Class #3243

Vertical Mat

55 min - Class


Have fun with the Mat work while getting deep into your powerhouse with this Mat workout by Kara Wily. She teaches a twist on the traditional Mat by doing everything vertically rather than horizontally. This is a great way to experience something new in your body and it will give you a better appreciation for what we do on the Mat.

This class includes a lot of hanging so it is best for those with healthy shoulders.
What You'll Need: Mat, Cadillac, Moon Box, Reformer Box, Magic Circle


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Kara, and we are going to do a twist on a classical mat together. We're going to pretend that our mats are upright. And we're going to be doing all of our work vertically instead of horizontally. Pilates Anytime asked me to think about some ways that people could have fun with their mat work while also working deeper. And I had some ideas.

We could do some partner work. We could do all kinds of things. But I just thought, sometimes it's fun to take an exercise and turn it on its head and just have a new experience in your body so it gives you a better appreciation for what we're trying to do on the mat, as well. The other thing I'm gonna talk to Ambika and Kristina about today, is sometimes just stillness, that stillness can be a real challenge for the body. And sometimes we don't even realize, in even transitioning legs and so forth, like we are supposed to be holding our bodies still, not going all over the place.

We talk about stretch, strength, control. I think we use our spines, our abdomens, and mobility. So, that's what we're gonna work on. We'll do a few different variations. We're gonna cancel out all the rolling exercises until the very end and bring 'em back into the workout.

So, we're gonna get started. Kristina and Ambika are gonna start standing on their boxes. They have a little bit of boxes. There are going to try to get as close as they comfortably feel with their heels back. You remember, when we do the wall exercises, this is what we ask everybody to do.

And we're gonna draw our stomach muscles in and up as if we're standing against, or sorry, laying back against the mat. With your abdomen in and up, you're gonna prepare for the hundred by curling your head forward, reaching your arms with some power, and just right here, guys, we're gonna start to pump the arms. Inhale, one, two, three, four, five. Exhale, one, two, I'm gonna step a little bit away. One, two, three, four, five, two, two, three, four, five.

So, this workout is also a good idea sometimes to think about a mirror being able to also see your reflection, because I want you to really think about what position you're standing in or lying down in the mat when you're actually doing your hundred. Good, and hold your body still. How still can this body be? Can your arms just move? I bet a lot of us do that on the mat, as well.

In, two, three, four, five. We have three more, four, five. Again, in, two, three, four, five. Can you make your legs longer, two, three, four, five. Last one, in, two, three, four, five.

Out, two, three, hold that body still. Don't let it change. And then lay back on your mats, so the head can come high. How was that? Let's raise the arms out in front of the chest.

Let's then pick 'em up, try to reach up to that pipe above your head and just stay for a moment. Good, so once again, you're laying on your mat. Your belly is in and up. We're gonna start the roll up. I want you guys both to stretch your arms straight out in front of your shoulders.

Then start to curl your head forward. Good, so straight down from the shoulders. And then start to curl forward and roll all the way down, exhaling. This is your roll up on the mat to go down. And roll back up.

Now, Kristina's gonna try her absolute darnest not to move this tower bar at all. Arms reach and up to the pipe, once again. Arms go in front of the shoulders and peel off. So, think about your spines, guys. We can take a little time here.

It's kind of all nuanced and different. So, think about how your body's reacting to the motion. You feel it pitching you forward on your toes. So, try to keep those heels grounded. Let's do three more times a little faster.

Arms go, reach all the way down. Can those heels stay grounded? Can you still squeeze your legs together and stay against that bar? And roll back up, two, three, four. Now, Kristina's very flexible.

She likes to rest down there but she can't this time. Two more, arms curl down. No just resting, reach beyond the front of the box. And then curl back up because that's the exercise that we do on the mat. One more time, arms go.

And last one, go. Good, try to stay in front of the mat. Try to stay on those legs. Isn't it impressive how much your legs have to work? Isn't that fun?

Didn't you enjoy it? And then because coming up to finish. Good and just rest the hands down for a moment, take a little breath, good. It's different standing up, yay. Let's try rollover.

We're gonna try two in each direction. I want you guys to attempt to grab that bar over your head. You guys at home, do what you can but don't get hurt. You're gonna have your legs together. You're gonna try to reach your toes to that pipe above your head.

Open the legs apart, roll them down. One more time, together, all the way up to the pipe. Good, let's watch Ambika, reverse. So, legs apart and go all the way up. Good, one more time, I'm gonna catch you.

All the way, stay there. Can you go to the bar? To the bar, to the bar, can your head come forward? Good, and with control, Ambika, with control, legs together, with control, with control, with control, with control, nice. It's nice to try, good.

Are your arms okay there? Are your shoulders okay there? If your tummy is, that's it, erect and strong, and you're stretching long through the legs. And we're not gonna move this tower bar behind you. I want you to raise the right leg out in front of you.

In your powerhouse, try to draw five circles. Inside, around, stop, one. Inside, around, stop, two. Will that heel go down further? Three, good, four, shoulders on the back.

Good, are you in your powerhouse? Five, go the other direction. Five, four, good, stand into that leg. Three, can you feel your whole foot? Two, and one, hold the leg up, good.

