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Class #3267

Day 1: Awareness

30 min - Class
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Welcome to Day 1! Today is about awareness. Meredith starts from the beginning with fundamental movements as she speaks about the principle of awareness. She encourages you to notice everything around you so you can decide what to release in order to be present now.
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Hi! Thank you so much for being here, for joining me on this Day One of the Be Present Challenge. Congratulations for taking the time for yourself, and I'm so appreciative that you are here with me and we are going on this journey together. So, here we go. And, while this series of classes isn't meant to be a progression, I still believe that it is important always, to lay the fundamentals. So, today, on Day One, as we speak about the principle of awareness, we will start from the beginning.

So, join me, lie on your back. So, just bring your feet and knees all the way together, and slide the arms down, down, next to the sides of the body, quite close, and then allow the shoulder blades to just simply soften. So, what are we attempting to bring our awareness to? Well, a lot of things. So, can we start by bringing our awareness to just the space around us?

What are we listening to, what can we hear? What can we let go of, in order to be here now, to be present now? I have my eyes closed. You might want to do the same. Now, can we just bring our awareness to the bones in our body, to the heaviness of the bones?

And, can we lay or feel or sink heavier into the mat? I don't know, but I can actually feel that happening. As I speak those words, I can create those sensations in my body, and I'm hoping that you can right along with me. And then, we're gonna just separate the feet into like a small V-shape. And then, we're gonna separate the heels.

So, now we know that are feet are aligned with one another. And then, bringing the awareness to the breath, like a baby. Inhale. Notice the rise and fall of the chest. So, as we inhale, the chest wall rises, and now, as we exhale, it falls.

And, can we instead create lateral expansion of the ribs? As we inhale, the rib cage widens and the chest drops back. So, that's a little different sensation. And then, exhale gently, drawing the abdominals back towards the spine, and just feeling that gentle contraction of the abdominals that you can create with your breath. Inhaling, letting the ribs expand, and exhaling, letting the ribs soften and the abdominals contract.

And then, bring the awareness to the pelvis. So, the bones of the pelvis, the ASIS of the front hip bones, and the pubic symphysis, and can we notice that they're on that horizontal plane, telling us that we're in what we think of as a neutral pelvic. And then, we're gonna start to move, 'cause it's time. So, inhale big. Expand the ribs.

Exhale, draw the abdominals back towards the spine. Feel the lower spine flatten into the mat. And then, inhale. Bring your awareness into the movement of the whole spine. As you drop the tailbone back, the head will slide.

So, just noticing that the spine, the head and the pelvis are connected. And, exhale, flatten the spine, and inhale, neutralize, and then extend gently through the lower spine. So, creating just a gentle rocking action. And, exhale. And, inhale.

And, moving further. So, exhale, flatten the spine. Feel, be aware of equality of weight on both feet, and start to lift the spine off the mat one bone at a time. So, we peel the spine up, and we bring attention to the knees reaching forward, the heels sliding back. Pause, to inhale.

And then, exhale. Peel the body down. Peel the body down. So, noticing each bone. And dropping the tailbone all the way down.

And inhale. And exhale. Pressing down into the feet, or feeling the feet, like they're connected to the mat, to the ground, to the earth, maybe. Hips up high. Knees stretching forward.

Head stretching back. Inhale. And, exhale, breastbone drops. Arms reach long. So, there's so much information in my mind, in the fundamental work, so much to pay attention to.

And inhale. So much detail in the simplicity of movement. So, enjoy this, and see what you can find in these simple things. Can you... What do you learn about yourself?

How deeply can you move in your own body? How deeply do you want to move in your own body? That's an interesting question. And release, and inhale. What does moving deeply mean?

It means moving with ease, or with intention, or with control, or with concentration, or with flow, or with precision. All of those things are things that we're going to be thinking about and focusing on these 10 days. So, here we roll back down. This is going to be our last one, and then we drop the pelvis down. Reach back, bring your hands behind your head, let the elbows just rest off the floor, so the scapula stays wide.

Walk the feet back together, inhale. Take both knees over to one side, keeping the shoulder blades still on the mat. Take this stretch to the side of the body, and then, exhale, draw in, bringing the knees back through center. Inhale as the knees go to the side. In order to keep them aligned, we have to lift the foot of the top knee.

And exhale to come back to center. And inhale, reaching over. Just a little bit of spinal rotation, and exhale coming back to center. And inhale, reaching over. Wide scapula, heavy head.

You can imagine your hands are like a cradle or a pillow for the weight of the head to rest in. If you feel any tension in your neck, check to see if your elbows aren't too low. Sometimes if the elbows are too low, the scapula starts to come together, and that can create neck tension. Go one more time. Inhale, and exhale.

