Class #3138

Strong Mat Flow

55 min - Class
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You will feel rejuvenated and full of energy after this Mat workout with Rael Isacowitz. He teaches a strong class focusing on flow and precision. He includes many traditional exercises along with a few variations and sequences designed to challenge your entire body.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome to the BASI Pilates Academy, fully furnished with BASI Systems equipment. We're gonna spend a great Sunday morning together doing a good, strong, flowing but precise mat work series. So, two words that we keep in mind all the time, flow and precision. And I urge you all to take this time to fully immerse yourselves in this class. For the next 50 minutes, shut out the outside world.

Be fully immersed in the moment. Give yourselves the gift of this time. So, I want to thank Cara, Lauren, Ellsworth for coming in and assisting with this class. I couldn't do it without your energy. So, thank you all.

And with no further ado, let's begin. Starting off today in a seated position, feel that you're perched on your ischial tuberosities, on your sit bones. Building your alignment, and don't be shy to use your arms for support. So, the upper body is working. You're sitting nice and tall, and you're feeling the back extensors holding you up, supporting you and a long line of energy running up the spine.

And we inhale (breathes in), and exhale (exhales slowly). And inhale and exhale. (exhales slowly) We take another inhale, reaching the tip of the head upward, and as we exhale, we round the back without tipping backwards. We're feeling the elasticity of the spine. And inhale as it springs back into its straight position. Exhale as you stretch and open each vertebral joint.

And inhale, coming up to straight. This time, we add the arms. We exhale, accentuating the curve with the arms, keeping the scapula in place, opening out, inhale. And exhale as we round the back, stretching. And inhale and exhale. (exhales slowly) This time we lift the arms overhead.

Inhale as we straighten up. Open the knees; don't move the feet. Just allow the knees to fall outward and stretch forward. Lifting up, inhale, bringing the knees, legs back to parallel and around. Exhale (exhales slowly), and lift up, opening the legs, allowing the hip joint to open out, stretching the spine, and lifting up.

The knees come back to parallel. Arms open out and exhale. This time we roll down just slowly to the sacrum, the lower back, to the point where you can come up again, and rolling up, lifting the arms, opening the knees and stretching. Oh, that feels so good. And lifting up, bringing the legs to a parallel position, opening out again and rounding and slowly rolling down and lifting up and reaching toward the ceiling.

Allow the legs to open and stretch forward. And lifting up, bring the legs into parallel and exhale and rolling down. And this time, we bring the legs a little closer to your pelvis. This is gonna be your Pelvic Curl position. Lifting the arms, palms facing forward.

You're still nice and lifted, lifting a little higher. Feel that lower back sinking into the mat. And slowly, elongate the arms overhead and inhale and exhale as you curl up, pressing the arms into the ground. Use the arms for support. Make sure that the feet are nicely spread on the mat, keeping the inner thighs engaged.

The hamstrings are working, and the abdominals are pulling the pubic symphysis towards your sternum. A big inhale and exhale as you articulate the spine down, reaching the arms overhead. And inhale and exhale as you roll up (exhales), arms down at your sides. Inhale and exhale as you roll down. (exhales slowly) And inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale as you roll down.

Try and feel more flow and more depth in this exercise than you ever have before. And inhale and exhale (exhales slowly), lifting up, lifting up, lifting up, lifting up. Inhale and exhale as you roll down, down, down, down, down, down. As the arms are reaching overhead, feel the length. If you find yourselves with your heads off the mat at this point, please just scoot down a little.

And we transition to bring our arms around to a T-position. Again, if you need to move down the mat a little, that's absolutely fine. Lifting the leg that's closest to me, and lift the other leg. Bring the legs toward me as you inhale and exhale. And inhale, away from me, and exhale.

And inhale, make this abdominal dominance. So don't allow the back to start arching in your endeavor to keep the legs squeezing together. And inhale as you come over. And exhale and reach over. And exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale.

