So I've been getting a lotta requests for a foam roller class, and that's what we're gonna do. I don't teach a lot on the foam roller, so we're gonna see how it goes. But what I'm gonna start by having us do is to sit up. And I'm on this big, high mat, so if I fall off, just don't laugh. So we're gonna sit at the far end of your roller, and place the hands on the knees, and then feel just the weight of the roller in-between the sitting bones.
I want you to press your hands into your knees, and lift your spine through your arms, and take a little extension. So just reaching the chest up, and then come to neutral. And exhale as you tip your tail under, so feeling the tailbone slide through the legs. And can you do that with a real balanced pelvis? And then lifting back up again, sitting tall, pressing the hands back into the knees into the hands, and the hands into the knees.
We lift the chest, opening it up. Then coming to neutral, take an inhale, and then exhale, curl, so rounding the back, rounding the back, rounding the back. And then one, just one more like that. So one thing the roller does that I know to be true, or I believe to be true, is it certainly will help us highlight our asymmetries. And I'll tell you what, I'm full of 'em.
So that ought to be quite fun. So taking the arms out in front, we're gonna start to the pelvis in that same direction, again, rolling down. If you feel this is a little bit unstable, you can keep your hands closer to the mat. But what we're gonna try to do is we're gonna try to lower the body onto the roller. And be prepared, there'll be a little wiggling, I think.
There is for me anyway. So head comes down, the arms reach up. I'm just gonna scoot forward a little. Arms reach up, we're gonna take the arms around to the sides, arms reach forward now. In my experience, or for what I believe to be true is it's harder on the way up than on the way down.
So just look after yourself, put your hands down if you need to, rolling up, and sitting tall. Again, inhale, exhale, what helps me is that if I feel my feet weighted, almost as though I'm trying to slide them out in front of me. So what I'm doing right now is pushing my feet forward to rotate my pelvis under to lay my spine down. Arms reach up, head comes down, palms of the hands turn up, let's take the arms around to the sides, forward, chin coming into the chest, and curl. Now here on the way up, I pull my feet towards me instead, pull my feet towards me instead, ooh, and lift all the way.
We're gonna do that three more times. So exhaling as you round. So is it possible in your experience here to feel each bone, right, so it's fairly hard the roller. Can we feel the imprint of the bones as we lay them down one at a time. The neck will have to come down fairly straight, and then around to the side with the arms, chin into the chest, pulling the heels backwards.
Looking where you're going helps a lot too. I don't look down is what I'm suggesting, look forward in front of you. Last two times, round, and rock, lowering. The hardest part is to try to really get that lower spine to imprint well, I think, especially on the up. Maybe not quite as hard on the down, arms up.
Arms around so you get that nice shoulder stretch. Chin into the chest, arms forwards, heels pulling back, spine rolling up, up, up. Is it getting easier or less easy each time? Or is it just a new ball game each time? That's fine.
So we go all the way down. We're gonna stay down this time, tucking under, whoa, good thing it's the last one 'cause I'm falling apart here. Come all the way down. Okay, so now what I want us to do is reach down and place the elbows down, so let the elbows be soft. Walk the feet in real close together, and then inhale.
As you exhale feel the skin of your body pulling away from your clothing as you float one leg up. So now can you, it's kind of the inquiry of can you put one leg down all the way and then pick the other leg up without shifting. So it's slow work, it's conscientious work. One leg goes all the way down, the other one comes up. So the challenge is can you keep the deep abdominal muscles firing, so we're never pressing the front of the body out.
We're never pressing our abdominals out. We're always trying to pull back, and the game that I play is that skin away from clothing game, so trying not to let my skin touch my top which is hard when your top's tight, easier when it's not. (breathes deeply) Breathing out to lift the leg. So now we're gonna move the legs at the same time, so as one leg goes down, the other leg comes up. How light can you be on your arms?
How stable can you be? Could you even maybe lighten up on the elbows? Maybe even coming up onto the fingertips? Maybe see if the arms can let go at all? I wouldn't wanna take them too far from the ground, but just not using them too, too much, not using them much at all.
