Class #3227

Grounding Mat Flow

45 min - Class


We are thrilled to have Sarah Bertucelli join this Girl Time class with Kristi Cooper! They focus on finding where your body is today, and then challenging it. By the end of the class, you will feel grounded through your feet, but lighter throughout your entire body.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Oct 24, 2017
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It's girl time, this is Sarah Bertucelli. Mary has been away, and I've been away, and I need some girl time so I recruited my friend Sarah to come in. We work out actually, she's my teacher as of late, so I asked her to join us today, and she'll throw in her feedback where she can, and Mary, I'm not apologizing, I told everyone I'm not apologizing, I miss you, I'll get to see you next week, but in the meantime Sarah and I are going to hold down the fort. Join us, for this mat class! Shall we begin? Yeah, let's go.

Standing on your mat, anywhere, in the middle is probably a good idea, finding your feet. Thank you for coming. Thanks for having me. You're welcome, thank you for being here everybody. Let's just feel where we are, and I am kind of needing, I'm kind of needing to just be with you, to be with you, and also be with me, so for me, that's finding the feet.

Standing tall as I think I can, shifting around a little bit and taking that second to just go, "Right, you're doing this now, no more stalling." 'Cause, you know, I could. Take a deep breath, raise the shoulders, yeah. Raise the ribs and just let 'em come down, you can drop them heavy if that's easier. Raise the shoulders, raise the ribs, raise the heels, and then however comes down comes down. Let's do a couple more of those, I'm kind of trying to act like I'm picking myself up, so that hopefully at the end of the session I feel lifted.

And lift, shoulders lift, ribs lift, everything, lower the heels, lower everything, take the arms up, turning them out, look up maybe, collect what you need for the time being. Exhale, let the arms come down, let your head fall forward. You're not leaning back, we're just going to round down. I'm going to bend my knees for this first one or two. My hands go to the floor, knees are bent, hopefully right toward my cheekbones, my forehead, something like that, head heavy.

Inhale, see about straightening your legs, or at least going more towards straight. I'm gonna stretch my toes up a little, and my knees aren't straight 'cause I'm not ready for that either, but toes down, bend knees, and roll back up. But it's a sense for me of, again, pushing into the ground, to just easily rise up; turn the arms out, inhale. (breathing in) Isn't it weird when you already feel better and you're in the right choice? And roll down... So true.

Yeah, just getting started. Yup. Bending the knees if they weren't already, bend them a lot, but bring your spine with it, right? So it's not just a hinge hip, it's a rounding of the back. Straighten the legs to the extent that you can.

I do wanna lift the toes today, I don't know why but I do. I wanna feel the feet, toes down, maybe bend the knees a little, or not, and roll back up. When you get there one more time with rotating the arms out, reach up, look up if it suits you, let's not overly arch the back, but you know what you need. And just exhale, I'm not rolling down again, not yet. I know, I should've, but I'm not going to; let's have a seat It's like round two, it's like another level, right?

You got your feet, you got your bum, and you get the rest of you to support. Can you? Yes, that's my chosen answer, I'll live into it. Holding yourself up, find your spine, inhale. Not going far, I am using my feet now, I'm feeling my feet to roll back a little bit, maybe to straight arms, probably not all the way from me. And then keep the curve, use the arms, literally use the arms, but keep those feet on the ground.

Come forward, maybe put your forehead to your knees, and then for me, I kind of pull down on my hamstrings to encourage the back extension, I have to feel. Turns out. (laughs) It turns out, inhale somewhere back here, and I'm holding the waist back, or I'm trying to. I'm sort of seeing where I am, and again, if I slide my hands or think about sliding them down the back of my legs, it just allows a little sore detraction; one more time, down, like that anyway, and you know I could tell you all the things I'm noticing about my feet that I really don't want to tell you, but they're just not exactly as I would love them. Straight ahead, but I'm working on it, and sit up.

Let's let go of the arms, I'll go a little further. Sounds great. Hopefully. I can do it. Yeah, I know you can.

(laughs) Roll back: the collarbones are wide, that just means you're not hugging around the front to counterbalance, but maybe to the shoulder blades. Or pelvis. Or to the pelvis. And exhale back up, yes, and then hands to knees, sit tall again; so same thing I'm kind of sliding the hands up to lift, and exhale. And no, really, it's so much about beginning.

So much about the beginning, inhale, exhale forward. It's seeing where you're at, and seeing where you know you're at, but challenging it too, Miss Sarah. Uh huh, I'm here. I know you are, I'm grateful, I'm here too, you'll say the same to me. Let's just keep going, how's that?

