Class #3132

Creative Mat Variations

45 min - Class
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Test your balance with this creative Mat workout by Anula Maiberg. She allows you to move in the way that works best for your body while trying challenging movements. She includes fun combinations to work on stability and coordination and even adds some partner work at the end so you can enjoy the class with a friend!
What You'll Need: Mat, Triadball, Magic Circle

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Hi guys. We're here to teach and do this mat class that I have for you. What we're going to start doing with James and Erin and Davica and Leslie is come up to standing. And, what I'd like you to do is the ring that's at the back end of your back and bring it between your ankles. And, stand at the back end of your mat, please.

Great. And, put it just above your ankle bones and walk your feet as close together as humanly available to you. Great. And then let's start with three regular roll downs, so on your exhale nod your chin toward your chest, roll down through your spine. And, you can see your feet from here, and if they're not in parallel, please bring them to parallel, and then gently roll back up.

I like to roll up and down with a soft knee, but if you have a different opinion about that feel free to try and do the thing you like. You're just rolling up and down and then back up. Good, and this is your time so you do the last one to see if you like putting weight into the heel, if you like putting weight into your toe, if that's something that you care about, and if you want to even that out this is a good chance to do that. Great. Then you can let your arms rest down by your sides, and if you feel like you've walked your feet as close together as you can, I'd like you to try and rise up onto your toes, and then gently lower back down, and I'd like you to try that about eight times.

Lifting up, trying to keep some pressure into the ring as you come up, and then trying to keep some pressure into the ring as you come down. Good. Great. Yup. And, if you're finding that doing this on the mat doesn't feel good, you can always step off the mat, and if you find that you want to just lift a little bit off the floor, that's also fine.

These guys are lifting up really high, so good for them. Two more. And one more. Great, now I want you to try and lift yourself up, and then try a couple of roll downs with whatever level of success you find. So, this entire class is going to be ways to thwart these people into not succeeding, so don't, "Oh, I can't do this.

"I'm not good at this one." No one's good at this one. And, then lower your heels down, and then lift your heels up and try it again. So, you're just trying to do this really hard thing for no other reason other than trying to do a hard thing. Yeah, and down. Okay, that's the theme of today.

And, lower your heels and this is the final one. You go up, and then you do whatever you think I said to do which is roll down. Yeah, and you're just feeling out what your foot needs to do to survive and then come back up. Super nice, great. Now I'd like you to shift your weight into your right foot, lift your left foot off the floor, flex it, and we're just going to squeeze into the ring for 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one and down.

Switching sides. Lifting the right foot up, flexing the foot and squeeze for 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one and down. Pick your left foot up, flex the foot, good. Now you're going to try within reason to roll down and walk out into a plank. Yeah.

So, they're doing what they think this is and they did it, and then they walk back. You're like, "Why though?" Why do that? 'Cause it's hard. Good, and we're gonna try the same side again. And, whatever level of success you're having is fine, yup, good.

And, back up. So, they're not having a problem. (all laugh) So, you know, do that. One more time. I can just sit.

Good. Yeah, good. And, back up. Super nice, switching sides. Yeah.

Good. For this one, they're gonna pretend that it's hard for them. They're gonna roll down. Pretend that you're like, "Oh, I'm falling," you know? Yeah, there you go.

Not a big deal. And, up. This is the warmup. Good. (Anula laughs) And then down, so it doesn't bode well.

Yeah, good. Was that two? One more. Super nice and come all the way up. And, gently lower your foot down, take the ring out please.

Put it at the front end of your mat, just lay it down. Come down to hands and knees elegantly, facing your ring. Good. Now take your ring perpendicular to the floor with your right hand over it. Yeah, straight right arm, left hand underneath your shoulder, good.

Now from here we're trying not to press into the ring for deal life just yet, and then on your exhale extend your left leg back, great. Pause for a moment. On your next exhale, nod your chin to your chest, pull your knee to your nose, round your spine, and lengthen back out for five, exhale for four, exhale for three, super Pilates about it, exhale two, exhale one, lower your knee down please. Now we're gonna take the ring three inches out to the right. Yeah, so now it's a little bit on the diagonal, and then we're going to extend the right leg back first, tuck the toes underneath the foot, extend the left leg back second, separate your feet more than you think, come out into a very unstable plank, and hold for five, four, three, enduring discomfort, two, one, lower your knees down, switching sides.

