Hi everybody, it's been a long time since I've been to cadillac class with you, so I wanna do that today. It's not gonna be quick, but it's gonna be investigative. That's what I wanna do. So, I invite you to do the same. At the very least, come along with me.
The way I have this cadillac set up, and it does matter, it's a little different than normal. I do have the strap on. Not every cadillac that we all use has it ready to go. I have it on 'cause I'm going to use the short box, or do the short box series later, which is why I have the box under the cadillac. So you will need that.
Having said that, if you don't have a box because you only have a cadillac, you can simply do the short box series on the mat and I think it's pretty self-explanatory when we get there. Done it many, many times, it's really nice to do in a mat class, as in the side. The way we leave our cadillac here at the studio set up, I do have two blue springs from the top, or lighter springs, from the top on the push through bar end. This is a balance body cadillac if that helps you with the blue springs. The safety strap is ready to go, we'll use it.
And I have two red springs a little heavier than the ones above. Below you see the trapeze. I'm probably gonna use that later with some hope and effort, we'll see. And then the leg springs over here and of course the roll-down bar with the light yellow springs. Shall we begin?
Let's start in front of your cadillac, or where you can see or where you have room to take inventory on yourself. So your feet are parallel. Maybe shift your weight front to back, I'm gonna turn sideways just for the sake of in case you're not sure what I'm doing. We breathe. You can take your arms over head if it works for you and I just need to kinda feel where I'm at just standing.
Exhale. Kinda need to shake it off today. Inhale. And on this exhale, start to let your head fall forward. And this is where I really do just feel what is.
So you don't wanna just collapse, right? You wanna actually start to support yourself right now. You might need to bend your knees to do that, you might need to keep your shoulders on your back a little bit so they don't just hang off of you. Start to know you are in charge to some degree, inhale. As you exhale for me it's as if the backside of my body starts to pull me back into my heels, not leaning back but rather stacking myself over it.
This time I'm ready to take those arms overhead. I rotate them out, inhale. Go ahead, reach for it, lift it, arch it, do what feels good. And exhale. Find yourself again in alignment and roll down.
You can go a little faster. Inhale. Bend your knees this time, they go right towards your forehead. You exhale, straighten your legs to the extent that you can and roll back up. If you need more time, I trust you to take it.
Inhale, reach up. Go ahead, stretch it, no one's watching. Feel good, it's okay. Exhale, push energy away and maybe feel the bones get more space before you roll down. All the way, hands to the floor, fingertips to the floor.
On your shins, it's all good, inhale, bend. Exhale, straighten legs. Let's do two more of those. Inhale, bend, it's truly connect yourself here. What does that mean?
I don't really know. What does it mean to you? Bend one more time. I mean, as my knees go forward I feel the back of my body, the front of the body, hold there. My legs are straight, your head is heavy.
Inhale if you need to. Exhale to stand back up. One bone at a time. Shake off anything else you need 'cause now we're going to sit down. Take hold of your roll-down bar.
The strap is on the cadillac, but just get it out of your way or don't let it bother you. And essentially back up. I usually personally start somewhere I'm not quite the middle, I'm not real tall. But you might have to adjust. So from here, with the knees bent and together, my whole hand is on the bar.
I do have the thumbs wrapped, I'm just gonna exhale and press the bar down ever so slightly. Oh, I can feel I'm leaning back, or at least I feel like I'm leaning back so I'm gonna adjust for that. Exhale. So the simple exercise here is the awareness, right, the first principle of lengthening the spine, finding the front of the body, the back of the body, in a seated position (exhales). On the next one, we'll press down, hold a little bit of a resisted pull down.
It's funny, I'm having a hard time keeping my knees together today. If you are too, you can put a towel or you can even separate your knees. Anything that kinda reminds you to do that. I'm just gonna work to do it. On the exhale, roll the sits bones back, let the shoulders follow just a little bit and then come back up, inhale.
You didn't let the arms go, right? There's a little bit of pressure, not a lot. Exhale, roll the pelvis back, you gotta let the neck follow, right? It's part of your back, it's part of your spine, it's part of you, inhale. Exhale.