Okay. Go slow. I won't make you come back. Oh, then I can keep going. Yeah, of course you can, you can slide your feet in, and you can just put your head down.

If you slid off your mat or anything like that, come back to the middle so we can see each other, and you. And then take the arms out to the side, to a T. Let's just go right there. Something I'm working on for an old shoulder injury I still talk about, but for some reason has inflamed again, is trying to stay broad in the shoulder blades, so you might hear me say things like that throughout the workout: bringing both knees up. I'm keeping them together and closer to me than 90.

It'll be a little different for you, Sarah, probably coming, both of us, from the basi work, but I need a little more curve to my back today. So, both knees are lined up, go toward the window, inhale. Oh dear, I'm already cramping, (laughs) oh dear. And exhale, melting our way back to center. Sarah, what's the cue you use, that you give me on this?

It's some version of the ribs, then the something. So we drag the pelvis back by pulling the ribs down, for lengthening the low spine. Lengthening the low spine. To sort of drag the pelvis back. I like the first one for me, especially...

Soften the ribs down to drag the pelvis back, that's what I think about. So the legs become the weight, almost, right? Almost like you're doing an abdominal curl, for some people that is a useful cue, like as if you're going to do a chest lift. Wait, say that again. As if you're going to do a chest lift, so right here I'm twisting, and it's like I'm doing a chest lift to pull my legs back.

But you're not actually lifting. No, but that's what my mind thinks of. I think sometimes that helps people too. That's my experience. You see why I work with her?

(laughs) I'm going one more to the back-end side. Okay, we're still on time with one another, that's fun. And I can't see you. Awesome. Yay! I still got it.

Alright, me too. Both feet down. Let's keep them together, why not? Let's glide the hands back. I can't help but think of Rael on this whole warm up.

It's like, if he doesn't do it I miss it. (laughs) But what I need to do is lengthen the back of my neck, elbows are off the ground a little, my head is just resting, actually I have to somewhat think of pulling back. Exhale, curl up, blow out the air, blow out the air, blow out the air, and then make sure when you're at your high point that you haven't pulled your head out of your hands. (Sarah) Ooh, I thought you were going to say something else. (laughs) Inhale, and start the exhale, let your body follow the breath if that makes sense. Or, inhale, hold it up here, exhale, or you can choose to think of the shape as the reason the breath happens the way it does, or you can just not think at all and just go, although you might want to go faster in that case. Which would probably be alright.

And down, and inhaling at the bottom, filling up, let the breath start, so you might even feel the action in the middle. Sometimes I think about thinking about getting up before I do so that I have things recruited that I don't actually have to call up. Just one more, exhaling up, reach forward, and once you get there, grab your legs. Pull yourself not necessarily higher, but also forward, check those wide collarbones. Press your heels into the ground or drag them toward you, whatever makes your hamstrings kick in more.

Take the arms up above you, lace them behind you, stay up here, go toward the window again, rotate. Exhale, one, inhale through the middle, keep your head in your hands, exhale to the other side. Knees stay still, theoretically, and exhale. It's small, it's not the severe rotation that we might do later, but it's letting you know where we might go. It's sort of saying, "Hey, hello!" Like my Fitbit does, "Hey, what's up?" every morning.

"You've got this!" (laughter) And again. Is that enough, Sarah? Yeah. For a good warmup, can we come back to the center then? Reach forward, pull yourself up, blow out the air, soften the neck, and then reach the arms straight up, and go all the way back; wanna take it from here Sarah?

Sure, let's lift one leg to tabletop position, and then the other, and take the straight arms up to the ceiling first, and then exhale. Lift the head and chest and get a nice flexed spine so the arms come down as you do. From basi we're doing the Hundreds Prep here. Reach your arms back and stretch out. Exhale to lift, we're going to change just a little bit here for fun, 'cause I can use some more flection of my spine as well, that's my weak link.

Exhale to lift this time and hold. Now bring your hands around to the backs of your legs, lift your chest up higher but also lift your pelvis up and create a really nice rounded shape here. But push your legs into your hands as well to feel your hamstrings. And I just get a little rock and roll going right here. Don't that feel nice? Yes.

Just a nice little rock and roll. Don't even really try to organize it, and don't try to balance yet; just see where you can go. Like tipping to the tailbone a little bit, and then tipping all the way back, rocking and rolling. And then one more time, balance on your tail and stay here. So from here go ahead and place your feet down.

Step them forward so they're at the front of your mat. And then sit nice and tall here, now exhale. We're going to peel back that same place that is challenging for me, Kristi, I'm not afraid of it. I just have a hard time with it. We're going to lift one leg up here, lower it down.

