Class #3682

Foot to Hip Connection

45 min - Class


Find the connection of your feet to your hips in this Cadillac workout with Debora Kolwey. She continues in her series demonstrating the work that she does with her client, Helene, using the Cadillac and props to find length and support in the spine. She encourages you to move with the flow of your breath so that you can move naturally rather than force your movements.
What You'll Need: Cadillac, Yoga Strap, Yoga Block, Moon Box, Wall, Towel, Fitness Ball, Reformer Box, Magic Circle

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

So we're gonna do a little snaking feet to open up your hips and then we'll get your back, stretched out on the ball, okay? So go ahead and just have your feet together and your knees together. And again, you are trying to sit up, right? Obviously, on the end of that block. And if you need your hands behind you on the block, just to keep your back up, then you can do that too.

Okay, so flex the ankles back, and now as you turn I want you to feel your sit bones, heavy on that block. 'Cause it's easy just to turn the feet out, we know that now, right? Um-hum. So what you really wanna do is turn your thigh out and then go ahead and put your toes down and then lift your heels. You're gonna pivot on the ball your foot and then put your heels down, that's it.

And then flex pivot down, heels lift pivot, down, maybe this will be the last one, if you have one more and you can go again. So I have to make sure you can come back. That's a good stretch for those hips, right? Okay, and now lift your toes, pivot on the center of your heel and down, lift your heel, pivot on the entire ball of your foot. Good, and now watch when you do the heels again that you don't twist your foot down.

Keep all the same thoughts that we've had, from the other exercises where you're trying to have a balance, in the center of your heel. Then when you lift your heel and you pivot on the ball of your foot, you keep that little toe engaged and then come back in. Good, yeah, and notice it's interesting, right? If you're too close, go ahead and bring your heels in closer and you try and flex your ankle, you can't do it, right? And then if you're too far away, when you try and lift your heels, it's awkward, right?

So there's this nice place in the middle where you feel like you've got the freedom to do it, okay? So let's do that one more time. So lift, pivot and down and you wanna swing those heels out, keeping all the weight on the ball of your foot, lift, make a connection between, stay here for just a second. Feel the center of your heel and your sit bone. Yes, very good.

And then down and then lift pivot on the whole ball of your foot, and you feel that turn in and that might feel a little bit tight, right? You can do this with your feet up against a wall and it's nice because if you have your feet up against the wall lying down, then you can see if one foot slides. That just depends on you wanting to be able to get, on and off the floor. Okay, so let's come back in one more time. Turn at the sit bone, good and then lift your heels and pivot on the whole ball of your foot and come down and lift, pivot, beautiful down, lift, pivot and then one last one to get the toes together.

Okay, so go out one more time just so we can fit the ball. Very good, and then just wide enough so that you can take that ball between your legs and then bring it in. Okay, so as you press down on the ball, what you're doing is, again, you're using the pressure of your hand on something to help you strengthen up your arms, into your shoulder girdle and to feel like you can lift your back up, right? So you're not slouching down at all. So what you're gonna do is just, press a little bit down on that ball to keep a lift in your spine and just lengthen yourself out.

Just go ahead and roll the ball away from you. Don't move your hands, so come back. Just as far as you can go, keeping your hands in the same place, okay? So you're gonna go out and you only wanna go to where, you don't lose the connection back into your pelvis, you feel that? Um-hum Okay, so go out, out out, now let your head release forward and then press through your feet to strengthen the back of the hips.

Push down on the ball and come all the way up to sitting tall, beautiful. So a little bit of push on the arms to make sure the tone is there and then, press the ball away from you, nice breath. At the very edge you can let your head release down and then press to your feet to roll up through your hips. Okay, let's do that one more time. Breathe in as you press out.

Now careful here Gia. When you drop your head there's no need to push up into my hand, just release your head. Do you remember the curling of the head gave you, your belly when you were standing? Good job, press through your feet, try not to push into my hand here. Press through your feet to find the strength in the back of your hip.

It's different, isn't it? Um-hum. And now roll up through. Wanna do that one more time? Yeah.

Yeah, so a little bit of push down, there, you feel that lift? Um-hum. So you wanna maintain that length even as you're going forward. That's it at the very end, let your head release. And now find your feet to find your hips.

Press through your arms and roll back up. That was great. So now we're gonna reverse it and really arch at the top, that's it, press yourself out. Keep your head up the whole time. Arch, arch, arch, arch, arch.

