Class #3539

No Tension Mat

55 min - Class


Work on moving freely in your body during this Mat workout by Amy Taylor Alpers. She focuses on finding movements instead of positions so that you can use your whole range of motion without muscle restriction. By releasing tension in the joints, your tissue will become more supple and absorbent.
What You'll Need: Mat, Pilates Pole

About This Video


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Okay. Welcome everybody. I'm Amy Taylor Alpers from the Pilati Center in Boulder, Colorado, and I have this lovely group of women here and we're going to do an advanced Matt. Um, and we're going to focus on no tension. We're gonna focus on moving freely so that our tissue becomes very supple, very absorbent, not hard, not stiff, not blocking anything. So even though I may stay, say stuff like, relax your elbow or bend your elbow a little bit. It's not that I really mean, just bend it. It's that, I mean, let go of that tension right there all the time, right? And the same in the knees, especially those two spots a little bit in the shoulders too.

But we want to end up with a spine that feels like this and not like this. Okay? So go ahead and lie on down. Take a little momentary stretch like your cat. Your big catch is stretching and you're enjoying that lovely, yummy feeling that promotes circulation instead of blocks circulation. All right, you're going to take a big inhale and on the exhale, just bring your hands behind your head.

Bend your knees all the way in towards your ears and curl your spines up and we'll do a little footwork. Inhale, stretch out. Exhale, come in, inhale and feel. You're just a big air cushion, right? Air comes in, air goes out. And as those knees come in, they push the air out. You can even do a little bit of a tail curl each time you come in. Yep, that's right. Exhale. So you get a little push up through the air to get it to go out. And then we'll go bird on a perch. Get some Nice squeezy energy in your feet.

Pilates Stance

Exhale, you're still and see me. Come up a little bit. That's a Janet. Exhale deep into your gut. Beautiful. Flex your ankles even a little bit more. Curl your toes. Yes. Good job. Now Open your toes up and stretch them back and open your paws up. Now how and cats do that? They like open their big paws up.


That's right out at old. Good job you guys. And bring them all the way into your nose, all the way in. Little Curl each time, all the way in. And then last time and we'll stay out and I don't mind where you take them. You can take them high if you need to. Cause we're going to do a lot today.

Heels Parallel

You're going to point and flex and you're rolling through your feet versus hardening or tightening or even let's say strengthening. You're making your feet supple. Instead everybody take a big inhale, exhale, levitate up a little bit so you're not resting on the mat. Up we go. Last one. Beautiful. And exhale, bend your knees and just give yourself a squeeze. And literally like you're a sponge to squeeze yourself. Don't hold tension. Notice where you do hold tension, shoulders, neck, sacrums, hip sockets, shins. And then take your feet down along the mat. Feet together, points your toe straight, legs, hands down. Next to you.

Tendon Stretch

Be a little bit aware too of kind of tucking your allness away. The illness of bone on the little finger side. Keep that wide so the whole arm is open. Take a big inhale, point your toes, exhale, lift up into a hundred and we go into three, four, five and out. Two, three, four, five. And in, and now you've got a long time to think, right? And you're noticing, are my knees tight? Are My elbows tight? Could I relax my elbows a little bit and use my hands and feet instead of my knees and elbows? Even my shoulders could be relax, maybe even bend just a little and the knees.


So you're holding your legs versus locking your legs. Good. Now, big inhale, deep squeeze like you're a sponge. And last one Phil, and then empty and you can lower or you can bend in whichever feels good. Nice job. All right. Flex your ankles nice and strongly, but have it be a movement instead of a position. Take the bar by your side. Hands, shoulder width. All right, so come in a little narrower than you might be used to. A little narrower. And now make nice, strong hands.

Relax your wrists and your elbows and your shoulders and take the bar above your head. And Karen, bring your hands a little narrower. One more. Gotcha. So you feel the streamline quality, Christy too little narrower. There you go, right? And you're going to lift your bar and you're going to curl your Chin and you're going to roll up, flex your ankles a lot so that you can get a little stability at the other end and you have a lovely soft, supple spine and you roll back down, keeping your ankles nicely flexed and you okay. Beautiful. And exhale. Fantastic. We lift the bar and the head and you flex nice into your ankles and that is again, it's a movement, not a position.

Roll Up

So you just kind of keep feeling the deep ankle and that helps you organize the freedom of your spine, a little bed and again up when you feel like, oh I got to the hard spot, you just kind of flex the other end of you a little bit more and then you roll it back. Nice ankles to help you curl and we'll do one more. Nice job ladies. And up we go. Inhaling, exhaling and, and that's hard to do with no strap and your roll back down again. Heads down, curl deep and release. Beautiful. Okay. Place your bar down right next to you so it doesn't roll away. If you can. Nice point your toes, take your hands down. But again, allness wide and fabulous. Wide. I've been kind of working on that feeling of your flying buttresses on the sides of your arms a little bit so you don't away. All right, you point your toes and we're going to do rollover. So you're going to inhale, lift your feet and roll over to the floor.