Lift the other leg up here, lower it down. And then come back up, so for me, that is the most challenging point. For your abs. For my abs. I cannot go any lower without feeling like I'm gonna fall.

Feel free to go lower, Kristi, you have more. I'm good. Well, okay. Lift one leg, lift the other leg, and then roll up. As long as I know what we're working, I could go further.

But, yeah okay, we're going to just go back one last time to that place where I'm in control, ain't that right? Wholly committed to my phenomenal abdominals, yes? Lift one leg. Do you ever really know when you're in control? Lift the other leg.

Stay, now rather than crunching your ball with your hands, bend your knees in, bend your hips in, keep the shape of your ball, and then reach around and hold on. And now we roll like a ball, go. (yelp) I just squealed! (laughter) And again, just one more time, balance on your tail and stay here. Do three more. Three more, Kristi, here we go.

Maybe, here we go, go! (laughter) It's not going to go well for me but I need it. Heels close makes it harder, okay I got it. I got it, one more, and now we're going to really push the abs, you know? If I was working out on my own I probably wouldn't do this much, but I'm working out with you, and my friend Kristi. You're welcome, everyone.

Yeah, shins parallel to the ceiling. We're going to exhale, we're going to peel back. Use your hands if you need to; I, in order to feel my abdominals really working and flection in my spine, like to use my hands here, 'cause then I use the right muscles; feel free to go without your hands. Are you coming back up? I'm going to go down, and I'm not coming back up, no.

Stay here, we're going into single leg stretch. Hold the leg that is closest to that way, stretch the other one out, sorry I didn't clarify that. (Kristi) Pick one! Change, it doesn't matter. And change, and change, and change, and change. Now flex your feet just for fun.

Spread your toes, pull your toes back Kristi for fun. You wanted to do that earlier, let's keep doing it. (grunt) Just do it. Somehow harder here. Good, yeah it is, isn't it? I agree.

Good, let's just do one more, each side that would be now one more and one more, both legs are going to come in, point your feet 'cause it looks pretty. Take both hands to the outside of the leg so that, whichever one you do is fine, just feel a nice twist here. And lift your body just up a little higher. Lift, lift, lift, and then change sides. And lift, lift, lift, and change sides.

One more time using the arms as an assist, just to get a little more height, a little more stretch. I like to think of the grounding of my low back when I create this lifted feeling. And now, if you would like to continue with your hands behind your head, we'll do five more in each direction. Here we go, there's two, and two, and we have to remember we're having fun. Right.

Yes yes! You count like Mary though. Which means five is really ten, if you catch me. One more! So Mary, you're in the house And both legs in, lift your body. Kristi, I think we should go just a little more with the abs Yeah? Yeah, uh huh.

How about we straighten one leg, it doesn't matter which one, our hamstring pulled. But I want you to take your leg away from you a little bit. Anchor the other leg down more, try to feel that hamstring engaged on the other leg. And actively push with your straight leg into your hands. Change sides, and hold that: try to get the other hamstring really engaged, the leg long, and actively push.

And now change, with a little pulse. (scatting) Good, Kristi? What? We're going to do this until you tell me what else to do. Oh! How's that? That's great. Don't you think?

I'll be right with you. Okay, perfect. I would quit talking. Alright! (laughs) You know what, we're going to do something else. Both legs up, put your hands behind your head.

Press your head back almost to the ground. Your whole body, I mean, then from the abdominals keep your head pressing back, come right back to where you were, elbows slightly more forward, you want to see them; squeeze the glutes a little. It's okay if your hips come up. Reach long with the legs, that's your inhale maybe. Start the exhale, pull up, stop up at the top at 90.

Not further, inhale down, exhale up. Inhale, you can bend them, it's a little harder to do, meaning to coordinate it, but you can. (heaving breathing) Last one, bend the knee closest to the back. Rotate one more time, get up on it, on it. Pull that knee, touch the elbow, go Sarah! Not because you move the elbow, I saw that! (laughter) Get back here! I'm coming, I'm coming.

Thank you, switch. Okay, okay. You can do that, of course you can! I gotta use my hand. If you had longer arms you could do better, okay, back to center. Both knees down, feet apart, feet flat.

Take the arms overhead. (grunting) Okay, I'm gonna move. Right? I'm good. You sure? Yeah, maybe. (laughs) I love it, my teacher! Okay, feet flat straight ahead, my feet are slightly apart.

Sits bones' distance, we're peeling up, shoulder bridge style, just roll up and bring the arms overhead or down to the floor, I should say. Yum! Yeah. How have we not done a pelvic curl yet? Did I tell you I had a head injury once? (laughter) No more excuses. Okay.

