Class #3580

Cervical Powerhouse Mat

50 min - Class


Build strength and improve endurance and motor control in your neck with this Mat workout by Jeremy Laverdure. He uses images, strategies, and exercises directly from a workshop he teaches with Cara Reeser called the Cervical Powerhouse. By using Pilates and other preparatory protocols to move three-dimensionally, you will be able to understand how the neck and head relate to the rest of the spine in every movement.
What You'll Need: Mat, Yoga Block, Triadball

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Jeremy and I'm here today with Adam, Trina, Jen, and Kara. And I'm teaching a class today that's based on a workshop that Kara and I teach on polities anytime called the cervical powerhouse. And that course is about building strength and endurance and motor control and mobility in your neck. So the class today is going to be using some velocities and some other kind of preparatory protocols to work on, sort of three-dimensionally building that strength and motor control and endurance in the neck. And we're going to use some of the images and the protocols of the strategies and the exercises from the workshop.

But don't worry if you haven't taken the workshop yet, I'm going to go through everything sort of from soup to nuts that you need to know in order to take the class before we start. All right, so you're gonna need a ball roughly the size of this one that Kara's got and you might need a yoga block, although we're only ever gonna use it to sort of boost our seat. So if you're comfortable sitting on the floor, you're probably not actually going to need it. Um, but to start with everybody, find a comfortable seat and find a comfortable seat at home so that we can talk through some of the stuff that we talk about in the cervical powerhouse. All right. So, uh, one of the things that we emphasize in that course is the, uh, movement of the head at the top of the spine, right? And the movement of the upper cervical spine, because it's very different than the lower cervical spine, right? And an image that Cara uses very often is that your head is your first Vertebra, right? So in PyLadies, we initiate a lot of sequential movements from the top of our spine, and we want to a, make sure that we include the head as the top of our spine and also sort of understand how the mechanics of the first couple of joints at the top of the spine work so that we're moving correctly.

And then we're also coaching our clients correctly, right? So you're gonna take your fingers to behind your ears into this little sort of divot behind your jaw and behind your ears. And if you press and a little bit upright, right in behind there, you press in a little bit. You'll find maybe a spots, spots that are hard or a little bit tender or both. And what you're pointing towards, or maybe even pressing on is the transverse processes of your first cervical Vertebra, your atlas, right? So your cranium, your skull sits right on top of your lis and at that joint you do a little nodding motion primarily, right? So you could nod into a little bit of flection at that joint and a little bit of extension at that joint.

And in the course we use like an imaginary line through our ear holes, kind of as the axis of rotation for that, what's called Capitol flection and extension, right? Capital just means that your head, right? And we remember, we remember that by about thinking that we're tipping our cap when we do our capital flection and extension. Right now, if you take your head hands to the base of your skull, around the Occiput, and you work your way down the midline a little bit, you'll come off kind of the Bony Ridge. That's your occipital onto sort of soft bits. And then if you're right in the middle and you press in, you'll hit the spinus process of your second cervical vertebra, your axis, right? So you've got your skull, you've got a little bit of sort of soft space because your access, your first vertebra or your atlas rather doesn't really have a spinus process. And then you get down onto your second cervical vertebra, your axis. Now your, your atlas and your skull together rotate around your axis.

So if you do like a little bit of a space, hold on that that spinus process, see if you can turn your head a little bit to the right and to the left and feel that that Vertebra stays pretty still, right? You'll feel the muscles around, they're moving for sure, but you can rotate your head and your atlas around your axis. And that provides about half of your head rotation, right? If I could turn my head and neck 90 degrees or so to each side, about 45 degrees of that is coming just at that joint between the atlas and the Axis. So we'll refer to that as maybe capital rotation or I might just say rotate from the top of your spine. And that's what I'm talking about, right? So there's one more landmark that we're going to use today.

So if you take your fingers to your ear holes, right, and you trace the line up to the midline of your skull on top, we're going to use that place as sort of a very specific crown of our head or top of our head. And that point is pretty much right above where your spine meets your cranium. And that would be the point that you rotate around when you do your capital rotation or that rotation at the top of your spine around that axis. And we'll also use that as a a point that we kind of direct in space and as a, as a component of what Kara sometimes refers to as your GPS system, right? We can, we can point the top of her head in some direction or other. All right?

So with all of that in mind, I'm going to have you lie face down with your heads towards each other. For a minute and you can lie however it's comfortable. So you could have your head turned one side, you could have your hands under your head, you could have your arms alongside your body. But we're going to start just lying on her front and just breathing for a minute. Partly because so often employees, we start lying on our backs and sometimes it's just good to have a little novelty in our lives. So take a few breaths and just feel where the breath goes in your trunk when you're lying in this fashion.

