Class #2984

Mat Workout

45 min - Class
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Work at your full range of motion with this Mat workout by Amy Taylor Alpers. She uses the theme from her tutorial, Return to Life, to open up all of the cells in your body so that they can soak in oxygen. She works on releasing excess tension so that you can get rid of movement restrictions and work in your full range.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi everyone, I'm Amy Taylor Alpers from the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado, and we're going to do a lovely mat class today, and we're gonna use all the themes from the tutorial we just did on return to life. Oxygen, circulation, breathing, heating everything up so you're steaming and primarily opening all the cells in your body so they can soak oxygen up, alright? That's our whole goal, we have no other goal, alright? So, come to the front of your mat. We're gonna start with floors just 'cause it's a great way to get your heart pumping and your spine moving and your lungs going and your abs working and all that stuff, but not so intense, alright?

So, we're just gonna cross one foot over the other, give yourself a nice lift. One hand out, take a big inhale. We're gonna roll right down into knees to your ears, hands behind your head. Right? Big inhale, and then exhale all the way down.

Put your hands behind your head, bring your knees all the way to your ears, and go. Inhale, exhale, and let's point your toes. Get a nice long line all the way from your lungs to your toes, and then think even all the way from your palms to your soles, right? That that back line of you is very long so that your abdominals can pump oxygen. That's the point, so they can pump oxygen.

Fill your lungs, squeeze your guts, and we'll go bird on a perch. Now, squeeze strong through the feet. Flex your ankles powerfully, so you start waking up your nervous system. The nervous system has to be on and clear, right? And you're gonna try to levitate your lungs just a little bit more so there's no weight on your lungs.

Exactly, beautiful, one more. And flex your feet. Now stretch through the heel line, all the way from your palms. Feel like your spine is equal length to your legs, right? So that your lung power is not inhibited by the force of the leg being too strong.

So, your lungs equalize that. (deeply breathing) Exhale. Last time, and then we'll take the legs out and point and flex. Now, soften the knees just a little bit, yeah, so that you're not hardening anything. You can feel your whole body slightly levitate so that lungs can expand, abdominals can contract, and oxygen can flow all the way to your toenails, all the way to your fingernails, all the way to the top of your brain, and last one.

And then bend your knees in and give yourself a squeeze, and release all tension. Don't hold your spine, your sacrum, your tail, your knees, your hips, or anything. And then take your feet down along the mat, stretch your arms out over your head. Stretch your abs, stretch your psoas, your lumbar spine. Open up your hips, open up your ribs, point your toes.

Take a big inhale (inhaling) and exhale, bring the arms down and levitate everything into your hundred. And we go in, two, three, four, five, (clapping) in really clean steady beats. Soften the elbows, soften the shoulders, even levitate your shoulders towards your ears and toward the ceiling a little bit, so they actually help you lift. Beautiful job. Point your toenails down, but lift your calves up a little bit.

So soften the knees, even a little bit more, Ruth. That's the way. Soften the elbows. Work the palm and the soles, so energy is open all the way through, and then two more. Big pumps, loose shoulders, no weight on your heart or your lungs.

And then you can lower your knees. (exhales) Nice. Flex your ankles. Flex your ankles and feel them. Feel, it's not that your stretching something, it's that you're actually flexing something.

Bring your feet together. Take your arms up and over your head and stretch your lungs out again. And we'll do roll ups, you're gonna lift your arms, curl your chin to your chest, and you're gonna flex your ankles even more at the hardest moment. I know, that's so crazy hard without a strap, but flex your ankles more, and roll back. Bend your knees, flex your ankles more.

Flex them more, flex them more, flex them more. At the hardest moment, flex your ankles more. So you squeeze juices out of your ankles versus tense your shins and knees and quads. Inhale, roll back, don't even stretch anything. Just bend it, bend it, bend it, bend it.

Let's go legs together a little bit more so you can use the connection. Roll up, squeeze deep and low and small. Don't stretch, just lengthen and flex. Flex your ankles, flex your belly, flex your spine, flex your organs. And one more time, lift up.

So you're going to flex through your heart, your lungs, your stomach, your liver. You're gonna open up your kidneys, and then as your roll back you flex more. Ankles, knees, hips, spine, heart, lungs, and beautiful. Take your arms down next to your hips. Let's bend the knees in for a second.