Now, imagine, if you will, that your feet are stuck to the mat. Stuck, glued. Take a breath in. And now, as you exhale, draw the abdominals and try to lift those stuck feet off the mat. So, you can't, right?

Because they're glued. But can you feel, can you bring awareness to the sensation in the center of your body, the heat that that creates right around your middle, and release down. We're just gonna do that one more time, and then we're gonna add to it. Inhale, prepare. Exhale, sticky stuck feet.

Draw the abdominals in. Keep the pelvis in a neutral position and just try with the power of the center of the body to lift the feet off the mat. You feel your stomach working, don't you? Oh, yeah. So, inhale, let that go.

Now, as we exhale, we're going to do that same thing, but we're gonna curl the head and chest up at the same time. So, we're lifting the feet, but they're stuck. So you won't see it, but you can feel it. Lift a little higher, reach for the thighs, dig deep, lift up, or forward more. Take the arms up.

Keep the height of the body, hand comes behind the head. Hands come behind the head, and we're gonna exhale and lay that spine down back onto the mat. And inhale, and exhale. Head and chest up, and reach through, drawing the abdominals. It's not about higher, so much as it's about going into your body more, into the curve more.

And, I'm kind of sometimes thinking about it like a candy cane shape, that goes around and over the top, rather than more round. And then, down. If that makes any sense. If it doesn't make any sense you can just let it go. And exhale to lift.

And reach, and inhale arms, and hands come back, and exhale down. Okay, so now we're gonna add some rotation, so breathing in. Breathe out to lift up, employ that same strategy. So, we're gonna reach the hands behind the head once again, we're gonna curl just a little bit higher, or more forward, or more like a candy cane, if that was a good visual for you. And then, reach the arms up.

Hands behind the head, take a breath in, and now, as you exhale, rotate left, and try to lift your stuck left foot off the mat. Oh, I know it's not easy at all. And then, inhale to center. And exhale, lift rotate. Right foot gets lighter, but it stays on the mat.

I know you can't see anything, but if you're doing this with me, which I hope that you are, I don't know how you can't feel it, I really don't. So, we're gonna go one more time to each side. Inhale, center. Exhale, rotate. Inhale, center.

Exhale, rotate. Inhale, center, simple. Exhale, engaged to lower down. So, now my dear friends, we're going to go up again. Lifting up, hands behind the thighs, coming up just a little more, deeper, more inwards, awareness on the inside of the body.

Hands behind the head, inhale. As we exhale, we're gonna let the leg lift, and we're gonna rotate. It's almost easier, in my body. Exhale lift and rotate. Look just past the fat.

Inhale center. Exhale, lift and rotate. Lower spine should be imprinted on the mat. The head just comes with the upper body, so the neck doesn't need to turn at all. It stays resting in the hammock of the hands.

And center. And three more. And center. And exhale, so wring out the air. And last time.

And center, and inhale. And exhale. Lay your body back down. And guess what? We're going up again.

Exhale into lift. Inhale, hands behind thighs. Draw in, lift up, deepen. Let go, reach back, hands back. Flatten the back.

Make sure your back is flat, even if it means that you have to tuck your tailbone under. And then inhale. Heavy head in the hands, float both legs. Now exhale. And inhale, reach to touch.

And, slope both legs, exhale. And inhale, reach to touch. And slope both legs. Exhale, pressing the chest forward. We're going two more times only.

Here's number one. And back. And here's number two. And we're gonna take the hands behind the thighs, curl into ourself, curl into ourself, so without using a lot of momentum, can you find where the balance shifts? You're off your back, you're still in your abs.

You roll up, bringing the shoulders over the pelvis, bringing the feet in. So, a little easier, as you know, or maybe you're doing this to have the thighs slightly away from the body. If you can and you want to, get in nice and close, pressing into the knees with the arms, elbows wide. And then, we rock back, inhale. And balance.

And rock back, inhale. Do you think of the shape of the body? And rock back, inhale. And balance. Ooooh.

And rock back, inhale. And balance. And two more. Simple. Where is the pelvis, are the hips rocking back and forth?

Where is the intention in the work? All of those things I can't answer for you. You have to ask yourself, if you're curious. Stretching the legs out. Legs can be straight or a little bit bent.

I'm gonna allow myself to bend today, to create a little freedom in my spine and my hips. We're gonna bring the hands behind the head, and we're going to inhale. Exhale, lift and twist. Pull, pull, and come center. Drawing the abdominals, and feel the rotation.