How hard is it to be in your center there? We often on the mat, everybody wants to come up to 90 degrees. This is often not a good position for people. Some people have to be a little bit lower. It's okay, 45, 30, sometimes that even works for people.

Try the other side, good. And other leg will rise up, good. Kristina's having some height issues. Circle the leg, inside, around, one, good. Feel that foot though, Kristina, two, good.

So, the stillness again, right, isn't that so strange? You can feel all that movement that wants to happen in the body. Now, hold it still, reverse the other way. One, right, be simple. Tis a gift to be simple.

Two more. And lower the leg with control. Good work, good work. So, it gives you a little bit of an appreciation, right? Let's come down, bring your hands down for a second, good.

Another alternative we could've done with Kristina, is we could've just had her hold here. Ambika, you can try this, too. Just keep the arms low, right? Let's keep 'em straight, that's it. 'Cause this is the other place we do it on the mat.

Let's try it here, too. So, just start with the first leg again, reaching out in front of you. Good, you guys, stand tall, good. So, Kristina likes to raise her leg up to 90 degrees, too, but I'm gonna say if you are really trying to be, that's it, in your skeleton and strong on your leg, why not just try it here and draw five circles? Inside, one, hold.

Two, hold, three, hold. Your shoulders have to work so hard. Can you use it elsewhere? Four, and reverse, good. And five, and four, with your powerhouse, that's nice.

Hold that leg still, good. And then try the other side. So, that's another option, right? A little bit less advanced, good. One, two, three, try to hold that back against the mat.

Four, right, circle just the leg. Five, wow, that's different. Reverse, one, good, go to your outside inside. Two, that's it, three, stand in that leg. Circle, hold.

Circle, hold, one more. Circle, hold, good, and lower the leg, good. So, the next time Ambika goes to lay down, I'm gonna see, she probably does the same thing. She wants to wiggle out of that circle a little sooner than she should, good. We're gonna keep going, you guys, good.

So, we're gonna skip along like a ball. We're gonna go right into the stomach series. For the first one, you guys, I want you to just draw one knee right into your forehead. And I really literally mean grab on with both hands, curl forward into it like you're curling off the mat. Remember, your tummy is reaching back into the mat.

Remember all that good stuff? Without the shoulders, I still need a neck. Yes, that's it, now can you get it to your forehead? And pull one toe, two, and change. And one, two, oh good.

So, the standing leg is strong again. One, two, right, and we hold the center still again. And change, one, two, good. We forget sometimes that Pilates are just movement, right? Like oh my gosh, is this what I'm doing on the mat?

Last couple, one, two. Can you literally get it up to that forehead. And other side, one, two. I'm gonna push on Ambika, but she's not gonna fall down. She is going to pull herself into a tinier little ball and really literally get there.

Get there, change sides, good. And other side, and get there, get there, that's it. Try one more on each side. And really use your stomach to pull that knee up and still stretch the bottom leg. Last one, good, Kristina.

And get there, get there, and good. And just to challenge Kristina, I'm gonna ask her to move back a little bit, good. Are you as far back as you can go, too, Ambika. Two more on each leg. Let's pull one knee, hold that center really still.

And pull, pull, change, pull, pull, change, good. Pull, pull. Last set, pull, pull, good. So once again, you can feel even in transitions, those are like a lot of movement. Staying still is very, very tricky.

Let's take the arms up, you guys, to grab onto the pole for our double leg stretch. So, we just had an experience trying to bring our knees to our foreheads. This time, we're gonna try to bring both knees into the forehead. So, everything's just gonna tuck it up. Stretch, two, stretch, good, bend the knees.

Three, that's it, just what you just did. Four, we're comin' to that later. Five, that's it, it's a little tricky back here. Good, stay right there, you guys. So, that's your double leg stretch.

Let's go on to single straight leg stretch. For a moment, can you stretch your feet towards the front edge of your box, and just hang there for a second? Right, that's probably the number one thing. Can I have your feet for a moment, Kristina, I mean Ambika, stretch your legs good. Hollow your belly in.

I think I need grip pads. So, Ambika's gonna ask for the grip pads, so we're gonna reach down and grab 'em. If you don't have some at home by you, pause, go get something and come back and join us in a moment. Good, good. Good, you guys.

So, stretching your feet in front of the box again, let's hollow the stomach, good. You're gonna insert your shoulders down to your back a little bit. That's another thing we kind of don't get a lot of strength in the mat work is working this upper body, so we're challenging that. Now, into your tummy, good. Single straight leg stretch.

You're gonna try to raise one leg up to your forehead. And then alternate, one, two. One, two, one, two, one, two. Really scissor it, Kristina. Change, that's it, change, good.

Now, don't move your tower bar, remember that stillness? Let's find it, so in your powerhouse and try three more. And one, two, one, two, you're okay. One, two, from your powerhouse, use it. One, two, one, two, that's all you need, brilliant.

That's your single straight leg stretch. That's the way, Ambika, very nice, good. It simplifies things, yes, guys? Good, double straight leg stretch. Now, you get to keep your legs straight, okay.

So once again, guys, try to find that position out there with your feet at the front of your box. Scoop into your center, and five times let's try to raise the legs to the angle you can reach to. Up, down, up, down, up, down, up, two more, up, one more, up. Awesome work, take a little breath, good. Last set is your crisscross.