And then drop the head and curl and come back up. And one more time, really get into an extension, that's it. Press down through your arms to lift the chest, extend out, release the head and roll back up. And then we're gonna reverse this one. So you're gonna dive forward, but stay really lifted.

Push down through the ball. Go out as far as you can. And now lift the gaze. Bring the chest through. Keep the elbows a little lifted, so you don't hyper extend or collapse into your shoulder girdle.

Bring the shoulder blades down and come up. Good. Dive the head, push into your feet to push into your hands. That's it, do you feel that power from your pelvis? Here's that curl again, right?

And now out you go. Keep your elbows lifted to avoid collapsing into your shoulder girdle and then lift forward. connection of your hand through your arm to press down into your shoulder blades, drop the tail and come back. Okay, so the last variation. You know, push about halfway out, so you stay a little bit of a curl, look down.

And now press into your left arm, and almost like you're gonna roll the ball, this way. We're gonna twist and look a little bit under your left shoulder. And then come back to the center and press. You can let your head release and then feel as you press into your right arm. The connection into your right shoulder blade.

Lifting up to the left side of your chest. Come back to the middle and press into your left hand. Find the connection to your left shoulder blade and open up, feel nice? Um-hum. Okay, one more time.

Press down through the arm to find the connection all the way into the shoulder girdle to left and then switch hands. Press into the left. Find the back of the shoulder blade and twist and then that's enough. Okay, I'm gonna take the ball. come on and sit on the ball.

There you go. And just bounce, and just let that release. Once you get the bouncing going, you don't really have to do it, right? You feel how the ball just kind of gives you that sense of lift in your pelvic floor. It just gives a nice lightness.

You could even do it a little softer, so it's a little less aggressive. That's it, okay. And then to stand up one, two, three, stand up. Beautiful, okay, great. So I'm gonna put the ball, I'm gonna put the ball up on the cadillac for you.

And you go ahead and lie onto your back. And bring your feet, that's it. And then you can feel the similar kind of thing now when you press into the ball. It gives you a tone of the back of your legs, right? Um-hum.

Okay, so you wanna keep a little bit of that tone and then start to draw the ball actually let's just do this simple, kind of footwork exercise first. So as you pull in, you press down on your feet, and you feel how you're gonna connect in through your center, you feel your abs maybe, right? Um-hum. Okay, so then as you go away, that's your job is to not get lost, right? So as you press gently down on the ball, breathe in, pull it towards you, you're flexing, everything's coming closer connection.

And then as you go out, only go as far out as you can go. Not losing your connection, right? So if you go too far your, you'll arch your back, right? Um-hum. You lose your connection.

Okay, so now we'll take it into a rotation. So you pull in just like you're snaking feet, you allow the knees to open. You're on the outside of the foot, the outside of the hip. Press the ball away. And then soften into your hips, as you come back to parallel, you can go a little faster if you want.

So in and out, roll the ball away and come back. And in, let the thighs roll out. So you feel a connection between the little toe side the outer knee, outer hip. Good job. And come back, and now we're gonna reverse it.

So you go out parallel, turn the thighs out, pull the ball, you feel those hips. And then soften your thighs, thigh bones into the socket. Go out again, rotate out. Feel the constant, little bit of pressure on the ball so you don't lose the connection of your legs up into your body. Nice smooth inhales and smooth exhales.

Relax, relax, relax. And last time, breathe in and rotate out. Good and then this is fun and kind of hard. You can just press down on the ball and begin to roll your pelvis up just a little bit, and then roll it back down, good. I'm just gonna give you a little support through your feet so you don't worry about it and press.

It is a lot of work, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah good, one more time. You wanna try and go a little higher? There you go.

Big nice breath into the chest. And then release yourself back down, okay. very nice. Do you wanna try it with your legs straight? Sure.

Okay, so go ahead, straighten your legs. And then flex your feet, good. So that helps you not hyper extend your knees 'cause you're getting that tone up the front of your shin. Okay, and just see if you can press your pelvis any amount up towards the ceiling. Whoa there you go.