And reach towards me and exhale. And to the back and exhale. Take your arms back overhead to feel the stretch of the shoulders. We're going to do 300 Prep, meaning we'll lift up, exhale. Good.

And inhale, just easing into the work. And two. And three. I think we need to do two more. And four. (exhales slowly) But, on the fifth one, we're going to go straight into the Hundred.

And five, straightening the legs out. Inhale to prepare and (whispers) one, two, three, four, five. Inhale, two, three, four, five. Two. (exhales) Inhale. Three.

Inhale. Four. Five. Bending the knees, holding the back of the legs, and lifting up a little higher, allowing the lower back to sink into the mat, keep it nice and high. This is critical, and don't be shy to use your arms to get that position.

And ready, we shoot the legs out again, inhale, prepare, and (exhales repeatedly). (exhales repeatedly) (exhales repeatedly) (exhales repeatedly) (exhales repeatedly) And bend, bend, pulling in, pulling in, putting the legs down. I want you to straighten the leg that's closest to me, taking the arms out to a T-position as the other goes up to the ceiling. Flexing the foot, bringing the leg toward me, so we do an inhale for a circle and exhale for a circle. An inhale for a circle and exhale for a circle.

An inhale for a circle, exhale for a circle. Inhale, other direction. So we go inhale and exhale and two and exhale and three, keeping the pelvis still. And four and exhale, the arms are active. Five and exhale.

Point. Lifting up where you are, bend, stretch. Lifting up, so you look at that leg. Flexing and bring it down. Ready, going to the back as you inhale and exhale, crossing the leg over the other leg.

Exhale and three and exhale and four and exhale and five. Other direction. And one and dah and two and dah and three, dah, and four and five. And up, pointing, lifting the body as you bend the knee, stretch out. From here, lift a little higher.

Bring the arms forward so the palms face each other. And we do a Roll Up, keeping that beautiful C curve. Inhale (inhales slowly) and exhale as you roll down. Pause in that Chest Lift position, and then stretch out. And inhale. (exhales slowly) Pause in that beautiful Chest Lift position.

Come a little further forward, Lauren, a little further forward, Ellsworth, so the shoulders are maybe slightly forward of the hip joints. And inhale, feeling that stretching of the lower back. Breathe into that lower back. Open the vertebrae and exhale. That lower back gets tight.

That is an issue we have. And inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale, reaching back and back. And inhale, (exhales slowly) exhale and inhale and exhale, back, back, back. And inhale, (exhales slowly) exhale. I'm just gonna move a little forward.

Inhale and exhale (exhales slowly) and reaching back. And last one, we inhale and exhale. Hold that C curve. Lean back just slightly and draw the legs in to Roll Like a Ball. And I want you to feel the connection between that Roll Up and Roll Like a Ball.

Same body position as you inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. No reason to tuck the head any further than the line of the spine. And inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale. One last one, inhale and exhale.

And stretching the legs out, stretching the back out. Ah, we did all that flexion. We wanna get a little bit of extension, walking down the legs or slowly gliding down the legs. If you see me flexing my foot, it's just because I'm cramping a little. That's not part of the choreography.

Okay, the leg closest to me stays in the air. The other goes down to the ground to anchor you. And hamstring pull, pull, pull. And (exhales twice). And (exhales twice).

And (exhales twice). And (exhales twice). And (exhales twice). (exhales twice) (exhales twice) (exhales twice) Hands behind the head and (exhales twice). (exhales twice) (exhales twice) (exhales twice) (exhales twice) (exhales twice) (exhales twice) (exhales twice) Nine.

Rotate toward me and one (exhales twice). Two (exhales twice). (exhales twice) (exhales twice) Don't over rotate; think of the flexion. (exhales twice) (exhales twice) (exhales twice) Both legs to the ceiling. Both legs to the ceiling.

Bend the knees and do a little curl, pull, small, and curl and curl and four and pull. Hold it; hold it. Hold it in; hold it in. And slowly put the feet down. Arms down into a Shoulder Bridge.

