Guess what, Girl Time's back! Finally. So this class has a bit of a story and if you don't wanna hear the story just fast forward until you see the moving start. But if you wanna hear the story, this is where this class is going and this is what it's for. So there is a woman named Jenny who I've had the privilege and the pleasure of getting to know over the past few years when I've been teaching in the UK and she watches our classes on Pilates Anytime and she's the nicest, hi Jenny. And she shared with me a story about her daughter Winny who was in a boating accident and had hurt her head and she was telling me about how Kristi sharing her journey through her head injury enabled her to understand maybe or gave her some insight into how Winny may have been feeling after she was injured.
So this class is for Winny. And Winny does Pilates with her mom Jenny and I've seen her because I have the video and she's good, she's real good, she's got the makings of a true Pilates professional. Winny, this is for you. Here we go, let's sit up tall. Clear your space, clear your mind, in a good way, hold on behind the thighs, find your sitz bones, we're up tall, we're sort of pulling the legs apart but then engaging the inner thighs so that we can feel that opposition.
And just breathe, inhale and exhale. And for me I just wanna collapse a little and get rid of any worry about how this is gonna go. But, it's gonna go well because I'm moving and that matters. Inhale, sit tall a few, let it go. Find that opposition, stay tall this time, exhale and just feel how the front of your body can somewhat connect to the back.
Then we'll move a little. Inhale, exhale, I'm gently pressing down on my feet to roll back a little bit, I am going to move. So I'm allowing the arms to straighten just a little bit, maybe not all the way, but close. Then inhale and exhale, come forward holding the waist behind just a little. Restacking when you get over your hips.
Inhale, we'll go slightly faster. Exhale, find contact with the bottoms of your feet, pull the hip bones away from the thigh bones. Still inward in an outward pull at the thigh. Inhale, start exhaling, feel the abdominals pull back. Keep the curve of the spine, when you feel the shoulders over your hips sit up tall.
Just two more. Exhale, sort of the practice of finding yourself in space again. Easier said than done, sometimes. Inhale, exhale, hold the waist back, keep the curve, feel that stretch, step on your feet and your sitz bones to sit tall. One more time, exhale.
Noticing how the body just has to change as your life and your movement does. Inhale, exhale forward. And since that's going well, we're going all the way down. Inhale, lie down on the exhale, take your time, try to feel every bone you can think of, or at least your body, and then draw your feet in closer if they feel far away, for a few pelvic curls. We inhale, feel the back of your arms because now you get to stand on them and your feet, exhale, peel the hips up.
Really role through the spine. If it doesn't feel smooth in the beginning that's okay, you'll get more chances, but step on your feet, imagine those inner thighs had to be pulled toward each other. Exhale down.
Inhale at the bottom, exhale, roll up. I don't think it's supposed to be, but we can try in our practice, that's where it gets a little better. So here, open up the collar bones, it's real easy to start one way and end another. Exhale, roll down. Upper back, middle back, smoothing it out.
We don't have to try so hard, especially in the beginning, we're just warming up. Inhale at the bottom, start your exhale, feel how sometimes a softening can allow you to move more and just notice what your body wants to do. I guarantee you it wants to help you, I guarantee it. So what is it doing that you don't need? Inhale, exhale, roll down.
And the idea generally right now, I'm almost to the bottom, inhale at the bottom, we'll go back up, let's do two more. The general idea is that you feel the back of your body help the front of your body. We're not lifting so high that we arch the back or feel pressure there, but the front of the body is getting a stretch. Inhale, exhale down. Feels better already.
Do your knees want to splay? Do you need to part your feet more? Maybe, just check yourself out, it's okay. Inhale, and then melt your way back down. Trying to do it sequentially without much changing in terms of the width.
Once you get there go ahead and bring the knees up, one or both at the same time. Take it to about 90 degrees, take your arms out to the side in key position. Our arms are gonna look like they're floating maybe, but if we had a full floor here they would be on the ground. Going toward the window for knee side to side. We inhale, keeping the knees together so as you look at them they're exactly side by side.