Nice, and you can use your arms as much as you need to, to help you keep the openness in your chest, beautiful. And then try to elongate, stay off my hand, right. Come up a little bit. So on your way down, don't think of pulling your spine down to the mat. Just think of lengthening.

keep reaching your pelvis toward your, toward the ball. That's it, so you're articulating through your spine, but you're not bearing weight down into your back, okay. Good, alright, so go ahead and bend your knees. Take your feet off. I'm gonna go grab the box and we're gonna move into another section, okay, Okay, go ahead and press your feet up against the block, and then hold your chrome poles.

And you wanna have your thumbs on the same side and straight as you can through the wrist. And yeah, depending on where it feels good for your arms to be straight, and just, let's get that stretch. I mean, just should feel really, really, really good. Open everything up, get rid of all the compression, all the tension, it feels good. Yeah, okay, very nice.

Now, go ahead and bring your arms down by your sides. Have your feet on the mat, and we're just gonna move into this next section. Okay, so do a little pelvic tilt. Allow your tail to crow off the mat. And then release that back down.

And then as your tail curls up, let your chin flowed up as well. Inhaling and exhaling and as your chin comes down, allow your tail to go through. That's it, so Breathing in and breathing out smooth inhales, smooth exhales and as the tail curls and the chin lifts, allow the breath to come up into the chest. So it's a natural flow through the body. And then as you exhale, allow the chin to come down.

You feel the chest, soften, and come all the way down. And almost let your tail go through your legs the other direction. So let it flow, tail up, chin up, and chin down, tail down. That's it. And you're feeling the breath, move through your chest up into your throat, allowing the head to naturally fall back and forth.

So you're getting a lift of the tail or releasing of the head, the skull on the neck, softening into the neck, releasing the tail down, up and down. Good, so it seems like it's a little a little tight here, a little stuck. Let's try these black pads under your chest, okay? So go ahead and come on up to sit for a sec. So where I want the pad, I don't want it to be on your neck.

There you see how they're right at the top of your shoulder. So now you naturally have a support through your chest. Kind of like when I had my hand on you earlier, but you're not having to do it. It's just the space's there. Okay, and you don't feel to cut off at your lower ribs.

Okay, let's try that again. So allow your tail to curl and your chin to come up, and then go the other way back and forth a few times. Does it feel different to you? A little freer, a little bit more natural. Yeah, and you can start to feel almost like a wave in your body.

It's kind of like a natural spinal wave. You can even imagine the figure eight happening. And if you can get that flow to not get stuck in any one part, you feel how at the top now you could really start at the top of your head to come back, right? And it kind of washes down and then as you come into the pelvis, let's stay here for just a sec. Allow this to soften.

Allow your tail to go so long through that when you go the next direction, you're starting at the tail. Yes. So when you're pelvis is up like this, you're gonna feel your lower back, hammocking down to the mat. But try not to push it, can you feel that? I don't want you putting weight in your lower back, it naturally releases down because the shape has shifted.

But really, what you're doing is just shifting from the tail, okay, similarly in this other direction as the chin comes down and you release into your hips. You don't have to push with your back. You're back will lift off the mat, but you're not aggravating it or pushing with it. Okay, it's just a flow. You wanna really try and find that flow on your breath.

There we go. There you go, inhaling and exhaling. Good, very beautiful, feel nice? Um-hum. Okay, so now do too small just tailing up and down and on your third one, go all the way up.

There you go. Allow the breath to fill the chest, roll you back onto your upper back. Stay up Gia, reach back with your arms. Use the strength of your arm coming into the back of your shoulder girdle. Take an extra breath to give you a little bit more lift.

And you feel how when your chest is expanded like that, it naturally gives you more room down in your hips. And would you say that you can feel your feet more now too? Yes. And you feel the difference between pushing with your low back and using your glutes? Um-hum.

Yeah, because you don't wanna just push with your low back, right? You wanna actually feel that your foot connected into your hips. We've done this a bunch already today, right? Your hips can go higher and higher and higher and higher. Yes, and then on the way back down, think of lengthening your spine segment by segment.

You're not trying to push down, you're not bearing weight down through your spine using the strength of your arms to help hold your chest up and the strength of your feet to hold your legs up into your pelvis. Does that feel nice? Um-hum. And then you can just bring your arms down by your sides. Very nice, okay, do you like those pads there? Um-hum.

We'll leave them there for now. Okay, so that's the, you know, the vertical track, right? So now we're gonna go a little bit more on the horizontal track. Feeling again, your feet. Try to keep your knees right in line with your hips.

