Class #3419

Ease and Efficiency Mat

25 min - Class


Let yourself feel good with this Mat workout by Kristi Cooper. She uses the Theraband for feedback and to give you a little more work in your upper body. By the end of the class, you will move with more ease and efficiency.

Learn more about Pilates Week that will lead up to Pilates Day. Let us know how you plan to get involved!
What You'll Need: Mat, Theraband

About This Video

Apr 13, 2018
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Hi everyone. I'm Kristy Cooper here at Pilati is anytime getting ready to film my next class, which I'm very excited about, but PyLadies days coming up and I'm dedicating this class to all those planning events for that occasion. [inaudible] days and annual international community events celebrated on the first Saturday of May every year. The mission of philosophy's days to foster the public's appreciation and awareness of this method that we all love so much through innovative grassroots pilates events, accessible and affordable for all. One of the great examples I know of is our friend Alexia Hammons out of Dallas, Texas who was taken [inaudible] day and turned it into a full week.

Instead of just promoting philosophy. She will also be raising money for the [inaudible] youth organization hosting live classes on Facebook for all of us to participate from some of our favorite teachers like Brett Howard and calling Glen. If you'd like to participate, you can find out more information in the link below. If you'd like to host an event yourself Hinton's you can go to [inaudible] dot org and apply for a [inaudible] kit there. Together, we can get the whole world doing ploidy so let's get started. Hey everybody, let's get started. We are going to need a theraband. Most likely some of you won't need it, but I like having it even if I don't need it.

Cause sometimes it gives me the feedback I want. I have a towel here because I may or may not use it depending on how my body feels as I go through it. But what I do want to make sure is that when you lie down, that you're not reaching the back of your head to reach the floor or the mat that you're on, that you have enough of a pillow or a towel that allows you to feel like your spine can relax. Cause I think that when you go into any kind of workout or movement pattern, if you're doing it for the sake of feeling better at the end, the more tension free you can go into it, the more efficient you're going to be in, the better you're going to feel. So that's the intent for now. Let's have a seat.

And the third man I have is what I would call a normal length. It's about three feet long. If you have a longer one, that's okay. You might just want to roll it up. If it gets in your way, I'm just placing it there. We don't need it just yet. Placing it where I can grab it shortly. From there, sitting with your feet about hip distance or sitz bones, but bones distance apart. Hold onto the back of your thighs and see what you can do to roll down.

It's okay if you fall down, but just think about, okay, what do I have to stretch out? I don't know, and when you need to bring the knees in, hug them to your chest. Oh look, my pillow is right there. If you don't need the pillow and it causes a distraction, you should move it. Ultimately, we want to be able to do this without one. Okay, so you're hugging your knees and you're rocking. You're deciding you're already committed. Put your feet back down in that same sits bones, distance apart. Arms down.

I am going to move my my pillow for now. Take a moment. You've just got to take a moment. This won't be long. It'll be done before you know. It's a take the moment to recognize that you're here to feel the back of your head, that you're not reaching the Chin backwards, that you're not reaching. Drop that for now. I'll use it momentarily.

Take a moment to not reach the chin backwards, but not overly tucked is fine. That middle. Ground the back of your head. Press the back of the shoulders into the mat and notice what it does to your ribs to that. Force them to the sky. If it does, it's all right if the shoulders come up a little bit. Let's be heavy on the backside of the rib cage. Maybe go for more pressure through the back of the arms as if you were going to stand into them. Knees point straight up. Let's just roll the hips.

We'll take an inhale, just an inhale and start exhaling and once you do, you can just round your low back into the mat. That's all I'm going to do. Rolling the low back into the mat. Knees didn't point to the sides. It's still pointed up. Release it back to where you started. Inhale again. Start the exhale. Maybe you'll notice the belly deflating, the ribs deflating and everything. Kinda gently tightening as you roll to the waistline again, come back down. Inhale one more like that. Nice and simple.

Just kinda checking yourself out. Notice what happens to the rest of your body. Hopefully not a lot and back down. This time we'll go up higher. I'm aiming for the lower parts of my shoulder blade, so feel for that. Inhale, start exhaling. Keep the dean's porn into the sky. Roll through the waist. Let your butt come up a key, pressing the rest of the spine down, meaning towards those shoulder blades. It'll be higher than you might think. Then when you think you've gone far enough, check the front of your hips, straighten them out. They're nice and long. You're going to Tuck more.

