Class #3675

Dealing with the Overwhelm

35 min - Class


Learn ways to cope with intense feelings of stress and overwhelm with this movement class by Jenna Zaffino. Our bodies listen to the soundtrack that our minds put out there and sometimes they can be negative. She explores different aspects of breath and movement that will bring you to a state where you have a little more perspective and space to navigate through your world.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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In this class we're going to explore movement as a means of helping us work our way through times of intense stress and overwhelm. Our bodies are listening to the stories and the soundtracks that our minds are putting out there and sometimes in order to get both systems online with each other, it is helpful to meet the stress level where it's at and then shepherd it down to a lower level. So we're going to explore a number of different aspects of breath and movement that will bring you from a place of mental overwhelm that could be physically draining into a state where you have a little more opportunity and perspective to navigate through your world. Let's begin. So first we're going to just work through a breathing exercise, and this comes from a yoga tradition, but I've adopted it a little differently for our purposes and it's the breath of fire. And when our minds are buzzing at a level that's way, way up here. Sometimes what I like to do is just meet with that energy level at the top so that we can again start to take some steps downward back to a place that's more manageable. So in this exercise, we'll take our hands over our low belly and we're just going to do a very simple breathing routine.

We're breathing in through the nose and as you breathe in through the nose, allow your belly to expand forward. And as you breathe out through your nose, just notice how the belly naturally pulls back in. So as you breathe in, we allow the belly to open and expand. And as you breathe out, there's just a natural contraction back to center. And we'll continue this. Just breathing in and breathing out and breathing in and breathing out. And then we're going to start to speed it up a little. So breathe in and breathe out and breathe in and breathe out. And as you're breathing in and out, the belly movement of correlates with your breath.

So in the inhale you're opening your belly. Exhale, drawing it back in. That should be happening somewhat naturally because of the breath. But if you feel like you could actually intentionally do a bit more action on the way in, then go for it and we'll speed it up a little bit more. So we're breathing in and out, an n, N, l, N, N, n, n, N and out n. N. Okay. Pick it up a little bit more.

Keep, keep going and feel that energy bubbling up to the surface. Breathe in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out. Four and three and two and one. And take a deep breath in and hold it. Reach your arms out to the sky sides. Reach them up to the sky and then exhale all the way. Yeah, one more deep breath in. Reach up and exhale all the way down. Allow your energy to drop with your arms. Let's do that one more time. Inhale, reaching up and exhale, bring it all the way down.

Now from here we're going to exercise our face and get a little more fluidity into our face and really acknowledge what it is we might be wanting to do at this point, which is scream. So if you're in a place where you can scream, let loose. If you're not, we're going to practice a silent scream and it goes a little something like this. You're going to squish your face all the way up when you inhale and on your exhale you're going to let that breath out and just open your mouth and feel the energy and let it go. Big Breath in and out. Big Breath in. Exhale, and one more deep breath in an exhale. Good. And then just in a moment, just let yourself feel what it's like.

Sometimes it's really fun to scream and if there's any residual stuff that didn't get out from that screen, take a moment and just metaphorically take it off of yourself. Just get rid of it. We don't need it right now. We're going to be moving our bodies. We can just take it off. Put it over there, sweep it away. It's all all good. Wonderful. Let's bring our feet into a diamond and let's just start rocking our pelvis back and forth. We're going to go back looking down and we're going to go forward. Just looking slightly up above the horizon and go back and looking forward.

I didn't go back just rounding the spine and arching the back and just getting some motion into that spine as we prepare to go a little more forward, releasing us from our screen, getting a little bit more ability into the shoulders and forward and one more back and forward and then come back to center. Take your hands into a tight fist and we're going to do another energetic release, so there's a count of Eight. Breathe. Normally we're going to take our forearms and stretch and throw that energy unwanted away for eight times to the center, eight times out to the side, eight times out to the direct side, eight times up on the diagonal, eight times over head and all the way down. Are you ready? I am ready. One, and two and three and four and five and six and seven to the diagonal. One, two, three, four. Just flick it off your fingers to the side. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, high, diagonal, three, four, five, six. Make fists and open up over your head. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight diagonal, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight to the side, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, low, diagonal, three, four, five, six and right in front. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Breathe in, breathe out, release. Round your spine. Breathe in this time. Bring yourself up higher. Lift your spine.

