Class #2963

Kristi's Personal Mat

50 min - Class


Find length without strain with this Mat workout by Kristi Cooper. She invites you to follow along with her personal workout where she looks at what feels good to her body right now. She takes the energy from outside and within to create a gentle flow that creates space in the mind and body.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Mar 21, 2017
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Hi, everyone, I'm Kristi Cooper. I'm very excited to be here. It's been a little while since I've been able to play, and there's a lot of energy outside, kind of a lot of energy inside. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with it, but I'm inviting you to join me. This is intended to be a workout that I can take you with me, so I will guide you as best I can, but more than that, I want you to just come with me on a workout that I'm gonna actually suit to my body and what I need for today.

I do have energy, part of it nerves, but also, with any workout I do, I'm looking to what feels good. Most of the time, I'm following other people, but when it's just me, I'm really trying to find what do I need, and I'll share that with you in hopes that you need it too, but that's more of the focus this time than most of the times I get to be in front of you. So, shall we begin? I'm gonna start as I almost always do, which is just stand and try to feel where I'm at. No matter if I have energy or not, I need to tap into it, or maybe I'll think I need to disperse some of it without being aggressive about it, so that's what I'm gonna find out now, hopefully.

Standing tall, feet parallel, shifting my weight, shifting your weight to find where you need to be in order to feel upright, and somewhat grounded, somewhat solid, as much as we can be at the beginning of a workout, and then we inhale, turning the arms out. Just fill up. (inhales deeply) And oh, I gotta stretch a lot. And exhale. (exhales deeply) Tempted to tell you all the reasons I'm going to do what I'm gonna do, but I don't know yet. It's gonna feel good though. I'm just turning my hands 'cause I have so much forward sitting, and down.

One more like that, and then this one, I'll roll down, so I'm gonna turn just so you get a sense of that, if you're watching. As the arms hit about shoulder level, I'm still thinking upward with the spine and rolling down, (exhales deeply) just kinda letting go. I'm hanging out here for a moment, and I'm adjusting my feet. Do you need to? Where do you want to be in this position?

I'm just takin' inventory, shifting side to side, even. Forward and back, I want to feel better. That's the only goal I have today. I think I can do it. From there, solidly in my feet, I realize that there's a relationship to the abs, and I'm gonna roll up as I push, or think of heaviness in the feet and roll up.

Standing tall, same thing, turn the arm bones out. Inhale, (inhales deeply) and exhale, I turn 'em the other way, so the palms go back outward. And then inhale, taking the arms up, I turn them out. You gotta let yourself have some space, don't you? So reach as far as you want, try not to bend a whole lot, but just reach your arms up.

Turn the palms out, and as you exhale and come down, roll down. I'm gonna quit thinkin' so much and do that a couple more times. Inhale, (inhales deeply) rolling up. Come with me, turn the arm bones out, pick up some more energy, but make it solid energy, energy you can use in your body. Push away what you don't want.

Stay tall, no collapsing here. You're deciding where you want to be, I'm deciding. Stay here, sorry, late call. Hands down. (exhales deeply) You could bend your knees if your hands down and straight legs don't work. I'm actually shocked my hands got there, so I'm gonna enjoy it.

Bending the knees as if they were connected to my forehead somehow, being pulled to a grounding spine, low back, straight. (exhales deeply) Inhale, bending, there's a subtle sense of drawing my shoulders towards my hips, 'cause I need more length almost everywhere. Straight. (breathes deeply) One more time. I swear, I already feel better. We could go now. (laughs) And straighten, heavy head.

You don't need to look, just hang. I'm not going anywhere, I will tell you. On the count of three, we will roll up, but find your feet. Rotate those arms outward ever so slightly so they're still connected to your back. Roll up, one, two, three.

(exhales deeply) Let's go to the mat. Just lie down or sit down, gracefully, of course. Sitting, sitting, right up on the sit bones, holding on underneath the legs. And again, it's about the length, particularly for me in my neck today, so. The challenge is gonna be can I find the length without straining to do it, 'cause I'm good at the strain part.

Inhale, feet still firmly into the ground. As I exhale, just roll the pelvis back ever so slightly, come back up, inhale. (inhales deeply) Exhale. (exhales deeply) Inhale. Exhale, I'm just doing that, hopefully, a little bit of a rock, just feeling where are those bones. They actually don't feel even to me, so I'll figure that out as I go, or I won't, but that's sort of noticeable. I do like the feeling of strength in my arms.

That has nothing to do with a keyboard, or a phone. I'm liking that, so I'm doing a few more. I also think you can use your feet. Just find opposition. There's never just one side of your body, it's your whole body.

