Class #3188

Me and My Mat

45 min - Class


You will start to create a relationship between your body and your Mat in this workout by Karen Sanzo. She adds on to her Mat Fundamentals playlist, focusing on creating solid connections throughout your body. She starts with a standing warm up that will educate your body and then moves on to basic Mat work so you can begin to work on these skills.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Karen Sanzo, and I'm happy to be here on Pilates Anytime again with this mat class. This mat class is called Me and My Mat. There aren't any props. We're gonna start in standing. Just have your feet being parallel.

I'm gonna chat a little bit as I start to warm us up. I'm not gonna really count a lot of repetitions because I know that you all know how to count. Just follow along with me, and we're gonna have some fun, and we're gonna have some deliberate practice, and I'll get more with that as we continue. So starting with your knees bent just a little bit, gently pull your belly in and inhale. Stand up, raise your arms in front of you, exhale back.

Inhale arms up, exhale, bend. Nothing fancy, just inhale up, exhale down. One more time, inhale, arms out to the side like a T, palms up. Now grow through these fingers. Notice when you press your arms really long and away from you, sometimes there's a tendency to kinda jut your head out.

What I want you to do is bring your face back to your skull, reach your arms out even longer, and feel the length from the front of your face to the front of your neck all the way down to your abdomen and pause right there. Palms down, palms up. Really rolling your shoulders, rotation through the shoulder joint because we have to have rotation before we can get full flexion or full elevation. Two more times here, and down, and last time up. Elbows come into your side.

They come and face front. Arms out, arms in. Why am I doing this? Well, I'm educating the back of my shoulders for the rotator cuff exercises because when we do some of our mat work, our arms get over our head, and again, we have to get rotation before we get elevation. Turn your palms towards each other, and we'll do it about five more times here.

Inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and last time, come in. Now palms down and do it again. Out and in. This one's a little bit tougher, because your forearm down is an action of your forearm bones called pronation, but your shoulders are still going external and internal. All that you should kinda feel behind your arm, not in the front of your arm.

So staying and standing, let's separate the feet apart a little bit. Take your hands and put 'em right here at your hip crease, and what you're gonna do is swing your pelvis to one side and feel how it kind of increases that groin feeling right there, and then do it to the other side. As you do this, I'm gonna turn to the side now so you can kinda see what might happen. A lotta people, when they start to do this, they start to kinda do this with their body, and it's not that you have to pull your tummy way in, it's that you have to position yourself in a good relationship, okay? So making a relationship with you and your body on the mat is key.

So we're doing hip glides. These are just called hip glides here, I'm in vertical. Notice my head is not in front. My face is back in my skull. The bridge of my nose is actually directly in front of my occiput.

And sway side to side. Now from here, we're gonna get a little warmup, we're gonna do it like this, you're gonna drop down on one knee, and then the other knee, and then come up. When you first come up, if you feel a little unstable, put your hands on your thigh and bring yourself up. And we'll go down again. Changing the leg that you start with is really important.

So now I'm gonna go down on my left and come back on my right. So I'm not gonna keep track of this for you, but I want you to keep doing this about a million more times or so, or maybe three or four. And I'm gonna try it now without using my hands to help me get up. I'm gonna try to keep my feet completely parallel. This is real-time video here, right, so if I'm a little bit off, that's certainly fine.

Because I'm getting the movement done in my legs. Last time, I'm gonna come down. Sit down, and line myself back on my back. So you see that gets your heart rate going just a little bit, gets your legs engaged just a little bit. And now connecting to that back body in the supine position.

My upper arms press down into the ground. And then my hands make a karate chop. I invite you to go back and look at some previous fundamentals taping that I did and you will see some of the same connections that we work on. So from here, bend the elbows again, and now look, arms out, arms in, what are we doing? External rotation of the shoulders.

Back body awareness. Couple more times. Palms turn to supination, open, and close. A lot of times, when we lie supine on the mat, we can't really always find where our arms need to be, especially as a beginner. Because when I come back, if I turn my palms down and place my palms down, and I press my arms really hard, I really get a nice connection through the back of my arms and the upper part of my back.

If I'm not aware of that and I press my arms too hard, then my shoulders start to round. And then if we start some sort of exercise like this and rest on the hands, I see people do this all the time, this is not a good connected relationship. What do you need for a good relationship? Well, you need hashtag commitment, right, for a good relationship with you and your mat all at the same time. So hands down by the side, here we go here.