We're gonna grab that bar one more time, you guys. You're gonna try to just curl the opposite knee up to the opposite shoulder, five on each side, and give it a shot. Pull the knee, one, good, other side. One, other side, two, opposite legs straight. Two, three, that's it, stretch, three, four, good, Kristina.

Four, can you pull it even higher? Five, all the way up, get to the shoulder. And then rest, good, good, good. You guys feeling your powerhouses? It's different, right?

Good, good. Now, Kristina, since your box is wide, I'm gonna have you go ahead and take your feet to the edges of your box. Ambika, because your box is small, I'm gonna have you step down off of your box. But now, once again, try to have your heels go as close to the Cadillac as you can, good, guys. Good, good, good, right.

So, we don't need those for a moment, good. So, spines stretch forward. So, I want you guys to start making a flat back position. Because if you recall, the spine stretches the first time, we're not laying on the mat anymore. Now, we're sitting upright, okay?

So, you got it, Ambika. So, you're gonna stretch out and come and find a nice flat back position, that's it. And you could reach your arms forward or down on the box, whatever makes you feel good. Awesome, Kristina, now, Kristina has a challenge to not be pushing this bar backward, but to be stretching, that's it, forward. That is your goal, Kristina.

For spine stretch, we can generally start with our arms out in front of the shoulders, that's the way. And the motion is, we roll down the spine, putting the head into the bellybutton. So, you're gonna still try to curl up, right, it's a spine stretch. And then straighten the spine back up away from the mat. That's the exercise, again, roll down.

Exhale, get there, get there, get there, get there, get there. Inhale to come flat back, flat back, flat back, flat back, flat back. All the way, parallel to the floor. And once again, exhale, and roll, roll, roll, forehead into the bellybutton, good. And back up to your flat back, Ambika.

Gotta stretch, you have to use your legs, guys, more than you ever used them possibly in your life. Two more times, exhale, go down, down, down, down, down. Good, stand into the whole foot, use the whole leg. Rise up, up, up, up, up, one more time. And go down, down, down, down, down.

Good, can you bring that bar forward again? And roll up, up, up, up, find your flat back, flat back, flat back, and then you can rise up tall. Enough of that, right, good, good, good. So, those spines stretch, good. Let's move on, we're gonna do a little corkscrews.

So, if you guys will reach underneath the Cadillac, grab that magic circle that we have hanging out. If you guys need one, go get one, or pretend you have one. They're gonna go ahead and place the magic circles between their ankles. And they're gonna try corkscrew. So once again, you're gonna take hold of that bar above the head.

You're gonna once again, insert your shoulders down into your back. And believe it or not, once again, we're gonna think about stillness. So, those feet can hang forward, off the front toes to the box, so you're squeezing your ring. Now, you're holding your trunk still, good. And you're going to take the legs up in an angle, and we're gonna corkscrew one direction, reverse, the other direction, reverse, around and good.

Are those arms strong? Is your powerhouse working? Last set around, last one. And around, and take the magic circle down. Awesome, good, let's put that magic circle away.

And once again, you can either stand on the outsides of your box or down on the floor if your box is small. Again, we're gonna try to have the heels forward. And Kristina's gonna try not to push this bar around. You guys are gonna take a flat back position once again. And let's try the saw.

Now, the arms go out to the sides of the room, good. And the motion is we're gonna reach to the opposite foot, and reach and saw for a little toe. One, two, three, and come up to your flat back, find it. Other side, and go one, two, three, and flat back. And go again, reach, reach, reach, and flat back.

And go again, and reach, reach, reach, and flat back. And one more time each way. Keep those arms long, and reach, reach, reach. Nicely done, good, try to keep those little strong legs standing. One more, reach, reach, reach, and come to your flat back.

And rise up, ooh, that got better, nicely done. Good, you guys, that's your saw. For a swan, turn around and face the Cadillac. Good, Ambika, you're gonna stand on your box once again. Good, Kristina, you're there.

And I want you guys once again to grab onto the bar. And this gets to be just kinda nice. So, we talked about some stillness. We talked about powerhouse. What about length?

That's another thing about being on the mat sometime, we don't really get to just feel the stretch. Isn't it nice to stretch sometimes? So, you guys, once again, just feel your feet reach for the back edge of the box. And just let yourself, like taffy a little, like can that center just stretch out? Right, like we don't have to be so afraid sometimes of like letting that be thin and strong.

Oh, Ambika's still afraid. Put your toes behind the box. Do it, you're gonna be okay. Let it hang for a moment, that's it. You're gonna be okay, you're gonna be okay.

Can those toes go even longer? That's it, Ambika, you're okay. Stomach strong, can your stomach hang? Can you get even longer? Oh my God, Ambika's growing right before our very eyes.

And once again, come to the box, you guys, good. So, I just wanted you to get that sense of just release and freedom, right? Ah, it's okay, we can stretch. We can stretch and still be strong. So once again, grab onto that bar, and just using that sense of stretch, just like when we're on the mat and we have like those dowels to each side, just push down on that pipe and just give yourself a nice stretch.

