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Class #3270

Day 4: Concentration

30 min - Class
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Welcome to Day 4! What do you need for concentration? Today, Meredith invites you to think about what you can release so you can concentrate on your body, your breath, and your movement. She changes the choreography and tempo of certain exercises so you need to think about what you are doing rather than going on autopilot.
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Thank you so much for being here, and welcome to day four. You've already been one third of the way through. Wow. If you're still here, that shows a little bit of commitment. So that's exciting for me, and I hope that you're having fun.

So today's topic, or focus, is concentration. So what do you need for concentration? For me, concentration is almost about what do I actually need to let go of, so I can concentrate on me? So what did you need to let go of, to bring yourself into this space, to give yourself this time, so that you can concentrate on your body, and your movement, and your breath, and your energy? And we're gonna just move.

And you can't do Pilates without concentration. It just doesn't work. So it's inherent in the work. So we're just gonna do Pilates. You ready?

Okay, so sit. And what I want you to do, what I want us to do, is just sit in a diamond shape. Lengthen the spine, and just let your hands rest on the front of your shins. And just close your eyes for a moment. So just close your eyes, bringing yourself into your space.

Bringing yourself into your body. Taking a moment, a breath, maybe two, to clear your head of any clutter, or tension, or worry, or anything that you don't need right now, for moving your body time. Let it go. And then feel how maybe if you let that go, is there room to think about lightness? Is there room to feel that there's a floating sensation up the spine?

And then is there room to move, so we could inhale? And we could exhale and tuck the tail under, and pull against the hands. Pull against the hands, so deepen, back into the center of the spine. We're gonna move kind of quickly today. Inhale up.

And exhale, lift the chest. And inhale. I'm gonna choose to open my eyes now, and exhale, and to bring myself with my open eyes into this present experience. Being here now. And lift up.

And center, one more time, just the same. Exhale round. Feeling the fluidity, the fluidity, the mobility of the spine. And now we come to center. We bring the knees in, reach the arms forward, inhale.

Exhale, roll right away, down through the spine. Inhale, arms come up. They open out to the side. They push forward, they push the air out of the body. We roll up.

We reach up. We open up. And we round. Exhale round. Round, round, round.

And reach. So in order to stay with yourself, you just concentrate on where can you create more sensation, or maybe where can you create less sensation, to achieve more? I don't know. Those are all just ideas that I think about. I would love if you wanted to share some ideas that you think about, to hear them.

Truly. Truly, truly, I would love that. So round forward. Then reach up. What inspires you in your moving practice?

And reach forward, last time. Rolling back. Mobilizing the spine. Strengthening the abdominals. Reaching forward.

Arms lift up. Open the knees. Take a stretch forward. Roll the spine up. Bring the knees back.

Roll back down. Rolling to the tips of the shoulder blades. And turn the palms of the hands face down. We're gonna lift the left leg and the right arm. And place them down.

So sometimes just to figure out which side is left and right can be a challenge for me. So I have to think about that. Left leg right arm. And down. Left arm right leg.

And down. So now here's a brain teaser. Left leg lifts up, right arm goes out. Oh oh. And back.

Right leg lifts up, left arm goes out. Now you can't think about anything else, because you gotta concentrate on this. Left leg up, right arm out. And down. Right leg up, left arm out.

And down. And then we reach the arms up overhead. We bring the body down. Arms come around to the side. I'm not on my mat.

We're gonna scoot in. We're gonna lay down. We're gonna inhale. Bridge. Roll up.

Hold, lift. Be in your body. Exhale to roll down. How often ... Well I guess, if you're with me here, you're giving yourself the gift of being in your body, for at least 30 minutes, which is awesome.

But how much, I know that I don't give myself that gift nearly enough. We reach out. Lift the hips. We inhale. And we roll down.

We're gonna do two more. Two more. Inhale. And just feeling, feeling into the body. So there's precise, there's details that you could find.

The placement of the shoulders on the mat. The heaviness of the upper arms. The weight of the hands on the mat. The length of the fingers. Last time, exhale.

And inhale. And exhale. And down. Lifting one leg. Lifting the other leg.

Take the arms out to the side. Inhale, knees to one side. And exhale back. So sometimes concentration is just about changing the choreography of something to make it a little bit more ... It's just to make us have to think about it more, so I'm gonna do that now for us.

After we just do one more simple one to the other side. So inhale. And exhale. So now if my knees are going left, which they are, I'm gonna take my left arm off, and I'm gonna turn my head to the right, and I'm gonna reach that left arm out towards the right arm, and then I'm gonna open back to center. That's fun.