Next one, we'll go further, inhale. You're tall, find the feet, find the ground, find the way away from the position you were in to maybe straight arms, maybe not. Inhale. (inhales deeply) Exhale, you can still use your arms, but what would resist it? 'Cause it's not just arms, that'll cause tension. I'm even pushing on my thighs to help me up.

I'll take the help. (inhales deeply) Switching the hands to help me go down. (exhales deeply) Inhale. (inhales deeply) Exhale. These exercises, which are maybe common or maybe pre-Pilates, or whatever you call it, keep going, they're teaching me about what I actually need. I came in here with an idea, but I'm already going, oh, what's goin' on there? What's goin' on here? So just adjusting for that.

And up, I'm gonna go down and hold it there briefly. (breathing deeply) And as I go, I find I get stuck here a little. Not stuck, that's not right, just tight. I'm gonna bring my feet a little closer to challenge it, but also to free up what I think is stopping me from getting that lumbar spine down. A little interaction in the inner thighs, arms just forward, and they reach up a little for inhale.

(inhales deeply) And from somewhere on my back, I'm looking for the down. (exhales deeply) The front of my body deserves a break, I guarantee it. (breathing deeply) Taking arms a little higher, and down. (exhales deeply) And higher. If you knew you weren't coming back up, 'cause I don't wanna come back up either, could you hang out here and be stronger with it? It's the benefit of doing your own workout. You know I'm not coming back up there after all this.

So I'm gonna stay down here. I'm gonna try to get longer in my back without arching, taking arms all the way up to the shoulders, head's not changing, palms toward each other, reach them way up. Spread out those shoulder blades. Let them come back down, lay your spine down, and reach the arms out to a T-position. Slide your feet in closer.

You have options here. I'm picking my knees up to maybe just this side, closer to me and my chest, of 90. You can do 90, you can do 'em on the ground, towards the window or the front, or me or your screen. Inhale to one side. Keep 'em all lined up.

Stay there. Check it out, can you reach more? Not from the thigh or the leg, but from the hip. And then, from the arms, I won't go this low all the time 'cause I don't want to, but because it feels good now, and I'm checking things out, bring it back to center. Other side, that lower hip lifts.

I know I need to lengthen this side of my waist more, so I'm aware of it. I'm not trying, I'm just doing what I can. Back. We'll go ever so slightly faster. Inhaling to one side, and exhale.

Not that concerned about what the lower leg does. I do care if you feel it in your legs, so let the knees be closer to you, rather than further away. You could even let your feet drop a little. Just take some of the weight out of it. Inhale to one side.

Start the exhale, maybe feel the bones come down. I'm only so far that I keep both shoulders down, and of course it's different on each side, so I'm not gonna make it look good. I'm gonna make it be right for me. I hope you do too. Ooh, I kinda messed that one up, (laughs) so I'm gonna give me another chance.

Maybe I won't go as far this time, 'cause now I know where I'm at. Yup, that's it. (exhales deeply) Let's do one more to the back, I mean, away. Aw, I love this work! Put your feet down. Lace your fingers between your head. You could go hand over hand if you're more comfortable, but if you lace them fully, do it all the way to the joints.

From here, elbows off the table. Rock your pelvis a little, just kinda feel where you're at, and then just settle. Don't worry if it overtucks or undertucks, or it's perfectly neutral. Just be there, inhale. Exhale and help yourself up.

I'm actually gonna tuck a little, don't tell anyone, 'cause it feels better when I'm starting, and it lets me drop my head back more. Now I can feel my own support for me. Inhale, (inhales deeply) exhale down. (exhales deeply) There's liberation in admitting what you actually have to do for your body, despite what you know you should. (exhales deeply) I should remember that. (breathes deeply) In, out.

So I'm taking my time. As tedious as it sometimes feels, it does help me go on. (exhales deeply) So right here, I've gone as far as I think I can. I'm gonna inhale again. I'm going up a little tiny bit higher, maybe, and I am letting myself do that posterior tuck of the pelvis 'cause guess what, it's not about the height, but it's about feeling it and letting my back go. That's why I'm doing that, and I'm down.

Just one more. (exhales deeply) Stay there. If you know my class, then you know where I'm going here. I'm gonna grab the back of the legs, and then exhale, same thing. I'm not gonna try to tuck anymore. I just made it where it was, and then pull a little deeper.

I get to think here about keeping the belly down. Let go, arms up. Put 'em back behind your head, laced, and take it down, but as you go down, don't just go down. Stretch yourself, here we go. (inhales deeply) Exhale, curl up, keep your hands there. (exhales deeply) Inhale, reach the arms forward, grab your legs. Use your arms, but sink your belly.