And just for a moment, feel your stomach muscles in and up. And this is where everybody gets ginchy when they're doing their mat work, too. They all flex their hips, and they don't literally pull their stomach muscles in and up. Ah, doesn't that give you a nice stretch? And come flat like you're laying on the mat again.

Isn't that nice? Three times. Once again, arch up so you can push down into the bars a little bit, Ambika. And good, you're standing actually now. And you're making it too hard on yourself, so stand on the box, that's the way.

Oh my God, always working too hard. Everybody's always working too hard. So once again, Ambika, push onto that metal and scoop your belly in and up, like you're pushing away from the mat, right? You're arching off of the mat. That's it, I had to grab her by the neck.

And hold the stomach, good, isn't that wonderful? You remember the feeling of what it felt like hanging? Can this part even scoop and stretch out even longer? And then go flat to the mat. Sometimes I don't want you guys holding so much.

Allow things to stretch. Last one, third time, good. So, I'll be quiet and you'll have your own experience. With your stomach muscles literally in and up. Nice, you guys.

You're gonna assume that position once again, and you're gonna emulate the single leg kick. So, find the stretch, find the strength, and then find the movement. One leg goes kick, kick, other leg goes kick, kick, other leg goes kick, kick, other leg goes kick, kick, other leg goes kick, kick. Are you still feeling the stretch? Let's do a couple more on each leg.

Can we find the stillness? Last set. Awesome, good, so be still in those transitions. You feel how much the body wants to jostle. Your job is to stay still sometimes, yes?

Good, double leg kick. So now, both legs, let's just grab on. This will be a little bit feistier now. And three times you're gonna kick your bottom with both heels, give it a shot. And kick, kick, kick, go down.

Again, kick, kick, kick, go down. One more, kick, kick, kick, go down. That's enough of that, good. Let's turn around and let's go into the neck pull. So, you guys are gonna start standing up.

'Cause on the mat, we start lying flat. Legs are apart, just the width of the hips. So, it's not our saw, or spine stretch. It's a little more narrow. Good, hands are behind the head.

Can your elbows touch? Oh my goodness, can your shoulders be back? Can your abdomen be back? Can your heels be back? Right, so like we do on the mat, you're gonna start to roll the spine, and you're gonna try to put your nose back up into your own bellybutton, rolling all the way, all the way, all the way, all the way.

Stand on those two legs, all the way, as far as you can go, keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going, good. Ambika has these short heels, these short Achilles, right. And it's tough, good. When you're all the way as far as you can, you come up to your flat back position with your elbows wide, hold, from your flat back position, whoa, there she goes, timber, use your stomach and pull your belly in first to round up. That's it, like we do on the mat.

It's just like on the mat. Grow tall, find your tall position. That's a lovely position, awesome. Once again, roll down, we're just gonna do two more, you guys. So, don't be afraid of it.

Do your best, stand on those legs. For you, Ambika, I would say soften the knees the tiniest little bit, right, and keep going, keep going, but find those legs. Keep going, keep going, it's hard, I know. Keep going, stand those heels down, good. Flat back and then rolling up.

Find your flat back and then rolling up, good. All the way, all the way, use your powerhouse, that's it, all the back up to your tall position. Find standing, do one more. All the way down, nose into the bellybutton. Find it, Kristina, good work, stand on those legs.

Awesome, try not to move your bar. And then use your powerhouse. Can your bar come forward? Can your bar come forward? It sure can, it sure can, it sure can, wonderful, brilliant.

That is your neck pull, you guys, good. Let your powerhouse be first. So, do that one more time from your flat back position, just your flat back, flat back. I know, it's scary, but pull your powerhouse in. That's it, and let your powerhouse pull you back.

That's it. Don't let anyone tell you neck pull is different. Okay, good, good, good. We're gonna do shoulder bridge. We're gonna do it kinda funny.

You guys get two options. Try it first with your hands above you. And then, Kristina, you see how you have this frame back here. You're gonna put your feet right against that frame. So, you do, too.

Hands will go up on the pipe. Can you bend your knees and put your feet right on that frame? How is that? Maybe you have to use your heels. What happens, your feet slip off?

This is so great. Good, so that's it, you're gonna stay right here, and then just your hips, that's it, and then roll back down. That's it, you got it. And roll it up, nice. And reach back to flat, awesome.

Last one, can you come up? Hold it right here, good. Can one leg stretch down in front of the box? And kick up and reach down, and kick up and reach down, and kick up and reach down, and bring the foot in, try the other side. In front of the box, kick up, reach down, kick up, reach down, kick up, reach down.

Place it, find your box. Nice, good, good, good. So, it was a little slippery and tricky for Ambika, right. But we can now come back to her and she's finding it. So, then you will roll from the top of the spine.

That's it, just find that, again, roll the hips up as high as they'll go. That's it, use the feet however you want 'em. It feels pretty nice, right? And then roll, bone by bone, try to find bone by bone. One more time, Ambika.

Can your hips go first? That's the way, make it really juicy. And then, down, down, down, down, one at a time. And place your feet, good, good, good. Yeah, that's all we did.

Yeah, we just played with it. And Kristina did it with her leg kick, too. So, you could add that, as well. Okay, nice, let us move on. We are gonna go into the spine twist.