And inhale, knees go right. Right arm goes the other way. Open up the body, and then back to center. And inhale. Reach over.

Over, over, it's good for our bodies to do things that they're not used to. It's good for them to practice the things that they need to do. But it's also good to give them a little challenge sometimes I think. So let's go, inhale. And exhale.

And now we're gonna lift up, bring the hands to the knees. Push your knees into your hands, to curl up. So we find that. We're gonna take the legs and arms out. We're gonna lift the legs up.

We're gonna bend the knees, and circle the arms around. So inhale, legs out. Legs up. Bend the knees, bring the arms around. It's a double leg stretch variation.

Legs up. Bend the knees, reach around. Inhale. Exhale. Bend and reach.

Let's do three more. Out. Up. Bend and reach. Two more.

Out. Up. Bend and reach. One more. Out.

Up. Bend and reach. Bring the knees into the chest. Drop the head down. Press the knees into the hands.

Curl up. So now we're gonna take our single leg stretch for five. Five. Four, pressing down on the knee. Stretch long, three.

Feel the back of the leg. Two. We're gonna turn it into a bicycle. Are you ready? Hands behind the head.

Bicycle. One. Two. Two. Three, get the legs long.

Four. One more. Bend both knees, criss-cross. Five. Five.

Four. Four. Three. Heating up. Two.

Concentrate on your position. One. Into a bicycle, so we stretch the leg. Bend and reach. Get both legs to straighten before you switch sides.

Two. Two. Three. Three. Lift as you rotate.

Four. Four. Press away with the bottom leg. Five, bring that bottom leg up. Lay the head down, flex the feet, and let's keep them pointed.

Exhale, roll over. Inhale, flex the feet. Separate the legs. Draw them down towards the mat. Roll down, the arms are long.

The neck is long. Spine elongates as it comes down. We find the bottom, point the feet, legs down. Together, lift. And then draw your abdominals in, and curl over.

And flex the feet. Separate the legs. And down. And roll down. Down.

Down. Down. Down. And point, down and together. Let's do two more.

Exhale. And flex. Open. And down, down, down, down, down, and reach around. And last time.

Transitioning this time, we're gonna keep the legs together. Nope, let's open them. I changed my mind. Gonna roll down. As you roll down, lift your head up.

Rock up. Find the legs. Lift the spine. Let's bend the knees, inhale. Lift the body more.

And stretch the legs as we exhale. And bend the knees, inhale. Getting nice and tall through the body. And stretch the legs as we exhale. And bend, lifting.

Drawing the abdominals in and back. And stretching. One more, bend. And stretch. And roll.

Inhale. And ah. Just getting there takes a little concentration. Round. Rock back, keep at the shoulders from reorganizing themselves as the spine changes.

So you can round the lower back without a lot ... Concentrate on using your words, if you're me. You rock back. I have a little bit of time to think about them while the train goes by. So we keep the shoulders still.

Round. And rock back. And roll up. And lift the back. And let go.

And flex your feet. And bring the legs down, and lift the spine up. Arms forward, inhale. And chin goes down. Arms reach forward.

Spine lengthens. So now I'm concentrating on letting go. And exhale to roll up. Up, maybe something different for you. But that's my focus.

And I'm just sharing. You don't have to be the same as me. So round down. Round down, but what we are all doing, is we're all drawing back in opposition with the abdominals. The spine reaches out, and we're lengthening out there.

We're trying to get further. Not with the scapula. But just with the spine. And then roll up. And what I mean by the scapula is not by pulling the shoulder blades up towards the ears, but just by lengthening the spine more.

So oftentimes I find in my teaching, and also in my own moving experience, that we just stop where we think we need to, or where we think the end is. But, just ask yourself right now, is there more room? And you might find that the answer is yes. And you might not. But it's worth the conversation, anyway.

And inhale. And exhale, and let's have fun too, maybe. And reach the spine long. And reach the body down. And pull back, lift.

Sit tall, inhale. And exhale, round. And reach the spine long. Take the body down. And reach forward with your arms, as you pull through your spine, bringing your body back, and let's do one more.

Inhale. Exhale, round down. Reach the spine long. Hold here. Take the arm that, the right arm.

Put it down in the middle of your feet. Use it to help you pull forward with your spine, and then bring that left arm around, and look back at it. Bring the left arm up. Find center, bringing the right arm up as well. Left arm goes down.

Spine reaches up. Right arm comes back and around. Oh yes. And then reach and come center. And what could you be reaching for?

What could you be reaching for? And back. And can you feel that the reach comes not just from the arm, but from the whole spine? The eyes, the brain. Because the eyes and the brain are connected, and so the brain, and the eyes, and the spine are connected.

