Class #2939

Dynamic and Organic Flow

35 min - Class


Rebekah Rotstein returns with a unique Mat workout emphasizing flow with dynamic and organic movements. The class includes her spirals which tap into natural movement patterns that our bodies crave. It also stretches and integrates the fascia but keeps your mind focused on the present moment of the fluid wave-like motions that match the scenic backdrop! She also uses sound in different breath patterns to release and remove restrictions in the trunk, offers a unique prone experience that leverages sling systems and brings in powerful hip mobilizations.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hello, I'm Rebekah Rotstein and I am back here at Pilates Anytime with a spiraling mat class that I have been testing on people and finding really great responses. It's part of my interest, my ongoing interest, in spirals and the natural movements that our bodies really crave that I'd like to allow them and enable them to do a little bit more of. So let's get started on our hands and knees. We'll began our sequence by leveraging the ground. Using the ground in the following manner.

Take a deep breath in. Exhale, tuck the tail under. And we're gonna start off with a little cat cow. But allow your back to round as much as possible. Inhale, go the other direction.

And look forward. Now allow your belly to hang. Allow your pelvic floor to release. And exhale, tuck the tail under. And you'll notice a whole body contraction here.

Inhale, go the other direction. Spread the sit bones. Push the ground away. And exhale, so the belly rises and the tail leads the way. I find that I can maximize the stretch through my low back if I envision pulling my pubic bone just a little bit closer to my face.

Inhale, release the belly, let the belly hang please. And look forward. Let's add in some sound. We're gonna exhale. (moaning) Inhale, look forward.

(inhaling) Exhale. (moaning) Inhale, look forward, and continue, exhale. (moaning) And I've been exploring the use of sound as a way to release and remove restrictions in my trunk. Exhale. (moaning) And once more, inhale, spreading the sit bones. And exhale, the tail leads the way and then the head follows.

And return back forward into your inhale. Pause, start sitting back as you inhale. And exhale, shift your weight forward. Inhale, lead with the tail, looking forward. Exhale.

(moaning) Shifting your weight forward. Inhale, lead back with the tail. Exhale, tail leads and wags the dog. Inhale, back. Two more, exhale.

(moaning) Finding maximum articulation through your trunk. Inhale, pause, take your right hand, reach it back and rotate. Exhale, it's going to lift up overhead to shift you forward into your flexion. And then we take the other hand and we reach it back. (moaning) So that front hand can slide in front of you just a little bit.

And the other hand reaches back. (moaning) So we lead back with the tail as the hand reaches behind us. And exhale, the tail slides underneath us as we flex and return. And let's speed it up, inhale, exhale. (moaning) Other hand, and I like to cross one over the other.

Exhale. (moaning) Once more, inhale. Exhale, (moaning) so you're really going across your body. That's it, Karen. Exhale. (moaning) And return your hands into their neutral position directly underneath your shoulders. Let's add on sitting back.

Let's wag the tail over to the right, but shifting the weight forward and looking toward it. And then, going to the other side. (exhales) So we're gonna reverse this motion in a moment. The first time, we're making an arc, so it's almost like we're totally side bending over to the right. We sit back and we side bend over to the left.

Speed it up. (inhaling and exhaling) We're really finding the flow in this workout. And once more, pause. Now we're gonna side bend to the left, even though we shift our weight over to the right. And back.

And then, we side bend to the right even though we're shifting to the left, exactly. (inhaling and exhaling) So we start to experience quite a bit of energy moving through our bodies. My toes actually just started to cramp, so I'm sorry if it's happening for you. Over and two more. Over, last one.

Over and relax. Look forward as you arch your back, tuck your toes, sit back to uncramp any cramping toes. Return forward into your starting position, and we will cross our feet so we can sit and not fall off our table. Come slightly forward so that you have space in which to roll back in a moment. We're not gonna actually roll back quite yet.

Take a breath in as you're sitting tall. And exhale, continuing that action of leading from the tail until your elbows are straight. And returning back up. Exhale, the tail leads the way. And we experience the ribs following here.