Roll Over

Flex and open roll back down and low tig gather up and over tailbone curls more than a couple of things. More than your legs throw you over. And even more than say your sit bones curl, your tailbone curls, your feet right to the floor. Open and roll back down. And if you can go a little wider, do just watch your neighbor open, wide rollover. So reverse.

If he didn't right, bring your feet together and roll it down and open. And your bendings, you're trying not to throw, haul or tighten. You're just bending. What's the difference? And then feet together on that moment, Janet. And then last time over, let's take a moment over for a second, right? So you roll over, put your toes on the floor. If you can bring your feet together, maybe reach around and take the soles of your feet, bend your elbows a little bit. Try not to stretch. In fact, almost feel like you shrink a little bit. And then bend. Bend your spine. Yeah, and then roll down through a bent spine, making muscles deal rather than harden. There you go. Gorgeous.

Stay at the top for a second and we'll just lower your left foot down and flex that foot. And right foot is pointed hands come down next to you. And again, you've got those allness wide, right? So Yep, you got it right. All right, so they create a little bit of a platform for you and then carrying the foot can go all the way to the floor. All right. And then we're going to circle over and you've got to keep your eyes open for Ferlie so you can stay with your neighbor around and up, around and upstate at the top for a second. Kind of notice if you're straining your shinbone by kind of winging your foot. Come over here and come with me. Yes. And then around one more time.

Single Leg Circles

Go over and circle around to center rivers down around, over and center. Nice job. Down around, over all the way to your tone has like a sharp pencil you're drawing a circle with so you're not swinging the pencil, you're drawing a beautiful circle with the tip of it all the way around. You're in charge. And one more time. All the way around. You're in charge. Beautiful. And then switch legs. Just go whoosh. All right, top leg is pointed. Bottom line is flux just for the brain teaser of that.

And we crossover over down a round and, and you get to use that sort of width through your flying buttresses to help you find a little more center, right? That's what they're for, to help you stay streamlined and uplifted. Inhale, exhale. And one more time. Inhale. Exhale rivers and down around. Notice if you start and to lock out in your elbows and forearms or even your knee, but you can have a nice straight knee. There's a difference between straight and locked. Subtle difference and around and over and up.

And last one around and way over and up. Bend your knee, take hold of your knee and rural, right up to sitting. Bring your hips to your heels and just soften your body into a small ball. Like don't point it there. Flex it there. Yeah. Not your ankle so much as your, just your whole joints. Just soften them and bring them in and roll through them and yeah, and you don't have to hold a flex of your ankle. You can still point your foot.

Rolling Like A Ball

Just don't harden anything. If you harden stuff that muscles can't really contract and cleanse themselves. Right? So you want to stay soft so muscles can contract to do it. Yeah. And you can squish your heels to your butt, can squish your heels right on your butt. Just don't point them there. Hold them there. Yes. Flex them there.

Flex him there. Yes. Not your ankle so much, but your knees. So stay for a moment you guys. And just notice the difference between sort of holding yourself in a shape and releasing yourself into the shape. Just fold in. That's the way. And Roll through that so you're not hard. Oh, nice job. There you go.

And that way your abs could actually maybe contract. You got it. Okay. And then put your feet down. Put your hands down, pick your butt up and straighten your legs and lie down. Now, same idea here. Lie Down, take hold of one knee and folded in. Lift your head and your other leg and we go switch and switch on. Switch. Switch.

Single Leg Stretch

Breathing in for two and out for two. And one more time. Bring both knees in and exhale all the way, all the way in. Don't hold your knees and Shins. Squeeze your legs in. Inhale, stretch out. Exhale, come all the way in. Let the nice part. Inhale the nice part a little bit and they fold.

Double Leg Stretch

Yes. Inhale. And you don't hold tension in your knee. Let it go. Yeah, just flex right all the way in. All the, let your knees part a little bit, right? So they come all the way in like that. That's the way last time and all the way. All the way in. Beautiful job into your scissors and pull twice. Switch. Pull twice. Take your ankle. Lift your own nose.

Single Straight Leg Stretch

Right. So we're way back here. Way over here. Bring your leg over here. Yeah. Oh well. Come on. Way over here. Say everybody, take your hands to your ankles. A little higher. Oldness are back. Way Back here. Way Back here. Pull them back and we go. So it, pull it back even more.

Come on Karen. Pull them behind your head. Yes and loud. Okay, now we're talking. There we go. Alright. Hands behind your head. Elbows way back. Inhale your toes to the floor. Exhale your belly to the floor. Curl up a little more. Exhale. Good. See if you can take it a little wider. Jen, your elbows, but lift you up. Yes. Oh, nice job. Last time. Porch, toes all the way. Stay up. Beautiful. Karen. Stay up now. Twist to twist and twist.

Lower Lift

Try not to swing. Drop your leg. Imagine the tip of your toenail is the cold nose of a dog. And follow it straight out. Don't throw it, drop it, catch it, follow it, follow it. Last set and roll out to setting. Very nice, good ankle flection because your ankles are supple feet, a little wider than your mats. Little wider than your mats.