Reach around, take the soles of your feet. Just relax everything, and flex your elbows, and in doing so, let your spine completely release so your tail, sacrum, lumbar flex, too. You're not flexing them hard with muscle, you're releasing them and allowing them to be flexed just by simple arm movements. And we'll use that feeling a little bit later, too, when we do our stomach series, so that everything is moveable, okay? You're gonna keep your legs up and straight to the ceiling, put your head and arms down, and we'll do roll over.

Point your toes and roll over. Every vertebrae bends. Take the feet to the floor if you can. Just let them go, so you don't hold tension. Open the legs, roll back down.

You bend. Try not to stretch, bend things. Bring your feet together. Bend your way over. Bend your organs, your spine, all your muscle tissue softens like you're kneading it like bread dough and you're not stretching it at all.

One more time, and you let oxygen come into the body. And open. And you push the oxygen deep into the tissues. And then we'll reverse and we'll go a little faster. Inhale, over, bring the feet together, and exhale.

Roll down, down, down, down, point. Keep the knees a little soft, so you're not stretching ligaments or tendons, you are bending and softening. Beautiful job you guys, last time, now we're talking. And roll over, soft, soft, put your feet down. Bring your feet together.

Don't hold your back. And roll down. And we'll take the left foot to the floor and keep the right foot up. Now, let's flex your left ankle and feel the flexion. So, a piece of it is just your nervous system being aware and listening to and speaking to all your parts, right?

So, your left foot, nice and strong. Flexion, which is not shape, it's a movement, and it's not a movement of tension, it's a movement of contraction, alright? And then the other foot will be pointed for the coordination of it. Now, you're going to twist your spine, so you're gonna pick your right hip up and twist. Leg circles down, around, and up, and inhale, and the leg is kind of just the long handle of a spoon that's stirring your organs around and it's the lever that's twisting your spine, or you can feel it vice-versa.

You guys are looking awesome. We're gonna do two more. You can feel it, that your spine moves the leg. And last time, air comes rushing in and gets pushed out, and we'll reverse, and down, around, over, and center. And down, around, and let's point your toes.

I'll move back. And inhale, around, over. You can go for a bigger twist today. Go all the way over. Yeah, get a nice opening through your back and a nice spiral of your spine, and last one.

Beautiful. And bend that knee and take that leg down. Nice job, okay, so now we're gonna flex the right foot, bring the left leg up to the ceiling. Nice. And don't tense it. What's the difference between a hard, straight leg, and sort of, maybe a feeling of, like, this is an actual, this is Jack's beanstalk and it's just growing, and it has it's own tensile suspension but it doesn't have to harden.

And then we're gonna cross over, down, around, and up. And you feel that because the movement actually goes into your body instead of looks like something you're doing out here in space, right, focus it deep in you, that it actually changes the texture and the temperature, and now reverse, and inhale of your muscle tissue, of your fascia, of your ligaments and tendons, even all the way to your bones. The bones are just very active cellularly. And then after five you bend your knee, and I wasn't counting, and you just roll right up to a lovely, warm, supple spine. Bring your hips to your heels.

No tension, no bone tension. For instance, no joint, knee tension. No shin tension, no sacral tension. Just bend your knees in. Just pick them up, let them flex you and your spine, and then roll through a soft spine.

You can kind of bird on a perch the soles of the feet, but try not to harden the tops of the shins or feet at all. Just flex your knees. See if you can even put your heels right on your butt and your knees right on your ears, just because you're soft. You're not stretching anything, you're actually flexing everything. You can flex yourself small.

And one more time, deep flexion, yeah. And then take a pause, you got it, nice job. Put your hands down, your feet down. Just pick your hips up and straighten your legs and lie down and squish one knee into your chest. Just grab it and squish it into your chest.

And the other one, again, is not hard and long, it's extended out, right? Energy is flowing from your lungs to your psoas to your toes and the other knee is on your ear, not your nose. And then we swish, swish, swish, nice and squishy and smushy and get in there and massage your guts, yeah. Elbows are high, pull the knee up, switch, switch, last one, be even. Both knees in, and here's that position again.