Right leg out long. Press your arms down, pull your belly in, up and down. So this isn't fancy. But it's deliberate. It's connected.

Switch legs. You're still breathing a little bit hard from doing this standing up and sitting down. I am making a deliberate connection behind my arms up to the top of where my armpit meets my arm. And then that leg comes in. Now I'm gonna take one leg in, match it the other leg.

So all the time now, when you're connected here, my back arms stay down. If I need to stop the exercise, I stop the exercise and rest. As I do this again, I'm gonna switch the leg I start with and bring the second leg up. Now in some of my other fundamental workouts, we stay here for a little while. When the head starts to change and go like this, what do I need to do?

I need to stop the exercise, re-lengthen, bridge of my nose in, back of the shoulders down. You may need to visit the tutorial on where's your head to see if you indeed need something underneath your head. So two legs come in again, pause right here. Now from this connection, the legs are gonna start to straighten to the ceiling. Now my legs can straighten.

If yours can't, then you just bring them to the position they can. We're gonna start a little leg sway, one side, and then the other. One side, and then the other. Now I'm gonna hold my legs here, I want you to watch my chest. How often do we say that, right?

Because sometimes, when I get really tired in my legs, then my chest starts to come up like this, I don't want that. So I'm gonna lower my legs, keeping my chest heavy and my ribs connected, as I lower legs, and raise legs. Lower a tad, and then raise a tad. Why am I doing this? Making a back body connection behind my arm to my upper back.

Making a trunk connection in the front of my body, while I move my legs, I come in, and I rest. Now, creating a lengthening behind the back, we do a little tip of the pelvis. A tiny little tip. If you go past that tip and you switch to a grip, then too much grip in your hip makes this. So, no grip.

Only a tip. I love those little things that kinda go like that. So feel the tip, feel the depth of the belly, the curl of the low back. That's one way to create flexion in your low back, you're just gonna hold that there. Just gonna hold that low and more and ask yourself, don't drop your chest as you curl your pelvis, but keep the chest open as you curl the pelvis.

So you give this upper body an opportunity to create its relationship with the mat as you roll yourself back down. Now we're gonna take this idea a step further, I'm bending my right knee into my chest, I'm taking two hands, and I'm just holding this knee into my chest. Why am I holding that knee into my chest? Because when I pull this knee into my chest, and I'm asking my pelvis to curl just a little bit, the knee into my chest is helping to facilitate that. Because now what I'm going to do is I'm gonna start to build a bridge for my buttocks connection.

So this one-legged bridge performed with one of my legs pulled into my chest allows me to feel the bridge behind my buttocks more than into my low back. Because, with my knee into my chest, and a scoop of my belly, I'm not fighting the extension challenge just yet, switch legs. My other left knee comes in. I deepen my abdomen and curl without collapsing my chest. I lift the pelvis, and lower the pelvis.

So this knee that's into my chest, I'm not like pulling the daylights out of it, I'm just creating the flexion force in my low spine so that my hip can create the extension moment that it's required for hip extension. We'll do that two more times. And then last one. Let's switch one more time just so that you remember how to do that. So now we're gonna lift up quick and down slow.

Two, three, lift up quick. Slow. Two, three, why am I doing this? Slow. Two, three, three more times, I'm gonna tell you the answer.

Because, when you come up quick, it's concentric, when you come down, it's eccentric, it's slowing down, forcing you to decelerate the movement. Let's do it again on the other leg. Quick up. Down slow. Some people when they do this bridge is that after they get all the work of lifting up their bottom, then they just drop down.

But it's not that, it's when you lift up, you get the connection, you come down slow, slow, slow. Two more times, lift. Slow, ooh, this is harder than it looks. Last time, quick. And then slow, slow, slow.

Creating back body connections, continuing on now to lengthen the back, we did a curl up which lengthens the low back, but you know, now, when we curl up the top to the bottom, we lengthen not only behind the neck, but when we curl up enough, then we start to lengthen under the shoulder blades. And then lower that down. Lift, the eyes glance into the cheeks. The nose looks between the knees. The hairline of the forehead follows the knee line.

Curl, and then lower. One more time. Reaching. Head nodding. And we curl.