So we switch, and switch, and do one more to each side. Switch, and switch. And then let's take both legs up, heels together, toes apart, stretch the legs away, and pull in. Stretch the legs away right through the hips, feel that you are light on the roller, not sinking down into it. You're resting on top of it, floating on top of it.
Is that a possibility, that sense of lightness and ease? Heels are pressing together, hips are wrapping. We'll do two more (breathes deeply). And last time working with the breath (breathes deeply). Bend the knees, parallel legs, inhale, take both legs as slow as you can keep your spine stable on the roller, and lift both legs back up softening, softening the legs to the body.
Inhale, take the legs down. Exhale, soften the legs up. And just continue that breath pattern, inhaling, and exhaling to pick the legs up. We're gonna do two more reaching down, and up. One more reaching down, and up.
And bringing the legs down, if you need to do that one at a time that's fine. Put them down onto the mat, separate them just a little bit. Send the arms down long on the mat, and breathe in. As you breathe out, flatten the lower spine into the roller. (clears throat) Excuse me, and then being to bridge the spine up.
So we're rolling up allowing the roller to hit just between the shoulder blades, just in the middle of the back. There's not a lot of space for this, but can you keep lifting your pubic bone towards your chin or towards your nose as you attempt to lay the spine back down? Specifically, tricky around the lower spinal area. And drop the hips, again, inhale, and then exhale. First thing that happens is we flatten the lower spine, and send the arms long.
You could even hover your arms, right, if you wanna to create a little bit of a balance challenge. Let's do that, let's lift the arms up while we're up here, take them towards the ceiling and then reach overhead, and then reach away from you, keep lifting up through the pelvis. So you really gotta use the back of the legs to keep the pelvis suspended as you're trying to lay your spine down. Once the tailbone drops, let's bring the arms back to the mat, and we'll do three more. Inhale and exhale, feel on the mat, lower spine comes into the roller, lift, support the lifting of the hips, take the arms up and back, and stretch through the arms as you lay your spine down vertebra by vertebra, one bone at a time.
Drop the tail down, bring the arms down. One more time, inhale and exhale, maybe you'll feel that there's a little bit more range of motion in the spine now. Hips coming up high, reaching up, reaching back, and then peeling, peeling, rotating the hips up to create space for the lower spine to lay down and then feel that the lower spine does lift away from the roller as the pelvis drops down. So let's bring the arms down. We're gonna wiggle back, so about to where the head is off, the shoulders about the edge, and then bring the hands behind the head.
Let's step the feet together, that's gonna be harder, so if that's too hard for you to balance, keep your feet slightly apart. Then we're gonna take the upper body back, so getting a little bit of thoracic extension. Look up rather than backwards. Inhale, and then we're gonna curl the head and chest. I want you to see if you can curl up high enough so that you feel that your lower back comes into contact with the roller.
Hold that, inhale and then exhale, lengthen out. So stretch the spine long, feel the head supported by the hands, reach all the way back, inhale, exhale, the ribs draw down, maybe the ribs coming together starts the chest curling forward, the ribs continuing to come down towards the roller, brings the chest more forward. There's a magnet attached to the thighs that's pulling the chest even more forward still. Find that deep abdominal connection there at the top, and then come all the way back. And we'll do that three more times.
Inhale and exhale, lifting (breathes deeply), coming up, curling, curling. Oh, don't tip off to one side, Meredith. That would be really embarrassing if I fell off the mat, and hurt-y probably too. Oh, not very comfortable, last two, lift (breathes deeply). Okay, add a special surprise at this last one, last end one, so here it is.
We're gonna come up, we're gonna find that lifted position, hold there. Take your arms forward, so with the arms reaching forward maybe you can reach a little higher. Then I want you to reach your one arm down one side, so you laterally flex on that side or a side bend and then center. Inhale, the other arm reaches down. We do side bending on one side, and center, stay lifted, reach one arm, inhale and exhale, center.
