taking this mat class and you haven't taken the workshop, you-- I hope you feel convinced that you wanna take the workshop.

It's a very, very nice combination and might help the practice. But the focus of the workshop is going to be what we were talking about, which is how to both control the idea of a cape, which we'll take you through, and how to get a little bit more efficient in arm standing. So, I'm gonna ask you guys all to start standing, and you can just face each other, and I'm just gonna, we're gonna start with a couple images that are important, and practices of visualization that are important for this practice. So the first thing I want you to do is the practice that I call The Container Practice, okay? So you can close your eyes if you want, but what we're doing now is creating an alignment.

So I want you to visualize your two legs as if they create one tall cylinder. And I want the bottom of your feet to be the base of that cylinder, and the top of your leg bones, right, if you could cross-section, that would be the top of that long cylinder. And just go ahead and take a moment, you guys, to root that cylinder, alright? Now your next cylinder, or container, that you're gonna put on top of your legs is the container of your pelvis. So I want you to visualize that cross-section of that pelvis, it's a different shape, it's sort of an oval shape.

And I need you, without a lot of pushing or pulling in your frame, to just gently make the adjustment so that your pelvic container is righted on top of your leg container. So you're really, you know, you're not correcting your posture but you're just making these subtle shifts. And then it's the same with the ribcage, yeah, that ribcage container. It's got this nice oval shape also, and you wanna just get that ribcage container relatively balanced on top of your pelvis container, right? So we're just, we're going up the building blocks, right?

The same thing with the neck, there. So the neck is a smaller cylinder. Just without freezing up or corrective in your body, just place that neck container relatively balanced on that rib container, that's right. And then you've got your head container. Now, you're breathing, yeah?

You're breathing and you're not holding, because holding is not helpful. Breathing and movement is what we're going for here, right? So you're working on that sense of your containers, and now I'm gonna include your shoulder girdle by adding this image of wearing a cape, okay? And this is an image where, just go ahead and put your hands so they're tracing your clavicle. And I want you just to lift and lower, as if you were wearing a cape there.

So you can let your elbows flare out, and you'll feel your scapulas sliding up in the back, right? And I want you to let that cape fall, let your arms settle and let your arms come down. And just note, feel the fabric, the front and back of that cape. And we're gonna now do some rolling down, where we let that cape fall with us as we go. So this is a setup for this workout.

We're gonna work out, but we've gotta know what we're thinking about. Letting that cape fall, and then as you roll up, try not to pull your shoulders into place, but rather imagine that cape, and as your spine comes up that cape will just settle naturally. There's nothing to do. Yeah, let's roll down again and feel that. So just roll down, and really, those of you at home, take the time for this warmup, yeah?

It's really gonna help you when we get to some very advanced moves here in a few minutes. And then roll yourself up, letting that cape, right? So if you bring your containers together, your cape will just, you can imagine that, just flow, right? So that's the same thing. Let's take a little standing backbend, and let's just feel that.

You're gonna go back and let your cape just follow, right? You don't wanna hold your shoulder blades. And then you're gonna come back. Alright, and let's do that again. So let that cape follow, right?

So you don't have to pull, you don't want somebody pulling on your cape, you just wanna let it follow you. Coming back up. And let's just have that little moment where you side bend, keeping that same image, let's all go this way. And center, yeah, and the other way. Side bending, again, not pulling, so you're just freeing up your shoulder girdle, alright?

And then let's just do a little twisting, guys, so everybody just twist. And you can take a little fast clip there if you want, but again, you wanna notice that you're letting your cape follow your trunk, yeah? Come to the front of your map, just before your yoga block, and (laughs) I will back up a little, and we're gonna go ahead and roll down with that cape, yeah? So you're gonna roll on down, and you're just gonna be hanging down there and just let everything go. Yep, just let it go, and then go ahead, the best you can, you're gonna bend your knees, yeah?

And you're going to put your knees down. Yep, sorry about that. And we're gonna swivel around to seated, okay? So a couple other practices I wanna add here. We're gonna do a little practice called Keyhole Arm, so we can find external rotation.