Bring your knees to your ears, right? Elbows up very high. Lungs wide. Inhale, expand. Exhale, empty everything, don't hold tension.

Inhale, exhale. Gorgeous, you guys, fill your lungs. Fill your lungs and don't let any movement in your body impede filling your lungs. Exhale, one more time. Fill, exhale, good.

Into your scissors, and pull, twice, switch. Pull, twice. Now, as you go, take your hand high, your elbows way back. Lift your pelvis off the mat. Don't stretch hamstrings, don't stretch low back, flex your spine and your hip.

Flex your hip and spine. Flex them, flex them. Last time, be even, and then hands behind your head. Take a giant inhale and put your toenails on the floor. Inhale, your toenails, and exhale, your belly.

Lift your lungs off the mat and then squeeze your guts. As the legs come up, try not to set your lungs back down. Try to keep your lungs up, yeah, so there's no weight, no tension in the heart and the lungs. Beautiful, beautiful, last time. Stay up there, exhale, stay up to twist.

Twist your heart and lungs. Twist your whole spinal cord, your whole nervous system from your eyes to your toenails. Try not to put weight on your lungs or your upper back or your spine, no weight on your spine. And last set, pull that knee way up, flex it deeply, and last one, and then roll on up. Yeah.

Alright, if you could see them really close you'd see steam rising. (laughter) Ankles are flexed, deep flexion. Flexion is such a cool thing, it's really what the body can do, so you really wanna not stretch your achilles or your heels, tighten your shins or your knees, just flex your ankles. Beautiful, big inhale. And then exhale, flex your spine. Don't stretch, just flex.

Go all the way to the floor, don't stretch, just go down, and then inflate and keep it, fill your lungs. Up we go. Exhale, flex your ankles more. Flex them, bend the knees if you need to. Don't hyperextend at all, Ruth, bend your knees just a little bit, and flex your ankles instead.

Ankles more, c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon. There you go, flex them, exhale. Your ankles, flex them, Anna c'mon, flex them. Yes, yes, beautiful job! And last set, wow, that was awesome. The more you flex your ankles the more you're gonna let go of tension everywhere else.

Fantastic, that's the spirit. And roll back up, so nice. Curl back, bend your knees, take hold of your ankles and rise. And just roll, don't belabor it, just roll. Unlock your calves and hamstrings and shins.

You can have length and energy through your limbs, but no tension. What's the difference between length and suspension and the feeling of a long plant supporting itself without holding tension? Soft knees, and then try feet together. Flex your ankles, that's an ankle movement. It's not necessarily a big stretch or anything, it's just a flexion deep in the joint.

Nice job. And flexion helps the rest of the body release tension. Nice job, nice job, great. And then let's rest right here, and then we'll lie back down, take your feet to the ceiling. And again, no tension, no stretching.

In fact, the opposite. Release all tension, all stretching, and contract and flex instead, okay? We're gonna go into corkscrew, so we're gonna roll over, and you can stay rolled over or you can take your feet up if you want. Point your toenails. And then we're gonna twist your heart, your lungs, your spine to the right.

We're gonna roll down the right. We're gonna circle, take a huge inhale, (inhales) and then we're gonna exhale, push it all out again. (exhales) Now, we're gonna go the other way. Twist, go bigger twists. Twist your guts, twist your spine, twist your nervous system. Soften and make things hot and supple and spongy.

Spongy, spongy. And again, twist and roll down. Now, as you go over for a moment, think of taking your feet just a little higher so the legs aren't hanging off your sacrum, right? So there's no tension in your back, 'cause your legs are holding themselves up. And you're gonna twist again, one more set.

You hold your own legs up with your own leg power, not with your back power, and then last one. Reach around, beautiful, so that you just are really like a sponge, we just cleansed you, ringed you, wrung you out, and then you roll on up, and you take your feet out to the V and your arms out to the side. Now, let's do this a little bit with your arms. Let's just bend them a little bit, and then hold them up kind of with your deltoid a little bit, so you're not holding them up with arm tension, you're holding them up with your whole body, kind of. Flex your ankles very, very, very deep.