We're uppin' the ante. Now, the legs have to go together. Ambika, you're gonna take a step to the floor, and can you move the box maybe out of your way? Good. Heels together, bottom forward.

I'm sorry, bottom on the mat. Now, you have to find your straight back position again. Your flat back with your legs together is tremendously more challenging. And then arms out wide. Good, you see what Mr. Pilates is asking us to do?

Teaching us how to use our bodies in all these wonderful ways. That's it, that's how the hands are, right? And then we twist the spine to one side. One, two, and come back to a flat back. And try the other side.

One, two, and come back to a flat back, good. And because your arms are so flexible stretchy, I want you to be really sure where they are. Again, to one side, go twist, twist. Oh boy, don't turn your whole body, just twist your spine. And flat back, good.

And to the other side, twist, twist. So, can you turn to face the mirror, Ambika? Turn your head, that's it. Isn't that more the way your body would be? And flat back.

And then away from the camera, nice, and flat back. Try one more on each side. And to the camera, good, and flat back, that's awesome. And away from the camera, and flat back, rise up. Nice, you guys, good.

So, it just gives the body just a little challenge, right, a little different feeling. We're gonna turn to the side and line your bodies up. Let's have both of you guys face the camera. So, you'll be on different legs. And let's take a step back, and just you get to grab the hand all the way up.

So, if we were doing side kicks on the mat with our arm out, you know how we do that sometimes when someone has a bum shoulder or something? That's what you're gonna emulate. So, hand can go up high, hip will come back, good. Yeah, let's use the box. Bring it back a little bit.

We'll come this way a little. You're just gonna stand. Good. So, their bodies are, I'm gonna bring your hand in front. That's it like that, okay, good.

Just so we don't wig out that shoulder. Okay, good, this hand can reach across, grab the pipe, good. Stand close to that Cadillac, go ahead, walk in there, Ambika. That's it, that's it, that's it. So, you're really straight, right?

Now, you guys, remember that stretch we found earlier? It felt so good. Good, we're gonna use that and we're gonna use the stillness. And now, whatever leg is away from the Cadillac is gonna be the leg you stretch forward, right? So, we're gonna try to stretch it as far in front of you as you can.

And hold your center and swing it behind you. One, two, and swing it front. One, two, and swing it back. One, two, and swing it front. One, two, can you still stay tall, too?

Isn't that tough? All of a sudden, the body wants to shrink and it's so easy to see it when we're doing it this way. Last one, I think this is our 5th one. Let's come together and hold. Good, you guys.

Five to the turned out position. So now, you're gonna rotate that leg, correct. And now, you're gonna kick it out to the side and back down. Just like we do on the mat. Out to the side and back down.

And out to the side and back down. Now, I'm gonna pick on both of them, because they both wanna turn their hips to raise that leg out. But because we're very aware of now where we are standing on our mats, that's not gonna change. So, the leg has to reach, reach. That's the way, and reach, reach.

Let's do one more, and reach, reach. And good, try a little circle. Reach the leg front, side, back, front, side, back. One more, front, side, let's reverse. Three circles to the back, side, front.

Can you still stand on this leg without. Right, what happened? We talked about stillness, just the leg moving. Last one, just the leg moving, good. Let's spin around, feel that whole thing just facing the other direction.

So, you can just flip your body. You can still stay on the same side, right? We're all lined up, good. Arm reaching across, good, you guys. Think about the stillness.

It's kinda nice, right? Go ahead, walk in there, get here close, good. Stomach, think about your stillness. Five times, let's reach the leg front, front, back, back. Two, back, three, back, you could flex your foot.

That way you don't have to move it out of the way of the box. Four, back, can it brush this leg? 'Cause the leg is coming straight front, one, two. It brushes the seam of those pants, and it reaches back, one, two. That's it, and again, front, one, two, that's it.

Brushes back, one, two. Isn't that how we do it on the mat? One, two, and one more time. Front, one, two, back, one, two. Legs together, good, you guys.

So, that's another reason why it's nice to have a mirror, some reflection, so you're really also teaching your mind to learn the line of the motion, right? Then don't get all fussy with where your shoulders and where your arm is, and so forth. Be in your line, be still, be in your motion. To the side, let's bring the leg, straight leg, side, side, down, good. And bring it up to the side, and down.

Oh my gosh, it's stretching. We were very still. Last two, reach, one more, you guys. Reach, and very nice, try some circles. Three circles, front, side, back, front, side, back.

Holding those hips because they learned from the first side. Front, side, back, and then reverse, just three. And brush back, side, front, back, side, front, back, side, front, and legs together, good. How did it feel? Great.

A little bit strange. It's long. Nice, nice and long, I like that. That's awesome. Let's fix our boxes once again.

So, you can just turn and face the Cadillac. Ambika, you will, too, good. So, we're skipping teaser. No, we won't. (laughing) Let's do teaser.

Good, your boxes are in the center. Let's put your hands back up on the Cadillac. Just the legs though, guys. 'Cause I don't know how to tell you how to do your arms, okay? So, just the legs, we're doing teaser one, teaser two, and teaser three, okay?

