Class #3097

Primal Mat Foundations

60 min - Class


Refine your movement skills with this Primal Pilates Foundations workout by Louise Johns. She breaks down the work that she did in her previous Primal Movement Works class. She teaches work that is inspired by general motor development, ancestral postures as well as animal movements. These exercises will help to increase proprioception and coordination so you can improve your learning capacity.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jun 26, 2017
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Hey there, we're here to do some Primal Pilates Foundations. If you maybe watched one of the classes that we delivered last year, it was an overview of the primal movement works, the system that we have all these wonderful classes underneath. Today we thought we would take a step back and deliver the Primal Foundations class, which is a really nice way for you to take it a little slower, get a feel for what we're doing and then later on you can hop over to the Primal Pilates Flow class which is gonna be a little bit more upbeat for those of you that want that. First of all know that the work is inspired from motor development, so we go through childhood development, so lying on our back, side, all fours, sitting tall, standing, and all that good stuff. As well as some ancestral postures.

We were really inspired by Phillip Beach's deep ancestral work, and he was here on Pilates Anytime too, so you can watch him as well even now if you like. And also animal light movements as so many of our great movement stars out there have observed animal movement. So crawling, which is like an ancestral movement but also like a cat. Side lizard on the ground, moving like a fish, all that contralateral stuff. My intention here is to take it slow, I can't promise, but to take it slow and to take my lovely friends here through a Primal Pilates Foundations class.

So let's get started. What I want to do first is to do some preps, and the preps are about mobility through the joints and really warming ourselves up, increasing our proprioception, which is just a fancy word for increasing your awareness. So sit with me, find a comfortable seat. I'm gonna do cross legged, right leg in front of left or you can take one leg out or whatever suits you. First of all we're gonna start with some foot prep, so grab your right foot and begin to do some toe wiggles.

So we're gonna separate the toes back and forth. And just increase our awareness to our feet, and say hello foot. And here we can separate the toes as well, working down the ray, and just generally give them a little bit of TLC. So from there we're gonna work up into the foot, and we call this foot sponging, and I'm gonna move my foot so you can see. So here I begin to squeeze the foot, and I image that the foot is like a sponge, so not only do I squeeze the water from the sponge but I give it a time to fill up.

I can observe the texture of my foot changing. And I probably need a pedicure, but that's later. So here we're gonna work on doing that same sponging up through the lower leg. I'm always a little tight through here. And if you want to invigorate yourself a little bit more you can give yourself a little loving tap through the foot.

Find the heel and let's do some heel wiggles, so get that calcaneus bone and kind of give it a wiggle. Try to see if you can move that heel bone away from the rest of the foot and just feel some movement in there. All right, so I don't know about you but already I can feel a little difference between my one, my right leg to my left. So now I'm gonna just cradle my foot a little bit, I'm gonna bring my foot up, protect my knee. I'm just gonna cross over the center line with this leg, so I'm crossing from side to side.

Working on the hip mobility right here, so really how the leg sits in the hip, should feel pretty good. So grab that right leg with your right hand and touch your left shin, and then take that right leg, tuck it underneath you and sit it underneath you something like this. I'm gonna show you from the side that my foot is flat rather than this, so the foot flat. So let's bring that back around, cradle it, bring it across the front body, across the other side. Touch it, and put it away, so we call this touch and go.

We cross the center line, and we cross the body. Gets our brains going, increases our coordination and where we are in space. So now we're going to bring it in front for the last time, we're going to hold it, and this is one of our favorites. So let's do a little leg extension first. Big toe, pinky toe, push your foot towards me as straight as you can get, whatever that is, and then see if you can peer up over the top of your foot and find your sit bones, so you're really right here.

And then let it go, so we're going to inhale, inhale, get taller through the spine, finding the sit bones and exhale, nice job, and again up. And then down, then one more time, and up, and now release the breath, stay there. So here we are cheerleaders, ta-da. We're going to cross the body, take the opposite hand and stretch behind us, should feel really good. And then twist the other way.

So what are we doing, we're working on thoracic, so that mid-spine mobility and through the neck as well as seated tall, a little cross body connection, right left brain, I could go on. And pause, bring that foot back down and bring the left hand behind you and the right hand to your right thigh. So slap that thigh. All right, so here's your femur, these are called femur rolls. So we press the right shin into the mat and roll the femur forward to open up the hip press the bone forward, and then sit it back.

So femur roll, press down and roll the hip forward, and back. And I invite you to bring your hand to your thigh to where you leg and your torso meet to really feel the rolling of the thigh. So let's keep going. You'll notice that I'm now beginning to move my torso a little bit. And I'm imagining how I'm rolling my spine out like a rag.

So I'm ringing it out like a rag, right, so I'm looking behind. So now we've got hip mobility, spine thoracic cervical mobility. Now I might go hey look, there's some surf over there. And no there isn't. And ho, look at the surf.

And back, increasing the flexibility of the quadricep. Now hold it there. If you want to press down with your shins and reach, we call this a femur roll and reach. Come back the way we came, we're taking it slow, roll the torso, lift and reach and down and one more time, and roll the torso, lift and reach and pause. Now move that right hand around a little bit and notice how it makes the hip and the ribs feel a little bit different and come all the way down.

Invite that right leg in front, sit cross legged, or long sitting. Reach your arms out, I'm gonna scooch back 'cause I'm running out of mat, and do a nice little forward bend. So you might wriggle a little bit from side to side, a little rocking from side to side. Then find your breath, so inhale through the back body, so expand the ribcage in the back and then exhale release. Just one more breath, inhale (inhales) and then exhale (exhales).