Keep your arms supple the whole time. Big lungs, inhale. Twist, and as you twist to the right, keep moving your right shoulder blade back towards your spine. Don't stretch, don't lean, just twist flex. Inhale, flex your ankles more, inhale.

Keep the ankle flexion, think of the ankle flexion as something that happens in the front of the ankle, so it's not a stretch of your achilles tendon. Inhale, maybe Anna come a little narrower, you got it. And inhale, twist now. Stay back on your pelvis, everybody. Sit back a little bit more.

Think about your right shoulder blade continuing to pull your right shoulder around, and then come back up. Whoops! (laughter) And then your left shoulder blade continues to pull this around, so you're not stretching your shoulder, you're working your back and it's twisting, flexing you, versus stretching you. Let's do one more. Inhale, twist, your shoulder blade keeps going, keeps going, that's it Ruth, and then come back up. One more time, less stretch, way more contraction and flexion.

Contract and flex. Don't reach, Anna, sit back, sit back, sit back, put your head way down, sit back even more. Come back here, and then... (squealing and chuckling) Alright, and come back up. Alright. Wring it out.

Wring it out, wring it out. So like, if you were a sponge, you wouldn't stretch while you did it. You'd actually do the opposite, right? So that you'd get really, contraction would be what cleans tissue out to detoxify, right? So if we're stretching it while we're trying to do stuff it's never gong to wring itself out, so let it actually do it's fullest contraction and then fullest expansion, instead of shaping it or stretching it or forming positions or something like that.

Alright, swing your legs around and lie on your belly. Alright, now, challenging to do it in swan, I know, but same idea. What if we just had your spine with nothing attached to it, just your skeleton spine. We could move it like a little slinky snake, right? And that muscles would never impede its range.

Muscles would just bend it the way it's supposed to bend. Okay, so your palms are under your armpits, maybe a little bit further back towards your ribs a little bit, yeah. You lift your eyes, nose, chin, roll your shoulders back and reach your triceps down to your elbows, and bend your spine. Bend it, don't lift it, bend it. Use muscles in your back to contract and come back down, right?

So go a little slower the first, this next time. Right, so you're gonna lift your eyes, nose, chin, chest. Or chin, let's go, then you're gonna roll your shoulders back and reach your triceps down and then you're not gonna lift the whole thing, you're gonna try to bend, beautiful, right? And you keep bending, yeah, you bend them all, you bend them more. What if you bent them more?

Yes, and then you came back down, and last time. Bend, cervical but then really thoracic, those are the hardest ones. Stay low, Anna, stay low and bend backwards instead of lifting up, yes. Then stay here for a second. Try to levitate your thighs off the mat a little bit.

So you're holding your extension with your back, and then dive that way. Release and push, and you can keep your hands there or you can reach, whatever you want. Very, very nice. Keep your eyes up, keep your eyes up the whole time. Look at the ceiling, even at the lowest moment.

Last time, gorgeous. Nice. Beautiful. And then, sit back on your heels for just a second and give your back a break, but on the other hand ideally, in an ideal world you wouldn't really need it, but of course our backs are often quite tight. But even as you're sitting there for a moment, don't stretch. Relax, release, allow, and contract yourself into this position a little bit.

Think about getting smaller and less stretchy, right? And then you release and come back out to your single leg kick. So, you're on your forearms, you're not stretching anything, but you are kind of lifting yourself forward, so you have a nice, long, deep abdominal psoas connection, but, and let's maybe just take our elbows a little more forward than we might even be used to, and then feel like you did in your swan where you bent your upper spine enough, almost like a rocking chair, your legs lift off the mat, right, and then the knees are free so we kick, Switch, kick. And now here, again, we're not stretching anything, we're flexing something. How do you flex? Right?

So when you come to a knee for a second, don't stretch your knee, relax. Make your knee small, like shrink it. That's the way, so you could kick, kick, and shrink it, shrink it, kick it, kick it. Yeah, all the way, try to get your calf to your hamstring, get your calf, don't point your knee there, flex your knee there. What's the difference?

Flex your knee there. Flex it, flex it, flex it, and flex it. You got it, right. So no stretching, just don't stretch, especially in joints, don't stretch joints, joints don't like that. They like to flex, which is great, and then expand, and that's good.