If you do this, and your neck gets tired, what do you need to do? Stop the exercise. What we don't want to do is lift the head to the ceiling. Okay, so we're gonna lift the head, curl the trunk, and bring yourself down. So all those connections that we just made, yes, this was kind of lecturey in terms of a workout, but now we're just going, continue the workout, and if I remind you of those things, you can go back and look at it, or remember where those connections were, getting ready for the 100 beats.

One leg comes in, the other leg matches, stable pelvis, legs squeezing, lift the head, curl the trunk. I will have one more little lecture thing here in just a second. So we're gonna start the breath, inhaling, and then exhaling. Then we lengthen away, we squeeze the heels, yadda yadda, all those little different connections, then we lower the leg down. So what we wanna do is we wanna lengthen out through these hips, so the legs almost feel light.

Okay, so that real, look at, I can actually lower my legs down and then rest my body down. Because, even as a beginner, we bring the legs in and raise them up, but you know what, I think, some of you can do this, but you've just never tried it. So the head nods, the back of the neck lengthens. I curl my trunk, oh shoot, I meant to bring one of those party favors, you know those little party favors that you curl. And then you lift the legs up, and then you pump.

Last set. Lower the legs, reach, reach, reach, reach reach the arms, reach the arms. Keep the hips lengthened, lie yourself back down, bend the knees. I'm gonna fold one knee into my chest just to be sure I can get myself up. And then we'll start the roll back.

Arms are out in front. Now for this roll back, remembering, this is kind of a beginner workout, I'm gonna let the knees bend so that I can tip my sacrum back and just go to this distance. And then I'm gonna curl myself up, do that three times. Curling back my low belly, staying curled up and over my upper ribs. And then curl up.

And now I'm gonna putmy hands behind my hips, behind my thighs, excuse me, and as I roll down, I'm gonna kinda hang on as I scoop that belly in and lie myself all the way down. So I take my time to articulate the head lift. The trunk curls. I curl that rib connection. I grab my thighs, I let go when I don't need that help anymore, I come all the way up and over.

Now I'm gonna start the roll back from here, keeping my arms even with my ears for a little while, and then when I feel that gets a little challenging, I'm gonna drop down, grab the thighs, look at my belly curl. And roll myself all the way down. We'll try that one more time, lift the head. If you feel like you can't get up, grab one hand, and let your leg help you to get over that curl, as we come up and over. Last time, lifting up, reaching the legs long, allow the knees to bend at first so you can get the lengthening, okay, through those hips, bringing yourself all the way down, all the way down, all the way down.

Bend the right knee in, lift up the hand on the knee, let's just stir that knee. Get that hip in that joint, flex this long left leg. Close any daylight underneath that left leg, right leg lifts up, and down. Now, if you have a tight hamstring, then you don't get to straighten your leg all the way, but you have to still work it. When the leg's up there, it turns out a little bit, I'm gonna press my hands, then put my palms down, keep my chest open.

Around, stop. Exhale, inhale. Reverse. Last one. Bend the knee in.

Take two hands on that knee, pull it into your chest, elbows wide. Nod your head. Curl your trunk, much like you did in what? 100 beats, let that leg float up. Hold yourself right there, arms long, let's get 20 more, inhale.

Exhale. See how long that hip is there? See how much this knee is pulled in? One more set. Lie yourself back down.

Other leg lifts up. Bend and straighten a couple times. Are you reconnecting back behind your arms? Creating this relationship and awareness. Belly pulls in, inhale, prepare yourself, exhale, around, inhale, up.

Round. Last time. Reverse. Continue to press your right leg down on the mat as you circle this left one. Last two.

Last one. Knee comes in. Hug the knee in. Lift the head, don't lift the head like this, right, but nod the chin, lengthen the neck, curl up into that 100 beat position, reach your right leg long. Pull the left knee further into your chest.

With your belly muscles, go, inhale. Breathe in. I think a lot more people have a challenge with the breath in than the breath out. One more set. And then lie yourself all the way down.

Two knees bend in, two knees, two feet, everything squeezed together. Open up the chest. And when I say open up the chest, what I mean is just press the arms down, you're not gonna like stick your whole chest to the ceiling. So from here, we're coming up into a fuller bridge now. A fuller bridge says I keep my hips open.

Keep my belly pulled in, my arms are pressing down. Keeping into this full bridge, I'm going to dip my left pelvis down like water is dripping out of the side of my pelvis, and then I lift it up. And then I dip the right side down, and I lift it up. I keep the lift in my buttocks. I keep that deliberate press of my feet down to lift my bottom up.

