Class #2966

Direction and Space Mat

60 min - Class


Play with direction and space in this Mat workout with Brent Anderson. He focuses on cueing directions rather than muscles so you don't waste excess energy in each movement. He also changes the tempo of different exercises to integrate neurological organization of the muscles which helps to each movement more spontaneous.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Mar 02, 2017
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My name is Bent Anderson here at Pilates Anytime in beautiful southern California, and excited to be here for another mat class. We hope you enjoy it. We're gonna get started in standing today, so right where you are is perfect. We just want to draw a little tension to our fit, and so the first thing I want you to do is just feel the weight going forward into the ball of the foot and back towards the heel. What I want you to notice is just be aware of how the rest of the body feels as the weight shifts forward and back.

Now what happens in the hips? What happens in the lumbar spine or the belly? What happens in the upper back or the head and the neck? What do your shoulders do? Then I'm gonna shift the weight, instead of going forward and back we're gonna shift it to our left and to our right.

So the feet are actually shifting side to side as we move, and again notice the same thing. What happens in the knees, what happens in the hips, what happens in the lumbar spine, the upper body? Do you feel a little bit of a sway or do you feel relatively rigid? Not a right or a wrong, just sort of observing what's going on. Then we're gonna go into circles.

So we're just gonna all the way around the heels, the right side, the toes, the left side, and moving around a circle with the feet. Again, notice if there's a part of the body or a part of the circle that might feel a little more challenging or might feel a little like, I can't really smoothly shift my weight over that direction. Let's reverse the direction back around the other way. Again, just noticing, just feeling, ever so conscious. Imagine you had a little paintbrush on the top of your head now, and it barely reached the ceiling.

What would it be painting? Would it look like a circle, would it look like a square, would it look like a rectangle or an octagon, what would it look like? And then relax. Take one foot, roll the foot forward all the way until you roll actually over the toes, and then push up through the toes, rolling back down through the foot to the heel and then switch sides. Rolling through the foot, over the toes, putting a little weight down at the toes, rising back up on the toes, rolling back down through the foot.

Let's repeat that again the other leg. Rolling through, up on to the toes and over and back through and down. Last one on the left, roll through the foot, come over and roll back up over the toes and down. Now from there, just softening the body straight down, keeping the heels on the ground, the body vertical, and just go down to a halfway point, just very simple, and then rise back up, leading with the direction of the head. Again, we've been playing a lot, this particular trip applies anytime with direction and space and how we do that.

Then bending the knees back down again, softening like we're just folding an accordion door, right, and it's like the head's still reaching, reaching, reaching for the ceiling. Soft jaw, soft shoulders, and then again, reaching up. What we're gonna feel is a little bit of a diagonal. If I was to turn sideways, right, and we came down, coming back up I'm gonna feel just that ever so slight lean forward. Now I know I'm in the right place if my bottom and my legs are actually soft and relaxed in this position.

If I'm too far forward, I'm gonna feel my quadriceps working too much. If I'm too far back, I'll feel the glutes working too much. So I just wanna find that place where it's very comfortable. Let's do that one more time. Just softening down, and back up, very good.

Let's go ahead onto our mats, on your backs, knees bent, toes towards the center of the room. As you prepare yourself in this position, I want you to be aware of your feet in the hook lying position, So as your feet are grounded into the mat we begin with a simple bridge, I want you to feel what your ball of the foot and your arch and the side of your foot are doing. So even from here before we start the bridge, could you lift your heels up a little bit and point your toes, and could you pull them back down, the heels back down to the ground and pull the toes up? So we want a dorsiflexion. Push the feet down, roll the heels up, and back down, lifting the toes up in to dorsiflexion.

And roll down going into up, and down, dorsiflexing, and relax. Now, could you alternate that? So could you roll up onto your right toe, and dorsiflex the left foot, and then switch roll through the foot and dorsiflex the right foot, roll up on the toe of the left, and switch. Again, we're just giving input and information into our foundation, right. The feet are the foundation, alternating the sides, side to side.

Then let it come down and relax. Roll to the outside of both feet, trying to keep the knees pretty parallel. So you're just gonna stay parallel, see if you can just orientate the ankles to roll out a little bit, and then roll the feet and ankles in, trying to avoid the knees coming too close together. Roll the ankles out, roll the ankles in, keeping the knees as parallel as possible even though the feet themselves and the ankles themselves are going into inversion eversion, can you feel that, that opposition? That's what I want you to create.

Then rest your feet down into the mat. Going right into our bridge, feeling that direction coming from the knees towards the center of the room, the feet are grounded, so you can almost feel the energy of the floor. As efficiently as possible, send the energy rolling the pelvis up off of the ground, taking a deep breath. Pay special attention. Is your jaw relaxed?

Are the eyes relaxed in the socket, are your shoulders relaxed, your hands relaxed? As you exhale this breath, allow the sternum to soften first, then allow the ribs to slide one by one, coming back down onto the mat gradually until the pelvis again rests on the mat. Pay quick tension to your feet and just sort of lift the toes up again and toes down again, and prepare your next bridge. Here we go, exhaling, rolling the pelvis up, and taking a breath up on top, exhaling, rolling the spine down. Now on this next one, what we're gonna do is we're gonna stay up.

So as you bridged, in the next segment, we're gonna roll the bottoms back up into the bridge. what I want you to notice, and I want you to see it being done here very nicely is keeping this line really parallel, so this is a great position. An image that I like sometimes is the sacrum actually pushing up, that triangle bone pushing up through the front of the hips. Now, in this position, drop the chest down just an inch, keep the hips high. From there, let's just gently disengage or roll up onto the right toe, keep the weight in the left leg.

Bring the left heel, right heel back down, and now lift up on to the left toe. You got it, and back down. Still driving the pelvis forward, we're just shifting the weight. We're creating a different load experience for the body to do this. So we're really opening up the front of the hips, alternating through the legs, one leg coming up, one leg coming down.