So you're teaching it to flex and then release, but not to grip and hold, right? So the joint gets a tremendous amount of massage and suppleness and freedom, and it starts to reorganize whatever might be tight in there, and yeah. And then you hold them in your back a little bit more so you're not overworking your quad, and then the knee will free up, okay? So, (laughter) same on your double leg kick, okay? So, you're going to get your hands up really high, really high so that it makes the shoulders work as well, and then you pick the thighs up just a little.

It's not how high they are, it's that they're lifted, right? And the knee is free now, and you flex the knee three times. Flex, flex, flex. And then you lift the leg up higher, and then exhale the other way. Kick, two, three, and up.

Now I'm gonna add a little thought here, so go to the first side, and you go kick, kick. Stay in with your feet for a second. So, if you could, your heels would be on your butt, like literally, because you actually flexed your knee there. Right? So you're working towards that.

Now, before you go into your lift, get your hands as high as you can and now close your butterfly wings. Try to bring them together, right? So, they're here, and then before you straighten your elbows lift your eyes, nose, chin, okay? Lift your hamstrings really high and straighten your triceps and hamstrings without losing your shoulder or twisting your elbow, yeah, and then lift to bend, and then down. Alright, we go kick, kick, kick.

Elbows and everything rises together. Eyes and feet same height. And then bend everything together. Yes, and turn, kick, kick, right? And rise up, eyes up, feet high, very high, eyes high, feet higher, feet higher everybody.

And then exhale, two, three. Get your feet higher than your eyes. And up, eyes up though, but get your feet higher. That's better! Yes. And exhale, so you'll have to bend your thoracic spine instead of stretch your shoulders.

Right. Right? (class murmuring) Yeah, you have to bend your thoracic spine with thoracic spine-bending muscles, right? And you do that first by getting those shoulder blades together and then you don't stretch anything, you keep squeezing stuff, and you squeeze stuff high. And eyes high, so the neck works, too.

Yes, yeah, so you get this tremendous massage of your back tissue. (laughter and chatter) Yeah. (class chatters) Yeah, and then go ahead and sit back on your knees again, but don't stretch anything. Flex your knees, flex your hips, flex your spine, and you may feel deep stretches. It's not that you won't necessarily feel something that feels like a stretch, but you'll actually be getting to some of the deep stuff then and releasing tension somewhere that might be holding all the way to an organ, you can take a moment and feel your liver relax and feel your stomach relax, feel your guts, your intestines relax, your kidneys, and then roll on up and bring your feet out in front of you. And let's do the archival neck pull, because without a foot strap it's the only one that really makes sense, alright?

And you're gonna get through it really because you're gonna flex the crap out of your ankles (laughter) and by flexing the crap out, that's literal, that's actually what I mean. Flex the crap out of your ankles, don't hold tension there, flex them clean, right? And again, it's not gonna feel like a stretch here, it's gonna feel like a flexion deep in here, that really cleans things out so you could squat freely and your knee will be better. Take your hands up, so the archival one we start here. The elbows are very high, maybe bring your shoulder blades together a little bit.

If you're very mobile, right, that's like a strength versus a togetherness. If you're tight, then it's an actual idea. Take a big inhale, huge chest. Keep your elbows back, curl forward, and gently pulse, one, flex your ankles, flex them, flex them more, flex them more. And roll back up, there you go.

Then your elbows get to narrow, but keep them high towards the ceiling as you curl down. You get to curl down, actually, yes. And then curl right back up to flat back, elbows wide, flex those ankles, keep them back as you curl forward flex those ankles. Don't stretch your back, you guys. Flex forward, inhale, rise up.

Go a little wider, a little narrower. Flex more, not your toes, but your ankles. And then curl back, but keep your feet, nice job, nice job, one more time up we come. Flex them, don't stretch them, don't tighten them, and exhale. Flex yourself, flex forward, flex, flex.

Stay here for a second. Flex your ankles a little bit more, soften your knees if you need to. Now flex yourself down, don't stretch yourself down, flex yourself down. Then inhale, rise up, and exhale, narrow, and curl a little bit. Nice job, okay, great.