Something I do, I don't think it's a cheat, is I'm actually kinda driving my heels into the mat, the top, the bed, just to find the back line in my body. I'm trying to find that connection I mentioned earlier, inhale. Exhale, keep this one. Then check, it's so worth it in the beginning, to check across the collarbones. Are they rounded forward or are they in a straight line?
It's okay if your back is rounded but keeps those collarbones wide. Exhale again when it's time. And we'll roll down further, say to the mid-back. Hold, check those collarbones again. Inhale.
We're gonna go back up. Imagine the springs were heavier, pull the waistline back and exhale, keep the curve, keep the curve, keep the curve. When the shoulders are over the hips, you sit up tall, put a little pressure on the bar, inhale. We roll back. Collarbones of course are wide.
Find the bones in your body, the back of your body. And then as you come up, we're gonna come up and stay up at least for the moment on this next one. Hold the waistline back, hold it back, hold it back, hold it back. Once your shoulders are over hips, you sit up tall and now just for a few again, press the shoulders down and really I mean that. I don't mean the hands, the hands of course are moving.
You wanna kinda stay light on 'em. If you need more space for your hip flexors, move your feet forward, that's all fine (exhales). One more time we're gonna go in to some mini roll-ups. Keeping a little bit of resistance on the bar, body straight or long, we're gonna roll back. Again, about mid-back.
And once you get there, so we get all on the same breath together, we inhale. Exhale, come forward holding your middle back. It's not all the way up, go back down, inhale. Number two (exhales). Sometimes I am tempted, just keep going, I'm tempted to bend the elbows.
But rather, something Mary taught me, was to almost press the inner seams of the hand toward each other as you do this so the arms are straight, they're active. And you can really use the breath that we all talk about to pull the belly button, the abdominals, the core, whatever you wanna call it or do, backwards so you feel the stretch to your spine. Which is in fact the key to why I'm doing this. Let's go down again. So you're near your shoulder blades.
I'm bringing my feet in a little closer because it's gonna force a bit more of a curved spine. Let's not worry about neutral pelvis right now, go ahead and tuck it under. If it helps, you can let it be more level if you need to too, or can. Rotate towards the window, or towards me. The knees stayed where they were.
We exhale, we pull the belly back. Not at the expense of releasing the shoulders forward. Inhale, just come down. At this point the arms are just a vehicle. I'm going up and down on the same side for three more times, for five.
Inhale down, start the exhale, sink the belly up (exhales). Inhale, two more. It's real tempting to let those shoulders come off your back and let's make it about the spinal movement. And (exhales) come back down, around the shoulder blades, go to the other side, keep the knees in the center, you're gonna watch for that. And exhale at the other side.
Oh, it's a different side. I wanna do different things on this side. Not yet. So now I'm just monitoring, I'm monitoring myself. This is the hour of the day that I pay attention to what I'm actually doing in hopes that it'll carry through (exhales).
Two to go (inhales). It's really a great time to think about the breath. You're not even think about it, but just use it to your advantage (exhales). Come back down to the middle, come up, stretch the legs out, and one more time with straight arms, press the bar down. Again if you need to bend your knees it's okay, but try for feeling how when the bar goes down the spine goes up, it's just an idea maybe (exhales).
And viola. Okay, we're somewhat warmed up. I'm gonna put the bar back. So now we're gonna load up the safety straps so we can use the push through bar for foot and leg work. Not everyone does it here, but it's really nice and I'm gonna offer it to you today, so come forward with the bar, take the safety strap, and hook yourself up.
Check it, safety. Safety first as we like to say around here. I have two red springs, they're basically medium or sometimes called full springs. Load them up. And for the way that we're doing this, it does require a fair amount of hamstring length.
Having said that, you could turn yourself around so that you're not in the position I'm about to be in. I'm gonna put my head off of this end, but you can turn around and depending on how far you have to modify, you'll kinda know it. You wanna feel a stretch to the hamstrings, not just all quads. So climb underneath. Back up initially, I go back further than I hope to have to.
Some people even build up an extra bit behind, or they have a cadillac that allows for that. So we're gonna put our feet up. And I'm going to the heels parallel position first. And that alone just feels good sometimes, so just let the weight of the bar press the leg bones in to the hip socket. That can give you a sense of opening through the sacrum.
The arms are straight, they're long, and then you simply allow the bar in. Bend, knees straight ahead, exhale, straighten. It's not that big, at least not for most of us. Some of you will be able to go a lot further. Exhale up.