Taking a deep breath, rest both feet, exhale and roll yourself back down. Very nice job. Again, key focus point here is getting that sacrum, not the lumbar, sometimes people mistake it and they want to push the lumbar forward. The lumbar stays down because we know the ribs are staying down and that sacrum is pushing through and opening up and overcoming a lot of those sedentary, I call them sedentary problems, right, the things that get in our way, the things that are killing our bodies from sitting too much. Let's come up in the bridge one more time, on your own, all the way up.

Same idea, from the sacrum pushing us up. Wiggle your feet until they're touching each other. So bring the feet and the knees together if you can, drop the sternum down just an inch, all right, so we're in that nice position again, really long across the front. We're going to do a gentle march right there in place. So marching with the feet, alternating legs, right leg up, left leg up, right leg up, left leg up, marching in place.

If you need to, place your hands on your pelvis to see if you're able to keep that pelvis up. What we're trying to do is think of that alignment through that weight-bearing leg. We can keep the pelvis up while we're lifting or loading that rotatory force. So this is a very practical exercise for us in walking and running especially, and we'll do this two or three more times on each side, again feeling that sacrum driving up. When that leg lifts up, you're driving the sacrum up at the same time you keep that pelvis nice and open across the front.

Last one, and roll down, very nice. Now, as you roll down, I want you to take the back of your hands and you're gonna put them together, so the hands are together here, and rest them on your sternum so the index fingers are pointing down towards the pelvis. We're gonna create space here. So we're gonna think of widening the shoulders, if I had a Theraband around your shoulders, you're gonna widen your shoulders. Then with your elbows, we're gonna imagine that we're grabbing the elbows and rolling the head, neck, and shoulders up off of the mat with a modified chest lift and then roll back down.

The key point here is that we use as little energy as possible. We're really using direction as our cue, and drawing up, up, up, up, up, as if we're feeling the shoulders pulling us up rather than thinking of using the abdonimal muscles. They're gonna work, but we really wanna feel the energy of those arms reaching through space. So we're thinking two directions. Shoulders are going wide, elbows are going forward, head and spine are rolling up.

That's that axial direction. Let's do one more of those. Let met feel those elbows John, that's it, good, and back down, nice. This time, take hands behind your head. We're going into chest lift.

Elbows are in your peripheral vision. Same exact concept on the up. The head is the axial skeleton, it's the direction of flexion, create the space of width through the elbows and through the shoulders. Exhale, rolling up to that same point, about T7 in the shoulders, right. Now, release the hands and arc the arms long as we inhale, (inhaling).

Bring the hands behind the knees, grab hold of the thighs, yeah, and use your arm strength to lift yourself up a little bit higher, exactly. Now stay in that new position and see if you can't fill, that is F-I-L-L, fill the space in your back, like the skin, as if you were a sail on a boat, and it's filling up with air, right. So you're using your hands to lift up. So we're not using abdonimals right now. Once you find that position now, release the hands as you inhale, hands behind your head, and then exhale and roll down.

That's the full chest lift. Let's do three more of those. We're gonna inhale to prepare, exhale roll up, inhale arc, exhale, grab hold of those legs and lift up a little bit higher. Challenge yourself here. Don't be weak in this moment.

Hold that height while you inhale and bring the hands back behind the head. It's a new height for you, it's a new range. Exhale, roll down. We have two more to do. Take a breath in to prepare, exhale, roll up, feeling those elbows, shoulders, yes, good.

Reach the arms, inhaling, use your arms to help you come up into that new space. Whatever that new space is, maintain that space. Inhale, hands behind your head, exhale, roll down. Last one, here we go. A little more fluid, exhale roll up, inhale arc, exhale lift, inhale arc, exhale roll down, beautiful.

Now bring the legs up into a 90 90 position, so tabletop position with the legs, and bring the hands down to the side, palms are down. We're gonna go into a modified 100s exercise, but I want you to feel the same energy as we felt in the chest lift. So feeling that energy, the hands are gonna be reaching down, the direction spine is long coming up. A good image is think of the lower ribs are reaching back into the mat and up underneath your heart. See if you can feel that image as you roll up into your pre 100 position.

Everybody up, exhaling, the ribs come underneath, the hands are floating, and we go right into our pulse. Inhale, and exhale. Now on the inhalation, we use the same image we had of filling the sail. So you inhale into your back behind the heart, behind the lungs, exhaling, hollowing in the front. That gives you a break in the abdominal wall, it's not so hard.

Keep the rhythm going. Inhale and exhale, keep it going. We're about six out of 10, we got four more to go, and keep going. Now from here, if you want to make it a little more challenging, just reach the right leg out straight, and bring it back in, and out on the left. Good, this is a nice way to build your exercise.

Taking a deep breath, bring the knees in, rest your head down, and down you go. This is a nice way to build your endurance for the 100. We start with the tabletop, you can start using one leg at a time alternating so that your hip flexors do not fatigue you so much that you can't finish the exercise. Feet can come down. Just have feet together, knees together, hands out a little bit wider.

Let's go knees side to side to give ourselves a little break. So taking the legs over to the right side, all the knees to the right. Now, in this position I want you to take a nice, deep inhalation into the left lung. So the left lung is where we're going to be expanding that space of rotation, the spine. As you exhale, though, we're gonna send the ribs down that are going to bring the legs back up into that vertical position, and then inhaling over to the other side, inhaling into the right lung, right, keeping that shoulder down.