Reach your heart to the sky, and exhale round back again. One more time. Breathe in. Fill up your lungs as much as you can and as you exhale, empty all the way down. And from here, let's close our legs. I'm going to switch to the side for a moment and we'll take our hands down on the side. Forum should be relatively warmed up. And bring your feet a little closer.

We're gonna begin to open up the front of the body by standing into the feet, unweighting our hips, and then just pressing into a bit of a table, reaching the knees over the toes, opening the chest, break at the hips to sit all the way down. Let's do this three times on weight. The hips push down into your hands. Curl under open release along the front. Break at the hips. Lift up to the sky. One more time on weight. Curl under reaching, standing into hands and feet as evenly as possible.

Break at the hips to come all the way down. Let's open the knees out into a diamond. We're going to do the same idea and this time we're going to have a little bit more of a flash debt dance moment. Flashdance moment from the chest, letting all of that energy explode out of our heart center. So lift your hips up, curl under reach, lift, and just pause for a moment. So as you brake in the hips, explode your heart up to the sky and release it. Let it go. Let it go all the way down from here.

Round your spine all the way forward. Reach over your feet and then roll up through your spine, getting ready to do it again and wait. Your hips curl under. Reach up and yeah, I'm standing on the sides of my feet because I can. I'm going to explode my heart up and reach all the way down and round forward from here. Let's do that one more time. Coming up. Unweight curling under. Reach up, stretch to the top, break in the hips, chest on the ceiling.

Leave it up there, leave it up there, leave it up there, leave it up there and bring it all the way forward. Beautiful. Let's roll back up from here and we're going to prepare to take it down to the floor and we'll do this through a backward hin, so we'll take the hands onto the knees. We're going to picture that length of the spine from the tail through the crown of the head, and imagine that you're just reclining that long diagonal line backwards. Go to the place where you're literally at the brink right before you start to lose it.

Use Your hands for support for the first one and then just reach one arm out to the side and back to your knee and reach another one onto the side and back to your knee length and a bit more. Reach out to the side. Keep that heart lifted back to the knee and round your spine to come back forward. So exploring that hinge is a metaphor for me. Just feeling like there's a bit of um, that moment where you're about to lose it. And we're going to allow ourselves to succumb to losing it through a roll up if it's possible. We'll see. So with the hands, we'll lift up, we'll hinge back again. We're at the brink and from here we're going to let that contraction, that rounded back take us all the way down.

So that was a very super gentle way of doing it. We are going to get a little more dramatic with it in a moment. Curl back up. Use Your hands on your legs if you need to. Roll yourself up round over and roll to the top. So always have the option of keeping your hands on your knees.

But I'll also ask you to explore with the hands to your sides. So as we lift the arms up, we take the hinge back and we'd go there. We just lean, we lean, we lean me lean until we can't lean any farther. And then we roll down. We're going to circle the arms overhead, reached them around, curl up, rounding, rounding, rounding, rounding forward, hands to the legs, roll up, arms to the sides, breed in, hinge, back, hinge, back, hinge, back and contract. And see if you can really allow this to be more of a flowing overwhelm, let's say. So as you're rolling down, you're not thumping, you're not falling, you're in control of the fall. Reaching up, hinge back, growing longer on the diagonal. How far can you lean back on this line before you must get interact and then let yourself down slowly, slowly, slowly reaching the arms overhead.

Circle around, curling up, pressing through, rounding forward, just feeling the fold in our hips. We're just working it all out here. So let's add on where our arms are reaching out. We hinge up and back. Go to the brink contract to roll down. Reach the arms up and back. Circle them around, curl up, and as you're curling up this time right about as you're about to round forward, flex your feet and lean like a hock. Reaching over your prey.

That stressor is your prey and you are in complete charge of it and you're pressing through your heels, feeling the sides of your feet, feeling your sitz bones, feeling the length of your spine. Lift up to vertical. Close the feet. Place the arms down. Let's do it again. Arms to the side, hinge back, reach back. Find that edge and control your way down. Lifting up, stretching over, head, curling around, reaching forward, reaching forward. Right before you round forward. Flex your feet and lengthen into that hinge.

Breathe in and out. Feel the power that exists in a Lancman spine, a lifted chest. Most importantly, your breath. One more breath here. Lift up close and lower. One more time for good measure. Lift, hinge, reach, reach for each contract and roll down. Arms over, head.