And returning back up. Now let's add in a sequence with the arms and the elbows. The elbows lift, and we roll back. The elbows drop and it pulls us forward. The elbows lift, and we roll back.

The elbows drop and it pulls us up. Exhale. (moaning) So it's almost like a swimming sensation with the arms. Exhale. (exhaling) Inhale. (inhaling) Exhale. (exhaling) Inhale. (inhaling) Exhale. (exhaling) Speaking of swimming, I'm looking at the waves out there and I want you to think of a wave traveling through your body. And last one. And returning up.

Walk your feet out just a little bit to release any tension in the hip flexors. Hands out in front of you. Open the hands, open the knees. Inhale, flex the feet, and exhale. And you make a wave with your hands.

The backs of the palms start to face one another. Inhale, open, and if it's easier, you can move your feet closer in. And exhale. (exhaling) Inhale, open, arch. Exhale, roll back. Inhale, open, arch.

Exhale, roll back. Inhale, open, arch. And roll back, pause. Inhale, open, arch, hold, grow taller, grow taller. And then roll back.

Two more, faster, in, out, in, out and pause. We're gonna add in a little bit of rotation and spiral. So opening up once more, place your left hand on your opposite knee, and we're gonna open here with the knees together and exhale, roll and switch arms. Open and exhale, rolling back. Inhale, open, and exhale.

Inhale, open, and exhale. Inhale, open, and exhale. Once more and open, exhale, last time. And down. Now keep that same arm, your left arm on, and lift yourself up, and reach your arm all the way around and touch the mat behind you.

Arch back as much as you can and return to your top position. So we're not going into our curl anymore. We're gonna lift the left arm up and we're gonna reach back. So we're getting a little bit of extension and rotation. Other side up.

And lengthen. And back up. And down, once more. Up and lengthen. Last time, up and cross.

Slide your feet out in front of you and start rolling down onto your back, lowering yourself all the way down onto your back. Lift your arms up overhead, flex your feet, turn out, open your hands, so your feet and your hands are open out. And now you're gonna point the toes, drop your chin, and that's gonna help you roll all the way back up. Flex your feet here. Now we're gonna roll down on one side.

Let's roll down on the right side of our back. So it's really just the right side of your spine. Exhale. (exhaling) Flex the feet here. Inhale, point the toes. Lifting up on the other side, flexing the feet to rise.

And let's go down the left side. Lowering yourself down, flexing through the feet, pointing the toes as we circle the arms up overhead. Reaching through the heels to rise. Let's reverse that with the feet. Point the toes down and reach out through your toes as you lower on the right side of your body.

Lift your toes so you flex, point your toes in order to pull yourself back up. Inhale, last time, pointing down through the toes, lowering yourself all the way down, circling the arms around, flexing the feet, and then point through the toenails to reach all the way back up. And bend your knees, grabbing onto your ankles, or onto your feet. You're gonna reach through one knee and point the toes, and notice how that rotates you. That's gonna rotate your trunk to the opposite direction toward the bent knee.

And then you're gonna flex it again. And then you're gonna push to the other side. Inhale, up, exhale. So we're pedaling through our feet. (inhaling and exhaling) Down.

And down. Finding the nice rotation, the nice pull. And two more. And down, and last one. And coming up, sitting tall, and lowering yourself all the way down onto your back, flexing your feet, pressing the palms of your hands into the mat here.

Lifting one foot up to the ceiling, grab the back of the thigh and pull it in toward you while you push your thigh against your hands. Breathing in, switch legs. Exhale. (exhaling) Now ground your bottom foot. So the foot that's pushing down, or touching the mat, you're gonna push that heel down, and feel a little activation through the back of the hip. And switch, one.

Switch, two. Switch, three. Switch, four. Switch, five. Six, seven, eight.

Bend your knees, place your hands behind your head and roll onto your right side. I'm not going to do this part with you because I will fall off the table. So you're gonna be on your right side. Put yourself into a total fetal position. But with your hands behind your head, right where they were.

Now just roll onto your other side. And that's it, that's your exercise. Try the other side, go back to the first side. Do not let your head ever touch the ground. So your head's gonna always stay floating, and go to the other side.