And now we're gonna roll side to side. So Breathe in and let your pelvis shift over to the right. And then exhale, come back to the middle. Breathe in and shift your pelvis to the left. And exhale, come to the middle, now feel your feet.

It's the same kind of idea. As you roll over to the side, can you feel the pressure on your foot connecting you into your glute as opposed to you feeling like you have to push through your back to go? Yeah, and then exhale as you come back. So the the weight shifts from the right hip into the left hip, now you feel your right foot, not your back, beautiful. Now as you shift over to the side, let your breath fill up and wait your opposite shoulder.

Exhale as you come to the middle. And allow your ribs to soften down onto that pad. Inhaling, feel the opposite shoulder. You don't have to press it. You just bring your breath into it.

Allow the breath to come into my hand here. And maybe even roll your head to the left. So you feel the head goes the opposite direction of the knees. And then exhale as you come back. So your limbs are moving in opposition to one another.

But what you really wanna feel is the internal movement of the breath expanding and releasing. Yeah, and what's cool about this, if you put your attention to it, is that you start to feel some rotation a little bit, higher up in the thorax, so you're not just taking everything down here in your lumbar spine. And you don't have to push from the back of you to make this happen. You just let the breath roll you and unroll you. Again it's almost like that vertical wave.

But now it's happening sideways. Can you kind of get that? Um-hum. Yeah. So the wave comes to the side. And then it comes back.

Very nice, and you can feel your feet shifting weight, you come back to the center each time and settle last time. And settle, okay, great. So now go ahead and put your right hand on your torso somewhere. That was all pelvis and spine. Now we're just gonna work on your hip.

Alright, so let the leg drop out to the side, the right leg, you'll feel the weight shift on your foot and then when you start to feel any kind of resistance, in your inner thigh or your groin, you're gonna allow the shift of weight again in the pelvis. So you can get the entire outside of your right thigh onto the mat, you feel that? Um-hum. And then to come back, what you wanna do is lift your leg. However, if when you go to pick your leg up, you grip go to your foot, okay?

So take a little breath because we stopped here for a bit. And now as you exhale, reach and stand back onto your whole foot and let that shift your way back to the middle. You wanna do that again? Um-hum. Okay, so you allow your hip to go.

You allow the need to drop but you don't force it, right? When you feel some kind of resistance, again, you let the shift of weight of the pelvis get you to where you can actually rest that leg. It meets the mat, you know, you can relax it, and because it's supported from underneath you can let go Some of that grip. So then when you come back, you don't wanna re-grip, right? The other thing I wanna put your attention on is your opposite foot, okay?

Because when you shift your weight, you don't wanna push through your back again, right? So you take your attention a little bit into your foot. You feel the glute. So over and over, we're doing similar things, right? You're connecting your feet to your hips, you're getting some nice shift away, you're freeing the opposite side.

Okay, take a breath, and as you exhale, that muscle that was making contact to the mat tones because you've put pressure on it, and theoretically, it strengthens it, it tones it and gives it the ability to hold your leg up. But if that's not happening, right? If when you get over there, it doesn't have the strength and you go to pick your leg up and you just grip again, then what's really helpful is to start with the foot. Does that make sense to you? Um-hum.

Another thing that you can do if you're gonna practice this by yourself and you You feel like Wow, I can't really get there Without gripping, you can have like a rolled towel or some kind of a block something to make the floor come up to you sooner, you know, we'll just pretend I have this, which isn't very big. But I mean, you get the idea, right? So let's say, you know, there, that's that little purple band is kind of being a little bit of extra butt muscle for you. So you feel the difference. There's something there holding you.

That's you if you had it, right? So then you're not going as far but you're still making contact with something. So you have that ability to release and then you could even imagine that the purple band is pushing you back up and then you come on to your foot. Okay, we better do one on the other side. Okay, so switch hands.

Okay, so breathe in and allow this leg to come out to the side. Keep the right leg exactly the way it is, okay? Don't let it fall out. You feel that tendency? And you're gonna press slightly into your foot for tone.

So this one's a little tighter, right? Most people are different side to side. So when you start to allow the right side of your pelvis to shift on to the left, make sure that you're still aware of this foot connection to the hip and that you're not pushing through your lower back. And then on this opposite side, think for yourself. I wanna pick my leg back up.

What's gonna happen? Am I gonna grip to do it? Are you? No. Okay.