You've got help, so you have no excuse, Kristi. Inhale, the arms go up, nothing changes. Replace and take everything back down. (inhales deeply) And exhale. (exhales deeply) Oh, are you lifting with your face? We don't have to present here. We get to just do and be, and exhale, pull with the arms.

I think you know the choreography enough to come with. And back. Last one here, which will take us into whatever the next one is. Exhale, up. (exhales deeply) In other words, you won't go all the way down. Grab, exhale, sink first, pull.

Feel the arms, but then check your forward edges of your shoulder. Let them sink heavier. Arms go up, we're staying up with the body. Lace the fingers, exhale towards the front, shoulder towards hip, so it's not a full rotation like that criss-cross. Inhale, stay up, or even go higher, rotate.

Lower body's not moving, we're just doing that back and forth. (exhales deeply) Inhale, up through center. This is like one of those basic exercises that really hasn't gotten a lot easier for me, so I am consistently not pushing my head back, but practicing letting go. (laughs) Gonna be a long practice. Back to the center! That's enough of that. Reach through the arms, I mean reach the legs, pull up.

(breathing deeply) Slide your legs down. Press 'em down, down, down, down. Feel your heels into the mat. Push 'em harder. Okay, that's good, I'm sure.

Now, push the back of the thighs down, not the knees. It's very different. If you push your knees, your feet are gonna come off, probably, not that. It's heels, back of the thigh, stretch the front of the hips, oh, that did it. That's how you did it, arms are forward.

Arms go up, not so high, just like, I don't know, whatever, five counts, or five breaths? Exhale, press down. As you press the arms down, press both feet down, not just the feet, but also the thighs, changes it. Inhale, reach forward and up, exhale. Maybe you connect to the back of the body even more with the legs, but now, focus a little under the arm.

It's almost as if the armpit has something to do with it. It's okay if you turn your feet out, or not, whatever. Mine are kind of in between both, so what can I say? Stay there. Push your left leg down.

I start at the heel 'cause I hyperextend, and I know I'm gonna hyperextend, so I almost act like I'm dragging the heel toward me. Then I press the thigh down, so I can float the other leg up. Inhale, the arms. Exhale, down, I'm only doing two. But of course, there's the other leg. (breathing deeply) Heel goes down, imagine, push the heel, almost like you're gonna bend the leg.

Get that hamstring engaged, then push the thigh down. Inhale, other leg up. Exhale, down. Workin' what I need. I'm about needing to stop, so that's it.

And then take the arms back, legs are down. Oh! Okay, I'm gonna just hold myself for a second. I'm gonna pick my head up with my hands only. Don't worry, it's not an exercise. I'm gonna look forward, and then I'm really so easily able to let go here, taking that stretch that I need.

I pushed a little further than I meant to, but how would I know if I didn't try? (exhales dramatically) Okay, good! Head down, place it down, arms are straight up for now. Reach 'em to the sky, drop 'em. Shoulders on the back of the mat. From there, everything got strong again, and by that, inner thighs, reach forward, look forward.

Exhale, curl up. You don't have to go so far right now. Take shoulders over hips, but belly pulling back. Inhale, you can start rolling back if you want. I tend to wait for the exhale coming down, and back.

We'll go a little quicker now. Inhale, arms up, head follows. Exhale, stretch! You can go further, but make sure you don't turn it into a hamstring stretch, and down. (exhales deeply) Inhaling up, feel the bones of the back, the bones of the pelvis, the back of the legs. Those bones are down, they're actually lifting you up, if you can feel that reaction to that resistance into the mat. (exhales deeply) I'm only doing one more, noting that I'm sliding. I could work on that, I never quite know how on any given day.

We're comin' up and stayin' up. (exhales deeply) Actually, no, we're not, go down. Need one more little warm-up here, which is always a little challenging. We're gonna bend the right knee, hug it in. I always think of Rachel. It might be Amy too, but I'm almost certain it was Rachel that taught us to slide, almost like you're sliding the skin up, so it allows the front of your thigh to just sort of relax and dig into the hip.

It's an image, it's not real, but it's close for me. Then the leg goes straight up, arms down by your side, or you could do a T. I'm going sort of low V, very low V, keeping the leg pointed today, slightly turned out. For me, because I've been sitting so much, I'm gonna reach the hip up, and then almost just drop the back down, so I can feel the heaviness of it. 'Cause right now, it feels quite bound to me.

(exhales deeply) Hold. All right, crossing the body, I'm doing the inhale and exhale in the one breath cycles. Here we go, cross, inhale, exhale around, stop, same thing. Cross, around, up. Cross, around, up.

Cross, around, one more. Push it and pull, reverse. Take it out, around, up. Out, around, up. Three, around, up.