Start your exhale. And again, softening through the ribs, the abs to bring you back to center. Other sided, inhale, so that opposite hip does lift. You do your best and really you keep the shoulders down. Back to center, to the window, inhale.
If it feels like too much, you can do it with your feet on the floor, that's no big deal. It's more or less finding some anchor points through this workout so that when you're anchored in one area the rest of the body can move somewhat freely. I'm going to the window, inhale. It's worth taking a look a the knees, they should be exactly side by side. Start the exhale, let it come from high in the rib cage as it brings you center and to the back.
It's almost like you have just one leg. I'm only gonna do two more, one each way. How do we count again. (laughing) I'm going one, one, two, two, so this is one. You're asking me how to count?
Well, you have your own way and I tend to think it takes too long, but I'm doing it your way, I'm doing it your way, this is still one and this is two, so that means one more to the front and one more to the back. We'll see if I stick to that later. But this is really just a good time to breathe and to recognize that what your body can do it will do and just to be nice to it and find it and explore it and come up back to the center to put both legs down, glide the hands behind your head, fully lace the fingers and that just means commit to what you're about to do. Let the elbows come up off the mat a little. I've kept my knees and feet together.
Try to keep the hips pretty still. Exhale, curl yourself up. It means your head gets longer, or your neck does, to curl up, looking towards the thighs, hold it there. Inhale, exhale, come back down, stretching yourself long, it feels so good to give yourself that personal traction. Inhale, exhale, curling up.
It's like a softening of the breastbone for me, that allows my neck to feel longer. The chin will come down some. It's more like how much can I fold, right, under the, I guess chest line. Inhale and exhale back down. And because I am feeling somewhat stiff I'm gonna do the thing that we sometimes do, exhale curl up.
(laughing) Do the thing, Kristy. I'll let you know when I remember what it is. So we're here, here's the thing, here's the thing. Squeeze your inner thighs, reach forward, grab onto the back of your legs. Do we have a name for this?
Oh, that thing. This thing, yeah. It's the hold and grab. Hold and grab, that sounds so aggressive, I'm all about not aggressive. Bring your arms up, keep your body up, put 'em behind your head, stretch yourself out, we're not done though, so don't give up at the bottom, inhale, exhale, fold yourself up.
Is it reach and assist? What, reach and assist is nicer, but hold and grab works, I'll take it. Kathy and Dana were just here, they probably said things worse than that, or better I should say. And down, we're doing two more of the hold and grabs and it's like, can I get stretchier? Exhale, curl up, but get there on your own first, then reach for it, hold, exhale, sink the belly, pull yourself, not up, but forward so you're bringing those shoulders closer to the hip bones, in my opinion.
Reach the arms way up, can you them further, back, back, back, ooh, barely, put them behind your head and down, I think we have one more. Ooh, it's amazing how certain shapes can take the breath out of you. Curling up, try not to let the hands come out or the head come out of your hands on that last one. Curl forward more. We're staying up here, put the hands up first, put them behind your head, go toward the window, exhale.
Stay high as you come through the middle, exhale to the back, two, see, I changed the count already, this is three, I'm not doing one, one on this one, it feels better, feels like I did more. So we're just exhaling. And on this version in particular it's really shoulder to hip, you're trying not to move the lower body at all. We're not doing a full rotation looking to the back, not yet, we're warming up, getting heat in the middle, however slowly in terms of the movement. One more to the back.
Come back to the center, inhale, reach, or hold, the back of the legs, grab on, pull yourself higher. Meri you gotta take it from here, but I'm gonna give you the arms up and you can have it. And then go all the way back. And taking the legs out straight. Gluing the legs together and pressing them down into the mat.
Breathe in as you bring your head and chest up, reaching forward, draw the abdominals and breathe out, curl up. And today we're gonna sit up and reach out. And round and reach forward. Just imagine that you have a friend to reach for it in front of you. And roll back, I do, I don't have to imagine, but you can imagine.