And then find the outside of your leg, picking you up coming on to the foot. Really good, okay. So now we're gonna add, let's put this, take your hand up, okay, up to the ceiling. Just let's, just do the left hand and hold this block. It's a little funny at first, right?

Like you might drop it. Okay, so now just push up and down and up. And when you come down, you don't have to pull so hard. Now obviously, that block isn't very heavy, but it's gravity, right? Up and down.

So now we're gonna make a little pattern. As you press up into the block, allow your right thigh to go, and then begin to push through your left foot, left hip, left hand, take a nice deep breath, you can let your head roll to the right if it feels normal, and comfortable. And then this time instead of starting with your foot and your hip, you're gonna start with your shoulder girdle. So you feel from the shoulder down through the rib through the hip, and then you come back. Cool, right? Um-hum.

Yeah, let's do it again. So press up, allow the weight to shift. So do you realize that in a way, what you're doing is essentially a half a bridge, like a sideways bridge. So you're getting all that power from the back line of your body and then allow the weight to come back down, find your shoulder girdle, your ribs, your waist, and then come back to the beginning, and we'll try the other side. It's right? That's good.

Okay, very good. So just do the arm a couple of times, up and down. And when you come down, you don't have to pull so hard into your ribs or your back. It's just your arm up and nice and soft in the chest. And now up.

Begin to take your left thigh over to me keep reaching, let the weight shift. Feel your right foot to right hip, not lower back, right hand, arm, shoulder girdle, beautiful. Begin with the arm coming back down. Soften the chest, release the ribs, the waist, the pelvis, and there you are back in the middle. you wanna one more time? Um-hum.

Great. So up let the breath spill on to your left side, allow the weight to shift, good. Foot hip, and then bring your arm back down to release the ribs, the waist and center yourself. Very, very nice. Okay, good job.

How are you doing? Good. Okay, so now we're gonna start to do some lengthening because you've been kind of pulled in a little bit. So go ahead and slide your right foot down the mat, use the, come a little bit, maybe take your arms up there, and push. So you really feel that pressure of your foot into the box.

So I don't know if you remember when we were doing foot correct, this hip kept sagging down, right? So now you can use the pressure of your foot into the box to connect you back up, right? And the pressure of your hand and arm into that pole to recapitulate that, that connection that you just made in the last exercise, right? And then as you come back, soften the back of your knee, allow your foot to come on to the mat, drag it in. And then when you come back to the pelvis, just float your thigh.

And we're gonna come just to where you don't press your back down onto the mat, okay? So you flex with the hip, but you're not gonna curl the pelvis and roll onto your back. So your foot comes down, and you press at the same time, you can feel the opposite one, pressing on to the mat. Trying to keep your pelvis level, right? And then slide it in and release.

Here's that softening. Okay, we'll do that on the other side. Slide the Left leg press, and you can see even here how that wants to hike up. Okay, so soften down and try and keep it nice and square, and then bend the knee, fly the foot and sink down. Very good, and the challenge here, you're doing a really great job, is to not bring the leg in so much and pull down with your back, but really feel this softening.

And it's nice having your arms there, right? Yeah. Because it keeps your chest up and keeps the strength in the back. You don't have to have your arms there. You could have them down by your side.

I like them there. You like them there, okay. One more time, let's do both. Slide this leg out, go back. Feel the whole thing, yes, beautiful.

And then feeling all that links and support right through your middle. Begin to soften the backs of your knees. Drag your feet in, that's it. Remember the pressure of your feet on the ball earlier. See if you can find that same connection into your hips to float your knees up, beautiful.

Okay, and then release the feedback down and bring your arms by your sides. Okay, very good. So we're gonna do a little bit of lengthening and stretching out of your legs and your hips. So you can take this and put it on your right foot. And then you hold the two sides of the strap and extend your leg and hold it at a height where it can be straight.

You know, it doesn't have to be 90 degrees. Okay and then I'm gonna ask you to pull back down on your foot and use the pressure of the strap to push the ball of your foot up into so that you're also toning the muscles in the front of your leg while you're lengthening the muscles in the back of your leg. Okay, so that looks good, would you say that's a calf stretch? Um-hum. Okay, good.

So now you can just gently pull and release, pull and release. And so your arms are doing the work and the strap is helping you hold the leg up. And if you can, you can start to slide your left leg straight and push into the box again. That feels really good, right? So this is like real standing.