Just keep staying here. Yes it's hard, yes it's connecting through your thighs. And then take that time to drip your spine down. When you drip your spine, try not to change your shoulders, we'll do this one more time. Press the feet away from you, as you lift up the bottom, hold, right there.

Now, two thighs still squeezing, right shin kicks out. Holding your thighs still together, drops down. Other shin, kicks out, hold, back of the right buttocks working, drops down, do it again. If this is too easy, take your hands up off the mat. And then come down, if you need your hands, keep them on the mat.

And then down, and then drip your spine. One thing I like about Pilates is it kind of meets your body where it is, let's do one more time, press the feet, scoop the belly, lift the bottom. Hold right there. Now, to build this bridge a little bit more, watch this. Bend the elbows, open up your wrist.

This is a more beginner class, but when we get to advanced mat, that pelvis needs to be able to get on these hands, right? So when I build my bridge, I've gotta get my arms underneath me. Have to lift my pelvis, and then I gotta go to my upper back and lift up. This is not my lower back arching more, ooh, my legs are quivering, and then I drip my spine and come all the way down. That just gives you a little picture of what's coming ahead.

Not in this workout, but in the more advanced exercises. Arms up, return to the ceiling, lift the head, curl the trunk, reach the legs long, round up, round forward. Rolling like a ball. Slide my body forward. I'm gonna start with my hands on my thighs, leaving my ball to be just a little bit bigger.

Inhale, back. Exhale, up. Look at where my booty's pointing. It's really not pointing to the ceiling. It's not lifting up enough.

So as I build my ball a little bit bigger, I need to use my low belly, when I roll back, I'm gonna inhale, prepare, I need to pull my low belly almost into a posterior tilt right now. You see how it's almost a linger in the up phase? That will come alive when we do the exercise seal when we have to kinda linger ourself up. Now make your ball smaller, hands on the shins. This is a little bit tougher.

Your head is looking between your knees, you've gotta get back onto those shoulder blades, lifting butt to the ceiling. Last one. Dripping down. Now the next set of our abdominal series, we're gonna do two sets, I know you're excited about that. The first set, two sets, first one looks like this.

Right leg comes in. Belly scoots, left leg matches, arms down by your side. We're just gonna take the right leg away to about 48.69 degrees, or whatever amount of degrees, I mean who said it's 45? Take it out to the level that you can hold, and then switch. Now in this exercise right here, single leg kicking, my trunk is not moving.

For some people, this is actually harder than curling up. Rest yourself down. I'm gonna do it curled up now. Lifting my head, curling my trunk. Left knee comes in, left hand on the outside of the ankle.

Now we already did this after single leg kick. I'm curled, and then I switch. Exhale. Breathe in. Exhale for two, one more set.

Exhale, two knees in, lie the body down, put the feet down. Open chest. One bridge. Why one bridge? As a beginner, your legs get really tired, we need to lengthen the hips, and then we need to drip down.

Arms by your side. Two legs in, double legs with the legs only. Two legs press, two legs pull. Maybe two legs go away. They come in, maybe they go more to the ceiling.

And then away. They come in, rest. Curled up. I lift my head, curl my trunk. This is not it, I see so many people just resting their heads like this.

Not gonna beat that up, but as a newbie, I want you to get yourself curled. Now watch here. I'm gonna lift my back ribs, and kinda nestle my back ribs down. That's not the same thing as tucking. It's nestling my back ribs.

I think I just made up that word. Okay, so, well I didn't make it up. The word's been around, but I just feel like my ribs are nestling. So now, I curl, now I'm gonna hug my knees, my legs are pulled in by my belly. I inhale, expand the breath.

Exhale, circle, hug, trying to stay curled this high. Two more. Last one. And then lower myself down, press your feet, lift up into a bridge. And then drip yourself all the way down.

Criss-cross. Hands come behind the head. I'll lift my head and curl my trunk. So as I curl my trunk, this is not it, I gotta get those ribs nestled down there when curling up, two legs come in. Inhale, twist.

Look in between the medial part of my knees, I switch. So I'm reaching an elbow and an armpit, rather than twisting my neck off. So we're gonna go quick, quick, and slow. And quick, quick, and slow. And one more set, quick, quick, slow, last one.