As you exhale, we're gonna drive those ribs down, and you're gonna bring the legs back up. Let's repeat that two more times, rotating to the right, take a deep breath in that left lung, exhale, bring it back down. We're gonna start increasing the tempo on it. Inhaling to the left, exhaling, bringing the knees back up. Take the legs to the right, exhale, bring the legs back up.

a little bit faster now, let's go a little faster, side to side. The range of motion's gonna change a little bit. You're not gonna go as far, we're just gonna sweep like windshield wipers side to side, feeling that rotation through the whole body. I want you to feel like it's an elastic band almost pulling your legs back up, because the breath and the tension is elastic. When we change the tempo, we change the properties of the muscles that are working.

Let's go a little bit faster even. Come to the left, (snapping), to the right, (snapping), to the left, you won't go as far, right, you got it, that's it, beautiful. Let's finish off the last one, and relax, beautiful. Bring the legs up into a 90 90 position again doing a modified roll up. Fingers behind the thighs.

Same idea now, with the direction that we did both with the chest lift and with the hundred position now, but we're gonna use our legs as our levers, right. So imagine your feet are heavy, that you got some big lead boots on your feet, and as you gently let the legs come down towards the floor your spine in response is just gonna be like a boomerang and roll up off the floor into the seated position. So we find that nice seated position, and we create space. Now what I want to do with this space that I'm talking about is the axial elongation coming out of the crown of the head. So if I could put a cup of water on top of her head and hold her in this position, and then I ask her to start moving her pelvis away from her thighs, so she's gonna start rolling posteriorly without losing contact with my hand, that's right.

So she's creating the space and the direction of the spine. The direction of the spine is flexion rolling down. The space is gonna be the axial length. So let's do that about halfway down a couple times, we'll figure this out. Rolling back, and then we roll it back up.

One of the images I like to use is that of a hand weight, those little tiny weights with the round ends on 'em. If you think of your sit bones as being that round weight, and your stem tall, just imagine the sit bones rolling back like the weight rolling back, and then change the cogwheel so it starts rolling forward again, bringing the spine back up, yup. You can use your hands to help. We're gonna go all the way down, all the way back up. Feet can come off the mat when it's time to, all right.

Here the beauty of this exercise is if we're using this as an articulation exercise, were not gonna be focusing, keep going guys, rolling up, rolling down, we're gonna be using this as an exercise of articulation. So we want to make it easy, we want to make it flowing, and ideally, we want to be able to make it stop anywhere in the arc of the movement. So we can roll up and anywhere I could say, stop, and you could stop and hold that position. Keep going, and stop, find that position, go. Stop, go, and you get the idea.

Finish this last one off rolling all the way down, extending the legs, and let's go into a full roll up. So legs are reached down on the mat, all the way out, arms are over the head. Taking a deep breath and again, in this position here, let's just get a feeling for the ground. The ground gives us so much good information in our bodies. So hands over the heads, see if we can get 'em all the way down to the ground.

Let the ribs come up a little bit, it's okay, it won't hurt you. But let it come up, and just breathe in that position for a second. Think about what our objective is going in to a roll up. We're gonna take our spine, if you were just a skeleton and I could grab hold of the skull, and I could pull the skull towards your feet, the spine would be rolling up into a flex posture. That's the direction we want, we want it to be that soft, right.

So as you inhale, bring the hands up over the chest, fingers up towards the ceiling, and as you begin to exhale, it's gonna be that same idea of sending the eyes and the head, rolling the body up, one vertebra at a time, yep, all the way up into the seated and flexed position. Inhaling back up into a tall seated position, arms in front, and now exhaling, rolling the sit bones back like we talked about. So that head stays up as long as it can, sending the ribs back now. So where I want to feel it is the ribs coming up underneath the heart there, yep, that's it, beautiful. Let's do it again.

Inhale, hands come up over the chest, exhaling, stacking it up, be patient through that one area, right there, yep, all the way up, all the way over. So we practice this and try to do it in a way that you can be patient. I know sometimes we get a little anxious and we want to make it an abdominal exercise, we really want to make it a movement exercise. So even when you get to that tough spot, stay there a little bit and breathe into it. See if you can expand, if you can expand that area.

Yes, that's what I wanted right there. Did you feel the difference? That's yummy. Yeah, let's try that again, rolling up, think of it not as a ballet move, right, come up through that spot, stop there, right, give me a little roll back into my hand here, yep from down here in this area, good, and then come up over. Last one, rolling down, very nice work.

So now as we finish the roll up, I want to go into roll over. To do that, I'm gonna need you to move in a little bit closer towards the center of the room. So inch in a little bit on your mat, let your feet come off the mat is fine is fine, and I really want to have a little more space behind you, yes, good. Bringing the legs up into the 90 90 position to start our roll over, hands are to the side. You can use the floor in the beginning of the roll over to help support you in what we're doing.

So keep the knees bent, Erin, yep, knees bent, good, and just think of the tabletop position. What I want you to feel on this one is you're gonna feel like you're taking the knees back over to begin with. So the knees are gonna be the direction. Same idea, right, we talk about direction and load. The legs are gonna be the load, we've shortened the load by bending the knees.

The direction's gonna be the knees peeling the spine up. Instead of peeling the head up, we're peeling the bottom up. What this is gonna require is that you're really, really relaxed in the low back and the pelvic area. So the stiffness now has to happen a little bit more across the shoulders and the chest, and the movements gonna happen from below. So let's begin that process, taking the knees back a little bit, pushing the hands into the floor a little bit, and then as you get into a good position, you can reach the legs long over the body so that they are horizontal to the floor, horizontal to the floor.

Yep, that's plenty. I don't need you touching the ground. Now, from here imagine I got a handle on your sit bones, and I could lift that handle up. So I'm creating some space, right, creating some space away from the shoulder. From there now, just like we did with the head, we're now gonna roll the ribs down underneath the pelvis.

So be patient, let the legs stay back as long as you can as you roll the ribs down just like we did on the roll down, and eventually they'll come down. When the legs come to vertical, bend the knees and we'll start over again. Okay, you got the idea? So again, we're talking about direction, we're talking about load. We're modifying those two things to have a successful movement experience.