You know, you feel the pressure up into your foot by having the pressure come back up into your hip. It makes it easier to keep your pelvis level. Okay, so we can stay here for quite a while. But pretty much you just wanna stay till you feel like something. Let's go, and now go ahead and take both of the straps in your right hand, and you can just let your left arm come down by your side, or even hold the side of the mat because you're gonna wanna resist a little and not just fall, okay?

And I can help you to, if you were doing this by yourself, you'd be, you know, really using your own arm a lot, but I can help you. So we're gonna take the leg out to the side. At the same time, you're gonna hold on to the mat with your left arm. And I'm just gonna give you a little pressure here and you're just pulling so that you're pulling the foot up, not just letting it fall down. This is a whole other kettle of fish here, than when your knee was bent, right?

But what you can feel is that as you press your foot into the strap, and use the strength of your arm, into the back of the shoulder to pull on the strap, your legs not just falling, right? Yeah. You feel it being plugged back into the back of the pelvis. And if you get tired, I can, see I can hold some of the weight of your leg for you. And that's a good stretch, right?

Um-hum. So again, we could stay here longer. But for our purposes today, we'll just move on. Switch the strap to the other hand. And now this very first part, make sure you're watching your knee.

Don't let it roll in. Okay, don't go far. Just really lift up into the strap. Just take it over a little bit to get the stretch in the hip. Feel fine? Um-hum.

And you can use this arm as much as you need to to help you keep from rolling over. And now start to take it over. And as you go farther over and you cross your midline, allow this left leg to roll out, allow your foot to open. And again, you don't want your leg to fall. So you're continuing to pull it up and all that work that we've done today.

Come back a little bit to connect you from the back of your shoulder girdle all the way down the ribs, through the pelvis through your sit bone and out your heel, right? Now push is happening now in a bigger way. Push into your left foot to find your left hip and belly to bring the leg back up. And then just bend your knee and relax. That's a good stretch huh? Um-hum.

Do You wanna try that on the other side? Um-hum. Okay. So go ahead and let this leg come all the way down. Actually start with it bent, to free up the low back a little bit.

Same thing here, find the height where your knee can be straight, but you're not just hanging, you're pushing actively up into the ball of the foot to feel the tone here. So the calf is lengthening, but the leg is active. The strap in your arms are helping to hold some of the weight of your leg. But it's not completely passive, right? And then just let it free itself up a little bit into the hip.

Good, start to slide your right leg out to straight press through the box, especially on this side right to keep this hip from hanging. When this hip is lifted, it naturally is gonna shift you into a more organized way of holding your leg up, right? Okay. And now switch so that you're holding with just your left hand. Maybe bring the elbow down.

Okay, use your right arm to help. That's it. I can hold some of the weight of your leg if you want. It's okay, right? Um-hum.

Yeah, keep breathing. Good, and then come down and switch sides. Take it with the other hand. The first part, don't go very far. Just really feel like you can release some of the tension in the front of the hip and find the connection yet again through the foot and the back of the pelvis.

So you start to take it over to the side. And then if you wanna go further, you roll. You don't fall but you roll you allow that outer hip again to take, to take some of the weight of your body. Okay, and then just keep bringing it up. Push out into your foot to find the connection back into your hip.

And then feel the shoulder blade down through the rib-cage into the pelvis. Push through your right leg to find the power up into your right hip so that you're right belly can bring you home. There you go, and then I'll take it, you can bend and just relax. kind of wiggle your legs out a little bit. Feel good? Um-hum.

Okay, so the last thing we're gonna do here is to bend your knees. There are so many things we could do. Bring your feet together, but have your knee slightly apart. So that was kind of a static thing. I wanna get some flow back in your body.

So keeping the feet together, but they'll shift a little. We're gonna do a little bit of a freer pattern here. So it's three, three rolls. So you go to the right to the left to the right, and then you push through your left foot and right back into that same pattern, right? Release and go left and right and left.

Find your right foot and what are we thinking? Hip not low back and go right and left. There you go, and push, and last time, shift and shift and shift, it's a little too much. Now do it, you feel the difference? Um-hum. Yeah, I can tell

that you're not pushing through your back at all. Okay, so you're gonna rest here for a sec, because what we're gonna do is take the box away, and I'm gonna put the wall up. Okay, so you hang on for just a second. Let me show you a couple of different things you can do with your feet up on the wall too. They're all really, really similar to what we've done.

