Class #3205

Mat Exploration

45 min - Class


Take ownership of your body with this Mat workout by Rachel Taylor Segel. She encourages you to keep moving without worrying whether you are right, so you can start to trust what your body can do. She also uses the images of creating branches as you breathe so you can explore the possibilities of moving air to different parts of your body.
What You'll Need: Mat, Pilates Pole

About This Video


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Hi welcome, I'm Rachel Taylor Siegel and we're gonna do an intermediate mat class. I thought we would start already down with knees bent and feet flat, maybe hip-width apart-ish, and breathe. Breathing was the most important thing to Joseph Pilates. I want to take some time, not that I would do that every time, but I want to take some time now to just settle in from where we've come to class and to let the breath fill you up. Like perhaps you have branches of a tree in your ribcage.

When you breathe in you're exploring and creating branches. And then let your mouth open gently. Then maybe it's sap you know, coming down the branches into the trunk of the tree, and the trunk is your core, your center, the cylinder of your body torso. Then you open your mouth and you exhale. Every time you inhale, go somewhere else.

Create branches somewhere else, search for them. Then every time you exhale picture the whole tree like one of those big oak trees out in the middle of a field all by itself, up the branch from the earth and then out the mouth. The wind is moving the leaves, and the branches, and the body. It's so simple, it's just an inhale and an exhale. You don't have to think about doing anything correctly.

You're just exploring the possibilities of moving air into different parts of your body. As you inhale you feel your belly lengthen just naturally. You don't have to fix it or make it happen. You just breathe your breath up there into the branches, and the torso lengthens between hips and ribs. As the torso lengthen on your inhale, your diaphragm comes down and helps tone that whole upper ab, nice.

Beautiful, and you feel like your blades are pushing away from you into the mat because they do. You feel that yeah, you could affect your whole neurology by breathing just like this, letting the nerves in between every vertebra, branching out to different parts of you. Get a massage and a hot exhale at the mouth like you're misting your sunglasses. The next time you inhale into those branches with the lengthening of the torso, pick one knee up. Fold it into your body so you get movement and breath.

As you exhale out your mouth, gently lower and the belly contracting to push the air out holds the leg weight. You inhale and opposite leg comes up. Great, so a simple and easeful exhale that's explorative and searching. Maybe something different each time, beautiful. And the exhale out the mouth, and you can listen to it.

It's consecutive, it's consistent, it's sequential, it's hot, it's moist. Exhale, nice you two. Then as you inhale this next time pick that knee up. You're gonna keep it up and even bring it closer to you on the exhale, deepening the belly because of that. Then use that belly as you inhale again to pick the other knee up and bring it to meet your first knee up in the air.

Then as you exhale the next time, put one foot down and pick it back up on your next inhale. Now you're just make it every so harder, keeping your back relaxed because this is not hard work, it's just you're interested in the breath coming up and expanding in every direction. The connection to the abdominal muscles, beautiful. Then exhale that means something like you're talking to someone. Last one, and bring your knee up last time.

Squeeze them gently together and let's inhale now as you lower your foot towards the mat, your feet towards that mat and exhale in opposition but bring them back up, exhaling. It's a little bit harder, but not much and your backs are staying relaxed. Your exhale out of your mouth is deepening your belly. As you inhale you can picture your whole circumference expanding in all directions and you exhale, beautiful. Last time, and inhale.

Place both feet down. And exhale to finish. Then bring your legs together as they had been and sway your knees to the right, inhaling just a little bit, but stay there and start your exhale first. Listen to it and feel your belly. Use your belly contracting to bring yourself center.

You hesitate just a hair. You inhale and you sway to the side. You feel that whole delicious length. You start your exhale and you pull it back just a little faster, nicely done. Inhale, sway where you will as long as you can come home smoothly and without tension.

Exhale, nice and again. Start the exhale out your mouth, feel your softening happen and the belly pull you back. Nice, one more time to the right, inhaling. Stay there so as you start your exhale, pick both knees up to your shoulder so you're on this little diagonal, your tail will curl. Bring them close and then roll center, inhaling.