Tucking to me means the base of the pelvis, the pubic bone coming more toward my chest so my low back feels stretched or longer. Now I feel the back of my legs. I bet you do too. If he did it, push into the feet. Keeping that shape, you come a little higher. It might be a little hard. That's okay. Spread out the collar bones just to the side in here and roll down a lot of words for saying roll up and down. I get it. Just giving me some things to think about. Let's do a few more. Rolling up. Let it feel good. How's that for a cue all the way to the same spot.

Just get there. If all of a sudden you feel your low back, what would you do to fix it? Would you talk more? Which arch? More. It doesn't even matter if we have the same language yet. Make it feel better. Inhale somewhere in here and then melt your way back down. Turn to keep the position of the feet and the knees. You might have to every so often redrock the shoulders towards your hips so they don't creep up. They tend to do that. Let's do a few more.

I'm exhaling cause I roll. It's not super critical. It's just easier. I'm all about ease and efficiency these days. I think it Kinda makes life better. Body feels better and I moved. Better. Inhale, exhaling, roll down. [inaudible].

It's one of those places you just get to think about. Where are you in space? Inhale. Exhale, rolling. [inaudible] so right for the rest of the body to move naturally. Let it, but just kind of check in what's happening. Are you feet rolling out? Try to keep them level big. Tote a little toast. Best you can. Anyway, inhale and exhale. [inaudible] starting to realize perfection and really never was the goal.

Nevermind my attempts. One more for real. Inhale. Exhale. Sink the valley. Let it happen. You don't even have to try. It's just what the body does. Step into your feet. Might as well use the back of the arms. Push them into the ground. Try for flat wrists. Hold here at the top. Inhale, stay here.

Yep. Just stay here. If you need to even come down a little. Pick up the right knee, just a little the foot to of course, put it down. Check yourself. Do you need to reengage to the front of the hips or nice and long. Inhale. If you have an exhale, the other side just barely pick it up, you'll find there's differences. I always tend to start with my easy side. Put it down when I cramp, I have to shake it out and I'm just about to do it again. Right side, I'm just breathing. Doesn't really matter how or when.

As long as it's relatively consistent. Switch again, one more and the idea is that you're keeping the hips pretty level that you don't just drop one than the other. What control do we have at the beginning? Take a deep breath. Inhale, exhale and roll yourself down. Once again, hug your knees to your chest. [inaudible] from there. Put your feet back down there together now completely. And that means it's almost like you have one leg, so your knees together, feet together, ankles together, everything. Take your arms out to a side, like a t. My, my arms would be on the floor if I could.

I'm going to bring my feet actually a tiny bit closer so I can be up on the balls of the feet. Keeping the knees aligned. We're going to take it to one side. It's not a full drop it. I lived the opposite. I'm going to my right. I'm lifting my left hip. As I look at the knees, they're still lined up side by side. That means the feet are absolutely stacked. Then exhale, bring the legs back to center. It's kind of a stretch, but it's also warming up into the obliques muscles. Everybody wants to work.

We're going the other way. I've inhaled there. Both shoulders are down. I do care about that. I don't care about your range of motion. Yeah, there should you exhale, bring it back. Other side go. Not Faster, but just a little more flowy. Yeah, and you start to realize there are all sorts. We're one body, but we have different portions, right? So right now we're anchoring a proportion and we're letting the lower portion flow and sometimes a mindset allows for that more than the mechanics of how to [inaudible] is like a sway. Let's do a few more [inaudible].

Don't just tell when you exhale it, just let your body start an action based on the shape. We just made one more each way. I'm going again to the right in here. We start that exhale, the ribs melt back down. The legs follow last one to the left exit. Right from here, we're just going to lace the fingers behind the head. You can separate the feet or keep them where they are.

I'm keeping mine where they are. A fully laced my fingers. I want my elbows off the mat so I don't have strain, but my head is resting in my hands. It takes time to learn, but maybe just hear that over and over in your head. Inhale, start. Exhaling. You're just going to start to look towards your knees, but drop the head back heavy into the hands again and then we'll just curl up a little bit. I'm not going for height here. I'm going for leaving the lower body. Basically where it is, there'll be it adjustments. Inhale, hold it there. Exhale as if you could pull yourself back down and get longer. Do it that way.

Inhale the bottom. Start to exhale as if the back of your head slid down the Mat. Curl yourself forward. When you get up as high as you can, and again, it's not so high that your legs come off or anything like that. It's just what your upper body can do. Take another inhale and lengthen yourself back down. Only two more.