And then if they're not already, bring your legs in. So they're about as wide as your pelvis or even a little bit narrower for the moment. You can keep them relaxed, but you might discover as we go into this first little few things that you need to engage your legs at certain points to kind of help support your pelvis and lower back. And I think you'll know when that's happening. And then you're going to take your arms and you're going to bring your hands a little bit in front of you with your elbows bent in your hands. Just in front of your shoulders and there's some room for interpretation here and you can kind of Futz as we go along, right too, to see if you need to change your arm position. And let's start your head turned to one side or the other, right?

This is a very similar to Cathy grant's number 14 head only, but we're going to do it in kind of a fake developmental fashion. So I want you to just pick your head up and you're going to look forward with your face and really look forward at the person across from you. So you're, you're going to really extend your neck and your capitol extension. Turn your head through to the other side and just put your head back down. And then you're going to do that again. You're going to pick your head up and your shoulders might have to move a little to accommodate the movement of your head and neck.

And you're going to turn your head through and you're going to put your head back down, right? And as you do this, picking your head up. Notice what else moves, right? Your ribs move, your sternum moves a little and through to the other side and down. Let's do that one more time. Great. And putting your head back down. So now we're going to expand on that a little bit. You're going to start in the same way. You're going to pick your head up, you're gonna look forward at your friend across the way.

And now it's like you're a little baby that's on the floor and you're your mother's standing above. You want to see what she's up to. So you start to look up and you're gonna add your arms pressing, coming up as far as feels comfortable, and then turn your head through to the other side as you lower back down. So the getting there is going to be kind of in two distinct steps. You're going to pick your head up and look forward, and then you're like, where's mommy? So I start to look up and I add the pressing the arms and then coming down.

It's kind of both things at once. You're turning your head and kind of spiraling yourself back down. Let's take that one more time in each direction and it's, it's Kinda self guided so you can come up as far as feels comfortable for you, but really experiment with looking up a little. Mommy's really much taller than you. And then look through to the other side and down. Great. Last one. [inaudible] and lowering all the way back down.

Great to take your hands under your shoulders and push yourselves back into child's pose just for a moment. And then come forward onto all fours and come, you know, pretty, pretty far forward in your, so you have some space behind yourself and uh, find an all fours position where your head is in line with your spine, right? Keeping in mind that this is kind of a diagonal position, right? Arm or arms are for 99.9% of us longer than our femur. So we're not really parallel to the floor.

Your head is up on a little bit of a diagonal in that crown of the head point is reaching out slightly diagonally and we're just going to practice doing a little bit of Capitol flection here. So we're gonna nod her head, Chin towards chest, and then we're gonna do some cervical flections. We're really going to bring our chin towards your chest. We're not moving much else. And then we're going to come out of it bringing the neck out of it and then bringing the head out of it. So it's sequential starting from the top right capital flection, that nod of the head at the top of the spine. Cervical flection.

Okay. And they're coming out of the cervical flection and out of the Capitol flection. Let's do the same thing into extensions. You going to go into capitol extension, you're going to sort of look forward and then neck extension and you can experiment with how far you can comfortably go. This is a pretty safe position. And then you're going to come out of it and neck and then head. Let's do that one more time. So we're kind of isolating that capitol extension, that cervical extension coming out of the cervical and then the capital extension. And now we'll utilize that in kind of a bigger movement.

We'll just do a couple cat cows. So you could go into your flection by thinking you're bringing your top of the head point towards your imaginary tail, right? Both ends moving at the same time and then coming into your extension had an imaginary tale, both ends moving at the same time. Yup. It just go back and forth like that for yourselves. A couple of times I would probably inhale on the extension and exhale on the flection, but you could experiment with the other two. That's totally fine.

Great. And then come back to your starting position, or you're kind of neutral spine. And here you're just going to wag your imaginary tail a little bit to the right, uh, and to the left. Okay. And to the right. Uh, uh, and to the left.

And now you're gonna start to look at your tail is it wags to the right. Um, and to the left. So you're doing a combination of rotating your neck, side bending, and a little bit of extension. Okay. And then come into the middle. Tuck your toes under, come into a downward dog, kind of a shape, right? Lifting your hips, sending your heels down.

And let's say for today we're going to keep our head in that kind of quote unquote neutral position in our downward dog for a couple of breaths here. Good. And then bend your knees all the way down to the mat and let's switch ourselves around. So you're laying on your backs with your heads away from each other with your knees bent and your feet flat on the Mat. So we're going to go through lifting your head and neck off in the supine position, taking it into some of our more familiar palladia shapes.

And we go through this in great detail and the workshop, and I'm going to kind of go through it step by step, but, but a little more quickly in a little more generally. So the first thing you want to do is make sure that you have an already tucked your Chin or extended your Chin too much. You're going to start from, again, kind of a neutral cervical spine position with a little space under your neck. And first thing I want you to do is try not to change that. Try not to do any extra capital flection or extension and just lift your head the tiniest little bit off the surface, just enough that it gets sled a piece of paper underneath it, like almost imperceptible and feel your neck muscles work and put your head back down. And then you're going to do that again, right? Tiny head lift your neck muscles work.