And then let's go right into jackknife from here, so you can scoot forward a little bit if you need to. Point your toes. You're not gonna stretch, you're not gonna tighten, you're not gonna harden, you're just gonna move that amazingly supple body. And you roll over, point your toes over and up. Get a nice chest massage, lung massage, and roll back down.

Beautiful job, roll back down, don't stretch, don't harden. And inhale, breath in, and up we go, and exhale, just contract your abs and come on down, one more time, gorgeous job, and over and up, and exhale, squeeze your guts, and down. Nice job, okay. Let's lie on your right side. Okay, so now today you're not gonna hold your spine tight, alright?

You're not gonna let it go floppy, but you're going to not be rigid okay? So that your lungs are very flexible, your spine is flexible. For you to be able to breath your spine has to stay supple. Right? That doesn't mean wimpy or anything, just suspended and strong but not hard, okay?

So you're gonna pick up your, are you guys doing that one? (class murmuring) Come down on your elbow if you don't mind. But here's the rub. Pick your rib cage up, your pelvis up, be on your greater trochanter, and use your left hand as much as you need to do that, but use your right abs a lot, okay? Pick up your left foot hip high.

Flex your foot, don't stretch it, flex. Just flex it, and then we go to the front, flex your hip, and then extend your hip. And inhale, and exhale. Very nice job, you guys. Now, as you come to the front, really work flexors, and as you go to the back, really work extensors, and let go of flexors, right?

So, flexors flex you, and then extensors flex the leg back so the front can release. Nice job, inhale, exhale. Last one, inhale, and exhale, and just stay there for a second and contract your back, your glutes, your deep hip, your hamstrings. Get that leg higher, get it higher. Not to the ceiling, but behind you.

Yes, and bring your feet together, turn out, and just pick the leg up and flex it down. You're not gonna stretch anything, you're gonna flex it up and then bring it back down. And inhale, and exhale, keep your ribs off the mat though just so yeah, you're not levering off your lower side. Reverse your ankle, flex, point. Come down just slightly in front of the other foot and that will get your hip rotators a little bit better.

So, also, as you guys go up, stay for one second if you don't mind, put a little more weight on your front hand, lean forward on it and let this hip come up this way versus kind of fall back a little bit, right? So it goes way up that way and it comes down, and one more like that and we'll work on that a, nice job, let's go into the Develope. So bend the knee, same feeling. Excellent, beautiful job, point and up we come. Yeah, maybe bring this foot a little more forward, the standing foot.

Yeah, come almost to here and then come up the front of that, yeah. Woo, sorry, Ruth, as I throw you off. Reverse if you haven't, so up you come, flex, point, keep that left hip forward. Yes, keep the left hip forward, nice job. Yeah, and keep lifting your underneath side.

Last time, beautiful, beautiful, and up, yes. And maybe, if you will, Kristi come up for one second with your leg, stay where you were and just bring your leg up. So think about how you might actually, less stretch of this, less work of this, even though that'll work, and more hip flexion, so you actually would use your hip flexor, yeah. What? Yeah, there you go, why not, right?

Don't hold it, don't tighten it, don't-- I'm gonna start crying. You're gonna start crying? (laughter) Try it again, you guys. Use your hip flexors, and by those I really mean more like psoas, like deep hip flexor. Don't stop, just go as far as it can go, yeah.

Don't use any emergency brakes anywhere, just pick it up. I know right? There we go. Right. Yeah, so I'm always just looking for where are you holding, where are you resisting, why are you stopping there, what's making you feel like you can't bend that, what's making you feel like there's some kind of rule or a literal restriction to the idea when there isn't and you could let go and allow, and then all the cells get cleansed.

Alright, so let's go to the other side, however you want to flip that. Alright, so, you're free. You're not unstable, you're not wild, you're organized, right, and in charge, but you're not holding or resisting or tensing or being too rule oriented. So, you're gonna pick up your left waist, your left ribs, your left hips, even. Pick up your right foot and flex.

And we flex to the front, go as far as you can. Don't use your hamstring as a break. Yep, soften your knee a little bit and flex your hip. Yes. And then extend your hip, and then flex your hip, and then extend, right?

