Class #3330

Graceful Mat Flow

40 min - Class
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Your body will be filled with light and ease after taking this Mat workout with Meredith Rogers. She revisits some of the ideas from her 10-day, Return to You Challenge so you can bring back the awareness you created during the challenge. She keeps a nice flow throughout the class so you can feel graceful and strong during every exercise.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi. I want to thank each and every one of you who signed up to do the 10 Day Challenge with me at the beginning of this year. I'm so excited that we all did this together. It was so fun moving with all of you. And if you haven't done the challenge yet, maybe this class will urge you in that direction.

But we're just gonna do some mat work and we're gonna revisit some of those ideas. So here we go. Sitting up. With your feet on the mat in front of you, holding onto the back of the thighs. And we're lifting.

And I'm gonna close my eyes, you may as well. Or keep them just soft. And feel here a sense of lightness in your body. Maybe anything that's heavy you could leave on the floor. On the mat.

And then just let that sense of lightness radiate up the spine, through the top of the head. And if there's any sense of heaviness, it's in the pelvis, or in the bones that are resting on the mat. In the feet, and in the pelvis, as I said before. And opening the eyes. And taking a breath in.

And exhale, rounding the spine. So, bringing back into our realm of consciousness. Lifting. Back to straight. Ideas like awareness.

And we round. And we notice the abdominals drawing backwards to help us create that long C-shape. And then we lift. Light. And we can bring our attention to our breath.

Our awareness to our breath as we round. And lift the spine. So, ease of movement is always one of my foremost goals in my movement practice. Let's round the spine. And then allow the spine to continue backwards, so the arms go straight.

Once the arms are straight, allow the hands to just slide down the outsides of the thighs. Let the low back come to the mat. Inhale, reach the arms up and back. Open the arms out to the side. Reach the arms forward.

Take another inhale. And reach back up. From the round shape at the top, open the arms out to the side, lift the back, turn the palms of the hands face-up and lift the chest. Bring the arms back forward as you round your spine. And exhale.

Roll back again. Feeling the suppleness in the spine. Inhale, arms. Arms open. Arms reach for it.

And we collect ourself and roll back up, finding that rounded C-like shape. And then as the arms open out the side, palms face up, lift the chest. So we're going beyond straight into a little bit of thoracic extension. Upper back extension. Round.

And can you do this with a sense of ease and a sense of flow? And reach. And open. And forward. And gathering ourselves all the way back up.

And opening the arms out wide. Lifting the heart. Press the arms forward. Create some contraction. So if we think about our movements, if we're conscious of our movements, we can perhaps enable our bodies to move more efficiently.

Arms up. Arms open. Arms forward. And roll up. We're only gonna do that more time.

And open the arms. Extend the spine. And reach forwards, rounding. And roll back. So, from the back.

Palms of the hands face-down, lift the left arm and the right leg. And then press both down. And then the opposite arm and the opposite leg. And press down. And feel that the leg is being pulled through the center of the body.

Arms reach forward, legs softens. Inhale. And reach forward. And inhale. And reach down one more time.

Inhale. And reach down. Both arms come up. Both arms go out. And now, as we lift the leg closest to me, we'll bring the opposite arm across.

Come to center, arms open wide. Exhale, reach across the body. Come to center, arms wide. And across. So we're heating up the body.

Across. And down. And across. And down. And across.

And down. One more time to each side. Exhale, ring out the breath. Center. And exhale.

And center. Lay all the way down onto the mat. Slide the pelvis up towards the feet, or the feet in towards the pelvis for some bridging. Inhaling. And exhaling, flattening the spine.

Standing on both feet, intentionally. And feeling that equality of weight between the feet. Feeling balanced in our bodies. Inhale. And exhale.

So can we keep all of these ideas around thinking about the Pilates principles while we do Pilates? It sounds strange, but it works. And inhale. And precision of movement. Standing on the feet.

Feeling in harmony with our movement, or in harmony with our own bodies. And inhale. And exhale. Flowing through the spine. Through each movement.

And inhale. And exhale. And I, I'm about the get older. I'm not gonna tell you how old I am. But I promise you, I'm no spring chicken.

And inhale. And I just am reminding myself as I advance in years that these ideas around how we choose to move our bodies can also be transferred into how we choose to move through our life. Right? With efficiency of movement, or harmony, or ease. And movement lessons turn into life lessons.