Bring in the knees again, back as you exhale, soft in the lumbar spine, reach the legs long into the horizontal position. Create the space in the spine by the sit bones being lifted up away from the shoulders, and now as you exhale, feel the sternum rolling down towards the mat. The legs stay back as long as they can, and when you feel the pelvis coming down again, bend the knees as the legs go into the vertical position, very nice everybody. Let's do that one more time. Knees initiate, exhaling, reaching the legs long, good, create the space, as you exhale, feel the sternum bringing it down, the ribs lead the way coming back down, and relax, beautiful.

Knees are bent, grab the back of the thighs, roll yourselves up into a seated position. Cross your knees in front of you and roll over them into a plank position facing forward. Walk yourselves back so your hands are on the mat. Now in the plank, I'm not so interested in how many pushups you can do here, I'm interested in the alignment that you feel in the sacrum and the front of the hips. So allow the sacrum to come down a little bit as the ribs come up a little bit.

Can you feel that opposition? So sacrum drops down, ribs come up, there we go, good. So it's the position that we want to feel opening up the front of the hip. Now from there, we're gonna slowly alternate the feet. So when you're in that position, we're just going to lift one foot up at a time.

Stay nice and slow, nice and controlled, coming down to the ball of the foot, alternating right and left. Again, listen to your body, right. If you feel your low back collapsing, it's probably 'cause the ribs are not holding their position. Gently disengage. This is like a leg pull front, but it's a little quicker and a little more practical.

Now, can we pick up the pace? (snapping) Listen to me, listen to me, swarm theory, it's a pop, that's it. Ribs and sacrum opposite, legs are popping. That's it, last five, four, three, two, one, and relax, knees down, beautiful. Shake your hands out, nice job.

We're gonna go into quadruped position, and here we're gonna do a relaxation technique. So you're gonna get in a nice, vertical position, of the arms, vertical position of the legs. The knees are gonna be hip-width apart and so are your feet. See if you can identify that. Again, we can use our spatial awareness if you look around you in the room, right, or you look at the screen and you look at what others are doing, see if you can match what they're doing.

If I was to lay a dowel across your sacrum and your head, would your thoracic spine come up and meet that space so that you still have a cervical lordosis and a lumbar lordosis? There we go, good. Now, from that position, rise up into a full flexion so you really are just reaching the spine to the ceiling. The head and the tailbone come down as if the rain water came down and spilled off of you, right? Then we're gonna go the other direction, bringing, now listen for a second, feel that space, occupy that space as the head and the tailbone now come up opposite of each other, and the ribs come down.

Again, it's not a collapse, it's a lengthened response. Now again, rolling up into the flexion, and back down into extension. Leading with the head and the tailbone in their directions, right, the ribs are gonna come forward, the ribs are gonna lead the way back up underneath. You could think of the ribs moving around the heart, or the heart leading the direction if you wanted to change it up a little bit. The heart could come forward, the heart could reach up towards the ceiling.

That's gonna be about the right place in your anatomy to facilitate that arch and curl that we're doing here. Now find the middle place between those two directions. So you've gone all the way up to the top, all the way down to the bottom. See if you can't find that middle place now that feels better, and I already like what I see a lot better with you, I hope you're doing it at home. From here, let's now take the right hand and the left leg and reach them out opposite of each other.

Now, here's the thing. When we reach, I don't want to see an increase in the lumbar lordosis, and I don't want to see the pelvics tilting. So it's not how high your arms go. Bring the arms back down, knees back down, yep. Listen carefully.

If I took a glass of water and I placed it on your sacrum, right, so I put that glass of water right on top of the pelvis, would that glass of water stay quiet as you reached your right hand and left leg out? I don't care about the up, I only care about the out. Let's try it again, disengaging the hand and the leg, right hand, left leg, keeping the body, yes, much better. Now, maintain that position, and on a diagonal, you're gonna shift your weight over your left hand. So you're gonna shift forward, and to the left over your left hand, right.

So you're gonna go in this direction here on a diagonal. Can you go further? Uh-huh, and then come back over the right hip, and forward over the left shoulder, and back over the right hip. Working on the diagonals, right, we're changing the load of these exercises, getting it, that's right Erin, perfect, that's exactly what I want. On that diagonal, we are really engaging the load through this.

So let's give that a little more range, yes, good, and over, a little more range, you have it, back over that right hip. That's exactly what we want to see in that movement. Then rest, bring that right hand and left knee down. Switching sides, same thing. Again, reorganize yourself, reach it out, not too high, it's about going high.

Is the sacrum plateaud, I could put a cup of hot tea on there, and now shift the weight over the right shoulder and hand, back over the left leg, create that diagonal. See if you can make it as if there was a clock that you were on and your head was on 12, and your tailbone was on six, that you'd be going over to one o'clock and back to seven o'clock. When you feel like you've got one o'clock and seven o'clock, then maybe try two o'clock and eight o'clock, see if you can get a little more diagonal. Very good, exactly, it's what I'm looking for. Beautiful diagonals, and these diagonals really strengthen things.

It creates the load that we want on the diagonal of normal human movement, walking, swimming, any of those kind of activities, and relax, beautiful. Shift the weight now over to both the right hand and the right knee. Going into a pre-star, reach the left hand and the left leg and lead the movement the direction with your eyes. So you're gonna reach the left hand, left leg out, and with your eyes, you're gonna open up into the star, reaching the arm and leg out, and turning out to the side. Now, in this position, observe how your body space is connected, right.

So do the ribs connect with the pelvis, right, and then gradually bring it back down to the mat. Control it, shifting the weight over the shoulders. That's why we did the diagonal. Shift over to the left side, reaching the right arm, the right leg, and open it up, looking for that connectivity, you got it. You can even allow this leg to come back a little bit if you want a little more security.