We've been in flexion. We now wanna get a little bit of extension. So, we do a Pelvic Curl, rolling up (exhales slowly), pushing the feet into the ground. (exhales slowly) The leg closest to me, gently lift and stretches. And exhale, inhale and two (exhales) and three and up and four, up, five, up, six, up, seven, up, eight, up, nine and ten. Stay up.

Keep it flexed. Take the leg out to the side, one and center. And two and center and three and up and four and up and five and point, lifting, lifting, bracing into that opposite hamstring. Bend, down. Other side, reaching up.

And exhale and up and two and up and three and up, four, up, five, up, six, up, seven, up, eight, keeping the pelvis still, nine and ten. Stay up. Ready, five to the back of the room. One and (exhales) and two (exhales), three (exhales), four (exhales), five and point. Bend, lifting a little higher, lifting a little higher, lifting a little higher.

And slowly, as you roll down, take the arms overhead, palms facing each other. Straighten the leg closest to me and then the other leg, straighten. So you've got this long line. And we lift up (exhales slowly), roll up. Inhale and exhale as we roll down.

And stretch and inhale. (exhales slowly) Hold it there. Straighten out the back. We just used that Roll Up as a nice transition, and we're ready for the Spine Stretch. We'll do three without a back extension, three with a back extension. So we're lifting up, inhale and exhale as you roll through the spine.

Inhale and exhale as you roll up. Inhale and exhale as you roll down. And inhale and exhale, rolling up through the spine. And inhale and exhale. (exhales slowly) And inhale and exhale. Now, three more with the back extension.

When we're down there, inhale and exhale as you roll down. And inhale as you extend the back and the arms. And slowly down and rolling up through the spine. And inhale (inhales slowly) and exhale. (exhales slowly) And inhale, extend and down and rolling up through the spine. And inhale and exhale, down.

Inhale, extend the back. Hold it there. We rotate toward me and back to center. Rotate to the back and back to center. Don't keep the arms too wide.

And back to center. And away from me. And back to center. Toward me, and this time, we put the arm down. Take this arm up to the ceiling and give yourselves a stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch.

And then you can lower the arm even further to try stretch on the diagonal. Take the arm up to the ceiling and meet in the center. And rotate. Put the arm down. We're still overhead.

Beautiful, take the arm to the ceiling. Oh yes, look at those lines. Take the arm even further to get that stretch. To the ceiling and as we come overhead, we come back to center, boom. A little faster.

So rotate and down, to the ceiling and out, to the ceiling and center. And rotate and down, to the ceiling and out, to the ceiling and center. All the way forward and taking your legs and bringing them in. We'll do three Open Leg Rocker Prep and then three, little more extension in the back Lauren. Oh, I know you've got it.

That's it. Eyes a little lifted. We round the back, and we roll and roll and up. And we round the back and roll and roll and up. And round the back, roll and roll and up.

And for the big league, we go roll and roll and up. And roll and roll and up. And roll and roll, and one more for everyone. And roll and roll and up. We find it; we find it.

We bring the legs together. Bring the legs together, letting go. And slowly lower the legs, feet flexed, palms facing the ceiling for Spine Twist. Towards me and one, two and back, two. Don't overuse the arms.

And back, two and pull, two. Keep the head aligned with your chest, nose, over your sternum. And dah dah and pull pull and pull pull and dah dah and dah dah. Take the arms overhead. Take a nice stretch forward.

And from here, we go into a challenging sequence. Bending your knees (exhales slowly), we slowly roll over and stretch the legs. We roll into a ball, balancing the ball, and stretch the legs out. Pull in, roll over, pull in, stretch. Pull in, remember stretch doesn't mean elevate the shoulders.

All it means is stretching the spine, pulling in. Oh, you're amazing! You're all amazing! Pulling into that ball, we don't have any arm support yet. We're looking good. And we roll and over. One more, no arm support.

Look at that internal control. This is the mind-body we're talking about. And stretching out. And the last one, we stay over there. You pull in, stay there, advanced Corkscrew.