And just pause, our breath is our first start in life and our last so we try to make the most of every single breath. Walk ourselves on up, let's find that left leg. So we're bringing the left leg in front and we're going back to the toes. Now you know what's coming we can move through a little quicker if you desire. So toe wiggles, moving the toes away from one another.

Saying hello feet, giving our feet a little bit of love. They work so hard for us, we don't really pay much attention. And then once you finish with your toes move up into your foot and image that sponge again. Squeezing and here's the key, let it fill up. Squeeze and fill up, and you will notice the texture of your skin changes, the feel of the tissue changes.

We'll move on up, move up the leg, finding that lower leg, squeezing the lower leg through that tibia and that posterior tib. And then if you'd like to give yourself a little loving tap. Over the top, behind, work your way down to the heel and find that calcaneus and give it a heel wiggle. So try to move that heel around a little bit. And even if you're not sure exactly where it is just find that hard bone at the end of your foot there.

This leads us right into a little cradle, so we'll cradle the foot and the knee just to protect the knee, and then we rock it back and forth. And here we're working on the relationship between the leg and where it sits in the pelvis, which will be right we call our hips. So we're working on the hip mobility. Yep, everyone's doing their thing, hip mobility. Notice how we're crossing over and then we're coming away so we're touching, then we grab the ankle, tuck the foot in, remember we tuck the foot in.

And then we bring it back across the body, touch, and we go. The hip rolls back on the left and then it rolls forward. It goes back, it goes forward. Two more, and it goes back with the hips, and forward. Last time, we're going to stay there.

Pause, a little leg extension, find the big toe and the pinky. Show me the sole of your foot, and then push the foot forward and then climb on up on those sit bones, and I'm peering over my foot. Don't worry how long or straight the leg gets, that's not important. Leg comes down, let's invite the breath in, inhale, I'm having to work really tall, and exhale, yeah. And inhale, lift lift lift lift lift, awesome, and down.

And we could do 500 of these, it could be the leg workout of the century, but we'll do just one more. And here's our favorite cheerleader, we'll take that left leg and we're ta-da. Twisted cheerleader, reach behind you and reach through that thoracic and cervical spine, and out we go, big big big, and twisting. Incorporating all of those joints from the hip through the torso, through the neck. Last time, hold it.

Wherever you are, look they're making all these crazy shapes, cross it in front. A little spine stretch forward one more time, reach the arms forward and again find your breath, so broaden the back with your breath, a big broad back body breath, and allow the breath to escape from your belly. And do one more time, inhale and then exhale and release. So believe it or not, now we're ready to start. So find a seated position, come to the top of your mat in a seated position, and we're going to do rolling like a ball.

It's unlike any ball you've ever rolled. So it's free style, with one prerequisite, a little bit of a cervical nod. So try not to hold your body still, just have fun and roll, so we're rolling, and forward. Throw your legs if that feels good. Make a shape like hey crazy legs.

And then maybe after you've made crazy legs with legs you make crazy shape with your arms and maybe you do crazy leg and arm shape. Crazy leg, roll like a ball, what color is your ball, what texture is your ball. One more time, and we're going to find a happy baby which looks something like this. So you might have to hold on to the back of your knees, calf muscles, ankles or outside of your feet. We're aiming our knees towards our armpits and here's the most important part, how do you feel in relationship to the ground.

I like to visualize how a cat lays on a mat, how they're really flat and at ease with the ground. So the head is down, the pelvis is down, and if you haven't started to already begin to rock a little bit. Feels really good across that lumbar dorsal fascia, just basically through the lower back. And we use rocking as a reset, it calms the nervous system just like when a baby cries and you rock them. They're like, oh I don't need to cry anymore.

And then find the happy baby somewhere that feels good. So because we're not doing right and left we're gonna let go of right and left. Take one of your legs away and the same arm over your head, so one leg is on the ground and one arm is over your head and you're reaching fingers to heel. So see if you can push through that heel. Bring that leg back and hold it in happy baby.

Switch your sides, heel from fingers, reach reach reach. Bring it back, now let's invite the breath in, inhale to reach, exhale to grab, inhale to reach (inhales), exhale to grab. Now just keep going and experience for working from the core to your distal, like how far away can I get my arm and leg. We'll do one more, either side and then we'll reach both legs on the ground and we'll point the toes. So the spine is extending, we call this a four point reach.

We look at how the spine is in relationship to the ground and I like to visualize this river, so behind your neck, in through your lumbar, behind the back of your knees, and behind the ankles. Flex the toes to the nose, a dorsiflex, bring the arms down by your side and nod the chin to your throat in a cervical nod, so you're nodding yes. Squeeze everything together and find your midline. Inhale, reach away, disperse the energy and exhale, draw it in (exhales). Big breath, inhale back (inhales) and exhale here.

Two more, inhale to reach, reach reach reach, exhale, hollow, one more time. Inhale reach, exhale hollow. Now go back into your reach, relax your breath. We're going to find the crescent stretch, so we're gonna take our legs, we're gonna go to the right, let's take our legs to the right, just because I know I said I wasn't gonna do right left, but I lied. And now you're gonna move your torso to the right.