And from the chest, feeling the bones of the spine as they imprint into the mat. Focusing specifically on the rounding of the lower spine. And down with the pelvis one more time. Inhale. And exhale.

Flatten the spine. Curl up. Feel the inner thighs magnetically reaching towards one another. Feel the backs of the arms, heavy on the mat. Inhale.

And exhale. To roll down. Sending the hips to the heels and the heels to the hips. Just another way to say maximizing the contraction through the back of the leg. Here's one more.

Press up. Hold at the top and inhale. As we exhale, we'll lift the left leg up. And then tip the left toes down. And exhale; lift the left leg up.

And inhale tip. Heavy on the down, light on the up. And down. And so the leg just floats. And then it falls.

And it floats. And then it falls. And one more. Floats. And as you go to place that leg down, do so with intention, so there's no shifting, no needing to re-organize.

And then we lift the opposite leg up. And then down. And up. And then down. And up.

And then down. Keeping the hips up high. Last two. And heavy fall. And float.

And heavy fall. Replace the foot. Take the arms up towards the ceiling. As they reach overhead, lift up a little bit more with the hips, through the hips. Inhale, exhale.

Reach the arms back. So use the stretch of the arms to feel as though we could make our body longer, make our spinal column longer. And then at the bottom, we'll interlock the hands and bring the hands behind the head. Allow the elbows to be just off the mat. Lift one leg.

And then the other. Inhale. Take both legs towards me. So with the hands behind the head, we have a little bit more of a balance challenge. Range of motion might be slightly smaller than with the arms out to the side.

But we'll go with it. And inhale, over to one side. And exhale, noticing your range. How far can you go without losing the scapula on the opposite side of the body? Inhale, reaching over.

Notice the depth, the concentration, the awareness of our mind moving our body in very specific ways. And center. We'll go one more time to each side. Inhale. Yeah, so the only person who can look for those ideas in your experience is you.

And center. If you're willing to do so. In the center, exhale. Lift the head and chest up. Inhale to pause.

And exhale to lay the body back down. Exhale, head stays heavy. Lift the head and chest up. Inhale to pause. And exhale to lay the body back down.

Exhale. Lift the head and chest up. Inhale to pause. Exhale, create length. Create a working contraction on the way down.

Two more times. Exhale to lift up. And inhale to come down. And exhale to lift up. And inhale to come down.

And exhale to lift up, and pause there. Reach to bring the hands behind the thighs. Give yourself just a little bit more depth. Depth of work, depth of focus. Let go.

Arms reach back, hands behind the head. Just the right leg down. And then as it comes up, the left drops. And then use that same, employ the same idea. Light leg on the up, heavy leg on the down.

So one pulls or lightens and one's pushing. And switch. And switch. And switch. And switch.

Both legs come up, lower the body down. Exhale, the head and chest come back up. Inhale, the hands come behind the thighs. Exhale, curl a little deeper. Let go.

Reach up. Hands behind the head. Tip your knees towards me, so that you come off one hip onto the other. Keeping the height in the chest. And then inhale, lay the body down.

And exhale, lift the body up. The body's coming up in the center. And the legs are askew. Exhale, lift up. Inhale.

And exhale, release down. And exhale, lift up. And inhale. Oh, keeping the elbows wide, Meredith. And two more.

Does anyone else ever self-cue? I know, we all do. We all do. Exhale to lift. That's part of the awareness in our practice.

That's what makes it meaningful. Center. Over onto the other side of the body. Other side of the pelvis. And now we go down.

And we lift, one. And down. And lift, two. And down. And lift, three.

Holding the balance. And two more. And up. And one more. And up.

Where's she going now, you say? We're coming back to center. Take the hands from behind the head, reach them forward. Stretch the legs out and inhale. Two, three, four, five, and out.

And in, two, three, four, five, and out. And in, two, three, four, five. Focusing on the full exhalation of the breath. And now inhale, the right leg up. Two, three, four, five, and down.

Two, three, four, five. Right leg up. Two, three, four, five, down. Two, three, four, five. Right leg up, two, three, four, five.

Down, two, three, four, five. Left leg up. Two, three, four, five, down. Left leg up. Two, three, four, five, down.

Left leg up. Two, three, four, five, down. Both legs up. Two, three, four, five. Bend the knees.

Reach down, separating the feet to place them down onto the floor. Take the arms overhead, lay down, inhale. Exhale, curl through the spine. Press the arms forward. Lift the hips up.