And reach one arm, inhale and exhale, center, two more. Reach out, try to bring the ribs to the pelvis on that same side, and center. And ribs to pelvis on the other side and center, last time. Ribs to pelvis and center, and ribs to pelvis and center, and then bring the arms down, and then roll off onto your back. Okay, so what we're gonna do now is we're gonna take the roller around, and we're gonna bring it underneath the feet.
And then stand on the roller with the arch of the foot. Bring your arms back down to your sides. So we're gonna go into another bridge, but this is such a more satisfying bridge 'cause we'll actually get some, a fairly amount of fairly large amount of room to move, so let's go. We're gonna flatten through the spine, roll the spine up. Feeling the feet, stepping down into the roller, maybe even wrapping the feet over the roller like a prehensile position.
Inhale and now exhale, can you feel that same sense of lifting the pelvis up, suspending the pelvis as you peel and lay the spine down onto the mat. Again, inhale and exhale, press down, lift up. And inhale and exhale, peel down, working through each spinal segment. And again, you're gonna go one more time, and then we're gonna do some a little more interesting, I don't know, this is pretty interesting. So hold at the top.
We're gonna do something a little harder, I guess, is the real true statement, and roll down. Notice that the shoulders wanna roll away from the mat, and can you just, you don't have to push them back or like squeeze them real hard against the mat. Can you just have an awareness? Can we all just have an awareness around them just being soft. Roll up again, we're gonna hold it up this time, we're gonna stand on the right foot, we're gonna lift the left leg up, and down, up and down.
And as we do this, we're trying not to cramp, but we might, and down, I might. Two and down, one more time, lift and down, and inhale, and come down. Rolling, working through the lower spine, and down. Inhale, exhale, other side. Rolling up, soft shoulders, soft arms, and standing on the left foot, we lift the right leg up, and down.
Keeping the hips high, keeping stable, and up and down. Noticing that there's equal way weight around the shoulders, and down, last two, and down. One more, lift and down. Oh, just on time, just on time. I almost cramped just then.
We're gonna roll down. At the bottom, take the legs out straight, take the arms up over the shoulders, press down into the roller with your feet, lift your head and chest, and roll through the spine. So we're gonna roll all the way over, and give our hamstrings a stretch. We're gonna lift the spine tall, and we're gonna roll back down. So reach and try to keep the roller from moving.
Can you push the roller away from you as you're laying your spine down? And back, and lift head, chest, and draw in, curling, pulling back through the abdominals as you reach out over the legs and find that beautiful stretch that we deserve for almost cramping in the last exercise. I don't know, maybe you didn't, I certainly did. And back, let's do that two more times. Head, chest lifts up, push the roller away from you, push down into the roller as you reach over, reaching for the feet.
Inhale and exhale, lowering the spine. Sending again, the roller away, the hard part is on the down, the hard part is on the down. And then back, last one, head and chest up, and exhale, curl up. And now here from deep in the center of the trunk, can you lift your left leg off the roller? So now we're gonna roll the spine down, that left leg is gonna stay reaching, we're gonna inhale, we're gonna bend the right knee, and curl bringing the roller in.
Inhale, stretch out, exhale, bend the right leg, curl in, and back, we'll do five. So the left leg's just floating in space, and the body's moving through flexion. Last two, and reach, one more, pull and reach. At the bottom, lay the left foot down, lay the spine down, lift the head and chest, roll through the spine, and reach forwards. So back out of that just a little bit.
Now from deep within the trunk, can you float that right leg, and just keep it still? Now we're gonna curl down, and inhale. At the shoulder blades we bend the left knee, reach through, and push away, lower down to the shoulders. And bend and curl, deep and back, and reach back through, and three out of five. So working deeply, working precisely, too.
And back, and bend, working with ease. It's always a interesting challenge, and both legs down, the body comes back. Lift the head and chest, roll all the way up again, abdominals pull back, body reaches through, back out of it just a little. Can you once again, see the pelvis still, pick the left leg up, roll down through the spine. Now what we're gonna do is bend the left leg, and we're gonna twist.
