Welcome, I'm Bex. And I teach both Pilates and yoga. And I'm here today with one of my most favorite people, Mary. One of my favorite movers, as well. On a trifecta of a day, because it's Perry's birthday.
So we're gonna move through a practice that incorporates yoga and pilates, yay! So, comfortable seated cross legged position. And we'll do everything in threes, and we'll begin with just an exhale, rounding the back, sliding the hands away from you, tethering the navel in. And then inhaling and arching the spine, gazing up, keeping the collarbones wide. And again exhale, rounding, little bit of a scoop, front belly toward front of spine. Maintain it, inhale, slide the hands in, if you like.
Elbows in, lift. And then exhale, round. Final round here, see if you can thread the breath deeper so you really feel the inhale. And you can really express the exhale. Inhale, come through neutral, really vertical through your central access.
Weave your hands behind your head, whatever thumb you'd like to lead with first. Elbows nice and wide, we'll go into side bend to the right, first. Exhaling as you go over, remember it's early, so there's no need to overdo. Inhale, come up. As you exhale over to the left, you're in touch with your inner seaweed, right?
Seaweed is grounded, so feel the pelvis earthing. Inhale, lift sprightly through the chest. Exhale, over to the right, relax the upper traps. Inhale, come right back through center. One more time, over to the left, if you feel your right hip escaping the mat put a little energy there.
One more time, inhale up, so in this last round if you want a little bit more of a wave like side bend, feel that as the exhalation takes you over. Inhale brings you up, and then exhale over to the left. So the body, very receptive to the breath and the side bend. And then inhale, come up through center, please. Place your hands on your shoulders for a gentle twist.
First to the right, keep the elbows high, inhaling as you twist to the right. Nice lift through the center of the chest. And then exhale back. Inhale, twisting to the left. If you prefer your breath to be alternate, that's fine.
Exhale, to the center. Inhale, really spinning on that central axis. See if you can feel the belly supporting the twist. Exhale. Feel the left as you gaze over, notice thighs are working hard, soften.
And then inhale through center. On this last round, if you wanna go for it deeper, go ahead and take those right ribs back a bit more, feel a rinsing through that right side body. Beautiful, Mary. Inhale. And then exhale over to the left.
Inhale. Press the hands on the knees for a moment and just feel. That movement in the body, all of the dimensions, take the hands behind you, we always have a preference for a side. Extend the legs and then recross. And this time, as the hands come onto the legs, you will very, very slowly, take the right arm out to the right, reach the let arm up and over, so there's that cross of the body.
And then inhale the right arm up and over. So now you have a side bend and a twist. You can accentuate it as you like, left rib slightly forward. Inhale, come up. Bring the left arm left and the right arm across to the left knee.
And then slowly, like a waterfall, over to the right side, if your right shoulder's hiking let it soften. Which really means engage the side body. Inhale, come up, repeat that once again. Right arm out to the right, left arm across, right knee there, and then maybe you gaze up. In yoga we call this a drishti, a focal point.
And then you inhale, deep breathing up and over. Right arm across to the left, reach over, let those right ribs kinda creep forward. Inhale, come up. Final round, we'll add a little movement, so the right arm goes over to the right. Left arm goes over to the right, and then as you reach over, you'll let yourself linger here for a moment.
And so the exit is to support your head, what do I really mean? Take that left hand off, put it on the left temple, and just push the head up. Kinda allows the neck to release, both arms out to the side. You take the right arm across, and you'll bring that left arm over. Feeling the side bend, and then you stay and breathe.
Right hand to the right temple, excuse me, ear, if you prefer. And then you pick it up. Last movement here is cactusing the arms. So the palms will go forward, you'll exhale, bend the elbows and puff the chest, and then inhale, reach and stretch. Exhaling, this could be your inhale, and then exhale.
And then inhale, and exhale. Let the arms rest. Now Mary, you're the boss. Okay, so let's turn this way. And then take the hands behind the thighs, use your arms in a supportive way to lift and lengthen the spine, feel the powerfulness of the arms and the ease in the spine, and then inhale.
