Class #3269

Day 3: Balance

30 min - Class


Welcome to Day 3! Today Meredith plays with balance in many forms so that you can create balance in your practice and in your life. She uses the principles of breath and awareness from the previous classes to help you maintain your precision of movement.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome to day three. Here we are, all together. I hope you're still excited, I'm still excited. Today we're going to talk about balance. So what does balance mean?

Balance can mean a lot of things, like balance from front to back, balance in ranges of motion in your body, balance from side to side, balance on one foot. So let's play with all of that, yeah? Kay, so we're gonna start standing, and we're just gonna start with a standing roll down, so I want you to just feel that you're balancing your weight over both of your feet. And then do a little shift forward, and then stand on your feet, and then do a little shift back and stand on your feet, and as you shift forward, you'll feel like you're too far forward or off balance, and then you'll find center, and as you shift backwards, you'll feel like you're off center again, and then we'll find center or balance. And reach long through the spine, and take the arms up.

You're just bringing some energy into your body, bringing some energy into your space, lift your chest, take your arms wide and around, lifting your heart, so this, in my brain, balances us, the extension of the upper spine can balance us from all the forward bending that is typical of all of our lives. And inhale, and now we'll bring the chin into the chest, and when you roll down, I want you to feel that you have equal weight on both feet, so your weight is balanced from side to side. You have the front of your body working towards the back of your body, working for support, the knees can be soft. And just release down, and inhale, and drawing the abdominals in, and up. We roll the spine up, up, up, up, and reach out.

So life balance, too, right, balance between work and play, ease and tension, press out, get long, get easy, be free, bring yourself into this space, be here now with me, with you, and exhale, round. And pause, and inhale, and exhale, lift. Rolling, just rippling through the spine. And we'll just take the arms out one more time. So I typically shift onto one side.

I don't know if any of you do that, so I have to be really mindful of that in my roll downs, which is a really basic movement, so even in the most basic of movements, bring the idea back to awareness, we just need to be aware of what's happening in our bodies. So what I want us to do next is you're gonna bend both knees. You're gonna take the right toes and bring them back just by left heel. Put your hands on your pelvis, just to feel that your pelvis is balanced from front to back, meaning one hip's not forward of the other, and from side to side, meaning one hip's not lower than the other, and then we're gonna lift the right foot off the floor. So now we're going into a balance on one leg challenge, oh yeah.

And we're gonna keep the left knee bent, we're gonna press up with the right leg. We're gonna come forward into a balance, balancing pose, and then we're gonna stand back up. Yeah, so balance can mean standing on one foot. And I know which side of my body is more challenging, do you? If you don't, you're about to find out.

So we take the right leg back, we keep the abdominals drawn into towards the spine, still holding the pelvis to check that it stays balanced, level, even. Toe comes down one more time, reach back, reach back. Whooa, whooa! Good thing that none of those principles say perfection, woo! Switch sides, oh no, let's bend the knees first, and then we'll take the toe back. So that's something we're always striving for, right, to do our very best, but sometimes, sometimes we just aren't the best. It's okay, so doing your very best in my brain, in my world, or the way I like to allow myself to think about my world, is enough.

Doing your very best is more than enough, right? Or at least enough, we don't have to, we're lifting the back leg, we don't have to do better than we can, how is that possible? We just do the best that we can until we know how to do better, and then we get to do better. Can you tell this is my better side, so I get to talk about doing better? Yeah, that's true about me.

So, let's do one more, reaching up and back, up and back, up and back, and then come all the way back up. Stand on both feet, stand up, take the arms out and up, reach up, let the chest lift, reach out to the side. This time instead of rounding, let's dive. Dive forward, round the spine down, reach down for the floor. Let's bend the left knee and lean into the right hip.

And stretch both legs back straight, and then bend the right knee and lean into the left hip, stretch both legs back straight, drop the head, inhale, and exhale, roll up all the way standing on the feet with equal pressure and stand tall. And now we're gonna come to the mat. Okay, so let's lift up tall, hold the back of the legs, take a breath, exhale, round the spine. Deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep. Let go, roll back.

Now can we bring some breath awareness into this here? So let's open the arms, feel the ribcage breathing out with the arms, exhale, press the arms through space, roll back up so we close the ribs, or we bring more concentrated effort into the abdominals on that exhale, and we lift. Now let's extend, so balance between flexion of the spine, which is very prevalent in this method. Right, flexion of the spine is so prevalent in this method, so prevalent. And we inhale, but that's okay, and exhale, because it is what it is, and then we can come up, and then we can get tall, and then we can choose to lift and create extension, which feels amazing, and let's sit up, and let's roll back, and reach forward.