So you're making like a half moon. Now if you'd like to increase your experience grab the left wrist and give it a loving pull. And then if you'd like to you can cross the left leg over the right to increase that length on that lateral edge which we're going to using very shortly. Let that go and do that on the other side. So move over, find a crescent stretch, find a crescent moon, reaching grabbing the right wrist and crossing over the right.

So we really tried to let go of right lefts and over cuing and too much of too much is a good thing. So I'm gonna let you from this point on have a little free form and hopefully some fun. So we do a little exploration. Come on back. So let's move back into extending the spine.

We're going to do a cervical curl, so exhale toes to the nose, curl on up and look towards your feet. And here it's key to work towards the center line. From the navel to the distal again, inhale, look up at your eyebrows, and exhale, look towards your nose and to your feet. Let's do two more, to the brows and reach, to the nose and hollow. One more, to the brows and reach, to the nose and hollow.

And pause, bring one leg up in tabletop. Don't worry about neutral, just let it go. Bring the other leg in, hug your ankles. Inhale, one leg reaches away, then the other to reach and one leg comes in and tuck. So inhale to reach, exhale to curl (exhales).

Bring in either two legs or single legs together. Head, pelvis come towards one another. Last time, inhale, and exhale. Feet on the ground, hands on the ground, and reset. Find somewhere in between the mat and away, we call that neutral but we'll also let you just experience the natural curvature of your spine, a bridge.

Press down and lift the hips on up, pause. Sequentially roll your spine down, upper spine, middle spine, lower spine, and pelvis. And again, press down and lift. Upper, middle, lower spine, and down. We're adding on, we'll lift the hips on up, take the arms over your head, fingernails on the ground, so however that needs to be for you.

Physically reach and then roll away, move your pelvis as far away from your fingertips as you can, long long long. Bring the hands back to the mat by your hips. Last time, take it up, reach the fingers over head, psychically reach, open your hands and roll all the way down to the mat. Now for something more familiar, large leg circles. Arms come down, one leg out, the other leg up.

So it's gonna be interesting, we'll see if they hit one another. Take your arms out a little bit. So large leg circles, the hip comes up. So the leg that's up, the hip will come off the mat, you'll go down around and up. We go across the body, down around and up.

Just three, across, down around and up, and reset, reverse your direction. Let the leg go and pull it back in. Let it go, pull it back in, last time, let it go, pull it back in. Heel press and lengthen through the leg and then just wriggle into like a little reset. Find your other leg, lift it up towards the ceiling.

Notice did your spine change in relationship to the mat. Reach the arms out, so let's take the leg across the torso, hip comes up, down around and stop at the top. Inhale, let it go and bring it back. Last time. Pause, reset, reverse.

Out, down around and up, two more, really work, ooh, hi Stephanie, on the mobility of your hips and pause. And all the way down to the ground. Bring your arms in and just pause for a second and find your breath, so inhale into your ribs in the back and physically let the breath go (exhales). And inhale (inhales) and then exhale (exhales). Notice how your breath has a response on your nervous system, how does that feel inside your body, just making an inquiry.

So here we go to transition. We're going to go to a roll up, we're going to bring the hands in between the space of our lower back on the mat and dorsiflex our ankles. Cervical nod, cervical curl, look at your feet, push into the mat, sit all the way up, bring the arms up. I'm gonna do a few of these. Keeping the feet flexed, roll on down, if you need to put your hands down be my guest.

You choose your arm orientation, I'm keeping mine here. Cervical nod, cervical curl, as we transition to a seated orientation. We're going to do one more time, how are they doing over here, down, hello. And here, and then up, we're transitioning, sit all the way up. Arms come up, arms come down, point your toes and reach.

So here imagine that you're rolling on a grassy knoll. I'm hopefully not gonna fall off this mat. And you're going to roll down the log. And you guys are gonna roll away from me, so you're gonna roll like a log away from me, roll roll roll, and you'll watch them rolling, and then you're gonna roll back. Now at home, if you've got like lots of space, then roll a lot.

All the way, you're lying on a grassy knoll and you're rolling down that grassy knoll and you're squealing with delight. Look how awesome these rolls are. Do a few more and then somehow face me. Face me on your side. Hello, how was your grassy knoll.

Do you remember doing that when you were a kid? I remember doing that when I was a kid, it was really fun. All right, so here we are, we're now in a side lying series. So we've got nose, navel, pubic bone, our legs, our arm. Let's build our relationship with the ground again.

Press your upper body down, lift the legs up so that your toes are underneath your pubic bone. Point the toes and reach them away. Just like cervical nod, right, pull from your navel center (exhales). Reach out (inhales). And exhale, flex a little bit, and reach a little bit.

Now continue with that, when we were lying on our backs we looked towards our brows, right, so point your toes, looks towards your brows and look at your underneath hand. And then exhale, flex and look towards your feet. Inhale, initiate from the navel center, reaching. And then curling, we call this fish side lying. It's like you're swimming through the ocean, a side lying fish.

Two more, reach, exhale, flex, core distal, one more time inhale, exhale, flex and find the middle and now connect your foot to the ground. We're not doing a big Pilates V, we're in parallel, we're connecting. Side bend, so lift the top arm up, lift the ribcage from the ground and fill it up and then exhale. Inhale, if you're using a mirror at home, can you get that ribs from the ground, and then back. Do two more, inhale reach, exhale down, last time, inhale reach, exhale down and pause, hand in front.

So some marching. Invite that top leg up in front of your torso and immediately those trunk muscles switch on, and then push away. And lift, and away, now you continue. If you're having a little trouble you can bend the bottom knee and bring it in as a modification and maybe take away the hands. So now you've increased your surface area of support.