So, left hand on top of the ring, in line with your shoulder relatively. Right hand underneath your shoulder, good. Get a breath, reach your right left back, exhale knee to nose, round your spine. Good, if you want to add a little bit of extension, you may, and then nod and round. Good, and this is three, and back.

Good, try to move the ring minimally as an added challenge. Good. Good. And, down. Lower your knee down.

Take the ring two inches, three inches, to the left, extend your right or left leg back. It doesn't really matter, and then extend the other leg back, separate your feet a tiny bit. Mm-hmm, good, and then you're just going to hold for five, four, three, two, one, lower your knees down. Set the ring down gently, sit back onto your heels, reach your arms forward, drop your head, inhale for three breaths. And, one more breath.

Great, grab your ring and come sit on your mat, facing one another. Lengthen your legs long in front of you and roll all the way onto your back. Reaching the ring straight up towards the ceiling, flex your feet, bring your legs all the way together. On your exhale, I want you to roll all the way up and over your legs, like a roll up, just like it, and then down. Pretend you're doing a roll up.

(Anula laughs) And, exhale coming up. Good. Just like a roll up. Good. And, again.

Yup. Good. (Anula laughs) This is hard for James. And, one more time. There he is.

Good. And, then down. Good. Now reach your right leg straight up towards the ceiling, take the pad of your right foot into the pad of the ring. Stretch your leg up, great.

Good, hold on with both hands. On your exhale, nod your chin toward your chest and roll up. And, let your right leg come down to meet your left leg. And, then roll back. Yeah, so you're doing this thing now.

Exhale coming up, good. And, then down. And, exhale coming up, and sit tall for a moment. Now on your next exhale, you're gonna roll back, and as you roll back, you pick your right leg up, and you're gonna kick your left leg up also, so you're coming up into a rollover-y job. So, let's just try it.

Pick your right leg up, start rolling back, pick your left leg up, kick up, and then come back and sit. That's right. And, we go. Kick and back. That's right.

And three, kick up, and back. And four, and back. One more time. And back, slowly roll all the way down. Pick your right leg up, switch legs.

Lengthen your right leg onto the floor, left leg up to the ceiling, and exhale roll all the way up, find a seated position, and roll all the way back. And again. And back. And again. And back.

And one more time. And back. Good. Now we're gonna come up all the way, and as you roll back you're gonna kick your right leg back. So we go up, kick, and up.

And two, and up. And three, and up. And four, and up. Last one. And up all the way, take the foot out, hold onto the ring on either pad, roll all the way onto your back.

Pick your knees up in towards your chest, take the ring between your ankles, that's right. Yeah, that's right. Good, hands behind the head. Good, nod and curl, lengthen your legs straight up towards the ceiling, great, and we're gonna try and turn the ring, so you're right leg is in front of your left leg, and then turn left leg in front of right leg and turn. Great.

And turn, yeah, roll in the take. And turn, good. You're not good at this and turn. (all laugh) Don't look over here, turn. Good, and turn.

Two more. Yep, it's a thing that's happening. And one more, bend your knees, drop your head. Good job. Take the ring into your hands, hug your knees in toward your chest for a second, roll a little bit from side to side, great.

Now from here, I want you to come up into a seated position facing one another. I think you'll be fine from where you are. Put the ring to the side for a second. Come into your rolling a ball position or whatever you think that is, yup, great. Thank you.

And, I'd like you to do five rolling like a balls. Good, one. Yep. Two. Three.

Four. And five. Now take your elbows on top of your knees, palms face back. The point is going to try and keep the elbow and the knee touching and roll back for six. Five.

Yup. Four. Three. Okay, two. Uh-huh, and one.

Grab onto your ankles again, lower your feet down, rest for a moment. Okay, so the point of the next thing is not to come up to standing, but to plant your feet down on the floor and lift your seat up half an inch off the floor. So, reach your arms forward, roll back as if you're doing rolling like a ball with your arms extended, and then roll up, and try and lift your seat up one inch, and down. And again for five, this is two. And three.