But by having your feet up on the wall, the angle changes, it's easier for your back to relax. It's easier for you to feel more free in your hips. Okay, so you what you're gonna probably wanna do is roll to your side to sit up and then come a little closer. Okay, so you're gonna scoot in. Actually, the very first thing that we're gonna do, we're gonna see how close you can get your, your rear end to this wall, and I'm gonna hold it so that it doesn't move.

Yeah, but try to maybe roll to sit to the side and pull your hips way in. So that when you lie down your butts are really close to the wall. There you go. And then just go ahead and move your back over, yep. Okay, so now this is kind of nice, just by itself, right?

It's always good to just let the flow reverse. Okay, so your back is relaxed. Your legs are essentially being held up by the wall. And all you're gonna do is let your femors roll in and out. And that feels kind of good, doesn't it?

Yeah, so that's just a great thing to do all by itself. Good, okay, and now I'm gonna ask you to go back a little bit further so that your knees are gonna be bent on the wall. You wanna find the place where you're not feeling like you're being pushed down into your back so I would go a little further and allow your legs to be more at a right angle. Okay, so you wanna feel like your back is soft and relaxed, but you're not being pushed into it, Okay. Yeah, okay, so the same thing you're going, it's just like you're snaking feet.

But it feels different because the weight can more easily fall down into your hips. You just rotate the legs in and out here. You allow your feet to go to the little toe side to the big toe side. Does that remind you at all of the magic circle? Uh-hum. Yeah, I mean, so many things

we've done are really similar to one another, but when you do them in a different relationship to gravity, or a different proper, different tool, it just builds a different kind of strength or openness. Okay, so then come back, do your little pelvic tilt, let your head lift and come back down. And now feel the difference when you roll all the way up onto your shoulders. It's just so easy. Do you feel how simple that is and how easy and you're so light and, and you can get your pelvis up higher, more easily.

I'm just gonna turn your toes in a little bit. Okay, so same thing here, you've got your feet against the wall, you know, lengthen yourself back down, segment by segment, keep your chin a little lifted, so the throat stays open, and the breath can be free. Very, very good. So the slides and the, and the folds that we did earlier, it's the same thing before we, but before we go on, I just wanna show you this. This is really good, I'm gonna give you this to squeeze.

So by squeezing the block, again, you're kind of organizing yourself around your center. And what I want you to feel is the weight of your thigh bones down into your pelvis and the squeeze of the block. And on an exhale, all you're gonna do is deepen the weight down so that your feet can float off the wall. You're not thinking of pulling your thighs to your chest. You're just thinking of shifting the weight enough to get your feet off the wall.

So take a nice breath in. Exhale, squeeze, go deep. So you feel the weight more in the, more toward the tail side, the bottom of your sacrum. You got it Gia. So you're not pushing your back down, right?

It's really strengthening, you feel that? Uh-hum. And it's cool to be able to go ahead and put your feet back on. It's cool to just be able to feel that depth right in your hip, right? Yes, and this should remind you a little bit of the work that we did standing or as trying to get you to release your hips back without having to push into your back.

Good. Very nice. Good. Okay, I'm gonna take this away and we'll just, let's just try one because we did it lying down, so you can feel the difference. Just take your time, start to slide your foot up the wall.

But as you slide your foot up the wall keep going softer and softer, stop right before your knee wants to push forward. Okay, see if you can still feel the connection between the pressure of the ball of the foot and the toning of your leg up into your hip. As opposed to, I straighten my leg by pushing my knee down. And then you feel the heel connecting into the backside of your leg. So ball of the foot, front of the leg up into the hip, Heel, back of the leg.

And now take a breath and see if you can float that leg off without getting any tighter here. Exhale, go deep, beautiful. And then go ahead and put your foot on the wall. So it's kind of like when you have the strap, but a little bit different. Okay, and then just go ahead and rest.

So let's just stop there for now. Okay, and for our final thing on the mat today I'm gonna have you roll onto your side and then come on to your belly. Okay. So go ahead and hold on to the front of the mat. And I'm gonna just take away the wall here to make sure that you have plenty of room for your legs, depending on what we do.