That feel a little better? Yep, and now open that up so we now, yes, that's what we're looking for, beautiful line. Then gradually come back around, you're gonna have to shift the weight to the left, bringing the weight back to the left to be able to lower the legs with control. If you don't shift over the diagonal, you're gonna be stuck out. There's too much weight out there on the other side and you're gonna fall down.

Let's try it a little bit quicker now, taking the left arm and the left leg up off the mat and open up into pre-star. Hit that pose where you feel connected: ribs are connected, pelvis connected, heads aligned, boom, bring it back down. Reach the right side out, find that pose, find that connection, boom, hit it, bring it back down. Let's change the tempo, a little bit faster, left, (snapping), and down, right, (snapping), and down, nice everybody. Left, (snapping), and down.

Good, you notice as you get a little bit faster it gets a little bit easier, the body memorizes it, keep it going. Left, hit it, (snapping), and down. Right, hit it, (snapping), and down and relax. Sit back on your heels, give yourself a little breath, into the low back, that was very nice. what I want you to notice at home is that as you continue to change the tempo, you'll start integrating that whole neurological organization of the muscles and it becomes more spontaneous, and that's what we're looking for.

You can see it, when they were thinking about it slow, it was a little more challenging. As we picked it up, they started hitting it a little bit faster, and how important that connected cue was. You could see them connected the rib cage to the pelvis in that coronal plane and that they were able to hit that control, beautiful job. Let's go right down into and onto our bellies, into a pre-Swan. So lay on your bellies, heads towards the center of the class, yep.

Place your hands underneath the forehead, and again, let's create that concept of space. So we're going to send the shoulder blades away, the head is long in the back of the neck, shoulders sliding down away from the ears and elbows are reaching out. So if I had a Theraband hooked on to the elbows between you, you could feel your elbows being pulled towards your partners. Let's bring this a little bit closer to center, and feel that feeling there, right. We're feeling the elbows being pulled apart, yes, there it is, good.

Now from there, feel the pressure of the elbows into the floor, right. So the hands and the elbows into the floor, and gently lift the head up without extending the neck. We're just barely lifting the head up so the neck is long, yes. From there, bring the head back down to the hands. Let's repeat that three or four times.

Bring it on up, and back down, and up, stay with me on the pace, and down, and up, and down, changing the tempo, (snapping), up, and down, up, and down, up, last one, down, last one up, stay up. Bring the hands and the elbows from the floor up to meet the head in that same space, good. Bring everything down to the floor. Bring everything up to that same height, just to that height, and back down. Keep it out of the low back.

And up, and down. Where's the direction, the crown of the head, up, and down, and up. We abide by the rules, axial length, reaching the head away and down, and up, and down. Last one, we're gonna come up and stay up, stay up. Now bring the hands down into the 90 90 position, right, still hovering off the ground, yep, bring the elbows down to the ground, bring the hands down to the ground, and now bring the chest and head down.

In this position, send elbows away from the center of body, again, as if the elastic band was pulling your elbows together. From the here, going to scarecrow, you're gonna bring the hands and forearms up, fulcruming on the elbow. Then bring the hands and forearms back down. Hands and forearms up, hands and forearms down. Still lengthening through the back to the neck, still keeping the legs in that position, yes, and hands down.

This time hands and forearms up, and now the elbows come up. Elbows go down by themselves, forearms and hands come down. Hands, forearms, elbows, elbows, forearm, hands. Hands, forearms, elbows, elbows, forearm, hands. Two more times, hands, elbows, elbows, hands, hands, elbows, elbows, hands.

Adding the head and chest to it, hands, elbows, head, chest, chest, head, elbows, hands. Fluid now, hands, elbows, head, and chest, chest, head, elbows, and hands, it's a little smoother. Hands, elbows, head, and chest, chest, head, elbows and hands. Now you're learning the proper sequence of thoracic extension, hands, elbows, head, and chest, chest, head, elbows, hands. Bring the hands down now close to the chest, elbows up towards the ceiling, going into a pre-Swan exercise.

The energy is at the elbows are being drawn down and away, opening up the collarbone and the head in front to lift up into that extension. Let's go into a pre-Swan to the lowest rib. Elbows slide down, head chest comes up to the lowest rib, that nice beautiful line, and then exhale coming back down. Let's do that again, three more times. Up, and down, nice and smooth as if there's no bones now, we're just sort of floating up, and then coming back down.

We're using the elbows as the fulcrums. The elbows draw the bodies up into that extension, and then we roll back down. You have one more, and roll up, and down. Now we're gonna go all the way into a full Swan One, so we're gonna take advantage of the same energy expenditure that you're doing on pre-Swan is what I want you in Swan Two. Remember the direction is coming through the head, that axial skeleton, we're gonna keep that energy, we're gonna keep that direction.

Rolling up to the lowest rib and now through the hands, pushing the hands away, roll up on to your thighs. Your head needs to be part of the same axial skeleton. Feel that length, feel that lift, the opening of the sacrum. So the sacrum pushes forward, not the lumbar spine, yes. Then lay it back down on to the ground, thighs, belly, ribs, chest, head.

Let's do that again a little quicker, head, chest, ribs, pelvis, thighs, right, and then roll back down. Remember, watch me for a second. When you come up in to your Swan, keep the length in the front. The length is coming from the sacrum, pushing through the sacrum, not the lumbar coming through. I want the sacrum, you'll feel the power immediately in your Swan, so when we go into a more advanced Swan, it's not gonna be a challenge at all, your body's already connected.

Let's give it a try, all right, for that connection, the toes are just as connected as the crown of the head. Roll up into Swan One, feel that energy, sacrum drives forward, all the way up on to your knees. The head is part of it. Feel that sacrum driving forward, ribs are pushing back a little bit. Yes, that's exactly what I want.

