Class #3143

Back to Basics Tower

40 min - Class


Go deep into the work with this Tower workout by Meredith Rogers. She goes back to the basics, using simple movements that will organize your body. She focuses on moving with ease so you can release unnecessary tension in the body.
What You'll Need: Tower

About This Video

Aug 15, 2017
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Hi, today we're going to go back to the basics on the tower. So just so you know what I have set up, I've got some purple leg springs here, and the roll-up bar set on the second choice down, got some springs set up for the foot work, and I have a pair of handles that I want to use in a little while. So basically that's it. So here we go. So sitting on the tower, with your legs out in front of you and the roll-up bar in your hands, and your eyes looking straight out over the horizon.

Take a breath and let it go. (exhales) And as you take your second breath let go of whatever else you need to let go of so that you can bring yourself present into your body and into this moment, and exhale, letting go of anything that you need to, and inhale again. This time as you exhale, gently guide the springs down towards the shins and elongate and lift the spine and then release the pull of the springs. Again exhale drawing the shoulders down gently and lifting the spine up gently and inhale resist, and exhale. Press and grow tall and then resist the springs as you lift them up.

Just one more time. Exhale, press, and grow tall using the down press of the springs to easy up or lengthen up on the spine and release the springs up and breathe in, and as you exhale, allow the pelvis to rotate backwards or under, into a posterior tilt, and we're gonna lower the spine down bone by bone. So we just lay the spine down onto the bed and then bring the head, the chest forward. Draw into the abdominals and round forward. Bring the shoulders over the pelvis and then bend the elbows and lift the bar or bend the elbows and bring the bar to the chest.

Lift the chest to the bar. Send the arms out straight and round the spine and then exhale, keeping the eyes just straight ahead, feeling the rotation of the pelvis, feeling the lower spine come into the mat. A little downward pull on the springs. Inhale, bring the head and chest up. Exhale, continue that just gentle down press on the springs to deepen the work through the abdominals and then bring the bar into your chest and build the spine back straight again, and inhale.

Reach forward round, and exhale. Peel down. Feeling the inner thighs press together. Feeling the backs of the thighs press down into the mat. Inhale, lift the head and chest.

Connecting through the center of the body, rolling up, shoulders come over the pelvis. Inhale, pull the bars to the chest, lift up, look forward. Exhale, round, reach the springs forward, and roll back, articulating through the spine, allowing for rotation of the pelvis to enable the lower spine to come into the mat. Easy with the shoulder blades, and exhale one more time. Bend the arms to bring the bar into the chest.

Stretch the arms forward. Round the spine, exhale, and roll back. At the bottom, we'll bend the knees. Bring the knees and the feet together. Breathe in as you lift your head and chest just up off the mat.

So looking here for a neutral orientation of the pelvis if possible, but also for the lower spine to imprint onto the mat, and then we'll exhale and deepen that imprint as we curl. Bringing the bar just over the knees, and inhale, drag the springs down. Exhale deep and into the center of the body to bring the bar just over the knees and inhale, pull in to drag the bar down and just continue like that, working into the space in the back that tends to be the tightest area of the back, lower spine. So we're just working that, getting it nice and supple, soft. Open.

And we'll just do that three more times. Remember that it's a good idea to think about working both ranges of motion. So not just on the up but also on the down. Here's the last one, exhaling to lift, inhaling to come down. As you exhale rotate to the left, bringing the right ribcage across to the left pelvis, the left ribcage in towards the left pelvis, and then we'll lift up.

So as we're in rotation we're gonna maintain that rotation. We're gonna keep the knees and the pelvis squared center. Inhale to come down. Exhale to lift up. I think about it as not just a lifting up and down but a bending inwards.

And an elongation downwards. And we'll do five more, pressing the legs together, working in both directions, keeping the eyes just past the thigh bone that you're rotating towards. Last two. And last time. Come back down in the rotation.

Come back through the center, paying attention to the lower half of the body now as you rotate to the right to the opposite side, left ribs across towards right pelvis. Right ribcage sliding towards right pelvis and then we lift and come back. Exhale to lift. And inhale back. I'm just working that rotation but we're also working into the deep flexion of the lower spine, all the while trying to maintain that neutral orientation of the pelvis.

Pulling down and four, pull in and three, pull in, I love the basics, they're my favorite. So easy to go deep. Come back to center. Support through the spine, support through the abdominals, pick the legs up, send the feet over the top of the bar, place the feet down onto the mat, and lay the head and chest down. Organizing for a pelvic curl, breathing in.