So you go as far as you can, and then you flex farther, and then you go as far as you can and you extend farther, and you flex, flex, and you extend, extend, and you inhale, and you exhale. Gorgeous, last time, and inhale, and exhale. Spongy, spongy, bring your feet together. Fantastic, okay, pick your leg up with hip flexors. Pick it up and deep rotators, yes, right?

But not to an end range, just as far as it'll go. Up we go, flex it down, one more. Point it up, reverse it. Stay tall up here so you don't succumb to the leg but you don't harden and resist. Everybody lifts, everybody lifts, right?

And even more, like, what if you didn't hold here? What if you softened a little bit and you allowed these guys a little more work. Go Ruth, yes, that's the way, yeah. So you don't use something back here to tell the leg to stop, you just use something in the front and take it as far as it'll go, and then the other stuff will let go. Yes.

So contraction of one side causes the other side to let go, we don't have to stretch if we work our deep flexors better. This leg's forward. Yeah, but that's alright. You're trying not to, so that flexion happens here and not here, yeah. Yeah, so you don't let your ribs go to make it happen, but you don't resist everything, either.

Okay, so let's go into the Develope. So you bend, you bend, you extend. Flex your foot, come down, bend, and bend, and again. Yes, beautiful. And you're breathing because you can, right?

And then you go the other way, you flex up, you flex it and lengthen down. You inhale and exhale and everything just moves the range it's designed to move, and nothing is resistant, yeah. And you don't worry so much about form all the time, but you do worry about certain things, right? You do have to be careful, you can't succumb, you are maintaining this lift, you're maintaining the integrity, here, of the box, Romano would say, so we're not kinda hanging out here, right? But then you're using, you're just really using the true thing.

You know, like, flex your hip with a hip flexor, not only here, but way deep in here, and then suddenly you'll have access to your range again, and then you can strengthen the whole range instead of these limited ranges. Alright, where are we? Teaser? C'mon up. (chatter and laughter) I know, we all had a little break there. Alright, so you bring your feet up, legs straight out in front of you.

Point your toenails. So, I like the feet pointed because I like the nervous system in charge all the way to the toenails, right? And pointing, again, is not stretching. Pointing is flexing, right? Yeah, so don't even stretch your ankles so much.

Flex your foot. Yes, right? So there's not so much stretching going on all the time, there's more contraction, and you may get a cramp. But that makes muscles be able to do their job instead of pulling on them all the time, right? So then, as you curl back and lift your feet, work your deep hip flexors.

Rock back, lift your feet eye level, take your arms parallel and roll your spine down. Beautiful job, ladies, my goodness. And rise back up, use your hip flexors and bring yourself to your feet. Gorgeous. And back down again, and up.

Fantastic, beautiful spines moving freely, lungs able to breathe, hearts able to pump, circulation able to move through. Stay up this time, just lift the arms for suspension and lower lift, and again, hip flex and spinal, abdominal, contract. Yes, don't hold your back. Squeeze your guts, and then take it all the way down to the floor, beautiful. And then, let's come up on our forearms and we'll do hip circles, so keep your toes pointed out there if you can.

Again, not stretching your shins and ankles, but flexing your feet, the plantar surface of your foot. Right? Take a big inhale, put your hands down strongly, and exhale your abdominals and flex your hips straight up. All the way, all the way. And circle your heart and lungs.

Circle your heart and lungs, your whole torso is the thing that moves your legs. So even though, yes, your weight is resting on your sacrum, don't rest your weight on your sacrum. Put your weight on your arms, open your chest and breathe, and twist your whole spine. Better job. Inhale, your whole spine, exhale.

And last one, inhale, and exhale. Fantastic, bend your knees. Let's swing around and go into rocking swimming, so we'll stick rocking in right here 'cause I think it's a very nice movement that leads into swimming well, just like it does on the Reformer. So you're gonna bend your knees, that's all, you don't stretch anything, you just bend a knee, reach back and take your ankles, and then you straighten the knee. But think of straightening the knee right above the kneecap as opposed to into the deep quad too much.

So that'll actually kind of pull the feet away from you a little bit more without resisting things, and lift your eyes, nose, chin, really high, alright? And let your straightening knees tow you up a little bit, don't resist that. Up we come, up we come, up we come, that's the way. And then you rock simply by keeping that and intensifying that and releasing all tension so you can breathe, and then you stay up nice and high just like that, because you can, you release around and swim way up there. Eyes up, chest up, and then think of lifting your shoulder blades and your shoulders higher off the floor, and then rest, good job.