We'll do one more time. And pause. This time change the orientation, so bring the knee up. Let's try not to lose it in the center, and then reach. That's right, bring it up, hip rolls back, hip rolls forward, hip rolls back, hip rolls forward.

One more, hip rolls back, hip rolls forward, good job. Take the arm over your head, we'll do side lizard but we're going to keep the torso on the ground in case you're familiar with this. So we go up, touch, and away. Up, touch, and away, yes you can give yourself a little yee-haw. And back, you can always get a little yee-haw, something like that.

We'll go two. And we'll go one more time. Nice job, bring the hand back down. Baby banana, lift the torso from the ground so now we're side bending in the opposite direction and straight back down. So inhale left and down.

This is my crazy hair orientation just in case you're like what's she doing with her hair, and down. Last time, lift. And then down and pause. Now point your toes. Now thankfully they've got their mats behind them, we're rolling like a log again, you're going to roll back away from me a couple times.

You can end up where you want to and then come back the way you came, rolling back and forth. Yes, now you're a little bit more familiar it can be a little bit more controlled. One more time, come back to me, face me and hold. We're going to bridge, tuck the feet up into your buttocks, so dorsiflex the ankles, bring the bottom in and sit like this and sort yourselves out. It's like ah, sort myself out.

So the bottom ribs, pull your ribs up, connect your armpit to your side body, and then let it go. So feel the connection to the ground. You press, you find that lateral line and you pull yourself up and then down and again one two three, lift and hold. So for a second notice where your head is in time and space. So often we feel like we need to check ourselves out.

Nothing has changed, look at me. All right, so we're going to do a bridge. Press down into the ground, lift the hips up. Now here's the trick, keep the head in the same orientation, bring your hips forward and take your torso back. You're going to find that lateral line up and down, the hips back, hips down, it's tricky, ready?

Hips up, push, find the underneath glute, all through that lateral line, the hips down, and return. Two more, hips up, hips forward to me, hips back, hips down, so important for posture. Lift up and forward and back and down. Modified side plank, bring the top leg out, use your top arm, push away from the ground and hold. Bring the top arm up.

If you want to stay like this, or slide the other leg out and pause. Yes, pause holding, holding. Bringing the top hand in, the bottom leg in and stop. Tuck your legs in, push up, this is a mermaid. You're like ugh, stretch that underneath arm.

So the arm that was on the ground, bring it over your head and do a little side bend. Hah, reach from the rib, the last rib, all the way through to that middle finger. Move the wrist around a little bit. So we're going to switch sides, we bring the hand down, lift the feet up, mermaid, and then we switch sides. How are we doing?

Oh, good. All right, so let's find the side body again. And holding it steady, and immediately we lift the legs from the ground, remember nose, navel, pubic bone. Point to reach away. Flex the feet to lift them up, so dorsiflex the ankles and plantar flex the ankles, I'm gonna move down a little bit.

Flex the feet and reach. Now we add the gazing, right, so we lift the legs up, gaze towards your brows and your fingers and reach the legs away from you. So find your back body, work through the center, exhale, find your front body. Inhale, initiate from the core to the distals. So you go core distal and now here I feel my navel center pulling me back in.

And then I reach away and I pull back in, one more time reach, and pull and reset. Hold it, so marching. So hear bring the top leg in front, exhale hold and then return. Bring it up, take it away. The progression comes with the top arm leaving the ground or not, we'll go for three.

We're just gonna go right through, two, we'll change orientation to rotate the hip back and away from us. Remember it rolls. Allow the spine to move a little bit with the movement of the pelvis rather than staying so static. Two more. Last time.

And pause, we're gonna back track a little bit. Side bends, so inhale the top arm, lift the ribs up, feel the ribs leave the ground, and exhale. Inhale, reach. And exhale for three. Up and away, so you can do all of these movements in any kind of order that you like, hold it over.

Side lizard, head down, so we go up, and away. For some reason I like to tap tap, I think it's a rhythm thing. Tap tap, so anything in this genre you choose, connecting the sides of your body. Yes, aha, one more time. And away and pause.

Baby banana, hand comes down, push away from the ground and hold it. And then down we go again. We press how much effort do you need to lift your torso up. One more time and lift and hold and down we go. Bridging, knees up, dorsiflex the ankles.

Notice how I shift my hips back a little bit. Try to do that with me, shift your hips back. So come up onto the forearm, spread the hand out wide and find that lateral side, invite the ribs in pull the head back, let it go, move the shoulder towards the ear and press. And just do that a little bit, explore, make an inquiry on how do I feel about this side body, with no judgment of course, and lift and hold. All right so we're bridging.

So remember, head neck control is tricky. Do as you will with the arm. I like this, sometimes I don't. Lift the hips, all right? Come towards me, shoot your head back, notice that your head is in line with your torso.

More your hips and then place them down, all right? So we go from the ground and away, and back and down. And lift, and forward and back and down, two more. Find your downstairs glutes, back and down, last time. Up, and hold for a second, think plank.

Back and down. Side plank, here it is, so the top leg goes out. The shoulder might be getting tired, try to stay with it. Lift the hips up, decide whether you want to take your top arm up, decide if you want to take the bottom leg out. Here's the trick, toes to the nose, use your feet like you were on a board or a skateboard or something like that, 'cause I know you guys do that often.

Bend the bottom leg in and bring it in. So from here push up. Side bend. Ah. Yes.