Circle around, coming up. Find that moment and then attack through your hinge, reaching, reaching, reaching, gaining that power, breathing in and out. Lift and lower. Close up your legs, the scoot forward a little bit, and then roll down to your back. All right, so you have a moment to just recalibrate. After all of that drama in your life and your movement, we're going to take the arms out to a tee and then walk your heels in a little bit closer and separate them about hip socket with distance apart.

So we're going to work into a bridge or a pelvic press. We're going to release a bit of energy within this activity and see what happens. So we'll begin rolling our hips back, feeling the weight of the waistline standing strong into the feet to peel your spine up. Just take a moment there and feel the bases of support. Can you stand into your shoulder blades for more support? Can you stand into your feet for more support? And can you allow your throat, your neck, your heart, your lower back to be open as everything else lifts you up from here? Take a deep breath in. Allow your heart to reach to the back of your body.

As you roll down, try to find that hollow sense of bend in your middle so that you're able to connect to each space on the back body. Let's do it again. Rolling up, finding that support and that different way of standing into your power here, pressing through the length of the arms, the inner and outer edge of the feet, especially the ball of the big toe. Lift up one more inch by pressing down through your feet and allow your chest to reach through so you can be supple and strong at the same time. There's a beautiful balance between each element you can allow to work for you. This time we're going to go up and we're going to have a little tantrum at the top because who doesn't enjoy a tantrum? So we're rolling up all the way, peeling through the spine, getting up to the top, finding again that support, standing into your strength and you're going to lift both heels up and as you lower press down through your feet and make a thump. And as you make that sump, I want you to think of allowing your hips to float up higher.

So we're going to build some bone in the bottom of the feed as we have our tantrum. Let's lift up, press it down, lift up, press it down, lift up, press it down, lift up, press it down and lift up again and roll down. Feel the strength and the softness all the same time. And all of us. We'll extend our legs out and then bend them back in. And we're going to have another tantrum cause nobody just has one.

Let's roll back and all the way through the waist, peeling up, pressing, finding the strength and lift your heels and lower lift for more too and won and good and lower. Releasing that energy down one bone at a time and then releasing your pelvis and draw your knees into your chest for a moment and just feel the buzz of the energy that you just explored in your legs, your all your legs together. And we're going to have a tantrum of another sort in old favorite called the 100 so here we go. Reaching the arms up. Let's reach them back and feel that support through your shoulder blades, through the base of your pelvis. And we're just going to do a little session and see how long we have to keep this up for today. So curling forward, pressing up, reaching forward.

Let's go into our five breaths. Three, four, five. Okay. And can you find that strengths and suppleness that balance between the two? I think this is six [inaudible]. Two more time.

Pull the knees in, lower down and just take a moment to deal with the thoughts in your head. You didn't know I was going to bring the a hundred and maybe that was really not nice or maybe it was not welcome. But we did it. We got through it, we managed our way through it, we thought through it, we breathe through it, and now we're going to move on to more fun things. So let's rock ourselves up to sit tall, coming back with our diamond into a little stomach massage variation. So as we start to slide our heels away, when a feel that same standing energy standing into the truth of the weight of your pelvis, press out, point your toes, flex your toes, break at your hip and gather that energy back into you. It's a way of claiming your power away of feeling what's possible from those joints.

And when I say stand into the truth of the weight of your hips, I think you know what I mean, but not from a place of critique or judgment. But from a place of these hips have carried my body around for the [inaudible] years and they are going to continue to do it. So I'm going to honor that and I'm going to stand on them. I'm going to use them to my best ability to help me articulate my joints. We're going to add on a little bit, pressing out, point your foot, lift one leg up over the other.

From here we're going to flex and pull the belly back a bit. As you reach out to those legs point, stand into the power of your legs and lower the leg back down. Lift from your hip. As you press down through your base up. Exhale, flex and pull back. Point and lower lift. Pull back, pull it inside, shoot it out and lower and lift and flex and point and lower.

Flex both feet and pull it all the way back. Bring your knees together, give your hips arrest, and come all the way up to the top. So we do know that anger can reside in different parts of the body. Stress can be a catalyst to anger. So if you're having any releases right now, go back to your silent or out loud. Scream and let it go. Let it go. Let it work for you. All right, we're going to do this one more time with a little challenge to our torso, to the strength of our torsos. To bring your arms out to the side like a hug, a tree position. We're going to stretch the legs out as we sit tall.