Then exhale out your mouth. Feel your ribs soften and come down and place your feet on the mat, go the other way. Inhale to your side, start your exhale. Feel it, listen to it, use it to pick your knees up, exactly. Curl to the center inhaling and exhale.

Deepens you without back tension, good. Stay where you are there on the floor and take your right leg and slide it way down below you on the map and pull it out of your ribs, out of your throat. Then as you start your exhale, feel your belly tone and let your leg come rising up in the air. Straight leg, 90 degrees, something like that. Whatever feels comfortable.

Then inhale, lower it down farther perhaps from your breath and bend your knee and exhaling drag your heel and come back to center. Good, left side. Inhale, you slide the heel away, pull out of your hip, pull out of your waist, out of your rib. Exhale and allow the leg to come up really nice. You're just practicing movement with breath and now lower the leg long, out of your ribcage, out of your heart.

Bend the knees and drag. Good, let's go just faster one more set. And ex, and inhale somewhere else and drag and ex, left side in. And ex, good beautiful, and the back is easy. The shoulders, no tension in the low back or the neck, exactly so.

Then take your arms and lift them up above your head, inhaling, let your palms face each other. Go as far as you like, even if your back arches a little bit today. Exhale out to the side and down to your hips. Yeah a little faster, in with the air, up. Feel how it changed your body and exhale around and down.

Nice, and again exhale. Feel how your torso lengths between your pubic bone and your solar plexus, your throat even. One more like this. Don't try and be too right, just breathe. Hot exhale, trust your belly.

Let's go the other way so that after all this beautiful breathing and exploring your ribcage your belly is toning and it's supporting your organs and it's supporting your low back. The next time your elbows come up by your ears just so gently and easy pick your head and shoulders up. Reach your fingers past your knees. Yeah, just come up and reach and then lay your spine and head down and circle your arms again out to the side inhaling. Start your exhale and let it just float you up and then lay yourself down and circle.

Don't try and be right, explore your exhale. So excellent, deepen your exhale. Lay down last time. This time when you exhale you're gonna softly float up. Elbows by your ears and stay here for your hundred.

When you start your pumps and your pumping is added to that deep breathing to push the circulation of your blood through you. Maybe not just your blood, but definitely your blood. As you're pumping your arms it's not just because I say, but because you want to pull the blood from your heart down through your legs. You can bring one knee up on a diagonal, squeezing your legs together and straighten your leg out into the air. Then feel nothing else changes but the other leg squeezing knee to knee goes up, beautiful, and you're pumping.

The most important thing is you're still interested in your tree branches. You're inhaling, expanding, gorgeous. It's smooth and slithery and I don't know. Just finding new places all the time, searching. If you find you need a little more strength make like a fist out of your hip and just gently pull your legs into it.

Just so you feel like they're not a hindrance to you, but actually a help. Last breath you two, so beautiful. Feel how the exhale pulls the belly in and allowing you to soften and bend the knees to your chest. Hug them to you. Lay your spine and head down one more time.

Press your shins up into your hands and vice versa. Press your hands down into your shins. What I'm hoping you feel is a deepening of your belly and a lengthening of your back. Then rest your hand shins, and try it again. So your shins push up gently and your hands pull down gently.

Your belly deepens into your organs and your back lengthens. You like that feeling, hopefully. You want to keep that and maybe increase it. Put your left hand with your right, so put both hands on one shin, thank you. Then press that shin into you hand and come curling up for the roll up.

Let yourself just push your shin yeah, exactly. Your ankles can come under the straps. When you do so wrap your ankles around the strap like you can surround it. Legs together and then you lay back behind yourself and you take your bar that's by your side up and over you. Nice, and then with your hands about shoulder width and wrists and elbows straight, inhale and take your arms behind your head as you are and then exhale.

Just simply bring them up towards the ceiling. Then inhale them back and feel your branching tree limbs. Exhale out your mouth, beautiful, and feel the bar. Feel how as you move the bar arm movement affects your body. And as you exhale it helps support the bar and the arm movement and vice versa, nicely done.