Bending and straightening. So where I measure this for myself and what I would do with my clients, is that I don't wanna bend so much that the whole pelvis comes up. I start to lose the benefit of what I'm going for. So just bend and straighten. You can work the legs in both directions, you can imagine you're pulling the knees to you, you can imagine stretching them away.
The idea being that you're connected, once again, to both sides (exhales). Let's just do a couple more here and we'll switch positions. Next one up, stay up. Double check that you're not really rounded in your low back. If you really feel, or if you feel any pressure in your low back, it's probably a sign that you either need to move back and/or maybe it's not the exercise for today.
You're gonna push the bar away, not to your highest flex, but sort of that no man's land of in-between and bend the knees. Not so far that they have to bow to the sides. From your vantage point, if you're doing this with me, you're looking at the spreading out of the toes, you're keeping the knees in line with the first or second toe-ish. And you're stopping yourself prior to allowing the knees to significantly splay, or at all. Let's do about four more.
And then you get to kinda explore again (exhales). Do your best not to adjust the ankles as you go, meaning they don't flex and point and flex and point. One more time-ish. When you get up, stay there. From the upper thigh or even hips, swivel, turn those hips out.
Re-drop the tailbone, that's a very natural place to tuck, arms are down, and you bend. Now the knees can go out, but the heels stay together and finish at the top. Pull, bend, maybe you can go deeper, two. (inhales and exhales) Now go back to the breath. Relatively soft toes.
(inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) Minus well check in with your neck and shoulders. I'm gonna do two more. I tend to stop on nines, I'll give you an extra one from where I thought was 10, here it is. Stay there. Heels now, if you can, you're gonna move them out to the edge of the bar, placing your ball of the foot, or balls of the foot, on the frame here.
If that doesn't work, you can keep them inside. So just something to know. But aim for the heels as best you can as far as what's on the bar. Here we go. Gets to be fun and wide.
Oh you can enjoy that but do not lift the pelvis up. Exhale. (inhales and exhales) Something I often say is, it's almost like you have a giant magic circle in-between the inner thighs or knees and as you go up, it's not just up, but it's also inward (exhales). (inhales and exhales) Playing with balance in your own body, what do you feel? Is one leg pushing more than the other?
I'm doing a few extra here, I can tell, 'cause I think it's a really good place to mark your own self, so let's do about three more here. (inhales and exhales) The idea is that you're pulling the bar, you push the bar, let's do one more whatever I said. Back up, stay there. Now, one foot at a time, you're placing the ball of the foot back on the bar. Get as many metatarsals as you can on there.
And then we bend, same thing. Back to that semi high-heeled ankle position that stays stable. (inhales and exhales) You're in charge of the motion, it's not just oh I relax and it comes down and then I push it back up. It's not heavy enough for anyone that way. You pull it in, you expand and stretch, you press it up and you squeeze towards the center without tucking.
That's where you get all that good stuff. (inhales and exhales) Just doing two more here. One more. Stay up on this next one. Walk your feet to the, not the center.
Sits bones distance apart, still on the balls of the feet, so that you can flex your feet. Hold it there. What is your natural tendency? Check it out. It's so good to know ourselves almost always.
Anyway (laughs). Like right now, my heels are tight, I'm dancing again. I'm kinda stoked, despite what it looks like for you perhaps, so what about you? Are you rolling in? Are you rolling out?
Are your hips lifting? No, try for level. Then you get to push and your legs are staying straight and you're gonna flex. And you get to push and they flex. And you push and you flex and you push and you start to notice more.
Are you hyper extending? Are you using one leg more than the other or are you not sure? Use one, figure it out. I'll use my right one a little more. And now I'll use my left one a little more.
Oh that's harder for sure, okay. Now I know. How about both for four. One, flex down, here's two, down. Working on it.
And down, go back up to the pointed toe up. Bend your right knee. Flex the left heel. Do your best not to hyper extend and if all I did was that (laughs), the rest of my life I'm living a better life. Push up with that left foot.
They're both in pointed. So now you don't know which leg is about to work but it's gonna be the right heel that flexes. Watch that knee and push up. Now we know what we're doing, we go a little quicker. We flex and straight and flex.