I don't have to, I'm imagining Winny and Jenny opposite each other. And then lift the head and chest, push the low back into the mat, roll through the spine, shoulders over pelvis. And inhale, open the chest, reach, eyes forwards and round abdominals, pull back to the spine and rock back, I'm just super excited, I've just been smiling to myself this whole time, that I'm just, it's so nice to move with you again. It's so nice to be here. (laughing) It's been a long time.
It's been a very long time. And roll, I've been very patient. You have. One more. I have too, believe it or not, no, not yet, no, not yet.
Oh, and reach back and inhale. I can't let my workout partner down. That's true. Because my brain isn't ready, it's ready, it's okay. I'm good at being patient though, so I don't mind.
So sit up tall and flex your feet and open your arms out to the sides. So we're gonna spiral, we're gonna inhale, we're gonna do a gentle spiral with a double twist. Choo, choo, center and twist, twist, center. Keeping the arms straight across as though you're holding something straight. Like a pole.
Like a pole, or a, I don't know, straight arms. And then what we're gonna do is we're gonna go over to this way, we're gonna reach the arms up and we're gonna get taller. Now just like a wine cork, because I know Jenny likes to drink wine just like I like to drink wine, we're gonna press the arms down and we're gonna pull our bodies up like a cork. And we're gonna come back to the middle, and Winny might eventually. Inhale, rotate, exhale, get taller, reach longer.
Push the arms down, liberating your spine and come back to center. I like that idea, a liberation of the spine. And reaching up, I like the idea of a liberation of a lot of things. And then inhale to the back, last one. Reach up, open out and come to center.
So we're gonna come into center, we're gonna bend the knees, bring the feet in close, get small, abdominals in, knees touching together, lift the feet up off the mat, rock back, inhale, and lift.
No, no, we're just going back, we're going to go all the way down Kristi, that's true.
So push your knees through something sticky, through a solid, against a wall, whatever it means to you to pull with resistance. We'll go four, inhale, three, inhale, two, we go one more, now we're gonna hold the knees, we're gonna push the knees into the hands and we're gonna come up the way we came down, with control. Eh, eh, eh, eh.
So now both hands on the right leg, so you see that maybe life can also be struggly, Pilates can also be a little challenging. So we just push through the challenge. We're going down with one leg in our hands. Reach the straight leg out in front of you and switch. Five, five, and we just breathe, three, and carry on, two, one, both hands on the right knee again.
Come up the way you came down. So use your knee, push into your hand, curl up, stay balanced behind your tail, change legs. Go down again. Straight leg reaches, straight leg reaches, and then we're down and then we go, change. Two, push down on the knee, three, keep that height of the curl, four, five, so we should all be on the left knee again, right leg straight, push your knee into your hands, curl up, use a little momentum if you need to, stay there.
Right knee in, left leg out, body center, reach forward. No. Yeah. Really? Uh huh, it's happening, roll up.
Mhmm, good job, change sides. You sounded like a horse just then. (laughing) Roll down, hands back and switch. Fives, crisscross I mean, five, four, four, three. I've already psyched myself out for the next return up.
Well now you know it's coming. I'm letting it go, I can do it. Left knee in, right leg out, roll up. Oh my god. To modify simply hold one leg.
(laughing) And then both knees in, both feet down, let's separate. And would you like to lead us through some sitting up stuff? I would love to do some spine stretch, I need it more than anything. So legs straight if you can, otherwise bend them, hands behind your head, this is my friend Erin's version. We sit tall, we find that traction, we inhale.
Spine stretch, exhale, round forward and down. You can let the elbows drop, but think a little wide with them, as if you're gonna put the top of your head on the mat. Then from there the backs of the legs press into the mat as you elongate your spine on that diagonal. I wanna go a little wider with my feet, so I'm going to. I encourage that too.