Now you're ready to go into Swan Two from here. So from here on three, you're going to let go, roll down, keep that connection in the whole back of the body, come back up and catch yourself with your hands. You ready, three, two, one, rock, catch. Three, two, one, rock, catch. Three, two, one, rock, catch.

Last one, three, two, one, rock, and catch. Beautiful, sit back on your heels, take a deep breath into the low back. Enjoy and appreciate the ease of a Swan when the body's connected. You're gonna really want to feel that length and that organization, it's very powerful. I'm gonna have you come back onto your tummies one more time.

We're gonna go into double leg kicks, so the hands are gonna be behind the back, clasping the hands together. Heads are all gonna be turned to your right, everybody's head turned to the right. Now the exercise will be a double pump with dorsiflexion, pump, pump, and then when you reach, we're gonna reach both legs into a dart position, sliding the hands down the back, still connected at the back of the neck long. So again, we're not kind of pinned to a high extension, we're just coming up in the dart position. Let's give it a try, nice and easy.

A pump, pump, reach the legs, the crown of the head, hands slide down. Let's not come up quite so high, right. Keep it so it's long, yep. Let's come back up from that, there you go, beautiful. Then let it come down, head goes to the left.

Pump, pump, and reach, good. Come down, head to the right. Pump, pump, and reach. Let's go a little bit faster. Pump, pump, and reach, pump, pump, and reach, pump, pump, and reach, pump, pump, and reach, pump, pump, and reach, hold that reach position there, release the hands, turn the palms up towards the ceiling.

Get a little bit longer for me. Not up so high but a little bit longer. So you're gonna be on that second or third rib from the bottom, weight bearing, yep. The legs are engaged, and we're gonna pulse the hands up towards the ceiling like a reverse hundreds. Pulsing in, two, three, four, five, and breathing in to the chest, expanding the ribs as you're pulsing on your own pace with the breath.

Don't worry about the five beats per breath, just keep the hands pulsing. Now in that pulsing, widen the shoulders, widen the shoulders in the front, yeah. Widen the shoulders on the back. The smile on the back is the same as the smile on the back. You can't come up too high and keep that smile the same front and back.

Last one, and relax, beautiful. Rolling over on to your left side. Left side, side lying, up on to your forearm. Yep, on your forearm. Put the pressure through the fifth metatarsal, the bottom of the fifth metatarsal so that we're not rolling on the toes, and the right leg's gonna be stacked on top it.

We're just gonna do a side lift, yeah, a side lift. So we're really gonna work on what's the direction, right, so the spine's gonna go into a plank position, but in the coronal plane over that left forearm, all right. So we're gonna go into a plank, we're gonna take the head and the spine over the arm, and pushing down with that left leg into the floor, the pelvis will rise up. You could imagine a balloon or something that's gonna lift the pelvis up. On three, two, one, lift.

Hold that lift, take in a deep breath there. Maintain that position for 10 seconds, 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, descend on four counts, four, three, two, one, relax, beautiful. We're gonna do that one more time. Feel the connectivity now. We're focusing on the direction of the spine, that axial length.

We're gonna draw the body parts as close to the central axis as we can on that position, and then expand and contract with the breath while we're holding for the 10 seconds. Everybody up, hold 10, nine, eight, seven, six, breathing, five, four, three, two, four counts to descend, two, three, four, and relax. Keep that nice length now going in to our side kick. Right, so you feel that control in that left arm pumping you up. Take the right leg, lift it up as high as you can without the spine moving.

Bring it down halfway, dorsiflexed. Bring the leg forward, yep, (snapping), and then reach it back, (snapping), pointing. And forward flex, and back, point, and forward flex, and back, point, and forward flex, and back, point. Add the breath, inhale, (snapping), and exhale, (snapping), and inhale, (snapping), and exhale, and inhale, and exhale, and inhale, double pumps, going pump pump, back back, front front, back back, front front, back back, front front, back back, last one, front front, back back, and leave it back. Still keep that energy through that left shoulder.

Get out of that shoulder blade. Take that right hand and reach it forward as if you're reaching for the TV screen or reaching for the person in front of you. From this position, taking a very deep breath, and with pursed lips or a buzzing sound like a bee, blow all the air out until everything has come close to that central axis. (quiet buzzing) Feel the ribs coming closer to the spine, feel the legs and arms getting longer and longer away from the center of the spine for that rotation, and when you roll out of air, roll over on to your tummy. Stay up on the forearms, hands clasped together.

One of my favorite exercises, the single leg kick here, right. So feel that lifting in the front of the body, that sacrum is pushing through the hips again, bringing only the right heel up with a double pump. Pump pump, now reach just the right leg so the thigh hovers off the ground, so it's just a hover, good. Then bring that leg back in for a pump pump and reach. You got that side, let's try the left now.

Same idea, left leg pump pump, and reach. On the pump, I like it dorsiflexion, on the reach, I like pointing. Again, pump pump, and point. Now alternating legs, we're gonna start with the right leg, together, and pump pump, and reach, left leg, pump pump, and reach, right leg, pump pump, and reach, pump pump, and reach. Feel the tempo, pump pump, and reach, pump pump, and reach, pump pump, and reach, last one, pump pump, last one on the right, (snapping), and relax, very good.

We're rolling over on to your right side. You knew this one was coming, were you hoping I forgot the right side, I hope not. All right, side lift on the right side. So again, we're taking that axial line, that skeleton, and we're gonna take it and arc it over the right shoulder, that's what we're gonna do. So send that energy over the shoulder, it's gonna make it easy to lift the hips up, right, it's not just lifting the hips up, it's in the whole body.