How much is that left leg or bottom leg working? A lot, hold it there. Reach up and hold on to it, somewhere mid-calf or higher, if you can, it could be thigh, and bring it down with you. But it isn't about bringing the whole body with you, right? You're bringing just the leg.

This side's a tough one for me, so I'm gonna hold lower, and think of reaching the spine, actually, almost perpendicular to where the leg is going. Okay, bend it or just set it down. Other leg up to bent. That sense of assisting yourself with almost the skin of the shin going horizontal as the bone goes deeper into the hip socket. (exhales deeply) Okay, lower leg is already firmly in the ground.

Stretch the top leg up. Use your arms. I mean, a lot of this is about efficiency, so disperse it. It's not just your arms. Here we go, crossing over, inhale! Exhale, around, boom.

Across, around, hold. Three, around, hold. Make it an action, so push, da-da, it's almost a drop. Push, around, one more time. Push, around, and reverse it.

Sorry, I'm on some weird rhythm in my head. Around and up, and around and up. Three, around, up. Harder for me to cross, so I really gotta think it there, and hold. Find a place to hold on to it.

If I really analyze it, which I do when I'm working out alone, what do I want? I want to feel like my leg is in my hip socket, so I'm actually pulling down on my leg. So much easier! I mean, the stretch is kinda tough, but at least I'm not workin' elsewhere. All right, leg down, bend it or straighten it to get there. Arms go back, heavy ribs, inhale, curl up for one more roll-up.

Stay ready, but move yourself forward for rolling like a ball. (exhales deeply) You choose if your knees are together or not. I'll probably play with it, but again, with that sense of dragging the legs upward, right? Just makes everything easier. I'm not so concerned about landing it. Inhale, back, exhale, up.

Back. (exhales deeply) Okay, so now I know. My breath needs to help me more. I'm relying on the movement. I'm relying on knowing where it's supposed to go. It doesn't work that way.

What can I do to make this simple movement, (groans) work? I can play with it, find it. I don't need to show it. There's reasons for it. I'm gonna do one more.

And make a mental note that, oh, Kristi, work on your rolling like a ball. Stretch yourself out, going into the single leg stretch. I'm gonna back up just a little, sorry. Pick a leg, I'm going right leg in, left leg out, lining up the feet. I'm actually pulling the one ankle outward, 'cause I have a tendency to rotate the foot in.

Switch, hold, checking it out, I'm seeing it, sort of. Switch, and here's a breath, inhale, inhale. So it's in, in, exhale. (exhales deeply) And what I've taken to lately, which is probably part of the point, is the actual physicality of my legs, which is nice and, you know, I can push on myself to force the air out. I'm taking the stretch, I'm using my arms, I'm breathing as I wish, in most cases, but also using the actual pressure to remind me that's part of helping the diaphragm push out, let's do a few more. Pick a breath pattern, (exhales deeply) and one more set.

Finish, and when you get to the finish of your exhale, both knees in, head down. Hold the legs. Head comes up, but before you do, lengthen it first, then lift it. You're up, go ahead and lift your pelvis, yup. When you let go, we're not doing the full one yet, when you let go, I'm gonna make sure I get the sacrum down, and then I stretch, and then I bring it back in.

That's as far as I can do it. This is me today. Then I'm gonna assist myself again for that air, and pull the hips up, so that's the pattern I'll go, with the exception of the arms. Here they go, inhale, out, hold. Exhale, bring it around, find that spot that you know you can go to.

Then pull it in and use your arms for help. (inhales deeply) And squeeze out the air! Focus the eyes in, and exhale around. Strong, exhale, around, keeping the body as still as you can. (exhales deeply) And you know, I know it sounds like I'm teaching you, but this is how I do it. I do it quieter, but I promise you. And head down, I made it.

(exhales deeply) Even here, can't you feel it? Like, I still need more air out. I could do better on that, some other day. (laughs) Right leg up. Okay, reaching that hip long. Feel, is it hiking?

Curl up, extend the other leg for now, just somewhere up there, up to the top. Check your position. I like pushing it down real taught just to push it down, and I like that sense of not being the bottom leg so much, but that if you do, this other leg is easy. Switch and do it slow for now. Get the bottom leg down, not just right above the knee, but right where the leg meets the glute.

Long and down. And now, if it feels all right, you're gonna switch. You don't have to go all the way down. (exhales deeply) And then pulsing the top leg. (exhales deeply) Try not to use the fingers so much as I just was, but more from the palm of the hand. If there's any pulling that occurs, comes from there. One more per leg. (exhales deeply) Both legs up.

Just bend the knees, I'm not doing both legs, whatever it's called. Switch and rotate to the front for criss-cross. Pull all the way. I'm loving trying to get the knee to the elbow with the rotation, but I'm also noticing I don't have it today, 'cause my elbow is doing it all, so I'm gonna leave it wide and just pretend, switch. Right, I could fake it, sort of.