Pick up the left leg. Stretch it to the ceiling. Circle it in. Stability. Three.

Control. Four. Five. Take it down. And then back.

Reach, oh my left. Reach, keep the hips high. Two more. One more. Lift that leg up.

Bend the knee, stabilize the pelvis. Other leg comes up, it stretches. Circles to the inside of the body. One, and two. Control.

Precision. One more. And the reverse. So noticing what you need to to organize around stability. Last time.

And that leg goes down and flexes back. Reaches away and pulls up. And here's three. Lift up. Two.

Lift up. Last time. Lift up, bend that knee. Hips up high. Arms overhead.

Roll the spine down. Enjoy feeling the fluidity in the body. Fluidity of movement. Ease of movement. Take the legs out, keep them apart.

Flexing the feet. Turn the palms to face in, lift the head and chest. And inhale. And exhale. We roll up, all the way.

Lifting up tall. Inhale. And exhale. Take the body forward. And inhale.

And then push the feet away. But feel them. There's where we create opposition. Sit tall, arms parallel to the shoulders. And exhale.

Feel as though you're hugging. Maybe you could imagine a magic circle that you could hug with the upper arms. And then if we go back to the idea of a magic circle, we think about our breath, right? So we squeeze and narrow as we draw the air out of the body. And then we expand, specifically to the back of the body.

And then we contract again. Narrowing and lifting. One more time. Inhale. And exhale, to reach forwards.

Maybe you'll notice that you can go further each time. Inhale. And exhale. Building the spine back up, piece by piece. And inhale.

And exhale, rounding down. And now into extension. We take the body out long. Arms up to towards the ears, reaching the spine. Exhale, take it back forward.

Push the feet away. Roll up. Up, up. And ease. And exhale, round.

And one movement flows into the next movement as we extend the spine. So think of all these movements as not separate from one another. But like a dance. You are your dance partner. Your body is your dance partner.

And we move with our breath. And inhale. And exhale. And rolling up. And one more.

Inhale. And exhale. And inhale. Take the arms up. Reach the spine, through the arms.

Lift the body all the way up. Take the arms out. Turn towards me. And saw. Exhale.

Send the back arm down and the front arm forward. Find the diagonal in the spine. And center. And inhale, rotate. And dive.

And get longer, get straighter as you come up. And center, and inhale. And reach. And lengthen up. And center.

And inhale. Grow taller. And reach. And lengthen. And center.

And one more to each side. And reach. And lengthen. To come center. And inhale.

And reach. And lengthen. And center. Take the hands behind you, bend your knees. Feet are flat on the mat, arms are nice and straight.

Think about the center, the middle of the back. Pick the hips up. As you exhale, do a spinal-like movement, a pelvic curl-like movement. Coming up into a tabletop shape. And then continue, send the knees forward towards just over the toes.

Taking that nice stretch through the shoulders. Come back. And roll down, staying lifted up off the mat. Tailbone drops, inhale. Exhale, tuck under.

Again, standing on the feet. Send the knees out over the feet. Come back. And roll down. Keep lifting up as you take your body down.

Two more times. Exhale to lift up. Reach over the toes. Lift higher as you come back into that tabletop shape. And then articulate down.

And one more. Exhale to lift up. And reach out. And come back. And roll down.

Down, down. Stay round. Reach around for your legs. Pick the feet up off the mat, press the legs together. And rock.

And balance. And rock. And balance. And rock. And balance.

And rock. And balance. And two. And one. Taking the hands to the knees, pressing the knees into the hands and the hands into the knees, start slowly, slowly making your way towards the mat.

And then once you're there, in the chest lift position, we take the arms and the legs and we pull back in. And feel the stretch in the body. And then the contraction. Or the gathering of energy, and the stabilization. And back.

And reach. And back. And inhale. And back. And inhale.

And deepen with your breath. And one more. Deepen with the breath. Both hands on the right knee. Left leg stretches, and change.

Change. Creating a tempo with the breath. Creating mental challenge, physical challenge. Where you're using your mind to look deeper and deeper and deeper into your own body and what do you see? Better question maybe is what do you want to see?

And hands behind the head for the criss-cross. Lifting up as you go over. Lifting up as you go over. Keeping the scapula wide. The elbows wide.

The head cradled in the hands. And now we go a little quicker, but no less precise for five. Five. Four, four. Three.