You have the strap around the foot, you feel that long length exhaling just the arms. You feel that long length come up the inner thigh hamstring, abs. This time as you lift your bar, elbows by ears, just softly float your head up with them. Come up and exhale further all the way over and roll your pelvis, swiveling your pelvis back around your legs. Exhaling and exhale, lay the vertebrae down behind and let your torso lengthen and tone.

Inhale rise and exhale hot and full. Push the air from you. Reach the sitz bones down and behind. Let the pelvis go behind that, exhaling and reach out. We're gonna go a little faster.

In with the air and as you exhale, curl, bend, round, nice. Then pelvis rolls back beautiful, easy. Exhale one more time a little faster. Inhale rise up and in. Bend and push the air out of you and exhale.

Roll back, keep the legs long, the strap taught, gorgeous. Place the bar by your side. Pull your right tummy in and bend your right knee up to your shoulders and put your hands on it. Just tug it in there, squish it in a little bit. Feel the left leg nice and long.

But the stretching of your leg. Whatever part you might feel your hamstring, inner thigh, you might feel the other leg more. You might feel it in your belly. Take your palms on your shins and kind of guide your shinbone over your kneecap towards your ear so that you feel, I'm hoping, the length of your low back increase and the depth in your right belly increase. Put your hands on the back of your thigh and gently straighten your leg into the air and bend it a couple of times.

Let the fact that your arms are holding your legs, not just hold them up but maybe your palms are lifting your hamstring up off the mat just a hair. Next time you come up, stay up and bend and straighten your arms three times. See if your upper arm bones can reach for the mat as you do so, gorgeous. See if your palms can pick your leg up just a little bit. Or maybe you can go higher and go to your calf or your ankle and pick your leg up and deepen your right belly, and lengthen your right back for single leg circles, so beautiful.

Then place your arms by your side, tummy supporting and circle across the body. Inhale down around and exhale home. Beautiful, a little faster. In and exhale, and inhale and exhale. Your thinking about your branches, not your nose.

You don't sniff, right beautiful, one more time. Inhale, hot exhale, reverse it down and around. Hot exhale home. Four more, feel that your foot is around the strap. The leg is long up under your ribs like earlier.

The breath is branching up and hot exhale out your mouth. Nice you two, stay up this last time. Breathe two breaths here, shed tension, split your legs like sliver scissors and just open now yes. And pull your tummy in. Because of it bend your knee to you and hug it to you.

Notice that I'm hoping that it should come closer, easier. So you've changed already. That's excellent. Then you slide that foot under the black strap and tummy in on the left and we'll do the left side. You fold your left knee up with your belly.

You tug it in just gently. You notice what you notice, your breathing. You're releasing tension where you don't need it and feeling tone because of your breath. Your palms are starting to be involved and they're taking your shin over your knee and in the direction of your ear. So that your left low back is so lengthy and your left belly deepens in and snuggles into your organs.

Then your hand comes behind your hamstrings as you gently straighten your leg and bend it a couple times. Your shoulders are broad and open. Doesn't take much work but your breath is still interesting to you. So as you inhale and the diaphragm goes down, the leg lengthen. As you exhale you're like a sea creature.

Even though they don't breathe, and you come up the last time and you bend and straighten your arms a few times. See how high up on your arm bone you could touch the mat. Just notice and let your palms kind of lift your leg uppish just a little, engaging the whole arm and lengthening the left back and deepening the left belly. That's what you want for single leg circle. You stretch the foot up to the ceiling.

You bring your arms down by your sides then we circle across the body. Inhale down around and exhale home, gorgeous. Inhale, cross over down around and expel. Exactly, inhale, and where branches of your breath could be on the mat, like which ones are interesting to you? Which ones give you your belly?

Last time and then reverse it, good. So as you breathe your breath up above, no clanking. Nice, you breathe it, it lengthens your torso. This is so excellent. Yes so good, and then you stay up there and just take two breaths that shed tension but give you acknowledgement and ownership of this body, this stretch, this whatever it is that's interesting.