I mean, I know you'll know, but switch. (exhales deeply) The problem is I'll know too. (exhales deeply) Breathe however you want. I chose some version (exhales deeply) of an exhale every time. (exhales deeply) Feel the spine twist, twist, twist. That's gonna be enough. Center, arms down, legs up. (exhales deeply) Now parallel those legs. Over, roll over.

Stay there. I'm trying to be horizontal, don't look at me. Feel yourself, can you be longer in your back? Not by sticking your butt out, but because you've got some support with your arms. Flex the feet, separate 'em, keep 'em parallel.

Lower the legs if it's available, roll down. Oh, my goodness, I love Pilates. Over, I'm not convincing myself, I'm actually saying that. Down we go. Oh, more heels, more heels, more heels! Stretch those calves, baby, up! You'll get me back on that trampoline before I know it.

Flex, separate, lower from the throat. (exhales deeply) I'm getting aggressive, I can feel it. I can't do that, no, no, it's too much aggression always, so I'm gonna melt down, same mechanics, but it's gonna be a different intention. (exhales deeply) My neck can be long, I don't have to think so hard. I know this. Reverse it, we'll just do three. I know that was four.

My workout. Just kidding, close. Flex, oh, that's harder! Melt. That's the practice sometimes, isn't it? It's just not gearing up for the tough stuff, but actually being in it.

What did I say, three, and that was two? I don't know, maybe it's four, let's do one more. I don't think about counting if I don't have to. Well, even if I should, I don't. Okay, we're gonna just roll up, make it easy.

Sit tall, feet apart. A little wider than your mat. There's the spine stretch. I know. We're gonna do it this way, after my friend, Erin, who struggled with finding the line we like to make sometimes.

So, with the fingers laced behind your head, oh, doesn't that feel good? Giving yourself traction. I'm literally using the heels of my hand to squeeze and lift. Exhale, round forward. So just like, whatever, spine stretch, trying to get the air out, trying to lift up as you go.

From here, drive those heels and legs into the ground like before, oh, and come on to the diagonal. You can go as low as you can, this is me. And I have to kinda feel, so I'm gonna do that (mumbles). Need to feel where my neck is, in relation to my upper back, the back of my head. Should be in one line.

Extend your arms, I'll go quicker, but this is what we're doin'. Lean into it more, not just because you have to, but because you want to. Flex your feet, don't forget. Inhale, refold the arms. That's all that happened there.

You exhale, now you can get a little indulgent. Hinge way over, round way over, and start from the low belly to roll up. (exhales deeply) Here we go, inhale. You're tall, you're still growing. Use the downward force of the legs as you exhale.

Stay tall in your spine, even though, yes, you're trying to squeeze the air out, make the shape do it. Then, inhale from the tail bone, as if you're reaching it behind you. Extend your spine. Again, some of you might be on your legs. If it's really easy to go low, I would hold back and make your body work a little more.

Arms extend. (exhales deeply) Inhale, as you refold the arms, get longer in your spine. Exhale, be a little indulgent, round forward, and we roll up, you got it now. Inhale. (inhales deeply) Exhale, blow out and squeeze out the air. Make sure you've done it so that the inhale on the diagonal's easy. The arms extend, it's like air, nothing.

Not working my arms here, but I am thinking, can I get more air between each vertebrae without popping the ribs out too much? Inhale, refold. Exhale, round over. Someone needs some calf stretching up here. Exhale, round. (exhales deeply) Get the air out, do it, getting closer.

Get your top of your head between your knees, not your calves. I've done it once in my life, it's not gonna happen today. Inhale. Long diagonal, get longer as your arms extend, as if somehow, that extension pulled you into it. Inhale, refold your arms, exhale, down.

I'm gonna give you one more, 'cause I just thought of one missing piece for myself, and you might have had it happen too. You're holding something between the inner thighs, right? You're lifting, you're squeezing through there. Exhale as if you had a big magic circle between your ankles. Down we go, especially now, especially now.

Inner thigh, as you do the diagonal, it's helpful. It doesn't seem like it would be, but it is. Extend the arms, more inner thigh, or hamstring, perhaps, by pushing down. Inhale, refold arms. Nope, y'all go ahead, finish that since we all did.

Go back to straight arms. (laughs) That train! Just kidding, thinking of Amy now. Straight arms, gently press the arms back. And by arms, I kinda mean upper arms, and if I were really gonna work it, I would say it's not that my arms are going back, it's that my chest is going forward, my spine is going even longer. (exhales deeply) It's kinda small, oh, my gosh! (exhales deeply) More downward pressure with the legs for five, four, three, two, and one, can we be longer? Not by bearing down or trying, just by holding the shape, but letting ourselves be in it. Keep the arms straight, round forward, and just hang out. (exhales deeply) Ooh-ee! Sit up.