Extend your arms, stretch into it, flexing through the legs strongly, inhale, refold the arms as your spine grows longer. Exhale around forward and start to roll back up and eventually you'll inhale in there somewhere. Exhale, finding more suppleness to your spine, rounding forward. Get down there, get down there, reach through the legs, it helps, inhale, press down through the legs to elongate the spine on the diagonal. Extend your arms long, right alongside your ears.
Inhale, stretch into it, find space breathe those bones, refold the arms, exhale, round forward. And roll up, as if your feet were against a wall that you were pushing yourself up. Inhale, there's lots of little oppositional changes, you'll find what works. Exhale, round over, you've got all the air out, and I really have to pull in through the ribs, then press down to the back of the legs and use the back muscles to elongate. You might find you get further each time.
Extend the arms. Watch those ribs, those flexible ones of you. Inhale, refold, feel the neck and spine get longer. Exhale, round forward and roll back up. Inner thighs somewhat involved too, it kind of works everything, if you ask me.
Exhale down, we'll change it. Inhale into that back extension. Extend the arms, stay there, thumbs toward the sky, find some space between your ears and shoulders and now start pulling the arms back. It's small, it's almost a press forward of the chest, you don't have to see much, just find those muscles between the shoulder blades. Lean into it more, ti's okay to stretch the hamstrings.
Let's do five more from here. One, get longer, more space, two, three, four, still my favorite exercise, well that was five already, I could keep going, but it's painful, so refold the arms. Fold yourself forward in the spine and roll back up, allowing your arms to drop down. You've had a warm up to this, we'll just close the legs for a spine twist a little quicker. Arms out to the side, squeeze the inner thighs, sit right up on top, twist to the front, double exhale, one, two, center, get tall in the middle, two, two.
If you've got your wits about you, and I don't always, you can press the opposite or the forward foot into the other one so that you can actually create some resistance, you're twisting to the right you're gonna press that right leg into the left. Press, press. I've never tried that before. No, I'm pretty sure I learned it from you, but... Okay.
And how about two more, get taller, it's just the idea of helping yourself because that's what we often have to do. Come back to the center, let the hands come down. Starting with the feet apart, I'm just doing a little thing. Fingers face your feet if you can or sideways. Let them bend just a little, open up the chest, straighten your arms and we just lift up first, looking for that tabletop, open the shoulders, just hinge and sit down, one more like that.
Lift up, use your feet, right, it's not just the arms, and down, you can stay like that or stretch your legs out. I won't be kicking, lift up. If you feel it in the back of your knees you might find you have to bend, but use your butt, use the strength of the backside of your body, hinge to sit down, let the arms come up. Going again, three more. Hands down, lift up and sit and lift, one more.
And sit and lift and let it come down. I'll let you take it from here. Let's turn to the side, lie all the way down, lining up the legs together almost as though you're just standing straight. Gluing the legs together, send the legs out and away and down. And out and away.
So bringing the awareness around the center of the body. And out and away and pulling the abdominals back towards the spine. We go two more times, lift and down and lift, now holding the lift take the top leg up, bring the bottom leg up and down and up and down. Lifting the lower side of the waist with that bottom leg. And two and one, now both legs stay together, we're gonna lift the upper body up and down.
And up, it's not easy and it's not a huge amount of lift. Just try to keep your head in line with your arm instead of trying to lift by throwing your head up. And then up and down, let's bend the knees so that the heels come into alignment with the tailbone. And then we'll open up the knees and down, we'll do these kind of quick. So press, I like to imagine that at the (mumbles) there's something for me to push against.
And one more, and then go the other way. Back up, around and down, back up, around and down. And three, oh, my head just cracked, did you hear it? I did, I was hoping it was me. Maybe it was, maybe it was a simultaneous cracking.
Push up with your hand, take the leg from the top across the front of the body, sit up, bring the knee into the chest, lifting the spine, lifting the chest, and then take that same leg out to the side, mermaid. Yeah, so the leg that came from across the front of the body goes out to the side like that, uh huh, exactly, and then Kristi and I are gonna reach away from one another. So we go out, away from the leg we just placed, arm down on the mat, let's exhale to bring that upper arm around towards the bottom arm. Inhale, elongate the spine. So I let my pelvis tip.