So now we go from side lying to tummy time. So we're going to go straight back down to where we were. And conveniently we're just going to roll on over on to our tummies, and I'm gonna move away from the dangerous edge. All right, so arms out in front of you. Toe nails down and comfortably apart with your legs.

So now we're in our tummy time, you've got to lift your big old head up off the ground. So we inhale and we do a little swan, and holding. Move the head around a little bit, and then exhale. Feel the downward pressure, so your downward pressure with the arms, and you're anchoring through the pelvis and thighs and the back. Do it again, but you're also gathering up the belly from the ground.

Yep, one more time. Lift up and stay up. Go down a little bit and just nod the chin, so a little cervical nod up with eyebrows, down towards the nose. Yep, as a child lifting the head from the ground is one of those big challenges that we face early on. So here and then down.

Bring the hands underneath your forehead, scoot the legs in together. Let's just take a little stretch, so grab one of your ankles stretch out the quadricep, press the hips on in. Now if you're not able to grab the ankle you can use a towel or you're welcome to just bring the heel towards your buttocks. Finding your buttocks and your hamstring, inviting the front of that thigh to stretch, should feel pretty nice, let's do a little switch. Again, see if you can grab the ankle rather than just the foot then dorsiflex the ankle again.

Gently press the hips forward and find the front of the thigh to stretch. Should feel quite nice down there. Let's move into something familiar like single leg kick. So come on up. I'm going to bring my hands wide and my forearms on the ground, eyes on the horizon.

So one leg of your choice, kick it in twice and we inhale inhale and (exhales). And just begin to move either with me in my rhythm or on your own. Try to keep the torso steady as your know. This is from your Pilates practice, something that you know so well. Yep, one more time, and away.

A version of double leg kick, bring the arms to the mat, palms down, turn your head to one side, let the heels roll away. So here find the muscled between your upper shoulders, lift your head up, look at your mat, float your arms and legs off the ground like a dart and then change the orientation of your head. I'm not gonna go down 'cause I've got a microphone on my face. And then one two three, find the upper body, the shoulders, get tall like a dart. And turn and away.

And just do that a few more times. Think about how do I lift my head up with my back body and then I have to let it go. And last time, and how do I lift up from my back body and then let it go. Nicely done. Side bend and reach, bring the hands to the ribcage.

Walk the feet in together. Now the arm that's closest towards me, you're going to reach it down and have a look at your foot. Now extend your little extenders so the chest is off the ground and you're pushing with the other hand, and then you reset and we do the other way. Push with the hands by your ribcage, reach the opposite foot and then reset. And again, reach and hold it.

Now make sure the legs stay the same length so that you're truly doing a torso side bend and back, and last time, legs stay the same length and back and pause. Okay, so now let's go from the lower body. Let's bring the knee that's closest to me up into a side bend, keep your head still for now so we're not doing reptile just yet. And then bring it back. So just the knee comes up, so we're just experiencing that we can side bend from the lower body.

And this mat is super slidy, these girls are having to unstick themselves a little bit. Okay, so we're going to do reptile. You get to choose, one knee comes up, take a look at it. The opposite arm has to cross over the side body so you're looking at your knee. Now I'm super slidy so just watch for a second.

I'm just gonna slide and slide, but if you're sticky you're gonna have to like lift a little bit and slide but I'm gonna continue sliding while my subjects here struggle to reptile back. It's really nice, homolateral, same side, ipsilateral movement. Do a couple more, holy moly and stop, whew! Bring the hands by your ribcage, and actually I lied, put the forearms down. Tuck your toes for the first time in our session today. We're going to do a modified forearm plank.

So here we lift the head and the pelvis, so gather up your belly from the floor, and as you push back, push up and back a little bit, mm-hmm. And then come down and forward a little bit. So up and back and down and forward. Now you know how to up level this by just lifting the knees up, but I'm gonna save that for the next class, I'm gonna stay here on my knees. Let's do three pushing, getting that head in control with the pelvis so we have head neck control, and the head and the pelvis talking, and hold.

Hold it up, and then push on back. Bring your bum towards your heels and we move into seated tall, so here come into all fours. Drop the hips to one side and swing the legs forward for seated tall. I have a 10 month old at home she does exactly that. That's how she gets up from the ground.

So here we're finding our sit bones. Modify by raising your seat if you need to. Let's do spine stretch forward. So arms on the horizon, broadening the upper back, inhale, open the upper back, exhale, restack. Just two.

Nice thoracic mobility egh, and back. One more time in and out, spine twist, the arm that's closest to me, inhale, reach it back, exhale bring it forward. Inhale and exhale. Now this time as you come to me bring that leg in with the arm, look towards your fingers. So let go of some of that stability and control, reach.

Yeah, something like that is good, out. And in, last time, out and in. So now let's do saw, take the legs out, not too wide. Take the arms up, mm-hmm. We'll do the first two as you know.

So take a big deep breath in through your back. Turn towards me, exhale, it's a forward bend, it's rotation and that back arm reaches up and you're going to look at it ever so slightly. Inhale, reset, hold for a second, turn and then exhale squeeze the breath from your belly as we go. Inhale, sit tall. This time as we exhale let the feet go, let the hips move and allow the hips to move at will and then reset, pretend oh I'm a Pilates teacher, and no I'm not.