And the right leg pushes the roller away, and down. And lift, twist, push the roller away, and down. And lift, twist, and down, last two. Lift, twist, and down, one more, lift, twist, all the way down, leg goes down onto the roller, arms reach back, spine lays down. Head and chest come up, exhale, roll forwards.
You know what's coming now. Come back out of it, so you're in that deep lifted C-shape, right leg floats, roll back, shoulder blades connect, and that way we rotate. Exhale and back, and exhale and back, and lift into your rotation and back, and two, pressing the roller away. Can we keep it totally still? And is that one?
I guess it must be, and down all the way, and arms reach, and lift the head and chest, curl through spine. This time take the arms all the way down, and reach forward, and you can pull on your roller. And then keep the hands on the roller, and lift the chest through the arms, tryin' to reach out and elongate the back, and then come all the way up. So I need to back my roller up a little bit. and I'm glad we did that because I just noticed that I was right at the edge there.
Okay, so we're gonna put the ankles on the roller. Again, we're gonna bring the arms behind the body. I want you to press up into your back support position, pressing up and forward through the spine. Taking a breath in, you're gonna pick the pelvis up, pick the pelvis up. And allow the roller to roll forward slightly as you lift and reach your feet over the top of the roller towards the floor.
And then sit back and down. And then again, inhale, exhale, pick the pelvis up. So the backs of the legs are working, reach up, lift the hips, roll the feet over the roller, reaching down towards the floor, and then come back, and keep the spine lifted as we sit down. A few more, inhale, press down, lift up, roll over the top of the roller, reaching the feet for the floor, come back and down. Last two, lifting up, reaching forwards, and back.
(breathes deeply) One more, leg pull back, gonna lift up, we're gonna take that roller forward, keep the right leg on the roller, kick the left leg up and down. Two, and three, keep the hips up. Four, keep the hips up. Five, replace, change sides. Five, hips high.
Four, three, two, one. Both legs down, hips up, hips down, and lift off the arms, reach around for the roller again. Bending the elbows, like if you have the flexibility. If you can barely reach for the roller then certainly don't bend the elbows, but really try to get the head down towards the shins. And then elongating (clears throat), excuse me, through the spine and reaching the spine out long.
Okay, now we're gonna take the feet off the roller. We're gonna hold the roller in our hands. Sitting up tall, bringing the legs together. Bend your arms so that the roller comes, maybe it won't come right up into your chest, but the elbows are at about 90 degrees from the shoulders. So I want us to lift the spine first.
We're gonna turn the body, take the roller out. As you lift the roller up, lift your spine, bring the arm back down, the arms back down, bend the elbows, and bring the body center. So here's some breath, inhale, exhale, stretch the roller out. Inhale, lift up, exhale, bring it down, bend in and return to center. Again, twist, stretch the arms, keep lifting through the spine, lift the arms up, bring the arms down, bend the elbows in, come to center.
And twist, and reach, feel the spine reaches up, reaches back, arms come down, elbows bend, and center. Let's do that two more times. Twist, reach, reach out, lengthen, come down, bend and center. And twist, reach, stretch out, last time. Lift up, lower down, bend and center.
And then let's bend our knees. Bringing the roller just down around the shins. So bending the elbows slightly to pull the roller, pull the roller back into your legs. Just think I need a little more space in the front of the mat. So tipping backwards into the pelvis, pulling the roller back into the shins, picking up the feet.
Rock back, inhale to the shoulders, pull the roller back to the shins, and balance. Inhale to the shoulders, exhale, pull, I got stuck. It happens, happens to me. So we deepen, and we rock back up, and we dig deep, and rock back. Rock back up, let's do two more.
Last time. And then placing the feet down, stretching the legs out, separating them, bringing the roller up in front of us. So lifting up tall, we're gonna inhale, we're gonna round forward, and I want you to press into the roller with the insides of the hands, but also feel almost as though you're trying to pull the hands away from the roller at the same time. Interesting energy to create in the upper body. And then bring the arms and the spine up and back, bringing the head through the roller as you press it backwards.
