I'm so excited today because we've got some fun people here, we've got Aneesha who is here all the way from Dubai. Dubai. And my friend Sarah who y'all know, and Nicole from behind the scenes. You may not see her a lot but she is here all the time. So we're excited to have her in class today.
Let's sit up. And bring the hands just behind the knees. And notice where your feet are, see that they're just parallel to one another and about sit bones distance apart. And then give yourself some gentle upward lift, just some feedback with you arms in an upwardly direction and allow your eyes to close for a moment. And just bring your awareness inwards or towards your breath, and just taking a moment to feel into our bodies before we begin to move.
Feeling the weight of the body resting right on top of the sitting bones. The bones of the spine stacking over the sitting bones in an upright position and then bring awareness to the backs of the ears, see if you can lift them up and send them slightly backwards so that the head floats just above the spine. The eyes can stay closed or they can open whenever you're ready, we're gonna inhale to prepare, and exhale just continue to prepare, we're not moving yet yeah, ha ha. So, just a breath, to another breath, one more breath and then I promise I'll let us move. Inhale, and exhale bringing awareness to the center of the body and here we go.
We move now, inhale, as you exhale allow the pelvis, the tailbone, to tuck under and draw back into your lower spine with your abdominal muscles. Continue to keep your arms fairly strong. And inhale to lift. And then again exhale, the pelvis tips, it rolls under, keeping the shoulders right over the pelvis. And again, I like to use my arms to provide a little resistance for my abdominals as they reach backward trying to find a stretch.
And inhale lift the spine. And just one more like that, exhale to round the spine, good, and inhale to bring the spine back upright. And again exhale drawing the naval back towards the spine, create that same rounded position. Once you get there let go. Inhale, exhale roll back, so it's not...
I think about it as more of a hinge, once we find that round position in our spine we can hinge back, pause to inhale. Exhale round forward, or hinge forward and then inhale let's lift the spine tall. Again exhale, create round, or create flexion, feel the arms reach forward to help you find that and roll back. Inhale to pause, exhale press into the mat or into the floor with your abdominals and roll yourself up, and then inhale lift the spine tall again. One more time like that, exhale to round the spine, arms reach forward and roll back.
Pause. Inhale, and exhale to round back up. So if that, just kinda small range is challenging for you or, let's go again, or you have a tightness in your lower back feel free to bring your hands to your thighs and use your hands to help you slightly. Use your hands to help you to really finite or create a finite movement, or controlled movement, and lift. I'm not gonna hold on but Sarah might.
She'll show you what to do. So we roll down, we're gonna pause at the lower spine. If you're holding on lift one arm, if you're not holding on lift one arm, and lower the same arm down. Let's inhale to take one arm up, see how far back it can go without you losing your position. Inhale one arm.
Exhale down. Inhale opposite arm so we're alternating. Exhale down, let's do one more to each side. Inhale, and exhale. And inhale, and exhale.
Pause to inhale, use your arms or don't use your arms. Rolling back up, and lifting the spine tall. And inhale, and round. Rolling back. So again bringing your hands to your thighs if that's something that makes you feel more in control or like you're doing better movement.
Inhale, right arm out to the side. Exhale, press the air through space as the right arm comes back. Inhale, left arm just out to the side, doesn't have to be big, can be real small. You could take it two inches away. You could take it all the way out, you decide.
And exhale back. And inhale opposite. And exhale back. We're going one more time, inhale. And exhale.
And inhale. And exhale last time to come up. This time to lift the arms, to open the arms wide, touch both sides of the room. Round the spine, take the arms forward, and roll down all the way. But find your control, rolling down with control, with control, with control all the way to the mat.
Either scoot your feet in closer to your pelvis, or scoot your pelvis in closer to your feet for a pelvic curl. Head is down, neck is long, arms are long, and straight, breathe in. As you breathe out flatten your spine into the mat and then begin, one bone at a time, to peel or lift or both, that spine off the mat. Reach the knees forward and send the heels energetically backward towards the fingertips, inhale. Exhale, start with the breastbone.
As you begin to lay your spine down into the mat. That's not part of the choreography that's my hamstring cramping. So if you're one needing to fix a cramping hamstring, you can do that lil kick as well. And inhale, and exhale. Isn't it nice to know that no one's perfect?