This is equivalent of running on the reformer. Check your shoulders, you get to relax elsewhere you're involved, but just not tense. Press and up. The working foot is the one that pushes the bar up to the ceiling. Flex, push with that one.
Flex, push with that one. And next one, finish it, and then pick a side, doesn't matter, hold the stretch. If you want more, you can even pull the bar with the free leg, the bent knee. Switch sides, you can stay there as long as you like I know that feels sorta good. And then bend your knees enough that you can find the bar, bring it down.
Either sit up to take off one spring or do it as I am. And stretch your legs out for the long sit-up. Arms are straight. Even if you have to put, my spring already has resistance, if yours doesn't make your arms straight, that's key. Not that the shoulders are coming off.
From there we're goingg to inhale, look forward. Inner thighs are strongly together. You keep the bones on the mat as long as you can, you sit up all the way. You check in, can my shoulders handle that? If not, you'll fix it on the next one.
But, for now, we're bending the elbows. Stay tall, nothing happens at this point. Exhale, straighten, and roll down. That's the breath pattern I'm gonna give you, inhale. Pick your head back up, exhale all the way up.
Try to keep that sequential. If you find it's a big hip flexor thing, you gotta back up. Or you could even take the spring off. I'm gonna wiggle back slightly. Inhale, head comes up.
Collarbones wide, exhale, up, up, up, up, up. When you get there, you stay there, you fold the elbows, wide, wide, wide. Press back to straight and down you go. Touch down, inhale, lift, exhaling up. Get there, spread out your back, elbows wide.
Straighten the arms, and when you go down you can almost push the bar forward, the feet forward so you feel that opposition. Let's do one more just with that thought. Up we go (exhales). Bend, straighten, and finally push with the palms of the hands forward. The rest of the body is just anchored, and down we go into a tower prep.
So I slid myself down on the mat. Take your hands onto the polls, straight arms. Gonna take your feet up, both of 'em. If you've never seen this, this is not the time to do it while you're doing it. Rather watch it and then join me.
We're gonna do a prep, though. We press the arms to straight. If your shoulders need more attention, you can take 'em higher. If they need a lot more attention, I would skip it. From here, as much as you can, hips are down.
Flex the feet. We inhale, point. This is the beginning. You feel those hamstrings, you start to push the bar ever so slightly, bend the knees, keep some space in the trunk until the knees are over your forehead. From there, inhale, straighten the legs.
This is the prep I'm using today. Re-bend them, and from your throat, start rolling down, push into the bars, keep the hamstrings involved until your legs are straight. We flex and we do it again. Exhale, point. The balls of the feet push into the bar to help those hamstrings engage.
Bend those knees right over the forehead. Try not to get too short there. Straighten, re-bend, and roll back down. Now, finding your anchor point so that feels good to you, you point the toes. There's my anchor point on that bar.
Try not to move the bar a lot. Bring the knees over the forehead, stretch the legs, still involved in the hamstrings. This is not a back exercise. Re-bend and roll back down. Last one, flex at the bottom.
Once your tailbone gets as down as much as possible, point. Up you go. Bend as you get there. This time I'll change it, so just come with me. Straighten the legs.
You could either re-bend them right or keep them straight as you go down. But you trust those hamstrings are still working with you. All the way. Bend the knees, use your hands to help the bar down, and up you come. And so here we go.
Now I'm gonna introduce the box, so get your boxes and/or if you have a strap or if you need to move to the floor somewhere, you can anchor your feet, that's cool. If you don't have a box, that's also cool, you'll be able to do the whole series, just maybe not the full extent of it, full range. So I'm gonna put my bar down, get the box, I'll see you in just a sec. So I put the short box up. And again, you're gonna want to make sure your strap is firm.
I just noticed, again I've done this once before like this, and I like this bar so since it's in front of me I'm gonna use it but you don't have to. And we start with the rem back. So if you're used to doing this with straight legs you can, you're welcome to and I encourage you to, prefer it. I'm gonna do it with bent legs, again for the purpose of using the back side of the body. So my legs are hooked, my arms are straight, hopefully my back is, we inhale.
Yours is, for sure. We exhale, we round back. Not so different from that first thing we did. We go as far as we want. It's not about pulling up on the strap, if anything it's about pressing down with the hamstrings.