And breathing out as we lift the spine one bone at a time, allowing the springs to pull the knees forward. So just letting it be nice and easy, nice and open, exhale, dropping the chest, feeling the ribcage come in. Keeping the space between the scapula. Lower spine comes down all the way into neutral and we inhale again. Exhale, rounding up.

Sending the knees forward with the springs, almost like there's a capacity to create traction. And then exhale as we peel down, deepening into that lower spinal space, so moving through the spine in all different orientations. Pelvis comes down, opening the body. Stretching out and inhale. And as you exhale to lay the pelvis down.

Imagine that the head is being pulled in the opposite direction. So we feel that there is energy in both directions in our body. And that's just something that you can create. You can create energy. So you can create push or you can create ease.

You just do what feels the best to you. And today what I'm endeavoring to do is to create some ease. So just softly flowing easy. Not without detail of course, but movement. This is the last one.

So we're gonna roll down. Once we get all the way to the bottom, curl the head and chest back up and take a hold of the bar. Lift the feet up, bend the elbows, bring the feet in towards the back of the leg. We're gonna try just a couple of gentle rocking. So keep, squeeze the bar with your shins, with your calves, and inhale rock back and exhale come up to balance.

Inhale pull in, rock back, it's pretty small. Exhale, come up to balance. So keeping the elbows wide, I'm quite literally pulling the bar towards me and squeezing the bar with my knees. Inhale as we rock. Exhale as we balance.

Just do two more and reaching back and up. And reaching back and up. And then pressing down on the springs to take the legs out. And I'm just gonna remove these springs. We'll come back to them in a little while.

I just want them to be out of the way. Okay. So taking the safety strap and wrapping it around the bar. I've got two springs hooked up to the bottom here. I'm just gonna put them both on.

All right and then we'll come all the way down onto our back underneath the bar without banging yourself on the head. That's always the goal. The safety strap right in the center. And bring the heels underneath the bar. So positioning the foot right on the heel, flexing through the feet and just pausing for a moment, just feeling the weight of the spring.

So if you just allow the weight of the spring to press down onto the legs so that we can really work into the anchoring of the pelvis. And we're gonna bend and pull the bar in, press the pelvis down and stretch. Inhale, bend, I always think of delaying the bar until I get the pelvis oriented the way I want it and then inhale to bend, and this is a really lovely opportunity, in my mind anyway of, just watching the orientation of the feet. It's also interesting to notice if one side feels heavier than the other. I definitely feel heavier in one side of the body.

Another thing to notice is in the attempt to keep the pelvis down, are we lifting the middle of the back? And hopefully the answer is, is no. So we're gonna come up onto the toes now, pressing the bar away. Keep that orientation of your feet and bend. Tailbone presses down and we stretch.

Inhale, the feet stay in that pointed position. Knees come just parallel. We want to think about as the legs are reaching all the way up to straight to just lift and squeeze through the quadriceps to support that straightening of the knee, pushing forward on the bar with the feet as we bend our knees to make sure that we are active in our hamstrings, pushing forward on the bar as we bend our knees. I'll do two more, pressing down and easing the legs back to straight. Last time.

Yeah, it's a little shaky. I'm not very flexible. So if you notice that shaking, that's just me and my body not being very flexible, and I'm okay with that. Bend the knees, inhale. So I'm in a small V shape with the feet now.

And here we're allowing the knees to come just slightly lower because there's space to do so. So reaching down then stretching away. Inhaling to bend. Soften through the ribs. Feel the ribs spread the scapulas.

The front of the ribs can spread or enable us to help notice the widening and the softening of the shoulder blades. So let's do two more, pulling the bar in and pressing the bar away. Pulling the bar in and pressing the bar away. Return to parallel, flex the feet pull the feet down, and then roll through the feet. Flex the feet.

And that idea of pushing forward on the bar, like you're trying to push it away from you will help you to stay really attentive to the whole back of the leg. So you reach down for that stretch, that deep stretch and press. And we'll do three more and reach, pressing the thigh bones away from the body to drop the pelvis. Last time. And lift, and then we'll alternate the feet.

Bend one knee, stretch, and change. Lift and change. Lift and change. Noticing here as we alternate from side to side the stillness in the pelvis. That's deep stretch up the back of that straight leg and the push, the up push on the bar with the foot of the knee that's bent.