Criss Cross

Keep going a little wider, a little wider. Okay, inhale and then exhale dominoes. Way In. Don't stretch. I know it's called spine stretch. Inhale, roll up. Let's just flex axial. Just flex your spine. Just flex your spine. You don't even have to stretch your arms. Just lift them. Inhale, lift your arms and exhale all the way down.

Spine Stretch Forward

And I'm going to give you a little sense of what Ramana would do. Come back up. She grabbed you by the hands, give you a little left and then go down and push ya, right so that you don't tense yourself so much. You release yourself and then you bend Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, yeah, right. And then you come back up and then, sorry I didn't get to everybody, but you're going to bend your knees and take hold of your ankles and straighten your legs. Now you have soft spines and you roll through your soft, supple spines. It's not that you don't use muscle, you use muscle to bend things versus make them hard and stiff. So you could be more catlike and in a nice job.

Open Leg Rocker

Couple more. Yes. Very nice. Even your hamstrings and knees don't have to be hard. They can be active. What's the difference? Bring your feet together. Flex your ankles and roll that way too. And you can try taking your toes if it's too much. Don't worry about it.

Cause I know some people can do that real easily. And not everybody but nice ankle flection. You'll never get to them if they are ankles aren't flex though. You got it without stretching. Just flexing. And last one in. Stay for a pause. Okay. Points your toes. Take your arms out with light.

Allness turn your legs out and crap. Clap, clap, clap, clap less crisscross. All those are light. Yes. So you're flying and bay. Bring your knees together. Your feet together rolled down and jack knife over and up. Okay. Find your flying buttresses in your elbows again. Right? Cause you see how that tightness in the shoulder wants to pull your hands off.


You're going to twist to the right roll down the right circle around and up through the left. And you had these beautiful SELPA spines. You twist to the left and you could think I twist my heart, I twist my lungs and not just say my spine. But you do want a flexible spine, right? So you twist and you make your spine very supple. Yes. And that way, nice job. The muscles get supple too, and you twist and you roll around and up. And one more time in a hail down, around and up.


And if you twist enough on your last one twists enough. So you're on your left side as you come down. Right? You're actually on your left side. So you could open your hips the whole way and then go to the center and then go to the right. And then flex. Yes. And Roll right back up. First off. Okay.

So arms out to the side. Again, light allness so we like to do this kind of thing right? A little bit. It doesn't have to be ballet arms, but that outer bone is lifted. It's not hanging. And the same in your fibula is a little bit. Yep. You got it. Twist to the right. Keep feeling your right shoulder blade headed for your spine and your right ribs headed for your, between your needs, your left rib between your knees a little bit.


Okay, come on up. Inhale, twist and exhale, release and bend and roll it back up and West, right? And then this can, yeah, nice job and come back. Go ahead and be even. Yes and come back up. Good job for your feet together and swing them around. Lie on your belly. We'll just face each other. Palms underneath your armpits, maybe even a little lower towards your waist. Okay. Point your toes and now you know, you twisted, you flex, all that good stuff.

Maybe now you can just do a swan with no issues, right? Just squeeze the shoulder blades a little bit so they don't hang forward and let some of that muscle contraction start to lift your head for you. And then lift your eyes, nose, chin, and bend your back backwards. Just bend it backwards. Keep bending it. Keep going. Not too slow. Just keep going. And then come back down and it's less a lift.


You get to push it with your hands, but push your spine into extension rather than into lift. Push your spine into extension. There you go, Janet. Right. Exhale. Yeah, and even the last second, when you want to stretch, don't stretch. Just bend one more time. You're going to bend your back backwards with the muscles that bend your back even more. Even more like stay here. Bend your elbows.

Okay. Release these down and bend, right, right, right. And then stay at the top the next time when you're as far bent as you could be then. That's right Ben. Less lifting, more bending. So there for a second. Drop that forward and bend around it because you have that. Why not stay here for a second?

Reach your belly down to your toes for a second. Just feel nice and long. Levitate your legs a little bit. You need to bend your elbows, do and then rock through that rock and push or lift and reach. All right. Nice job. And then come right up on your elbows. Okay. Eyes are on your forearms. Take your arms further forward than you might be used to. Okay.

Swan Dive

And then just gently kind of lift yourself onto your hands a little bit and off of your quads. Pull your belly up, but try to lift your quads off the mat. Okay. And then bring them as close together as possible. And then we go kick on, switch on, switch on, switch and switch and switch on switch. Good. Now see if you could switch from your hamstring instead of your knee. Yeah. And just let your knee fold, right?

Single Leg Kick

So that when you get here, right, you could release this tension. Actually flex it. Just let it go. Could you like that? Right, right. So she has to, I have to get her to let go so that I could flex her knee. And what if everybody stayed in one knee flex for a second and then see if in fact you could let it go in a way that would allow you to flex it. Right. And then see if you could keep it flex. They're not by hardening, by flexing better job. Right.

Relax the knee and flex the muscles like the knee joint should just glide because other muscles are actually able to pull. Right. And if we tighten the knee right, let that go right. It should come kick, kick like that all the way. So don't point it there. Flex it there. That's really hard. I get it. It's totally hard. But see if you can, we're not trying to build muscles that limit range. We're trying to strengthen range the whole way you got it.