Then tummy, bend your knees and you hug it to you. Again you should notice I'm hoping that it comes easier, closer, something. Then press your shin into your hand just like we did earlier. Curl your head and shoulders up and we'll rock up like a ball. Let go of your black strap and bring your sitz bones all the way forward to you heels.

Touch your heels with your sitz bones and that's hard. So put your hands behind and shove them forward. You get as close as humanly possible, now we don't spend time. So take your hands on your ankles and you go. Inhale to the blades, exhale forward.

Inhale back, exhale forward. Good, a little faster. Inhale, two exhale, yeah nice. And through that low back so it cushions and caresses. Neck is easy, collarbones are easy.

Beautiful and maybe the shins are pushing into your hands and vice versa. You'd get a deeper exhale and a deeper belly because of it. Put the feet down on the mat for a moment. Take your hands behind you on the mat and just lift your chest up and stretch, two big breaths. Lift your collarbones, open the sponginess of your bones.

Breathe a breath so that all your organs and their little leashes, they start moving around in your body. Then tummy and picks your hips up and sits you back behind for single leg stretch. You stretch those hamstrings one last time if you need them. Then tummy in rolls you back. Right knee to shoulder and we switch legs.

Inhale left and right and change. Left and right, good breathe in for two, breathe out for two. Now you have branches in your cage. You're exploring them, nicely done and you're not just tapping your shin, but you're tugging it over past your shoulder yes, to give you more with your palms, not just your hip flexors. Then both knees in, exhaling double leg stretch.

Here's your arm circles and your knee folds. Exhale right and you don't care to look good. You're interested in putting your breath where it's valuable, where it gives you a product that you want. Your back is gentle, last time. Exhale, put your hands on your shins.

Lower your spine and head and stay right there. Take two breaths, press your shins up into your palms and vice versa, your palms down. Feel if your belly deepens at all from where it had been. Feel if your low back lengthens or broadens. Then keeping that on your next exhale curl your head and shoulders and we'll do the scissors.

Take your hands onto your right. Now take your palms, don't interlace today but instead use your palms and pick your calf right up out of your thigh and pull them apart once and twice. Switch legs, once and twice good. Inhale for two legs and gorgeous for two legs. Pick your leg up off the floorish.

Maybe not fully, but just a little, right. Get more belly, nice you release and lengthen your back just a little bit. Do you not clunk maybe a little bit. Better and then take both legs up to 90. Hands behind the head and truly hold the weight of your head in your palms, shoulders and double-leg lower.

Inhale, exhale. Feel my hand on your tummy as you breathe you branches and exhale, gorgeous. Two more, yes don't let it take your back. You're elastic and you're inhale, sneaky. Then elbow to knee, left elbow.

That was beautiful because you got an internal shower right there and switch, and switch, good. When you take your leg out see if you can hold it from something other than but more from, nicely done. Yeah, even as you bend and change. Good like that so good bend both knees and rest. Nicely done, take a nice deep breath.

Curl up, come sitting for a spine stretch. Heel on the boxes, the whole foot as if it were in a black strap fold back and opens the sole like you have cameras looking at each other in your feet. Then as you lift your arms up, lift your ribs up off your hips inhaling and exhaling. Keep your elbows by your ears and bend. Inhale, sit up tall and exhale every atom.

Now start with the bottom branches and feel them first as you rise, and the next branches, the next branches, that's gorgeous. Then exhale and let the air come right out of your lungs into this space and up and exhale down. Less back muscles, stay right here breathe a breath down here. Stay here and soften, release and deepen your belly. From there let the air fill you up like a hot air balloon.

Just let it fill you and float you, that's better. A hot exhale pushes the air from you. Yeah, and even beautiful and put your hands all the way down onto your shins with straight arms and straight legs. Press your shins gently away from you and breathe your inhale and exhale so that your branches explore new places. This is your open leg rocker so you feel that belly scooping into your low back.

That is so good, and then that tummy turns you back onto your sacrum, knees bending and you bring your feet together. From your inhale smooth and sneaky up into the various branches you rise and exhale into your blades. Inhale back, exhale forward. Yeah, and inhale two exhale. Yes, a little faster inhale two exhale.