Exhale, reach and round forwards, and then peel up, up, up to sitting. Inhale, pressing into the roller, but also trying to pull the hands back. So it's like, let's see, let me see what we could do. We could create the idea that the hands are glued to the roller, but we're trying to pull 'em off the roller. And we stretch that spine out long, and we reach back down and articulate the spine to lift up, up, up.
And inhale, and round, so as the body goes down, the abdominals pull back, arms reach out, shoulders pulled down and back, top of the head or the head is reaching through. We're gonna dive back forward and roll up. And last two, rounding, can we get, maybe we'll rest the roller down for a moment. Use the roller to help us bring our spine into position, and then bring the arms up. Then reach the spine longer, and then reach back and roll the body up.
Last time, same as before, we're gonna round, we're gonna let the roller rest on the, wherever it lands. Gonna use the roller to help us pull forward, help us find our flat back, and then with a very nice light energy we just pick the roller up, up, up. And then sit up and bring the arms all the way down. So now what we're gonna do is we're gonna turn over onto our hands and knees, so bringing the hands onto the mat. Okay, so what we're gonna do is we're gonna take the knees on the roller, and we're gonna start just to, you actually wanna move the roller backwards.
So you can just kinda walk it back with your legs for a lack of a better way to mount. And I'm gonna put the roller kind of right in the middle of my shins. So that in my front support position, my shins are on the roller. Now we're gonna round the spine. And we're gonna start to roll the roller in, so it's reaching down.
We're gonna roll it across the top of the feet, and then reach back out. So inhaling as you get long, exhaling as you curl through. Dropping the head as the knees come in, inhale, reaching out long, And we'll do three more, staying light. So could you find the feeling of trying to lift off the roller? And back, nice little shin massage too, rolling through, and back, and one more.
Rolling through, oh, it's so hard, and back, and then just set the knees down in front. Bring the roller around the front, and come down onto your abdominals. Take the arms onto the roller, just resting the roller right underneath of the elbow, or in front of the elbow, closer to the hand than the armpit. Stretch through the back of the legs, engage through the back of the legs. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna do some upper arm rotations, so rotating the upper arms, so the armpits are wrapping around towards the mat.
The thumbs turn up, and then we're gonna lift the spine. Keeping the arms on the roller, the roller will just roll down the outsides of the arms. So looking for upper back extension, and then reach back down. And then again, inhale, and again, rotating. And armpits reach around the sides of the body, thumbs turn up, upper spine extends, abdominals pull in and up and back.
And then reach around, and again. Rotating around, lifting up, scapula's sliding down the back, and reaching through. We'll just do two more. So really attempting to find that upper spine, upper shoulder girdle connection, and then reach out, last one. Rotate through, hold at the top, maybe not your highest lift.
Take the left arm and the right leg, reach the leg and lift the arm, and then place them down. And then right arm reaches, left leg reaches, lift the arm, reach the leg, and down. And again, reaching out, so that you're really getting the height of the arm here. What's nice is the roller holds us up enough so that we really get the arm height to challenge the work through the upper back, and down. Opposite arm, the leg reaches, remember it reaches, and down.
And then out and up, and down. We do two more to each side. And out and up, and down. And lifting the arm, lifting the back. And then on this last one, we're gonna lift the leg and the arms, so now take that left arm, reach it around behind you, and reach it back towards the foot.
Then come back forward, place it down, and lower. And then lift the body, right arm, left leg, or what ever, opposites, and rotate and reach, and hug that leg towards the middle of the body. And then come back around, and place everything down. And then just leave the roller where it is, press up off your arms, and just reach back, sitting back into your heels to take a stretch. (breathes deeply) And you're gonna roll all the way back up.
Bring the roller around the back of you. So we're gonna sit down, roller's coming around the back of us. We're gonna use our feet just to prop ourselves up. So we're gonna lay down on the roller, and what I want us to try to find is just that the sacral area is on the roller. You can hold onto it with your hands just for support.