And then back down. This time you're going to lift up that tiny little bit and you're going to do just a tiny, tiny bit of that cervical flection extension. Just a little nod, not your maximum amount by any means, but go back and forth between that. Sorry, that capital flection and extension. So just a tiny little head movement and then lower all the way back down. Alright, we're going to progress that. So you're going to pick the head up, head lift, Capitol Flection, right?

And let's go right away into cervical flection. So you're going to add the cervical spine. Your sternum is still pretty still. You've got your Chin pretty tightly tucked in. And then we just try to come out of the cervical flection first, keeping the capitol flection, and then come out of the Capitol fluxion and then put our heads back down in a separate move. So it's very step-by-step at this point. Step one, head lift. Step two, capital flection. Step three, cervical flection coming out of it. It goes backwards.

Undo your cervical flection, but keep the Capitol flection on. Do the Capitol Flection, but keep your head lift and put your head back down. It's very tiring and rolling into one more time. So you're going to do your head lift, Kapital cervical, really stretch that back of the neck and you might really feel it in those suboccipitals back there and then coming out of it. Keep the Capitol on. Do the capitol. Put your head all the way back down. Great. Okay, so now we're going to move on to some more familiar stuff. Pick your head up, capitol flection, cervical flection. For the next step.

We're going to think of lifting our sternum up towards the ceiling, and then we're going to think of creasing under our bottom ribs into that familiar upper abdominal curl for now. Ready to come back out of it. So we're going to undo our upper abdominal curl, sternum back down, cervical Kapital. Put your head back down one more time. Head lift, capitol flection, cervical fluxion, sternum lift, front bottom rib, abdominal curl. Do the abdominal curl, sternum back down. Nick and head Ra. Here we go with some Polato. He's pick your head up.

Capitol flection, cervical flection, sternum lift, upper abdominal curl. Reach your fingers. Now you're basically in your hundreds positions. You're going to bring your legs into your preferred hundred situation. I don't care what you do, but you're going to hold it. And now we're not gonna pump our arms.

We're just gonna bring our arms up alongside our ears as we inhale and back down as we exhale up alongside our ears as we inhale and back down as we exhale. Let's do that three more times. Inhale, trying to maintain that head and neck position and exhale back down. You got two more by my account, which is terrible. Counting and down. Last one, inhale and exhale, and then bend your knees and Tuck them in to your chest and rest your head all the way back down. You can do a little side to side business with your head. Yeah, and you'll notice I very rarely am going to demonstrate these exercises with these people while they're really, really hard. Okay?

Where you use the same strategy for all up so you can extend your legs out straight, bring your legs together, Flex your feet, take your arms just up towards the ceiling, let's say, and we won't Belabor it, but it's head lift rights, capital cervical, you're going to keep rolling up and then start to think about the top of your head, that spot reaching across the room. So it's kind of a longer feeling than if you're reaching it towards the floor. And then you start at the bottom of your spine and you roll all the way back down and you can just track that kind of unwinding right of the sternum, both cervical and then the capitol flection and again, right lift, capitol, cervical, et Cetera, crown of the head, reaching across the way, heels reaching across the way and then rewinding it, rolling back down, peeling yourselves back down onto the mat. Arms go up towards the ceiling. Let's do it twice more. Let's inhale as we start the movement so we have our exhale ready for that tough middle bit, top of the head, reaching across the way.

Inhaling is you start to roll down and exhaling all the way down. Great. Last one. Inhale and exhale and rolling down in Halan. Good everybody and ex hailing. Great. Bend your knees into your chest, rock yourselves up to sitting and then just sit with your knees bent and your feet on the mat in your hands on the fronts of your shins.

Use your arms to help for a second and sit up super tall and think of it as your sits bones. Reaching down in that top of the head point, reaching up, take a breath in, and then as you exhale, just like we did on all fours, we're going to do head towards imaginary tail. So we're coming into that c curve from both ends of our spine simultaneously. And then head back up, sits bones back into the Florida, come back to flat. Let's inhale when we're in the up position and then exhale curving head and tail towards each other. Seal roll back on towards the back part of your sits bones or onto your sake room. And then come right back up. One more time.

Inhale and ex hail coming into c shape key, that c shape and then gather your legs into your rolling like a ball position and roll. Likable. Inhale, rocking back and exhaling up to balance. Inhale, rocking back and hailing up to balance two more times and up. Last one. Inhale and exhale and just come up to sitting. Great. Grab your ball and then you're gonna take your ball. And at home, the ball should be like fairly filled, not one of those super squishy situations. It doesn't have to be gigantic, but you want it to provide like a fulcrum for your back and you're going to put it more or less under your bottom. Tips of your shoulder blades, right, were all different sizes and the balls are all the same size.