Quick, quick, slow. Resting yourself all the way down. Last bridge. Opening up the chest. Arms come up as your bottom comes up.

Arms come down, bottom comes down. Inhale, arms up, bottom up. Exhale, bottom down, arms down. One more time, arms way back, butt lifts, pause. I need to move my feet, I wanna get them a little bit under my knees so I can get a little more power.

And then I'm gonna drip my chest all the way down, all the way down. Rolling over onto your tummy now. We'll start to build some extension. The first part of the extension is just giving your body the feeling of extension. So to do that, we need to have legs long, arms down by the side, or in your palms like this.

And I'm gonna let my shoulders pull back from my elbows reaching. And I'm just gonna lift my chest up by pressing my arms down. So my arms are kinda teaching my chest how to extend, inhaling. And then exhaling. I'm gonna try to lift up about that high.

My legs are attracting. And now I'm gonna lift my arms up to see if I can indeed hold that extension and then arms down, and then lower down. Really, really, really, really press your arms. When you press your arms, don't round your shoulders. When you press your arms, really press your arms.

Commit to your arms. And then start to lift up. Commit to your arms and then start to lift your chest. And commit to your arms and then start to lift your face. And then drip your bellybutton down, this would become down stretch on the reformer.

Let's do that one more time. Arms are committed to help the chest. Arms are committed to extend the chest. Then I go to that upper back and I stretch it, and I lift up, if you can't come up this high, that's certainly fine, and then take time to drip down. Drip down, drip down.

One more time. Arms press, make the commitment, shoulders back. Peel the chest, you should start to feel a little stretch in front of your bellybutton, so maybe I only come up this high. Press the arms, don't let them shrug up like this. Press the arms, lift.

And then lower yourself all the way down. Now active extension takes my arms by my side, I like to like put my palms right by my side. I pull the shoulders back, I lift my head. If you see how my heels are squeezing to make a connection in my thighs, that helps stabilize my pelvis. Arms lift.

Chest lifts. Exhale, down. Arms lift, inhale, chest lifts. Exhale, down. This is kinda like reversal 100 beats, right?

So that as I lift up, I'm really getting that upper back extension. Now I'm gonna bend my elbows in, and lower down. Arms long, lift up, inhale. Bend elbows, lower down. Reach.

Bend. Lower down, last one, reach. Bend. And then lower yourself down. Bringing yourself up to your hands and knees now.

Getting ready for some weight bearing into the arms and shoulders. Stabilize your arms on the mat, the head is in line with the spine. Remember, we don't want this, we don't want this. Let's find where that sacral position is, okay? You may need to go back and look at some other fundamentals, so you want this sacral area flat.

You want your belly pulled in. Now my arms are pressing down on the floor. I'm actually pushing the mat away, but not by rounding my back, I'm just engaging through my arms. Let your belly hang, without changing your spine. Then, pull your belly in, I don't know if you can see that but don't change the spine.

So take turns letting your belly go and pulling your belly in, but don't make it be cat cal, okay? Just make it be belly in and belly down. Now from here, we're gonna curl the toes underneath. Kinda sit the buttocks back a little bit. Stretching through the hips, and then come forward.

How far forward can you come without changing any relationship in your spine? Come back to level. Hover the knees up off the ground. Active arms, hover knees. Hold, five, four, three, two, one, and then rest.

Right arm comes out to the side like a T. With that arm out to the side like a T, this is really about your left arm. And then bring that arm down. Left arm out to a T, hold, this is about your right arm. Let your shins come down like this.

Let your shins press down, feel that activate your thighs. Now keep your right leg very active, take your left leg out behind you. Right arm out in front of you. Hold. Now stay here and pull your left hand toward your right knee, and your right knee towards your left hand.

Gives you closure in the front of your body, return. Left arm, right leg. Not lifted a mile with that leg, 'cause you don't wanna create any big extension in the back here. Push the floor down with your arms, especially that right one, now, and then come in one more time. Right shin presses, left shoulder blade stays, hold.

Take this arm and this feet, you see these two right here? Take them out to the side, and bring them back. This is just all information for the front of the trunk. And the stabilizer in the back of the left shoulder blade. One more time.

And then bring it down, left arm out, right leg out, hold. Scoop the belly, engage that right arm, have an active right arm. These pieces come out, and in. Out, and in. One more time, out, one more time in, lower down.