Inhale, we're down if I didn't say it. Exhale, peel up, press the arms down, but before we go anywhere after this, get there, stay there. Find like, step into your feet, we've been talking feet. But now we're into it, right? So let's press into the what are they, arms?

Triceps, press into them, spread out your whole back, even though most of it's off the ground. Feel the stretch through the hip flexors. Not much going on in the abs, that's okay. They don't have to work the whole time. They're there, don't let the ribs flare to that extent.

Reach the arms further down the mat, pushing them, like you're going to pick up both feet. I'm just saying, like you were. Roll down, the arms will come off, and so now you have some guide to how you can work this in a way that's meaningful. Inhale, exhale, roll up, start with the pelvis. Let the arms be relatively easy; I would encourage you to keep them straight, fingers together, because when they land you have something to push into.

That means something to you, rather than just getting higher Go ahead and go back down; getting higher based on the trunk having to somehow do something it doesn't need to. Peel up (exhale), stay there, and when you get there once again, check everything we need to check. Step into one foot more than the other. I'm going to pick up my right leg. It comes up, just bent first, straighten it, check it out, check your hip level, and we're pointing down, flex up.

Two, everything else still three, four of six. Here's five, one more time, here's six. Stay up, flexed, hinge down, touch your whole back and hips. Push straight back up, six, down. Two, no rolling, three, push the ceiling away.

Four, here's five! (laughs) Come on, Sarah, here's six and point, put it down. Roll halfway down, and re-check: you want the ribs to go down, your low back and mid back is feeling hopefully some version of stretch; if it's not, check it out. Roll back up, step into both feet to do it. Step into the back of the arms, even the wrists and hands! Other leg up, left leg up, stretch up. Ooh, it's harder on this side all of a sudden.

Point down, one, flex, two; you can stop when it's knee to knee, three, right, someone count, here's four. Or you can go all the way. Five! Thank you, one more time. Six! Hold it up, lower it down, and for me before I go back up I know I've already dropped that hip. I'm adjusting down here where it's easy to do.

And up, wall goes high one, down, up, two. Wow, I'm all of a sudden super hard breathing. Is that five? Four? Five I think. And we're doing, six, correct?

Yup. Here we are, six! Point the toe, bring it down, roll yourself down. Find the vertebra, spread out the collarbones if they crept up on you, bring the knees up into your hands. Hug them in, look up, doesn't matter if they're together or apart, start that rocking again that Sarah did earlier. We'll come up on three more, one, or whatever your count is, two, I'm standing up on this one.

(exhale) Can you lead us through spine stretch? Yeah, I was just going to, it's like we planned that but we didn't! I was just going to take over right there. Place your feet on the front corners of your mat and scooch yourself back; scoop any flesh out that needs scooping and really sit here for a moment, worrying less about straight knees and more about sitting high up on your pelvis. I know this may look funny, but I do this all the time. It's like I'm doing a Shake Weight or something.

But I want to feel like I'm forward enough on my pelvis that I'm equal on both of my sits bones. And so for a lot of people that means that legs need to be a little softer, a little less straight. I can straighten my legs and keep that arrangement but it takes me a moment, and then I can flex my feet back and that's what I ultimately want. (Kristi) You can also sit on a towel. Exactly, okay: so sit here and stay for a moment longer, and think about the idea of softening down through the backs of the legs, almost powering, not powering, but weighting down through the backs of the legs to lift even a little taller.

Inhale through your nose; with an exhale start with your head, your upper back, your low back begins to round; your fingers, if you're flexible, may graze the floor here. Keep them just an inch or so away from the floor. As you continue with a rounded back to reach to your deepest position, take a breath here, and then round and roll yourself back up as if you're stacking your body against a wall. Sit tall and feel that your pelvis has recovered to that same position, weighted. Exhale to peel forward the head, the upper back, engaging the abdominals, we're going to reach forward here, lengthening through the crown of the head but still staying rounded.

Take a breath, use your exhale and round yourself back up, again stacking your body up against an imaginary wall: let's do one more like that before we add a little back extension for variety. Exhale to peel forward, feel that nice articulation through your back. In my early days of practicing pilates, I found this to be an uncomfortable exercise. I've grown to really love it, and I feel that it's so incredibly valuable, and I just think it's a testament to pilates and how it just keeps getting better. Straight from Rael's mouth. All time my favorite.

Exhale, peel forward; it doesn't get easier, it gets better, better better better. So now stay in this rounded position, which I happen to love now, and reach your heart forward and flatten our your spine on the diagonal. Have your arms close to your ears, so really keep the spacing of your arms narrow, and lengthen through your back a little more. In fact, push down through your legs to create more length: that's hamstring engagement. Now round forward, feel the arms graze the floor.