I'm gonna move forward a little. You might be able to stay right where you are. We sat up, it's an intention to do a roll-down, or a roll-back, so start it, but hold it, or go as far as you can to pick up the legs. Ooh, and then roll. (laughs) And come back up for open-leg rocker. Hold it there.

I gotta stay here and re-fix myself, 'cause I kinda flung that. I'm going a little more parallel 'cause it's easier for me to turn out. Pullin' those legs into socket. And then from there, pull 'em up to go down. Focus.

Trying to almost extend the spine fully, with the exception of the lumbar spine. (exhales deeply) Something I play with a lot, especially if I haven't done this exercise, is to pull the legs upward as I go, literally, and then right when I want to come back, I push 'em down. You might find yourself go faster, actually, the first few times. (exhales deeply) Intention does seem to have a big effect on how we move and are. (exhales deeply) Watching that I don't overly hyperextend, I'm not really sure, so I'm gonna play with one more. Okay, so my legs are deep in my hip sockets, so deep that I can let 'em go.

Not easily, mind you, but there we go, sitting tall. Widen the feet for the saw, stretch out if you need to. Palms facing straight ahead for now. Equal bones, sit bones, to the front or towards me. Inhale, rotate.

Keeping the back pretty straight, hinge, hinge, hinge. Take a minute. Wherever you can grab, do. Pull yourself off that hip that you would want to, naturally, and then keep your body where it is, forward over that other leg, I'm over my left leg, so that the right hip can then repress down. Get that stretch, put more weight on it, more weight on it.

Extend your spine even more. Let the arm go and aim for that position next time. Sit up, we'll do it once to the other side. Rotate. Go for it.

Lean off the opposite hip, the one behind you, away from you. Try to keep your body there. Stretch the hip back down, might need your hand, but then, get long again to the extent that you can. Feel the weight equal as best you can, and then sit up. Here we go, rotate to the front.

Exhale, hinge. Inhale, sit back up. Center, inhale. (breathes deeply) This is one of those exercises that I like to play with the air. (laughs) I think the air is thick when I move it, so this arm matters. Push. (exhales deeply) Right there, even, and up. It doesn't really matter to me which way the hand turns, other than the resistance you want right here.

You might want to pull 'em up, or push it up, I mean, the back hand. And one more. (exhales deeply) And center, close the feet. I'm not doing the full leg pull, but I am gonna just lift and lower. So feet flexed for me today. Fingers toward heels, or to the side.

Lift 'em. (groans) Point. Sit down, lift the arms. Put 'em down. Stretch out those wrists, gang.

You could do it with bent knees. Make sure the hamstrings are working, that's part of the point here. Two more. Down, opening the chest, opening and keeping the eyes either straight up, or probably even forward is better. For me, it's forward. (inhales deeply) And one more.

Oops. And down. Flex feet, arms up, palms up. Actually, palms down, inside of the arm up. The palm will go with it.

To the front, double twist. (exhales deeply) A lot of inner thigh. (exhaling deeply) Let that energy out. Kinda hurts if you've been on a computer a lot, but not for long. You'll love it when you're done. Taller in the spine. If your arms get in your way or they get ahead of you, change it so they switch.

I like 'em out there for the reason I mentioned. That's enough! Round forward. Okay, that's enough. Just lie down and turn on to your side, facing where you can see. I'm gonna stay on the elbow, late call on that, and I'm actually gonna bend the forward knee.

I want this to feel just awesome. Whatever you want. Lift the top leg, and just kinda hike it. Get sexy lazy, or whatever, but then pull it away. I'm often teased for saying look proud.

I know it's someone else's cue, but I use it and I like it. Look proud. Kick forward, kick, kick, sweep back, hold. Prove it by knowing it, I have to, 'cause I tend to kinda hike there, so I want to stretch and then use it so it's all back here, almost totally, let's go. Kick, kick.

There's nothin' wrong with lookin'. Three. (exhales deeply) Forward leg is helping me too, for what it's worth. (exhales deeply) Kick, kick, and range. I'm not even that worried about my form, honestly. I want help, I want motion, so I'm gonna swing it even more for four, one.

I don't even care if my spine moves, just feels good. Last one to the back, hold it there. And then I gotta kinda regroup. (mumbles) Taking pictures. So then, just bend the knee.

You might want to lie down, but I'm not gonna stay here, so if you can grab it and do your quad there, do. (exhales deeply) This is good stuff. Switch, other side. Bottom knee, it's at, I guess, 90-ish. It's where I can kind of use it.