And one more time, inhale, exhale, roll up, oh, lift the arms this time, as you open your arms out to the side, lift your chest and then round the spine. And then roll back, and what happens if we just take one arm out to the side at a time? So we have to, it changes the, it changes the gravitational balance in the center of the body. Inhale, that arm out, so you have to work very carefully to stay centered. Inhale and exhale, and inhale and exhale.

And now we're coming all the way down. Scoot your feet into your body, or scoot your body into your feet, you're heading into some bridging, some pelvic curls, inhale, gotta get comfortable on your hair, that's important, so do that, and exhale, roll up. Equality of weight on both feet, breath awareness, inhale. And exhale, so, again, I said on day one that, yeah, all of the things, all of the principles we wanna think about, we're just putting a specific emphasis on one each day, but it's not that the other ones aren't there, right? As we roll up, we're thinking about the precision of the movement, of the dropping of the ribs, of the softening of the shoulders, all of the details that we know, and inhale, and exhale as you roll down.

We're just gonna go one more time. So all the way to the bottom, inhale, and exhale, roll up, up, up, and inhale, and exhale, and roll down, down, down, down, and guess what? What, you say, you don't know? We're gonna roll up again. And then we're gonna stand on the right leg.

We're gonna lift the left leg up. Can you keep your pelvis balanced with one foot down and one foot up? Can you roll down the center of your body? Can you roll up the center of your body? And can you roll down the center of your spine, again, that's hard, and if you're curious about it, you can hold your pelvis and see where you land in space, or you could just concentrate on feeling just that spinal line rolling down and rolling up the mat.

Fingers long, it's a reminder to myself, first, and now to the rest of us. So we're gonna put the left leg down, did the hip drop? Does it need to be readjusted? Can we pick up the right leg, inhale, exhale, roll down. Release the tail, exhale, roll up, press the foot down, lift the hips up high, inhale, exhale roll down, inhale, exhale, roll up, and inhale, last time, exhale roll down, and inhale, exhale, roll up.

So each movement we talked about allowing the breath, foot down, hips up, inhale, let's slide the arms out to the side as we roll down. So my arms are resting on the mat, they just look like they're floating in space, 'cause there's empty space there, there's not mat. Once we get down, we're gonna lift the one leg, lift the other leg, and breathe in as we come across to one side. Inhale, so balancing the sides of the body, so what do you look for here? Does one shoulder feel tighter, is it harder to keep the scapula wide on one side?

Is it harder to keep the shoulder down? So what we're doing is really only rotating the body as much as we can without allowing the shoulders to change, and then pulling back through center. And rotating the body as much as we can without allowing the shoulders to chase, so we stretch through the chest, and then coming back to center. And then we're just gonna do one more to each side. Inhale, and exhale.

And inhale, and exhale. And so now, we're gonna reach back, slide the hands behind the head, inhale here, exhale, head and chest come up, look just over the knees, curl, curl, curl, curl, curl and inhale, elongate down. So a balance between the in and the out breath. Let's exhale, two, three, four, five, and inhale, two, three, four, five. And exhale, and deep, and two, four, five, and inhale down, two more.

Exhale, left, two, three, four, five, inhale down, so here's something that's a little tricky but kinda fun. We're gonna go into that side spinal what's the name of the exercise? Spine twist supine pelvic position, and now, we're gonna keep the body squared, and we're gonna lift up, two, three, four, five, and down. Stay balanced, and up, up, up, up, up, and down. And up, and down, squaring the shoulders.

So we're not turning towards the knees that are rotated off to the side, we're square in the center. The head is heavy, there's breath, there's awareness, there's focus, that comes tomorrow when we talk about concentration, but we're can talk about concentration tomorrow, but what we've really been doing, come to center, is concentrating the whole time. So go the other way. Which side's harder, you'll find out. And lift, two, three, four, five, and down.

And lift, two, three, four, five, and down. And three more up, reach out to the lift up like a candy cane, a shepherd's hook. Last two, so there's length, and then curl. And down, and one more, And down, come into the center, reach forward, curl forward, start to drop the feet down. You might have to hold, and I think I'm gonna have to hold on, my abdominals are a little tired.

We're gonna push into the knees, push into the knees, push, and oh, I'm stuck. Rock up to balance. So let's do rolling like a ball today without holding, without holding, so sitting back, heels pulled in. So we rock back, reach the arms forward, pull the heels back. Inhale, stay tight, exhale, and inhale, and exhale.

And inhale, and exhale. One more, inhale, and exhale, now a balance between playful contraction and play. So let's go back, kick, flex, roll down, roll up, reach for your feet, and bend, and rock back, arms down, kick over. Flex, roll the spine down, lift the head up, reach for the feet, up, up, up, up, up, and bend one more time. Roll back, this fun, I'm having fun, are you?