Keep the arms low at shoulder height as you come up, so the arms are right back where they came from. Inhale here, exhale to peel forward again. (exhales) Inhale, flatten your back, take your arms up by your ears, feel that: press down a little through your legs to reach forward a little more. Arms are more narrow, and then round forward. And let's add on after this one, adding just a little bit of rotation, yeah? Yeah.

Inhale, exhale to peel forward Inhale, flat back, arms long by your sides, stay here. Good, let's all just take our right arm, it'll be easier that way, and take it down and around. So I'm rotating on the diagonal, down and around. So it comes shoulder height with me and reaches back. Take the the other hand and reach toward the opposite foot, and create just a little bit more sensation of rotation, trying to hopefully keep your pelvis and your feet still.

Good, and then take a breath, and come right back to where you came from on the diagonal, whop I'm here. Now we change sides, so my left arm comes down and around. So I'm opening first, and then I place my other hand somewhere on my foot or my leg, and I give myself that extra little bit. So I'm still on the diagonal, but I'm rotated, yeah? My hands have helped me, correct?

Now one two three, we just come right back to where we came from. (lip trill) And then round forward and come all the way up. So you can choose to do it again with the hands as an assist, which is wonderful, or you can choose to do it without the assist of the hands. I'll choose no assist, and I think Kristi would like to use her arms. (laughs) So we're on the diagonal, rotate around, use them or don't. Unwind.

And rotate around, use them or don't. Unwind, come forward all the way back up. I think we should do one more, yeah? Okay. Yeah, inhale.

Exhale, peel forward, on the diagonal, and rotate around. Inale, and ba ba ba bah, doesn't matter the breathing, just breathe, and round down, come all the way back up. I think we should scoot forward on our mats, 'cause I am a big fan of rolling. We're going to do the open leg rocker. Tip back on your tailbone, and here just lift one foot up softly, point the foot, lift the other.

Let's do with the legs bent for just a couple moments and feel the spacing of your thighs and your body. Feel that, and keep that spacing the same. So my spine's going to move but my legs don't really actually move. Just inhale and gently roll back, nice little articulation on your back. And as you find your balance, I want you to think of using your back extensors to put on the brakes, look up slightly and feel the upper back working.

Do you think it's easier to do it on your thighs? I'm purposefully opening up the space a little bit. Yeah? Yeah, so for me it is. But if you wanted to close up that space a little bit, that's going to allow you to be a little closer.

I'm assuming you're going to straighten them, and I'm going to stay here. Yeah, that's perfect. Yeah, totally, so I like this. And I think this is for somebody who's less flexible. It's a really nice way to do the exercise.

Inhale to round back, pretend to anticipate what I'm afraid of so I'm getting more used to it this way. And then chest is open. And just do one more. And then we'll do the full rolling of course, or the full open leg rocker, so what I like to do is make sure that I can straighten my leg without using my arms, and hold it there, and that's where it's going to be. And then straighten my leg without using my arms and hold it there; so that's why I start with my legs wider, 'cause I happen to know that's where I can straighten my legs; so check in! Can you keep your feet here and let go for a moment?

Good, then we're in the right spot, yeah? So inhale to round, and roll back, open leg rocker. And exhale, try to really use the back extensors to put on the brakes; a little wobbly, it'll clean up once I stop talking. Inhale. (exhale) Good, and just practicing and enjoying. It's so much nicer when you get rid of the fear of "Will I make it or will I not?" I used to always have that fear with rolling, honestly.

One more? Yeah. And now I feel like it's not a leap of faith anymore. I know what I need to do, as opposed to just hoping it'll happen; pause there. Release, then bend your knees, cross your legs.

I think we should scoot back for space. Change relationships, maybe to a plank position, and then maybe Kristi can take over. Alright. Yeah? I'm going to go all the way down though first.

Okay, perfect. Yeah, so come all the way down first for a single leg kick. And I'm doing it in the low version I tend to do, 'cause I like to feel, I think I said that already. And sometimes I can get lost in the way it should look. So I just do hand over hand, you can do any way you want.

I like to do this; this is okay with you, right? Of course, yeah yeah; for me, I'm just drawing the forearms toward me, I do start that way 'cause it gives me a sense of grounding, and then I kind of travel down the body. Abs are sort of engaged, hip bones, whatever. I don't mean this nonchalantly; I'm drawing up a little with my abs but not so much that I'm rounded. Rather, I want to feel proud; it's a weird cue but it still works for me in my own head.