Kind of an anterior tip or a forward tip, and then round, let the pelvis go the other way, inhale, open, exhale, up and reach over, we'll do three. Inhale, sit up, reach out, arm down. It's a long breath, breathe more if you need. Exhale, around, inhale, elongate, exhale, flex or round the spine, inhale, open, exhale, reach for me Kristi and then over and then last one. Up, reach out, arm down, rotate, lengthen, round, letting the spine move through all those different ranges.
See if you can keep your skin away from your shirt. That's my favorite game to play. (laughing) Do it, it works. I've been trying a lot lately, but I just got back from vacation, it's not gonna happen. You just need bigger clothing.
Oh, now I've lost count Kristi, and we're gonna blame you. That's fine. And top leg comes up and bottom leg comes up and down. It's Kristi's fault if we're at all asymmetrical. I accept it.
I don't know about you, but I walk through my life totally symmetrical all the time unless Kristi makes my count go off. Yeah, I get it. It's our last one, so we hold that. Your fault for saying something funny. Now you're gonna inhale, we're lifting that upper body keeping the arm or the head right by the arm.
There you go again. (laughing) What? Nothing, I'm listening. Your legs stay up the whole time? Yeah.
Okay, good, I'm with you. So the legs stay up the whole time and the upper body's lifting. How much are you using your bottom arm? A little, you can use it, but you could also try not to use it, it's possible, but you're allowed to use it. What you're not allowed to do is hunch your shoulder up into your ear when you're using it.
So what you would think about is pulling the scapula down towards that upper hip joint to lift the bottom of the body. And then we come down, we bend the knees, lining the heels up with the tailbone, we open the knees and down, so remember here we're pushing away things that we don't want near us, I can think of a few. I'll just keep them secret though. You notice I'm quiet now. What?
Nothing, I'm not gonna mess you up, it's not (mumbles). Okay, so three more, and two more, get nice, strong rotation, one more time. And then we have our five circles in each direction. In, up, keep the spine still, around to the back. Into the body, up, around to the back.
And three, and two, and one. And then we're gonna go to the back of the body. So back up, around to the front and down. Here's two, so keeping that trunk totally stable. Last two, one more and then down.
Sit all the way up, bring the leg across the front of the body if you can. (laughing) I'm struggling a little bit on this side, to be honest. Bring the knee into the chest, lift up through the spine, press the leg towards the body and the body towards the leg. Okay, so what we do Kristi is we take this leg that we're holding onto. (laughing) We take it out to the side, yeah, just like that.
Good thing we had the opening we did. Okay, we're gonna reach the arms out, we're gonna reach for each other because that's what friends do, put your arm down and rotate, exhale, ring out the spine, enjoy, and then inhale, lift the chest, let the pelvis rock, I love it, round, open, lift, arm comes up, we get longer on that side of the body and then we stretch over. And then we come out and over and the arm comes down and we round, maximizing movement in all directions of the spine, lengthen, round, open and lift, reach up, up, up to go over. And last time, inhale, arm down, exhale, twist, lengthen, that's my favorite part, that one, and round, and that too, actually, yeah, the whole thing. Open and then reach up to go over.
And then Kristi's gonna take us through some back extension. Yep, heading straight down onto our bellies. And I'm thinking single leg stretch, but I'm gonna do it low. Take your hands and you can either put them one over the other or just leave them apart, I'm not sure how I wanna go, I'm feeling like I want them apart. But before I really pull them to me I'm thinking shoulders down, my legs are stretched long, I'm gonna start with them together, they may come apart a little.
And I'm drawing my hands toward me, the whole arm really, with a downward pressure. So most of my sternum is on the mat, my chest is not. Float both legs up. And from here right leg then left leg four beats. It's inhale, two, sorry, three, four and two, two, three, so it's two per side.