Bringing the legs toward me, rounding. Legs go around. Come up the other side. Taking the legs away from me, rolling down that one side of the back, twisting to the other side and up. And three, rolling around, up and four and around and around.

Last two, twisting, Corkscrew, around and around. And twisting and around and around and around. Slowly roll down the center, taking the legs to 60 degrees. We'll do three Roll Overs. Inhale to 90, exhale, roll over.

Flexing the feet, separate the legs and down. Rolling through the spine, pointing the feet, lowering the legs to 60. Inhale, exhale (exhales slowly), flexing, separate, down, rolling (exhales slowly), point and together. Inhale, roll over, flexing, separate and down and rolling, last one. Legs together, lifting.

Don't open the legs; stay there. Put the hands under the pelvis. Lift the legs to 90 degrees. The leg closest to me comes overhead. The other goes back, scissors, one, two and three and four and five and six.

We're now going to a Bicycle. We try tip the mat behind you, whoa and two and three and four and five and six and seven, other direction, eight. One and two and three and four and again, don't worry about my flexing. It's just cramping. And boom and boom and reaching, bringing the legs up to 90 degrees again.

Take the legs overhead; release the arms. And take the legs down to 60 degrees for the Jackknife. Inhale, exhale and down and up and down and reach. And inhale and over and down and up, down and reach. And three and over and down and up and down and reach.

And four and over and down and up and down, last one. And we'll roll up into a Teaser position and duck and up, down. Ready, roll into a Teaser position and roll up, up, up, up, up, up, up, taking arms around. And we do a preparation for a full Hip Circle. Legs go to the back; arms come to the front.

One and we just scissors, two and scissors, three and scissors, four and five and six. Let the head go with you and eight and nine and ten. Come to center, lifting up. Bend, open the knees and stretch. (breaths deeply) Beautiful work. Facing me, you bring your legs together, facing me, and simply go down onto your side, like that.

We're going straight into the Twist. (breathes deeply) Arm reaching out here, beautiful position. I want you to think of that scapula stabilizer. Think of the intercostals, the obliques. The legs don't do much work, here. Ready and we go up to that Side Plank.

We go under into an Up Stretch and to the Side Plank. And gently, tipping that hip, and we're coming up and under and up and down. And up and under and up. Hold it. Oh yes, hold it.

We've got it. And bring the leg in and take the other leg up. And we do Side Kick Kneeling and back and two and back and three and back and four and back and dah and dah, dah dah, dah dah, dah dah. Stay back; reach that arm up. Bring that arm down to here and just the leg goes up and two and three and four and five.

Hold it, and taking the arm up, leg goes higher. And bring it down, sitting in the center, going to the other side. Ready, reaching this arm out to get that nice length, lifting those eyes. At this point, it pays to smile. It does.

It helps in that last lap as we go out and under and out, Side Plank and down. Keeping those legs together Ellsworth and under and out and out. And out and under and out, bringing the knee in, hand behind the head. And we go, pull pull and back pull and pull pull and back, look straight out Lauren, dah dah, yes, dah dah and dah dah, dah dah, dah dah and dah dah and pull pull and pull pull and reach and reach and reach and reach. Putting the arm down and we go up and two and three and four and five.

Hold it up, lifting the leg and the arm even higher. Open yourselves; open yourselves; open yourselves. Putting the leg down, arms into a Front Support, and we transition into Front Support. Lowering the body slowly down, we stretch the arms forward as we go into the Swimming. Lifting the left arm right leg, right arm left leg, left arm right leg, right arm left leg.

And go Hundreds, breathing. Inhale two three four five, exhale two three four five, inhale two, exhale two, inhale two, exhale two, inhale two, exhale two, inhale two, exhale. Take the arms out to a T-position, keeping those legs in the air. Bringing the back up, putting the elbows under your shoulders, the legs are still in the air. They haven't had a reprieve. (breathes deeply) Looking straight forward, so you're looking out into the distance, palms up to the ceiling.