It's so nice. It's so nice to know that I don't need to feel like I need to be perfect, so I'm just not. Pausing at the top. Starting from the throat, feeling the throat soften, the breastbones soften down between the shoulder blades which are wide and flat on the mat. The ribs come down, the bones of the lower spine are replaced into the floor.
And inhale. And exhale, flattening the spine. Feel that the heels and the tips of the fingers are energetically reaching for one another. Keep the ribs slightly below the pubic bone. Inhale.
And exhale to roll down. All the way. We'll go one more time. Inhale, so just warming up the spine from all different orientations, all different directions. Pausing to inhale.
Holding at the top we're gonna lift the left leg off the floor. Try to stabilize the pelvis as that leg lifts and then goes back down. And now the right leg. So alternating sides. Creating the challenge in your own experience of trying to really stabilize, how can you stabilize your pelvis, or how still can you keep your pelvis as you alternate from side to side with that lifting leg.
Exhale to lift, inhale to go down. Exhale to lift, inhale to go down. One more time to each side, exhale, and inhale. And exhale, and inhale. Lift both sides of the pelvis, or lift the pelvis as a unit, reach the arms up overhead.
Keep them hovering just off the floor as you roll down. Feel that the spine is moving in one direction and the fingertips are moving in the other direction. Using that oppositional energy to create mobility, to create ease of movement, to create movement. Bring your arms out to your sides, and lay them down onto the mat. They can be in a T or in a low V shape.
Lift one leg, lift the other leg. Bring the knees together, inhale as the knees come towards me. Spine twist supine. Exhale as we draw the naval back towards the spine. Bringing ourself back into the center.
Inhale as you tip over bringing the knees over to the opposite side. And exhale, draw the abdominals back towards the spine and come center. Inhale rocking onto one side of the pelvis, keeping the knees aligned. Exhale as we come back. Inhale as we reach over to the other side.
Exhale as we come back. Try to feel that the shoulders continue to alternate sides. Stay wide and broad and still and flat. And again to the other side, inhale. And again to center exhale.
Last time to each side. Inhaling across. Exhaling to center. Keeping the abdominals working in both the over, the over and across, and also the back. Leave the legs where they are in space, reach back to interlock the fingers and bring the hands all the way behind the head, hooking the thumbs at the base of the skull.
Breathe in to prepare here. As you exhale curl the head and chest up. Feel the ribs slide down the front of the body, feel the abdominals or the belly button drop back into the floor, and then inhale to come down. So that's a fairly long exhale. Again, lifting up, if you need to breathe differently, you should continue to breathe as necessary.
I just felt like a stewardess just then. Continue to breathe as necessary. And exhale. Work with your own breathe before assisting other people. And inhale.
And exhale. I'm giving us a second breathe now. Last one, exhaling to lift. Inhaling. Exhaling to lay with resistance, with work, with contraction, the spine back on the mat.
Exhale to lift again, pause here. Take the hands out from behind the head and hold the backs of the thighs. Don't necessarily come up much higher, just think more forward more round. Lift the arms up bring them back behind the head. Inhale, hinge the knees away so the toes tip the mat.
And draw in, bring the legs back. Inhale, hinge the knees away. Exhale, pull back. We're gonna do five. Inhale, they go down.
Exhale, they pull back. Inhale, they go down. Exhale, they pull back. Last time, inhale down. Exhale back.
Inhale, lift higher, and exhale to go down. Here's a different little pattern. Exhale, lift the head and chest. Inhale, take the legs away. Exhale, bring the legs back.
Drop the feet, curl the knees into the chest. It's like reverse rolling like a ball, roll the pelvis back down, lift the feet, lower the body. Exhale to lift the head and chest. Inhale take the legs away. Exhale lift the legs up, drop the feet.
Reverse curl knees into the nose. Keep that body lifted or lift higher as the pelvis is coming down, lift the feet. And lower the body. I think one more of those is just plenty. Exhale to lift, Sarah agrees.
Feet drop down. Knees lift up or come back, relax the feet to the back of the legs, curl knees to nose. Come back, lift the feet, lower the body, inhale. Exhale head and chest up. Hands behind the thighs.
