Welcome, I'm Bex, and I'm honored to be guiding you through a mat practice. So, come to your mat, sit down, feet grounded, and before we begin, just put your hands on your knees, and just close your eyes and take a couple breaths and feel your feet earthed, your sitbones earthed. Let the shoulders relax, and just let go of your day, whether it's the beginning of the day, the middle of the day, or the end of the day, just be here. Alright, so sometimes it takes a couple breaths to come back to our center and let go, right? Every arrival is a departure, so let's just work breath, movement, and deep gratitude to be in our body.
So, slowly open your eyes, let your feet less grippy on the mat, if you have to lift them and make sure those toes are not clawing, go ahead. And your arms will come forward, and you'll just exhale and you'll round your back. You might go an inch, two, right. The breath will let you know, and as you inhale, you'll round and slowly come up. When you get to the top, if you wanna hold the knees, feel free, if you don't need to, look up in a little bit of an arch, saying hello, spine, we're gonna move, right, and then round, okay, and the spine's like thank you.
And then, ah, on your inhalation into extension, and the movements can be really big, and the movements can be really small. Alright, this is the last round, just be super accepting of what your body is capable of today, knowing that this is your now, right now. So you lift up on the inhalation. And then as you exhale, you'll put your hands on your thighs, so when the right arm slides in, you'll twist to the right, uh-huh, and then you'll inhale, both hands on the knees. Yeah, so it's a slither and a slide.
And you can lean back if you wanna add a little more pudding onto it, yeah, and then inhale, come up. And then again, exhale, sliding the right, and maybe the ribs kinda yearn for the mat, yeah. And inhale, and if the feet slipped, who cares, right? And then, exhale, you're doing the best you can, a little firing of the inner thighs, inhale. Final round, here, exhale, if you wanna go deeper, scoop that naval, yeah, and come right back up.
And then weave the breath as you exhale, twisting. And then inhale, coming up. Take the arms to the side, here, and we'll just side bend over to the right first, so let the right arm, maybe it lands on the mat, maybe it doesn't, and lift the left, yeah, lift your chest. You can smile, it's totally fine, it's really good for you. Inhale, come up, exhale, over, slack in the jaw, right?
Breathing, all the dimensions of the spine saying, Oh yeah, you're gonna wake me up, too, inhale, and then exhale, over to the right again, and if the hand lands, maybe bend the elbow. Yeah, inhaling, come up, and then exhaling, over. I always love side bending, I feel like it's so essential. Inhale, come up, and then exhale over, and let's just stay for an extra breath on this right side, feel the compression through the right side, the organs go, oh, hello, and then inhale, lift, buoyancy through the center of the chest. And exhale, over, and if your quads feel like mine, they feel like, oh, this is work, thank you.
And then inhale, come up, bring both arms forward. Slowly, gently, roll back to transition onto your back. Right, and as you land there, if when you're close, you feel like scooting your heels toward your bottom, or your bottom towards your heels, totally fine. Please weave the hands behind the head, and I'll be really specific, lead with your right thumb. Take the hands behind the head, and we're gonna do an arch and curl that seems a little dramatic.
So, when you exhale, curl and let your pubic bone, what I call get a little naughty, and rise up. And let your head get a little naughty, space for chin and chest, and then the inhale is a wonderful expression of arching, so there's a deeper extension in the lumbar, maybe roll to the back of the head, maybe your hands get in the way. And then exhale, rounding, and I really think of this as nourishing the spine, giving it its full, deep scoop. And then keeping the tone, inhale, arching, puffing the chest, right, puffing that chest feels really good. And exhale and curl, so when you curl, keep the shoulders away from the ears, nice wide elbows.
Good. Inhaling, bit of an arch here. And then exhaling, last flexion, and I love your breathing, I can hear it, it's wonderful, soft eyes, and then come back down to neutral, give yourself an inhale for nothing, and an exhale for nothing. Actually, it's an inhale and exhale for everything if you ask me, but, we'll come up in a three-part curl. This is one of my favorites, 'cause it just gives the spine a milking, so inhale here.