Yes, and a little faster, inhale two exhale. Gorgeous stay there, bring your legs together. I choose the wrong feet. (laughing) Take your arms out to the side and make them useful. Do something with them that helps lift you up and holds you. Then turn your legs out and crisscross your inner thighs together.

Inhale for a couple and exhale for a couple. And breathe in up your branches and bring your hands to your hips and carefully lower on the mat and lower your torso to the mat. Bring your legs up to 90 degrees and we'll do the corkscrew with the backs down. As you inhale your sneaky breath up through the branches, up through the trunk of your tree and then exhale, around thank you for going with me. Inhale and exhale.

What more branches could you explore? So excellent yes. Yes beautiful. You're so interested in how the legs pull on your diaphragm, pull on your breathing mechanism not your back. Let's bend your knees to your chest and hug them in.

Beautiful, use that tummy, shins into your hands and come curling up for the saw. Your heels are once again on the boxes, arms out to the side. As you sit there and breathe, yeah breathe your branches now, beautiful and take your inhale and twist it to the right and exhale around and reach your palms apart. Inhale up, floating the breath. Feel that pull right behind you as you come up.

That a girl, like even more, maybe snuggle back there. Those middle bottom ribs in the back and a hot exhale. So you are building a tree and the tree is yes, last one. Good, stay down here and breathe two breaths. Shed tension where you can.

Twist your ribs more, lift your arm higher. Deepen your belly because of it. Inhale, stack yourself up, go the other way. Stay there for a couple of breaths. Beautiful and twist, sitting both hips down.

Deepen the belly flex the soles. Here's an open leg rocker with a twist yeah, nicely done and come up and rest, gorgeous. Sweep your legs around behind you and we'll do swan. Arms are down by your shoulders. Stay here a moment with the forehead down and breathe your tree breath such that you can figure out how it works with the mat under your chest.

Where do the branches go? When you exhale out your mouth and you have that hot, moist breath, how does your belly contract into your body? How does it support the organs upside down? Then when you're ready, inhaling eyes, nose, chin, and chest you come forward with the whole spine. You lift, and as you exhale, pay great attention to how you exhale.

Listen to it like you're saying a love poem. You inhale eyes, nose, chin, chest. Your hands push, you feel the legs long and together. Then start your exhale and listen to exactly how you want it. One more time up, eyes go forward, chin goes forward, sternum goes forward.

Yes, stay up here if you will. Sorry I was late, stay up here and breathe three best building strength in the arms, in the belly. Notice when you're in the air here and the belly is pulling in yes, and the branches of the tree. Exhale back down, beautifully done you two. Tummy in, sit your hips back on your heels.

Nice long stretch. Then let's do an exercise we rarely do at this moment which is clearest castanets. Flex your feet if you would, underneath you. Really take the time to get not only your big toes, all your toes forward but your big toes reaching for each other. They may not touch, but you're asking and your heels reaching, they may not touch.

But you would like it and your knees touching. You have quite a platform underneath you. (laughing) Then clearest castanets, we won't do all of it, but it starts down here very rounded. Palm up as if you have a marble and you bring the little finger in to try and touch the center of the palm. You flick it our and the fourth and out, and the third and out, and the second. Don't worry about it if you get lost.

Don't worry about it if you can't get it the way you think. Just keep moving your fingers as independently as you can with as little tension as you can and as much breath as you can. Right, yeah a little faster roll them, roll your joints. Roll your tongue in your mouth, too. Then go fast.

Breathing and all this really was helping you to distract you from the arches of your feet so then shake your hands out and point your feet. Lay your feet down and when you do, reach your big toes and heels for one another so you're not turned out and you have good alignment. And your knees are still reaching for each other. Your outer foot little toe is trying to touch the mat. Your big toe, heel are touching each other but the outer foot, yes something like that.

That don't have to be perfect, you're just asking. Then have a seat and bring your arms around behind you. We'll do clearest castanets back there. Inhale for a couple ane exhale for a couple. Breathing deeply, shedding tension, exploring.