On three, everybody's gonna go into the arc position, one, two, three, reach it over, beautiful. Now stay there, 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, keep breathing, two, one, descend, four, three, two, one, and relax, very nice. See if you can do it with half as much energy but the same intensity, right. Some things you don't need to be holding on to, see if you can just get that nice line. Coming up on three, two, one, and up, hold.

10, nine, eight, where's the breath? Six, five, four, three, two, descending, one, two, three, four, keep that energy, side kick. Left leg up, dorsiflex, and forward, (snapping), and back point, (snapping), and forward, (snapping), and back, and forward, (snapping), and back, a little more fluid, and forward, (snapping), and back, (snapping), and forward, (snapping), and back, (snapping), and forward, (snapping), and back, (snapping), and forward, double kick, and pump pump, pump pump, pump pump, pump pump, accentuate the dorsiflex, point, dorsiflex, point, the breath, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, last one, leave the leg back. Reach that left arm forward, really reaching from that rotation through the body, right. Hands are at head level of the person in front of you, leg is opposite of that arm.

Feel that connection across the body. Take in a deep breath, exhaling like a bee, (quiet buzzing) until there's no more air. When you run out of air, bend the right leg below in front of you. Just bring it up and come in to Mermaid position. You got it, beautiful, nice transition, love transition.

Right hand on the floor, on the mat, left hand behind your head. Let's just go into a little bit of organization here, into the coronal plane. With that right hand on the mat, send the elbow, that right elbow into your body a little bit, pushing your fingertips away into the mat, okay, just a little bit of energy opposition, and sending now the left elbow towards the ceiling. So you're gonna go into that beautiful side bending over the right arm, sending that elbow up towards the ceiling, and feeling the lower rib cage coming up underneath, that's it. Head stays part of that line.

Remember, that's the direction that axial line's coming out here, we're painting this beautiful side bending arc through the body that we want to get in the Mermaid. Now from here, take a couple breaths, expanding the space. So feel that right elbow softening a little bit more as you continue to bend around it, coming up then over like we did on the side lift. It's the same exact properties as we did in side lift. Keep the front of the chest open, keep that elbow reaching high, beautiful, and then from here, come up and over, push yourself up and over, put the left hand on the mat, yep, right hand behind the head, and now you're going against the fixed direction, so your legs don't let you cheat at all in this direction.

We're gonna send now the elbow up, left elbow softens, and we're opening up that spine, breathing in to the right lung, expanding the space between the ribs, opening that up, exactly, beautiful. Keep that position for two more breaths, expanding that space underneath the arm, and even feel the humerus, the two arm bones, reaching opposite of each other, all right. So you're really feeling like that whole shoulder girdle is tilting. It's the spatial awareness that I'm interested in. From there, come back up and put your right hand on the floor.

This time with the left hand, go into a flowing Mermaid position, all the way over, (snapping), and then up to the left, all the way over the right arm. Let's go a little bit faster now with me. To the right, (snapping), to the left, (snapping), to the right, (snapping), to the left, look at the person in front of you and mirror them, fall, long arms, soft hands, soft elbows, no unnecessary movement. We're forces flowing like seaweed in the ocean behind me, nice and fluid, you can feel the tide moving the body. There's no muscles involved now, just flowing in space.

Last one, come over to your right, bring that left hand down, yep. Both hands in front of you, yep, good. Push the hands and round the back, sending the left sit bone down to the mat and just appreciate this position as best you can, organize your shoulders. Where's the head position in relationship to the spine? Feel that length in the body, the space between the shoulder blades and the back, expanding with the inhalation into the back, like you're filling up the sail of a sailboat.

From there now, shift the energy in the hands as if the palms of the hands are gonna pull back a little bit, and now the crown of the head, that axial skeleton, begins to go into extension. The left sit bone can come up off of the ground, it's okay, let it come up and feel that orientation coming up, yes, and then send the sit bone back down pushing with the hands into flexion. Head comes up, sit bones roll forward, chest comes up, feel that length, and press back. Feel that the opposition is sort of this elasticity in your spine, allowing you to roll up and to roll back, that's it. Forward, and feel the rotation through the hip, it's really important, that's it, and there, and back.

This is just a way to be able to get that motion, right, through the whole spine and that whole articulation. Last one in the back inflection, yep, bring your right hand towards the center of the mat, bring your left hand up and over, opening up, come back up into a tall, seated position. Hands behind you, switch your legs now to the opposite side just by leaning back, and the same thing to the left. Left hand on the mat, right hand behind the head, all right, and we're going to send that elbow up to the ceiling and soften and bend the spine towards the left. Breathing into the right lung now, opening up that space, you got it.

Allow this elbow to come in a little bit. Yes, open that hand, that's the pressure that I want there, that's it, good, good, good, good. From here, we're really wanting to feel like, let it relax into that position, exactly. Now from here, up and over to the right side, same thing. Sending that elbow up, and feel the chest even coming forward, there we go, yes, that's it.

Breathing in to this hand right here, that's it, really opening up that side, you got it, good. We're gonna go into seaweed now, so coming up and over the gesture arms all the way to your left, (snapping), and up, over to the right. Start off a little slower and then gradually imagine the current getting a little bit faster, the tide coming in and out, sweeping back and forth just like the seaweed in the ocean, and to the right, and to the left, and to the right, here they go, hand, good, hand to the left, a little longer in the arm, longer, yep, a little longer, yes, that's it John, a little longer. Feel the movement happening in the ribs, there it is, you got it. Coming over, the last time to the left, stay there to the left, your other left, and rotate down to the right hand, yep.

Your other left, that way, you got it. Now from here, get those hands in your mat and push a little bit with the hands as you push the sit bone back into a round spine position. In that round spine position, deep breath between the shoulder blades, expanding that space, sending the sit bone down and really using breath to open up that ribcage and find that space in between each of the 12 ribs on the right side, yep, there it is. Just breathe in there, just expand. When you're ready, you're gonna pull with the hands back a little bit of energy as the axial skeleton moves through the head, the tailbone, up into extension.