Exhale, allow the tailbone to tuck under, so the lower spine rounds, but keep the shoulders as they are. So we're gonna keep the shoulders over the pelvis for right now. And then we're gonna lift, and feel as you're lifting there's a gentle, backwards sliding energy in the hands. And exhale. Kind of a little bit surprised that we're doing this together right now, so excited! (laughs) And she picks the one that's really hard for me.
And lift back. But I know it's good for me. And exhale, so let those arms now continue to straighten, we're gonna roll down, we're gonna find the lower back. We're gonna hold and inhale. Exhale, slide the hands up the thighs.
Lift the spine. And then from that lifted spine, go a little further into extension lifting the breastbone, sliding the scapula down towards the pelvis. Come back to upright, inhale. So, exhaling again, let the pelvis rock, so the pubic bone tips up toward the navel. The arms begin to straighten.
And then you can continue to support yourself with your hands, but just slide the arms down and let the lower spine come into contact with the mat. Inhale, use your arms as much as you need to, to curl forward. And then we lift the spine. And then we go through that lifted position into extension like you're lifting the breastbone and the ears reach back and down. And one more.
Exhaling to round. Allow the arms to straighten, slide the hands down the sides. Inhale. Exhale. Curl.
Lift. And into extension, lifting your heart. Softening through the back of the body, the shoulder blade area, and then center, inhale. Exhale, round again. We're rolling back.
Either continue to hold on, or let go. Exhale to lift the right knee to the chest. Inhale to place it down. Left side. Exhale, lift the left.
We'll go three times. Nice. Lift the right, you know you can do anything three times, right? Mmhmm, third time's the charm, that's what you told. (laughs) And so we're gonna come after this, we're gonna bring the leg down and we're gonna roll back up.
Take the arms forward, lift the arms up, open the chest so the arms reach out to the sides. Bring the arms forward, roll back to a place where you can support. And we're gonna add rotation to that. So here we go, let's go towards the ocean first. So we lift the leg closest to the ocean, we rotate across, and center.
Exhale, spiraling through the ribs. Feel the lift of the leg come from deep within the body, deep underneath the rib cage. And center, one, oh no, one more to each side right now. Exhaling as you-- I would have reminded you. And twist.
And twist. And them moving back through center. Gonna roll up, we're gonna lift up. Take the arms forward, reach up, let the spine travel upwards as the arms travel upwards. Open the arms, open the chest, round the spine.
Reach forward, and then roll back. All the way down this time, all the way down. And then once you arrive onto your back, bring your knees into your chest, preparing for double leg, single leg criss crosses. So, lifting the head and chest, curling up, now I don't think we can do just three of each of these, so here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna do three sets of three repetitions.
Are you ready? So we go inhale reach out, exhale circle the arms, push the air through space. Inhale, reach out, arms narrow behind the head and back. Slow and controlled, back. And in, hands on the right knee, stretch the left leg out.
Push down on the leg, and switch. Two. Two. Number three. Three, hands behind the head.
Twist. And twist. Two. And two. Three.
And three, both knees in, find a curl, and here we go again. Double leg stretch, out, feel the energy in the contraction. The length and the contraction, the stretch and then both hands on one knee, stretch the other leg straight through, three. And three. Pull down and in on the knee as the straight reaches away.
Last time, hands behind the head. Twist one, elbows wide, the rotation happens in the trunk. Two, and two. Number three. And three, both knees in, curl up a little higher.
Last set, reaching out and back. Out, and back. Out, and back. Single leg stretch. Switch one, one, maybe you wanna do it with no hands.
Two, two, maybe not. Three, three, hands behind the head. Twist one, one. Two, two. Three, three.
Bend the knees in, so take your hands behind your thighs now. Allow your feet to drop. Start curling, curling so we're coming up, coming up with control, with control, with control. And then bringing the feet in, bringing the feet in we're gonna do three rolling like a balls. Okay, so here we go.
Back, and balance. Keeping the position tight. And balance, oh I went behind you. And back, and oh, next time we'll come across the legs. And stand up.