So we might have to adjust. But your first job is to find a position with your hands behind your head, really supporting your head. Elbows can be any which way that's comfortable, where your head is basically in line with your spine. So you're trying to find that neutral spine that you had when you were lying on the floor, but you're up on a little bit of an angle and we're gonna do some of the same stuff and it's going to be even a little bit harder. So you use your hands to help. For now you're going to do capital flection, cervical flection, sternum lift, upper ab curl, undo the upper ab curl, sternum, cervical capital. Find your straight line again, capital cervical, sternum lift, upper ab curl, really fold in this front button. Rubes elbow at them.

Don't be afraid and go back, right? Sternum, neck and head. Okay. Here's the fun part. We're going to go into capital extension from here, capital, and then when your neck starts to go right away in this position, you probably want to bring your sternum for some support so it goes a little faster. You do have to undo those front bottom ribs a little bit, and then front ribs, sternum neck. Let's try that again. Capitol and there we're thinking cervical, sternum, right away to support the weight of the head and then coming back out of it. In that same sequence, head is the last thing to arrive in. You can either keep your hands behind your head or if you're feeling frisky, take both hands onto your sternum and see if you can do it without any support. Let's go into the extension. First. Capitol, cervical, sternum, right away, front ribs, front ribs, chest, neck, and had an elbow. Go into the flection, capital flection neck coming up, sternum front, ribs coming out of it, a curl, sternum, neck. Find your straight line extensions, capital, cervical, sternum, abs, upper abs, sternum, neck, and head.

Last time into the flection capital fluxion neck flection, sternum lift from bottom ribs can really fold and then unfurling out of it and to that straight line. Again, take your hands behind yourself, give yourself heads, and give yourself little bit of a break for a second. We're gonna move through those two things. Again, hands behind the head for sure for this one, cause it's about to get hard. You're going to take your legs either into a table, top kind of situation, straight up, or if you're feeling frisky out on the angle, and we're gonna go right from here. Find your straight line into your extension from the top of the spine, head, neck, sternum, etc. Coming out of it. Find your flat line, flexing head, neck, sternum lift, upper abs shake, and he shake. And then coming back down. Find your straight line. I'm only going to do one rep going into extension and they're coming back up.

Find your straight line and into your reflection. One more time. Out of your reflection. Find your straight line into your extension. Back Up. Find your straight line. One more time coming up into your flection. Bend your knees, put your feet down, and let yourself go all the way back over your ball into extension. You can do whatever you want with your arms and your shoulders.

It should be pleasant. If it's not, come off your ball. Take a few breaths there. So that's, I mean more or less your teaser situation right when you're on the box. So that's, you'll thank me for that Sunday. Good. All right. So roll yourselves to your right to roll off your ball. And then just to put it off to the side and roll like right back onto your back.

So you're on your backs with your ball just out of the way. And then do a couple more conventional, uh, Abby thing easy. So you can take your hands behind your head. Take your breath in. As you exhale, you're gonna curl up. Just in the fashion that we've been doing. We're not going to Belabor it anymore. You can take your legs straight up towards the ceiling. Point your feet, you could be parallel, you can be a little turned out.

You're gonna lower your legs away from your face and you can go as low as you can go. You're going to inhale and you're gonna exhale to lift back up. You're going to inhale and ex halo to lift back up. Let's do that three more times. Down and up, and inhale and exhale. Good. Everybody last time, down and up and by engineers and put your feet flat. Rest your head and shoulders all the way down.

Take your arms down by your sides. This last one we'll do lying flat like this and see if you can again, maintain that cervical curve, right? So you're not flattening your neck. You're not jutting your Chin Out, no extra business uptown while you're doing all this stuff that we're going to do downtown, right? Take your leg straight up towards the ceiling. Flex your feet, keep your right leg Raiders are gonna lower your left leg away from your face till it's one inch off the floor. You're gonna hold, hold, hold and breathe. And then bring your left leg up towards the ceiling.

Lower your right leg away from your face. Hold, hold, hold and breathe. And back up towards the ceiling, lowering the left end. Hold and up. Good. Check in with your head and neck and shoulder. His other leg. And good. One more time. The left and up and last time on the rights. Okay.

And all the way back up and bend your knees all the way into your chest. Very good. All right. We've done a lot of hip flection. So we're going to do a little a hip extension interlude, uh, by a in the shape of a bridge. So you can put your feet in whatever your favorite bridging position is and you're going to do it whatever your favorite bridges, but you're going to concentrate on getting some real hip extension. So it's a pelvis movement. And when you get towards the top, you can do it.

Now you're gonna concentrate on not smooshing the your neck into the mat, right? You're going to try to maintain some semblance of that original cervical curve and then you're going to roll back down. Let's inhale, we'll exhale to come up. Wow. We'll hold at the top for an inhale just cause that's how I like to do it. And then you're going to exhale back down. Good.