Feel the energy that spirals up the spine. And exhale, lift and twist. And center, and lift and twist. So, if you're allowing yourself to be in this moment, this present moment, with some awareness, can we use that awareness in our experience to create ease and to start thinking, as we move through these next 10 days, of how we're gonna move our bodies, what our intentions are, and what our goals are. My intentions are to move with ease and to be together, and to have fun, and occasionally to maybe push the boundaries a little bit, but not today.

So, roll down, the elbows drop in. The top of the head reaches down towards the knees, and just using the weight of the arms, let the spine round and stretch and stay involved. Stay connected to the front of the body. We're gonna take the arms off the head, we're gonna roll the spine up. Take the legs out to the sides, or just widen them.

Arms are reaching forward, knees can be bent or straight. I'm gonna let mine bend today. Inhale, spine stretch forward. So, you can envision that you're stacked against a wall. As you exhale now, come away from that imaginary wall.

Draw the abdominals in and back, pull back against the spine, reach forward with the spine, and inhale. And as you exhale, can you just feel that the spine can rebound? It can just lightly stack. And inhale. And exhale, chin drawing into the chest.

Rounding down. Rounding down. Reaching out. Breathing in, and breathing out, as we just enjoy moving the body with ease. Shoulders are soft.

Arms are long. Exhale round. And inhale, and exhale. Stack, and inhale. And exhale round.

This time as you round, allow your arms to reach for your ankles, or for your shins, or wherever they land comfortably. And then, I want you to pull. Imagine you're pulling your thigh bones, your femur, deeper into your hip joints. You're laying your spine out longer. You're actually using your arms to create a straight back, a flat back on the diagonal.

Take the arms forward. Lift the whole body up, up, up. Open the arms and inhale. Exhale, reach forward and round. Down.

Hands on the ankles. Elongate the back, that nice, flat back position. Let go, reach up. Sit up. Open, expand through the chest.

One more time. Exhale, reach forward, and round. Taking the hands against the ankles. Pull through. Let go, reach forward.

Sit up, open the arms. Bring the arms all the way down and turn onto your side. So, we're just going to lie on our sides with the arm underneath the ear, lining the legs up so that they're straight. And right underneath the shoulders, from there, drawing the abdominals in. So, we're talking about awareness.

Can we create awareness around the center of the body here? And then, using the exhale breath, lift the legs. So, can we use our breath, and our awareness around our breath, to move our body? Take the legs down and inhale, and exhale. Lift, and inhale.

And exhale, reaching out. Can the bottom waist be energized as well? And inhale down, and exhale. Reaching out, and inhale down. We'll do two more, lifting.

And down. And one more, lifting, now hold here. Take the upper arm up. Can you balance? Lift the top leg, now lift the bottom leg.

Up, and up, and up, and up. And if this is really hard for you and you feel tippy, put your hand back down and just do the leg part. And three, two, one. We're going to stretch the arm overhead, we're getting longer, we're getting straighter. And then, allow the bottom leg to drop, the top leg to reach back, the front arm to reach forward.

Now, this is your opportunity, as well as mine, to just reach in the direction of what feels like a good stretch in your body. I'm lucky enough to have this high mat, so I'm allowing my leg to hang over the back, which feels amazing. You might just reach behind you. Bend both knees. Line the heels up with the tailbone.

I'm gonna rest my hand on my hip, just to make sure it stays level. We're gonna open the knee, and close. Open the knee, and close. So, could you imagine that as your knee opens, it's like a go button, to pulling the abdominals back. And down.

Up, and down. Just really, really simple movements, pushing against that end range. One more. We're gonna bring the knee and we're gonna stir the leg and the hip. For six, and five, and four, and three, keeping the spine absolutely still.

It's very easy to feel if you're moving in these simple movements. This is the last one. And then, we're gonna go the other way, so go back up, around and down. Go back, lift, around and down. Nice, simple, effective, strong.

The last few times. One more time. And then, we're going to stretch the legs out and roll over. Bringing the forehead, just on the floor, or just off the floor, maybe floating. Taking the palms with the hands face down on the mat, next to you.

We're gonna reach the palms down, like you're trying to slide your palms away from your ears. And then, reach the head forward, use the arms just a little bit, but lift the abdominals, energize through the back of the legs. Just come into a small back extension, and then release down. So, keeping in mind that we're thinking about, not necessarily... Go again, lifting as high as we can.

So, there's a little bit of the eyes go forward slightly, tip of the nose goes forward slightly, we're reaching the fingertips, not into the mount, so much, but away, like you're trying to slide them. And then, inhale, down. Just do three more. Reaching out, and up. And down, and reaching out.