I reach the legs, mine are slightly apart, I encourage myself to get them together, so I'm thinking inner thigh kicking, the right leg. I'm going to go inhale for four, exhale for four. So inhale inhale, exhale, here we go. In, in, in, in, and out, and of course pick the breath that works for you. But what you want to do is keep yourself still through the body; focus, let yourself focus on those hamstrings, right?

The knees are slightly off; if that means you have to go lower, do that, that's cool. But, here's the real coolest part, is when you work the back of the legs, when you work your glutes, I know you know this, but remind yourself that that helps your back from top to bottom, and you can get that extension. What's the exhale, I don't know, let's do one more breath cycle, you find yours. When you finish your next exhale, straighten out both legs, come down, take the arms around, turn your face, right cheek on the mat. I am nursing a little bit of that shoulder still, so I'm going to just pull a couple of fingers and take my arms up as high as I can.

But I still want to get the elbows to the ground, or as close as I can. Hmmm. Yeah, I know, this is one of my favorite exercises. Hover both legs, but don't forget those abs, and kind of pull up, again try for legs together, apart is okay: we kick three, one, two, three. Straighten the legs, I'm not putting them on the ground.

I am just turning those arms around, reaching more forward than just up, turn the other way, bend the knees, go three: one, two, three, and reach. That good beautiful extension, you can raise those arms up, go for it, and exhale kick one, kick two, kick three. Big inhale, fill up the chest, fill up the chest, make that your focal point, and turn. One, two, three, inhale, this time tops of the feet on the ground, lift a little higher with those arms and chest, and one more each way. Kick one, kick two, kick three, tops of the feet down.

Stretch forward and up, last one. Da, da, da, and up, up, up, now let go of the arms. Take them out to T, you can lower your body a bit, my feet are still on the ground. Try for parallel, mine aren't together. From there, rotate the arms so that the thumbs go toward the ceiling, from the shoulder joint, and lift for five, kind of slow.

Four, push the tops of the feet into the ground. Three, two, and one, then you can just bring your arms down. I like them closer to me than just falling into a T, and I'm putting my head down, I'll be back in a minute. Pilates is hard. (giggling) It is hard! I love it. Mm hm.

Okay, now for the plank you asked for. So, hands by your shoulders, let's get up safely, right? We roll the shoulders back to some degrees so that you're ready, abs are ready, just use your knees, push the knees in the ground, push the hands in the ground, so lift up, take a quick round back. (heavy breathing) So we'll come forward into that plank, nice and strong. Alright, feet are flexed though, right? Drop back into the feet, but lifting away from the floor.

Take your left leg, point the toe, lift it up, touch down; that other leg is completely straight. Two, three, stillness in the rest of the body, four, here's only one more, here's five, put it down, switch. One, that bottom foot's flexed, two, three, four, ooh watch your head Kristi, five, put it down. Take the hand closest to the window, Sarah. In the middle, and we're going to swivel to the side, and we are going to sit down and lie all the way down for side kicks.

Elbow, my fault; bottom either at 90 or straight leg, it's up to you. I need some stability in my life right now, so I'm going to do it this way, but you can be all the way down if you know a different version. Top leg kicks forward, one, one, kick back, and two, two; so in this version we're definitely going for the stability; three, and four, we'll just do eight, five; you can make this bigger and more mobile, right? There's no problem with that. Oh God. Eight?

Eight. Hold it to the back. Way back, and then don't even look at your hip, just roll the top hip more forward and push the thigh bone backwards more; yeah, I took my hand down just 'cause it made sense to me. Lifting that leg, it's way back, it's as far back as I can go, and then I try to lift, there's three, there's four, five, should probably stick with eight, which that must be it, so then we just come round to the other side. On the elbow, I have my knee bent, you can go all the way down, et cetera.

Here? Sometimes it's just nice to know you've got something; kick forward. One, and back, and two, back; for me, there's gotta be a sense of freedom when I swing it, even if I'm trying to stay controlled. It's gotta be a swing and a catch. One to two more, I think two. Is this it?

That's alright, one more, here, do another one. Take it back, alright, from here press the top hip forward. But also reach it, it's not to get it out of the hip zone, but just reach it and then push it further back. From that place we lift eight, one, two, it's not changing your waist, three, four, you could push straight back next time you take the class, hint hint, and you'll know when eight is good! Bring it in, and let's just stay here, cross it in front, just that leg, we don't need to stretch out. That wasn't enough for you to need a stretch.

Just kidding, take one if you need it. Let's do side bend, I'll take you to the other side, and then you'll take it? Perfect. Alright, side bend. (heavy breathing) If you feel like I'm psyching myself up, I am. Just set yourself up where you've got space.