Do a couple more just on your own timing, right. Again, the emphasis is on getting those hips extended and not smushing your neck and back down. Great. Last one and lower all the way back down. Bend your knees into your chest, rock yourselves up to sitting. And you're going to come into some of a diamond shape with your feet, a good distance away from your pelvis so that you can sit up pretty easily. And for any of the things that we're about to do sitting up, if you can't set up easily, you're going to sit up on a block. Like I might transfer it to a block in a minute, but this is okay position for me. So, uh, we're going to do what is sometimes referred to as the noodle.

And it goes like this. You're gonna arch, lifting your toes, lifting your face, you're gonna reach your chest forward until you can't any more. You're gonna drop your head. And for today we're just going to roll ourselves back up to sitting in. When I do this, I kind of have my hands here under my knees and then as I noodle forward, I move my hands forward to my ankles. And then as I roll myself back up, I stack myself up in my hands, come a little closer to my knees, try that a couple more times.

We're going to inhale and you can really arch your back, right? I'm really encouraging you to try experimenting with a cervical and capital extension because that's a movement that I think really gets trained out of PyLadies teachers in particular. We get really afraid of like wrinkling the backs of our necks or something like that, and we're meant to do this movement. Great. And then roll yourself all the way up to sitting. Okay? We're going to do some variations on spine stretch forward so you need a little bit of room for your legs so you can stagger yourselves if you need to.

And if you have a hard time in this position, you could set up on a block or you can take your legs a little extra wide, which sometimes helps. Uh, initially you take your hands just onto the floor right in front of you. And we're going to start from the top of our head. We're going to do our capitol flection, our reciprocal flection, but we're going to think of directing the top of her head really towards the floor, pretty close to right in front of her pelvis. So we're going to do a pretty tight flection through our whole spine. You can move your hands as needed to be comfortable, but we're not thinking about reaching forward yet.

We're thinking about crown of the head towards the floor, and then you're gonna Stack from the bottom of your spine, back up head as the last thing to arrive, right? Take a breath in. As you exhale. Capitol flection, cervical flection, everything else follows along. But for now we're directing the top of the head, that crown of her head point straight towards the floor. And you'll notice in this variation, even if you're pretty flexible, your pelvis probably won't tip forward. It won't move very much, and then you're gonna roll yourselves back up. Great variation. Number two, take your arm straight forward. Same kind of a beginning. You're gonna take a breath in as you exhale. Capitol sections, cervical flection.

But now we're going to think of directing the crown of her head across the way, the way we did on our rollups. So you can really go forward as far as I'm concerned. And if you're really flexible, like Kara, you'll end up with kind of a flat back. And if you're less flexible, like if I were doing that, my back would still be pretty round. And then you're gonna Stack yourself back up to sitting right hug. And let's take a breath in. Exhale, capital flex and cervical action, right?

Same beginning. But then we're thinking top of the head reaches across the way. That's it. Good. And then you're going to stack yourselves back up. Okay, so now listen carefully because this version is not that Polonius asks, you're going to take your arms up more or less alongside your ears. We're gonna keep our spine, quote unquote street as we tip forwards. So it's going to be a hinge movement.

And you can go as far as you can go right tree and it can go quite far. Carrier can go quite far if they're sure they can get back from that position, right? Cause it's a long lever and they need to use their muscles to get back up and to support the whole situation. So in terms of your head and neck, you're trying to maintain your original quote unquote, a neutral cervical spine and you're going to lever your cells back one up. I think that one is so novel and fun that we should do it one more time. So you're going to hinge forward.

Great. And you're going to come all the way up. Great. And you're going to bring your arms down. Good. Alright. We're going to do a little preparation for saw by taking your hands onto our sternum again. Right? And most of the time in life we really turned our heads from our heads, but in some Polonius moves we don't. So we're gonna practice that.

We're going to keep our face over our sternum and we're just going to turn our chest and shoulders to the right or head will stay in line. So we're doing kind of as much twist as we can do from the shoulders down and then back into center and the same thing over to your left. Okay. And back in descender keeping both sides of the pelvis grounded. Let's do that one more in each direction.

Okay. And Center. And one more time to the left. Okay, and in just enter them. We're just going to do solid garden variety. Take your arms that into a t. Take a breath in as you exhale. Gonna twist here, right. Reach your left pinky finger outside your right pinky toe.

Reach your back palm towards the ceiling and really reach that arm up to help yourself lever forward and then come all the way up and into center. Inhale, exhale, twist to your left, right hand outside of left Pinky toe. At least. Think about where the crown of your head is in space, coming all the way up into center. Inhale and exhale, twist all the way up in center. Inhale and ex hail to twist. Good. Let's do it one more time in each direction, up into center x, head a, twist and reach. Keep that opposite sitz bone grounding down. Last one up in the center, and exhale to twist and reach and come all the way up and into center and gather your legs and you're going to scoot forward on your mat without any preliminaries on my part.