I'm gonna let it go, two more, I'm a Pilates teacher, and I'm just moving because it's fun. And last time, up, and turn and around, and up and back. Bring the legs in, take the hands back, get ready for crab, we call this crab. So the hands are behind us and then just relax. Yep, I said it, just relax.

So here, enjoy how the shoulders move towards the ears. And feel that stretch in your ribs. So many of us as teachers, we teach posture all day and I don't know about you but my mid back gets really tight. So now decide on your elbows, if you're a little hypermobile in the elbows, turn your hands in a little bit. Connect your hands to the floor, find your lower traps and set your shoulders in relationship to your torso.

So we're going to visualize that we're like a little tortoise. We just came out of our shell and now we're going to disappear inside our shell. Push away from the ground, hello tortoise, and then back. And here up, in the crab position, and there's a tortoise, there's probably a hare in here somewhere. And up and turn.

I have no idea, and then back. And now find somewhere in between. Now you're going to need to use your senses, your gaze. Find your breath, so right leg, float it from the ground and lift. And put it down, can you keep your trunk really steady, (exhales) and down, keep it going.

No need to lift the foot out in front of you, it's literally hovering from the ground, and stop. Now do the right arm, lift the right hand from the ground, and let's do a little wrist mobile, we'll do a little wrist roll. And we'll put it back down. And then the left, lift it and roll it. And let's do that two more times, and our intension here is to keep the trunk steady, and down, even though we're losing a limb.

And down, let the torso go, ease. Bring it back, reset. Narrow your stance a little bit, find your upper body connected with your lower body, crab hover. Lift the hips from the ground just a little bit and then down. Yes your wrists will start to torture you, see if you can continue through it, lift and down, if you need to take a break, take a break.

Find the armpits, float the hips. And down we go, last time, find the armpit, float the hips. Now either stay right here or move into a high bridge, a reverse bridge, so we're going to go up, I'm walking my feet out to allow for the tightness in my hips, lift up high, and come straight back down. Two to three more, you choose, lift on up with me or take a break, and back, how much pressure do you need, lift, where's your breath, and down, here we go last time, and lift, and down and pause. Long sitting, shake the wrists on out.

Now I'm just gonna move to the center of my mat. So here we have a little bit of fun with some sit bone walking. What's that? I'm going to walk in a circle. You come when you're ready like what is this crazy Brit doing now, she is walking around in circles.

So here, and then when you get to the beginning turn around and do the other way. We get to change our orientation in space. We get to work on a little pelvic mobility. And come back to reset. Do two more times, one in one direction and one in the other.

Notice it's leg, hips, torso, arms, legs, hips, torso, arms, notice that movement. One more time, are you dizzy yet? Yeah? They're kicking on another. And then pause and then resent, long sitting.

Now I would like you to on your hips walk backward on your hips. Back and back and back and back, and some of you that don't enjoy sitting on the floor will not be having a very nice time right now but it's good for you like eating brussel sprouts. And reset, and then forward with the hips as we slide across the mat. And we're gonna talk a little bit more about what we're doing right here. Come somewhere in the middle.

So first of all we got to talk right left because I want to cue you in it. So take your right hip forward, which means that your right leg is forward, oh that was not me that was the mat. Turn your torso towards your right thigh and give it a tap. So we crossed over the body, so the left brain talks to the right. Move your left leg forward and tap with the right.

Move the right leg forward and tap with the left. Move your left leg forward and tap with the right. And repeat, two more. And one more, and release, pause. Increases our coordination, increasing our learning capacity.

Now we got to go back, so the right leg is pulling back. Notice how we've moved to the same side. So turn to the left and give it a tap. Pull the left leg back, turn to the right and give it a tap. Pull the right leg back, give it a tap on the left, left to right, on your own.

Something like that. Don't worry if you end up walking like a penguin 'cause that's what happens. And then release, nice job. Let's just roll like a ball one more time or maybe or two or three, and just release the tension from our body real quick. Just release, make some crazy shapes, it's okay.

So seated tall series, the next time we're gonna come on up we're going to come into a mermaid, so you're gonna tuck your legs away from me and tuck them in like so. And I'm gonna face the camera just so that you can see me. So we're in the mermaid and you know what guys, I'm gonna have you guys face me too, so why don't you face me, yeah mm-hmm. And let's everybody have the legs on our right side so move your legs over to the right, thank you thank you. So everyone's on the right, so we got a little mermaid.

All right, so here if I want to change direction, they all did a really nice job, we'll place the hands back, and we'll just tiptoe the feet over to the other side, rocking back on the pelvis and then rock forward on a reset. Mm-hmm, take the hands back and tiptoe and then reset, something like that, try that. Now the next time if you can, can you eliminate the hand or hands, I'm gonna do single hand or you can do two hands. Legs up and I switch. And legs up and a switch, or look mum no hands, the head and the pelvis come towards one another.

I sit myself up one more towards one another, and up and pause. Now place your right hand down and your left hand down, then lift up. And we did this in our class last year, extend your top leg away from you. This is like your holiday photo right here, or you're in a swimsuit and you're doing the whole beach thing, I don't know. But you're extending and you're thinking about this big old tail that you've got here.

Bring the legs on up, switch the legs, slide out, find your shape, mm-hmm. And again, lift and switch. Lift and switch. Don't they look so pretty, and lift and switch. Last time, lift and switch.

Z sit and pause. How's it going? All right, we're going to push off forward. So you guys are gonna come forward on to all fours. Yeah.