So you're in a parallel position with the forearms, palms up to the ceiling, feeling that external rotation in the shoulders. Single Leg Kick, starting with the leg closest to me, and you go, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. Inhale, inhale, inhale, inhale. Exhale, exhale, change, exhale, exhale. Inhale, dah, so watch it, Lauren.

Exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. Inhale, inhale, change, dah. So exhale, exhale, other leg, exhale, exhale. Inhale, inhale, inhale, inhale. Dah, dah, la, papa.

Dah dah dah, la papa. Little faster, dah, papa. Dah dah, la dada. Dah dah, la papa. Dah dah, does singing at this point help?

Sayin' dah dah dah, la dah dah. Pull and dah, dah la papa papa. And don't forget your scapula. Dah dah dah dah dah and push out. It's all about the scapula, all about the back extensors, keeping the abdominals there for support.

And gliding the arms forward, reaching the arms back, grabbing your ankles. Rocking Prep, we lift up, and we go slowly down. We lift up and slowly down. And three, lifting up and slowly down. (exhales) Lifting up, staying there, little rocks, two, three, four, five, dah and dah and dah.

Slowly lowering the legs, taking the arms out to the side, thumbs to the ceiling. And lifting the arms, gliding the scapula together, one and two, back extension is so important. Three and four and five, bending the hands, elbows, putting the hands under the shoulders, push into your forearms. So pushing into the elbow and the forearm, into a Rest Position. (exhales deeply) Tucking your toes under, (breathes deeply) push into an Up Stretch, pushing those heels down to the ground. Bring the body forward.

Lifting the leg that's closest to me, just off the ground, and one and two, lifting it, three. The pelvis doesn't move and four, and pelvis stays still and dah and dah. And hold it there. Bend the knee and touch your elbow, outside. One and back and two and back and three and back and four, opening that hip joint, five and back.

Putting the foot down, three tricep Push-ups, one and up and two and up and three and up. Put the knees down. Just tip the knees. Don't change the feet. Take a nice stretch. (breathes deeply) Ready to shoot back into that position as you boom.

Boom, into the position. Point your foot. Other leg and one and down and two and down and three and down and four and down and five and down. Let's hold it up there. Oh elbow, one and back and two and back and three and back and four and back and five and back.

Put the leg down. Three pec Push-ups, taking the elbows out to the side, one and up and two and up and three and up. We call this the BASI Panther. We flatten the back and push those heels back. And then, just straighten the legs, push, pounce.

Back, feel like a panther. Joseph Pilates loved animals. I love animals. I always feel, here, like my dog Shiloh, about to pounce, and up and bend and up and bend. Hold it there for the count to three.

And then, we take a little jump to center. One, bouncing, two, little bouncing, three and jump. (breathes deeply) Okay, now we're ready for another BASI original, and that's the Knee Stretch Knees Off, single leg. If you can prepare for this, you're gonna be ready for the Knee Stretch Knees Off on the reformer. You're keeping a great pace.

Keep it going. Weight is on your upper girdle. You can watch it once. I'll demonstrate three on each side. Then, we'll do it together.

Get a little bit of breath. And out in, out in, out change. Notice how low my pelvis is to the ground, boom. Are we ready? Yes, we're ready.

Five on each leg, no breaks, taking the weight on your arms. Yes, everyone, oh Ellsworth, I know you're excited. Don't rush. Okay, ready, Ellsworth more serratus anterior. Thank you.

Leg closest to me, one and two and three and four and five. Change legs, one and two and three and four and five, in. I loved it. Ready for five Roll Like a Ball, from here. I know it's a leap of faith, oh yes. (breathes deeply) Ready, go, one and two and three and four and five.

Hold it; hold it. Straightening out (exhales deeply), hold it. And from here, lifting the arms, three Teaser 1, leaving the legs where they are. And we lift up and lift and down and down and up and up and down and down and up and up. We'll do one more and up and up.

Teaser 2, holding the hands together, just the legs, one and up and two and up, three. Teaser 3, the arms and the legs, go, reaching out and reaching up. Reaching out and reaching up, three dah dah and reaching up. Lower the legs; lower the legs. Lower the legs, putting them down, arms to the back.