So take your right arm out and let's just turn that upper arm bone out and in. Use your hand to assist you, yeah, turn it out and in. And then turn it out and keep it turned out, make a fist, and now I want you to just spiral primarily your lower arm. Just figure that out for a minute. That can be kind of tricky, right?

But this is what we're gonna be working on when we're arm loading, we're weight-bearing on our arms today, is that we have... Good, let's pronate that palm down, open your hand, flex your wrist, and I just want you to feel that for a moment, that's gonna be the arm we're standing on later on in side plank. Let's do that on the other side. So you take this arm out, right? We're gonna practice that.

External, internal, external, internal, external, keep that. Now remember in the workshop we talked about not bearing down on the scapula, if you weren't there, so everybody just kind of pick your scapula up and just, oop oop, make sure you're not bearing down there, right? Now, pronate the forearm, exactly, straighten the hand, and there's your standing arm, right? That's your plank arm, and that's your side plank arm, okay? And we're gonna be playing with that as we go through.

Alright, so let's bring that down. I'm gonna turn, but you stay where you are. You're gonna take your knees up, and we're gonna take our yoga block right here. Okay, so, everybody just pull that scapula back for a second and feel how horrible that feels, alright? And then just let that come forward, right?

So you're gonna be pushing your pinky side into this yoga block, you need a yoga block for this class, by the way, and you're gonna bend, keep your elbows really reaching for it, and touch that yoga block to your forehead. And let's straighten the arms again, right? So already this is tiring, isn't it? Squeezing, bending, to the forehead and away. Good, now we're gonna go to the forehead, and now we're gonna stretch those arms up.

Let that scapula rise up, up, up, squeezing that block, good. We're gonna bend the elbows back to the forehead with the block, and then take the arms straight out. Let's do that again. So you guys keep that scapula wide, yes indeed, and I want you to notice, right, you're here, it's your upper arm bones really have to glide inside. I know, it's exhausting.

And then bend, put it on your forehead again. Whoop, narrow elbows, you got that thing, Christie. Straighten your arms, good. And everybody just keep the arms like that. Get your legs together for a-- You know, just 'cause it looks nice, and then roll on back and keep squeezing that block.

Now stay with me, I know your serratus is getting tired, but get on back, now let's take the arms to the ceiling and then I want you to bend your elbows again, narrow, and tap that block to the floor behind you. And then slowly stretch your arms out. I know, am I out... And there you go, and then come back in, and bring it back here, and bring it back up to the ceiling. We're gonna repeat that.

Please, keep pushing your pinky side in. One more time, bend to the floor this time, Amy. Yeah, now slide it back, guys. This is your upward rotation, let it be. Yeah let it go, exactly.

Bend, slide it again, yeah. Now, you're gonna lift the, yes. Straighten your legs. Let that block float over your head again. Yeah.

And let's do Roll Up, bring that block up, lift your head, neck, and shoulders, squeezing that block through, roll all the way up and through, beautiful. Exactly, nice. Reach your blocks for each other, and roll back, good. Inhaling and exhaling. We talked a little bit about the importance of not pulling that ribcage down during the exhale.

So let's inhale together, exhale, keep everything really, really free as you come forward. Beautiful, nice, you guys. Inhale back, exhale all the way down. Good, one more time, I know your arms are exhausted, it's good, last one. Right, we're training that up.

Super, and roll back down. Good, put that block down behind your head for a moment, and bring your arms down by your side. Good, let's take your right leg up to the ceiling. And let's stretch your hamstring, so just go ahead and make a nice bind. Circle your ankle, good.

Now, here you are, you're lying down, and again you're wearing that cape, right? So if, by reaching up your leg, you notice that you're pulling your scapula forward, this is a great time, a resting moment, to let that settle back again, right? So now just let your leg be there, and you're gonna now, go ahead and open your fingers and let your leg lower about, I don't know, to about 45 degrees. We're gonna come into Tree. So let your leg lower, yeah.

And then, I want you to climb up that tree without pulling your cape forward, right? So you're gonna lift your head, neck, and shoulders, right? We're gonna go on up, and you're gonna wear that cape, right? So when we're up here, right, I could have my head down but my cape is still on, so that's up to you. And then let's walk down, so you're not gonna pull through your shoulder girdle; exactly.