And four. And five. Good, now... Great, now from here we're going to try and do the same thing, but extend one leg forward, so everybody's going to extend their right leg forward and then try and lift their seat up off the floor one inch with their left foot on the mat. Arms forward, inhale.

Exhale, roll back. And, slam your left foot down, up and back. And two, that's right. I don't need you to get up. Three, good.

Four. And five, switching sides. Whatever you think I said. One, yes. Two.

Your understanding of this is fine, three. Four. And five, and roll onto your back, hug your knees in. Good, rock a little bit from side to side, and take your ring and turn on to your front. I like your feet to be towards one another, so just turn in with your ring.

Good, now prop the ring up, so it's perpendicular to the floor again, and take both hands on top of the ring with your right hand over the left hand. Good. On your exhale press down into your arms and do all the things we say to do as you extend your spine up, right? And, then slowly come back down, so whatever you like to do in extension, you're doing here. Right, you lift up and come back down.

And exhale. And down. And exhale. And down. And exhale.

Good. And down. Now I'd like you to press down a little bit, lift your chest up a little bit, lift your right arm, look at your right hand, and then follow it with your gaze as it goes all the way back to your right hip, and bring it back to the ring for five and follow, four, and three, and two, and one, lower all the way down, flip your hands. Five times we're coming up through center. Coming up and down, so how much you smush the ring really is up to you.

You can make it a really big gesture, or you can make it more decorative, right? Good. And this is four. That's right and five. Super nice.

Now you're going to lift yourself up, look at your left hand, follow it with your gaze all the way back to your left hip and come back to center for five, four, really nice, three, two, and one. And, lower all the way down, put the ring down gently. Just push it slightly away from you, yep. Not so it's super super in your way. Good, take your hands underneath your shoulders.

Mm-hmm, good. And then do your understanding of swan here, so lift your chest up, yep. And, you're gonna go to your end range, wherever that is on your body, and then come back down. Right. And do that again.

And down, and one more time you come up into what you think swan looks like. Great. And, all the way down. Great. I want you to turn onto your right side.

Good, now I want you to take your right hand on top of your left shoulder, and take your left palm in front of your chest, let you head go, bend your knees. Good, and then on your exhale, I want you to push the floor away, and come up into a side bend, extending your left arm, and then come back down. And, coming up. Good, one arm pushup, and down. And, there's a lot of wiggle room in terms of where you're gonna put this left hand, so it can be in front of your shoulder, it can be in front of your chest, fuss around with it.

Yep. This is five. (Anula laughs) Out of 50. Good, come all the way down, turn yourself the other direction. Good, so hand on opposite shoulder, palm in front of chest, and you're doing five one arm pushups which at the end of the day that's five one arm pushups, so it's not a lot.

Good, one more time. Super nice, good. Grab onto your ring, roll onto your back. Good, so we're gonna take the ring, we're gonna straighten our legs long onto the mat, and I'm just gonna show on James. He's gonna put the ring on top of his left leg, and he's gonna take his right leg over the ring, so this is our new life.

Good. And, then lie down. Good, reach your arms up, take a deep breath. Exhale, try and roll up to a seated position. Good, and then come back down.

Good, so if you have hip flexors, this is where you're gonna feel them. If you don't, you won't. Good. Good. Now they're gonna press their arms down, good.

They're gonna pick their legs up and kick them up and over. They're going to lower their legs back down to the mat. And, they're gonna go that two more times. That's right. Good and however you want to switch the ring is fine by me.

Yeah, I haven't found an elegant transition for that yet. I will. Okay, so we're doing three sit ups. Exhaling, coming up. Yeah, and you're like, "Oh, this side's way worse." Good.

And feelings and down. And feel the feelings and down. Good. And arms down, legs up. And we go over three.

Great. Yep. Great. And down, take the ring into your hands. Reach the ring up towards the ceiling, lengthen your legs.

Okay so... (Anula laughs) Just try it. Bring your legs together, good. Now you're gonna try and bring your legs up and over and into the ring, through the ring. Yeah.

Yes. Yes. And, then down. Good, see how you feel about that. Do that a few times.