In, two, three, four and exhale, two, three, four. Think about this being more back extension or really back side of the body. And pull, pull, pull, pull and out, this energy pulling yourself forward as if you were gonna glide forward on the mat without having to worry about the low back so much, so the abs are still pulling in. Let's do two more rounds, here it comes. Pull, pull, pull, pull and out.
Last set. And out, two, three, four. Both legs straight, lets go for double leg stretch. So you're gonna lace your fingers, turn your face to the back. Either lace, I'm actually gonna grab a few fingers, pull those hands high up on the side, I won't put my face down just for the sake of the mic, but you should.
Shoulders down, legs float and hover and we kick three times, kick one and two and three, stretch your arms back, you're long, you still don't have to lift high, but you wanna stretch yourself forward, other side. Kick one, kick two, kick three and stretch, get those elbows down. Kick one, kick two, kick three and stretch. If the kicking gets you off just do one, but get those elbows down and stretch, two more, or one more each way. And stretch, pull those abs in, don't get so high that you can't, this is is.
Hold in, let the feet go down, push the tops of the feet into the ground, pull the abs in more, raise the arms up for five, grab closer to the fingers, four, keep lifting and reaching through the chest, three, it's not higher, it's more forward, two, one, let go carefully, let the arms come forward, bend the elbows, put them by your side, push up with the forearms, lift the whole trunk and round back. I think you said Winny wants some teasers.
Yes. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna sit behind the pelvis, just like we did when we were rolling up and down with our legs, except for now you're not gonna use any help. I'm ready. Okay, good, let go. So now we're gonna keep the legs absolutely still, start to rock the pelvis under, rock the pelvis under, coming down to the shoulder blades only.
And then we roll the body to the legs, roll the body to the legs.
Oh, and then we're gonna take the legs out and the arms up, keeping the legs still we roll back, arms reach back, the head and chest come up, roll up, up, up, reach for the feet, lift the arms and reach, rocking under to roll back. And lift, and lift up, using your arms to help you if you need, always. Last one. And then roll up and then reach up and now we're gonna bend in, grab and go into a rolling like a ball. And this is for my friend Lisa Hubbard, do you know this one?
It's called teaser explosion.
And teaser explosion and round, we'll do one more, reach out and round, just because it's fun, put your feet down and stretch your legs out. Crossing one leg over the other. Taking the arms forward. Did you know that this whole class has been building up to this moment right here? The boomerang, so we rock back, bring the lower back down, lift the legs, roll up and over.
Stay lifted with the spine, uncross and recross the legs, as the pelvis comes down, the head comes up, the arms reach forward, reaching for the feet, lift the arms overhead, arms come behind, they go back and they stretch the shoulders, feet go down, round the spine, you're gonna reach forward. And inhale, arms come down, legs come up, roll over, uncross and recross the spine, roll down, reach up, reach around, stretch, legs come down, to almost (mumbles), round to the front. We'll do one more time through to each side. So that means two more repetitions. Rolling down, arms up and over, letting yourself have a little fun with this one.
Reach up, you're faster than me. It wasn't fun, I was having fun, you said. (laughing) We do fun at different speeds apparently. I was like wee. Last time, round back.
And roll down, reach up, open and back and down. And all the way forward. So just reaching around, holding onto your legs wherever it suits you to hold and pull and then uncross and recross. And reach forward and for the grand finale. Oh, good.
Reach under for the seal puppy. Reach under, so that upper arms are around the knees or under, well the upper arms, the knees are on the upper arms, the elbows are under the knees, here we go and we're gonna open and close three times. One, two, three, rock back and balance, hold on, one, two, three, roll up and balance. One, two, three and back, keep the head off the mat if you can, and ah, yeah. So, there's this really great quote that I love by one of my favorite poets that says, "Life is a balance between "holding on and letting go." And so is this exercise, right, so I was just thinking about that, holding on and letting go.
Last one, one, two, three. This is how we let go. And we sit up, now I'm gonna give thanks to my friend. Thank you. And to the people in my life out there in the world that inspire me to be a better teacher and a better mover and, thank you.
Thank you Winny.