Class #2880

Mat for Traveling

40 min - Class


If you don't have much space but still want a full body workout, then this Mat class with Meredith Rogers is perfect for you! This class was inspired by PA member, Joni Nichols, as she wanted something she could do when she was traveling. Meredith uses a Towel to teach simple but effective movements that stay inside the Mat so you can workout anywhere!
What You'll Need: Mat, Towel

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

This class is gonna be so fun. It's inspired by my friend and long-time Pilates Anytime member, Miss Joni Nichols. So she says she wants a class where you can do it in a hotel with no space, and where you're not gonna kick something or injure yourself. So what I've got is a towel, because everyone has a towel. Every home has a towel, every hotel has a towel.

And I have this mat here. And I'm gonna pretend like this mat is all the space I have. So no going outside the mat. It's gonna be fun. Let's see what happens.

So the first thing I want us to do is I want us to take our towel and just hold it by its opposing corners and roll it, and then bring it out in front of you. Actually let's start with it behind the thighs. Okay, so the elbows can be in towards the sides of the body. Use the arms, use the arms to help you lift your spine up tall. And take just a minute here, a minute with your eyes closed to feel the feet on the mat, grounded, grounding the tailbone, or the sitting bones, I guess is a more appropriate thing to ground at this particular moment.

And then reaching up through the top of the head, and from here we'll inhale, and exhale we'll allow the spine to round, so just keep our elbows nice and close to the body. Keep the elbows nice and close to the body and let the spine round. And then lift back up. So the towel creates some support, the spine lifts, and we're gonna reach up, we're gonna lift the chest. If we're in a hotel, we've either been in a car or on an airplane, and we want to go this way, I'm sure of it.

And then sit tall. And exhale, round the spine. Deepen, deepen, deepen, deepen, deepen. And inhale, lift, spine straight. And exhale, extend the spine.

And inhale, neutral, and exhale, round. Elbows close to the body, they just come on back. Or maybe the ribs slide backwards of the arms a little bit. And then lift. And extend.

And then take the towel out from underneath your legs, and hold it in your hands. Inhale, reach the arms up overhead. Exhale, round forward bringing the arms forward. Roll back towards the mat. Feel the lower spine connect into the mat.

Inhale, lift the arms straight up. Exhale, lower the arms straight down. And roll up all the way. And lift and inhale. So I'm pulling my towel apart a little bit.

Feeling the outsides of my shoulders engage, gonna round forward, gonna roll back. Lift the towel, can go as far back as you've got space for. Bring it down, and roll up. And then let's take the arms up as we take the spine up, and inhale, and round and reach. And roll back.

And inhale, lift. And exhale down, and roll up, and lift up. Last time, round, rock back. Inhale as you lift the legs. No, those are arms, we lifted the arms.

Now we're gonna lower the towel to the right leg. Lift the towel up, lower the leg. Lower the towel to the left leg. Lift the towel up, lower the leg. And press, and down.

And press, and down. And press, so you push the towel down on the leg to feel the back muscles engage. Press, and down, last one. Press, and down. Towel goes in front, roll up.

Lift up. And round, roll back. I'm gonna do a little oblique rotation. So what I want us to do is we're just gonna go right to the side of the leg and reach the edge of the towel down and then center. Right up against the arm pushes up against the body.

And center. Still pulling the towel apart, rotate. And center, and rotate, and center. Rotate, and center, rotate, and center. Last one to each side, nice big rotation.

Use the arm pressing into the side of the body. Come to center, inhale, exhale, roll up. Lift up, take the upper body back so the chest reaches, the towel's reaching behind. Round forward. Take the towel and wrap it behind your thighs.

You'll have your arms bent again. Gonna roll down, all the way down here, so you're just right at the edge of your shoulder blades. Then now we're gonna use the towel behind the leg to curl just to the lower back, to the sacrum, and down. Keep the elbows just on the inside of the mat, Meredith. And down, so if you've got space for wide elbows, it feels kinda nice.

I'm just challenging myself to not go outside of my mat, so that's what's happening in this world. So lifting, and down. And lifting, and down. And now we're gonna turn, so the arm that your turning to is pressed up against the side of the body, and we can bend the arms and pull and go down. And bend the arms and pull.