Gather thoughts. Yeah like, "I like it, I don't like it. "I want to do this more." Yeah, good. Now one more time. Open the legs into the ring, roll up into a teaser.

Good, roll back. Take the ring off your legs, take your legs out, roll up into a teaser, Davica. Good and then roll back and into the ring, push into the ring with your legs, roll up into a teaser. This is only hip flexion today, guys. And then go back, take your legs out, and roll up.

Let's do it one more time for the audience. Exhale back, open, roll up. Good, roll back. Close, roll up. You're in a teaser, good.

Now try and hold your teaser like a champ. You're gonna take the ring, you're gonna bring it to the right side of your body with your right hand on top of the ring, left arm up. Good. Hold for five. Four.

Three. Two. One, switch. Hold for five, yes. Smile like you like it, two.

Three. Four. Five. Collapse. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Yeah, feelings. Yeah, good. We're gonna roll onto our front, we're gonna put the ring between the ankles, so you get a little rest bit. I don't care which way you face. Yeah, so hardest part of the exercise is putting the ring between the ankles, between the ankles, between the ankles.

Good. (Anula laughs) Good, point your feet. Uh-huh, let your head rest on top of your hands. Great. And, all you're going to do is squeeze the ring, release it, flex your feet, squeeze the ring.

Point your feet, squeeze. Flex your feet, squeeze. Yeah, and if you don't like to do any of this foot choreography, don't. Just squeeze. Yeah.

We point and squeeze, we flex and squeeze. You point and squeeze, you flex and squeeze, and point and squeeze, and flex and squeeze. A couple more, super nice. One more. And pick on that you liked, pointing or flexing, and try and squeeze the ring a little bit and pick your knees up one inch and down for eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one.

Let your legs go long, drop the ring down for a second, let it go. That's right, good. Reach your right hand back, hold on to your right ankle, good. Let your left hand be underneath your forehead, great. Great, great, great.

Now from here I want you to glue your left hand to your forehead and as you pick your right knee up, you're gonna lift your left elbow up in your chest. Great. And, then down. Good, let's do that five times. Super.

You can press your hand into your foot and your foot back into your hand and one more. Good, let's switch. Yeah, the ring's in your way, it's annoying. It's fine, and we go. We come up.

And down. And two. And three. Four. And five.

And, press back onto your heels, a little child's pose. Just give your back a little bit of a stretch. Take two breaths. And, gently roll up and sit facing one another. And, sit in what you would sit for saw.

Exactly, good. Now there's a thing that happens here a lot that I'm stealing from a teacher of mine that she says. Don't sit on your crotch. That's a thing. So, I want you to think, especially if you're very flexible here, try and sit on your sitting bones, and then go forward and do a little crotch sitting.

That's a bad term, and then move back. You get what I mean. So, try and find where you're sitting on your sitting bones and then take your hands behind your head. Good, and what we're gonna try and do is side bend to the right. And, then up.

And, then we're gonna side bend to the left, and up. And, side bend to the right, and up. And, side bend to the left, and up. And, side bend to the right. Good.

And, one more time. Good. So, we can think of these as literal side bends or saw preparation, but we're gonna add a movement, so we're gonna side bend to the right. We're going to turn our chest to face our right knee. We're gonna untwist and then come back up, and then side bend left, turn, untwist, and up.

And, this is a riff off of Kathy Grant's side laterals, so this is not how she taught it, but it's definitely influenced by. Good, one more time. And left. And up. Good.

Now we're extend our arms out to the sides and see how our saw feels, so on our exhale we're gonna turn to the right, do our little saw business, come up. And, then untwist and twist, and dive, and tra-la-la, and center. You know the drill, we go and do it, and five, and four, I'm just clicking, three, and two. This is how you do it fast. One.

Good, and then just fold forward for a moment. That's a classical way of doing that. (Anula laughs) And, slowly roll up. Okay, so you guys are gonna turn your backs to me, and you're gonna sit in what we call, I guess, a Z sit or a mermaid sit with your right knee forward and your left knee back, relatively. Great.

Now, what I want you to try and do, even though they can't see me, they can hear me, is try and use your fingertips by the sides of your body first, and then just see if this is something you want to do with your knees today. It might not be a thing that's appropriate for everybody's knees, but make sure that you're back enough on your mat this if you were to come up, you're not gonna come up onto the wood floor. Great. So, we're gonna come up like Davica did before I told her to and then down. And up.