No big deal. Just giving you some basics today. Squeezes in her thighs lightly, but definitely curling up so you could kinda chill out up here. Sort of inhale, exhale down. I know what's with the slow part, right? You'll see. Exhale, curl up. This is all just prepping you for what's to come on another day.

Stay up this time. Here's a little taste of it. Reach forward to your legs. Grab on. Literally just get a good grip. Bend your elbows to the side and sink the ABS board. Pull yourself forward. It's not about height, it's about forward. Take another breath. You can see your abs. Stay here.

Exhale and seem to the abs more as if you're trying only depress your spine into the mat. Just whatever's touching. Do another breath there. Exhale, pick up your feet one at a time or both. Hold on a little closer to the back of the knees and then just get a rocking motion. Keep those knees together. You might have to do a little kick to get going, but can you keep it smooth so it's not knees in? He's out. Rather keep it the same. Keep a little tuck to the pelvis, a little round to the spine and roll and again, trust me, I'm prepping you one more or the next time you can come up. Stay up, grab your band.

I'm going to grab the van and wrap it around the [inaudible] or not the ankles, the feet, so I want a good solid feeling. Their feet still together, knees still together and grabbed pretty close, especially if you're have a tighter low back or if you knew where to plot histogram clothes. Sit as tall as you can. Don't hurt yourself and imagine you're pushing into the band, but instead find a wall there and pull the hipbones backwards as you round down. It's not about the shoulders and collapsing, it's just like pulling the hips away. Go as far as you can before the feet. Come on, take a breath if you can and then just come forward.

All right. I talk about breath kind of in a mechanistic way, but really try not to hold it. That's it. And exhale back. We got easier said than done. I know from experience right about here. I'm about to lose it. So I kind of think downward with my heels. Inhale on my collarbones up around my ears. Yes, I'm going to bring up down. Start the exhale. Think of holding the spine back as you come forward.

Let's have a little fun with it. Now you get the basics. Inhale, exhale, roll back. I'll go. Which means go faster. Inhale, exhale, hold the spine back in. Round, back up. I like to sit up as straight as I can in between cause it's one of those things I think we should all practice sometimes down we go and up we go and sit up straight. One more and we are loosening up. Lubricating. I'm going to stretch my feet ever so slightly away cause I just want to and then sitting as tall as I can. Bend the elbows, pull back one. We'll do five full to now. Can you do it without thrusting the ribs forward? I know it's light. It's late for everybody, but make it about holding yourself up straight.

Enjoy the little bit of extra tension you get with the band. This is close to five I'm sure. Hold it back when you get to five and just from the shoulder blades. Pulse a one, but don't thrust the ribs forward. Two dog. Thrust the chin up. Just be proud in your stance.

Couple more and Voila. Just a couple more here. Extend your right or take your left foot out the leg close to the screen. I guess roll back and take that leg still in the band to the top. I'm adjusting it because I don't want to feel like it's going to slip off. I'm putting it Kinda covering the ball on my foot holding still pretty high and I'm going to bring the elbows to the table. Not that doesn't work for everyone.

If you're feeling strained in the back of this leg in the air, Ben, the lower leg rather than bending the top leg. Let's start there at least, but do anchor your elbows and upper arms down. All we're going to do here is we're going to take that leg across. This time we don't move the hips. We're going to bring it around and let the band carry it and come around. It's like a mortar and pestle in the hip socket crossover.

Drop it almost and bring it back. Take it over. Do your best to keep rest of your body still for now this changes, but right now it's like let's get these skills that allow us to do all this really great work well later. That's enough of those go the other way. Same foot. Everything is the same. Just go the other way. Take it out around, kind of come to the top and stop. Push it out, circle drop and back and you start to realize the little bit of control that can happen, but mostly lets go for the freedom of it right now. One more. All right and while we're here I'm going to just let my arms come up off the mat. I'm going to grab again a little higher. I'm going to bend that knee.

Take the elbows back down and just go for a little stretch up and bend. Just two more. Just enjoy it a little bit. Hopefully it doesn't have to go to street. Alright, can we just stay up here? Let the arms come off. Switch feet, make it feel secure, right? You don't want to think about your feet or they'll start doing weird things.

All right. What does matter though? Once you switch feet and you put your elbows back on her upper arms on the table, lower leg is bent. Look up at your hips and think about squaring them off. So both hipbones are straight across. All right, here we go. We crossover and circled down and around and come to the top.