And then exhale, come up, and then up, and then up, and you don't have to be anxious about high, just see if, on that last one, you can kinda unstick those scapula, because they tend to stick, and then slowly come down. One more time, when your exhale arrives, let it guide you up, right, and up, and right now, my pelvis is pretty quiet, I'm going up by curling, seeing if I can get more levity in my lungs. And then inhale, slowly coming down. Sometimes your toes are sneaky right now, and they're clawing the mat, so just relax them for the last round. Curl up with an exhale, soft face, up, up, right, we want the features of the face to look like, this feels so fun, it does, I'm moving my body, and slowly coming down, and I'm surrounded by strong, wonderful women, and they are brilliant.
Okay, bring the arms forward for a moment, up ahead of you like you're reaching toward the sky, and let's switch the cross of the thumbs, the index, and the middle finger, and I like to do that so we know, oh, this is my preference, right? The hands come behind the head, and there's definitely a preference that we have, and so we work in Pilates to just note that, and not obsess about it, okay, that's an interesting thing, right, mmm, no, you don't obsess at all, right? Slowly, exactly, slowly, let's begin pedaling your feet, now, I want you to pedal your feet like you're on a tiny tricycle, it maybe even feels too small. Yep, a little tiny tricycle. And then, if that's a lot for you, 'cause it is a lot, you stay, if not, we're gonna add a little energy fueled by breath, curl head and shoulders up.
Mm-hmm, and you keep pedaling, and what you'll note is, pubic bone and navel are level, and this is kind of deceptively challenging, curl a little higher. Put the brakes on for a second, you ladies look very capable, let's go in reverse, right? Oh my god, brain, how does that work? Yes, I'm not sure, but it's just a tiny tricycle. Oh, yes, I love you, too, and then slowly lay onto the feet and come down.
Yeah, just give yourself a break 'cause we're gonna add twisting, alright, bonus, layering on, and if you're brave enough, maybe you'll go backwards with your feet. I'm gonna go forwards, feeling just a little bit of courage. So, let's start pedaling the feet, tiny, up, ready, really still in the pelvis, and you know it's gonna feel destabilized occasionally, no big deal, that's like life. Curl slowly up, right, so we use our Pilates to keep centering us, that's just like when things happen in life that throw us off, right? So, take opposite elbow to knee.
You can begin with left or right, pedal, pedal, pedal, three pedals and then come through the center, maybe you did six, lucky you, and then come across, right, and if you want a little, if you're feeling a little more mojo when you go through the center, keep both shoulders lift, and then come across, Mary is giving me such loving eyes right now, thank you, I feel you. Come through the center, tone a little belly, I know, and then come across, it's only tiny tricycles. Here's what I believe, we're all stronger than we think. So, come through the center on this last round, let's all go for it, pedal backwards. Yep, and cross, elbow to knee, pedal backwards.
Oh my god, brain, body, proprioception, space, come through, why is this difficult? Come across, oh my gosh, I'm so happy, thank you, come through the center, and then come down. So I love that feeling of puttering the lips, giving slack to the hinge in the jaw, both hands land on your knees, and we'll do this sweet variation of leg circles, so the left hand will stay steady, the right hand will circle the thigh bone, the femur bone, clockwise or counterclockwise three times. Whatever way you start with, when the cycle finishes, go the other way and stay on the right leg. And remember that you're stirring, so if you feel your hip, I felt my hip try to get in the way, all the muscles in my rotators, I just have to correct that by giving a little nudge downward with my hand.
Take a moment there, breathe in between sides. And then do the left one, and again, it doesn't so much matter which direction you go in, as long as you balance it, so after you're complete with the one round of three in one direction, just bring it the other way. I find these are really user friendly, and my thigh bones really appreciate it. And then the last round, you can pull the knees in toward you, take the knees away from you, and circle them around and together. Good, so the breath, inhaling it in, exhaling it around, let it feel luxurious.
One more round, stirring it. And then stirring, and go the other way, right? So, each time you do this, just let the breath and the brain soften. This is a wonderful invitation into being present. Right into being centered, and feeling the movement.