And so again, at home you don't need to change your orientation but we're gonna face one another. Yeah, just because I don't want them to hit but you can just stay exactly as you are. So we're in all fours set up. First of all a little cat cow, so round the torso, what are we doing, we're connecting the head to the pelvis. Shift back and just have a little moment.

You can add a little rocking back and forth. And then do the opposite posture, extend. Head up, pelvis up, sit bones widen. Exhale from the navel, drawing the head and the pelvis towards one another and disperse, drawing the head and the pelvis towards one another in the back. In the front (exhales) in the back.

Pull from the front (exhales), pull from the back. Last time, you'll notice how soothing it is on your system hopefully, and then reset. Find your all fours, so what do we do, we connect the armpits to the side body, we spread the fingers out wide. Now my elbows are a little hypermobile so don't look, and then nod your chin towards your throat. To the sky, to the nose, to the brows.

Find somewhere in between. Head and torso high like you've got a light shining out. I know you know all of this already but let's just find that all fours set up. So here I'm going to just check my awareness. I'm like ooh yeah, I'm good.

All right, one leg lifted out behind you, pause. The free arm, again check for self-awareness, where am I in time and space. Hold that free arm up by the shoulder and just hold it. Put it down, and we reset the other side. You know this I'm sure, left up, free arm check to assess, keep the torso high and put it down, same same.

Lift and check or not, depending on how confident you are, and down, and lift and check. So the arm can go out, little trunk stabilization, two more. I love to do a little self checking, hello Weezy, yes and down. And last time, out and pause and wait. Now here tuck our toes, this is the first time we've done this here today.

So tuck the toes underneath you. Sit back on your heels and lift your torso high. And here, just have a little gentle bounce. So we talk about rebound, so we're pressing back but more importantly notice what happens coming forward, it's like yeah, I can go forward. So I'm not really putting much effort I'm just allowing the kinetic energy to go forward.

So we're going to go back three times, two times, one time, come forward and flex your spine. As we sit back we'll inhale, here we go, lift the head up, inhale one (inhales) and two (inhales) and three and (exhales). Again, two more, inhale (inhales) three, (inhales) two, (inhales) one and (exhales). Last time, go one (inhales) two (inhales) three (inhales) and (exhales), untuck the toes. Bring the fingers up like so into like a little arch.

Round the spine and then retuck the, actually no keep the feet flat for me here for a second and notice the arches in our body. The arches in our hands, the arches in our spine, the arches in our feet, maybe the pelvic floor, the roof of the head, we're making all of the same shapes. Now let's change the shapes, spread the hands on out wide, flex the toes, bend the arms at the elbows and extend so now the shapes have changed, the arches are now moving towards the floor. Make an inquiry, go back to the original shapes. Exhale, draw in, inhale reach away.

Exhale, pull in, inhale one more time. Just inquire, like how does that feel, where does that movement come from? And hold it and then reset, pause. So some crawling with our feet flat. The right arm and the left leg lift they go slightly forward and we switch.

We go forward, forward, forward forward, not off the mat. Reset and then find either left right or right left and reverse. So just sliding, keep your eyes forward, push from the ground as you crawl backward and then reset. Let's do it again, forward. So if you're at home you could go the whole width of your room or length of your room and have a good old time with it.

And then pause, and last time going back, controlling. Come back to the center and reset. Now can you go to the side? So I want you to first crawl to me. I'm not gonna tell you what to do I'm just gonna let you figure it out.

So I'm gonna go and you're going to think how the, what the, how am I? Find the edge of your surface area and then move to the opposite side. Mm-hmm. Reset where you are. So just so that you know in order to move to the side to me the arm that's furthest away from me, lift it up and the leg that's closest towards me, have to go step first and then step.

Away side to me side, away side to me side and reset. The side that's closest to me steps to the center line and we reverse. I can't tell what you're doing but my gang here are doing an amazing job, I nearly fell off this damn mat, and then come back into the center. So cat roll up, so come to the fingers, round the spine, you'll be happy to know that we're coming off the hands. So use your belly, relax the arms down by your side and up you come.

Just to make it easy for filming why don't we everybody face me, then I can see all your lovely faces. All right, so we're just gonna do a little wrist mobes, remember how we did the feet, let's do the wrists. So we roll the wrists, we're making a light fist and we're rolling those carpal bones around, and then we're reversing, yeah. Now we'll do the same thing but we'll open the hands and this time when you roll lead with the pinky finger, think about my pinky is leading the way. Then reverse your roll and lead with the thumb.

Lead with the thumb is just a different inquiry and a different experience. And then release the hands together, roll, loose loose loose loose loose and then reverse the roller and then pretend you're in a '90s movie and you can do the whole thing and then reverse. Show me the palms of your hands and stretch. Now in this orientation think about your shoulders moving away and your palms are wide and everything is wide. Yes, and then show me your knuckles.

You thought I was gonna say something else, but I meant your knuckles, not knockers but your knuckles. And bring it back, and now show me the size of your hands, press forward, a little deviation there. Press it forward, it's a little tricky, yeah yeah yeah yeah, and then give it a shake. So let's just do a little bit of high kneeling. Not much 'cause we'll do more in our flow later.

So bring the arms on up, we're going to go to our right first, and we're just gonna place the hand on the floor, take the left leg out and bring the top arm up and make a shape that looks something like this. Now if you have trouble getting to the floor use a block. Bend that bottom arm, push down and use a little bit of energy and bring yourselves back up, awesome. Take the arms up, bring the hand down, reach on out and take the torso forward and the head back just like we did earlier on inside lying. Bend the bottom elbow, push up and restack.