Much better. Better Karen a yes. Nice job. Yeah. So that you could just bend it and touch your head with it if you want it. Cause there wouldn't be anything in the way cause you hadn't built any tension in there. You got it ladies. All right. Once she got on the mats, go for the same idea on your double leg kicks once she to the Mat, take a big inhale, point your toes three flexes, flex, flex, flex, and then just yawn and other cheek. Flex. Flex, flex and yawn.

Double Leg Kick

When you do your flexes, try to keep your quads off the mat. Flex, flex, flex, lift your hamstrings up really high and flex. Flex, flex. See if you can lift your hamstrings a pyre so that you don't lean back. You almost feel like you're doing swan di forward. Yeah, lift him up even more. Karen, don't stretch your arms. Just bend your back last time.

Don't stretch your arms. Lift your legs and bend your back. Eyes up way up. Way Up. Way Up. Okay. And sit back on your heels. Nice job. Okay, so take a moment there and I'll just say we're going to do the archival version of the neck pull just because when you don't have a foot strap, the other version is much more challenging. Okay. But it is different. So to stick with me, bring your feet out in front of you hip with apart.

Child's Pose

Nice ankle flection. All right? It has that nice wide chest strong upper back feeling in it. So you take your hands behind your head. Now when you come up from the floor on the next rep, you come to this position, which is confusing because we're used to going straight over right? But you stop here, elbows way back. Seriously.

Get your elbows behind your head way back. Not by necessarily lifting your shoulders, but by opening your chest. Keep your elbows back, curl forward. Put your head on your knees, a gentle pulse. One, two, two release. Inflate up, elbows wide. And then you get to bring your elbows narrow and roll your spine down. And then you roll back up to that sitting position. With the elbows wide up, we come, flex your ankles nice and strongly. Round over, gentle pulse. Don't tighten, release, release.

Neck Pull

Inhale up. And then elbows are narrow and you curl your spine and then you curl back up. Good job. Flex your ankles, curl up to sitting, elbows wide. Keep your elbows wide as you pulse forward to elbows wide, even wider, Karen. And then up. And then they narrow. And you curl down. So in a way it's kind of the opposite of the arm anyway.

Okay, so that's enough. All right, so now we're going to go into the scissors and bicycle, right? And how do you use some of that upper back strength that you were just working on? Alright, so feet together, point your toes rollover and Jack Knife up. And then put your hands in your low ribs, even maybe into your high ribs, but definitely not in your waist if you can. And then boost yourself up and then scissor up there by releasing your quads, scissor, release your quads switch, release your quads and try to release the quad that's coming into the middle here so that it tips you into extension, right? So you're gonna switch and you're going to try to release this down.

High Scissors

Drop it, keep going. And that's the one pulse pulse switch. Just drop it. Pulse, pulse. That's right. And then if you're ready, yeah, even more like don't hold your quad quite so much. Let it go and open and here. Right? And then if you want to go into your bicycle, you scissor first. Yap.

Nice. Jen and you scissor first. Yes. And then you try to keep going by bending your knee. Bend your knee like you did in single leg kick. See if you can be all the way over here to do it right. So scissor out, right? Scissor it out. Good.

High Bicycle

I've let this go before you bend your knee, let it go. Arch your back and then you're going to touch the floor. Yeah, go. All right. And then just bend your knees in and roll down. So you see like especially right that exercise, if we're holding anywhere, it's never going to happen. And not holding doesn't mean no muscle strength.

It means stop limiting your with muscle contraction. Right? Stop holding something instead of letting it go and moving it where it could go. The whole range with muscles instead of resistance. It's subtle, but it's there. All right, so let's come on up. Oh No. See down. We're going to do shoulder bridge. All right, so your hands are down. Whoa.

All those are wide fibulas or wide. Bend your knees and place your feet flat and you're going to curl your spines up. Keep your illness, why? We want to tuck everything back, but it just creates tension. Lift your spine up higher, higher, higher. Rise up on your tip toes. Put the heels of your hand underneath the back of your pelvis and then open the front of your body to lower your heels down, right and feel the whole back of your body and go on. Put your heels down, Janet, straighten your right leg along the floor and then kick up and open to the floor and Karen put your other heel down. That's it up and then all the way to the floor by opening, you got it. The front of your body and allowing the back to contract.

Shoulder Bridge

Re switch feet and the other leg and we go up and down and you can point up, flex down. You can flex that point down and you just stay pointed the whole time. If you want up, you're just working on letting go of tension and moving the whole range. You got it. Bring your feet together, take your arms out and roll down, and then as you straighten your legs, roll up to sitting and take your arms out to the side. And again, let's take, let's free the shoulder, right, and squeeze the shoulder blades together a little bit, but you got to lift your own nose, otherwise you're going to yank on your shoulder joint. Does that make sense? If we're here and we take the arm back, we're going to Yank on the shoulder.

If we're here, then we can take the arm way back and it'll be fine. Take it way back. Big Inhale, keep it there. Exhale, twist, twist, center, exhale, twist, twist sense, or bend your elbows a little more on. Pull your shoulder blades together and exhale, exhale, and exhale. Exhale. You still keep because you're doing a twist and an exhale, right? You still keep your pelvis and ribs together and one more x, Hale. Nice.