Let's do that again, up we go, all the way, great. And down, keeping that, that's beautiful, everybody's shoulder girdle looks really free. Christie, a little ooh-ooh, make sure you're not pulling down there. One more time, walk it all the way up, great, gorgeous, and walk it down. We are gonna switch legs, straight up, just go ahead and switch it up, stretch the other set of hamstrings.

Yeah, now again, notice, is that pulling you forward? Is that sinking you back into your cape? Keep that and circle your ankle however. There's some ferocious circling on this end, some slow circling, (laughing) it's okay, wherever you're at, it's okay. Bring your leg down a little, take your hands off for a minute.

Reset your cape, and then-- Laura, go ahead and take your hands off for a second. Everybody let your arms hand down, reset your cape. Oh, she's like, "You mean hold my leg up?" (laughing) And then lift your head and walk up, there you go. All the way, excellent. And walk down, super, yeah, Amy, it's great.

So could you feel the back of your cape while you're doing this? Walk up; could you feel, maybe the back of your cape is velvet, right, it's heavy. And then, yeah Mary, and down. Good, and one more time, walk it up. Good, and walk it down, super.

Really, really good. Good, take that knee into your chest. Super hard move here; you're gonna roll up and you're not gonna drag that cape forward, so pick yourself up into your cape, gorgeous, you guys. Take your yoga block, please. Bring it, hold it again, and I want you to just push your shins gently up against it, right?

So I'm gonna straighten my elbows, I'm gonna keep that external rotation, that pinky side, and let's go for this. We're gonna inhale, roll back, exhale, home. Keep it, whoa Nelly. Inhale back, exhale home, gorgeous. Three more, that's right.

Organize, straight elbows, guys, try to straighten 'em. You know, if you have a lot of girth like Jeremy it might be a little hard; it's a, idea of straight is fine. One more time. Roll back, whoops. Everybody stop at the top, okay.

Hold it, we're going down to the ab series. Let's check this out. Left leg out, right knee in. Let's keep that reach, and let's bring that spine down. Come on, if I can do it you can do it.

Here we go, inhale one, two, exhale three, four, breathing. Head's looking through the arms, pinky side squeezing. Keep going with the legs. Good, let's bring both knees in. Okay, here's that upward rotation, stretch it.

Let the scapula be free, exhale in. And stretch it, gorgeous. Exhale in, beautiful, you guys. Stretch it, squeeze. Exhale, good.

Scissors, you've got that same look. Keep it reaching, one, two, one, two. Keep that scapula lifted up, yes, Christie, better. That's right. Straighten those elbows, sister.

Use those triceps. Good, and knees in, roll down and rest for a minute. Super, super good. Good, let's put the block down and roll up to seated, please. Okay, so let's do Spine Stretch Forward.

I think we can pick the block back up, let's go for it. Okay, now we're gonna add some twisting to this Spine Stretch Forward as we go, so just stay tuned with me, okay, everybody? Here we go, take the arms up. Again, pick that scapula up. Inhale, exhale, reach it forward and really keep that external rotation in the humerus.

Bring your spine back up, inhale. Exhale forward again, right, reach that block. Keep your head in relationship to the block and that'll help you know where that line is too for your containers. And up; and exhale forward, super. Yeah, good.

And coming up. Now let's put the block down and I'm gonna show you this from behind. You can take a winder stance if you want, I certainly want to. And I want you to practice twisting without pulling your shoulder blades, right? So here we go, we're all gonna twist to the right, twist, and center.

And twist to the left, and center. Now take the yoga block, alright? You're gonna keep the yoga block between your hands. You're gonna do that same twist, and then you're gonna lift up, let that scapula upwardly rotate, and come back down. We're gonna come to center.

Recalibrate and make sure you're not pulling your scapula down. Twist, and take it up, reach it, reach it, squeeze those pinkies. I know. And come back, and center. Let's do one more on each side.

I know it's tiring, but this is really, really great training. Good, let that scapula slide and glide up, bring it forward. Good, you guys, keep breathing. Good, a little smile over here from the serious side who's been teaching with me all day. There we go, (laughs) gorgeous.