I promise you, changed my life when I figured that out. At least for this exercise. Let the bar come up on the inhale, push the bar down, keep the curve of your spine, round forward, keep those arms out straight, and sit up tall. Adjust where you need to. Inhale, exhale, strong.
Not so much in the hands, although that's not horrible either. Back of the legs into the box. Keep the curve, inhale, take those arms up, up, up. Keep the shape, exhale, push the arms down, and curve forward. Sit back up once the shoulders are over hips, inhale.
Exhale. Lead with the hips, lead with the hips. Keep leading with the hips, the body will follow. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, arms down.
And all the way up. This time take those arms up overhead. If you're longer than me, you can either put the bar behind your head or put it down altogether. Simply lace the fingers behind your head. Inhale, hinge back.
Another words, if you're hitting the pull. Exhale, come forward. Slight lean forward, but stretch as you do it. Inhale back. There's no arch here, there's no arch here, just as you go pay attention, exhale to come forward.
Two to go. Inhale, squeeze the glutes, squeeze the inner thighs. Back we come. Exhale. One more time.
Sit tall, it's not from the shoulders, although they could reach, it's alright. And up to the tilt. We slightly rotate, we reach over, we reach over, this one's hard, you gotta dig those heels into the ground. And exhale up. Switching sides, keep both hips on the mat.
Over, over, over, a little curve at the end is super cool. And up, not critical. Inhale, rotate. Now let this way we're doing it (inhales). And up.
And over, stretch, stretch both sides if you can, and up. I'm skipping the twist, put the poll down and go into climb a tree, Bassy style. So we pull the knee in. So I'm not holding underneath, although you know your own version, do what you need. Sitting up tall, hug it in close.
When I hug my knee really close, it forces a curve to my spine. I want to eliminate that, so I sit a little taller as best I can. We draw it in, three, two, one. Extend the leg. Again, you can be straight on the bottom leg but it's kinda nice like this.
Roll back into that leg at about 90. From there, walk down, down, down. Hands to the box, you can use your forearms to extend. Isn't that nice, your head has a safe place to land. You curl up, walk up, one, two.
Keeping your leg at 90 as long as you can. Then, you can tilt forward, sit up tall, go for that straight spine again. It's alright if the knee bends. Re-bend it. Everyone, we pull three, pull two, one.
Focus on the back extension, keep the back extension. Forget the hamstrings stretch. Roll it back, walk down as if you were walking down the leg as it shoots right through the ceiling. Arch back. Or you could've held it there.
Walk up, one, two, three. Sit tall, we get to do one more like that. Fold it, pull one, pull two, it's like sliding, and up three. Stretch it, can you find more room each time? Tilt back, roll back, keep the leg pointed to the sky, reach it up as you roll down.
All the way, stay there. If you can reach the arms back, you can find the polls, you can use the polls. You could keep 'em on the box, you can keep 'em on your leg. Just adding a little bit more. Pull the leg a little deeper toward your chest.
And then find it with your hands, pick your head up, walk up one, two, three. Sit as tall as you can. C'mon, challenge it. Collarbones, I keep saying that, must be a thing for me today, re-fold. Change legs.
Other leg is up. I always think of Rachel Taylor Seagull when I do this. She talks about sliding the skin up the shin and that's what I'm trying for here. We pull one, two, three, stretch the leg up, up, up. Hinge it back, or actually more accurately, roll it back.
Take the body down as far as you're willing to. Use the hamstring into the box. Come back up, one, two, three, keep it there, keep it there, can you get taller? Don't let my range limit yours. And then re-fold, everybody get your straight spine.
We can do it here. Pull one, two, three, stretch the leg. Try to keep the back straight. Hinge back, reach the leg that's under the strap, not up but far away from you. Down two, three, stretch back and head comes up.
Try to keep it semi sequential as you come up. Sometimes I kinda pull the leg down into the hip socket as I sit taller as an assist. And fold one, fold two, three, oh I could be taller, can you? Stretch. And down two, three, take it back.
This is your chance if you want to reach back. Go for it, you can hold anywhere. You can hold the frame, that's kinda nice. But extend your extremities is how I look at it. And then find your leg, walk it back up (exhales) and re-fold, sit tall, we did it.