Crawl your hands in front of you, maybe about two hands' width or so. Move the knees a little bit further away. We're coming to a plank on your knees. So from this position here, you're gonna take your body forward. Pull your shoulder blades, well when you pull your shoulder blades, you're not gonna crack a walnut, because that will give you some sort of collapsing, but you wanna push the arms away, bring your skull, your face back into your skull.

Just hold that right there. Hold for five. Hold for four. Three two one, lower legs. Now watch.

Maybe not, maybe yes. You lift up the knees, your body shoots forward to a plank. Active arms. If that's too challenging, you bend the knees, you lift the feet. Trust me, this is still, still really really good, holding right here.

If you wanna hold that some more or rest, you do that, otherwise join me for full plank, hold. Arms pressing, legs pressing, belly lifting, hold. Bring yourself down, one more time, feet lift. Weight is forward over the arms. Belly pulls in.

Straighten legs, lift heels, hold for five. Hold for four. Hold for three. Hold for two. Hold for one.

Bring the knees down. Sit yourself back. Now, separate your knees almost as wide as your mat, tuck your two toes together. Sit your bottom down. In this position here, I want you to notice that your belly is pulled up, well, I'm sure you notice that, but I mean, as you're drawing to your round part, I want you to see this almost as a long spine stretch.

The crown of my head is still forward a little bit, but the hairline of my head is down, no wrinkles in the back of my neck. Bring yourself back up to quadruped. Turn yourself around, sit up for spine stretch. In the exercise we like to call spine stretch, we're going to have our pelvis be lifted, now if your legs are tight, you can certainly sit on a blanket or something, or you can simply bend your knees if you don't have anything to sit up on. But what I want you to feel here is the lifting up and in of your tummy as your ribs round forward.

Trunk flexion. Now when I stack up, I have to stack up, I'll use this hand, I have to stack that back here and just bring the position of my ribs back, and then lift up. Inhale. Exhale, go forward. I do not wanna lie on my thighs, I wanna do the exercise spine stretch.

I lift up and over. I stack up my ribs, I bring myself all the way back. Inhale. Exhale. Stack up.

Now stay here, we're gonna change the breathe a little bit, you're gonna inhale on the forward, so inhale. Back ribs open, round forward. Keep your hands behind your back. This will allow you not to shrug your shoulders so much, and maybe it'll tell your body to let these ribs come backward a little bit as I go forward. Sometimes the relationship isn't more belly or more core, sometimes the relationship is just understanding kind of where your ribs are, okay, so they're not like sheered forward and things like that.

Okay, switching now to saw, so take your arms out to the side, and now we're going to twist the torso to the right, we're gonna get a big old twist, not even gonna do the flexion part. So look at my two hands. They're gonna reach away from each other, and that's what's giving me the twist. And then come back to center. Let's see that the other direction, so without even doing the flexion, let's just give the twist, so I'm not changing up the exercise, y'all, just want you to get the rotation first, and then come back.

Now inhale, twist, exhale, rotate, I mean stay rotated as you flex down. Now this back arm is key. The palm is up, the shoulders in internal rotation reaching. The other arm is in external rotation reaching. I come up in that twist, I briskly twist the other direction, and then I go down, two, three.

Legs together. Lying down on your side now, getting ready for side kicks. In the side kick series, lying down on your side, bring both your legs forward. Nothing fancy here, just nice good connections. Pulling your tummy, take this leg, it's on top of your bottom leg, just take your right hand on your pelvis, reach it long, just lift that leg up and down.

So if you look at the pelvis, we don't want any wrinkling here, okay, we just want up and down, your head is long, you're looking straight ahead. Maybe you're smiling. Maybe not. Five more. Four, three, two, one, take this same leg, slide it back so that it's in line with your pelvis now.

Neutral here. This right leg, which way is it pressing? Down. Lift up and down. Now you can turn this heel, but it's actually gonna be a little harder today if you keep the heel down instead.

It's just, just play with me here. Five more. Four, three, two, one, take this top leg and bring it back just a little bit further, whoa, I'm gonna change the kicks, kick stand here, and then 10 times. Six, bottom leg pressing down, seven, eight, nine, and 10. Bend your knees.