And put the ball, bar, thing down. (laughing) Block. Ball, bar, blah, blah. Great, great. So go ahead and get rid of that block for a second and let me see, we're gonna come onto Open Leg Rocker, so come forward.

Super, yeah. So we're not gonna use the block, but imagine the block is your legs, right? So it's that same feeling here, right? I don't want you like, going through here, I want you to keep that nice connection. And here we go, let's take the position.

I will not roll back onto my block, and nor should you. Here we go, roll back, and home. Great, beautiful, Jeremy. Inhale, roll back, exhale. So if you don't let yourself fall through your cape, you might have to use your tummy muscles or something, your booty, I don't know what's going on.

Yeah, nice, don't-- A little ooh-ooh, Christie, no pulling down the scapula. One more, guys. Good, I'll do it with you just so you don't feel alone. And let's put our legs together, put your hands here. Great, and let's take it down, nice and easy.

Nice and easy, we've got this thing. Bend your knees in. Good, interlace your fingers. Let's take a little Ribcage Arms. So we did this in the workshop, you're just gonna float those arms up.

We're gonna just take a little moment of releasing tension. And then you're gonna let your arms float overhead and you're gonna just be relating to that rhythm that we talked about in the workshop; for those of you who haven't taken it yet, that idea of just feeling the simplicity of the arms moving. So keep letting your arms come back, all the way to the pubic bone. Good. Recalibrating, let the arms come up.

These first few moments, feeling that arm bone spinning in the socket, and then as you come overhead feeling that scapula sliding and gliding up, and maybe even feeling a little extension in your thorax at the end. And we're gonna come back, let your hands come all the way down, and then let your arms come down by your side, settling that cape again. We're gonna go to Shoulder Bridge. So as we come into a shoulder bridge, right, our cape-- Go ahead and bridge up, guys. Our cape is gonna go behind us.

So go ahead and allow your scapula to kind of gather towards each other slightly, like your cape would, right? And that's gonna support your chest wall, and down you go. Good, let's do that twice more. In Shoulder Bridge, you're coming on up. Alright, so you're not letting that come forward; rather, it gathers in the back, and you come back down.

Good, and one more time, you take it up. Yeah, and when you go down you don't push but you lay yourself out on your cape. Super nice, fantastic. Extend your left leg, hold your right knee in and try that Roll Up without falling through the shoulder girdle again, and you're gonna come onto all fours next. Okay, so we're gonna go into loading the arms.

So here's our preparatory exercise, we call it Lazy Cat and Active Cat. I'm sure some of you have done enough of this today, but what's gonna happen is you're gonna let your scapula collapse towards your spine, and then you're gonna push your arms and let your scapula spread. Yep, you're gonna let your scapula-- Good, you're gonna keep those elbows straight, Christie. Yeah, and then you're gonna let that scapula spread. Now, you wanna check that you're not pulling your blades down.

Two more times, lazy cat, right, and you're also not losing your containers, right? So you're really just moving the scapula. Super. Now I want you to keep that, hold that and tuck your toes under and float your cat, and let's do three floating cats with lazy, active. So here we go.

Lazy scapula, good, and press. This is really good work for your serratus, right? So you go lazy, you push, active. Gorgeous, one more time. It's super hard.

And active, good. Now put your knees down, and everybody bring your arms forward about a foot. Good, so I really like this exercise. I'm calling it Camel Taking a Drink. And you're gonna bring your spine into extension.

You're gonna look out, look in each other's eyes. (laughing) Beautiful. Gorgeous, as they say. Okay, so you're gonna bend your elbows nice and slowly, narrow, Christie, right? No pulling down, and you're gonna tap those elbows down and you're gonna press back up.

And what I'm checking here is that we're not pulling our scapula down, because that's really interfering with this freedom. So go on down, that's it, Miss Amy, keep your eyes up, keep your spine extended, oh, a little cheating happening there. Right, cheating would be flexing, so don't flex. One more time. I know.

And push it up. Good, let's take one leg out, the other leg out into a plank, and just practice your skills the best you can. Lower yourself down onto your tummy for a Swan. So whatever that looks like, super. Alright, gett your hands in a position where your cape is smooth on the back.