So we have both activity on both sides. We're gonna do one more to each side. Okay, and then we're gonna take the left heel. Now this might be heavy. It might be too heavy.

I know that I can handle this heavy spring, so I'm gonna keep it, but if you want a lighter spring now would be a good time to take one of the springs away. So keeping that left foot on the bar we're gonna reach out with the right leg and then just bend the left knee. And stretch. Inhale to bend. The right leg is reaching forward.

We'll just do three more. Let's just small bend then press the thigh away. And two. And one. Bending the right knee, bringing the right heel up under the bar, stretching the left leg away, allowing the weight of the spring to press down and then really anchor and square the pelvis, and bend, and stretch.

Noticing the alignment from the hip to the knee to the ankle. Bend and press. Last two times. Bend and stretch. One more.

Bend and stretch. So we'll reach up for the bar, bend that knee and take it away. So we're just gonna take the springs away here. You could get up to do that if you wanted to, or you could just do it like that. And then taking the bar with our hands we're just gonna leave it springless for now.

So lifting the legs. But before you do that actually let's scoot so that the bar is directly over the shoulders. Lifting one leg, lifting the other leg. Okay, so just pressing forward on the bar to engage the upper back. Inhale, allow the toes to reach down.

So we're hinging, we're supporting the lower back. Exhale to hinge the legs back up. Inhale, drop the feet to the back of the legs. Exhale, reverse roll like a ball, teeny little ball, come in beneath the bar. Now support yourself as you peel your spine back down.

And lift the feet. Inhale, the legs hinge away. Exhale they come back up. Inhale the feet drop. Exhale we curl bringing the knees in, in, in.

You could try to touch the bar with your feet. Keep the heels towards the back of the legs. Roll down. Squeezing the legs together and lift. So there's a little arm work involved here, for sure.

Exhaling to lift up. Inhale, feet come down. Exhale, curl in. Roll down. It's a fun exercise, I believe.

Two more times. Hinge away, lift back up, feet come down, articulate through the spine, really feel the abdominals working here. Lower the body. Lift the feet. Last time.

Coming up. Feet drop. Curl, pressing the bar away. Rolling back down. Stretching the legs out, lifting the head up, then rolling up.

We'll pass through that teaser position and then we'll take the legs down, spin, and remove the safety strap. So hopefully your leg springs are set up for you right there. We'll lie down on our back and take our feet into the straps. So let's take our arms up and put them up on those vertical poles. I enjoy the purple springs, the heavier springs.

You could also use yellow springs here. We're gonna press the legs forward. And bend the knees. And I want us to feel that the heels are very actively pressing together. Inhale to bend.

And as you press your legs in and out, feel as though they're just sliding across a straight line. Which feels like there's a little down push with the heels all the time. And we'll just do four and pull. Pressing up through the heels, three and bend, two and bend. Last one.

Keep the legs straight, lift them up. Find the tops of the springs, we're gonna press down, separate the legs, evenly bring them around and up. So just using the spring here, to challenge the balance in our bodies from side to side, trying to make very symmetrical circles. They're more like an oval, really, than a circle I think. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong.

And just do four more. So find the back of the legs before you press. Find the back of the legs before you press. Last two. Noticing the rest of the spine is supported.

Noticing the equality of work between the sides and the body. Pause at the top and reverse out, down together, and up. Open, down, reach out of the hips, and up. And reach out of the hips and up. So the arms are energized.

The abdominals are energized. And we'll do four more. Down together. And lift. (exhales) Working with the breath.

(exhales) Using the breath as a calming agent. And lifting up. Take the legs to parallel. Press one leg down, put one leg back. Alternate in a low position, one leg reaches and the other leg pulls back.

And then you catch the tension on the spring, alternate, one leg presses, the other leg pulls back. Alternate, reach down and reach back. We'll do two more to each side. We said simple. We didn't say easy.

Okay, one more to each side. Pull back. And pull back. And then find the center, bend the knees, and take the feet out of the straps. Okay.

So we're gonna get our yellow springs again. You'll have to take them off the bar. And while we're changing springs, we're gonna take the red spring from the bottom and just bring it up and hook it up to the top so it's available for us. The yellow springs are gonna go right here at just above where the push to bar is hooked, and we're gonna put the handles on. Ah.

Okay. So taking the handles in your hands, move into a place where you feel like you have an appropriate amount of tension that will challenge you but also that is a doable spring tension for you. And then reach down with the arms, organizing the body into an upright position and exhale as you press the arms down and back. Inhale forward, exhale press down and back. So we've got a neutral shoulder position, meaning I'm not squeezing my shoulder blades to move my arms.

I'm just thinking about that downward action with the energy in my arms, and I'm taking my arms straight back. And then keeping tension on the spring as my arms come forward. We'll just do four. Reaching up through the spine as our arms go back. And two.

And last time. And now adding a little something fun. So we're gonna press back to the body, tuck the tail, bring yourself back into the thigh stretch. Hold. Lift.

And take the arms forward. And press back, rotate the pelvis under, push down into your springs. Imagine here that you're in the 100 shape. And then hinge in that 100 shape, lift in the hundred shape, and return. I'm smiling because it's hard.

And hundred, so the arms are pushing down, hinge, and hinge all the way up. And release. I guess we should do two more. So curl. Reaching down with the arms and keeping that straight line in the body.

Press the shins down into the mat to lift up. And take the arms forward. Last time. Reaching down. Hinging back.

And lifting up and releasing. Okay. Turning around. Arms coming out to the side. You're gonna lean into the arms, widen the shoulder blades, pull the abdominals in and the ribs back, and then bring the arms just across the front of the body.

And then open, stabilizing. And across. And open. So we add the breath here, 'cause in essence what the arms are doing is what the ribs should be doing. Right?

So that expansion of the ribcage as the arms are opening and the contraction of the front of the body and the narrowing of the ribs as the arms come back. I'll just do one more. So coming forward, rotating the palms down. Reach up with the arms. Take the arms out.

Bring the arms across. Noticing what happens in the shoulder blades, as the arms lift the shoulder blades go forward and under, like a scoop. Open, they rotate. They stabilize as we come back through center abdominals and leaning into the spring, keeping that long line of energy from the head to the knees. Coming across.

Reaching up. And open. And across. Last time. And then together, go the other way.

Go out, push into the straps, forward into the straps. Drop the shoulders, reach the arms up. And press. And by drop the shoulders what I really mean is don't hold the shoulder blades still. Allow them to softly rotate as the arms are reaching up and reach down and out.

So we wanna be able to move the arm independently of the shoulder blade. Or just feel the relationship between the movement of the arm and the movement of the scapula. But if we try to hold the scapula still as we're moving our arms, especially as we're moving our arms over our head, we're gonna get stuck. So we want that nice flowing rhythm between the arm and the scapula. Let's just do one more.

Out, overhead, and down. Bend the arms. Just the aim, just about at the chin level and take one arm forward and alternate. So let's add an inhale, inhale, (exhales) and inhale, inhale. (exhales) Stabilizing the trunk.

(exhales) One more. (exhales) Bend, come all the way up and take those straps, I guess they could just stay there, right? They can just stay there and go away. And then we'll hook up this spring onto the bar. And take that spring in your hand.

So we're using a stabilization of the shoulder here. We're gonna take the opposite arm out to the side and then we're gonna reach down into that bar. So you reach up and over with the opposite arm. Let's take a full breath here, breathing and expanding that ribcage. And then as we exhale we're gonna bring the arm down.

Think of pushing the lower bar, the bar in your hand away with your shoulder blade. So again, inhale, lift the arm. Exhale, take the body over. Full inhale breath, breathing in, expanding the ribcage. Exhale, arm down.

Simple, but it feels so good. And reaching over. Pausing, deepening into that stretch, and then coming back and down. We're gonna add some rotation now. So we go over on the inhale.

Exhale, reach up towards the top of the tower, over the top of the tower and rotate, pressing the opposite hip forward. Come back on the inhale and exhale to come up. We'll do three. Inhale to reach over. Find your stretch, exhale, create rotation.

(exhales) Come back. And up. Last time. Inhale down. Exhale reach up and over.

Reaching for the top of the tower, oh I touched it, exciting. And back. And all the way up. And just bend that arm to release the spring. And we'll change sides.

So the opposite arm is gonna come up as we inhale. We're gonna exhale and reach, oh I found my tight side. So inhale, big, expand those upper ribs, and (exhales) exhale and come back. Pushing that bar away. Energetically and not allowing the bar to manage the shoulder, or keeping the shoulder stable by pressing the bar away.

Arm comes up. We reach over. And full extra breath. (exhales) And arm comes up. I hope you have something as nice to look at as I do.