Cross over, down and around to the top again. It's amazingly these little skills. Oh and mar that end up making everything else so much more fun. Other way around. It got to commit. That's the thing. It's a practice. No doubt about it. Two more.

One more Wallah. Okay. Keep it on that foot in a bend. That leg. Put It on the ground. Keep it in the foot though. Pick your head up at the other foot and, and here's some fun. We roll ourselves up. We're all ourselves up. We rolled ourselves up while law. Keep the foot in the band.

You're gonna separate your feet though. So it Justin, however you need to, whatever your band is, aim for sitting up straight. What you can do, remember that towel we had earlier. You can sit up onto it, um, meaning right under your hipbones or you can just bend your knees. But this one is key for starting straight. So whichever feels better to you. It's worth a pause and figuring it out. All right. Holding pretty close to the band. All we're doing is imagining repressing the legs into the band the whole time we exhale, we round forward. The band will probably go loose.

You can bend your elbows. It's okay. Just round over from there. You're going to start straightening your spine on the diagonal. It's fine. Again, if I'll bend my knees just to make that point. It's like your, your spine is traveling up the size and you get a little pull of the band. There's a lot going on there. My favorite exercise and exhale round and roll back up to straight.

Inhale, exhale. We round. Try to keep the feet flex as if you're pushing your legs in tool wall. The Bandol go loose. It's okay. It's all right. It'll be there. When you get back. He's still holding it. Then start to lengthen your spine on the diagonal, pulling those elbows back just so you get that obvious resistance into the spine. Even if you're upright, it's fine if you're more flexible than me, go more forward, but keep the spine long and then allow the arms to release round forward and come back all the way to the starting position. Lots of words, a lot of movements, but you can do it, and I will say it as clear as possible.

We inhale, think of the band is support. Exhale, we round forward. It's like you're going up and over a ball or just trying to truly just squeeze the air out, squeeze the air out, squeeze the air out. When you know it's out. It should be easy to then go into that longer flat back on the diagonal. Pull the elbows. Exhale, round and roll. I'm going to give you one more inhale, hold. Exhale.

Rounding over. This is the one you're trying to make the shape of the body to squeeze all the air out. Nothing going on with the arms as let them be there until we're ready. Get the air out. Get the air, pull those hipbones back. Then somewhere in here, feet are still flexed. You start to inhale naturally, lengthening the spine on the diagonal. Pull those elbows back, pull them back. Find that nice long diagonal. Doesn't matter. The knees are bent and then gently pulse. The elbows back. More accurately. Think shoulder blades. It's so small.

It's as if the feet could reach further forward. The back pulls back the arms full back and from there whenever it feels right, take the next deeper inhale. Exhale. Let everything go. Rounding over and roll back up. Alright. Take them fanned out of your way. We'll do two more things. Three, if you count both sides of the body, I'm just going to drop my mat, my band. You won't need it.

I don't think we're coming to a side plank right up on your elbow is you want the elbow underneath your shoulder. Not Way out here and not so far underneath either. It's not going to be easy. Give yourself some architecture. Bottom knee is 90 degrees ish from the hip. Top leg is up from there. Flex the feet, press forward, forward, forward, forward.

Think about keeping the leg straight and I do mean think about it or maybe even hold on this last or next one. Look back because sometimes we think it's straight and it's not. Let's do four more kick, kick and backing. Go quicker. You'll, you'll see the, if this is one of your first classes, a lot of these gets a lot quicker and a lot more staccato than this, but I do want you to have some skills. Hold it there. Okay. It's behind you. Yeah. The rest of these pretty straight. You might be ever so slightly forward if anything and live just five.

I know what's with all the low reps. Trust me. Two-Ish. I'm going to do one more cause I think we need it and I'm going to flip around. Do the other side. Call it a wake up call. Huh? Right upon the elbow. You're lifted.

You're proud is the best cue I can ever come up with because I'm not just waiting for her to say something. Kick forward one to back. Feel the leg in the hip kit and the idea is that for now anyway, you're not swinging your body. You will later when you know where you're going. But right now, let me just show it to you. Next one, go to the backstage of the back. Check that the leg is straight. Check that you haven't rolled back to look at it. Right. Get that hip over the other one so you feel some resistance there.