How far outwardly can I stretch my fingers? I know where the end and my palm is, but can I get it behind me or behind my wrist? Ribs easy. You're just tree branching. (sighs) Nice and then you're gonna go fast and your chest is wide open and your spongy bones are stretching even more than your muscles.

Last one and shake out. Good now you should be tingly and warm all the way up for single leg kick. You have nicely pointed feet that are in good alignment with your ankle, calf, knee in the right knee bends and you kick once and twice left, once and twice and exhale, and in, nice. Good and your fists and forearms pushing down, tone your belly. Then you figure out how to branch your breath.

Now forward, back, sideways. You reach your waist and your pelvis long away from your armpits, towards your kicking so that you don't budge too much around on the mat. Beautiful, last one, right and left. Good, and they lay your right cheek down for the double leg kick. So clasp your hands one with the other high up your back.

Take a nice, deep, branching breath. Start your hot exhale, bend both knees and kick once, twice, thrice and inhale. All limbs rise up, look straight forward and exhale and down, two, three and inhale good. Now whee are the branches now and how do you exhale on the way down? Let's pay more attention to the exhale this time.

Yes, this parts glamorous but then we come down. Yes, nice and again last time. When you come down, take time and feel your bellies. Beautiful you two. And you have one more, I think.

Three and inhale up. Now the ex, soft, smooth, constant pike. Tummy in, sit back on your heels for one time, nice stretch. Yes, you stretch your arms, shoulders back, tush, quads, shins, feet. Then you sit up tall for neck.

You place your ankles under the black strap hip-width apart. And you feel that feeling that you just had that the outer foot coming back at you now. Instead of being on the mat it comes towards you. Same muscles, your feet are hip width, right. You lay yourself down and behind and tug another quarter inch backwards so that you really pull on the strap.

Then let's start with the hands down by your thighs. So you feel maybe even on your thighs. You feel this beautiful openness come up through the inner thigh, hamstring, belly. You start that inhale that branches up through your ribcage, curls your head and shoulders up, and you exhale to bend and curl it around and go down crown to knees, that's gorgeous. Your tummy sits you up softly, gently, hands behind the head.

You swivel your hips against the black strap strength and you tip back. You exhale your breath beautiful. Hands down by your sides, so nice we'll do it one more time. Exhale, curls, bend round, over right. Tummy in sits you high up, ribs lifted off waist and then you swivel your hips and keep your strap.

Don't let it change as you lengthen your body backwards. Yes, very good. Knees bent, feet flat for shoulder bridge. You have this feeling now of the feet down deep onto the mat. They're lively and awake, so are the hands and arms.

You curl your tail through your inner thigh, low back, mid back, upper. You keep your hips high as your throat goes down. Your upper back goes down, bottom ribs finally, waist, sacrum, tail, and start again. The last time curl, bend around, stay up high, strong hips and feet. Stretch your right leg down away from you and inhale it up and exhale it down.

No clanking Zia, pulling that leg away and exhale down. Beautiful and up and down, do one more if you would. Up, hot exhale, bend your knee, drag your heel and plant that foot. Lift your hips and then the other side. In with the air and expel it, good.

Feel how the leg rising brings you and pulls the air from you and pulls. Not sniffing, but through the ribs, through the yeah, nice. In the body plant the foot, enjoyed the rolling down one vertebra after another. Think about every nerve that leaves your spine going out into every organ limb, etc. Tummy in curls you up and we'll do spine twist.

Feet together and flexed, arms out to the side. Feel the soles of the feet opening all the way to the belly. Inhale face front, exhale to the right. Once go even farther, twice inhale center. Exhale and even farther, beautiful inhale, once and twice.

Inhale up and exhale easy back, more branches. That's it, last one keep the heels together and the hips sturdy as you seek those lungs. Very nice, bring the arms down, let's do side kicks. We'll face this way and you can place your feet forward on your boxes and you draw your right elbow or your left elbow deep into your shoulder so it tones your upper abs. Lift your top leg up, flex your foot and if you would, turn it in to face the floor but keep your pelvis sturdy and make teeny little circles.