Give yourself just a moment of finding a good solid integris position. Let go, reach back, hands behind the head, right leg down. And switch five, five, four, so we're hinging from the pelvis. Four, three, three, two, two, one, hold it up. Rotate to the leg that's in the air.
Use your hands to help you lift high and rotate. Five switch, hold pause just for a moment. Five switch, four, and four, three, and three, two, and two, last time. Last time, both knees in, hold the backs of the legs. Lift the knees into the nose, and roll yourself up.
Bring the feet in a little closer. Glue the knees together, eyes down, shoulders down, elbows wide, rolling like a ball we rock back, inhale. And come up to balance. And rock, and finding your balance. The balance point is just behind the tailbone, just behind the pelvis.
We'll do two more, inhale. And exhale, last time. Inhale, and holding here. Taking a hold of the left knee with the right hand, the left foot with the left hand. The right leg's gonna straighten.
We're gonna push that knee into our hands, or push that leg into your hands, and begin to roll back controlling, control it. We're comin' down onto the mat, control, control, control. That's right, and now we're gonna switch, ready? Five, five, four, pressing down into the knee. Three, three, two, two, one, we should be back on that leg that we started with.
Press the knee into your hands. Curl deep, rolling up, control, control. Think we all struggled with that one a little bit and that is just fine. Let's change, changing in the air here we go. Pressing the shin into the hands.
Rolling, tipping the pelvis under. Yes, Sarah, yes it's hard. Ready and change, five, five, four, sinking the abdominals, four, three, three, two, two, one, we're back on the right leg, here we go. Press in, push, I'm stuck. (laughter) Alright, ready?
Here's what we're gonna do now, we're gonna change sides. This time the arms are gonna stay, no pushing. Just gonna reach through the arms, gonna roll back again. That long leg is reaching, reaching, maybe it'll help us hold ourselves still. And now find yourself just off your shoulders, hands behind your head, here we go.
Rotate five, five, four, four, three... Two... one. Back to left knee and right leg out, arms facing forward. And we roll up.
You can use your hands if you need to. And we switch. And we roll down. And when you get to your shoulder blades, hands behind the head and switch. Five, crisscross, five, four, four...
Three... Two... Last time. Right knee and left leg straight, rolling up. Hold it, both knees in, almost there.
Stick with it, fight for it, roll down. Hands on both knees, double leg stretch. Reach out, and circle back. Inhale, and back. Feel that expansion, and the contraction that comes along with the inhale and the exhale.
Let's do four, and pull, three, and pull, two, and pull, one, pull. Here's gonna be the hardest part, can we get up from here? Use your hands if you need to, roll up into those legs. And then curl in tight, into your rolling like a ball position without holding on, now we're gonna roll back. We're gonna kick over.
Ah, freedom, look at that. Flex through the feet. Separate the legs. Press through the heels as you articulate your spine down pressing through the heels to articulate the spine down. Point the legs, lower the legs down, bend the knees, lift the head, curl into the legs and we go again.
We're gonna roll back, kick over. Flex the feet. Separate the feet. And roll down. Same again, just like the last time.
We bring the legs down and together, the head and chest come up as we bend our knees and curl up into the legs. One more. Exhale to roll back, kick over. Separate the legs. Transitioning here so it's gonna change slightly.
Gonna open, gonna roll down, this time I want you to keep your legs straight, lift your head, roll up, reach for your ankles. You can have bent knees here, you can have straight legs, you can hold on behind the legs. We're gonna do three open leg rockers, here we go. Inhale back, and exhale up, finding our balance. And inhale back, and exhale up, and pausing to find balance.
One more, inhale back, exhale up, pause and hold. Let go. Lift the arms up and lower the legs down at the same time sit all the way up. Take your arms out in front of you. Spine stretch forward.
Inhale. And bring the chin into the chest. Roll the spine forward, create opposition always through the center of the body let the arms come just between the feet, sending the top of the head forward. Inhale to hold, exhale to stack the spine. One bone at a time.