Lift the right leg up on top of the left. This time with flexed feet. Come back in your contraction and wrap your arms around yourself. Bring it all the way in. Flex your feet. Sit up tall and lower. So we lift, we point, we wrap opposite arm on front. If he can on top, lift and lower up. Exhale, grow through the spine and lower and lift.

Exhale and grow and lower and bring it all the way back in and relax all the way down. Awesome. Let's come on to the knees and now we're going to have a maybe a subtle tantrum with our spine. We're just going to explore what it's like to move the spine in a supple way. And this exercise is influenced by some of the work that I've done within the Martha Graham technique. And the reason why I love it for this purpose is because the work of that, that innovator is visceral.

And so we're going to think about our spine as moving as if we're engulfing energy and then spitting out what we no longer need or what doesn't serve us. So we'll begin in a deep hip fold and you can have your hands forward to begin and you're working towards this flat back as you can make here using knee pads in whatever cushion underneath your base that you need. So from here, image, whatever that issue, that stress ball is in front of you. Image yourself, literally engulfing it by rounding your spine and drawing it in. And as you extend from the pelvis out through the crown of the head, image yourself, releasing it in that direction, out away from your center rounding and reaching. One more time, rounding and reaching. Then from here, we're going to try that without some hands. Taking the hands back, round the spine here and now we're going to carry that energy backwards with us into a backwards thigh stretch.

Reach into your thigh stretch and when you're ready, see if you can press your thighs up and open and release that energy up, up, up from here. Take a deep breath, grab that energy back through your belly, reach to your hips, break at your hips, and let yourself roll it forward. Literally eject it from your person. Rounding up, reaching out nice and long. So lots of things happening here. We just want to roll through it and, and go there to the mental space of taking that Yuck, that energy that you no longer want digesting it. And releasing it. Here we go. Hands back behind you. Lengthen your spine out nice and flat.

Take a deep breath in, round your spine over, curl back. Find that size stretch. Press up through the back, reaching opening, lifting contract through the belly, back to your thigh. Stretch, sit, extend, roll, release. Catch it, and then let it go. One more time, rounding it, rolling it back, pressing it up, lift a little higher and contract it back and break in the hips and reach it. Grab it and release it. Take your hands forward and come up onto all fours. All right, let's swivel to sit on the side. We're going to go into a little more movement, reaching our arm up and over.

Let's take it into our bent and just feel what it's like to move that for me. It's your my right for you. It's your left, that side of the body beyond the base of your hip, just reaching out and once you've got that, consider a little more support underneath. Reach the arm now, reach for something, reach for something that you're after over and two and three and reach a little bit more for it for three, two, and one. Now grow through the spine and sit up. Rotate and allow yourself to fall from here. Press yourself up, reach back to your stretch.

Let's reach one, two, three, a little longer, four, three, two and one. Pick it up. One term, reach, catching all the way up and stretch last time. Go Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one and grow and turn and fall in stay. Let's extend the elbows and bend them back down. A Nice, seemingly easy push up, gathering our energy, remembering, remembering our strengths down. One more bend to a level that you can maintain somewhere around the 90 degrees. Pull in your top leg and extended out from your hip and do that again.

So we're sustaining this level of strengths in the upper body level of support in the upper body and we're moving the lower body to challenge that a little bit because movement goes on even when we are trying to practice a good deal of support here. So on the last one, pull it in and then press the knee back and lower it down behind you. Open up that hip from here. Unweight your front arm. Press through your back arm and just let it open. Release, look, extend, float and then rounded over and bend. Once again, take a nice long stretch of that hip twist of the spine, looking, opening, reaching, breathe in and breathe out. One more time, reaching up and open, lifting and bending.

Pull it all the way in and we're going to swing up to our side bend and lift up and lower it all the way down and simply swivel to the other side. And once again, reach up and see if you can bring that body all the way into that side space. Fill up the space over your opposite hip. Reach your other arm out and then reach for something for eight, seven, six five, four three get longer, two and one. Grow Taller. Turn and look and fall pressing ups and reach reaching again.

Eight, seven, six, five, four three to grow even taller. Hold your power and control the fall up. Scary. Andrew, reach last time, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and one. Lift up and turn and fall in. Then we push it up and Ben, four times you might be feeling that struggle in your arms by now.

Keep your breath going. One more time. Press up lower to a level that you can manage. Draw that top knee in and extend out from your hip. Dried in so strong and supported in the upper body. Supple and mobile in the lower half in and press.