And down. Now, if you feel like you don't need your fingertips on the mat, come up. And down. And come up. And down.

And one more time so you get a sense of what's happening. And switch legs. Good, so just to test the water, use your fingers, and then just come up and down. And, if you find that this is a thing that's not harmful to your body, try and not use your hands. Yeah.

Good, three more. Great. Now the ladies are gonna go look back at James. James is gonna go back to his first side, just because we don't know the choreography for this and he does, so James is gonna come up. Good, now he's gonna take his left foot forward.

Good, and then he's gonna tuck his right foot underneath him, and he's going to come up into a squat. And, then the right leg doesn't actually move. He's in a squat, and he's gonna return to where he came from. Right knee down, and then he's gonna take his left knee back, and he's gonna sit down. It's really annoyingly complicated, but if you keep your right foot planted, you won't go wrong.

If you start fussing around with your right foot too much, it's a mess. And, you might have to practice it more than once. So, everybody's gonna come up together onto their knees. Good. They're gonna take their left foot forward and pivot.

Right, right foot tucked under, and come up into a squat. Nice, right knee down, left knee back, sitting back. Good, let's try that a couple of times. Up, right foot, tuck the toes, squat it down, pivot, un-pivot, right knee back, sit it down. Last time I promise.

Up, left foot, squat it, good, down, knee back, and sit switching sides. That was so nice that I don't know what to say, so good on you. Okay, so we come up. Good, now your left foot is your anchored foot. Right knee comes forward, tuck your left toes, pivot into your squat.

Un-pivot, right knee back, sit it down. Yeah, and up. I don't know how you guys are figuring this out so fast. Good, tuck. Squat, un-pivot, maneuver.

Great, I'm just saying words. And, they come up. Yep. I'm just sitting here, they do the thing, the knee comes down, I'm gonna eat a burger, and good, one more time. I can just leave.

Good. This is where I say use your quads or whatever, good, and don't crush the baby, good. (all laugh) So, you did that, and what I'd like you to try and do is come up to standing if you can like a person. Yeah, great. And, I'm gonna give you each a ball.

Good. And, what I'd like you to do is stand in the middle of your mat in relation to one another. Pick your right foot up. Uh-huh, and I'd like you to throw the ball and catch it. Good, and then keep doing that a bunch of times.

Good, and you can do a thing where you psych the other person out and throw on a little bit of a diagonal, throw it over their head, yeah. (all laugh) This is the day Leslie falls. Make her fall. (all laugh) And, what they're really doing is they're figuring a lot of stuff out with their foot. So, the ball thing is super fun, but they're figuring stuff out about their foot, and then pause.

Walk back. Good, and then try it again. Walk to the end of the mat please, Davica and Leslie. Good. And, now you're further away from one another, and you're just gonna do it again.

Great, so they have a bigger distance between them and they have more to navigate on the surface of their foot and ankle and knee and friendship. (all laugh) So, if you need to make friends and you don't have any, this is a way to get to know people. It's a good dating thing, first date. Two more. And pause, come back to the middle of your mat, switch your legs.

And do the thing, yep. Good. And, this is a good time if you're teaching the class and you need to check your email. Go do that. They're really entertained.

Good. Yeah, and they're also getting tired. Good. If you have small children... Good, and then take a big ole' step back.

Good, and try it again. Good. Sounded aggressive that one. (all laugh) With less anger. (Anula laughs) Good.

Five. Four. Three. Two. One, good.

And, take a break. Put your balls away. Good. (Anula laughs) Good, and then just come down to your mat, yeah. I'd like you to come into a comfortable cross-legged position, yeah.

Great. And, what I'd like you to do is take your right hand to your left knee and extend your left arm up towards the ceiling and then side bend to your right. And, just take a big ole' stretch on that side, whatever that means to you. Yeah. And, then I'd like you to indulge here a little bit longer than maybe you would in your regular day practice, class, whatever.