I hope you are. And up, up, up, up, up, up, up, and take the ankles and separate the legs, and lift the spine, reaching up, finding the back extensors, and rock back, inhale, rock up and lift the spine, and rock back, inhale, and roll up, oh, and lift the spine. Does your pelvis feel off balance? I'm asking you that 'cause mine does, frequently, and I have a few strategies around it, and I just need to bring my awareness there, and remember to focus or concentrate. Arms forward, oh the feet are flexed, and the legs come down, and now I'm off my mat, so I'm gonna slide back, arms forward, inhale.

We're gonna do spine stretch forward with extension today. Exhale, take the body forward, inhale, reach out, get a nice, long, flat back, lift the body up, take the arms out to the side, reach forward and exhale so we have our balance between flexion, extension, continued extension, continued, get taller extension, and reach forward. And exhale, so much flexion in life, in Pilates, reach, find our extensors, find the back side of your body, lift up, open, reach forward, two more exhale, round, reach out, lift up, open last time, and round, and reach out, lift up, open, keep the arms there, and inhale to rotate. Exhale, try to keep the back as flat as you can as you reach down into your saw. Back arm reaches back, front arm reaches forward, both arms open, and we come to center, inhale, twist.

Exhale, dive, front arm reaches forward, back arm reaches back, lengthen up through the spine, open the arms and come center. Inhale, twist, exhale, reach, open, and center, and inhale, twist, lift, exhale, reach, reach out, let the arms help you stretch the back. Open and center, one more, rotate and reach, reach out, open and center. Yes, I think I made us even, I might have just made us unbalanced in a class about balance. I don't think so, if I did, fix it.

Come onto your elbow, onto your forearm, cross the top leg over the bottom leg, and what I want us to feel here is that we're letting the pushing down through the forearm to lift the rib up. Pushing down through the forearm to lift the rib up. That actually feels good, let's do a little stretch and lift. We'll do one more, stretch and lift. Now from the undercarriage of the body where you've just set yourself up, we're gonna lift the hips up.

So I'm on my knees, I'm on my shins, inhale, exhale, reach under, so when we're looking for balance, it's important to look for some unilateral work, right? We wanna work our sides differently. Not differently, we wanna work our sides the same, but give them the same challenges, so we can see if there's differences between the side, ring out the spine, lift up, stay long, and let the pelvis come down. That's the challenge, that's the hard part, for me. Or that's the part where I have to think about it.

Up, under, reach, rotate, rotate, rotate through, come back, and come down, hand behind the head. If that doesn't feel good, put it on your pelvis. We're gonna take the top leg out straight, flex it, and we're gonna kick, kick, reach, reach. So here, we're looking for what? Trunk stability.

While the leg tries to pull the body forward and back, which it does a little, it does shift forward and back, we wanna try to keep it still. We're gonna hold it back, take the top arm off the head, we're gonna reach forward with the arm, lift the chest through the arms, meaning try to pull the sternum up and forward, flex that back foot and lift the leg up. Two, three, four, five, six. Come back through center, bring that leg around the front of the body. So what about a balance between strength and flexibility?

We all have a different organization around that. Believe it or not, I don't feel very flexible in my own body. We all feel differently in our bodies, and that's just how it is. So let's take that leg out to the side. Let's reach up and over.

Give a stretch to the side, stretch to the side, reach that arm around to the front of you, put it down on the mat, lift the hips up, press into the front of the hips, oh, you're welcome, open up that shoulder, reach forward with your arm, and sit back down, and just continue around the same direction you came back into that side, stretch, and then we'll swing the legs around to the other side and do the whole thing over again. So we started on the forearm, found the underside of the body, we did two stretches, so we just let the ribs drop, so I'm shifting the pelvis. You see how that is where the spinal movement comes from. And let the ribs drop, and lift up, and then here we go, hold it there, this arm comes up, we're gonna lift the hips, still on my knees, I'm still on my shins. Gonna reach under, reach, reach, reach, rotate, big rotation, lots of breath, inhale, unwind, exhale, hips come down.

And inhale, hips come up, and exhale, reach through. And inhale, bring it back, and exhale, come down. One more time, inhale, lift up, holding, and through, and back, and down. And now we're just gonna keep the hand on the hip, or bring it behind the head. I prefer it behind my head for the simple reason that it helps me feel where my neck needs to be.

Gonna take the top leg forward, flex the foot, but you should make what feels happy to your body choices. And here we go, forward, forward, and back, back, and forgive me if my sentence structure isn't always exactly correct, you get it. Three more, kick, kick, stability, awareness, two, last one, inhale, and exhale. Now this arm comes around, it reaches around to the front. I want you to feel that your spine is lifting, so now we have spinal extension, spinal rotation, and some hip work, and we press up and back, six, five, so a balance between all different ranges of motion, three, two, one, and then we're gonna bring that leg across, and this is where we just get to feel how we feel in our body.

Bring your knee into your chest, you do your best. If it doesn't feel good to have the bottom leg bent, stick it out in front of you. What you could do, you could think of leaning into the hip a little bit, then you could think of pulling the knee into your body a little bit, then think of dropping into the sitting bone a little bit, all appropriate strategies. Or maybe you have a favorite one that you'd like to practice, do, employ. Take the leg out to the side, arm up, right up near the ear, inhale, and we're gonna reach over, oh yeah, flexibility.

Reach forward, lift the arm, lift the hips, take the arm around and back, reach it back out, sit down, reach forward, forward, follow with the arm that's supporting you, all the way around to the other side, and lift up. So we're coming onto our hands and knees now, onto our hands and knees, unless you need to adjust your clothes, in which case, do that now. So we're gonna go hands and knees. We're gonna do a little back extensor work, back extensor, hip extensor balancing work. So what I want you do is I want you to press down through the left shin, send the right leg back, and the left arm forward.

Holding, and then come back. So how much can you do that, or how little side to side leaning or shifting can you do as you shift from side to side? That's the hard part for me. Reach, we feel the back of the leg, we feel the reach of the arm, so we've done this lying down. We'll do it lying down again with a little tempo.

Here, we just have a alternating arm, leg reach. Kay, so now take the arm and take the leg and inhale, we're gonna round the spine, we're gonna bring knee to elbow. Reach out, round the spine, knee to elbow, reach out, one more, round the spine, knee to elbow, and reach out, and back. Opposite side, so get all your pieces in order. Inhale, exhale, abdominals pull in, knee to elbow, elbow to knee, and reach out, and exhale, pull in, and inhale, reach out, and exhale, pull in, and inhale, reach out, place everything down, tuck the toes under, come out into a plank position, and now we're gonna round the spine, draw the knees down towards the mat, and then shoot back out, one push up, and round the spine, knees come down, and shoot back out, one push up.

If you don't like push ups, just don't do it, hold your plank. I like push ups, and back, one push up, so we get that strength, we get that flexibility, that spinal stretch, and back, strong legs, last time, round and back, and bend stretch, knees down, sit back on your feet. While you're doing that, I'm gonna step down onto the mat, onto the floor, so when you're ready, bring yourself up into a standing position, finish the way we started, full circle, and take the arms out and up, lift the chest, lift the eyes, press the arms out to the sides, lift tall through the body, arms come down, bring the chin into the chest, round the spine. So now what do we think about here? Can we balance like the heat, the fire energy that we feel in our body with a ease of movement, a gratitude for movement, for giving ourselves time and space to just be with our bodies?

It's a pretty big investment these days. And reach out and up, just checking in, we'll just do one more. Get tall, reach long, and bring the body in, and round, and inhale, and exhale. And we'll finish taking the arms up one last time. All the way up, and all the way open.

Thank you for being here. See you soon, class number four, coming at you, concentration.

Return to You Challenge: with Meredith Rogers


2 people like this.
fantastic class...
1 person likes this.
Very good class. I have two questions regarding the supine twist (arms in a T position). 1) While the legs are up, is one hip always off the floor? 2) What piece of advice would you give to someone with hip osteoarthritis? It's hard to keep the knees together. Thank you in advance for your answer.
Thanks for being here ladies.
In the spine twist supine one hip is always up unless the body is in center. When doing the exercise you lift off one hip and onto the other, return to the center and repeat to other side.
If it is hard to keep the knees together you could put a pillow between your knees for adductor feedback or just try to keep the knees parallel. Hope that helps!
1 person likes this.
Thankyou I am really enjoying the classes and the variations of different exercises each day
1 person likes this.
Another 30 minutes of focus to look forward to. The yogic influence in the second half was fun. I had to look to the screen in a couple different instances to see what you were doing . . . this was the first time (during these first three days) that I couldn't know where you were taking us from just listening to your words. I'll just have to repeat Day 3 a few times in the future.
2 people like this.
Just a thought: a link to the other open sessions in this 10 class series at the top or bottom of each video page would be helpful.
Lovely class again Meredith thank you. I agree with Michelle that I couldn't always hear you in this video, but easy enough to check in visually. Lovely hip stretch post side-work. Also I didn't want to come up as quickly as you did from child's pose as the end (I easily get dizzy) so just did the 'salutations' sitting on my feet and then flexed and massaged my feet at the end! Whatever works!!
that was amazing, feeling my entire core.
1 person likes this.
Beautiful class x
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