And now slowly release the feet down to the mat. Let the arms come down, and gently slide the feet away. Inhale, arms come up, transitioning with roll up. Exhale, rolling up, if you can keep the arms framing the ears, great, if you need a little bend in the knees, yeah, or if you wanna climb up the back of the legs, really, do so. Reach forward, keep the scoop and roll back, right?
So you roll back, all the way down. So many different variations. Do the one that best takes care of your body. Inhale, and then exhale, start to roll up. And what you find is, as you do the one, right, yeah, if you need to bend the knees and climb up, climb up and all the way through.
Just grateful for the movement, put the inner critic to rest, right? The movement is coiling and unspooling. And often we hurry ourselves in life, right? So I let my arms drag that last time intentionally, and this time I'll say okay arms, exhale, rolling up, can you stay with the ears, oh you need to bend the knees. Oh my low back feels like its resistant today, I'm not gonna badmouth my low back, I'm just gonna feel it.
And let's roll back down, and as you roll back down, just let it feel really like you're allowing the body to roll down, and the arms come up. And then take the hands down by your sides for a moment. Feel that. Wonderful. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, roll up, slow, right, so I added one for you.
You can climb up, smooth, soft, beautiful face. Dive forward. Slide the heels in, cross the right ankle over, and then just rock forward, if you need more support, use it, come forward and onto your forearms. So let's just do one forearm plank, alright? One forearm plank, we'll visit it again.
Nice, Martha, squeeze through those inner thighs. Shoulders away from the ears, beautiful. And then, I call this is a planking bridge. What I mean is, you'll lower your knees, you'll lower your thighs, you'll lower your pubic bone, and your navel, and you'll point your toes. And you rock, right, this is a perfect setup for single leg stretch, so let's tone through the front body, keep the head in neutral, and you'll kick with the right first, and we know we're doing three, so go ahead and kick, kick , and then extend, and keep looking forward like the horizon is presenting you, reach, and then kick, kick on the right and reach.
Kick, kick, and use the breath, Kick, kick, last time on the left. I love this one because I feel it. Slowly come down. Put your forehead on your hands, and what I mean by I feel it is there's that length that happens in the front body, all the way through the quads. So now, double leg, right, most people either really like this, or they go hmmph, not for me, not today.
So, you'll turn your head to the right, and as you turn your head to the right, you'll take the hands behind you, let the elbows kinda reach for the floor. Go ahead and kick twice, and then the lift is to extend all the way through, add the legs, and then switch the palms if you like, bend the elbows, and kick, kick, and then lift. Some people like to vine the fingers. You do what feels best for you, I'm showing all the modifications, kick, and then reach. Again, over, kick, kick, squeeze those inner thighs.
Inhale, lift through the front of the chest. This is the last round, so if you've been holding out on yourself, ask yourself why, and go for it. And then one more, inhale. And then exhale, rest the forehead down. Hands underneath the forehead, shake the hips out.
Slowly onto the forearms once again. Alright, flex the feet, let's try that plank in reverse, okay, so tether the navel, and then lift the pubic bone, and then see if you can lift the thighs, and then the knees, yeah, breathe here. So, the arm that's far, further away from me, you'll pivot on the elbow, the hand will reach toward me, and we'll come into side plank. If you need the hand on top in front, or the foot on top in front, please take really good care of yourself. If you wanna lift and be a little daring, lift, lift those hips, keep the face soft, and then slowly land the side body.
Bend the knees in preparation for clams, everybody's favorite, interlace the hands behind the head. You'll imagine there's a sweet dowel through the pelvis, so there's not rocking forward and back, and that's where we have our precision. Rise the top knee, keep the feet together. And then exhale, close, we'll do six of these, 'cause three just isn't enough, up, and down. True story, in the morning when I wake up, I do these.