Two. One. Knees into the center, head comes down. Legs stretch out, lift them up. Roll over.

We're gonna keep the legs together today. Flex through the feet. Let the legs be heavy towards the chest as you roll back down. And as the pelvis comes down, lift your head, roll up, pointing your feet, and reaching for the feet. And then roll down.

Keeping the legs as they are until the head comes down. Lifting them. Taking them over. Flex the feet. Push the feet away as you roll down.

So you work the movement, the flexibility of the spine. And all different ranges of motion, in all different ranges of motion we have control. And we go down. Legs stay as they are. And then up.

And then over. And then we flex. And then we roll down. Down, down. Head comes up, pelvis comes down.

Arms reach forward, forward, forward. I think we should do one more. Just because it's so amazing. And fun. I don't know if you think that, but I'm gonna just suggest that we could make it.

And if it doesn't feel fun, maybe change the way you're looking at it. I think we all think it's fun, or we wouldn't be here. Reaching, reaching. Flex the feet, set them down. Arms out to the side, palms face up.

And spiral. Twist, twist. And center. Here's another place where you can bring awareness to breath. Hello train.

You all may know that we've recently experienced some pretty significant environmental challenges. And it's just nice to see life going on again. Didn't feel normal for a long time. And now life just continues, as it will. When faced with a challenge, we just take a breath and we continue.

Come to center, arms up. Hands behind the head. Hinge. Point your feet. Tuck the tail under.

Roll down through the spine. Lift up, inhale. Roll up, exhale. Oh! I'll have to admit to you, I have not been as good as I should about practicing Pilates. And so that felt quite challenging.

So we hinge. And then we roll. And then we go back to where can I find ease of movement from where do I look for that? And I don't know the answer, except for where I look for it. Which is deeper.

And how much can I let go of? How much can you let go of to get a better movement? How much can we let go of to move more freely in all of our experiences? That is a question that is frequently on my mind. Last time, lift.

And up. And over. And then building the spine. Hinging back. Don't go all the way this time.

I have a surprise. It's not such a surprise, it's just a single leg pull. Here it comes. One. And pull, pull.

The leg that isn't being pulled is pushing. So we've got oppositional energies, again. And we're pulling not with the arms, but deep within the trunk. We'll do two more. And one more.

And now both legs can come up. Hands behind the head. And we go down and then up. Push. To lighten.

Push. To lighten Two more. To lighten. One more. Push.

To lighten. Reach forward. Legs go down, spine comes up. Take the arms all the way up, overhead. Open them out to the side, flex your feet.

Reach forward. And give yourself a stretch. Okay. Let's come all the way back up and up onto our knees. Taking the arms out to the side, we lean over to one side.

Inhale. And exhale to come back through center. And inhale, reach over. And exhale to come center. And then go over again and take the opposite arm and reach, and the hand that's coming down can push into the thigh.

And we press and we reach. And then just float back up. And inhale, push into the thigh. Reach up and over. Oh yes, you're welcome.

And reach over. I'm just imagining that that might feel good to you. Sure feels good to me. And center. But you may know what I'm setting us up for, and you might not be excited.

But that's okay. Because I am. So we go over to the one side. We lift the knee, the leg stretches out, flexing the foot. We go pull, pull.

And back. Pull, pull. And back. Pull, pull. And back.

Two. And up and back. One more. Hold it to the side and circle. Five, four, three, two, one.

And circle the other way. Lift. Ease. Grace. Two, one.

That leg comes down. We take the other leg out from underneath. This arm comes to the ceiling and we go up and over. And back to the side plank. And down.

And inhale. And up. And over. And side plank. And down.

One more. Inhale. Exhale. Up. And over.

Side plank. Knee in. Body comes up. Hip drops down. The arm that was holding the weight of the body, holding the weight of the body stretches up overhead.

And then we do a little forward. Quarter-turn, forward rotation over that leg. Come back. And bring the knee in. And arms up.

And over to the other side. So the leg comes up, the hand can come behind the head. Flex and pull, pull. And stretch. And pull, pull.

And stretch. Pressing the head back into the hands. Last two. One more. Leg comes to the side, and circles five.

Four, three, two, one. And circles the other way. Five, four, three, two, one. And it comes to the mat. The bottom leg slides underneath it, top arm comes up and then we side bend.

Looking down. Coming back to the side. And bend. And inhale. And exhale, up.

To go over. And back to straight. And down, and one more. Inhale. And up.