So wherever you've been told, today we're gonna practice-- I think you can actually be here, but let that be, yeah. Now bring your containers, organized, right, so everybody float your head up so it's in line first, right. This is where I like to start my Swan. Now, lift up, head, trunk, and your cape is gonna follow, right? So there's no need to squeeze your blades in any direction.

Now, bend your elbows narrow to put yourself back down. Don't pull your blades down, not anybody here or anybody across the way. Everybody keep that organized. Bring your head to the level, up for your Swan, beautiful. Yeah, it's great.

You know, I mean, look at that, that's perfect, you know? So it doesn't matter if you're a boy or a girl, you can do this thing. Yeah, really nice, Jeremy. Great, uh huh, I know, one more time, please. Just breathe, guys.

Push on up again, feel that. Good, and come back down. Now, we're gonna move into some serratus pushups, so we're gonna bring our arms forward like this, right? And you want your upper arm bone slightly forward of your shoulder, uh huh. And that means you're gonna lift up.

Now, we're gonna do that same kind of gesture. Straighten the elbows, bend the elbows. Straighten the elbows, bend the elbows. You're keeping that wide back. Now keep that wide back and let's flex the upper thoracic spine and extend it.

Yes, I am borrowing this from Irene Dowd and Stephen Featherhough, I love this practice. Right, and not your lower back, upper back, yeah. Christie, keep squeezing those elbows in. You feel how hard that is? Yes.

Guys, the more you squeeze the elbows in, you're externally rotating. She said, "Yes I do, and thank you very much." And come back out. So now, lift that chest, we're ready for Single Leg Kick. Let's go, right leg, one, two, switch, and one, two, switch, one, two, switch, one, two, one, two, one, two, can you keep all that up there? Yeah, it's hard.

And rest, good, lie down, turn your head to the left, interlace your thumbs or something in the back. Okay, now this is a time where we're actually gonna get to pull that cape to stretch the front attachment. So we're gonna triple kick, everybody. Exhale, one, two, three, and up, stretch. Good, turn your head.

And triples, one, two, three, and up. (laughing) Stretch, oh, a little help from your friends. And one, two, three, and up. And again, one, two, three, stretch it up, roll back, lift your eyes. And to square it off, one, two, three, I don't know if that was really squaring it off but whatever you've gotta do to square it off, one more, they say, two, three, and reach it up.

Good, and down, good. Put your hands under. Yes, we're gonna stay with this loading moment. So I'd like you now to push yourself up into a plank. Good, stay with me.

I want you to take your right leg up, and let's do Leg Pull Front. So just go back, front, foot down. Other leg, back, front, down. Good, keep your containers, let your scapula be free. That's better, Christie, yes.

Good, square it off, that means you stop after you've done an even amount. And bend your knees, and sit back into Child's Pose, rest your spines, rest your arms. Now, in Child's Pose, are you pulling those shoulder blades down your back? No, no, no need. Let 'em go, let 'em be.

Feel that strength of your body that way. Okay, now, team. We're gonna go from plank to side plank, and the image we're using is that image from the workshop where you're gonna be rotating your ribcage in the anterior surface of your scapula. So let's come on out into a plank again. Okay, you're gonna first be transferring your side plank towards the window, so go out into your plank, good.

Take your hand off and transfer to side plank, facing me, no, we're gonna face me, come back, everybody, there we go, there we go. Good, good. Now push that mat away. You can see that scapula separate. And then come back down to center.

Good, I'm gonna recommend we stack our feet, guys. So let's really get our containers a hundred percent, right there, right. Push that mat away, push it away so that scapula separates, and come back in. Gorgeous, let's do one more on each side. Push, yeah, you can really push the mat away.

Let your scapula go in the direction of your pinky, come back to center, I know. And again, good. Yeah, that's better this time. So it's actually even more, yes, there you go. Come back to center, and knees down.

Pull back into Child's Pose, take a rest for a moment. Good, alright. So guys, you're gonna bring yourself through for Neck Pull. So one of the reasons I chose Neck Pull for this theme is I feel like it's one of those exercises where people really like, "rah," to get up, right? And so we're gonna opt out of that particular strategy.