Oh my, what a concept. And let's reach all the way forward. And let's roll all the up. Slide the legs together. Bring the hands behind the head, nope, we'll keep them out to the side today.

Concentrating on keeping them straight across. And inhale. And we'll just twist. Twist, center. And twist.

So the arms just float to the sides of the body, and we're just reaching out in space. And the spine is what's moving. And can you feel, can you find equal length on both sides of the body? Can you feel that you're rising up on both sides of the body? We'll just do a couple more.

I'm gonna make a little bit of a change. So we're gonna go over. We're gonna put the back arm back. We're gonna bend and stretch. We're gonna push up.

And center. And inhale, rotate. Back arm goes down. Bend and reach. So I'm back bending.

I'm back bending, balance. And reach. And center. And inhale, do one more. Back arm goes down.

Bend, reach up to go over. Lift up. And center. So what's fun for me to find, is this sense of leaping, there. And center, take the arms behind you.

Point your feet. This is where, this is where we do have to concentrate a little bit. We have to concentrate on the stability of the scapula. So can we reach the shoulder blades down the back? Keep that energy as we push into the legs, press the feet down into the mat.

Lift the chest. Reach the feet down, the head back. And then sit down, and keep sitting up. And exhale, abdominals draw in. Feet come down.

Pelvis lifts up. And inhale. Breath. Awareness. All of the things.

Concentration demands that we feel, or that we bring our awareness to our breath, to our movement, to our experience. So it's an accumulation of the things that we've already spoken about. One more. Reaching out. Creating a long line.

And then coming back down. Then we're gonna turn to our side. Turn the hand around, so the fingers face away. Crossing the top foot over the bottom foot again. Okay, so we talked about already being on the forearm, and the control of the ribcage in relationship to the scapula.

Let's go a little further with that idea. So we bring the ribs away from the arm. We keep that line in the body consistent. We stand on our feet, and straighten our knees. So we're just in a straight line now.

We're gonna lift that bottom waist. We're gonna take the arm up overhead. We're gonna come back. And we're gonna bend. Yeah, three.

Inhale lift. Exhale, up and over. Inhale back. And bend. One more.

Lift up. Up and over. Come back. Bend. Scoot the feet in close.

Real close. Lift up off the mat. Graceful, I know. Reach the arm up. Reach over, enjoy.

Arm to the ear. You could even bend your elbow. And bring your, drape your arm over your head. And then stretch that arm out. Maybe you'll get a little lower.

Get a little longer. Lift the body. Swing the legs around to this other side. And cross. My shirt keeps coming up.

So that's what happens when you wear clothing that's too small for you. Okay, so we lift the ribs. We straighten the knees. We lift the undercarriage. Take the arm overhead.

Look down. Inhale to find your straight line, and exhale to bend. And inhale, reach out. And exhale, reach over. Eyes down.

And inhale back. And exhale bend. And here's our last one. We reach out. We go up to go over.

Up go to over. Look down. Come back. Start bending. Oh no, we're not gonna go down- oh yeah, we have to go down.

So I was thinking of a transition, but it's just not gonna work here, because we wouldn't get this stretch. And we want it. So we pull over. We pull over, and we let the arm drape. And then what's amazing is when the arm reaches back out again, it's almost as though it pulls the spine with you.

How fun is that. And we're gonna come all the way up. We're gonna come up onto our hands and knees. So we're gonna do our hip work like this today. So what I want us to do is come down into the forearms.

And then send, so this is kind ... This is one where it takes some concentration, because keeping the alignment is a little tricky. So we're just down on the knees, and what we're gonna start by doing is we're gonna lift the left leg up. Now just look down, and make sure that the pelvis hasn't dropped. I'm doing my best.

I don't have eyes on me, but we'll all do our best. And then we're gonna just drop the knees down. The knee, and lift the leg up. So we have to balance the weight between the two arms. Down.

And up. Using the hip extensors, watch that the knee doesn't open out wide. It goes straight up. And down, abdominals in. Straight up.

And down, one more. Straight up. And down, and that's gonna go to the side. And back. To the side.

Where is your focus? Should be in the center of your body. It's not, it's too easy to not ... It's easy to feel the hip. But what we wanna be concentrating on, last two, is our alignment.

Last one. It's actually quite tiring on the arms as well, I find. And then stretch the leg out. Keep, don't bend the spine. Keep the spine nice and stable.

And take it down, and out. Down, and out. Down, and out. Two. Here's one.

Here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna put that foot down. We're gonna straighten our arms. Put your weight on your arms. Step your right leg back.