Bravo. Now we're gonna come on our sides, this is one of my favorite shapes, goddess. So take the feet wide, heels are in. Sit deeply into the pelvis and just kinda let your pelvis rock a bit. And as your pelvis rocks, tone the navel, natural curves in the spine.
And then you'll get into that place where you sit a little deeper, and take the hands behind the-- Beside the fact, what's happening. Feel good? Alright, interlace the hands behind the head. Let's soften the toes, let the knees go toward the ocean, so toward the back body. And then sit into it.
Lean over to the middle of us, and then inhale, come up. Balance by side bending across. And then inhale. Let's sit the seat down a little more, 'cause I felt it creep up for both of us. And go over towards each other.
And then inhale, come up. Exhale, over. Inhale, last round. Little lower. Side on the right.
Inhale up. Lean over. And then inhale, come up through center. Now the legs probably feel pretty burny, reach the arms up, and then slowly straighten the legs. So a very traditional warrior two, you'll turn your back foot in about 15 degrees, bend the right knee here, you're doin' it, you're great.
You little yogini, and sit, strong through the back arm, you can't see it, I actually can. But even when you can't see it, that energy is fluid. Yep, shoulders relax, little softness, right in yoga (speaks in foreign language) sweetness and strength. Let the back arm land on the back leg, reach the top arm up so you can sit deeper into that thigh, or you can back off a little. Traditional focus up, if the neck is feeling a little wonky look down, less grippy in the toes.
And then inhale, come up through warrior two. Straighten and pivot on your heel, so we'll go immediately into the other side. Back foot about 15 degrees, sealing the outer edge. And then you bend the knee, traction of the knee over the ankle, relax the upper traps. So as you feel the features of the feet getting feedback, so the toe, a little feature, push down, and slurp up through the inner arches.
Again, there's a reaching and breathing. And then very slowly, reach the back arm back and the front arm up for that side bend. Right in the spine is really welcoming the side bend at this point 'cause it's ready for it. It's a good stretch also for all those lovely work we just did on the mat. Inhale, come up through center.
Straighten. Turn both feet parallel. Put your hands on your hips, you might wanna bring the feet in a little bit. And then bump the heels wide, so the thighbones roll in. Yep, that's beautiful.
Inhale, lift the chest. And exhale, fold forward and down. Let the hands land on the mat, and then inhale, lengthen. So nice long spine gaze, and then exhale, fold. So this next part of the sequence is specifically because I know how much you love, Mary, to get in the nooks and crannies of the inner lining of the leg.
And then you'll creep crawl back to the outside. Flexing the foot in the middle, yeah, breathe. Right, your breath tells you everything. Come back through the center. Little bit of the sea, and I love having the arms on the inside, you can use that arm to gauge the thigh which likes to drip.
And then creep crawl back out. So normally I do this about two or three times and so we're gonna do that. Come right back through center, bootie sits low. Flex the foot. And then final one.
Coming right back. And breathe. And what you'll start to feel is that inner lining of the leg gets a lot of energy, that meridian, if you believe in that stuff. Come through the center, feet are parallel. The transition is to put the hands on the hips, squeeze those inner thighs, and then inhale, come all the way up.
Now, from separate leg stretching, pivot toward me. Keep the legs straight. Inhale the arms up, and then slide into triangle. So the legs are nice and long. Now, since you like to lock that knee, let's have a little micro bend, and that goes for everybody else who likes to lock the knee.
We take a micro bend so the calves don't have to do the work of the hamstrings. And when the calves do the work of the hamstrings it's just a lot. So reach up. Since I love any moment I can side bend, take that top arm up and over. Those bottom ribs slide forward.
We could linger here longer, we'll just stay for one more breath. And then inhale, slowly come up. Nice, pivot on your heels, that back foot has more range here. It can slide in a bit. And then muscular energy, recruit it.
And slide over, and again if you need a little micro bend in the knee, we go for clean, long lines. So I'm someone who thinks, don't be a greedy grabber, meaning the arm can be up high. That's the arm that's grabbing the calf shin. And then that top arm can reach over. And I just love being in this space.