Inhale for a few so you want to work right there on your hip. Exhale for a few, reverse your circles, breathe into your branches nice and long. Exhale and bring your foot back down, good. Inhale the leg up about hip height again. Point your foot and turn your leg out and in.

Feel those muscles toning and giving you your belly on the top side. In fact, resist turning in a little bit and see if you can keep, yeah keep the muscles just so you don't get ahead of yourself. Good, very beautiful and you know you're going to do side kicks front back, so you're planning it out with those muscles and you're branching breath and we'll do eight. Turn your leg out and here we go. Front once and twice, back once and twice.

Inhale, ex, now big breath. Up through your spine, up underneath your ribs, up underneath your blades, exhale three and over. Front exhale back, beautiful keep your body sturdy. Nice, last time and back, back and legs together. Still turned out, heel in front ever so.

Inhale up, flex the foot and exhale. See if you can stop at the top so you kick up and you stop and you flex. Then you squeeze down, right. Strengthen your hip from having to hold that moment. The arms are drawing in and together with the neck nice and long coming up out of your spine.

Beautiful and reverse your foot. Flex up, point your foot while you hold it and bring it down, good. Inhale and exhale, and inhale up and exhale down. Nicely done, nice and toned drawing the arm in, drawing the leg in, feeling it again last time. Now bend your top knee if you would and plant your foot on the mat in front of your thigh.

Your toes face toward your other foot and you keep your knee way back, feeling the stretch from pelvis across the belly to the other side. Let's take this down a little farther, nice. Then the bottom leg lifts up inside of that and exhales down. Good so you're really working your hip. Put your hand here, push it back towards me.

Up and down with the inhale lifting and the exhale lowering. You're branching up your breaths yeah, one more time, stay up and make little circles, just tiny. Deep inside your torso, reverse them. Nice big breath, hot exhale, lower the leg and rest. Good job, let's swivel around to the other side.

So you're drawing your arms up and into your shoulders. That tones your belly for you. You lift that top leg just a little. Flex the foot and turn it to face the floor and make little tiny circles. So good for the strength of the hip, turn it in even more.

Right, so that you work the deep six reverse it. Tiny and circular. Yeah, that a girl. Then bring your leg down and then inhale, lift it back up. Point your foot and turn the whole leg out and in.

Yeah, and when you do that you should be able to feel your upper belly or your lower belly on the upper side and the back of your hip. Right, and your balancing nice and surely on that greater canter so that you can feel the deep six working. You finish turned out the next time and we kick to the front, inhale. Front going even further, exhale back and farther. Good and as you kick don't try and look good.

But feel instead the movement of the leg start in the hip and take the whole leg forward and backwards so that it aids your branching breath and your exhale. Your branches and your sap coming down and through perhaps. Two and back two, nicely done. One more time inhale big, hot exhale. Yes bring the legs together, you're still turned out, you're slightly in front of.

Then you kick up and you hold it and you flex and you come down, beautiful. Inhale up, flex down. Good let's do two more, I think we did four on the first side. Nice yes, beautiful and let your breath be more interesting to you than feeling your leg. Flex up, point so that the leg becomes a root into the full body-ness of your breathing.

So that the leg can pull on the diaphragm and the abs. So nice yes, you're just a conduit and then good. Bend your left, your top knee and put your foot on. You can put your hand there if you want to push it back. You should feel it strengthen the back of the hip and the nice breath across the front of your pelvis and lift the bottom leg up and down.

As you do so you inhale, you feel it come up through the middle so you're using your, so exhale very specifically. (exhale) And last time up stay up and make just a couple little circles. Feel the territory of your abdominal muscles like deep inside your body as you circle. All those different tissues toning very great. Lower that leg and enough.

Come sitting up, bend your knees and place your ankles under your black strap for the teaser one leg. You've got a position about 45 degrees towards your hips towards heels, knees bent. That's okay, come forward a little bit more I think. Feel like you're in a place where you can pull on the strap and it's helpful. But you're not too close or too far, like the Goldilocks thing.