Spine Twist

But then we start building a slightly different power and freedom in the neck and shoulders, right? All right, hands are down. Again elbow on those are wide so we don't tuck in and then scoot forward a little bit. We're going to do right into your Jack Knives and you roll over and up and you come back down and you notice what I lock. Could I not lock something and just go, go all the way over and then all the way up. Nice. And then roll it back down again and go all the way over.


And then all the way up and all the way down and all the way to the floor with your feet. Very, very nice. Okay. Let's all face that way and we'll do sidekicks. Okay. All right. Yeah, we'll go go that way. [inaudible] not for any good reason than other than we're there. Okay.

So you're going to be up on your underneath hand and you're gonna lift your spines up off the bat so you're not resting on the mat with your rib cage. And if you could kind of look at the person in front of you and make sure that the line from the sacrum tailbone to the skull is pretty level right. You see how that is with Jen. You don't want it to swag down cause then you'll twist a little bit more Karen Up, right? Yeah. Up, up, up of my hand. That's the ones you got to hold a little bit pink up.

Front and Back

Your right foot are your top foot and we go to the for front to the back. Now here's that open hip again for front, front to the back. Back. Think not so much that you're going to push the leg back with your quad, but that you're going to pull the leg back with your hip extensors for UNT. Front and back. Back to Morin. Hail and exhale. Nice job. Last one, front and back. Okay. Bring your feet together.

Turn that leg out and kick up and down. Just straight leg. And when you come down, come down slightly in front of the other foot so you feel that turnout and lift from that turnout place, right? So you'd come down just slightly in front and that makes your hip have juryless. Beautiful. All right, stay down. Pick your leg up. Hip High, no hands. We're going to swing the leg to the front, bend the knee in, curl the leg around and stretch it out to the back and all the way to the front. Bend the knee in all the way to the back.

Side Leg Lifts

Go full range all the way to the front. Bend it in full range in the back. Stay for a second. Okay, so stayed to the back. Now Bend your knee back there. Heel comes into the hamstring. Knee comes up to the shoulder and you stretch it out. You sweep it around huge. You touch the back of your head, you pull the heel in and bring the knee up to your shoulder and stretch out.

Side Leg Bicycle

And then last one all the way to the back. All the way farther than the knee. Pull the heel in, knee up to the shoulder and bring the feet together and lift both legs. Up and down and up and down. One more time. Stay up, flex your ankles, turn your legs out, deepen the hip and clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. Keep the turnout in 0.2, three, four.

Side Double Leg Lift

Keep your turnout and flex. Two, four, five. One more time and point. Keep your turnout, keep your point, roll onto your belly, forehead on your hands, and keep clapping. Clap, clap, clap, clap. Use those back of the hip muscles. Use those hamstrings, get them up higher, and then keep the heel still and roll onto your other side and bring your feet forward to 45 degrees. And then again, just take a moment because we all kind of like to hang. Pick your ribs up in line with your sacrum and your skull, right?

Side Leg Beats w/Lifts

So there's a nice long supported line. Pick up your top foot and flex and we go to the for front, front to the back, free swinging pendulum like a bell clapper, right? You catch it with your abs, you catch it with your back, catch you with your abs, catch it with your back. Beautiful in Hail you go as far as you can. Then farther, far as you can. Then farther and last one. Stay to the back and bring your feet together.

Prone Leg Beats

Turn out and lift up. Flex down. And again, we're coming down just a little in front, just right in front of the ankle. Reverse your foot flex and point flex and lean forward ever. So with your top hipbone because our tendency of course is to lean back. All right, so when you come down this time parallel lift your left or your top leg up and straight leg you swing to the front, bend the knee, open the hip and try to touch the nose of the person behind you as we put around. So the leg is going, that's the on right and up. There we go. One more time around so that you're not holding, you're using muscle to move yourself as far as you can. Go.

Front and Back

Bring your feet together and then we'll reverse to the back as far as you can go. Then farther be out a full heel in because you didn't tighten your knee. You could bring your heel all the way to your butt if you wanted to. And then off you go. Oh Nice at around last time. Pull it all the way in and up.

Side Leg Lifts

Bring your feet together and lift both legs up and see if you could, and this is hard, especially for all you long, long, thin women. Try to get the workup in your torso and your waist and not just in the side of your hip or leg ride. See if you can get it up in your obliques. A little lift both legs up. Stay flex, turnout, clap, clap, clap. Way Up here. Yeah, yeah. Point. Keep your turnout full x. Keep your turnout and point. Keep your turnout. Nice job and lower your legs and come up to sitting facing each other. Palms down, toes pointed.

Side Leg Bicycle

If you can like all at once. You're going to lift your arms in front of your eyes. We'll start here actually all at once. You're going to curl all the way till your lumbar is on the mat but nothing else and your arms and legs are 45 degrees and you exhale curl back and lift everything up to 45 degrees. Up we go. Low back is on the mat. Yes, and then you rise up. Inhale and exhale.