Right here, toning through the trunk. Opening, rolling those top ribs back. And that back thigh kind of eyes the floor just a little. And the alignment and the precision will lead to the power. So we feel for where the grace is.
Especially when we can't see it in the reflection of a mirror. And then inhale, come up. Slowly heel toe the feet together. And that heel toeing is rolling the thighbones in and rolling them out, rolling them in and rolling them out. And that's kinda like, (sighs) there's a flossing, that's what I always call it.
There's a flossin' going on in the body. You're turn, my love, what would you wanna do? So, come this way again. Okay. So we'll take the arms up.
Reach out to both sides, so just take your time there for a minute. And then take the arms up. And then bring the arms out to the side. And as the arms pass the shoulders, allow the chin to start to come down into the chest. The arms start to reach for the thighs, allow them to go soft.
And then lifting through the center of the body, through the abdominals as we take the body down. So we're gonna reach down, put the hands down onto the mat. Step the right leg back. Step the left leg back. And then creating energy through both sides of the body, through the heels and out through the top of the head, come into a front support position.
Point the right foot. Lift the right leg up. One, and pull in on the abdominals to bring it down. Two, in on the abdominals to bring it down. One, in, switch.
Left leg lifts, out and up and pull into bring it down. Out and up, into bring it down. One more, out and up, in and down. Press back to an up stretch position or a pyramid position or what do you say in yoga, down dog. (speaks in foreign language) Or that. Downward facing dog.
And then lift the heels. Articulate the spine back through. Coming back to front support, or plank. Point the right foot, lift it up. Exhale, bring the knee to the chest.
Deepen the contraction through the center of the body. Inhale, reach out, stretch long. Exhale, pull in. Inhale, reach out stretch long, one more. Pull in.
So, stepping back, left leg comes up. Can use this movement where the back is a little bit more free to create freedom in it. For those seated rollbacks, one more. Step back down. Press the hips up and back.
So from here, we'll take the right leg up. So arabesque. Come forward, bring the knee across to the left elbow. Press up and back. This reminds me a lot of yoga.
And cross, we call this, arabesque into rotation in pilates. And reach up and back. Just sayin'. (laughs) Exhale to come across. I think they are two members of the same family, if I'm honest.
And then step in. Left leg goes up, find the length through the spine, all the while through the foot. And then exhale. Round, rotate. Inhale, up and back, press back.
Exhale, round, rotate. Inhale, up and back. Last time. Rotate, inhale, up and back. Step down.
Lift the heels, roll back through, front support. Bend the knees. Untuck the toes. And start to lower the body. All the way down.
This sounds like a, what do you think Bex? I think this is a natural progression for three dynamic cobras. So just slide your hands back a little, so they're almost at your floating ribs. You'll pull your sternum through the gate of your thumbs, you'll inhale, keep those tops of the feet on the mat. Yep, and then exhale, slowly come down.
So there's no rush Wherever you are, you just meet yourself right here. Go ahead and inhale. Let the upper arm bones squeeze in, yes, beautiful, that was a great expression. And then slowly come down, one more like that. So on the inhalation, buoyancy in the lungs.
Lift up. Feel those elbows narrow, collarbones wide. And then exhale slowly, gently release. Now push back through child's pose. Oh wait, I don't think that's a good place to go quite yet.
So let's stay here, with just the upper back lifting, taking the arms forward, reach the legs so far away from you that they just float off the mat. And then lift the right leg and the left arm, the left arm and the right leg, the right leg and the left arm, I don't know if I can say that very quickly a lot of times so we just inhale, two, three, four, five, out. Three, four, five. Two, three four, five, out. One last full breath cycle.
And now, it just seemed like the perfect moment for swimming, Bex. Now I feel like we can sit back in child's pose. Well, you just did that because everybody I meet thinks I was a swimmer anyways, so. Thanks! You felt like, oh those broad shoulders, they need more love. So that's fine, and coming into child's pose is just that reminder in yoga as in life, we can come to our knees and bow our head down for refuge.