You're going to come right into position for open leg rocker. Watch out for your balls and your blocks and you're just going to rock back and forth. You're gonna inhale and you're gonna exhale, not even looking at you. You're just going to do it for your own pleasure and education. Couple more times. Inhale and exhale. Last one. Inhale, exhale, come up in balance.

Bring your legs together and balance. Release your hands and balance. Keep your legs exactly where they are in space and roll down through your spine. Arms could go up towards the seeing. Legs are staying still, and then chin towards chest all the way back up. We've already gone through this movement. I could trillion times. So you should be doing it expertly. Rolling down leg. Stay in a space.

Hold frozen in space. Arms up towards the ceiling and rolling right back up. One more time. Rolling down. Yeah. And rolling up this time you can take your hands behind your knees and bend your knees and put your feet down. Most beautiful.

Swing yourselves around so you're laying face down with your heads towards each other. Again, make a pillow for your head with your hands. Again. Let's have the legs like pelvis width or a little bit narrower. You could be parallel, you could be a little turned out, but for sure I'm going to ask you to keep your right knee super straight as you lift your right leg up. Stretch it super long and lower it back down and lift your left leg up super long and lowered back down. One more time on each side for now, trying not to rock the pelvis, so that's going to limit how high your foot kind of goes. And one more time on the left.

Okay. And lower back down. And then lifting both legs up, reaching them super duper long. Okay. And lower back down. Great. We're going to do some swans are gonna take your hands under your shoulders and your favorite swan position.

I certainly advocate elbows a little lower than shoulders. Again, the leg position, I'm kind of agnostic on, we're all different in our hips, but I'm going to say a parallel or a little turned out, pelvis width or narrower. And for short, knees or straight. So if your knee caps are touching the mat in this position that your knees are not straight. So I want you to straighten them all the way and then we start just like we did with our baby business at the beginning, you're said to lift your face and you lift your chest and you're going to keep looking up. So you're gonna keep looking up, keep looking up as you pursued your hands. So you might actually be looking at the ceiling at some point. And then did you come back down and keep your head up and you're going to kind of peel yourself back down onto the mat and your head and neck or your neck and head actually will be the last things to arrive, right? And again, so it's capital extension, cervical extension, sternum lift, et cetera.

You're using your arms, you're all strong, healthy people. Your next can totally go into extension and then lower back down. And if you're at home and your neck is bothered by doing this much extension, don't do this much extension, it's fine, right? You can rein it in just like any other movement. Good everybody, and then lowering back down. Okay.

Version number two is we're going to start in the same way. We're going to pick her head up. We're going into the capitalist extension. That's a big contention, but now we're going to think crown of the head up towards the ceiling. So as we're coming up, her eyes are going to be basically level and as we come up higher we'll actually come out of that. Good. Everybody that capital extension a little bit. As you go back down though, keep your eyes level. So as you lower back down, you're actually coming back into a little more cervical, a little more capital extension, and then you put your head down less.

I'm really basically forcing you to use your capital and cervical extension. You pick your head up, you look forward, and then your eyes are going to stay looking for it. So the higher you get, the more you kind of ease out of that maximum capital extension. And then you're gonna lower yourselves all the way back down though. Really good. Everybody here in the room and I bet it look good, everybody at home too. All right, push back into child's pose for just a second. Give yourself a little break from all of that.

And then we're gonna do, um, five stretch essentially. So you're going to come up to kneeling and your, you might want a little more padding, so you certainly could fold your mat over. And if you can tolerate it, you'll want to be on the tops of your feet. If you do this, that's fine, but it's going to change the pressure. And unique happen. It's probably gonna limit your range.

So you figure out what you need to do. We wanted to make sure we get some good hip extension here. So our pelvis is right over a thighs. We're gonna take our arms forward. Now we don't have a roll down bar or any such thing to help us. So we'll see how far we can go.

But we're gonna try not to Tuck our chins to sort of protect our next, we're gonna try to keep our neutral head and neck position as we go on to earthrise stretch and as we come back up, right? And you have to get out of it. So you've got to figure how far can you go and still get back up, right? Try it a few times. Tipping yourselves back. Very good everybody and up. Very nice. One more tipping back and up. Okay, so now we're going to go into the back bend. You kind of fly stretch in my preferred way, which is to just go into it right from the top of your spine.

So we'll start capitol extension, cervical extension chest is a go right away. Whatever comes next and we go as far as we can go. And then when we come out of it, we're not coming. Head Up. First head is the last thing to arrive because that's the sequence we've been practicing. Right? Going into it. Capital cervical, sternum, right away to help support the weight of your head. That's a Trina, don't Tuck that Chin. You don't have to. That's it. Nice Yoga Lady and come all the way back up. Good.