We're gonna bring the knees into the chest. take the legs up, draw the abdominals in, and then one leg will pull back, one leg will pull forward. So we pull, pull, front and center, and reach, reach. Notice as the leg that's coming towards you comes towards you that your pelvis doesn't come towards you. It stays down on the roller.
And pull, pull, center, and pull, pull, center, and pull, pull, center. Let's do one more, pull, pull, last time. And then at the top let's turn the legs out, stretch through the legs, we're gonna open wide, wide, wide. Take a stretch through the inside of the legs and then draw the legs together, squeeze. Inhale, open the legs out.
Imagine that someone's pushing on the insides of your legs, and you have to push against that contraction. Bringing the legs together evenly, and inhale. Reaching out through the knees, and exhale, and inhale, and exhale. And just one more, open and back. And then split the legs back into the scissor shape, rotate the legs around in a helicoptering action, stretching through the knees, come all the way back around, and center.
We'll do three times in each direction. Reach out, reach open through the hips, big circle action, and back, last time. Open, big circle, and center. And then lets reverse it, so opposite leg comes towards the body, circle wide, reaching out in space, hitting all points of the circle, simultaneously. And reach out, open bigger, bigger, bigger, stretching more all the time, and then back, last time.
Open, circle, you can hear the squeaking, and back. And then we're gonna make sure the sacrum's right on top. Bend the left knee and put the left foot right on top of the right knee. Let the right lower leg just drop, so it's just soft. Then we're gonna roll over onto the soft tissue of the left hip.
We're gonna roll onto the soft tissue of the left hip. And then letting the weight of your body just drop into that soft tissue. Maybe you do a little pulling over of the right knee with the heel on the left. And then center, and then let the body rock over onto the soft tissue in the right hip. We're just rocking side to side across the sacrum.
And center, we'll just do that a couple more times, or one more time to each side. Rocking over, maybe you wanna turn your head in the opposite direction, and back, and over to the other side, and back. And then once you come to center, bring the left knee into the body. Take the right leg out in space, and just reach it away from you, and let it start reaching down towards the mat. As it reaches towards the mat, you could do a few things, you could let it rest on the mat.
We're looking for hip flexor stretch. Can keep it just off the mat and reach it away. A strategy that I like to use is to take the left knee, the one in my arms and open it out to the side. So that feels good in my body. So when we're in places where you are looking for your own stretch, your own experience, feel free to play with your position or your movement, and really make it feel nice for you.
Slide the right leg in again, put the right ankle on the left knee. Left lower leg is just dropped, and then we're gonna lean into the soft tissue on the left side. Lean into the soft tissue of the left hip, perhaps pulling the left knee with the right ankle a little bit. And then coming back to center, rocking across the pelvis, the sacrum, and then over to the right hip. And if there's any place that might feel like, you can just fall into that, right, and then center.
Move over to the other side, maybe you find a slightly different area of connection. Maybe you wanna make a little circle around the hip, whatever, and then over to the other side. And then center, and then once you arrive in center, bring the right leg in, let the left leg reach out, and reach for the floor. Just allow the right leg pull back and maybe over a little. And breathe letting the left hip open, the right inner thigh open (breathes deeply).
And then when you're ready to come out of that, very gently let that leg come back in. And then bring both knees, just let them fold or flop into the chest. And I want us to very slowly, as though you're stretching your soft tissue or your skin, the skin of the back reaches down towards the tailbone. We're just real slowly rolling that roller out from underneath us. Almost agonizingly slowly, or agonizingly delicious, either way.
So across the sacrum, and as it starts to roll past the sacrum and down towards the tailbone, you'll feel your back coming closer and closer to the mat. And as your back comes closer and closer to the mat, just allow it to lay down softly without tension. And as you come all the way off the roller, and you feel your back come down onto the floor again, just reach your feet down in front of you and rest your arms on the mat. And close your eyes or keep your eyes open, whatever you prefer, but just take a minute to notice, notice what's happening. Notice the energy you've created, notice how your body feels.
I personally feel quite amazing right now. It's like an energetic current, an easy light one though. And then when you're ready, you can open your eyes and get yourself up, and go on with your day. Thank you.
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