So let's start with our-- Let's start here. Alright? Do not pay attention to the feet that will be floating up all around the block. (laughing) Here we go. Okay, tip back.

So organize that cape, right? And really just spin, you can have your legs open, I think that's the traditional protocol, if I recall. All the way down, we're gonna really control that. I'm checking in on my cape the whole time, right? Reach your arms overhead for a second, feel that really beautiful connection to that upward rotation of the scapula, and then let's bring your hands back to that position.

Now, lift your head, neck and shoulders and do your best, coming up, don't pull on that cape. I wanna see you do a little cape jiggle right here, woo, woo, woo, yep, and all the way forward. Right, so how much are you helping yourself by yanking on your cape, yeah? You wanna be doing this from your trunk. And tall spine.

And she's talking a lot. Tip back, and roll back, articulate, yeah. See what's there, guys. If you fall over, that's information, right? If your feet come flying up, it's okay.

Reach your arms over, Laura's right. Good, bring 'em back, good, don't pull that scapula down your back, not for one second here. That's it, now everybody pause right here. Can you shake it a little, whoo, woo, yeah. Easy, and come on up, yeah.

I know, through your back, right? You got it? Good, okay, good, good. Changing my life. Good, I'm changing her life.

One shoulder blade at a time. Good, take it back, yeah. 'Cause it gives you a headache to pull that shit down all the time. (laughing) It's not necessary. It's not necessary, for your information it is non-necessary.

Good, take your arms over, let's come up. One more time, team. You're just doing such a great job. Yeah, that's it, that's it. Like, exactly, like I love that strategy.

Like can you-- Yeah, exactly. 'Cause bearing down is not helping, right? So let's take it tall one more time. Take it back one more time, let's see if I'm gonna fall off the back of the (mumbles). I won't, 'cause I'm Supergirl.

And let's lie all the way back, good. I want you to take your block back in your arms for Teaser. Okay, so here's the thing, we're gonna find the same strategy of keeping that cape on. Let's all just lift our heads first. Now let's float our legs a little.

Now, bring yourself up into that arm girdle, exactly. Okay, let's take the arms up, I'm sorry about this, but let's just see if we can tap the back of our head. Keep that upward rotation, reach it, and then let's roll it down. You can do whatever you want, (groaning) she says, with your arms, as you go back. Let's try that again, that was so fun.

Alright, (laughs) up you go. Lift your head, neck and shoulders, get-- I know, straighten your elbows, Christie, it's gonna change your life. Be two things in one day. That's good, now can you, can you take that, that is gorgeous. I'm saying "Perfect" when you fall, I'm saying "Perfect" when you fall, and go all the way down.

That means you are trying something new. Trying something difficult. Let's try it one more time, you guys are rocking the house. Great. Whoo, Laura, let the scapula follow those pinkies, you got it.

She's worked out the most today, by the way. And this weekend. And all the way, roll it back, good, let go of your block, good, oh my god, bend your knees. Good, let's get that opposite, opposite energy and let's go into a big shoulder bridge again. So get your position, and again, I'm just gonna note, as they're going up into a shoulder bridge they get to bring their scapula slightly together.

They can kind of hug the midline. And back down, good. And inhale, up. Exhale, down. So we're starting to calm down, yeah.

We have one more fun thing to do, though. All the way up. And all the way down. Take your right knee into your chest. Be a little more successful than you were the first time, if you can, and straighten the opposite leg, roll up to sitting without yanking forward.

Alright, I love it. Alright, guys, so here's how we're gonna end this class. We're gonna go into Crab, which, if you've watched me on Anytime you know that's one of my faves, feel like it's a, you know, left-out family member. And what I want you to do, you're gonna do your thing, I didn't know if that was there so I got a little scared. (laughs) And then you're gonna come up and you're gonna do that thing, right? Note you're gonna organize, yep, your shoulder girdle.