Side Double Leg Lift

Low belly to low. Back to the mat. Rise up. Try not to fall though. You don't fall down. You Lower and then lift. Stay up lower and that the legs down, up. Beautiful. Keep abdominals to spine free the hip use hip extensors. Good job. Take it all down to the floor, hands over your head, and then one time all back up again.

Side Leg Beats w/Lifts

Up we go. Beautiful. Take your arms around and put them behind you. If you want to go on your forearms, you're welcome to, because again, nothing to hold on to his heart. Okay? Legs parallel, perpendicular to the ceiling. Bring him really in. Bring him in close, but don't lose your chest or your belly to the right. Twist the whole package, right? So it's not that you're rolling your legs around on the back of your pelvis, you're twisting your spine while you stay very suspended on your arms, around and up. Often sort of picture like gymnasts on the pommel horse or something, right?


You're not really resting on your sacrum. You're standing on your arms and moving the whole thing. You got it. And last one, our item. Bend your knees. Beautiful. Swing around in. Line your bellies. Lift everything up. Don't stretch anything.

Hip Circles

Just lift everything up. Your arms, your shoulders, your legs, your eyes, palms down. Everybody up and swim, swim, swim, swim, swim, eyes up. Look up really high. Try to get higher, higher for your shoulders, Karen. Just freeze them and move them. And then arrest. Tuck your toes and hands under and push up. All right, so you feel nice and strong but you're not locked and you're not hard. What's the difference? Pick up your right foot, flex and return your left foot and put that foot down. Head up, hips down and lift.


Lower lift or a place lift. Lower lift and see if you can get your hips down way down in line with your head and your ankle. Yes. And then last one to be even nice and then just lower your knees and bring your feet out in front of you. Toes on front of you. Let's take hands sideways behind you so that you could maybe not hyper extend your elbows, right? Because a lot of times we go this way and all we do is Kinda hang in the elbow.

Leg Pull Front

So a little bit side, flare your own as a little bit and also flare. You're fabulous so that as you rise up, you're not leaning on your shins. You rise up and you pick your fibulas up, pointing your toes, toes down, fibulas up, and then you kick up. Nice job, ladies and up can alternate or do three the same leg and reverse. If you didn't already, you got just stay there, lift your fibulas. You know where they are, everybody, just in case you got it right. Right.

Leg Pull Back

So that's not a down place. That's an up beautiful and lower your hips. Really Nice. Nice. Nice. Nice. Okay, let's all come to kneeling. We'll face that way and we'll all go on the same leg this time. All right, so you're facing that way. We're going to do kneeling a sidekicks, right? So hands behind your head. We're going to go to the right. All right, so you're going to lean over, sorry.

We're going to go to the left and lift your right. You're going to lean over to the left and pick up your right foot to the side and see if you can stay as free as you did as your other sidekicks. Right? You go to the for front, kick to the back. Yes. Don't use your quad as an emergency brake. Let it go and take the leg all the way around.

Kneeling Side Kicks - Front and Back

That's the one all the way around. Could you to the front, you guys curl your spine and get this leg up and brewering it all the way around. And then last time, all the way up and then come up to your knees and we'll go to the other side. So you go over to the right. So you don't just say relinquish your spine. You actually bend your spine. Okay. You pick up your leg and then you curl by bending your spine and then by arching your spine and then you bend. Bend your even more, Karen on this side as you go to the front, do a whole curl like you were going to do teaser. Yeah. Without sitting back too much because you're so flexible.

You got to go forward and do it and that's right. Okay, Janet, good job. That's it. And then to the back and then come to center and lower down onto your left hip. All right, so we're going to go into side bend. Anybody not? No side bend, just in case. All right? And I'll talk you through it so don't worry about it. Okay, so you're up on your left hand. You're not down on the elbow, you're up on your hand, right? Your legs are a little more extended, okay. And then your top foot, your right foot, you can actually, when you rise up, you can come to a flat on this foot in that sort of prayer foot.

Supernate I guess. Supinated position, right? So don't even, so even start a little bit. Okay, so you're going to rise up into a plank on your left arm with your right hand flat to the thigh, right hand flat to the thigh, right hand flat. There we go. And then you're going to dip down with your ribs. And then as you rise up, you take your right arm up over your head and side bend. Nice job. And then you come back down and you rise up. I'll do one more.

Side Bend

And you inhale as you go down and then you exhale and go for broken push with your hands and feet. Push, push, push, push. And then lift yourself slowly down and switch your feet to the other side. Nice. So if you could probably have your hands and feet a little closer together so you're not quite so stretched out. Cause if you're already stretched out, then there's nowhere to go, you know? Okay. So you're going to take an inhale and rise up into the plank with your left arm on your leg.

And then you side bend your rib spine and then you arch it up and you side bend. And for women, this is really hard because our weight is in the pelvis. What if you didn't lower the pelvis so much, which is almost impossible, but what if you didn't? What if one last time you came down, but you didn't drop this, lift this. Yeah, you go down all the same. You just keep lifting it. It's gotta be lifted. We're right, we're right. Oh, much better.