Lengthening up, lifting up, and inhale. And exhale, imagine that you're holding something that's the same width of your shoulders in between your arms so there's a slight inward pressure with the upper arms, pause to inhale. And exhale, there's a wall and imagine you're a wall now behind us that we're building our spine up against. Wheeling the spine up into a straight position, nice. Inhale again one more time.
Exhale, round the spine, reach forwards. Pause to inhale. And exhale lift the body back up. And now with extension, inhale. And exhale roll down.
So now from here, lead with the arms coming up towards the ears, send the arms to the ears, and then begin to send the spine forward on the diagonal, out and forward on the diagonal. Pause there. Let your hands come down, just let them rest wherever they fall. And I want you to use your arms to help you pull your back into a more straight position, a more flat position. And then let go, let the arms float up towards the ears, all the way up to the ears, lift the spine up.
Open the arms out to the sides and take the arms forward. We're gonna do that twice more, same thing, inhale. Exhale round the spine, drawing back. Starting to find our back extensors. Arms to ears, chest reaches out and forward.
Top of the head reaching out through the fingertips. That's right Nicole, just lift your sternum just tiny bit. Hands come down, use your arms to give you a a stronger position, a more straight back. Fine for the knees to bend if necessary. Let go, arms float, send the spine more forward as the arms reach up, then lift the whole body up.
Open the arms out to the side, bring the arms forward. Create press there, create pressure. Exhale, last one, round. And lengthen. Forward diagonal, arms drop to the legs.
Give ourself a little help here. Help is always welcome in my world. And then reach up, lift up, arms to your sides. Breathe in and rotate towards me. Exhale, take that front arm past the front foot, the back arm turns around and faces the back of the room.
Reach out and up, and center. Nice, and inhale, reach across, exhale to dive forward. Inhale, the arms reach away from one another. And then we come center. So the arm that comes from the back of the room to the front of the room comes to the forward foot.
And then the arms reach away from one another. And they open as we unwind. Now the arm that comes from the front of the room, reaches to the foot at the back, that's right. That's right you got it. And then lengthen out, and center.
Last time here feel the spiral through the waist. And reach opposite hand to foot. And the arms pull away from each other, helping us lengthen as we lift and center. And rotate. And reach.
And reach out and up, and center. And then bring the hands behind you and bend your knees. So fingers can face in, face in towards the pelvis, they can also face out to the side. Whatever makes your shoulders feel as though they are in a happy place. We're gonna draw the abdominals back towards the spine.
Want you to press the mat away from you. Just that idea of pressing the mat away from you and lifting the back is the work that we want for shoulder stability as we come down. Now we're just gonna press into the feet and lift the hips. Reach the hips up, trying to create a straight line shoulders to knees, and then press the mat away from you with your arms as your pelvis comes down in a hinge. Exactly, exhale to press down with the feet and lift up with the hips, drawing the abdominals down for support.
Inhale, the hips come down, the pelvis comes down. Two more, exhale, lift up, press up. Feeling the backs of the legs, feeling the stretch through the shoulders. And sit down, nice. Last time, press down into the feet, lift up.
This time send the knees, just float the knees further away so we reach and get a little bit more of a shoulder stretch. Come back so you're right over your hands. Sit down, straighten your knees, or not. Keep them slightly soft if that's better for you. Let's bring the hands behind the head.
So, wherever your legs need to be for your spine to be in an upright shape. Visualize the movement, this movement coming from the center of your chest, from the middle of your breastbone spiral, come towards me. And center. Let's use an exhale to move, to spiral in the other direction, and inhale center. Notice where your feet are in space and wherever they are try not to allow them to slide back and forth.
And inhale, and exhale the head comes with the spine as we rotate the spine, and center. Let's do three with a double press. So it's pull, pull, and pull, pull. Right to the other side, pull, pull. The spiral goes up, pull, pull.
Last time, rotate. And rotate. Center, bring the chin into the chest, drop the elbows towards the eyes, roll down as though you're gonna put the top of your head onto or in between your knees. Allowing the spine to find a stretch. Allow the arms to come back down away from the head.