Ready for three Back Support, three Leg Pull Back. (breathes deeply) Lifting that chest, we go up and down and two and down. Three, with the leg, three on each leg, we go one and two and three. Change legs, one and two and three, lifting up, lifting up, lifting up and down. (breathes deeply) Right, we're taking the front leg in front. We're almost finished. We've got one more exercise.

We're doing well. (breathes deeply) We're gonna do the Crab. So hold under the legs. You hold under the legs, holding onto your feet. Beautiful work. We roll, and we stretch the legs.

We change the legs. We pull in deep, and we push, and we roll. And it's not a lot of weight on the head. It's gentle. And we roll, and we roll.

And stretch the legs. Change the legs, and roll, just the right amount of energy. And back and roll and roll and pull back, yes. And roll and change and roll and roll. Let's do two more.

We're enjoying this. Feels so good, rolling, changing legs. Use your arms to push, push yourselves over here, so there's no weight on those legs. One last one, ready, stretching the legs and pushing over. And here, a little surprise for you.

There's almost no weight on the head. Put the hands under your shoulders. And in one fell swoop, we're gonna jump into Front Support. Ready, on the count of three. One, two, three, jump, boom.

Wow! Into a Panther, on the count of three, we jump to the center. One, two, three, boom. While you're down there, just slowly face me. You're down there, uh huh. And you slowly roll up through the spine. (exhales slowly) Yes, (exhales deeply) build your alignment.

Let's do two Roll Downs, (exhales deeply) softening your knees. And inhale and exhale as you roll up. (exhales slowly) And inhale (inhales deeply) and exhale (exhales deeply). Don't worry about your hair. Don't worry about your clothing, keeping the knees bent, relaxing the back, relaxing the neck, slowly rolling up. (breathes deeply) And very gently, we take a nice breath as we bend the knees and (exhales). Feel how, at the same time, you can feel very worked, tired, but full of energy and rejuvenated.

Inhale. (exhales) Now arms to the front, reaching forward (inhales) and then trickling through water. (exhales) And inhale. (exhales) (inhales and exhales) And out to the side again, but this time, we come up to the ceiling, looking up to the ceiling. Bringing the hands together, so we've got a long line. And moving through the center of the body, drawing the center line, so you feel so stable. And then, all the way down. And we go out again.

As the arms reach up to the ceiling, so does the chest to feel that beautiful line, like a laser beam, reaching out to the sky. Feel the energy of the body, bringing it all together in this one moment. I'm so grateful for all that we do together, bringing it all down through the center. And a big inhale (inhales deeply) and exhale. (exhales deeply) Thank you all so much. Beautiful work, beautiful work.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you all out there. Great work. Keep up the energy. Keep working hard.

Thank you all so much. And thank you to Pilates Anytime.

Comments

9 people like this.
I've been waiting for a class with Rael! Thank you for this great opportunity to take a class with one of the most charismatic pilates teachers in the world.
2 people like this.
Thank you, Rael for this great class. I couldn`t keep the pace always but I will try hard to get further. It is your training that helped me with my scoliosis. A gift!
Ira
4 people like this.
YEAH! WOW! AAAWWWWW!!!
Yes,yes, yes! It was amazing! Thank you Rael! Thank you PilatesAnytime!
2 people like this.
Thank you Rael for such a stimulating, challenging and beautifully flowing class.
1 person likes this.
😍thank you for this amazing 52 min 🙌🏻
1 person likes this.
Thankyou Rael for this amazing class, so inspirational!
3 people like this.
Smile, at this point it helps to smile! : ) Love you, Rael!!!!
Excelente clase 🇨🇷💪🏻
Really excellent session - loving the energy:) Just beginning my Pilates teaching journey here in the UK (at 48yrs!). These videos are great. Considering BASI for future Professional Development:) Sarah
Honestly no one gives a mat class like Rael ! This was great :)

Thank you PA family !
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