And then lower right for that exercise. Maybe more than any, you really gotta get your Joe on and you gotta be this big upper body and he's really light hips and legs. And then then this instead of this crazy hard. I know. Okay, let's do twist one. So flip back to your first side. K, you're going to have your feet in a little closer but not totally ridiculously close. And then you're going to put your right foot flat on the floor and this knee will be up. Okay. And I like for this foot to be really straight forward.

That is not a rule, but it is reality because when you rise up, you're going to want to pivot that right heel like crazy. What if you already started some place where maybe you didn't have to, so you would use your right hip. Turn out more. Okay. And you'll feel that when you go up. So you're going to rise up, thread your top hand through, but try not to pivot your standing foot admin, roll it back down again. Jen, come in a little narrower. Just a little bit. You can still be kind of wide, but you got it. That's right. This foot will kind of roll on the floor.


This heel is trying to stay down so that you use your hip turnout instead of pivoting your heel, rise on up, see if you can feel how your right hip has to turn out like crazy to get you through. And then you lift and curl. And let's do it one more time and inhale. And even though you're supposed to stand on the little toe side, yeah, roll back down on the reformer. You know we're all Todd there. We're supposed to be on that diagonal. The reality is not there. Really. Let's switch feet to the other side.

So you kind of missed the juice then because you're working with this odd rule. All right, so your goal is, those weren't kind of rules that Joe cared that much about. I don't think go the other way. Almost like a turn in of the front foot to start. Not a rule, but a good idea. Inhale, curl it through. Keep that foot and try to stand on the outside of that foot and then curl it back in and stay on the foot and the arm the whole time so that your spine is free. An inhale, roll it in all the way.

Now what about your standing elbow? Could you not lean on that and then curl it back down? Need to come in a little closer for you and lets everybody take your right hand and pointed diagonally forward, right? So you have that lifted Oana and then think about your lifted fibula a little bit, right? Don't lock those things out last time. Inhale, curl it under. Don't lock it out. What'd you just do with your right elbow and your left Shin and then come back down a good.

They're all just things that get in the way of softening. Supple, flexible movement instead of hard, rigid, locked movement, right? And every time we lock in elbow or knee, then we disable the spines ability to be the thing that's bendable. Try One more time. Don't even straighten your elbows and knees. Just literally don't do it either. One. Do something else. Do something else. Oh, much better ladies. There we go.

And call. That was like a completely different exercise. That was gorgeous. Let's do the other side one more time like that. Yeah, so you don't lock them. Eventually we learn how to straighten them without locking them, but that's not so easy to do. So turn your this foot forward if not even in and flare your fibula. Flare your own Oma and don't straighten them and curl.

Don't straighten them, don't do it. It's not the most interesting thing. And then come back down. Nice. Beautiful. Okay. Bring your feet out in front of you facing each other. That was the awesome. Yes, so they are actually been something else instead of constantly lock out these parts. I think it's literally just because it's all women and he was not, he couldn't really even do it. You know what I mean?

Like he couldn't lock into a joint. He had too much meat on his joints, so he always stayed in the meat of things and moved like a cat. He didn't lock out and then swing parts, but because we don't have the upper body strength for it a lot of times, but we do have the hypermobility. We just searched for our strengths in a different way. So how do we not search for that strength? And instead search for like muscles actually contracting to hold you versus hardening and joints locking. Okay, so let's do boomerang.

So top foot, both feet pointed top foot on top. And I'm always saying this to everybody, but when you're turned out your top foot, your right foot, let's say, should be on the right side of your left foot, right? So you see how now your top foot's on the other side. So this one turns out and they're like this. Yes. Okay, now you just did that amazing turnout work in your twist one, right? Hold your hips like that. When you roll over, you're going to switch and you're going to hold your hips like that. Not with straight knees, but with strong hips and feet. Okay?

You're going to roll over, switch your hips, find your bottom hip and roll up and keep your bottom hips so strong. Keep your bottom hip strong. Reach around, keep your bottom hip turned out round over and retrieve your toes and rural back power hips and lift your legs with your hips and open, close, strong hips. Rise up underneath hip, so strong. Now Open your arms. Keep that head. Don't let them fall and then over we go. And then we'll just do one more set and curl it back.


Hips so strong. You don't have to lift with your quads. You can live with your hips and then you come up and you hold that right hip has got ya. The right hip has got ya. It keeps keeping you, it keeps keeping you. And then you grow forward at last time and you guys so beautiful. Walmart time over. We go. Bottom hip, open, close as you rise up, bottom hips so strong. Keep that hip, keep that hip, keep that hip, keep that hip and maybe bend your knees the tiniest little bit and use your hips.

Bend your knees and take hold of your feet. Soles of the feet together. Let's go prayer foot and turn your toes towards your nose. Bring your hands under. Yeah. Okay. Turn your toes towards your nose. Release your spine. Turn them until your roll. Just turn them until you roll.

Yeah. And then come back up. So you don't tighten anything. You just rotate until you go. See if you can go the other one, Janet. So don't fall yet. Go souls are the feet together. Okay. And then right, right.