And continue. And you'll notice an automatic activation through your entire front body. Without me having to tell you anything about your abdominals, right? It's natural, it will happen. And that's part of what we're trying to achieve in this class is finding some of...

First, allow the knees to separate. Yeah, whatever's easiest. But our goal is to see where we can find some of these natural movement patterns, where we can find more ease in the body. Yes, and now you can try and keep the knees together. Make it a little harder.

And over to the other side. And so you can allow your elbows to separate and then come together. So you will find that you push off the bottom elbow just a little bit. And returning to the starting position. Good, and lower yourselves onto your backs again.

Actually, press yourselves up onto your forearms instead for a moment. Pull your knees into your chest and notice how it rounds your lower back just a little bit. Allow that to be heavy, to sink. Lift your right foot up to the ceiling. Now there's two options.

One is to totally collapse. The other is to use the ground and push it away. So you're gonna guess that I'm gonna offer and suggest option two. We're gonna flex and bicycle down, and the other side. Flex and bicycle down.

One, two, three, four. So you'll notice this natural excavation almost of the low belly sliding underneath your ribs. Now let's spiral it so we cross the midline as we lower the foot. One, two, three, good. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10.

And lower yourselves all the way down onto your hands. Actually, onto your backs with your hands pressing down into the mat. Let's bring in a bridging sequence next. Let's start just with an articulated bridge, lifting the hips up into the air, inhaling, and exhaling slowly, lowering back down. Lift your toenails, now lower your toenails.

Make sure the big toe's connected into the mat as you try again. Rising all the way up, inhale, and exhale, slowly lowering all the way back down. Let's make this more interesting. Squeeze only your right butt cheek. And notice how that tips your pelvis to the opposite direction.

So Ruth, come all the way back down. We're just gonna squeeze one butt cheek, which will tip us away from it. And back down. Now I squeeze my left butt cheek, and it tips me to the other side. So I am purposely tipping my pelvis, side and then side.

So it's a little butt squeeze that tips me to the left, and then a butt squeeze that tips me to the right. And it's okay that it unlevels your knees, that's natural. Again, I want us to acknowledge and observe these natural spirals. So it pushes us to one side and back down. And then it pushes us over to the other side and back down.

Yes, that's it, Amy. And down, and push, and down. Left side push and down. Right butt cheek, push, and down. Left butt cheek, push, and down, keep going.

And last time. And pause. Slide your left foot out in front of you. Actually, let's do the opposite side so I can see you. Let's slide your right foot out in front of you.

Now lift your left hand up overhead. Ready, we're gonna integrate the full spiral. You're gonna squeeze your left butt cheek. That's gonna tip you over to your right. We're gonna lift our right hand up toward the ceiling.

Reach it, reach it, reach it. And that tips our trunk to line up with our pelvis. And lower the arm and the shoulder and lower the hip. So we go hip, arm, arm, lowers hip, lowers hip, rises arm, rises arm, lowers hip, lowers. Now let's add in the spiral.

As you rise, you're gonna rotate your hand. So we go hip, arm, spiral, returning back down, arm and hip. You're gonna look at your hand as you do it. Hip, reach, arm. So it's gonna rotate you in a very interesting but natural way.

And lower the arm, lower the hip, again. Hip, spiral up, arm lowers hip, once more. Hip, spiral arm, arm lowers hips, you got it? We're gonna try the other side. So we bend the other knee.

We start just by experiencing that hip rotation, and lower back down. Now take the right arm up toward the ceiling. And we go hip, arm, spiral, arm, and hip. And hip, arm, arm, and hip. And hip, arm, arm, and hip.

And hip, arm, arm, and hip. Yeah? Slide the foot back in. Let's add this into a full spiral throughout the whole body. So let's now lift from the right butt cheek, all right, or squeeze the right butt cheek.

Now squeeze the left butt cheek so you lift both hips evenly. Then you lower the right cheek, then the left. So we go right, left, and right, left. Rise right, rise left, lower right, rise left. So think of it less mechanically and now more fluidly.