And then slowly down, and then up, navel in, and they never get easier. And then up, and down, this is the last one, inhaling, exhaling, let's lift the side body and relax the upper traps, yeah. And now, knee will lift, foot will lift, and then knee will come down, and foot will come down. Super fun, knee up, foot up, yes, you could be having a great time, I am, knee down, foot down. Lift knee, push forearms down, foot, lower knee, lower foot, I believe we have two more, inhale, and then lift, exhale, and then lower, one more, inhale, up, soft lips, exhale, exhale.
You ladies are so great, I'm gonna add something sweet on for you, we're gonna lift the whole top leg with the knee bent, and then lower it. Oh, you're welcome, lift, and then lower. Lift, yes, side body open, lower. Last three, inhale, and lower, last two, inhale and lower, good thing it's only six. Up and then down, and then slowly, your cookie, as I like to call it, is to come up gracefully, grab that top foot, pull it in, and then reach up and over.
Ahh, feels so sweet, yeah, my bottom shoulder likes to creep forward, I call that my holding-the-phone shoulder. So you gotta just like let it go, I didn't need to pick up that call anyway. And then slowly reach that arm that's closest to the foot to the mat, and then reach the other one around, and then shimmy across onto your knees, magically, you're in forearm plank again, good, so lovely. Breathe, let's just do one forearm plank bridge, 'cause I want you to have a nice imprinting of this. Knees lower, thighs, pubic bone, navel, point the toes, lift the chest through the gate of the thumbs.
Imagine that there's that kind of buoyancy, and then, let's try this. Flex the feet, see if you can not skip ahead. Lift the ribs, the navel, the pubic bone, this is the hardest part, thighs, and then the knees. And the arm that's away from you, turn it toward me, come forward and onto your side, yes? Reach up, lift up, lift those hips up.
If you need any modifications, you take really good care of yourself. If you're feeling really strong, you lift. Not to prove anything; comparison is the thief of joy. Just to be with yourself. Slowly come down, right, as we come down, we bend the knees, oh yes, grateful there are only two sides on the body, this is the second time we do this.
So slowly lift the side body, and let the ribs funnel in and down, just in case they were spilling forward, mine were, and then the top knee up, and down. Inhaling, and exhaling. Inhale, exhale. We're halfway, inhale, let's not rush this side. Let's enjoy it, inhale, exhale, one more time, inhale, exhale, inhale, lift knee, then foot, and then lower knee, and lower foot.
It's actually really fun. Inhale, lift knee, foot, lower knee, and foot. Again, knee, and foot, can you believe it, that's halfway. I could almost do like a half a dozen more. Up, I can see it in your faces, so could you, luckily, we're just gonna do two more, tone the belly, joy comes from the inside, one more, you cultivate it, nobody else does, and this is how we cultivate it, right?
We have the sympathetic joy, I feel it for you guys. Let's go, inhale, lift the whole leg with the bent knee, exhale, lower, five more, side body, inhale, exhale, perfection is overrated, inhale, exhale, halfway, in, and out, last two, make them feel sweet, and down. Up and down. Mmm. Slowly reach up, stretch over, see if it can slide you up, stack the knees best that you can, and reach up and over, scoop the navel, and you just wanna do the best that you can do, right?
You're unique, you're incomparable, thank goodness for that, yeah? So boring if we're all the same, it's so boring. So inhale, slowly release. Take a moment, just digest that. Come forward, and onto your knees, yes, so stand on your shins.
If you have any issues with your knees, and you need to put something in between them, go ahead and do that, a rolled up towel works really great, this is one of my favorite stretches, and I say that and my whole nervous system goes "it's really not your favorite stretch." But that's okay, so slowly, hips and heels stay together. If it's really difficult, you can lift one and then the other, we're gonna go right for it. You'll lift the shins and then, you'll lift the chest, and this just says to your heart, "yeah, I can soar here, I can." Tether the navel, and then slowly bring it down. And that's one, if your face gets unattractive when you do it, you go, I obviously need to do that a little bit more, you're welcome. Okay, stand on your knees, let's get ourselves in the middle of our mats, yeah, so you ladies will lean in towards each other, alright, so lean in towards each other, yes, we're going there.