(laughing) We lost a couple on that one. And sit back on your heels, again, don't stretch, just flex yourself into a nice child's pose for a second, and then we'll bring the feet out in front of us and do a nice little seal. Alright, bring your feet out, and then we're gonna do the big twist at the end, because when you're this hot, this flexible and deep and nothing's in resistance, nothing's tense, nothing's struggling, you know, that big twist is so yummy at the end. Alright, so let's do the prayer footy one. So, you're gonna go soles of the feet together and turn your toes towards your nose, okay?

You still have your hands underneath your ankles but think about how, like, this is almost a rudder, and if you're soft enough, when you move the feet your whole body will go. So you just kind of go like this. (joint cracking) Nice! Crack and then that takes ya. That's right, there you go, and you release your sacrum, you don't hold your sacrum, you just turn your feet and let your feet just drive your whole body. Beautiful job.

Yeah, your toes end up on the floor or right above the floor behind your head. You're not stretching anything, don't stretch anything. You can breathe and contract, and you're not pulling, tightening, you're just softening and rotating, and then last one. Beautiful job. And then we'll come up to standing.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. So, don't tighten anything. How do we want to do this, do you wanna face this way? Okay, so you're gonna start not too wide, don't go crazy wide. Normal, natural turn out, don't tense.

You're just gonna rise up on your toes. We'll turn to the right. As you twist to the right, take this whole foot around 'til you're facing the other way. Put all your weight on the front foot. Bend the front foot very deeply.

So, go ahead and put your weight on it and turn this foot, put that heel down, you got it. Bring this foot much closer to you. Yeah, and then release and let go. Let your head come down, take hold of your ankle, bend your elbows and pull your head to your shin. Yeah, and come in just a little smaller.

Yeah. And soften a little bit, yes. And then reach to the right, lift up, and pivot back. Keep your feet narrower than you think, right, 'cause if they get too far away you're just gonna stretch instead of twist. So you're a dishcloth and we're just shh-ting you around.

So you're gonna twist around, your left heel goes all the way until your toes are pointing out to the deck over there. This foot gets to let go and rest. Yes, take both hands to your ankle, bend your elbows, pull your head to your shin, and then reach out and rise back up, and we'll do that one more time. Much faster. Yeah, it's better on the floor, I think, and then twist, so just twist yourself all the way around and down.

Bring your back foot pretty close, even closer. Yeah, let that foot rest, yeah, which is not so comfortable on the floor, but inhale, rise up, and circle the other way. And twist around. It's not like it's a throwaway, but on some level sort of throw it away a little bit. (chuckling) Yes, that's better, there you go.

And then rise back up, take a big inhale. And then just bring your feet together and your arms down. Great job. (clapping)

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Comments

6 people like this.
Amy, this is THE best class I have seen to date. For me, this is THE golden nugget of Pilates. Of course all your other classes were excellent too, but I agree, that this brings us back to the intention of Pilates. This is how I want both myself, and my clients to move. I will be doing this class for as long as it takes to help my joints move as they should. Love, love, love from Ontario!
Wow. Thanks Lynn! Can I use this asa quote to market this class?
2 people like this.
I agree Amy Taylor Alpers , this was a fantastic class! I think I may just do it again!! ;)
3 people like this.
Amy, of course you can. This class really hit home for me, the simplicity of all that we need to address in Pilates. It's not choreography, or shapes of the exercises etc. Its, " is your body functioning as it should? ". We are three dimensional beings moving around in our 3D bodies.
Jo
1 person likes this.
Great class with a wealth of information to work with xx
1 person likes this.
It was magical! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
This was amazing!!! Thank you Amy Taylor Alpers from Cairo, Egypt!!!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy, that was super squishy, squeezy! Loved it! 👍
1 person likes this.
AMAZING!!!!
1 person likes this.
he tenido este tema durante mis ultimas clases , mis alumnxs se han movido de verdad sin restricción, mas armónico mas profundo mas real.I love you work Amy . Thank you
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