And to help enhance that experience, lift your hands up and reach, reach, and lower, lower. And reach, maybe you wanna spiral the arms, and lower, lower. And reach, reach, and lower, lower. Once more, reach and reach and lower, lower. Reverse, reach left, right, left and right.

And left, right, and left and right. Find the fluidity, just like the water outside. So make your body a big, great, giant wave. And lower, lower, once more. Lift, lift and lower, lower, and rest your arms all the way down.

Lift both feet up to the ceiling. Breathe in. Grab the backs of both thighs. Inhale, exhale. You can either press your thighs right here into your hands or you can nod and curl to rise up.

And lower yourselves back down, bend your knees. Pull and squeeze your shoulders. And extend the knees, and that's gonna pull you up. And returning, lowering back down, squeezing the shoulders behind you. And flexing the feet, pushing into the thighs, rising up.

And let's go in to a single leg pull. So let's pull one leg toward us. Pull, pull, switch. Pull, pull, switch. Pull, pull, switch.

Pull, pull, switch. Once more, pull, pull, switch. Pull, pull, switch, pause. Take your right hand to your left foot. Open the other hand.

Pull, pull, switch. Pull, pull, switch. Pull, pull, switch. Pull, pull, switch. Pull, pull, switch.

Again. So there's no tension in the neck. There's a little bit in the front of the neck, but that's a good tension. Last one. And relax.

Pull your knees into your chest and make a couple circles. Place your hands behind your head. Let's do a set of crisscross. So that we do one more rotation where the elbow reaches toward the knee. And switch, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Now pulse, one, one, switch. One, one, switch. One, one, switch. One, one, switch. And four, switch.

Three, switch. Two, switch. One, and relax, place your hands down, bridge up once more. Inhale, lift your heels. Come up a little bit higher, feeling more of the squeeze through the butt.

And lowering all the way down. Let's roll over onto our stomachs. And press your arms, actually, rest your head on top of your hands to start. Breathing in, slowly let your head float up and let it lower back down. So you find the lift through the neck, also through the ears, letting your gaze sweep up slightly, and lowering back down.

Once more, up, and pause, stay. Open your arms out to the sides here. We're gonna take our right arm and bring it by our ear while the other hand goes down by the hips. And look toward the open shoulder, exactly. And switch, circling around.

And circling around. So you'll notice a natural spiral that happens through the shoulder, through the wrist, and into the hands. And pause, now we're all looking to the left. Uh-huh. (chuckles) Exactly.

Lift your right foot, so your right hand and your right foot are lifted. And then we're gonna swap, going to the other side. So now we're looking over our right shoulder, and the opposite foot, the left foot lifts. And pause, push your hand that's behind you up into the ceiling just a little bit more. And lower ever so slightly as you switch.

And then push the hand up to the ceiling as you lift the other direction. Left hand, good, and down. And up, switch. Up, switch. Up, switch.

Inhale, switch. Inhale so you don't hurt your back. (inhaling and exhaling) And you'll notice you don't have to worry about your belly so much when you inhale. (inhaling and exhaling) Last time. And relax.

Push yourselves back into a child's pose, but look forward while you do that. Breathing in, spreading your fingers and walking your fingertips forward. Now slither forward, so you're gonna drop down through your elbows, and here's where it's gonna get hard. You're gonna push yourself by lifting those elbows, slithering down into a cobra position. Yeah, so it's a lot on the elbows and the triceps.

Start to rise up into a baby cobra and push yourself all the way up. Sit back. Once more, slither forward. And push yourself all the way into that baby cobra. Start to rise up, inhale.

And rise, sitting back one last time. Slither forward. Inhale. And lower ourselves back down. Place your hands out in front of you now.

Reach your right foot across your body to let it rise. And lower back down. Lift your left foot across your body. And lower it back down. Now when you lift your right foot, your right hand also reaches.

So look at your right hand. Look at it, look at it, look at it. And back down. Left side. And back down, keep going.

So it's almost as if I'm behind you, I'm pulling on your foot and you're stretching your hand in the opposite direction, and coming back down, and the other side. Reach, reach, reach. I'm gonna pull you, I'm gonna pull you, I'm gonna pull you, good. And all the way back down. Let's roll onto our sides.