So, teaser one, if you guys recall, your legs stay still. I'm gonna talk to you for a sec, so if you wanna rest your arms, you can. Teaser two, the legs stay still again, right? Teaser three, the legs finally move. They go to the floor, they rise up with us, okay?

So, I'm just gonna count out teaser one, go one time. I'll count one, two, three, then I'll say teaser two, one, two, three. You have to hold your legs six counts, don't move. The last teaser three, one, two, three, the legs lower, lift, lower, lift, lower, lift, okay? I just kinda wanted to prepare you.

So, let's reach the hands up, guys. So, the first three teasers, the legs stay still. We're gonna reach the legs into teaser one, right? So, the legs became on the front of the box. That's it, we found our powerhouse.

We raise our legs up in our teaser position. They're gonna stay there, teaser one, one, two, three, hold them still. Teaser two, hold 'em, one. Whoa, don't let 'em go, Ambika. Two, Kristina's holding onto it.

Three is teaser three, legs lower, lift, one, lower, lift, two, lower, lift, three. Nice, we got through it. Take a little break, good, good, good. Same thing for the can-can. We're gonna do can-can, right, left, right, try to kick your ear.

Left, right, left, try to kick your ear. Right, left, right, no, let's just do it two times. Just the legs, okay? So, you can't do anything with your arms. So, we're gonna try to fold those knees up into the chest, you guys.

And the knees are gonna go right, left, right, kick your ear, last time. Left, right, left, kick your ear. Lower the legs. Nice can-can, good, good, good, good, good. How did it feel?

Hip circles, good, you can grab your magic circle during all this madness if you'd like. Or you can do it without. But this time, I'd like you to just raise the ante on yourself. So, it's just like corkscrew, right, but now you're gonna try to lift your legs even higher, 'cause it's hip circles. So, once again, the hands will go up.

Good, raise the legs out in front of you. Let's do three circles. Circle one direction, reverse, around, reverse, around, reverse, around, last one. Pick that circle up. Last one, right, around, nice, lower down, good, good, good.

And again, attempting not to move that around too much. Right, it's madness. Let's turn and face the Cadillac, once again. Is that gettin' you. Yeah.

All right, good. Let's go on to swimming. Something nice again, the circle can go away. Let's turn and face the Cadillac. Once again, find that stretch, so let's grab onto the bar, you guys.

You guys just did a lot of work, right? Do you deserve another stretch? Good, so grabbing on, take your toes off the edge, that's it. Just hollow the stomach. We can connect the arms down in a little bit.

But just let that stomach, ah, stretch. Do you feel how your hips get engaged a little bit, too? Right, so good, Kristina's kinda hanging in her shoulders. If she could, there you go, and still hold onto your stomach. That's a nice feeling, right?

Stomach, right, length. Good, stand on your box for a sec, take a break, good. So now, we're gonna go swimming. You're gonna stay on the box, okay, but same kind of idea. Let's look up like we would look off the mat.

And let's just raise one leg and one arm opposition. Change, opposition, change. Can you hollow your belly and feel that stretch? Change, hollow, can we go a little faster? One, one, two, two, three, three.

Opposition, Ambika, whoops, whoops, whoops. Ambika forgot to crawl, that's it, change. Change, change, where's your powerhouse? Where is it? That's different, Ambika. Change, where is it?

Last one, change, last one, change, right, good. Don't forget about your powerhouse, and don't forget it can be a stretching strong powerhouse. It doesn't have to be a tight, like a tight, like the clamped powerhouse, right? You want a flexible, strong powerhouse. Right, good.

Let's go into the leg pull front, leg pull back. So, for leg pull facing the Cadillac. Can you take your arms out in front of you? You might have to move the boxes back away a little bit. Yeah, let's take 'em, good.

So, this is all just a study in our mat exercises, isn't it? You're just kinda like tryin' to figure out like, yeah, what position is my body in during all this stuff? So now, once again, arms are straight. That's it, good. Body is rigid, so once again, that's strong powerhouse.

Those arms are solid. There's no pressure on your wrist. It might be nice sometimes to teach some of these exercises to people who have little limitations, right? There you go, into your powerhouse, strong, right, good. Everybody's anti-deltoids.

Don't be anti-deltoid. Good, use your deltoid, it's a good muscle. Good, with that strength, we're going to reach one leg back and the other heel is gonna reach down, down, and back up, and change. And down, down, and back up, and change. And down, down, and back up, and did you think about your powerhouse lifting your heel.

One, two, use your powerhouse to lift your heel, right? Last one, lift with your powerhouse, one more. Lift with your powerhouse, hold. Let's simply turn around. Now, we're gonna do leg pull back.

Do you guys notice how it's like impossible to take the hands directly back behind your shoulders? That would kind of maybe even be injurious to the shoulder. So, take your hands low, don't go crazy, okay. Yes, again, I'm not anti-deltoid. You guys don't be anti-deltoid.

Make it powerful, good. Use your powerhouse. Can you stretch one leg again in front of your box? Heels down, let's have the heels down, good. And just take one foot in front of the box, good.

And from your powerhouse, again we're gonna study stillness. The leg is gonna go up, stretch down. Up, stretch down, up, try the other side. Start with the foot in front of the box. And leg will go up, stretch down, don't move.