Then both arms are forward and you're gonna keep your knees exactly this bent and your ankle strap this taught as you roll your spine to your blades, exhaling. Don't lower your knees and inhale, come back up. Right and keep your knees bent as bent the whole time as you exhale. You have a feeling of like on short box and inhale up. Yeah, and exhale down and inhale up.

Then stay up, take your right leg out of the black strap and stretch it out knee to knee. Then go down and up inhaling, good and really reach and roll back down. Inhale up good and roll back down. Last time up, inhale your branches feel new ones. Bend that knee, collect the strap knee to knee.

The other leg straightens and go lowering spine and rolling. You're rolling through your spine just like Mr. Pilates wanted. Curling, leaving down what need not rise. Keep that low back yeah a nice fight. Good one more time big inhale up.

Bend the knee and rest. Good, come kneeling, flex your feet behind you and do the same feet we did. We won't do clearest castanets again, I promise. But flex the feet again and feel your heel bones trying to touch and your heels trying to touch, and your knees trying to touch. You have really a secure, you feel it in your tush and your belly.

Lift your arms up for the arm swimming. We'll just do half of it so you inhale, see I'm giving you a treat. (laughing) Exhale and with your arms up here pick your collarbones up go ahead, keep going. It lets you breath unhindered. Enjoy the trees like reaching, the branches are reaching for the sun. One more big breath, get your arms behind you.

Yeah, make those blades move around nicely done. Circle the arms around to the sides, sit back and bring the feet forward for the seal. Yes, sit on your tush and bring your feet forward. (laughing) Your hands slip underneath your ankle bones. You have that nice breath and you clap two, three, roll to the blades.

Inhale clap, and exhale clap two, three. And inhale good, and exhale good. You're more interested in the branching of the breath. You want more territory than you've ever had. You want a ribcage that is the width of your mat.

Thank you for trying. (laughing) Yeah we'll do one more and then just bring your feet down. Nicely done, tummy in and let's stand up and we'll do a push up. Maybe let's do leg pulls actually. You're in a Pilates V and you feel your feet grinding down. In fact, while you stand there lift your 10 toes off the mat for a minute and use your, I'm hoping you would feel that from 10 toes down to 10 toes up you did not shift very much because already your body is balanced such that in gravity every muscle's doing its job sufficiently and you don't have to work hard.

You don't have to hold your tush for example. You just feel that open-soled, inner thigh, hamstring, belly kind of feeling. You can put your toes back down if you want, but lift your arms up, inhaling. You're going to curl over, exhaling to the mat. Walk out small steps carefully into your push up position.

Long from sternum to tush to heels. Then stay there and lift your right leg up. Hold it there and lower and lift your left heel. Then place your foot back down and then change legs. Lift your left, lower and lift and then foot down and again.

Inhale as your lower and lift once, and exhale down. As you do this with your inhale branching. So can you take the whole time of the lower and lift to branch your breath? Beautiful and exhale fully and branch and foot down. One more time.

(exhaling) Then curl your head and shoulders between your arms so much so that you pull back to your legs and your hands have to walk. They walk you in but your head is ahead of them. Heels down, that's beautiful. Then tummy rolls you up, elbows by your ears. Keep them by your ears so that as you roll up your tummy is toned and lengthened.

Exhale the arms to the side and down. Ta-da, you're Pilaticized. (laughing)

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2 people like this.
Great class. Gifted teacher. Creative queuing. I love it!
2 people like this.
Rachel, the tree branching image is so wonderful, and allows the breathe to flow movement. I love your true sincerity and passion for movement.
1 person likes this.
Wow, wow, wow...thank you for sharing your amazing skill set with us all. Makes me want to fly to Colorado to get some more from you AND your Sister! With gratitude from Vermont
1 person likes this.
Loved this class so uplifting!
Thank you everyone! Pilates is all it takes(-: Aren't we lucky💕 Rachel
2 people like this.
wonderful class
1 person likes this.
What an inspiration! Thank you!
2 people like this.
That felt great. I will keep coming back to this one for sure! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
feel amazing after this class, the focus on the breath was just lovely. thank you!
1 person likes this.
What a wonderful teacher, absolutely loved this class. Humour and encouragement are your tools Rachel
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