We're gonna do a set of clamshells. So rest your head underneath your, no, rest your arm underneath your head. Line your feet up with your hips. Glue your heels together as you lift the top knee. Be careful that you're not tucking under.

And up, down, up, down, two more. Up, down, up, down, let's add our spiral. So I'm throwing in a Buff Bones exercise that actually two of you are very familiar with. We're gonna touch the heels, then we're gonna touch the knees. So here's our spiral.

Heels, lift, knees, lift, heels, lift, knees. If you want, add the arm, up, so you find the flow. And heels, touch, knees, touch. Heels, touch, knees. So it's not quite so mechanical.

It's much more dynamic and organic in the movement. And knees, and heels, and knees, and heels. Let's add the shoulder, oddly. And now the shoulder. And now the shoulder, too.

And one. So notice that where is the movement initiating? It's happening from your trunk, your core, your energy center. Try it again, and flex, arch, flex, arch, two more. Flex, arch, and flex, arch.

It just changes the experience a little bit. Slide that top foot out. Push yourself up onto your hand. And reach the free arm out. Energize, and look straight over your hand.

Experience... Looks like I have an extra glute right here with my mic. Reach out through your hand, reach out through your foot so that you experience the tightening of the glute. Now slide your supporting arm out underneath you. I can't do it on here 'cause of space.

And you're gonna roll onto your side and help yourself up to the other one. And reach. Push out through that foot, straighten the knee, and feel the connection into the glute as you look and lengthen. And coming back down. And once again, roll onto the first side and push yourself up, look at that free hand.

Yes. Reach, reach, reach, reach. And now lower yourself onto the second side to start our clamshells on that side. I'll turn to face you. Sure.

Okay, we'll face the camera. Yeah, you can face the camera, that's fine. So your heels are in line with your hips. And we start out with basic clamshells for our sequence, lifting the top knee up and down. And up and down.

And two, and down. And one, and down. Now touch the heels, touch the knees, touch the heels, touch the knees, touch the heels, touch the knees, touch the heels, touch the knees. Now we add in the flow. So the flow, we can add in the arms.

So we go up, down, touch the heels. Touch the heels, everybody. (laughing) So we touch the heels, then we touch the knees, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, good, down, down, down, down, now pause, add the trunk. When you touch the knees, your trunk flexes, yes. And then you touch the heels, and your trunk arches a little bit.

So we really move from that shoulder. And knees, and heels, and knees, and heels. Two more, knees, and heels, last time. And knees and heels, and help yourself sit up. So you're gonna reach and look at that hand.

Point the toes, internally rotating here at the hip. And lengthen. And feel the power as if you're Xena, if anybody remembers Xena the Warrior. Reach and reach and reach. And curl back in to roll onto your back for the second side, and then come up.

And roll in. And come up. And roll in. And come up, I'm just being careful, 'cause otherwise you'll hear a big splat as I fall onto the ground. And up, and rest, pause.

Help yourselves back onto your hands and knees, very similarly to where we began. Let's straighten our knees and rise our hips up into the air into a downward dog, not touching your heels to the mat. They're just floating and levitating. We're gonna add in a little bit of spirals. As you lift through your heels, your heels are actually spiraling inward, believe it or not.

And then lowering the heels down. And lifting the heels up. And lowering the heels down. A couple more. Lifting the heels up and lowering the heels down.

And lifting up and lowering. Now let's pedal through it so that one knee bends while the other straightens, and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and rest all the way down. Let's do a stargazer. So from your downward dog position, lower yourselves onto your hip to face me. Pause, slide that top foot out and lift your hips so that you come all the way overhead, it's like a side bend.

And lower your hips down. Swing your feet to the second side. Sliding the top leg out, we're gonna do a side bend, a stargazer over here, breathing in. (inhales) Exhale. Lowering yourself down, sliding your feet to the first side.

Let's add in what would be like the Pilates side bend now. Let's slide our top foot, actually, let's have our top foot in front of our bottom foot. And lengthen yourself into a side plank, and then side bend over. Rotate yourself so that you go into what's like that downward dog position but reach your right hand as if you're threading the needle, or I guess for you guys, some of you, it's your left hand, and you're gonna find your spiral here, and lower yourself back into your side bend starting position. And again, lifting up.