Up, stretch down, nicely done. Up, stretch down, awesome, nice. So, once again, nice, sometimes you just find that stillness, find that position, really know what it is you're doing. Side kick kneeling, you guys. Let's bring the boxes close to the Cadillac once again.

And this is just gonna be a pose. So once again, we're gonna stand, maybe not so close. You're gonna stand with your right foot on the outside of the box, and your left knee, and your left hand holding on. Ambika, you're gonna stand, let's pull it back here a little bit, with your left foot on the edge of the box, maybe out here a little bit, and your right knee up on the bar, and your right hand on the bar. Do you guys realize this is the position we're in for side kick kneeling?

So, let move your box away a little bit more, good. Kristina, do you have to move your box a little bit more, too? Because you see how right now, she's still flexed in her hip. That's exactly what everybody does on the side kick kneeling. Let's move the box away and let's make that hip get straighter.

So, let's try it, it's just a pose, everyone. This now, we're just trying to find the position. Oh my goodness. So, this is the hand that's straight when we're on the mat. This hand goes behind the head.

Would everyone agree that's our side kick kneeling pose? Yeah. Yeah. And that's exactly what's so tough. Kristina, make a straight line with your body and your leg.

This is a straight line, right. Raise this hand a little, there you go. Can that knee go higher? Oh boy, oh boy. Do you recognize this position?

Yeah. (laughing) That's side kick kneeling. Stand up tall, Ambika. Right, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, come down, try the other side. That's why nobody does it. Try the other side.

(laughing) But it's nice, right? It's just like it just makes you find where are those points supposed to be, right. Good, this one, that one's straight, good. That's it, kneecap up. Oh boy.

All jiggedy. Okay, there we go, that's it. Push those hips forward, good. So, you guys see how tricky it is for the body to be in line with the leg. And that's what you're trying to achieve, is this body has to be in line with this leg.

And all the stretch comes from this, right? Oh my gosh, good, good. I think if we could get, yeah, that like little nook of the kneecap to be in the position where you want it to be, and then just try to lift up against it is kind of the idea. So, if that nook in the kneecap can be there, and then just try to be up. Maybe that elbow has to bend a little, or the arm has to go higher, good.

But it's a good stretch, right? And you feel that thigh. The hip needs all kinda work. We sit in our cars all the time. We sit at our desks all the time.

Lift those hips up, do something with them. Yeah, they're good, they need it. Let's move on to side bend. We're going to use the box I think more or less in the same spot. And let's just put the feet together.

Good, and let's just bend to one side. Now, you're gonna start to like me. So again, hold the stomach in, find that stretch. And come up right and lower the arm, good. And a second one, stretch out that arm fully.

That's the way, good, Ambika, holding the stomach in and up. And you guys at home can still be thinking about all this stretch and length, right. And lower that arm, you can grow even taller, why not? Good, last one. Third stretch, hold the stomach in, good.

Can you get even longer? Do you know we're supposed to be trying to find this kinda stretch when we do side bend on the mat? And grow tall. I'm still doing it right now. Good, spin around, face the other direction.

It is allowed to lift up and stretch, good. Second side, and stretch up and over, good, good. Isn't it funny how we're always a little timid on the first one? And then the second one, we get a little more into it. We're a little more sure of ourselves, good.

Holding the stomach, so again, guys, powerhouse. In that powerhouse, it isn't Pilates unless you're in your powerhouse. Third time, up and over. That's it, that's when it's Pilates. Good, wait a minute, stay out there.

Can that hip drop more, drop more, drop more, drop more? Right, it's not over till it's over, good. That's your side bend, right? It feels pretty nice, good. Let's move on to do push-ups.

We're gonna come back to a little version of rocking, but we're going to do some pushups real quick. So, easy, face the Cadillac. Start easy, I should say. (laughing) Good, holding on, you can rise up on your toes or go flat footed. Hold your powerhouse, we got a lot of good stretching in today, guys, right? Use it, feel some length, feel that power through your center and just three times, use a nice solid, strong, long body reach three times.

Two. Three, I'll be the referee. And then take a step off of your box. Ambika, you might have to use this bar in front of you. And you're just gonna kinda do like a little bit of a, yeah, angular push-up.

I'll move this out of your face. And three times again, good. This may not be for everybody's wrists, but you'll do what you can. Two, and three, good. So now, you guys, just take a little quick walk into the front of the Cadillac, come in the center of the room.

Make your bodies into a flat line. You can roll down your spine and walk out, good. Let's do three push-ups here. And one, good, stomach strong, two, that's it, all that beautiful long length. Three, good, walk your hands back to your feet.

One, two, three, roll up your spines, good. Third time. Get your boxes. Stand on your box. Roll down your body.

You can bend your knees if that floor is far away. Walk forward into your push-up, good. Ambika, you might have to move your toes back a little bit once you're out there. Whee, good. And three push-ups, so we can start inverting this stuff.

One, good, two, nice, three, walk back to your feet. Brilliant, and good, you might have to cheat your feet forward, that's okay, good. It's a little funky up on the box, and roll up your spine, good, good, good. If I had someone who's curious about it, I might try their feet up on the Cadillac and off the edge. It's an option out there.