Let's do three more. Pull in and reach from the hip and two and arrange right before that arm is about to explode. Pull it in, press it behind you. Place it down, open that hip, and then decide to open up your chest, reach and twist. Find that space to wring it out. Reach and with someone more maybe to open, lift and twist. Let's make it even on the last one.

Stretch. Lift up and twist from here in a sneak both legs in. Come onto our knees once again, Tuck the toes under and just press up to your up. Stretch for a moment. Lowering down through one heel, lifting through the apex of the hip, down through the other lifting. Just feeling that support through both your hands and your feet. One more time.

And then I'm going to challenge you to try to walk your feet into your hands. Whatever works for you. Coming back in, finding that balance, bending your knees and rolling all the way up to the top. All right, so we've had a lot of tantrums. We've released some energy, and now we're gonna do one more. Go Round of releasing and remembering that we have the power to be supported and strong and supple and controlled over the way that we manage our energy. So from here, let's take our legs hip. With distance apart.

We're going to reach the arms up and we're simply going to swing the arms back as you bend your knees. That's just and reach kind of suspend at the top, the same quality as you had in your hinge to your roll down. Just a little bounce through the legs and get that rhythm going. Let it all go through your arms. Feel the grounded-ness through your feet. And on the next one we're gonna let the body go over.

So we're rounding and then stretching up. Swing, bounce and reach. I'll show it from here. Swing, bounce and reach. Swing, bounce and reach. And again, swing, bounce, reach and six. I'm just letting it go. Feeling the support of the legs. The last one and read. I turned around again. We're going to roll down through the spine. Reaching to the ground.

Your last assignment is to walk out to your plank position. Hands two, three and four. Find your bases of support. Hands and feet. Breathe calmly. If the body is starting a Tantrum, you can meet it with the calm and controlled energy that you have explored.

Breathe. One more breath in. Pike, your hips up to the top. Walk your hands in. Four, three, two, one. Bend your knees. Pour the way down. As you roll all the way up to the top, take a second to settle. We'll go through one more time, a little longer. Hold a little more intention, a little more reminder that we've got this. Reach all the way up. Rounding down, diving forward, pulling it into your center, walking out for three to find that plank position.

Press into the basis of support. Is a tantrum happening in my right thigh, but I am going to calm it down. You remember that? I can support myself through this and even though there's a lot of energy going on around me and a lot of stories coming up in my brain, I am fully capable and supported of moving through. Press through your hands and feet. Lift your hips up, walk your hands back.

Four, three, two and one. Bend those knees roll up. Come to the top and just stand for a moment and feel that base. Feel where you are now as opposed to where you were when you started. And it's always a good idea just to take a moment to acknowledge whether it's through writing or speaking to yourself.

What was I able to release through this movement? And potentially form some tools that will be useful in the future, whether it's a silent scream, uh, heated breath, uh, throwing the energy away or literally moving yourself through a Tantrum to release and move into the next stage. I hope that this class offered you what you need today to get back on line.


4 people like this.
What a feeling of lightness, balance and ease this class gives ! And it seems so natural, every move follows the former one as if it was the only possible thing to do ! It really seems like it’s what the body wishes to do.
Is it usefull to add that I loved the class ?
Jenna Zaffino
Thank you so much @evelyn! That was exactly my intention and I’m so glad you liked it!!
2 people like this.
Jenna's 'twist' on Fletcher work creates a stretch and release in the areas of my body which have been stuck for many years...hope to work with you more, in the coming weeks. Thx
3 people like this.
Can I just say that you may have saved my life today! Ok...I’m exaggerating a bit. However, you definitely gave me back a little of my sanity! Dealing with a sewer back up which has destroyed the beautiful Pilates space that I have in my home. Telling myself as it gets put back together that things could be much worse. Thank you so much for this class !
1 person likes this.
right to my favourites! thank you SO much for sharing your work jenna
1 person likes this.
Life improved with that class! I look forward to sharing it with my clients. Thank you Jenna for your inspiration..
2 people like this.
Fletcher + yoga+ Graham + Jenna= awesome!
1 person likes this.
Beautiful, mindful teaching. Thank you, Jenna, for helping to brighten my evening after a tough day at work.
So wonderful!!!! 🙏 thank you !
1 person likes this.
Wow! It was awesome! I was tired and now I feel light and full of energy! Thank you, Jenna!
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