Do it again, take it down, just freestyle, you're just enjoying that side position, opening the hip, finding the glute. Push and reset, yeah. Last time, out and over. Good job, press that hip forward. And then push down and reset, a little back stroke.

Arms are gonna go overhead, we're lying on our back in the pool. One arm's gonna reach behind us and then bring it up, it doesn't matter which, the other arm is reaching. I like to inhale, we're swimming down the pool, working our way to the flags or the end of the pool. One more, same same but this time we're going to follow the hand and add a little rotation. And pick up the tempo a little bit.

(inhaling and exhaling) Two more. Last time. And release the arms down, little dive and expand. Bring the arms on out, dive on forward, bring the knuckles together, rounding, and then expand inhale. Exhale, curl forward, and inhale.

And you might notice there's this theme, this recurring theme, and one more time, forward and return, and pause, arms down. So now we just have to progress to standing. First of all we're going to bring out hands to our pelvis and we're just gonna do a little baby hinge squat. These guys are gonna stay there, I'm just gonna face sideways. So first of all we're squatting, right, so we're going to send the pelvis away from us, widening the sit bones, enjoying some head neck control, push the shins down and reset.

The hips widen and lift, so this is a really nice way to work on hip hinging in preparation for standing and squatting, which we do all day long. One more time. And up and pause. Now this time the hands are gonna come down to the ground. There are many different ways to get to standing.

Today we're going to do this one, we'll tuck the toes and we're going to invite our hips up into like an upstretch or like a downward facing dog. So the hips go up, don't worry about the pelvis, and then the knees come down and the head comes up of course. The hips up head down, and the knees down head up. We'll do a couple more, push away from the ground and then bring yourselves back and push away from the ground and bring yourselves back, and then come back into high kneeling. Relax the feet down, I'm gonna turn back to you, bring your hands towards your hips.

So we're going to do a step forward, so we're going to step to half kneeling. Just like that, and then back. And then we're going to step to half kneeling and just like that. Keep going, there's only one rule if there were one rule that we're not allowed to whip around, okay? So use your spine and flex it if you need to draw in from the navel, we'll do just two more.

And again in our flow class we go into detail about this hold. Good, now tuck the back toe underneath you. Maybe you have to have your hands to your knee, maybe the hands to the floor. Somehow stand up and we're all together, and pause. Very nice, go down the way you came.

I'm going to show the regression here and then we're in high kneeling. Other leg, remember no whip around, bring it in front. Either hands to the knee or the floor, lift the hips up, step forward and back the way you came. Now continue something like this. Don't worry if you get confused about which leg.

Know that that back toe is critical for the hip drive coming forward. We're gonna do one more time. And up and standing. We just progressed through like 12 months of most development progression in like 45 minutes. Let's face one another to finish the class.

And so here we just want to just recheck our system and reset. So for a second close your eyes, I'm gonna face you and you're gonna close your eyes, I'm just gonna talk you through the imagery. First of all release the breath from your body. So maybe take a few inhales (inhales) and let the breath fall out over the surface of your lips. And again the inhale (inhales) and over the surface of your lips, exhale.

So as we stand I want you to notice the dynamic nature of your posture. So the body may twitch a little bit, maybe the fingers move. Maybe there's a shift of weight from one foot to the other. Maybe you're aware of that inner vibration and we call that postural sway. Eric Franklin goes into detail about postural sway and how we sway around our center line and that's about the dynamic nature of our posture, that's exactly what we want.

And during postural sway usually you feel oh this feels really nice. So the more we sway the better we feel, the more we move, and so on and so forth. We're thinking about our system, how we've refined our movement skills. We worked on mobility through the motor development progressions, we were like animals. We did some ancestral postures by standing up and down, then the happy baby.

We restore the movement patterns from the deep mobility and the preps that we did. So we get to be in our joints however that feels to us. And in the end that makes us feel revitalized so you open your eyes and you reach your hands towards the ceiling and twiddle your fingers, you're like a gymnast, you're like yes, I just did 10 points. And then take a deep breath in, release your breath from your body (exhales) open your eyes, turn your head a little side to side and give yourself a little high five.


1 person likes this.
So glad to see you have a little something on PA to hold us until you come back to Europe for a full training program! :) I love watching you teach and look forward to more!
Sandy - I'm thinking about coming in September- will keep you posted.
1 person likes this.
I loved this class. It was wonderful. I think there was a move missing on the second side at the beginning of class. I might be wrong.
LOL - thanks J - you're probably right although I've not checked. Thanks for being vigilant, you would be great to have in class to keep me on track!
1 person likes this.
Delighted to see this sort of class as I really enjoyed Philip beachs class. This was wonderfully taught with a flow that really helped mobilise me. Thought provoking, will be lovely to use sections in a mat class. Just a little unsure of the bridge when in side lying???? Not quite following the idea behind the movement
1 person likes this.
I loved this class. I really enjoyed the linking and the natural body movements. Horizontal rolling is something we forget how to do and it's amazing how many people are stiff and tight when trying to do this for the first time. Thanks Louise. Great class.
1 person likes this.
Thank you! I taught the first part of this series to my people and they loved it:)
Rina S
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Great, fun class. I has trouble doing Louise's first class. I'm hoping now it will be more doable. If not, I'll do this a few more times and try again.
1 person likes this.
Awesome foundation class! Way to go Weezie
1 person likes this.
love it :)
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