That's true. Let our head and our heart soften. We won't stay long, down dog. You mean up stretch? Yes, lift the right leg.
Step the right foot forward. Lower the left knee down. And we're just gonna let the pelvis go forward and back. So as that happens, as the pelvis goes forward and back, the front of the back leg, that's your left one, is gonna feel a little bit of what I call a cohesive opening in that frontal fascias. So yeah, that's sorta nerdy, but that's kinda how I talk to my body.
And since, you like to nerd out on that stuff, right? It could kinda be like a nice Mary Oliver quote. Inhale your arms upright. Patience comes to the bones. Heavy in the bones, grab for an opposite elbow.
Lean, for you, away from the ocean, for me toward the ocean. And the reason for that is so we can really appreciate that side bend that we've been feening through the practice. Inhale, come up. Place the left hand down and the right arm up. Easy twist.
Right now if you wanted this to be a little more challenging, you would flex the back foot. You would lift the back knee, and you'd be in easy twisting lunge. Otherwise you keep the knee down. Right hand comes outside the right foot. Step back into downward facing dog.
And I like to pedal the feet here. I like to pedal the feet so that there's that feeling through the feet of gratitude. Often, I'll say, thank you feet. You've been doing such a good job.
It doesn't just take when you go for a pedicure, thank you. Go ahead and lift the left leg, luxuriously step it like the air is thick, it's graceful. Lower the back knee down the top of the foot. And then once again, just kind of play in the pelvis. And to me, playing in the pelvis feels like unpacking or shedding the stuff that we tell ourselves that we begin to believe that isn't even true about ourselves.
Come up, switch the forearm that was on top, you'll know for sure 'cause it'll feel like, oh this is my other side. Now you get to lean toward the ocean and I get to lean away. A little more magnetism in the inner thighs. Yes, that bottom shoulder rolling forward, heart lifted, pretty. Alright, inhale, come up.
Do you feel that uniform development? You place the right hand down, left arm comes up, and as you're there you twist, and you feel the belly of the twist originating here, and you just go, oh, twist, so good. Rinse it out, let go of all that stuff that's caught in the junk drawer of the pelvis. You could flex the back foot, and rise the knee if you wanna accentuate that twist there. Breathe, just love a good twist.
It's like a little shot of espresso. Place the left hand down. Step the right foot forward. Be really sneaky, here. Step forward, and then slowly, hold onto the front, 'cause we have the mat there, just to let us land and give a little bit of traction through the low back.
And then bum lands, and roll back, super slowly. If you wanna hold the thighs you can incorporate. I don't need to. I might, scoop the low belly and then come all the way down. I'm always a little faster than you there.
Lucky me. There's no race, nor comparison. Fingertips touch the heels. And then let's just putter our lips. That's my most favorite thing to do in yoga.
(putters lips) Nice, now sequentially lift your pubic bone, tailbone, sacrum, lumbar, thoracic, and you get to roll up there into the bridge. And roll your shoulders inward, and weave the fingers, okay, and push the back of the forearms into the mat, so there's more levity in the hips. And then just lift. And this is one of those shapes where we could spend a while, whole front body just like, thank you. Thank you for taking care of me.
For breathing. For enjoying the blend of yoga and pilates. With one of my besties. On one of my favorite people's birthdays. Slowly rolling down.
And then just gently hugging the knees in. I always take this moment to say, really, what a treat self care, what a blessing my body moves, come into happy baby. So happy baby, Mary, bend the knees, you basically do a sumo squat on the ceiling, grab the outside edges of the feet, and just rock side to side. What a life, time for yoga, for pilates, for self care. Over and over.
That's not selfish, that's a great reminder you have succeeded. And then bring the knees in. Let the legs go long. Keep the arms in by your sides. And just, kinda slide back if you're hangin' over there.
Bones, be heavy. Putter the lips if you need to. Feel that breath. And you can stay here as long as you like. Or you can breathe and start to feel the openness.
The freedom. And ultimately, more self love. Thank you, Mary. Thank you, Bex. Namaste!