And then you send your hips back, downward dog, thread the needle for your spiral, and lower yourselves down. This time, see if you could extend the knees and lift the hips up, and lower back down. And up, and lower back down. Up, lower back down. And up, and bend your knees.

Let's try the second side. So we start with our top foot that's slightly in front of our bottom foot. The hand can't be directly underneath the shoulder or else you'll have nowhere to go. Extend the knees, and we're gonna do our side bend. And you come over, but now rotate so that it's like your downward dog.

But we continue the rotation through the trunk even though the hips don't continue moving. And returning to our starting position, letting the knees bend slightly. Breathe in and exhale, thank you for smiling, Karen. And side bend over. And now go into that downward dog where you shift your weight back and thread your arm forward.

Or I guess I could say through the space underneath the armpit. And then returning, slightly bending the knees. Now let's try and straighten the knees and lift up, and lower down. And lift up, and lower down. And lift up.

And since Mary already knows I can't count, I'm gonna pretend that we did four on the other side. And lower all the way down. And turn to face me in a seated position. Breathing in, pull yourself up as you do a little arch through your upper body. Exhale, curl here.

Shifting your ribs around. That, exactly, good, and then we'll do the other side. Getting the breath fully into every little crevice of your ribs. I don't know if anybody else feels there's a little area perhaps that might be a little twingy. Let's see if we can breathe into it.

(inhaling and exhaling) So it's like you're dusting off the cobwebbed area. Come back into all fours, one last thing. Breathing in here. Downward dog. Walk your feet forward, trying to keep your back relatively straight and coming into a deep squat.

Place your hands in front of your feet. Push your elbows into your thighs in order to experience an additional stretch through the inner thighs. And I'm gonna come down onto the ground because I'm slightly scared of heights to rise up there. From this position, press into your hands and rock forward slightly. And back off.

And rest and rock. And back off, once more, and rock. Now pushing out through your knees, start to open your chest upright and start to rise. A lot of work through the thighs. And walk your feet in.

And let's circle our hips around. And circle the other direction. And lift one heel and sink. So it's not necessarily, it's not that we're doing heel lifts. It's more about finding the motion and the natural movement throughout the pelvis.

So just a little lift, and sink, and sink, and sink, sink, sink, sink, sink. And cue the merengue music. Sink, sink, sink, sink, fast. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and bend the knees, lift the arms all the way up. Shrug your shoulders and touch the backs of the hands.

And spiral the arms down as if you're pulling down on straps. And once more, inhale, lift. (inhaling) Lift the shoulders. And now exhale, pulling downward. (exhaling) And lower the hands all the way down.

Breathe in. (inhaling) Close your eyes. And just feel, there's a buzzing sensation that you may have throughout your body. So much energy is moving around, but also lots of circulation that has been increased. And open your eyes.

And just shake it out. So again, the idea is how can you just allow your body to move in these natural ways that it already knows how to do. So thank you, ladies, it's been wonderful being back, thank you. (clapping)


loved this class just what my body needed today
Fun, thanks for coming!
I loved this class - thank you
What a terrific 35 minutes of exploration!

Lovely and fun wake up class! Thanks a lot
1 person likes this.
Thanks so much for the class! Really enjoyed it. You mentioned your ongoing interest in spirals. Could you recommend additional resources, a starting place, for a beginner to learn more about spirals?
Oh yeaaaahhhh!

That was movement medicine Rebekah - thanks heaps x

There was plenty of buzzing and I really unlocked my thoracic spine.

This class is going on my Favourites to repeat when I get glued up.
1 person likes this.
Lovely session, thank you. Much of the content reminded me of Feldenkrais and 'Bones for Life' work so I wondered if that had been a part of your preparation for this class. Leaves you feeling really released and easy-peasy in your body!
Wonderful class! I performed this class after a long day of work. I came home very achy in my upper back, and achieved tremendous relaxation. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Great session, dynamic, fun and a different way to understand pilates. thank you very much!!
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