Come up to side, kind of like a side plank but on your forearm. We're not gonna get fancy, but we are gonna start to weight bear into the shoulder, because possibly in our next mat program, all these exercises will build on each other just a little bit more. So in this position here, just feel how you can't rest like this. The activity is, the activity is the action in the arm and the blade to lift the chest. That's what's gonna get you set up in the upper part of the trunk here before you come in the full plank, full side plank, we're just gonna hold this.

Then you're gonna take your top leg and put it way in front. And your bottom leg long. And then you can press down on this top leg as you lift up. So that's where we'll just head for this session. And then lower down.

Are you gonna sag? No, we're not gonna sag, we're gonna lift up. So recognize this down phase is long on the bottom side. And then you have to lift this top one. And then you could even get long on the top one, and that will become side bend, right, eventually.

And then we come up and bring yourself all the way down. Bring your knees in, switch sides. Lying yourself out long. Legs come forward. Belly pulls in.

I'm gonna keep my hand on the pelvis to start with, I'm gonna lift up and down. 10, nine, now your bottom leg is working again as well, now your top leg's already a little tired, because it was working when it was on the bottom, that always surprises me. Got three more. And two, and then one, slide the leg back so it's in line with your pelvis, down and up. Nothing nothing nothing ever takes the place of a solid foundation.

Nice, connected sessions. Nice commitment to your own self to practice. Two more, and then last one, slide that leg back one more time, I'm gonna switch to a kickstand here so I can remind my rib position to change. Remember, sometimes it's about the relationship, the positioning of your body. Five more.

Four more. Three, and two, and one. Woo, so many other fun things I wanna say. You know, when you do these workouts yourself, you really, or I, anyway, get a bunch of different thoughts going on. Opening up the chest.

Really pressing into that shoulder right there. Hold for five, hold for four. Three two one, good, and now drop down, and then press down to lift up. So the shoulder is constantly pressing down, or the complex of the shoulder. Your arm bone is pressing down through that shoulder blade.

Never changing that position. Last one. Come on up. And then bring yourself down. Turn over onto your backside.

Separate your knees kind of as wide as the mat. And then just rock with me here, right knee in. And then left knee in. So when this exercise here, or this unwinding piece, we're just cooling down here. Taking turns with one knee and then the other.

So when you go this way, like the soles of your feet are facing out, you go the other way, the soles of your feet. So one hip is in external rotation, one hip is in internal rotation. And then bring yourself all the way back to center. Arms come to the ceiling. Or back over your head, they come to the ceiling.

Lift up your head, curl your trunk, nodding your head, grab your thighs if you need to, and then bring yourself all the way up and over. One more rollback, you'll see how much easier the curl up is or the roll up is now at the end. Arms up. Lift your head on an inhale. Let that inhale fill your back lungs.

And then exhale, roll up. Last one. That's a wrap.


2 people like this.
Great practice Karen thanks
4 people like this.
I am just returning from an injury and this was the perfect workout for me today. I am so grateful to Pilates Anytime for providing me with the opportunity to work with the finest instructors in the business.
4 people like this.
So excited when there is a new Karen Sanzo class! You are really superb at cueing and breaking it all down in an easy to understand way. I always make new connections in your classes. I hope there are more classes coming! Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Perfect celebration for my 7th year anniversary with Pilates Anytime. A return to basics never fails to teach me (or remind me!) of important lessons.
1 person likes this.
Thank you, thank you for another Karen Sanzo MAT CLASS ! Karen, with you it's not just doing the exercises, it's knowing and grasping the details of the movements I'm doing.
1 person likes this.
An absolutely awesome class. I love your lectures, there is always an "aha" moment for me. Looking forward to your next one!
1 person likes this.
Thank you for that wonderful class Karen! Your cueing is always so great, every class I take from you I seem to come away with a couple new gems. You are definitely the 'Queen'.
Karen Sanzo
1 person likes this.
First comments!!!! Thank you. It's been a pleasure to add to my current repertoire on Pilates Anytime. It's even more enjoyable to read your comments. Thank you ALL for taking the time to comment. I have started to encourage my own clients to join. Many have!! What a great resource. Come see our studio when you're in Dallas.
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much Karen for a wonderful class - I agree with all the other comments - your teaching is so clear and it makes so much sense - I loved every minute!! Thank you so much!
1 person likes this.
So awesome to do this for myself (as a Pilates instructor) outside on my deck on a beautiful day! My low back was quite stuck and sore this morning and now it feels great! Looking forward to seeing you at POT in Chicago!
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