Let's do rocking, so we're gonna go back to the rocking. So, let's put our boxes back just where they were. I'm gonna have each of you guys take a turn. Good, so you guys kinda have to decide for yourselves how stretched out you are, whoops. How stretched out you are at this point.

You can either flip over and hook your feet on the outside and do a little rocking. Or you can choose to bring your feet narrow and fall through. And we'll just do five rocks. I'll have you guys go one at a time so you don't knock heads. And then fold yourselves in, good.

If you're safe, try it at home. If you're not, leave this one out. But for the people who like the option, one of you come up. Kristina, good. So, you get a choice, feet on the outside, feet on the inside.

Good, bigger stretch when the feet are on the inside, good. So, she's gonna curl up in a little ball, feet will find softly, good. Dip those hips through and just a little rock. Just let yourself hang, two, let yourself hang. Three, right, four, five, right.

Then fold into a little ball, good, and bring yourself down with control, beautiful. Next person, come on up. Yeah, good, it's there, I promise you. So, fold yourself into a little ball. I think I might need the grip pads.

Good, get the little grippies if you need 'em. And here she goes. Knees up into the chest, good, fold yourself, whoops. Good, she's steppin' through, good. So careful, wait a minute, Ambika.

Bring one foot carefully back. The other way, this way. Carefully, that's it, and then the other leg. That's it, let those hips drop, good. So, first time for everyone.

Everyone has a first, two, three, breathe, right? It's not so bad, right? Stop rocking for a moment, stay here, Ambika. Can you just hang? I'm slipping.

Okay, bring your knees back in, wow, there she goes, all right, good, good, good, good, good. So, as you saw, only do it with someone your trust, right? I know Ambika, she's not gonna fail on me. But she let me have fair warning. And then you step down with control, brilliant.

We're gonna take a little break. We're gonna bring a mat out, and we're gonna do the rocking to finish. So, I said we were gonna start with rocking, we're starting with rolling on the mat. So, I left all the rolling exercises out. So, Kristina's gonna take the high road.

Ambika's takin' the low road. Good, if you guys are sitting this way, I'm just gonna have you look at me, and I'll tell you guys out there, we're just gonna do five repetitions of each exercise. We're gonna start with rolling like a ball. We're going to do open leg rocker. We're going to do jackknife.

We're going to do boomerang. I don't care whatever you do with your arms. I don't care, just keep, just do boomerang. We'll do boomerang four times, 'cause otherwise we'd be unequal, right, 'cause we have to switch legs. We'll do boomerang four times, everyone at home.

We'll do seal five times. We'll end with crab five times, okay? Think about it. I want you guys to go back to just this idea of stillness, okay? And we learned today that we could be still and we could have that length and we could have power, okay?

So, just five of each. Let's think about our spine, think about our abdomens, and think about the motion, okay? Into your first position, rolling like a ball five times. And one, two, thinking about your stillness. Three, four, get ready, we're coming into open leg rocker.

Five, let's raise the legs five times, stillness. One, two, three, four, next exercise is jackknife. Put the legs together, and go over, up one, come down. And over, up higher, two, come down. And over, up higher, are you using your powerhouse or your neck and your shoulders?

Three, over, up, four, and last one, over up five. And sit up for your boomerang. Let's just do whatever you want with your arms. Go back four times, roll back, whatever you wanna do. Stillness, one.

Whatever you wanna do. Two, stillness. Whatever you wanna do, right. So, the arms could stay front, they could stay side, they could do the circle, whatever you wanna do. Three, stillness, we used our powerhouses.

In and up, we held our powerhouse strong. We put our body where we want. The legs float down when we say, last one. Four, stillness, and come up to grab the feet for seal five times. And one, good, change your hands, Kristina.

And two. In your powerhouse. Three. Four. Switch legs on the next one, five.

Let's cross legs into your seal. And you'll grab the outsides of the foot. You'll rock forward all the way to tuck your forehead. And I'm here, you're not gonna bump anything. And go back, and cross, we'll just do four of these.

And change again, good, big wide hips. And in your powerhouse, four. And three. And two, keep moving, in your powerhouse. And one.

Nice. To finish the last stretch forward. And carefully have a seat. Voila, good. Thanks, all, for joining us, I hope you learned something.


Kara, love your creativity with this standing (hanging) workout. It is such a challenge!`Great idea with the Caddy:)
2 people like this.
Ewa - Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it. I love thinking about the work from different perspectives, if you think of it, it would be great to hear what you felt maybe after your next "horizontal" mat, just to know if it informed anything. But I hope this experience was fun! I know we had a blast.
What a difficult class! 😰
A huge challenge I will try, work little by little. It really is level 3. Fantastic!😊
Thank you, Kara Wily. Haunted. Greetings from Madrid, Spain.
1 person likes this.
Esmeralda Thank you. Haunted, I love it;) I hope it will help add a little spice to your workout and will at least help you appreciate lying flat for mat work again! Ha! Man, I hope I get to Spain before 2026, but I am so going to be there for the opening of the Sagrada Familia. I will come to Madrid too!
I really enjoyed the creativity, we need to be more in our upright bodies
Dianne totally agree.  I like when movement teaches me what I am supposed to feel.

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