One more time everybody. This is how you get to be one of those people that can drop, do drop backs into full wheel like I could never do. And then all the way back up. Good. And sit back on your heels and rest. That looked really good. Okay.

All right, we're going to change gears a little bit. Uh, you can put your mats back normal, normal wise. And we're gonna do some sideline stuff. So let's have you guys lie on your sides with your heads towards each other. Facing me for the first round so you can see what all it is I'm talking about. Knees are going to be bent a comfortable amount.

And this is the sequence that we actually do in the workshop, the cervical powerhouse, uh, that we're going to take into some [inaudible] applications here. So have your knees bent a comfortable amount. You're gonna take your underside arm onto the top side shoulder, so that's out of the way in your topside hand onto the mat somewhere. So you've got a little leverage. And then your first job is to try to find your head in line with your spine, which is hard and I can't really tell if I'm doing it myself, but you could use your top of the head point to provide a little bit of feedback. Doesn't have to be 100% perfect, but we do our best and then we're just going to practice a little bit of that capital rotation and cervical rotation. Turning our head towards the floor.

Okay. And to face front and towards the ceiling. [inaudible] and the face front and towards the floor. And this is like a lot of work in your neck, but I promise you if you do this, your neck will get stronger and will feel better over time. Great.

And then come center and now we're going to do a little side betting and it's not going to be like passive, right? We're going to actively think about our head leading the movement as the first Vertebra and then we're to come out of it, right? Finding that straight line as best we can. Head leads the movement. Yeah. And then back in that light one more time.

[inaudible] great. Okay. So now I'm prop yourself up on your forearm with your knees bent and took your feet. And so your shins are basically parallel to the short edge of your mat. We're going to do some side blankety kind of things, but start by actually emphasizing the side bending aspect of this. So let your waist come down and your head come up. So you're really making a sideways curve like Kara.

Bring your head to the horizon a little bit. And then when we come up with our hands on her hips, we're going to side bend the other way. So our heads are going to go down as our hips come up or heads are going to go up as their hips come down. So we're just doing this thing we do all the time and Flonase, but we're thinking about how our head and our neck move as we go through this moving of our whole spine. One more time. Great. And then this time you're just going to come into a modified side plank, right? Try to find that head aligned with your spine, knees to head.

Take your top legs straight and you're gonna do a little sidekick. Let's just keep our foot pointed for simplicity sake. We'll go front. Yeah. And back. Keeping the head in line and front and back and front. And how many will we do? One more time. Front and back, and a Junius all the way down.

And let's just switch our heads and let's stay facing, uh, how does that work? Yeah, let's stay facing me. So you'll switch your heads to the outside. I hope that's okay for the people at home. You'd be looking at their backsides for a few minutes. All right, so you're gonna come onto your side, right hand, an opposite shoulder, hand on the floor in front of you. First Order of businesses, find your head in line with your spine. And then we're gonna [inaudible] do a little rotation towards the floor and to look front and towards the ceiling and front towards the floor.

Uh, and front and towards the ceiling and front. And now we're going to go at of side bend towards the floor, head as the first vertebra back in line, and towards the ceiling and back in line towards the floor. Okay. And in line and towards the ceiling. Good. And in line. And the new to come up onto your elbow, you're going to do that position with your shins. Parallel. Different.

I'm not gonna lie on the side because my mic pack is there, but you're going to emphasize that side bend. That's it, Kara. And then as you lift your hips, your head goes down. As your hips come up, you can really lift the side of your waist, Jen, and make a big side bend up. There you go. Up Rainbow Shape. Yup. And then down and up. Right? So it's head and tail this way and then its head and tail that way.

Let's do it one more time. Sort of Mermaidy right. Everyone wants to be a mermaid. All right, I'll come in, find your modified side plank with your head in line with your spine in line with your knees. Lift your top leg up and you're just going to go parallel to the floor. Ish. Slow kick, front and back with the foot pointed and the knee street the whole time. And we're breathing and enjoying our lives.

Front and back and front and back and front and back. Class time, front and back. And you can bend your knee and lower yourself all the way down. Good. All right, come to all fours heads in the middle here. Now we're really gonna apply that rotation and side bending of the head and neck in the context of some of our [inaudible] movements. So right away you're gonna come into a plank weight with your head in line with your spine. And then you're going to transition to a side plank.

But give yourself some space between your feet and do this transition. We're all going to go onto our, let's say left hands to start. You're going to pivot your feet so that you end up on the sole of your right foot and the outside edge of your left foot, right? And every time we go here we're going to say where is my head? And then your, which is the name of a workshop, security to seven year to come back into center and over to the other side. And we're going to say where's my head?