The same leg that was moving, the left leg comes in. The spine stays straight. And back. And round. So we alternate.

Spine straight. Leg back. Round. And back. Straight under.

And back. Round. And this is the perfect place to do three. One. Two.

Maybe I was a little bit overexcited about the pushups. Three. Elbows down. Create your long body. Abdominals in.

Yeah, so, when you go to lift that right leg, just notice where the shifting occurs. I'm noticing in myself. Check the pelvis. And the leg goes out and up. Then down.

Out and up, head in line with the spine. And down. Out and up. And down, last two. Out and up.

And down, almost there. Last one. And down. And now take it out. And in.

And out. And in. And out, feel the length of the spine, last two. Out. And in.

And out. And in, and go straight back. Just rechecking my pelvis. Up, and down. Again you're not kicking it up so high that the whole spine changes.

You're just creating a straight line. Last two. And last one. Step back to reorganize the arms. Stand on the right leg, lift the left leg.

Here we go. Right leg comes in, back stays straight. It goes back out. Right leg comes in, back rounds. It goes back out.

Right leg comes in, and back. Back rounds. And back. One more, underneath you. And back.

And round. And I wonder if anyone wants to do three more pushups with me. You could come onto your knees. Two. Three.

Bend your knees. Sit back. Catch your breath, or wait for me to catch mine. Then come onto your abdominals. So we've done a couple of swimming exercises.

Swimming like exercises. Today we're gonna go into the full swimming. So that for you, please to reach your legs out. Draw the abdominals in. Lift the arms up.

Lift the left leg and the right arm. Lift the right arm and the left leg. So we concentrate on just the reach. The reach, and we're going slow for now. Reach.

And reach. And then let's go faster. In, two, three, four, breath. And in, two, three, four. Out, two, three, four, five.

Awareness. Are you rocking back and forth? Are you stable? And now let's go for speed. Inhale, two, three, four, five.

Out, two, three, four, five. So we swim, swim, swim, swim, swim, swim. And now we go slow again. Oh yes, it takes a little mindfulness to change tempo. And we'll just do one more to each side.

Bring both legs down. Bring your arms out to your side. Stay low on your mat. Think long, and lift the arms. Reach back.

Almost like you're gonna take flight. Gonna fly away. And back. And back. And back.

Reach the arms around, lift the back up. Bend the arms. Rest. Maybe shake the pelvis side to side. And then press into the forearms.

And reach back. Sitting back towards the feet. Lengthening out through the arms. Bringing your concentration into ease. And, I don't know, gratitude.

I always feel grateful when I get to feel the, have the freedom to move. Roll through the spine. Come onto the hands and knees. Lift the tail. Easy now, doesn't matter.

So, you can let go of any ideas of what perfection might look like, and just feel that that feels nice and easy in your body. We go back with a long back. Make it round and come forward. And just do that one more time. Tail reaches back.

Back with a long back. And then forward. And then as you come forward, right in the middle there, right in the middle there where you can lift your arms up, do that. Roll up. We did it.

Day four. Done, we rocked it. You rocked it. Next, what's next? Control.

So for now, enjoy your day, or wherever, your night, or wherever you're going. And we'll come back together, and we'll speak about control. Thank you for being here.

Comments

2 people like this.
I am loving the challenge so far! I like the way the days are building and I am trying to incorporate the notion of my feet stuck to the floor and the lateral breathing in every class. It is also so cool to see a new outfit every day! Thanks for a great holiday gift, Meredith.
1 person likes this.
The class went by so fast! Variation or new choreography helps sharpen the concentration and embrace the change in our daily life. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
That was really lovely. Will do this one again tonight, could not entirely switch my mind off. Better tonight.
1 person likes this.
What inspires during my movement practice? How connected I can stay with my body sensations and notice when my mind is drifting away. Sometimes, I learn things that way.
1 person likes this.
Awesome! Felt so good. Love the inspirational ideas thrown in too. "What could you be reaching for?" and "let go of any image of perfection and just enjoy"- Meredith, I just love you! :)
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much. Loving this challenge! Working on my press ups but I tried!
1 person likes this.
Felt great to move after sitting in a 2 hour movie.
1 person likes this.
xo!
Challenging but lovely thanks Meredith. It dawned on me that whilst I use these videos to inspire my teaching of others, I don't always challenge myself to go further - this time I did and it felt good. Loved the spine roll variation with one hand in centre and stretch back. I actually bent my knees a little and used resistance against the knee to increase the stretch. Keep up the great work:)
2 people like this.
1/365: hopeful my spine becomes more supple and my hammies get more flexible.
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