I'm all for help. And then I'm testing myself. This one's a little more, feels right, oh, till we get there. So, I'm just reaching the heels towards you so that I can pull the hip back and feel the stretch, and know that that's a safe place for that hamstring. Here we go, push back.

I gotta look here too. I will go faster in one second. How 'bout now? Kick, kick, back. (breathing deeply) It's amazing how much I protect the body, my own, when really, it just wants to move. I'm going for the four swings now.

They're gonna look a little uglier. I'm not worrying about the feet. I'm just wanting to swing and be happy with it. That's good. Next time I go back, stays back, and I'm gonna grab on for the stretch.

And yeah, it should feel good, right? So aim to get the knee in line with the hip without changing your spine or arching it. Shouldn't be pressure there. Maybe press the knee down, tendency is to go up when they're tight. Okay, face down, chop, chop! I'm going lower, this is single-leg kick.

I do hand over hand today, anyway. It doesn't matter which, I don't think. Shoulders are pressing down. I'm gliding myself forward in intention, at least with the upper body. The lower body is sort of resting for the moment, but now, reaching long, so much so that my straight legs can lift.

My feet can chill. My spine's not doing enough, I can feel that, so I'm gonna then try to keep the ribs down. Look forward and keep my neck in alignment with my back. Here we go, right leg kick, kick, straight, and switch. Kick, kick, straight, and both knees are off.

Kick, kick, straight, and mine are not totally together yet. Maybe in the next 20 years. And boom, boom, straight. Push, push. Pull, pull, however you see it, but go both ways, right?

It's each way, it's not just kick, kick, relax. It's kick, kick, push, kick, kick, push. That's why you need the upper back. You need the strength in your arms pushing down and almost towards you. One more time.

From there, come down, lace or hold the fingers, whichever you want. Cheek down. Elbows are gonna take their time, apparently, to come down. I'm gonna be gentle, but your elbows can go down if they can. Abs are in, we're gonna kick three times.

We go one, two, three, stretch, keep the arms low. I'm keeping the feet up but you can put them down. Switch, one, two, three. Stretch, nothing letting go on this one. And kick one, and two, and three, stretch.

And kick one, and two, and three. That's gonna do it for me, hold it there. Hold it there, feet quite low. Get longer in your belly. Not sure what I mean either.

Don't get up in it. Get longer in it, but curl the upper back over more. Take the arms out to a T, look down. It means your upper body's probably coming a little lower. Rotate those shoulders like we did earlier, so the thumbs go up.

Push the tops of the feet into the ground, not to lift you higher, just to anchor you. And then the arms only, up, one. Up, two, and I should say out and up, three, for five. Four. Five, oh, you thought that was it.

Should it be, no. Shoulders down, float the arms to a V, it's wide. Mine's gonna be super wide. I'm still thinking of rotating those arms outward. Five.

Do you still feel your feet in the ground? Four. I'm a lot lower than I was, it's all right, three. Here's two. One.

Let the arms come down, I'm folding 'em under my forehead, and I'm gonna rest for a second. (breathing deeply) Okay. Couple of breaths there, hands by your shoulders. Roll the shoulders back, I guess is the cue I want. I want to be ready to lift my body weight.

And I will one day, but for now, I'm just gonna do it with my knees, two. From there, now, kick the feet underneath you. And if you need to adjust, I don't think I do, I think I did well, I want my hands maybe slightly in front of my shoulders so that I have some room to stretch my feet by reaching 'em forward. And then I'm pushing down with my arms to stretch the heels back. Now, my hands don't have a whole lot to do with it now that we know I'm in place, and you are too, and back, and forward, and back, and forward, and back.

Lift up like a elephant, or a pyramid, or whateva, down dog, I guess, letting the tension go. (breathing deeply) But we're not done, I know it feels like we're done. We're not, we're just collecting ourselves. We're collecting ourselves for our first challenge on a single arm in a very long time. It's a pre-game thought.

And if you don't need it, you get to pull the abs up first. Lift the heels as if that somehow is connected, 'cause it is, somehow. Roll through to plank, and flex your feet as you go. Take your head down, let your shoulder blades splay around. Keep connected in the front, keep the toes up for now, and then roll through and set the heels down the best you can.

(exhales deeply) All right, Kristi! Here we go. We're gonna kinda come into it the same way, abs in, head just hangs for now until you get there. Lift the heels, roll through, find that long plank with the flexed feet when you get there. Move the left, or the hand, to the back for this for me toward the middle. Doesn't have to be exact middle.

Swivel to face me, and if you can, take the arm off. Success already. You could put your bottom knee down, but I'm not going to today. I'll quit first! Arm up. You don't need to know why.