Now, after we've done three, on the next one I want you to come in to this position where you would be for that forearm plank. Tuck your head in, come up onto your toes and I want you just to practice pushing up and down a couple times. It comes from my scapula. So I'm going like this, well, I'm helping with my legs, right, but I'm going like this. Because when you're in that kind of inversion we're trying to encourage the reality that that scapula has to be lifted up there, okay?

It's also a great strengthener, weight-bearing strengthener for the serratus. So I'll take you through it. Let's try, crisscross applesauce, don't fall off your mat. Okay, here we go, roll back. Crisscross applesauce, come up.

Now find the crown of your head. Good, and roll back again. Crisscross applesauce. Come up, find the crown of your head, don't fall on it. And again, you're gonna do one full one again, so just a regular Crab right now.

Great, now you're gonna go back, and when you come up this time you're gonna bring your forearms, okay, and I'll show this, so you're gonna bring your forearms and get your feet under. They can be uncrossed, even, if you want, so you could put 'em in a little V. And then I want you just to practice pressing, head down, up, down, up. Three more, down, up. I know, it's so hard, Christie.

I don't get it! "I don't get it," 'cause that's 'cause that struggle with the blade pulling down. And sit down, good, come on. Yeah, as that gets stronger, guys, I'll show this from a precarious front-- No, I can't do that. (laughing) I'll show everyone this view, though. So as you get stronger, watch how much my head will end up clearing.

Right, that's the pure movement of my scapula there. So if we've been holding them down we're not gonna get anywhere. So you're gonna find that range. Really? There you go.

Heck yeah. That's hard. Super hard, well, it's different use of a muscle, right? Good, excellent. So you guys, just come on up to the front of your mats again, and let's close with these same images.

I know, it's such close quarters. Hello. (laughing) Welcome to my cave. So let's just kinda, just pick this girdle up and shake it, ahh, right, good. And let's just put that cape on and feel the beauty of rolling down and allowing the shoulder girdle not to be controlled, yeah?

It's really good to let go of control, right? Let it go, yeah, right? So being free is really nice. And roll up, and then your shoulder girdle would really like that, because it's actually designed to get things, like food and love in the world, so go ahead and drop your head, let it go one more time. Yeah, just let it go.

Alright, just hang there. So I had a teacher once who described the arms as basically, your shoulder girdle was there in the world to receive and give, right, to take in and to give out. And so if we're holding it and we're pulling on it, we're not gonna be able to do that. So roll up. And so if I wanted to go for a hug, I would go for it, yes.

Free your shoulder blades, everybody. Thank you, bye. (clapping)


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Cara Reeser you are FANTASTICA!
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I was so surprised that these "hard" exercises of the shoulder girdle were fairly easy for me that I brought someone in to check me out. Quite curious how I am going to feel tomorrow though. :) What remains nearly IMPOSSIBLE for me to do is the prone to plank push up. I replayed that segment serveral times and everyone does it beautifully. Keeping the integrity/alignment of all my "containers" only gets me inches off the ground.Literally inches. And yes, that is an improvement over past performance. So where do go from there. Drop back to prone after several attempts and then try with knees bent? Or is there some other intermediate movement I should try?
Joni, I also often practice it on the wall. We show several examples of this in the workshop. It is basically the same idea but easier with less pull from gravity. I hope this helps. Thanks for watching.
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Thanks so much for the suggestion Cara. I've been doing the wall push ups (and what you call lazy cats in the video) for about 30 years and it's gotten me to the point where I can finally do a few consecutive push ups. That said I STILL can't lift completely Imaintaining any semblance of alignment) from a prone position. What might be the next progression in difficulty after wall push ups? I tried rigging the theraband around my back with my hands holding the ends against the wall to provide additional resistance during the "lift" portion. Any problems with doing that that I'm not considering?
Cara is one of my favorites! She is fun, always challenging and leaves me with something new to think about.
Thank you Sharon for watching and putting out this positive note.
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Super class as always, past teaching has always been to draw the shoulder blades down. This makes so much sense. Tough class in parts, will do over again and again to practice. An inspiration as always cara!!!!
Super having reviewed all this stuff - thank you so much for your inspiration!!!
Patricia, I am glad you like it and I am sending you big hugs.
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Great class as always Cara. Cant wait to watch the workshop!
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