You're not already here, you're lifted, as if that was all you were going to do. I now know, 'cause I can't push from here, I'm going to move my legs out. I'm on the side of my hip, and I'm going to use my legs, I'm definitely going to use this whole side of my body, not just my hand; my hand's not strong enough right now. Come on up, my friend; feel for a side plank. Look in the mirror for a side plank, Sarah's got a side plank, she's always got a side plank.

I'm working on it, and we're just going to bend the knees and come down. Okay, you're ready, don't set up again, you're ready. Lift again, up, just there, come down. I'll add the arch on these next two, yeah? Shoot yourself up, there we go from here Now push into the waist, however you see that, push in the feet, whatever you need to do to make that arch, and last moment look down at the hand.

Come back to that somewhat of a T position, bend the knees, only one more before the other side. You can use your legs, I encourage it. Make your shoulder safe, up, over. Now this part, really draw the armpit toward the waistline, head goes down, arm is not locked but it is in fact straight There is a big difference that we'll talk about another time Come on down, sorry Sarah, other side, just flip around. We'll just stay facing them. Sounds perfect.

Yup, you're on the side of your hip. I could give you more cues, but essentially line yourself up And go: lift up, I do have to look, you should too, everyone And then come down, so when you come down you're not having to regroup theoretically, or you do if you know you need to. You're in charge of all of this. And down: these two we add the thingy. And up, and from here make it nice Sarah, make it come from the waist first, then when you think you're there, that giant rainbow, you look down, it's all easy, looking for that pot of gold so to speak, back to the T, and down, last one.

Still on your side, try not to rotate on this one. That comes later, up over, come back to the side, and down. And Sarah, you can take us home. I am going to take you home by lifting up one last time, and then coming 'round to a plank, 'cause that's how we got to it, yeah? So here, bring your weight forward into your arms, and just feel both of your arms working.

Just bend your knees a little bit and see if you can tap your knees down, without really changing anything, abs still active, and then stretch your legs to straight. If you were unable to comfortably tap your knees down there, then you should just move your feet in just a little bit more; they weren't quite as close as they could be, so you should be able to roll over the toes, tap them down, just one more time. Roll over the toes, tap them down, now untuck your toes. You're in a quadraped position. My knees need to come in just a little bit.

Round through your low back, levitating out of your legs, relaxing your head, neck, and shoulders. So I'm not overly pushing with my arms, but I do want some rounding in my upper back, the natural curvature; and then extend your back. So you're gonna come to neutral position first, open through your heart, bringing your heart forward, just feel that nice ease. Again, I'm using my core, my body so much, that I'm not really on my arms as much as I want to be. I'm not leaning on them, I'm levitating out of them in my mind, and then round again.

Let your head relax, and then come forward again into that arched position. We're going to move into a little bit more back extension with some arm work, so step back into a plank position one last time, feel that nice power, and bend your elbows all the way down to the floor, so you're now on your belly again. We're going to keep this general hand position, so take your hands just a little bit outside of your shoulders, your chest is open, your elbows are down. Here, I'd like you to tuck your toes under again for me and press into the pads of your toes so there's a bend at your toe joints, and lift your legs away from the floor. But press down through your pelvis, so there's this opening in my front hip that will help me engage my hamstrings.

So keep your feet like that for a little while, not the whole time but a little while. We're going to find upper back extension here, so open through the heart and bring your body forward and extend your upper spine. I'm purposefully saying forward because I want you to use your arms to kind of pull forward just a little bit, going for a front body stretch sensation. Yeah, keep your legs like that if you can, and then lower down; so I'm not asking you to go to a full extension yet, and maybe this is where you stay the whole time. Open through your heart, pull your body forward.

Now feel that energy through the legs. And lower down, and now we add on, okay? So we inhale that same position, upper back extension. Now here, just un-point or unhook the toes and point the feet, and keep them like that, as you continue lifting yourself forward to maybe a straight arm; they'll go down when you come up. (Kristi) Mm hm. Yeah? Yeah.

And then bend your elbows to come back to that place where your elbows are down, tuck your toes, lower your body. So your thighs now stay lifted the whole time. Inhale to upper back extension, okay? Now here, support with your legs by pointing your feet, and now open up your arms as much as you can, so my elbows stay down as long as I can, and then I straighten; that's where the tricep work comes in, maybe. My legs will eventually find their way down.

Bend the elbows, put the elbows down, the legs will lift. Tuck the toes for support, and lower down, yeah? Let's do two more like that: inhale, thoracic extension, support with the feet, point them. Lift lift lift, then continue. Legs will naturally find their way down, and lower down.