And, then see if you can keep your left butt cheek grounded, and then try and go a little bit further. And, then take your left hand to your right knee, push yourself back up, reach your right arm up, inhale, and exhale, side bend. I don't want you to side bend like you're waiting for the stretch to end. I want you to side bend like you're trying to let something go. So, if you're not big on stretching just try and endure a little bit longer than you would.

And then, put your right hand onto your knee and pick yourself up. Good. We're all blissed out now that we've stretched, but this side of the room is going to come into their rolling like a ball position again, and this side of the room is gonna stand up. Yeah, good. Move your rings to the side, and then get really close to your partner.

Yeah, good. I'm gonna come somewhere where they can see me. If you are a person who teaches a lot of mat classes and rolling up to standing is something that your students run into trouble doing, I like to pair people up and one, have them have to interact with one another which is, as a New Yorker, not a thing that we do very often, but it also is I can't spot a 15 person class, so I'm gonna make them spot one another. And, if that's not the thing that works for your studio, that's fine, but it works for mine. So, what I'd like you guys to do is do a thing where you roll back, try and roll up to standing, but you're gonna grab your partner's hands, and they're gonna help you up.

So, yeah. So, do the thing. Roll back, feet down, help them up. Even though they don't have a problem doing that, let's say the general population does. And, then try and help them down gracefully, and then they'll roll back.

And, just be there for them. Right, and then down. Good. And, then up. And, they can know that if they have a fear of doing this they can do it.

Good, one more time. Good, and then just switch sides, do the other person. Okay. (all laugh) Yeah, so the person who's helping the other person up isn't passive. They get to move and work.

They're not doing zero things, so roll back and then just be there for your partner and help them. There he is, he's fine, and then down. Yeah. So, it's nice to interact with your fellow classmates once in a while, especially if you teach a lot of big group mat classes, but it's not for everyone. Yeah, good.

Two more. And, come up to standing. Great, and then you thank your partner. Yeah, and you walk back to the middle of your mat, super nice. Good, and let's interlace our hands behind our back, great, and we're just gonna send our knuckles down towards the floor, opening up the front of the chest.

On the exhale, we're gonna dive forward. Yup. Take that moment. And if you can, release your arms gently. Great.

Gently roll back up. Mm-hmm, we're gonna finish with an active stretch. Walk to the back end of your mat, good. We're gonna have a yoga moment here. We're gonna walk out to a plank.

Take the right foot in the outside of the right hand. Extend the right arm up towards the ceiling and spiral and stretch. Great. We're doing this 'cause it feels nice. And, then bring your hand down and switch legs and stretch or work or whatever this makes you feel like, but it does look good.

And down, and switch one more time. And down. And last one. Super good. And down.

Walk back to your feet, good. Now take a little step forward on Davica, yep. Good, yeah you're down there. And, we're all gonna come down to a squat with the heels off the floor. Good, and if you can walk your feet all the way together and your knees all the way together, super.

If not, no one cares. And, then you're gonna try and lift your chest up off your legs, good, and balance. And, if this is a thing you're having trouble doing, hang out here, and if this isn't a thing you're having trouble doing, extend your arms up towards the ceiling. Good. And, if you want to you can turn a little bit to the right, and if you want to, you can turn a little bit to the left.

And, if you want to, you can come back to center, and then lower your hands down and fold over the legs, drop the head, soften your knees. Now bend your right knee more than your left knee and sit back into your left hip. And switch. And switch again. And one more time.

And bend both knees evenly and roll all the way up. And that was class, thank you so much for coming. Thank you.

Comments

5 people like this.
Love you Anula! Great class but with added humor to make it that extra enjoyable. Hope we're going to see more from you!
Great class I enjoyed your combinations!!! Excellent !!!!
Pascale thank you so much!
Elize thank you. I hope you get a chance to check out my classes from last year!
1 person likes this.
Anula Maiberg , another FANTASTIC class . Thank you so much. My clients are loving you Reformer Class. I know they will love your mat too! Always with a great sense of humor!!! I'm definitely going to check out your classes from last year. Thank you!!!
1 person likes this.
Love your classes! Happy to have some more to do!
Vic1234 thank you! I think youll like them 😄
Lori thank you!
3 people like this.
Such refreshing ideas and totally hilarious. Loved it! Thank you
Mandy you are very welcome. Thank you!
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