Exhaling, coming back into flexion, inhaling, back up into extension. That's what we want that movement, yes. Dancers hips, yep, I know them well. That's it, good. Really initiate for you from that hip, feel that hip sort of pushing the spine forward, yes, and back.

Last one, finish up in the flexion, and then from the flexion, stack it up, open that arm and come up, beautiful. Roll so that your feet are are at the front or the tip of the mat and you're in sitting position, and you move your body towards the tip of the mat. Just having a little bit of fun here, rolling like a ball, right, so we're gonna come nice and close, and bring the legs into your body. In this position you have your choice. You can either grab behind the legs, you can grab in front of the legs.

The key is is you're gonna be balancing on your sit bones, right. So while you're balancing your sit bones, create that beautiful bubble of a ball around you energetically, and that's what you're gonna be rolling on. So the ribs must be sent back, create that opposition of energy, all right, so the ribs pushing back away from the arms, taking a breath, inhale, roll back, exhale, come back up and find your balance (exhaling). Inhale back, (snapping), exhale up, (exhaling), let me hear the breath, inhale back, (inhaling), (exhaling), let's go a little faster. In, and ex, (exhaling), in, and ex, (exhaling), one more time, last one, inhale, ex, come up, let's go right into the Seal.

So slip your hands between the legs, grab the ankles so you can clap your feet together, yes, knees are apart. Same idea from that balance position. Inhale, roll back, (clapping), and up, (clapping), and back, the only thing you're missing is the sound of the seal, ork, ork, ork, and inhale back, and exhale up, and inhale back, and exhale up, and stay in that position there. Turn your hands over to the top of your shins or your ankles, whatever you feel more comfortable with. Take the right leg, reach the right leg up.

Bring the right leg back down. Take the left leg, reach the left leg up. Bring it back down. Take both legs, reach them up and hold them up, yep. You got it, from there now bend the knees back down at the same time, yep, hanging on to them, and leave them at the 90 90 mark, right, so the shins are parallel to the floor.

Take your hands now back behind you onto the mat and lean back onto your hands, good, you got it. Bring the legs a little closer together, so about a shoulder width apart, so we're all on the same page there, yep. Now from there, reach the feet up towards the ceiling, and then bring the knees back to parallel. Feet reach up, and down. Feet reach up, and down.

Feet reach up, and down, maintain them down. Take right hand, reach right hand forward, and bring it back. Left hand, reach it forward, bring it back. Right hand, reach it forward, bring it back, left hand, reach it forward, bring it back. Take your right foot only and touch the floor with your toe, leave it there.

Bring your right hand forward. Touch the toe, yep, good, bring the left hand forward, can you do it, good. Now, take the right foot off the ground, reach the toes up towards the ceiling, and reach, and bend, and reach, and bend, and reach, and bend, last one reach, leave the feet up. Drop the body down a couple inches, leave the feet up, and come back up with the body. You know what we're doing, we're doing the teaser, right?

I'm just teasing you. Down and up three times, you got it, last one. Bring it up, very good. Bring the knees into the chest without the feet touching the floor. Give yourself a hug in that position like rolling like a ball, yes.

Let the feet come down, cross the legs one more time, going into plank position. Roll right into plank, cross the legs into plank. I want one perfect pushup, one perfect pushup. Nice plank position, pelvis forward, right. Go down so the elbows come to the ribcage, you don't have to go all the way down, just till the elbows come to the ribcage and then push back up.

Walking the hands back towards the feet in a pike position, soften the knees if you need to, coming all the way up. Soften the knees a little bit, send the tailbone down and stack that spine up as an elastic recoil. Feel the elasticity, bring it up. The head is the last thing, the last thing to come up. Taking a deep breath, step off of your mat, to the side, the starting position that we were in earlier, yep.

Once again, just feel the weight into the ball of the foot and into the heel, into the ball of the foot and into the heel, into the ball of the foot and the heel, and now going to your left, and going to your right, and going to the left, and going to the right, to the left, to the right, going to the left one more time and going right into full circumduction through the feet, all the way around, you got it, all the way around. Reverse that circle, back the other way, really appreciating the dexterity of the feet, bringing part of the foot off of the floor if you can, rolling it around, and then bring it back into center, let the feet be a little bit wider. Arms up towards the ceiling, and we're just gonna descend straight down as best as we can into a full squat, best we can, yep. Keep those arms up, reaching, reaching, like we're pushing something up. Good, lift the chest up and let's bring it back up through the chest.

One more time, like we're holding on to the elastic bands above, and we're descending, descending, descending into the ankles, head and chest are up, elastic band pulls us back up. Let the hands come down, take that right leg and shake it out. Take the left leg and shake it out. Take both legs and shake 'em both out, take your arms and shake them out, and your face, and shaking always gets rid of anything that might be a little crampy or overworked or tired. Just shake it out, shake shake shake shake shake.

Take in a deep breath, soften the knees, (exhaling), one more time, deep breath in, (inhaling), soften and, (exhaling), down. Last one, and up, and exhale down, (exhaling), and give yourselves a hand, nice job class. Thank you for joining me on Pilates Anytime, we'll see you in the future, thank you.


1 person likes this.
What a great class!!!!
Excellent class
Delighted to see Brent back with a new badge. Fantastic class that gets you to view how the body moves, using directional cues makes you really think about how you move. Loved it as always, a little humour always helps
1 person likes this.
New badge????? New class.....👍🏻
Another great class from Brent Anderson
Am so happy to see this class. Straight to the top of my Queue.
Thank you Brent! you made my Sunday morning! I feel full of energy now!
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Brent!!!! İt was great as always !!!!!
What a wonderful class.Clear ,rather 'different' images create new awareness.Thankyou!
Fantastic class, great cueing, thank you!
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