Class #2902

Standing Towel Workout

30 min - Class


Begin a journey of proprioception and coordination integration in this Standing workout with Ken Gilbert. He focuses on creating more space in the spine by waking up the mid-back to work and lengthen the side-body. He uses the Braided Towel to improve proprioception while working on comprehensive coordination through the work of the spine.
What You'll Need: Braided Towel

About This Video


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I'm Ken Gilbert here at Paulie's. Anytime and I will be teaching at standing PyLadies class. We are using the red braid. You can use a stretch out strap from o p t p or a bath towel at home where you're wring it out and create that, a possibility of understanding feedback from the dynamic tension that occurs with a taught towel or braid or strap. So let's begin with a plea. A will breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth, using the Ron Fletcher per customer briefings.

Check in with the ankle bones above the knee high inner thigh. Remember the movement is coming from the hips rather than from the knees. The knees follow the hips, allow the arms to expand a little bit. Then the elbows out. Stabilize the clavicle, widen the shoulder blades, allowing the head to float back over the spine. So checking in again, ankle bones above the knee, but the pubis pull up a bit to the the naval, the naval to the bottom of the sternum than the maneuver in that notch at the bottom of the throat. Let that drift up as you widen the back. And then the head and stay in the plate.

Okay. Taught the towel, bring it up overhead and then pulses stabilize the clavicle. Lower belly has pulled in and up and four, three, two this time play deeper and bring the towel down as you straighten the leg. Let's do the arms. Taught at a towel, taught with the arms slightly bending the elbows, spinning out. That helps level clavicle and right [inaudible] the nose out through the mouth for more in the class we'll be playing with proprioception. Where am I in space and time and coordination last time and he stay here with the towel. The legs are straight.

Laura belly pulls in and up and then bend the right elbow and elbow. Now let the elbows go straight out to the side. So it's like a pull up. My philosophy for philosophy for this year is that life is a pull up. We want to take all the compression out of the space between the Vertebra. So pull the maneuver IOM to the crown of the head, pull the sternum away from the pelvis. Two more and one more. And now both and elbows go straight out to the side of the shoulders, two and one overhead. And then bring the arms out in front.

Same pattern, but we pull back not with the shoulder blades but with the arms and yes they're going out to the side so it's going to feel a little strange in the rotator cuff as you begin to move just the upper arm bones, not the shoulder blades. Last one and now both. And [inaudible] checking in to be sure your on the foot centers of the feet, the base of the big toe, little toe, middle, the heel, ankle bones above the knee. Heiner Phi last one and start over head. Now we play with this as we bend the elbows, then rotate forward and reach out. Pull the elbows, rotate and go up and keep the towel taught. So we're stabilizing the shoulder girdle, shoulder girdle in relationship to pelvis, pelvis or pelvic girdle. Last too. And one nice with the towel goes. Slacked for just a moment and roll the shoulders forward.

Stabilize the head where it is so you're not letting the head move forward or back. And the other way forward. Two and one. Tell us Todd again this time, level two, the shoulders rotate at the hip. So we're going into turn out. Now let's this come from the hips or they come from a buttocks and the hamstring connection. External rotation, internal, external, internal. Last two and one stay. So proprioception, inner thighs, zip up the midline there.

So heels are touching. Inner thighs come together [inaudible] and one more and we go overhead coordinating four more. And and to [inaudible] last one and coming up, bring the towel overhead so we have a wide base of support with the feet and turn out. Remember it's coming from the hips. We do the first full reflection of the spine. There'll be head, neck, shoulders and arms. [inaudible]. Second breath is the thoracic ribcage. Reach the outer tips of the shoulder blades forward to the wall and then round over into the lumbar without tipping the pelvis. Now tip the pelvis over.