So just using that towel to help us to find a little bit more range, or to find a great range. Two more. Last time. Come back to center, rotate the other way. I'm bending the arm that's on the bottom, we're bending both arms eventually.

Just so that it has room for the towel to adjust. The towel, the side of the body that I'm rotating away from the towel on that leg is slightly higher than the one that I'm rotating towards. This is our last one. Come back to center. Lie all the way down. (whistling) Bring your arms up, just above your chest.

Continuing to hold the towel, inhale. As you exhale, we're gonna roll the pelvis up. We're gonna roll the pelvis up and we're gonna start to press the towel down towards the thighs. I want you to press down around your thighs. Wrap the towel around your thighs and then roll down.

So you don't have to hold with a big grip. I'm just pinching the towel in between my thumb and first finger. I'm just using it as a little bit of upper back awareness. So press, shoulder blades side down, towel comes to the thighs. We wrap the towel around the thighs, we press the hips up into the towel, we inhale, and exhale, roll down.

Down, down, down, and all the way and inhale. And exhale, roll up. Press and wrap, and roll down. And inhale, last two, pressing down through the feet, lifting up with the hips. Press the towel around the thighs, lift up nice and high, and down.

And last time. Warming up the spine, warming up the backs of the legs, warming up the upper back, the backs of the arms, the shoulders, and down. Then we're just gonna take the arms, bend them, and place the towel just behind the head, just behind the head, right behind the neck at the base of the skull. So bringing the arms down just to the sides of the body, just to the sides and then slightly away from the body. Lift one leg and then the other.

Bringing the knees across, twirl in one direction, towards me was what I was saying. And then pull back through center. So as the knees travel in one direction, the abdominals travel in the opposite direction. So we're always consciously pulling away, awareness away from the outward movement. So we pull in to move the legs out.

And we pull in more to bring the legs center, or we re-assess and re-commit. And inhale. And exhale. And inhale. And exhale.

Last time, inhale. And exhale, stay here, reach back for your towel. Towel should be hooked right around the base of the skull. Gonna curl the head and chest up, let the head stay heavy in the towel, but use, think about using your arms to help you up. Hold that, inhale, take the feet to the floor, exhale, lift the legs up, and inhale to go down.

Exhale, head heavy in the towel, lift. Inhale, legs down, exhale, pull up, lifting, lifting, lifting the chest into the thighs. And inhale down. And exhale, lift up. Inhale, thighs, elbows narrow.

Stay within that small space. Curl, and down, and last two. Head, chest, spine. Legs away. In and down.

One more, lift up, lower the legs, lift the legs and hold. Take one leg down and change. Five, five, keep curling higher, but don't force your head forward. Four, three, three, two, two, one, one, now stretch the legs. And kick five, five, four, four, three, pulling that top leg back, two, one, one, lifting the legs, bending the knees, placing the head down.

Curl up, elbows narrow. Now we're gonna take the right leg to the mat. We're gonna reach across, left elbow comes into the body, right elbow goes across to the knee. Keep the head in the towel. And switch so the elbows stay narrow.

And switch, shoulder blades pulled down. Can you touch your elbow to your knee? Last time. Oh and now straight legs. Five, four, four, three, two, one, both legs up, bend the knees.

Head and chest come down. So we're going to curl the head and chest up. We're gonna drop the feet to the back of the hips. We're gonna bring the knees all the way in to touch the nose. Oh, I can't quite touch.

Gonna lower down, lift the feet, lower the legs. Lift the legs and go down. It's hard on the arms, I'm finding. Exhale to lift, pause there. Drop the feet, curl into a ball, knees to nose.

Roll the spine down, curl higher, lift the feet, take the legs away, lift the legs up, and take the body down. We'll go three more times. Head and chest up, feet come down, pelvis curls up. Pelvis curls down, lift the feet, take the legs away, hinge, pull back, and head comes down. Last two.

Head and chest, drop the feet, curl. Roll, lift, hinge, lift, and down. Oh my, last time. Head and chest up, drop the feet, curl, uncurl, feet come up, drop the feet, keep them down. Take the arms forward, can we get up from here?

That's the big question. We're gonna try. Oh, I have to hold on. Oh, straighten out your legs. The towel can just rest at the edge of your feet.

Hands behind the head. So pressing the head into the hands, lifting the spine nice and tall, organizing so that the feet are parallel to one another, inhale and twist, it's a double twist. So we pull, pull, find center. And pull, pull, find center. And lift as you twist and center.

Lift as you twist and center. Last time, can you grow taller every rotation? Here's a little variation. Inhale as you rotate. Now I'm gonna take my left elbow to my left knee.

So same side elbow. I'm not trying to come across my body. Elongate through the spine, sit back up. And find center, inhale to rotate. Exhale, elbow reaches down.

Think about lifting up to go over. Reach up and center. And twist, and we go down, and up and center and twist. And we go down, lengthen, and last time to each side. Rotate, you're reaching up to go over.

Around, around something. You're not just collapsing the spine down. Find center, lift and twist, reach around. Lift back up, find center. Take the hands, reach behind you.

I'm gonna end up standing on my towel, but I'm not too worried about it. So we press the mat away. We're gonna inhale here, gonna reach down. Press into the towel, into the mat, into the floor, lift the hips, and as you come down, push the mat away. Push the mat away, lift the chest, bring the chest forward.

Again, exhale, draw the abdominals backward. Feel that the middle of the back is working. The middle of the back is working to help you to stabilize your shoulder blades. Your abdominals are pulling you down. We'll do three more.

Reach up, up, up and down. And two more, lift up. And down. And last time, lift up, up. And down, sit all the way up.

Reach forward for your towel. Bend your knees. Lift your feet off the floor. And now from here, gonna bring the arms with us, bring the arms with us as we roll the spine down control. We're gonna roll slow.

Slow is hard, I know, that's why we're doing it. Go down, into the double leg stretch position. So what I want you to do here in your double leg stretch is to wrap that towel around your knees and curl up. And then we're gonna stretch everything out, come back, and curl, and reach, and back and curl. And reach and back and curl.

And reach and back and curl and two. And back and lift and one. And back and lift and take the legs out, towel comes behind the head, one knee comes in, pull. And pull, two and two, keep curling. Three, three, four, four, five, five.

Legs go straight, five, five, four, four, press, pull, three, two, one, one, and bend criss-cross it. Elbows narrow. Four, three, two, here we go. And we go straight legs, five, use the bottom leg as an anchor, four, three, two, one, here's the real challenge, my friends. Come to center, take the towel forward, take the legs down, and roll up, up, up.

Look where you're going, look where you're going, look where you're going. And roll down, down, control, control, control. And lift, roll up, up, up, up, raising the arms and taking the arms down. And roll down. Head comes down, arms come up last one.

Roll up, up, up, reach up, flex your feet, separate your legs, take your legs down. I almost got out of my space. Arms forward, inhale. Exhale, round down. If you can, reach the towel around your feet and pull.

And then lengthen your spine there. And then take the towel up towards the ears and hold there. And press it back, two, three, four, five and sit up. And inhale and exhale, round. Drawing the abdominals backwards, reaching the spine forwards, hook, pull, get long and flat in the spine.

Eyes are down just between the feet. Let go, reach up, and press. Reaching long, top of the head is reaching into the towel. Two and one, sit all the way up. Again inhale and exhale, around.

Abdominals drawing back. Take the arms out, reach out. Oh, I forgot to have us stretch, but that's okay. That's okay, I'll give it to us next time. Two, three, abdominals pull back as the arms pull back.

Sit up all the way, arms down, last two. Round down, towel comes around the feet. There it is, take your stretch. Reach out through your spine, let go, reach up. And five, four, abdominals pull back, three, two, one, sit up all the way.

Last time, changing it. Exhale around, take the towel, wrap it around your feet. Pull out into the flat spine, then let the towel stay there. Reach the arms up. We're gonna take the left arm into the center of the legs.

The right arm reaches more forward, and then it reaches behind. And then we're gonna come back through center. Opposite arm comes down, just between the legs. Pull the spine forward, reach that top arm back and around. And back to center, and two more times.

One arm down, opposite arm reaches up and behind. Reaches up and behind. And center and other side. Up and behind. And center, last time.

One arm down, one arm up and back. And center, last one. Really getting the spine to move, getting it long, getting it straight. Come back up, reach down, get your towel. Roll up with your towel.

And roll down. And then once you get down, we're gonna bend the knees, scoot in. Arms above the shoulders. Arms above the chest, I guess. Gonna press down through the feet.

We're gonna roll through the spine, rolling up, rolling up, rolling up. Find your bridge position. Lift your left leg off the floor. So now I want you to move your towel to a point where you can actually push into that towel with that thigh. Now leave the towel there.

We take the leg down and back five. Down, back four. Down, back three, stretching through the front of the hip. Two, one, hold it there. Lift up, bend, replace the foot.

Roll half way down, let the arms come back. Not all the way back, but just like you're opening up through your, or making a hammock with the arms and the knees, and then come back forward, lifting up through the hips. Stabilize, other leg comes up into the towel. Kick it to straight, keep that towel still and go down, pull back. Kick away, reach back.

Kick away, three, two, one, bend, lift, and take the arms back as you roll down. You can just let the towel rest on the mat behind you. So roll to your side, face this way. Come up onto the elbow, bend the knees and stack the feet. Push away, push the mat away with the undercarriage of the body.

So we've created a straight line from the shoulder down to the pelvis. Lift the opposite arm up. We're gonna hover the hips. So you're resting on your bottom knee. We're gonna exhale and thread that arm through.

So thread through, really get a lot of rotation there. Come back and lower the pelvis down. So that lowering of the pelvis I want us to challenge the stability of the shoulder. Lift up, thread yourself through. Unwind and pelvis goes down, one more time.

Lift up, thread through, come back and come down. Now take the top foot over the bottom foot. We're gonna come up, you can stay with what we were just doing or you can come up into fully straight legs. So we go out to straight legs, come under, and back, push the mat away, take the arm overhead. And back, reach through, and straighten, press them out away, arch lift, and back, last time.

Reach through, and straighten, press the mat away, lift, and down, bend your knees. Come all the way down onto that arm. So we're gonna keep the knees bent, heels line up with the hips. We're gonna take the top knee up and down. Up, so you can get a lot out of this or you can get a little out of this.

And the way to get a little out of it is to not really think about what you're doing. The way to get a lot out of it is to really squeeze and try to push right at the edge of your boundary of moving the pelvis, push. And we'll do four more. Three more, the trunk is stable, I'm lifted through my low waist, two, and one. So staying within the mat, we're gonna bring the knee in, around, and back.

In, around, and back. And in, drawing in through the center of the body. And in. Gonna do three more. Three more to make eight.

Two and one. Nice strong hip work and back, simple but effective, around the front and down. Back, around the front, and down. Managing to stay in just a very small area. And back, around, and up and down.

Two more. Last time. Come all the way down, help yourself up. Bring that leg across the body. Bring it right up into the center of the chest.

Try to drop the hip down into the mat. Lift the back. Breathe. Shoulders down, spine lifting, chest lifting, hips heavy. Take the opposite arm around the leg and rotate towards that leg, lifting up as you do so.

And then bring the feet to the other side of your mat. Stacking the knees, stacking the feet, our opposite arm up. Creating a straight line with the bottom of the body. Here we go, inhale, lift the hips. Exhale, rotate through.

Inhale, come back, exhale, lower the pelvis. Keep the stability in the undercarriage of the body. Inhale to lift up. Exhale, reach through. Inhale, come back.

And exhale to come down, last time. Inhale, lift, exhale to reach through. Inhale to come back and exhale to go down. Now remember you can stay with that or you can go out to fully straight legs, which is what I'm doing. I have the top foot in front of the bottom foot, gonna lift up all the way, inhale.

Exhale, reach underneath you. Inhale, come back to your long line. Exhale, arch, looking down. And center, exhale reach through. Inhale back, and reach up and over and back, last time.

Reaching through, and back, and up and over, and all the way down. Keeping the knees bent, we're laying all the way down. Heels lined up with the tailbone, knees in front and now push. So you see how far you can open that knee without letting the pelvis move and then you create more muscular energy, more squeeze. So open, I like to sometimes put my hand on my pelvis just to make sure that it's stable.

Here's halfway, we're doing 10 of these. Here's five, and squeeze down, too, by the way. Four, squeeze down, feel the inner thigh. Three, press down, two, press down, one. Go down and bring that knee into the chest.

Lift up, push it around behind and down. And in and up, around behind us, and down. And three, so you get that nice rotation through the hip, Working all the muscles of the hip. And we have four more, reaching around and back. And three.

And two. And one. And now, we reverse. Around to the front. Keep the undercarriage of the body lifted just not in a really forced way, but just try not to totally let it relax.

So we're working that bottom oblique for spinal stability. Three more. Two more. I don't know about you, but I sure feel these a lot. Last time, and then come all the way down.

We're gonna sit up. Take that leg across the body. Hug it up into the center of the chest. And then try to drop the pelvis down. So what do we think about?

Heavy through the hips, long and lifted with the spine, knee pulling back, like we're trying to bring the spine and the leg closer together. Then we're gonna take the opposite arm and wrap it around the knee. Take the hand behind you to help you support yourself and twist more. Okay, so now what do we do? Now we come onto our hands and knees.

Hands on the mat, lining up your hands so that they're directly under your shoulders. We're gonna tuck the toes under. Tuck the toes under, so what I want you to do is connect through your body, feel like you're pushing them out away with your arms, and now just hover the knees, holding that position, inhale, exhale. Round the spine, straighten the spine. Round the spine, straighten the spine.

Round the spine, straighten the spine. Take the knees down, untuck the toes. Sit back, take the arms a little further forward. You're reaching all the way back into your resting position. And now this time, as we come forward, we're gonna again set the shoulders over the hands, but the knees will be slightly further away.

Gonna tuck the toes under, use your center body to lift your knees, bend your arms, and straighten. You could always keep the knees down. It's harder not to, so you decide. Maybe you could alternate. Last time.

Lower the knees and sit back towards the feet. And then come back, tucking the toes under again. Stabilizing through the front of the body. Hover the knees, lift one foot off, and bring the knee in and back. In and back, in and back.

So just staying bent, last time. Place the foot down, rest the knees down for just a moment. Here we go, both knees again. Lifting up and knee and back. And two, and three, using the abdominals to bring that knee into the body, four, and five.

Foot down, knees down, and sit back. So if you've organized yourself the way I have, your towel should be right behind your feet. If not, it's in front of you and that's even easier to get so let's bring the towel around the front. And lie all the way down. So coming up onto the arms, the elbows, here you want your body to be lifted not super high, so my belly is rested on the mat, but my ribs are off.

So the first thing we're gonna do is try to lift say the skin of the abdominals away from the mat. You still might be touching the mat, but you're engaging, you're pulling up against it. So now we're gonna pick up the towel. We're gonna try to pull the towel apart and bring your chest towards the towel. Let that energy go and take the towel down.

Lift the towel up, try to stretch it apart, and the stretching action is happening from an idea about rotating the upper arms around in an external direction or trying to turn the thumbs backwards. So arms up, stabilize shoulders, abdominals in, try to stretch the towel, taking the arms away from one another, release that, and lower the arms down. We'll do two more. So arms first and then pull. Simple, you should feel good work, last time.

Lift, pull, lifting the chest, Meredith. Lower and down. So the towel can just rest in front of you. Come down so that your hands, your forehead is resting on your hands. Engage through your abdominals, engage through the back sides of the legs, lift the back of the head and the ears so your head comes just off your hands.

Lift your hands up to your head and lower everything down. So we'll do that again, lifting the back of the head first. Lifting the hands to the forehead, and now down. One more like that, and then we'll make a change. So back of the head, back of the ears up, lift the hands to the forehead, and everything comes down.

So now we're gonna add a little side bending. So back of the head, back of the ears, eyes on the mat, lift the hands to the head, inhale. As you exhale, take the right elbow towards the right side of the pelvis and center. Left elbow towards the left side of the pelvis and center. So bring the rib to the hip, center.

Rib to the hip, center, last time. Rib to hip, center, rib to hip, center, and release. Keep your forehead down on one hand, while you take the other hand, I guess you can't keep your forehead down if you need to lift your head to grab your foot, but you might be able to leave it down now. You're gonna lift the thigh off the mat. So you use your arm to pull your foot up off the mat.