Roll the body up, and turn towards me and lie on your side. So, lining the body up, the big toes are lined up, the ankle bones are lined up, maybe your ankles bones won't touch, mine don't, but they are on a similar plane. Hand down just in front of the ribs. We're gonna send the legs away from our bodies, away from our heads to lift the legs up. And then reach the legs down without laying them down on the floor.
Feel the ribs draw back, the abdominals draw in. I say this a lot but it's one of my favorite things to think about, try to create space between your clothing and the skin, your skin. So we draw backward with the musculature of the trunk so much so that we create work and space. Let's do three more, lifting, and down. Checking in with the shoulder of the hand that's helping you to support yourself is it curling up into your ear?
It should stay down all the time. Let's do one more, reaching out and up, out and up, hold here, now take the bottom leg forward, top leg back. And we do pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, keeping the body the center of the scissor. Three. Two.
One. Top leg back, bottom leg down, holding here now we go up with both legs, and down. And up with both legs, and down. And three. And two.
And one. Lower the legs down, keep the back leg behind you, and then reach out and find a stretch. Top arm reaching out, back leg, that's a leg that can move around. Just find a place where you can get a good stretch. Gonna bend the bottom knee.
We're gonna rotate the top hip so that the knee... the knee faces down, the toes face down, so we're in internal rotation of the hip, looking for gluteus medius work here. We're gonna lower and reach out. So the leg goes down, it doesn't lift very high maybe just slightly higher than the pelvis. Reach out, reach out, so that out is the energy.
We'll do four more kinda quick one, and two, and three, and hold. Now that leg's gonna come forward, it goes up, down, and back. So our new pattern, forward, knee down foot down, up, down, and back. As the leg's moving through space that spine stays totally still. And forward, hopefully you're starting to feel a little bit or burn maybe, or muscular engagement maybe.
Here's our halfway point, forward up, down back. Forward up, down back. Forward up, down back. Two more. And the very most fun part it's coming up right now.
Well, in a minute, in a second. Here it is the very most fun part. Take that leg forward, and now drop lift, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, the end. Bend and sit up. Let's bring that leg, that working leg around to the front.
We'll give it a stretch, so bringing the knee up into the center of the body, dropping the hip down, the same hip that still burns. Or, that still, can still feel. Lifting the spine, heavying up the pelvis. Alright and then we're gonna undo that. We're gonna swing the legs around to the other side, and we're gonna do it all over again.
Exciting I realize. Alright so we lined up the legs, big toes, knees, pelvis. And then we remembered to reach the legs to lift. And down. The head is just resting on the arm, the bottom arm is soft.
Bottom shoulder is soft. Abdominals are... the center of the body is where we're putting our focus for this movement in our legs. And just do two more, reaching out to lift up, and out to lift up. Now we're gonna take the top leg to the back, the bottom leg to the front, and we do pull, pull, pull, pull, becomes a little bit more challenging when the bottom leg has to go to the back. But we're good.
Keep it small. Last two. Last time. Again now top leg back, bottom leg forward. Now the whole structure lifts and comes down.
And lifts, again creating contraction, creating abdominal work. Last two. Last time. Let the legs come down onto the floor. That back leg can now move around wherever you need it to as you reach your front arm and find a stretch through the body, maybe through the hip, maybe through the waist.
And then bend the bottom knee, take that top leg out straight, rotated the knee and the foot down, let the foot totally relax, we go down and out, down and out. So it's like you're trying to reach and touch the other side of the room. Here's another place where you can feel that you can generate work in your sides. If you choose to put focus there. Here's our last one, hold here.
We're gonna go forward, up, down, back. Forward up, down back. The up and the down are fairly small. Just maybe, I'll say six inches. I put my hand on my pelvis I like to do that to make sure it stays still, it's not important it can also stay down on the floor.
So we will have five to go forward up, down and back. Forward up, down and back. Here's our last three, and back. Last two, sometimes the simplest of movements can create the most challenge. Go forward, muscularly anyway, we'll go down, down, down, down, down, five, four, three, two, the end, rest.
Help yourself up. Bring that leg around the front we'll give it stretch. Dropping down into the hip, bringing the knee across the body towards the center of the chest. Lifting the spine. You'll notice that the hip it's stretching kinda wants to not be all the way on the floor, so can we drop into that a little bit more, maybe.