Rounding over all the way. Crown of the head goes to the toes between the space, between your toes. Let the head hang. Pull the chin more to the chest, relax the tele for a moment. Pull up on the inhale. Exhale and pull down. So we're doing a standing washer woman. One more is upright over the legs as possible. Want to distribute the weight through the base of the big toe. Stay there, top the towel, left the head, be heavy and then roll up the spine. Keep the towel next to the legs. So the pelvis in place, sacrum, and then the lumbar in place over the sacrum, the racich over the lumbar and Ben, the neck and the head. Reaching up overhead. Forward flection, head, neck, shoulders and arms.

Sure. And Thoracic Rib cage. Reaching forward with the outer chips of the shoulder blades into the lumbar. There's a stretch there between the shoulder, the rib cage and the pelvis. Now rounding over all the way coming up immediately here to tell is against the legs and roll up pelvis and sacrum in place and Lumbar in place.

Thoracic in place and neck and head. Let's do that two more times forward. Fluxion. Okay. Thoracic and then Lumbar as stretch there. And then took the pelvis over, rounding over all the way and rolling up, grabbing the hips down. First elbows spun out. We're in the lumbar and now we're in the thoracic.

Now we're in the neck and the head and tell states, taught one more time for reflection. Rounding over and Thoracic. Third Breath is stretched into the rib cage. Lumbar connection. Then tip the pelvis over, rounding over all the way and then coming up. Last time, pelvis in place, sacrum, then Lumbar, and then thoracic. We're reconstituting the lift of the uprights by neck and head. Arms come up overhead. And then down. Let's play with this midline that finding the Serratus, the anterior in front, and the posterior playing with the obliques, playing with the diaphragm.

So we're here and it's the hip bump to the side. So you're going sideways with the hip, arms at the chest. [inaudible] [inaudible] so bring this from the bottom rim of the rib cage. You're moving from the diaphragm down to and one overhead. And this is exciting. The middle part of the spine without anatomical waistline is the narrows part of the spine. Last one. And now we go into pulses.

Okay, for the lower belly in and up and come down level of the chest and now to the pelvis and [inaudible] [inaudible] four, three, two and one. Now that's in preparation for the sideband. We want to be moving from that place of the middle of a spine, that space between the rib cage and the pelvis. So Lincoln up, we're going to the right first, reaching over to the right, so lift on the right side, lengthen on the left side, lift on the right Lincoln on the left, lift on the right and reach with the left. Lift on the right and reach with the left. Then coming up [inaudible] lift on the left side. Reach on the right side. Lift on the left. Reach to lengthen. So we're lifting and lengthening and we reach, lift and lengthen as we reach coming up. Let's do it in breaths. Lift and reach.

Lift and reach. Coming up. [inaudible] lift and reach. Lift and reach and coming up this time to only one breath. Keep your shoulder blades wide so the head stays balanced over the top of the spine. Okay, go four more times.

So we're coordinating now the lateral flection of the spine, and now we add a hip stretch. So go to the right [inaudible] left hip, goes to the wall. [inaudible] let's bring the pelvis over the legs and then reached to the wall. Pelvis comes over the legs and reach to the wall over the legs and reach to the wall over the legs and reach to the wall. Return to center side Bend First, then the hip stretch. Bring the hip, pelvis over the legs and reach over the legs and reach. So working in the Serratus area of the spine, those muscles that do this kind of action for us.

And then coming back to center and arms down. [inaudible] that's the mid part of the spine. So let's play with that a little bit differently now. [inaudible] wide back. Bring your arms out in front of the chest. Let's rotate to the right first.

[inaudible] center. [inaudible] [inaudible] four more. So nothing below the ribcage is moving. You're stabilizing the heels, touching the space above the knees, behind her thigh. Last one here. Come to center and reach overhead and rotating. Yeah. [inaudible] can your shoulder blades with you, they hug the back of the ribcage. Four more. [inaudible] last two and one coming center.

Let's do the side bend to the right and hip stretch. Now the rotation happens returned to the sideband. Re-Instate the spine. Keep your focus going forward so the head is not turning independent. It's staying unified with the spine.

Four more of these moving from the serratus on the right side. [inaudible] playing with that lift of the rib cage off of the pelvis and one more side bend hip stretch center and arms down. Just for a moment, let's play with the shoulders to release and relax a little bit in through there. This is good work. Kids [inaudible] wide back and side bend first [inaudible] then the hip stretch follows there. We're there now the rotation. Yeah, sure. So you're changing. Focuses forward to looking down at the floor in front of your toes. You're that inhaled a yawn, the side of the spine, creating more space.

[inaudible] last two and one the sideband and return to center. Now I like to call this the Koombaya moment. So we'll be moving through the whole thing. Let's do it hip stretch first and then we'll add the rotational acute as we go. Going to the right first and nope, no rotation. Yeah, I've gotta pick that up. And so here we are in a Kumbaya moment.

[inaudible] the pull up in the center reach, but pull up in the center and reach the pole up in the center and reach one more. Pull up in the center. Now we have the rotation in [inaudible]. [inaudible] no, stay down, back as wide. You're taking your focus with you. [inaudible] do you want to know where your hips are in relationship to your spine? You want to know your shoulders are in relationship to your spine and where your head is in relationship to your spine. Last one and [inaudible] [inaudible] coming center and arms down. So we celebrate with a Kumbaya moment.

Let's do the upper back extension now cause we warmed it up enough that we are ready for it. So from the bottom room of the rib cage, you're moving from only the upper spine. So pull your lower belly in and up. It's, it might feel for some of you, like you're tucking. You go ahead and get that feeling going. So the front of the hips are open. So for breasts to go over four and three and two and one coming up to center and forward flection release. Any built up tension that you might have in the lumbar.

I'm going to watch you and coming up and over four and three maneuver him to the crown of the head to maneuver into the kind of head beautiful people and coming to uprights. Lower belly pulls in and up and forward. Fluxion from the bottom rim of the rib cage coming up. We'll do this two more times. Over four Chin is down and back. Three nice and two yes. And one coming upright.

And for reflection last time and over four and three and to lower belly in and up and one come into upright and forward flection coming up again and arms down. So now we've done forward flection, lateral flection and extension of the spine. We've added rotation. So we play with a little bit of a circumduction when we went into that side bend or the hip stretch. So let's play with this differently. Let's go into the m arm flights. I call it the slice. So we're here, you slice the right to the, the forward slice, the right arm forward and then center, and then left arm forward and center and [inaudible]. So if you're looking forward in a mirror, you'll see that your hand comes in front of your arm pit last two and one. Now we coordinate this with a side bend, hip stretch.

[inaudible] take your head with you. [inaudible] coordination and proprioception. And for more [inaudible] [inaudible] there's no head turn was still in the side bend hip stretch. We're only moving from the upper arm bone. That's the new thing that we've added and arms down just for a moment. Now to play with the brain, we want to go the other slice.

So as we go into the side bend, hip stretch, we sliced it down with the, this is the left arm. Yes, we have that [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] the crown of the head with a towel. Each time you reinvent that upright spine, that's the pull up. Pull up there and reach. Pull up there and reach. Last too. And one coming up. Right. Arms down for a moment. We're going to take that last arm movement and the add the rotation. So here's the coordination as we go into the hip stretch.

[inaudible] [inaudible] head in relationship to the towel. Play with it. Let's see what goes on. Yup. Ready and new to me today. That just happened. Why? Back End [inaudible] [inaudible] be aware of the towel that's appropriate. Ception you're aware of where the towel is in relationship to the head, the head in relationship to the towel. Then you drop down through the ribcage into the pelvis, lower belly pulled in and up. Stabilizing the pelvis where you want it last too. Okay.

And last one coming up in arms down. Stimulating the brain to have to work a little bit with appropriate assumption in the body when we're here. [inaudible] yeah, you're just so cute Jane. It's just fun to watch you smile right wide back. Laura belly pulls in and out and let's go ahead with the um, the arm pull again.

[inaudible] four more and [inaudible] more awareness as time to the arms. [inaudible] it's down. That just took a little break for the lower belly and back for here. [inaudible] let's work this, the rotation and the hip stretch simultaneously. Let's just play with keep the clavicle level to the towel, the towel level to the floor. What we're teaching. This is a little bit more length out of the girdle from the rib cage into the pelvis. Yes, and sure.

Check in with your hip that it's only going sideways, that there's no rotation in the lower back. Turning 65 this year I've decided that it's time to decompress anything in the discs between the Vertebra, anything that has come up in the way I've used my body and habits that I've created last too. [inaudible] last one, [inaudible] center and arm set. One of the fun things about coordination is that may not be easy at first, but you just keep returning to it until it is more part of your patterning. So we're here wide back.

Let's go to parallel and then turn out. It's coming from the hip and parallel and turn out lower belly pulls in and up. And let's do this thing that was I learned as x's and o's. So here's the x, so ple a, bend your knees. We're not going to go very deep versus going here. And then round over, lower belly pulls, zen an up and then roll up. Pelvis, chest, neck and head. So let's just do it through the spine a few times. Then we'll add the towel and play a rounding over [inaudible].

Now keep the towel down and come up. Pelvis, chest, neck and head and [inaudible] coming up. Pelvis, chest, neck and head and [inaudible]. One more like this. [inaudible] that's the, Oh, if we were to see this from the side, there would be around circle, pelvis, chest, neck and head. Let's do this now as a strip tease. So let's go a little wider with the legs parallel and turned out. So check in with it.

Be sure that in your propioception your knees are over your ankles. So Marcia will be doing a variation of this cause it hasn't. She has is going through some something with her hip and knee connection. Marsha, the one down for me right there. Yeah. So you'll see her in parallel versus turned out. So that's, that's her modification. So when when I asked her to come to class, I said show the modification.

So that's why she's here and plea a and round over [inaudible]. Now let the towel go loose for a moment and then come up. So you straighten the legs into the pelvis and then to the chest, into the neck and the head. Are we making it dynamic? [inaudible] and coming up and it's pelvis, chest, neck and head. Now let's take that and play with that as a strip tease.

This time you'll drag the towel up the front of the body. I'll cue it as we go. Lengthen up white in the back and play a round over. Sure. He tell taught and straighten the legs first. Bring the towel up along the legs and then coming up into the lumbar.

Keep the towel at the pelvis, then bend the elbows out to the side. Bring the towel up the front of the torso. Then the neck could be [inaudible], the touch and the face, and we dragged the towel up the legs. Lower bellies pulled in and up, and we're in the lumbar. Then the thoracic, we bend the knee, elbows out to the side. We're going to tell up the front and then neck and head. So it's four breath up and two more times with this and coming up. Keep the shoulders wide, the elbow spin out. Now bring the towel up the torso, elbows out to the side, the neck and the head. One more time and [inaudible]. [inaudible] bring the towel down in front and parallel.

We're joining Marsha and then turned in and parallel and turned in parallel and turned in lower belly wide back. Let's play with this a little bit more with the rotation and how we integrate the arms. So from the sideband here, go into the side bend. Now we reach out with the left arm. That's the right arm. Now rotate into an extension into the frame of your arms and then return to the sideband. You're reaching forward with your right arm. Your left arm is reaching up over the crown of the head.

Rotate into the upper back extension [inaudible]. So this is a rear circumduction and then returned to the sideband and [inaudible]. You want to be working on the erectors in the extension of the left side of your body. [inaudible] [inaudible] shh. One more. And [inaudible] [inaudible] side bend, hip stretch, return to center and other side. She reached forward with the left arm and then rotate here. She turns into a, it becomes a circumduction.

Reach forward with your left arm as your right arm is your, your stabilizer. [inaudible] yeah. [inaudible] hi Ben. And return on down. So we've done a lot of comprehensive coordination through work of the spine. So let's stay with that.

This year has been a journey of proprioception and coordination integration. There is something that I'd like to play with and that's called the clock. I call it the clock. So we use our top towel first, stepping forward to 12 o'clock on the right side. [inaudible] now we step around to the three step around and back to the sixth stay upright so you're not shifting the body weight through the pelvis. Instead you're bending the front knee and then return to center and then forward.

That's 12 and then to now a nine and then to sixth and center. So let's play with that. We'll go around twice more. 12 three six 12 nine six this is the leg circle that we would do on the Cadillac or on the reformer and leg circle, like circle. Now let's add the arms. Go up on the inhale. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] we've reversed the clock. We begin at six three 12 six nine, 12 we'll go through it twice. Same thing. Arms out in front first.

Then we add the arm reaching overhead. Six o'clock [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible], [inaudible] Tracy and the circumference with your big toe. That's what makes it a lake circle. [inaudible] I said we would add the reach. We'll do that next time. This is new to me sometimes as well. Learning something new every time as we connect our feet to the crown of our head. And now we have the arms [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] so that's interesting. That's easy.

We've got the circumference going so and then the evolution of that was that we start playing then with going cross, so we cross over on the right side to 10 o'clock, dissect the clock through the diameter and go to four o'clock. So it's 10 to four 10 to four straight through, one more. 10 to four Chan Center. That's enough for now. Then two to eight [inaudible] go ahead. True Center. The diameter [inaudible] where can you NSI. Nice work in the pelvis to stay stable and center.

Now we go to the dynamics of cross. We'll do cross four times and then we'll do the circle four times. So you drag your toe into the circle? Yep. Have it ready and [inaudible] diameter and the arms if you want to. That's a choice. Now on the inhale [inaudible] yeah, we have the circle and [inaudible]. Two more last time. Coordination and proprioception. Then come to center.

[inaudible] have it. Have a side coordination. Where am I in space and time through appropriate reception and [inaudible] [inaudible]. Yeah. The arm [inaudible] [inaudible] and the circle. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] sure. [inaudible] no flavor. Towels down. Returned to parallel. And let's just do a little closure and bones above the knee and reaching forward.

Lift the hands. Trace the fingers. Yeah, a little bit of a head nod. One more [inaudible] and [inaudible]. Thank you.

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Ann S
Thanks Ken, I always love a towel class! My arms, shoulders and upper back really got a good workout. Loved the spine movements and found coordination a challenge...whew!
(Edited by Moderator - Alex Parsons on April 1, 2022)
Vimi ~ I'm sorry you had trouble with this video. I just tried it and it worked for me without any issues. I recommend trying a lower video quality as it should help the video play more smoothly. If you continue to have trouble, please email us at
Great upper body workout and it has helped me increase my repertoire with the Fletcher Towel LOVED this workout x
1 person likes this.
Debra . . . thank you for your comment! The Ron Fletcher Work (as I learned it) is with me everyday. Last week I was teaching a class a Bacara Resort and Spa when one of the students came up to me afterwards and said that the class reminded her of a Fletcher Class . . . I smiled and acknowledged the 10 years of study that I did with Ron.
Vimi . . . good! I truly appreciate hearing about how this work supports individual's development through the physical body. Thank you!
Never tried a workout like this before - and I LOVED it! It was fascinating to move my back and core in ways that I had never thought about before. Thank you for this - I will be doing it often!
Christina . . . exciting to hear that this work resonates with you! Let me know how you develop your back and core . . . thank you.
Kathryn A
Hi Ken! This is such a gift finding your classes online. I am in Missouri and deep into my yoga practice. There is nothing like this Ron Fletcher work! My body remembers!
1 person likes this.
Kathy! Great to hear from you . . . that you are continuing the work. Yes, once the body learns on deep levels it never forgets.
1 person likes this.
The "clock work" with proprioception and coordination work is smart and on task balance and fall prevention work. Thank you for sharing.
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