Face me, one leg under the strap for side overs. Couple ways you can do this side over. I've got it, it's not 45 degrees, I'm comfy. I'm all about being comfortable in this one of these days. So my shin that I'm sittin' on is with me in a way that supports me that doesn't hurt my hip.
From here I like to set the bottom arm down, arm closest to the mat. Set, reach the top leg, really reach it. This is so, again, helpful. Body is nice and long, hands behind your head. We go down.
Maybe you can touch the mat, probably. And then you don't push off it, you just lift back to your line. If you have a strong hold of your head, and by that I mean laced fingers, you can push your head back into your hands, there's two. We'll do five, you can do that. Here's three (exhales).
Looking for a straight line rather than all the way up. Here's four (exhales). Breath helps, I'll meet ya after five. Hold it. C'mon Kristi, a little higher.
Longer, take it down. We'll just change sides. You could stretch, but we're changing. Set yourself up. Trust it, kinda key to a lot of this is trust isn't it?
Trusting what your body can or can't do but then finding exploration within it, that's kinda why I do it altogether. Hips are long, this side, can you tell I'm stalling? It's a harder side. So we'll just go. Reach down, and if you catch yourself using just your toes to hold you up there, fix it so it's your whole foot.
Again, down. (inhales and exhales) Two. Touch and three. We're doing our best not to rotate. If you do rotate or you think you might be, rather rotate upwards (exhales).
I think that was three, it could've been four. And one more. (inhales and exhales) My goodness is it nice to be able to work on something always? Okay, so let's push the box away. Get out your trapeze.
If you don't have a trapeze, you can do a swimming, anything for back extension right now. That's how we're gonna finish class. Let's go. The positioning of this is gonna be a little different for everybody depending on your length. I'm essentially doing a very basic but really effective exercise for the front support prep.
Or that's what we call it at Bassy anyways. So, I'm gonna move this crossbar over I'm probably being generous myself by leaving it this far away, but it'll be alright. And just tighten it up a little. If I have to adjust it, I will and so will you. And then put your trapeze on.
And then here we go. Some key things, this ultimately builds to one of the more advanced exercises in I think the entire repertoire. We're not gonna do that. We're gonna know that we can someday. So, we put the foot in the trapeze.
Adjust where you need to. And by the trapeze, I mean the canvas strap below. My hands are in front of me, I need a good grip, right? So do you. Practice straightening the back leg and putting pressure on that canvas strap.
Sometimes we think we're putting pressure on it because the whole leg is tight, but the knee is bent. You might literally have to look. I did, and I'm encouraging you to do that. Straighten it, feel the glutes 'cause that's gonna matter. Bend the forward leg, and up we go.
We're gonna use the shoulder to press, I'm gonna use the lass, we're gonna pull ourselves forward, not just up, and pick up that bottom leg. Again. It's not a hop, right? You're pushing down on the canvas strap to get you up there. Practicing straightening the back leg, using the glutes, and also of course the arms not to mention the back extensors (exhales).
Soft landing, that's what you're going for, again. And notice a forward to back action. That'll happen when you have both legs in. One more time, and down. Just stand up tall and change legs.
Help yourself forward, find the stretch. It's worth that alone. Front of the body supports you, that's quite key but most of the last thing to think about because I trust you have that. From there, we use the arms. Yes, my forward leg is working, and then I allow the arms to take over and pull that leg up.
Three to go (exhales). Here's three out of four, one more time. Straighten back leg. And down you go, fully extend. Take yourself up, out.
C'mon down, let's just finish this with a standing roll down. From here, just like we started. Feet parallel, take inventory before you start. Inhale and exhale down. Maybe you feel the front of the body in relation to the back of the body more so, maybe not.
Definitely something to think about. Bend the knees, pull those knees to your forehead, let the whole spine follow and the heels stay down. Exhale, straightening 'em. Do two more of those. We'll roll up and call it a day.
Inhale, bend. Exhale, straighten. One more time. (inhales and exhales) whether your knees are fully straight or not, find your feet on the floor, your head kinda loosely hanging, reconnect to the front for sure, and allow yourself back up to the top. It'd be wrong if I didn't say collarbones wide one more time.
Looking forward, turn the palms out, take that deep breath, stretch as much as you want. Feel good about the time you took for yourself. And I hope you're coming in. Thank you (claps hands together).
You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.
Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.