And then you're to come back into your plank. Do that one more time on each side. Right side plank. Where's my head? And then center. And one more time. Good everybody. And then back to center. Bend your knees all the way down. Good. We're just going to add on. So you're going to come into your plank, no delay coming to side plank on your left hand arm is up, and now you're going to bend your knees and bring your pelvis down towards your feet. So it's almost like what happens towards your feet, Jen. There you go.

And then back out and pelvis down towards your feet and back up. We're gonna do it one more time. It's not very clear what I'm saying. You're gonna go this way cause you can't see me and then back up and you're going to come through your plank over to your other side. So it's not unlike how we use our neck and shoulders in a star on the reformer, right? We go down towards our feet and then we sort of launch ourselves back out in the reformer. Obviously a legs would stay straight. One more time.

Good. And then come back into your flank and bend your knees down and rest for a second. Okay, ten second break. Come back into your plank. We're all coming into our left side. We're going to look towards our right hand and then we're going to thread our right hand underneath our left arm, lifting our hips. What's a twist? But you're not allowed to move your feet.

So that's going to limit how far you twist and how far are you pike. And then arm back up and twist and and arm back up and twist. And Pike, find your flat side plank. Come through your plank and right over to the other side, looking up towards the hand, threading it through pike and twist on Pike on twist Pike and twist on Pike and twist. One more time, but again, twist on Pega. Twist, come into your plank and bend your knees all the way down. Real ten second break. I'm watching the clock. Yeah.

All right. Lastly, come into your plank. Come into your side plank on your left hand. Watch me one time so it's clear what I'm saying. We're doing this very old fashioned. I'm going to dip. I'm going to look, I'm going to go Lola, right? I'm going to dip, I'm going to look. And then the third time we're gonna do a fabulous transition.

Where we're going to go, Woo. All this way and then come into a plank into the other side. All right, so you're coming into your left hand on the floor of side plank, which means right up my arm, up towards the ceiling. Dip your hips, your hand comes towards, you have to look towards your hand and then you make that big rainbow shape from before, which includes your head and neck, down and up, down and fancy transition. Armed goes all the way over. Find your plank for a second. Where's your head and then all the way onto your other side and we're going to dip and lift. Let's get together. We're going to dip, dip, dip, hold, hold, hold everybody. Tip everybody tip towards the floor. Everybody up towards the floor and then come back up.

One more time. Dip and up. Big Fancy transition and to your plank and bend your knees all the way down and sit back on your heels and breathe for 15 seconds. Yes, Koreans. One more time. Come forward into your plank. I was going to do some push ups at the end, but we're going to actually watch me for a second. We're not going to do the pushups. We're gonna do this much better thing.

Instead. We're going to put everything together here. One, one, one fancy transition other side. Okay, I'll talk you through it. So you're starting in your left hand on the floor, side plank, and you're the one where you bend your knees, your pelvis goes down towards your feet. Find your side plank. Look towards your hand, thread it through, twist and Pike on twist on Pike. Dip your hips, rainbow shape, all the way overhead.

Come through your plank and right onto your other side. Bend your knees, pelvis towards feet and up. Look towards your hand. Thread it through and up and dip and all the way up and over. Fancy transition. Let's do one more you side to this up, side plank, left hand on the floor, right arm up. Bend your knees and out. Look to your hand. Thread it through on thread. Dip and up and over, all the way into your plank and all the way onto the other hand. One last time.

Bend your knees and out. Look and thread, dip and up and over. Come into your plank. Find your plank. Hold your plank, and then bend your knees down. I allowed you to do five knee pushups to finish keeping your head in line with your spine. So think of it as a neck exercise. You don't have to go low. It's a neck stabilization or motor control exercise. Carol is going to get me back later. Okay.

Come back to all fours. Tuck your toes under, come into a downward dog for two breaths. Walk your feet forward towards your hands. Yeah, let your heads hang with your shoulders. Hang. Let your arms hang. Bend your knees and slowly roll yourselves all the way up to standing and you are finished. Thank you guys and thank you for watching.

Related Content


1 person likes this.
This is a biggg preset for me🙏🙏🙏
Thanks for watching Z A and Ozlem !
This was the most helpful class so far
Glad you liked it, Emily !
Laurie C
This is why I love PA. Such a variation with exercises and their executions. But all with the same results! Enjoyed this class very much! I tend to get robotic sometimes and this helped me move with flow and a little bit more ease! Thank you!
Oh my goodness, that was fantastic!!
Thank you for the feedback Laurie and Jan ! I'm glad you enjoyed the class!
2 people like this.
really great, thank you Jeremy! So necessary to work with awareness of what is happening in the cervical spine. People are so afraid of any strain in the neck!! But complain in many ways about pain that is related to a weak neck, or of course caused by terrible posture.. So I will take this and bring it to class and see what´s happening!
I agree, Silke ! I think a lot of those unpleasant feeling in the neck can be improved by working on cervical muscle strength and endurance.
1-10 of 34

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin