Class #3187

Foundational Mat 4

15 min - Class


Work on keeping a nice flow in this Mat workout with Kathryn Ross-Nash. She teaches the fourth class in Foundational Mat Series, adding variations to challenge your stability and breath. Once you have created your strong foundation, you can start to advance your practice.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Kathi Ross-Nash, here for Pilates Anytime doing a 4th foundational mat that builds off the first three that we've already done. I want you to take all the things that you've applied in that mat and apply it to this mat. So you're gonna begin lying down. And remember we've discussed parallel planes in the teaser? Now we're gonna add it into your hundred.

And you're gonna enjoy the hundred in a way you've never gotten to enjoy it before. Take your two legs and your arms and lift them up. Lift the head up and move the arms and legs one inch down. Pull the stomach in, move them one inch down. One inch.


Keeping those parallel lines as you lower the legs to only the point where your arms are still way above here in those parallel planes and your back is flat along the mat. Inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five.

Inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhale, two, three, four, Out, six, five, Four, three, two, one, Inhale, two, three, Out, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, Inhale, one, two, Out, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, Inhale, one, out, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, One, two, that's my way to count to ten.

Bend your knees in. Sit, lengthen the legs out for the roll-up with a hand-slide. Arms come down, head comes up. Slide your hands along the legs. Flex your feet.

Roll Up

Pull the stomach back, reach your legs away. Slide the hands so your hands never stop moving. If your hands stop moving, that's the point that you get stuck. And you should stay there and suffer. And roll all the way down.

Inhale, pull the waist back, reach for the legs. Exhale, crown of the head to the knee like in the tree. Roll all the way back. Oh this feels so good. Inhale, (breathing) exhale, all the way down.

Roll length in, and legs circle. Take your one leg and move it slightly out to the side. This is a stability exercise. I'm making my base a little wider to help with my stability. Bring the knee in to the chest.

Stretch it up, stretch it towards your nose. Towards your nose, towards your nose. Arms down, smooth circle, pelvis doesn't move. Don't move the box. Up to the nose, push through the heel.

Single Leg Circles

Don't move the box, two. Pull the stomach in and up, three. In and up, four. In and up, five. Reverse the circle, around up one.

Around up two. Around up three. Around up four. Around up five. Bend the knee in.

Draw this leg to the midline. Stretch this leg in. Move it out to the side. Pull the knee in to the chest. Stretch it up, one, two, three.

Arms down by your side. Push through this heel, up to the nose. Around up one. Around up two. Around up three.

You will see that this gives such a great, stable base that you can really enjoy the circle. And around. And then as it develops, you draw it in to the midline. Two, and three. Think of a toddler walking.

At first they walk with their legs wide and then they walk with their feet in a single track. And good. Bend the knee all the way in. Bring the leg in. Slide right up into rolling like a ball.

Pull the stomach in, exit, and one. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Last one, press the heels together.

Rolling Like A Ball

Inhale and exhale. Melt right down into your single leg pull. Take your arms down by your side. Open your chest and challenge the stability by not using your hands but using your powerhouse to keep everything quiet. Stretch, and stretch.

Single Leg Stretch

Remember to pass through that teaser. I wanna see that teaser. Suffer through it. Reach and reach. And reach and reach.

And what's good for the one-leg is good for the two-legs. And stretch, pull the stomach away. And bend in. And stretch, notice that these exercises are much like my transition into rolling like a ball where I didn't move my bottom forward or back. I just pulled my powerhouse back and brought my knees in.

Double Leg Stretch

And pulled my powerhouse back and reached my hands forward. And pulled my powerhouse out, and in. One leg up, same thing straight leg. Kick, kick. Kick, kick.

Single Straight Leg Stretch

So now just my box and my powerhouse are stabilizing me. My arms are reaching nice and long keeping my ears away from my shoulders, allowing my chin to deepen in to my chest. I have my fingers long for length. Reach, reach, reach, reach. Bend both legs in.

Sit up. You're gonna take your hands and you're going to slide forward You're going to stay in this deep position. You're gonna bend the right leg. And pull the stomach back. Bend the left leg.

Spine Stretch Forward

And pull the stomach back. Bend the right leg. And anchor the tailbone. Bend and anchor and slide up. (breathing) Exhale, bend the left.

Stretch, right. And just like when I did the open leg rocker prep in the other workout, my pelvis is not moving. I'm challenging the stability of my pelvis to get ready for the work of the core level without moving it as I move a limb. And roll all the way up. Pull the stomach in.

Hold both the knees. Bring the head down. Bend your knees. Reach your head further to the mat. And stretch the legs away.

Bend your knees, bring the crown of the head to the mat. And stretch the legs away. Pull the stomach back. Pull it back. Pull it back.

Pull it back. Bend the knees, stretch the head down. And pull it away. Lengthen yourself all the way up. Rock back and catch.

Open Leg Rocker

Rock back and open the chest. Rock two. And open the chest. Rock three. And open the chest.

Stomach goes back. Rock back. And open the chest, like your teaser. And open your chest. Float your legs down.

Open your chest and saw, one, two, three, exhale. (exhaling) Turn, one, two, three, squeeze the lungs out. And one, two, three, exhale. (exhaling) And one, two, three, exhale. Bring it center, draw the legs together.


Reach your arms around, do a little snakey-twisty. Pull the stomach in. Drop your legs long and down, pelvis down to the mat. Chest pushes through, both legs reach up. Kick, kick, one.

Single Leg Kick

Kick, kick, two. Kick, kick, three. Kick, kick, four. Stretch it, five. And six.

Kick, kick, seven. Kick, kick, eight. Kick, kick, nine. Kick, kick, ten. And press back, on your hands, pull the stomach in.

Child's Pose

And up, open up the back. And flip back over. Bend the knees. Intro to neck pull. Inhale to come up, exhale to go over.

Neck Pull Variation

Inhale to lift up, exhale to roll down. Inhale over. Exhale lift up. Keep the waist long, don't sink, keep it long. Keep it long, keep it long, and down.

Inhale up, long waist, exhale over. Sit up as tall as you can and keep the waistline long as you roll. Keep it long, keep it long, keep it long, and down. Inhale up, exhale over. Lift all the way up.

And lengthen, lengthen, and lengthen. Slide onto the right side of your body. Remember all the setup, the house for the mouse, the long leg, the heel down, for your side kick series. Bring both legs forward, hand is here. Leave it hip height.

Forward and Back

Kick, kick, one. Stretch back. Kick, kick, two. Back, back. Kick, kick, three.

Back, back. Kick, kick, four. Back, back. Keep that lift. Five, back, back.

Six, back, back. Nice lift. Seven, back, back. Eight, back, back. Leg on leg.

Up and one, and two and down, and three, keep the lift. Four, five, six, seven, and eight. Bottom heel down, circle. Circle to the heel one, keep this lift. Circle two, circle three.

Lift and Lower

Bottom heel down. Circle four. Reverse, circle one. Circle two. Circle three.


Circle four. Bend your knees in, flip them to the other side. There's your little mermaid happening there. And all the way down. Hand behind the head, flex the feet, bring your two feet forward, 'cause you're more advanced now.

Forward and Back

Reach this leg here, lengthen it so that you get your house for your mouse. Kick, kick, one. Kick, kick, two. And one, two. And two, two.

And three, three. And reach, reach. And four, four. Bottom heel of this leg down. Five, five, reach.

Six, six, keep the range of motion small so that you can control your box. The whole foundation is to build the stable foundation before you let it go crazy and go all over the place. Up, up. And last one. And leg on leg.

Turn it out. Lift it up, flex down, one. Lift it up, flex down, two. Lift it up, flex down, three. Mouse for the house, and four.

Lift and Lower

And reach, and five. Reach that leg long, and six. Reach it long, and seven. Reach it long, and eight. Circle one, two, bottom heel down three.


Four, reverse. And one, two, three, and four. Right from there lie on your back. Shake out your arms, shake out your legs. Why?

Because it's teaser time. So this is a nasty variation that Ramona used to teach, not my fault. But it's actually probably like the nastiest one that I know. Not really. So, you're gonna come up to a table top where your low back is on.

Teaser Variation

That's position one. Hands by the knees. Position two, you stretch into the teaser. Go back to position one. And go home.

Position one, only the low back. Legs are at table. Position two, arms are parallel. Position one, low back in table. And bend all the way in.

Position one. And two. And one. And home. Position one.

And two. And one. And home. Position one. And up.

And one. And home. Sit up for your seal. Loop through. Lift them up, press 'em, and roll back.


One, two, three, don't move. Roll up, one, two, three, don't move. Roll back, one, two, three, stay there. Lift the waist, roll up, one, two, three. Nothing moves, stay.

Roll back, one, two, three. Last one, roll up, one, two, three. Draw your legs together. And have a great day.


7 people like this.
This series is like a box of chocolates where each piece is richer and more tasty than the one before it! Thank you!
4 people like this.
I am loving this series!
What would your suggestion be for approximately how many times to do one class before trying the next one?

Thanks for this awesome series!

2 people like this.
Thank you~ Kathryn♡
Lori- there is no time frame. if you look at all four workouts you can build each exercise with its own thread- some will be easier than others. In the Red Thread of Pilates Mat Book I explain what each progression adds to the prior one so you will know what the challenge will add and what is needed to move from one to the next. I hope that helps
This practice gets better every time! There are nuggets that I missed the first and second time and I am sure that the next time I will pick up even more. Lovely warm glow in the powerhouse now Kathi! Thank you thank you xx
1 person likes this.
Had a foundation mat class bonanza this morning..... took all 4 classes in succession.
1 person likes this.
Hi KRN! I love how much flow you gave these foundation exercises, and also how much depth of information you provided whilst flowing! That was delicious :)
Joni Megan Macgregor Everlea Thank you!!! I am thrilled you enjoyed this! This is based off of the The Red Thread of the Mat book. After years of teaching these progressions were the most successful in building the Mat work- along with the apparatus & reformer :)
2 people like this.
I LOVE this series!!! I did all 4 in a row, is that bad? I have your book (autographed by you, bien sur) and this explained a few things that I was uncertain about and really got it into my body. Woot! I"m going to do these every day!
John B
2 people like this.
Short and intense ! Just what you need to squeeze your practice in.
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