And now we're gonna have to lift the head, but you can use this bottom arm, as well. Gonna push your foot into your hand, lifting that leg even more so, reaching up, finding a nice stretch through the front of the leg. Take the leg down, bring the heel to the hip, and stretch away. Other side, so bend and take ahold of the foot, press the pelvis towards the mat, lift the thigh just off the mat, and then try to lift the thigh even more as you lift your, and use this arm for support, reaching up, finding a nice stretch through the front of that leg. Bend the knee, heel to hip, lower the forehead.

Let go, arms underneath the shoulders. Lift up, reach back to sit down on the feet. So rolling yourself back up, coming up onto the hands and knees, inhale here, going just into a cat stretch. So we're gonna tuck the tail under, round the spine, round the spine, allow the eyes to fall towards the pelvis. And then inhale back to neutral and extend the spine out.

And then find neutral. So neutral would be like a straight line, and then we're gonna round the lower spine. So I'm not rounding my upper spine much. It's rounding, it's gonna respond to the rounding of my lower spine, but I'm not rounding it to my maximum. I'm trying to keep my collar bones fairly straight across.

And then maybe we can pull the arms away from one another. Try to stretch them out or rip them out in half as we reach out through the chest. And then find center, we'll just do that one more time. So round. And center, and extend.

And center, and then bend the right arm, and slide the left shoulder underneath you. Hopefully you have room for that arm to reach out and rest. If not, you can bring it down towards the knee, but we're gonna use the arm that's still on the mat to help us twist so we get a nice shoulder stretch. Nice upper body movement, push off the mat, find center. Other side, so laying the shoulder down on the mat.

And using the arm, the arm that still has the hand flat to help create more rotation. We're gonna push up, both hands down. Sit back on your feet, slide your arms out in front of you, rest your forehead down, and just pause there to breathe in and breathe out, just letting your body rest for a moment. Letting the back find the stretch. Take both hands over to one side.

I'm gonna go to the right, and we're gonna lean away from the hands and stretching that whole side of the body. And come back to center, over to the left, stretch that side of the body. Come back to center, bring your arms behind you to hold onto your feet, and use your arms to pull your pelvis closer to your feet. And then allow the arms just to softly come onto the mat next to you, lift your head off the mat, roll up. Done.


1 person likes this.
Fantastic !!
1 person likes this.
It's very nice to have another short but intense workout from Meredith. Her 30 minute video from 2012 is my main go-to workout when I don't have a lot of time.
1 person likes this.
Thank you! Really like your teaching style. Perfect way to start my day!
2 people like this.
this is going to be the perfect work out for me come February, One of my very nice clients is taking me on an eight day cruise to the Caribbean on a 150 foot yacht! I feel so blessed to have such great loyal clients and to have the gift of Pilates anytime! Thank you Meredith ! And I'm sure all of my loyal clients are so loyal because of all the wonderful work outs I get from Pilates anytime.
2 people like this.
I "take" Meredith with me on travels all over the world Connie Murtaugh. LOL Today we were in San Francisco and she "travels" with me to Mexico every few months. "We" were together in Croatia and Scotland last year. Hope you'll enjoy being "with" me and Michelle in Italy in the spring Meri!
3 people like this.
Connie and Joni, I am in this, too
We moved to Europe half a year ago and amidst all the chaos, I still have Meri and Pilates Anytime, my virtual second home, wherever I go.
This was a great class, the first I did with a towel actually, and I really loved the sense of resistance it added to the exercises.
Thank you, Meredith!
Kimber D
2 people like this.
Wonderful class. Great transitions. Smooth and very precise. Thank you Meredith
3 people like this.
I understand Viola. I "met" Meredith before moving to the US from Mexico. The Pilates Anytime community is a vital one that accompanies me no matter where in the world I am and with this class, no matter how reduced the space to practice may be!!
2 people like this.
I love, love the way you move and teach. You keep me inspired as a student of Pilates as well as a teacher.
Many, Many THANKS!!!
2 people like this.
Meredith, I love every workout you teach. I am always challenged and never bored. You have a true gift.
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