I did say two more, didn't I? Tuck the toes, one more, here we go. It feels great. It does feel good. And point the feet, lift lift lift, and then, (groans) It's nice having that time.

I just wanted to send my head back. I know that's not always what we do, but it felt good. So tuck your toes under here, bring your hands into a comfortable position to push up and sit in a child's pose or a rest pose here. Now, I'd like you to let your feet be flat, the tops of your feet flat; try taking your knees a little bit open and your toes toward one another. Stretching your arms in front of you, just sway side to side a little bit, and as you sway side to side, think about the thigh bones and the shin bones kind of just rolling around a little bit, and perhaps linger somewhere where you need to linger, it feels nice, maybe on one side, and you just want to sit there for a moment.

The idea of rolling around is just to explore maybe if you feel something different on one side versus the other, maybe where you need to stretch or let go a little more. Wherever you may be, just take one more breath, and then find your way to center. Return to your hands and to your knees. So tuck your toes under here and take a nice foot stretch, and just enjoy that for a moment. Now, the next option is to keep your hands planted.

Push into your hands and sit back toward your feet, and that should feel like a really nice stretch, yeah? Now, you can stay right here; you don't have to do anything more, but if you want to bear more weight into your arms, sort of push the weight of your body to your feet, to the toes, to give yourself a little more stretch. And then my knees lift off, right at that point. And then I can kind of play with the idea, I'm walking my hands a little closer to my knees so I can just lift and kind of come back to a place where eventually I would put my heels down here, but that's not going to work for everybody from here. In fact, it doesn't work for me yet.

So I'm lifting my knees up and going back toward my feet. And then just one more time, we'll do that, and if you're doing the other version, you're just going to lift up this time. Walk your hands toward your feet, press your legs to straight, and you're in a forward fold. I'm just coming forward so that I'm more in the view here. Relax your head, soften your knees, and we're just going to finish up here the way we started.

Let your head hang, let your knees bend, your head may nod yes, your head may nod no, but you should feel very easy in your back here, very light. Feel both of your feet grounded to the earth. Begin by a little leg straightening, but you don't have to go all the way if that doesn't feel good, and roll up through your back. So when you come up to a standing position, I notice my feet are off, so I'm just going to adjust them so they're in a better position for me. Stand tall, look forward, take your arms up.

Instead of lifting your shoulders here, reach up and lift your heels, but lengthen as if you're being pulled up by your fingers, feel the height. Lower your heels down, keep the height in your body as your arms find their way by their side. And let's just roll down one more time like that to close up So soften your knees if you need, or keep them bent: it's totally up to you. Let your head dangle; I like to, I don't want this to be ballistic feeling but I bounce a little bit, and shake a little bit to make sure I'm relaxed. Feel free to bend your knees a lot, and maybe your chest is resting on your thighs now and your head is more relaxed, and draw your abdominals active, and roll yourself up nice and easy like.

Keep your feet grounded. Eyes open or closed, your choice, I go back and forth on that. As you come to a standing position, look forward. Just one last time take your arms up and feel your whole body lighter, yet grounded. Grounded through the feet but lighter through your body.

As your arms come down, don't let your body become heavy. Feel the lightness, your arms float down. (exhale) Thanks for playing! Thanks for being here, thanks for being here! (clapping) Girl time, yay, we miss you Mary, next time!

Girl Time with Kristi and Meri: Fun with Friends


2 people like this.
Just finished this with you. Wow I feel so light yet grounded. Just what I needed. Leaving for Cabo next week and I am downloading this to take with me! Arriba!
4 people like this.
arhh feel great after that... and smiling

Nice to do a class with Sarah again (reminded me of my BASI training back 2011!) x
1 person likes this.
Great Class!!! Poor connection though! I wonder why?
Thanks for playing ladies! It was such a treat to teach and play with Kristi. Julia, I hope to cross paths with you again soon! Monica Higgins, I hope you have worked out the connection issue.
2 people like this.
ı loved it...thank you ...
2 people like this.
Love girl time... and really loving this class! Cant wait to try your ideas with my anti-stress and all about the fun in Pilates class in Zimbabwe, thank you both!
2 people like this.
aaawwwwww, so great! Little Tutorial and great workout! This class gave me a great workout and inspiration too! Love you ladies! Love girl time,LOL! Awesome
2 people like this.
Very nice. Thank you girls ☺️👍
2 people like this.
That was EXACTLY what I needed today. Thank you so much I really enjoyed it.
So lucky to get to be a part of girl time. This was a fun class to teach and be taught! Hopefully there will be more. Thanks!
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