To go over. Find the side position. Bring the knee back in. Lift up, dropping the hip. And stretching over that straight leg.

And then doing a little rotation. Oh yes. And then coming back and lifting back up. Turn to the mat. Hands on the mat.

Getting sorted, finding your weight evenly distributed through both hands. One leg back, the other leg back. And inhale. And round, right knee comes in. And back, left knee comes in.

And back, right knee comes in. And back, left leg comes in. Using your abdominals. One more. And back.

And that's it. Finding center, three pushups. One, two, three. Pick the hips up, deepen through the abdominals. Heels try to reach down to touch the mat.

Heels lift up. Spine articulates back through. And now, right knee, left elbow. Twist. Left knee, right elbow.

Twist. Precision. Fun. Play. All things that we could think about.

Find center, hold center. And three pushups. One. Two. Three.

Hips up. Heels down. Breath. Heels up. Undulate through your spine.

Roll down. Bend the knees. Lower the body. Bending the arms, so you're resting just outside of the upper arms. Energizing through the legs.

Lifting the belly button just off the mat. Lift the head and chest, take the arms out and up. Circle the arms around to the sides. Maybe lifting the body a little higher. And then bend the elbows to come down.

And the body comes up. And the arms reach. Arms lift higher as they come behind us. And the elbows bend and we're trying to aim the elbows towards the mat. And down, and inhale.

And reach out. And then around. And bend, to come down. And reach. And feel the flowing, the energy that you're creating.

It's hard work, but it's valuable. Last time. Arms around to the sides, interlock the hands behind the back. Turn the head one direction. Lift the legs and kick.

One, two, three. Take the arms out. Stretch. Head the other way, kick. One, two, three.

And reach. And one, two, three. And reach. I'm not putting my head down on the one side just because I don't want to crush the mic. But you can go ahead and put your head down on both sides.

We'll do one more. Kick, one, two, three. And reach. And one more, to the first side. Kick, one, two, three.

And reach. And then bring the arms overhead. And swim. Inhale, two, three, four. And out.

And in. And out. Full, deep breaths. In. And out.

And two. And out. One. Take the arms out. Lower the legs.

Bend the arms. Press up onto the forearms and the knees, and then just reach back, letting the elbows lift off the mat. So we're back into rest position. And inhale. And exhale.

Rolling the spine up. Pressing the shins into the mat as we drop the hips through. And lift the chest through the arms. Abdominals in. And then lifting the abdominals.

Reaching, lightening up on the arms as we sit back and inhale. And rolling through. And hips come down, chest reaches up and back. And round. Breath, flow, precision.

Efficiency, harmony. Life goals. Chest comes up and back. And then as you come to rest on your feet, consider to yourself what you might continue to look for in your practice and perhaps even in your daily experience. And then rolling the body up, coming just to rest on the feet.

Bringing the eyes up. And softly forward. And close them for just one moment. Just to look inwards. To have moment of reflection or whatever you need right now.

And we'll take the arms out, and open the eyes up. And remember, that if we can manifest movement with our minds, take the arms down, who knows what else we might be able to manifest. And with that, I thank you for joining me for this class. And I'll see you again soon.

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Comments

3 people like this.
Thank you for a perfect Valentine’s gift! Loved the ease and flow and depth of movement. Xo.
1 person likes this.
Precision, controll, lovely motion, thank you, Meredith.
Nice day from Slovakia.
1 person likes this.
Sweet start to the day. Thanks for the challenge and the inspiration! Happy Valentine's Day!
1 person likes this.
❤️
4 people like this.
Beautiful class, I will take many of those thoughts with me this evening when teaching my class, thank you . And Meredith you are a graceful spring chicken!!😉
2 people like this.
Fantastic, flowing class! I also loved the wisdom peppered throughout- movement lessons turning into life lessons, looking deep within, letting go, manifesting, all that great inspiration. Thank you Meredith!!
2 people like this.
Superb class! Thank you 😊
2 people like this.
Loved this class. Thank you.
Thank you all SO much!
This class was intended to be a follow up to the 10 day "Return to You" challenge.
Nice to see some participants here.
If you've not done the challenge, consider giving yourself that gift.
Happy Valentines Day everyone!
1 person likes this.
I really love the flow of this class! Meredith is one of my favorites! Great workout for just getting over the flu. Not too intense but not too easy-for me at least....
Thank you!
Nicole
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