And then bringing your own awareness to your spine, and lifting the spine up. Okay. And now we're gonna come around on the mat to our hands and knees. So I want you to find good shoulder stabilization. What do I mean by that, feel that the shoulders are wide on the back, lift up with the ribs so it feels as though you're pushing your arms down and by lifting the ribs they're trying to push the mat away from you by lifting your ribs up into your body.
Then take one leg out. Stand on that leg. Take the other leg out. Just pause here and hold. You're gonna round the spine, bend the knees, bring the knees down to the mat like a knee stretch.
And then straighten back out. And again, round the spine, drawing into the abdominals. Knees tip the mat and reach out. Exhale, round. And reach out.
Exhale, round. And reach out. Exhale, round. And reach out. Now keep the right leg on the mat lift the left leg up.
Just the left knee into the body, exhale, round. And stretch back. Rounding the spine as the knee comes, pushing the mat away. And back, and curl. And back, and curl.
And back, last time, exhale. And step back all the way, holding here. Right leg up, exhale to round. And stretch. And round.
The pelvis will feel as though it has to drop slightly as that we come back into our plank position, last two. Active straight leg. One more. Stretch back, foot down on the mat, holding. Hold it, Nicole.
And bend your knees, and sit back on your feet to rest. And then roll through the spine, and come forward so you're lying all the way down on your stomach on your front. Send your arms out in front of you. So, allow there to be a slightly backward gliding action of the shoulder blades as we lift just the breastbone up. So the ribs are still heavy on the mat, just the heads a little bit above the body.
We're gonna lift the left arm and reach the right leg. And then lower. And then lift the right arm and reach the left leg. And lower. And opposite, left right.
And down. The body stays fairly stationary, it's not moving up and down it's just staying stable as we create the arm leg reach. Bilateral movement, strengthening the back muscles. Keep the abdominals supporting the spine. One more time to each side.
And then both arms down, and both legs up. Keeping the hands on the floor we do a little flutter kick with the legs. Inhale two, three, four, five, and exhale. And two, two, three, four, five, we're doing three breaths here. And three, two, three, four, five, and exhale.
Pause with the legs, so bout that pace, arms and legs in swimming. Inhale two, three, four, five, and exhale. Inhale two, three four, five, and exhale. And three, two, three, four, five, and exhale. And now lower everything down.
Bend your elbows so that your forearms are next to your body resting flat on the mat. You're gonna create again just a little bit of up awareness with the legs and a little bit of abdominal awareness and then start gliding the scapula back, the shoulder blades back. As that happens feel that as you start to lift your chest off the mat you're gliding your forearms backward on the mat. Then, create some forearm push so the body starts to lift a little higher. Then allow the elbows to begin to leave the mat.
Keep the abdominals working, keep the shoulders reaching down you don't have to go all the way to straight arms just go to where you can stabilize your shoulders, keeping your eye line straight ahead. We're gonna bend the elbows, elbows come to the mat first. And then lay the spine back out. So we start by lifting the back of the head. The shoulder blades, the scapula, slide down, glide down.
We create some down push with the forearms. Once you can't lift any higher without pressing, without allowing your elbows to lift, allow the elbows to lift. Keep the scapula, the shoulder blades down. It's not important how high or how not high you come. Just go to where you can.
And then bend the arms, elbows down first. And lower all the way. Last time. Back of the head lifts, glide. So it's not about creating a picture of anything, it's about doing what works for your body.
So create what feels good to you, what feels strong, what feels supported. And then elbows down, lengthen the body all the way out. Allow the forehead to rest for a moment. Allow the back to settle, to rest for a moment. And then press with your forearms up onto your forearms and your knees.
Scoot your knees in slightly closer to your elbows. I like to separate my knees, it's more comfortable for me, but we're just reaching back to sit down into our child's pose. Stretching the arms out front. I'm right now, at this moment, using my hands to try to push my pelvis further back towards my feet. So you could do that too, if you wanted.
Or not, or you could just rest here. And just bringing awareness to breath and healing. And letting the body settle. A little simple movement practice to start our day, or end our day, or happy lunchtime or whatever. When you're ready you can roll yourself up.
And we're all done. (applause)
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