Really enjoying the view today. And reach out. Been away from home for a few weeks and I'm just happy to be home. (exhales) Here comes our rotation. So we go over, inhale.

Exhale, twist over the top of the tower. Pressing the hip that you're twisting towards forward. Come back. And all the way up. And inhale to reach up and over.

And exhale, big rotation. And back. And all the way up. And last time, reaching over. Exhale for your rotation.

Inhale to come back. Exhale to come up. Find the top. And then bend the arm to release the bar. So just turn towards the bar.

Push it down and come onto your stomach. I always like to look back and make sure I'm lined up especially when I'm all by myself. So the bar is overhead. It's being held in the hands. We're gonna let the head start to lift up.

We're gonna start to just allow, in your mind, allow yourself to believe that the weight of the spring coming back as the shoulder blades slide down is lifting your spine up. So it's like, super easy of tension. Okay, so lifting through the waist, right? Just a gentle support system coming around the front, energy through the legs. And then in our imagination we can lift the nose.

Well, that doesn't have to be an imaginary thing. But in our imagination we can just allow the weight of the springs, they're not very heavy, just allow the arm bones to gently pull back into the upper back and then just lightly lift the body. And then reach back. Again, scapula slides down, head reaches forward, abdominals are in, easy. Working into that thoracic extension.

See if you can find, try to keep the lower back pretty still and pretty just out of the equation. And focus instead on the extension of the neck, flowing into the extension of the upper back. Notice if you're pushing down on the bar, and if you are see if you can let that go. And you'll find that it simply just becomes easier. And so this is one where less is almost more or to find more you have to work less, in my mind anyway.

So I'm gonna add on. We're gonna come up, find that same thing. And then bend the arms and let the bar, let the elbows go a little forward. Bar's just gonna go just over the top of the head. We're gonna press back and lower.

And reach up. Finding the thoracic spine. Eyes looking just at the end of the mat. Bend the arms, bring the bar, thinking about elbows forward just slightly. And then press and go all the way down.

And we'll just do that one more time. Reaching up. Bend, elbows forward of the bar. Press. And down.

And then keeping the hands on the bar. We're gonna lift the right leg. Lift it off the mat and just lean over to the left, pushing the right arm forward, trying to push the bar forward with the right arm, anchoring with the left leg letting that right leg hang towards the floor. And then unwind. And lift the left leg.

Open the body. Pressing the bar forward with the left arm. Come back through center. Bend the arms. Let go of the bar.

Press into your forearms, slide your knees in underneath you on the mat and sit back towards your feet. Taking just a moment here to allow the back to open up, maybe pushing away with the arms to bring the heels, or the seat closer to the heels. And then articulating up through the spine. And we'll just do one more thing here. So we'll sit down.

Sorry, my hair is itching my nose. Bringing the feet just around to the sides. Inhale here. We're gonna exhale and round through the spine. Just gonna move that handle out of the way with my foot.

And then we're gonna push the bar down and take it forward. And then coming up through the spine, so finding a long, flat back. And then pushing the feet forward, coming into a flat spine, pressing down on the bar and lifting the sternum. And then just coming back up all the way. Inhale.

Push the feet forward, round back. Press the bar down and through. Inhale elongating the spine. Exhale rounding back. Finding a straight back.

Lightly pressing down on the bar to lift through the upper spine, and then coming back to sitting. Just one more exhale to curl. And press. Inhale to elongate. Exhale to press the bar away or to press the legs away as we come away from the bar.

Lift up. Press down, extend the spine. And then come all the way up to sitting where you can just let that bar go. And that is the end of our moving for today. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


1 person likes this.
Thank you Meredith, that was just perfect! Just love the basics, this was perfect before going to teach my last class for the evening.
1 person likes this.
I Love it!!!!!!! Very Nice class! Thank you meredith!!!
1 person likes this.
I Love it!!!!!!! Very Nice class! Thank you meredith!!!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Meredith! I really appreciate the basics. Great flow/ speed.
1 person likes this.
Such a lovely class, just what I needed today. Thank you, Meredith!
Sharon O
1 person likes this.
A lovely back to basic flow with great soothing cueing. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Nice one...these basics sneak up on you! Basics is not easy! Thank you
1 person likes this.
Basic but deep! Loved it! Thank you!
Glad to hear such positive feedback for the basics! Thank you all for taking class with me and taking time to share your input.
1 person likes this.
Loved it. Full body workout but felt goooooood!
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