Imagine your legs are reaching so far away from you that they're about to hover as well. They're not gonna hover today, but they will soon. And down, last one. Reaching out and up. And down.

And then, just turn on to the other side. So, I have my back to you now, and that's okay. That's okay, you might have your back to me too. We're gonna reach the legs away. Finding something to soften the vision into.

And reaching back. And reaching the legs out and up. So, again, the awareness is around the center of the body. You can put some weight on to your arms. I want to be soft in the shoulder blade.

Maybe just gently drawing it down away from the area, if anything, or just noticing that it's not lifting, is all. We'll do four. And down. And then, the bottom sideways too, right? Three, and down.

There's two, and down. Last time, lift the arm. Find your balance, lift the top leg, and bring the bottom leg up, and down. And up, and down. And up, and down.

And up, and down. Using the abdominals to bring the leg to the top, like the bottom leg to the top. Do two more. And then, take the bottom leg down. Top leg goes back, top arm goes forward, reach for your stretch.

Enjoy, you're welcome. And bend your knees. Heels line up with the tailbone. Hand goes on the pelvis. We're gonna take the knee up, And down.

and up, and down. And again, we're just using our hand to monitor where the pelvis is in space. So, we do four more like this. Up, and back. Abdominals draw in, remember, and back.

Last two. And one. And then six circles, knees into the chest, up and around. Knee into the chest, up and around. Knee into the chest, up and around.

Last two times. One more time. And then, reverse, go back. Up, around and through. Go back up, around and through.

Go back up, around and through. That's three of six. Oh, they're hard, for me. And two. Stability.

And one. Stretch our legs out, roll back over onto our stomach, reaching the arms overhead. So, arms are reaching overhead. We're gonna slide the scapula down slightly, so just lift if up off the breastbone a little bit. Energizing through the legs.

Energizing in that forward direction that we practiced just a minute ago. We're gonna lift the left arm and the right leg. Up, and down. And then, don't worry so much about how high things are lifting, but feel more of a stretch, a long stretch. So, in all of the fundamental movements in each of the shapes we made today, it will be quite a variety of variation.

It's quite a few variations, quite a few different movements. The things will build, things will be quiet, but just keep in mind those real specific fundamentals, and keep in mind to always come back to the awareness principle, because nothing, nothing can be present, none of the other principles can be present without awareness. Last time. Lower down. Put your forearms just on the outside of your body.

Press up, knees can come in, and sit back towards the feet. Then reach the arms out, just pushing with the arms, the pelvis down towards the feet. We're gonna roll through the spine, coming up onto the hands and knees, we're just gonna do a couple of cat stretches here to finish off. Inhale, and exhale, tucking the tail and rounding the lower spine. And inhale, moving through the spine, into an extension, and back, and exhale, deepening, deepening.

How much can you get your lower spine to round? And then, inhaling, and center. And just one more, exhale. And through neutral, and reach out, and then neutral, step one leg back, step the other leg back. We just pause here, imagine that we're standing.

We are standing, on our hands, pushing energy through the heat, pushing energy through the top of the head, feeling the power of the arms, the power of the awareness that we can bring to the center of the body by pulling the toes forward, and the upper arms back. And just breathe, for five. And four. And three. I'll give you some idea of where we might go in these next 10 days.

And one. Bring the knees down, sit back, maybe moving the arms forward, maybe using the arms to push back, maybe resting the arms and allowing the body to sink closer to the thighs. And then, roll up, sitting up. And thank you so much for joining me. Day one, we did it! Day two, breath.

Return to You Challenge: with Meredith Rogers

Comments

1 person likes this.
In this evening i do only pilates!!! Thanks meredith!!!
1 person likes this.
such an amazing session...its so good to go back to basics, its a different experience every time.. thanks so much meredith
1 person likes this.
The next 10 days are the perfect end-of-year.... begin-the-year gift. No wondering whether my favorite teacher is uploading a new class or not... Its guaranteed!!
1 person likes this.
Beautiful first class!
14 people like this.
It was a stunning experience to feel the abs working while imagining the feet glued to the floor! That reminds me that Pilates as yoga is a mind/body experience.
4 people like this.
So important to revisit the fundamentals! :)
1 person likes this.
Lovely, thank you! New goals and inspiration....
4 people like this.
Beautiful to watch, beautiful to listen and learn, and just generally so so special. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us. And thank you Pilates Anytime for providing this incredible platform for exquisite teachers like Meredith to participate and share.
3 people like this.
Thank you for this end of year gift!
1 person likes this.
thank you Meredith...this was a very good start...
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