Tip, tip, tip, everything, all the ingredients of the other poses have said, yes, I wanna go here. If you wanna prop yourself up onto fingers, knuckles. So let's kick forward with a point, point, and you can round, yeah, the hand can reach up or go behind, and then let's kick back with an flex, flex, and a little bit of an arch, okay? Point, point and round, if you're flexing, that's fine with me, flex, flex, and arch. Point, point, this is three, and flex, flex.
Okay, let's hold right here for a second. Let's just tell the body for a second, I am awesome. Right, 'cause we forget this, and then slowly come up, and then come up and kinda just rainbow over. We forget this 'cause we think, oh, I coulda been more balanced, right, no, this is exactly right. Land and lift, and let that pelvis feel like it's magnetized forward, right, and slowly, hand's behind the head if you had it on the other side.
Point, point, flex, flex, and really enjoy this current, this tidal feeling moving through your body, last one. Mmm, come through the center and on this side, may I be happy, right, may I be happy? And then slowly, we come up, and if happiness is exiting the exercise, ah, you say to yourself, I'm in the homestretch, yes you are, ladies. Face each other, come onto all fours, yeah? As you come onto all fours, you'll slowly settle in, maybe rock the pelvis right and left, just to see if there's anything that needs to be released.
And then, extend the right arm and the left leg, and lift. And for a moment, you have to pay attention to those right shin bones, and say hey, wake up, yes, I saw that, Christie, and that was uh-mazing! Right, and then slowly, let's be tricky, let's take the elbow to the knee and round, rinse out anything that's not serving me, go away, and then extend, reach, whatever is serving you, pull it in, navel to spine, round, scoop. And then inhale, right, I got this. Last one, exhale. Inhale.
Hold steady here, I like the exit where you land the left shin bones first and keep the right arm up, challenges the nervous system a bit. And then place the right hand down, shoulder, elbows, wrist, stack. Let's round the spine, 'cause I can feel that all of you are craving that, and then arch, inhale. The shoulders don't do it, let it be spinal. Uniform movement, come right through center.
Left arm, right leg, right, and right here, you just push through those left shin bones, and that will give you more lift. And my, the front of my right leg is so grateful for this. So exhale, round, and then inhale, reach. What is it you wanna extend to? And then exhale, what do you wanna flex?
One more time, inhale, and exhale. Reach, slowly, slowly, lower the right shin bones down. And then, left hand, round the back with an exhale. Gently extend into that length. Still toning the babe, the belly, yeah, still toning the belly, (class giggles) yeah, no, no more babies, I already had three, it's the belly, my friend.
(class laughs) That's not a joke, okay. Downward, you're gonna lift yourself into the plank, so the arms will come forward, find the plank, and then you will send the hips up and back for up stretch, mmm, yeah. And right here, let's just spread those fingers, I'll give you all just a little bit of love through the hands, sometimes the hands, they escape the floor, they forget that they're encouraged to be with the pulse of the earth. And then very, very gently, you will walk the feet to the hands, and if you wanna walk the feet halfway up, and the hands halfway back, feel free right there. And then, slowly, bend the knees and roll up, and as you roll up, shed anything that you want to let go, shed anything that you wanna let go as you roll up.
Slowly letting it happen, reach the arms up, let's just do one waterfall rolling down. Letting the rinsing happening through the body. Brain, thank you, thank you, right? Thank you so much. Little bend in the knees if you need the supple hamstrings, scooping from the center, release as you roll up, feeling that slurping of the front body into the back body, if the hands naturally wanna rise, let them rise, if they wanna stay by your sides, let them stay by your sides, and then let's just roll our shoulders up to the ears and down the back, this is one of those mooment, moo, movements, excuse me, this is one of those movements, totally underrated, sometimes when I'm feeling tense, just three shoulder rolls, and I go, oh yeah, here I am.
Alright, put one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly. Close your eyes, thank your inner teacher, showing up for you on the mat, all of your efforts, you already succeeded by just practicing your Pilates today. And then let the hands rest, open the eyes. Thank you ladies. Thank you. (applause)