Lift up just five. I know I'm better make them good. Okay. Something else you should know a lot is in Chester. Don't count. We say five and you do five and then you'd wait for us to catch up. All right. From there we're going face down.

So if you still have that pillow nearby, this might be a nice time to do it. You can see I left mine on the other end, I'm going to leave it, but rest your forehead on that towel or pillow if you have it. If not, just put the forehead down. I'm not going to go to the mic. Hands are close to your body. If if not totally touching your body best, you can try to draw the feet completely together. If that doesn't work for you, it's okay if they're apart, but know that that's a goal. Think upper inner thigh arms pressing into your body.

We inhale your feet, remain on the ground. Don't go anywhere. Just exhale and see if you can lighten the pressure of the belly on the mat just by exhaling kind of naturally diamond. Try Inhale naturally and feel how it drops in. Start the exhale. Feel how the abdominal ever so slightly start to tighten anyway.

Keep that as best you can. Inhale from there and on this exhale, imagine or actually try to get longer. And I do that by thinking my crown of my head. Top of my head goes forward, my arms reach down, my back. I start to look forward. I start to get heavier, believe it or not, in the rib cage to get a little arch of only my upper back, hopefully, and they come back down. Less words. Same action in hell. Prepare, start, exhaling. Reached the shoulders down maybe slightly backwards. Look forward. Start to look up the wall or whatever's in front of you, not just with your neck but with your spine til you feel the upper back. If you fool your lower back, see if you can flatten out the front of those hips and the mat a little more and come down.

Remember what I said about five that aren't you glad? That's all I were doing. Inhale, exhale. You reach the arms down. If he can, you press him into your legs. Start to look forward. Keep the ribs heavy. Keep the belly drawn in a little bit. Look forward. Look up. If you can even raise the arms. You don't have to. It's almost the same thing and come down and again, last two for the day. Exhale, reach collarbones wide or shoulders back a little, not a lot.

Looking forward, do your best to keep your feet on the ground. Keep the abdominals sort of in. And one more inhale. You can almost relax here. It's kind of hard to restart the whole set up again, so I don't know. Relax off and fully exhale a hundred down.

I can't really push in quite honestly, if I'd like to think it's my last are so big, but it's probably just work I need to do. I'm not sure. Alright, from here, one grand finale, look down at your mat. Stay up though. Take your arms out to a t position, palms facing down. It's okay if you're everybody lowered. Rotate the arms outward so the thumbs go toward the ceiling. Stick them up. If you're not sure if you're pointing to the ceiling and gently lift just the arms for five for four, you can be lower.

Three feel that expansion two and finally one, bring your hands by your shoulders. Maybe fully relaxed. First little shake, Shimmy, loosen up and then help yourself into a child's position or rest pose. You'll often hear us say, arrest pose for head down, knees bent. Again, the towel could be behind your knees or your arm like I just did here. Arm behind the knees. If you don't want to press back, if that doesn't work, you can just simply go to your back and head your knees to your chest. Breathing deep, better hopefully than when we started and always being grateful for the time that you had to explore your body no matter what it told you. So it's good information. I'm giving this just one more together and you can stay here as long as you want, of course. And then help yourself up.

Thank you for being here. Till next time.


2 people like this.
Love this quick and easy perfectly into a free 20 mins I had at home before dinner. Next time unwell even remember to have a band 😊
Kristi, Thank you for a nice flow , we all need that quick and easy ( or not easy :)) session during the day, its make me feel relaxed ,good and ready for the rest of the day to teaching Pilates and bringing to the studio great positive energy.
Thanks again :)
1 person likes this.
Gracias Kristi ✨
1 person likes this.
Oh Kristi! So good to see you in a new vidi! What a nice little workout with your always-perfect guidance and variations. Thanks, and happy weekend!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Kristi for being real and approachable as a teacher. I appreaciate it and I couldn't help but say namaste to you when you finished (i know that' s not pilates lol). I always feel like I am in the room with you. I am a yoga teacher and newer pilates teacher and I really like your inspriational classes. Thank you! You really have a gracious, accepting, fun personality that shines through.
1 person likes this.
thank you Kristie...pls more mat videos...
Thank you Kristi. Good to see you in top form:)) Great cueing and positive approach, Sarahx
1 person likes this.
Love that
1 person likes this.
Just perfect for a snowy Sunday when you don’t want to leave the house! It’s spring time in Nebraska!
1 person likes this.
I love your classes! Your running commentary/cueing is always so good! Great quick class !
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