Just know it's all good, it's progress. Lifting from under that hip. Then it's as if something pulls you from the head to bring you back down. Your feet are still anchored. Just go up again, lift.

That side bend. Enjoy that upper stretch too. That's actually part of the success that's going on for me, personally. I know we should go down, but we're not going to, happy. Lift again.

Check yourself out. You lined up as much as you think you can be? Then, just bend the knees, come away. Stay ready. (exhales deeply) Up we go, same start. It's the twist.

Up. Then from somewhere underneath that bottom hip, you lift, you spiral, I'm going for the back ankle. We re-open. You know that position now, inner thighs, legs help you, and we come down. Just one more, lift up.

It's all right to use the legs, you have to! Push that bottom inner thigh into the top one, to then pike. Re-open. Long, and down we go, other side. This side has its own things, so we'll just get ourselves there. We're going this way.

We could come out of the plank, but we're not going to. We go. Happy? Ooh, girl, you can do it. Lift that bottom hip.

And so, the confidence is coming from me, reminding myself that that shoulder is actually attached, despite what's happened. And we come back. And I don't want to start over, so I'm goin' again. Two, three, lifting back, finding that bridge, that arch. Let something come underneath it.

Stretch the top side of the rib cage, and then elongate and feel supported by both sides. One more, lift. Come back. We came down. We stayed ready.

It's okay, it'll be all right. Twist, list. The whole underside of your body is gonna lift you up as you reach under and across. You could reach across the chest, which is even more of a twist. I'm kinda aiming ankle today.

Re-open. One more, your legs are helping you. And up to reach under. Open. And down.

I know we want to do a mermaid, don't we? But we're not going to. We are so close to being finished, and soaked. Haven't done that in a long time. And you have to acknowledge those little wins.

All right! It's ending on a high note, hopefully. We shall see. Lifting the legs up, it's a prep for teaser, which is, in my opinion, a little harder sometimes. I'm gonna use those arms I just now trust, and roll back, trying to leave my legs there. I'm only going to my shoulder blades-ish, and coming back up.

(groans) Hold on where you need to. Stretch the legs up. (exhales deeply) Remember how, earlier, we kinda, with that open leg, pushed our legs into the hip socket and held on from somewhere else so they could float? That's where I'm practicing that, bend the knees, roll down, pushing the arms into the sides of the legs. And come back up. You can breathe as you wish, of course, duh.

Stretch. And I'm gonna do two more, just so you know. I'm gonna end it pretty much after that. Gonna do two more, but because of my intention of coming in and wanting to just feel better, I can't end aggressively. I need to end like, right on, I got it, fluid, might not be pretty.

I'm down, I'm up. I get there and I grow. (exhales deeply) So much better, I swear, it's all in mind. Down, up. I'm gonna do one open-leg rocker 'cause it just feels like I should. Back, and up, and stay up.

Climbing higher, flex the feet, do something that feels good. (exhales deeply) I'm just gonna cross my feet to sit up. You can sit on your knees, you can lie down. Let's just take a couple of deep breaths. And my intention, I did it, I made it, I do feel better. I hope you do, if that was your intention, or that something good came of it for you.

I'm still gonna support myself 'cause I'm tired now. That's all right, and just inhale. Keep the space, keep the good feelings. (inhales deeply) And exhale. (exhales deeply) Wiggle out whatever needs to be wiggled out. Inhale, or feel strong and stay tight, whatever. (breathes deeply) I don't need to say anything else, you know what to do for yourself.

Thank you for being here with me, for me.


4 people like this.
Thank you, Kristie for this gift you shared with us. I really feel better. I loved especially the Spine Stretch and the Saw.
3 people like this.
Aaawwwww, miss you! Thank you! Love the class!!
1 person likes this.
That felt so good! You seem like you're really coming back from your injury! You do such a great job of teaching you should never be nervous. However, I understand those nerves. And, I'm wearing the exact same colors today as you are in the video. Fun.
loved it too. very personal. thanks so much.
1 person likes this.
I really felt that workout deeply. I enjoyed the personal explanations of how your body was feeling as you went through your routine as it gave me better connection to my own workout. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Kristi
1 person likes this.
Loved the honesty and doing what felt right for your body. I didn't want to workout tonight but feel so much better having done the class.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Kristi for acknowledging that the body's wisdom doesn't always stay within the lines and it's important to listen to it.
Kristi you are a wonderful teacher of this amazing movement we all love so much ! So glad you are doing well and back teaching:)
3 people like this.
You listening your body reminded me to listen to mine. I also got lot's of new ques to feel my lines in motion. You were very honest to yourself and it is very inspiring. Thank You .
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