And you can add your claps in the front or the back or both that said, Janet. Whew, that was nice. And then last time when you go back, switch into your crabs. So you roll back, you switch your feet and then you roll back up and come onto the tips top of your head. But don't really transfer too much way. Just kinda touch. And then hips lift you and you roll back. Your hips lift you, you switch from your hips instead of your feet or from your hips instead of your knees. I'll say you switched from your hips and you come up and then last one, your hips lift you and switch you. Nice Jan. You felt that right? And then here you stay, your hips, your hips, your hips, your hips. Put your hands down next to your ears and then just squish your legs out behind you. When you get there, just bend your knees.


Don't point them. Don't tighten them straight down to your bellies. Everybody all the way flat on your belly. I didn't say that very well. Obviously all the way out in your belly. Our mats are very slippery at home. So I can just say slide out. Okay. Bend your knees and take hold of your ankles. Don't tighten anything. Just bend them and bend them.

And then straight nomen rise. Lift your eyes, squeeze your shoulder blades a little bit and pick yourselves up. Pick yourself up, up, up, more, up, more up than press your feet into your hands, but keep your up. Nice job. Breathing in, breathing out, lift in rock. Those are awesome. And then release it down. Nice. Sit back on your heels for a second. Yeah.


And then you're going to bring your feet out in front of you and you're going to come towards the front edge of your mat just a little bit. That's especially for people at home who might be on more of a raised surface so that your feet will be on the mat with you. When you roll over. I'm going to go into control balance. Okay, so just roll over and go right into the scissor and grab the foot that's on the floor. Just rollover. One light goes to the ceiling and one leg goes to the floor. You go over, split your legs and up and grab the foot on the floor and switch and switch. See if the foot that comes to the floor could be pointed.

Child's Pose

So you're on the top of the foot, not on the ball of the foot. Take your ankle and pull your elbows back. Pull your own this back. So see if you can point right and take it here and then pull this back. Yes. Just like your scissors earlier, remember, bend your elbows a little bit more, Karen. Yes. So this could go back. Right, right. So those elbows are wait. Nice job in your elbows a little bit more.

Control Balance

That's it. Yes. Right. So you're holding there. Ah, right. A nice job. All right, you guys roll down. Cross your feet and come to standing and then face me or we're going to do the big twist, but step back just a little so you're on the wood and make sure the Poles are nowhere near. So we did twist. One big twist is not that different. Don't hold anything. Release everything. Wrap yourself up like a piece of a, like a dish cloth. Right? Okay, so you're up. The hardest part is that when you turn, this heel has to get all the way around, right? So you're going to be like this, not too far apart. Come in a little narrower. If it's too far, it's too hard. Okay? You're going to twist to the right. Keep pivoting your right heel.


Keep pivoting your right heel. Let your back leg drop and then reach around. Put All your weight on your front leg, all your weight on your front leg. Bended big time. Bend it. Bend that knee, right. Let this foot fall to the side. Reach around and grab your back ankle. Just reach. Don't hold, just reach.

Bend your elbows behind your head and pull your head to your shit. You got it. Reach out, stretch up and pivot back. That was fantastic to the other side. Twist, don't hold. Just twist. Turn your left foot. Step onto it. Yep. Janice. Step right on it. Back foot pivots. No tightness. Let it go. Bend this knee a little bit. Just bend it. That's it. This ankle.

Bend your elbows. Pull them behind your head. Bend them and pull them. That's right. Relax this. Come in over here and turn your foot the other way. I know sometimes the floor is kind of painful. Yeah. Then take hold and then just like you did on the last exercise, can we do it one more time? Big Inhale. You're not leaning on your shins.

You're twisting and standing on your feet. Go around. You're not going to lean on your back. Fibula, you're going to stand on your front foot. Then that front knee a lot. Just bend it. This one. Stand on it. Yeah. Let that one relax. Yes. Twist your spine. Okay. And reach around and up and last time, twist the other way and all the way down.

Feet not too far apart. It's too hard. Bend your front knee. Christy, bend this one a lot. Stand it and reach for this one. That one. You got it. Go around the front of your front leg there and then reach around. Come back a big inhale and then bring your feet together and your arms. Nice job.


3 people like this.
As always, loving the focus that Amy has about pilates exercises. Don't tense, just move and get more ROM.
Amy, You never cease to amaze me with how you can deepen my understanding of movement in a few words. I took this class last night and just about every sentence was meaningful to me in ways that I still can't explain, but definitely affected my movement today (none of which was specifically Pilates). Thank you.
Thanks. It was a pleasure to teach. No tension! Just move like the animal you are. ❤️
1 person likes this.
1 person likes this.
lovely teaching and great concepts. Thank you so much. Feel so much better after your class. x
1 person likes this.
Love it! Thank you Amy
2 people like this.
Heart pumping, mind blown, muscles shaking, spine supple, forever grateful! Boy, I needed that! xo
That was like a clinic! On every move so much great cueing! Thank you!
2 people like this.
Hmm I found this class hectic.
I’m pretty proud of myself as I think I did that class quite well! Not every exercise but most. I absolutely love your queue when we were doing saw and you said rib cage to the middle of the knees. That was awesome. Thank you!
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