Okay, that's good. You can scoot back a little bit and even let your ankles hang off the edge and then come forward again so that you can hold on to the front of the mat. So notice when you pull with your arms, it gives you some of that similar length. And does it remind you of the ball, seated ball? Um-hum.

Okay, very good. Okay, so I want you to be able to lift your legs up and I want you to feel how, let's just try one at a time. Okay, so when you pull with your arms, you feel the lengthening of the front of your body again. Okay, but for many people, this is not comfortable. And the, if hips are really tight, then you're gonna find yourself at the end range of hip extension.

And if you're at the end of hip ext, at the end range of your hip extension, it's gonna go right into your lower back. Okay? So what we're gonna do is place this rolled towel under your pelvis, such that you're being supported, and having a little bit more of an anterior tilt. Now, I know that that's not so much what you need, because you go there very, very easily. But what I want you to understand is that even for you, when you go into this anterior tilt, it's easy for you, but you get a little stuck in your back as well.

So the idea here is that you're allowing your pelvis to come forward but you're not stopping at the low back. You use whatever pull of your arms you need to so the flow keeps going. Okay and you can just tuck your chin and let your forehead rest. Is your nose okay? Um-hum.

Because I can get a pillow for your forehead if you need it. No, I'm okay. Okay, okay so all I want you to do is feel the potential for finding the muscles up the backside of your leg, right? And let's just bend your bend your knee. So I want you to be able to find the tone up the backside of your leg and into your glute without having to strain your lower back.

Do you feel that? Because the pelvis has been allowed to naturally roll forward and you're not getting stuck there by continuing to pull with your arms, you can find the muscles in your hip extension which you're gonna free up the front of Your leg, right? Um-hum. Okay, now if you can just lift your knee a little bit, and as you need lifts, you have to be able to continue to allow the flow to go headwardly. Do you feel that? Um-hum.

And it feels okay, and you feel quite a lot of work. Um-hum. Great. Okay, so that would be one way to do the exercise. Another way that you could do the exercise would be the same idea, but you would lift your legs straight up, allow the pelvis to roll forward onto the, the roll of towel you're not stuck on the mat.

You have plenty of room in the front of you because the towel is holding you up. So it's kind of like when you were lying on your back and you tilted your pelvis, the back shifted its shape. But you didn't overwork, right? Uh-hum. Now you can lift the leg straight up and down.

And what we're looking for is that when you lift the leg, you maintain the weight on the bones of the front of your pelvis. And you don't roll off to the side to do it, right? And put the leg down. Sometimes if the quad is tight, let's try the other side, then it's hard to find that range of motion in the hip. And so what we do is we roll away from it to avoid it.

And two things happen probably more than two. A, you're not getting the work as well and B, you're over straining the back. Okay, so what your job is, is to use the towel as a way to feel that those two bones can stay equal regardless of which leg you're lifting. You can do it as a straight leg lift. It doesn't even have to come that high to be effective.

You can do it from straight, lift it straight up to bent. And when you bend the knee, you try not to drop the thigh down. Good, or you could just do it as a simple bend knee. And you feel all that musculature, right? And then you just keep pulling yourself forward as much as you need to.

If you don't like pulling your hands on the front of the mat, you could try a tactic where you bend your elbows and rest your forehead on your forearms. That gives you the same kind of tone in your back, right? It just doesn't give you the same kind of length, so you can play with that. That feels pretty good, right? Um-hum.

And it's interestingly difficult but very, very good for you, okay? Okay, good Gia. Go ahead and reach to the front of the mat again and just give yourself extra length. There you go, and I'm gonna pull this towel out and see if you can just find your way up to sitting or onto your back. Okay, and I don't wanna have to put anything back up there again to have your feet against.

But go ahead and do one more just super big stretch. Yeah, flex your feet. Just feel everything opening up. Good, okay now take this magic circle. Stretch it as far back behind you as you can without straining your back.

And then I'm gonna, I'm gonna be your wall, okay? So you're just gonna start to come up into one big nice Roll up. Lift up, up, up, up, up into that magic circle. That's it. lean way out over your legs, and then sit up as tall as you possibly can, beautiful.

And then I'll take that and that was so great. You did such a good job, thank you. Thank you. Okay.


2 people like this.
Debora, Loved this video, your teaching and insight. I am teaching in Wilmington, NC (since 2009). And I feel so blessed that my training with you, The Pilates Center and Inside/Out studio in Durham, NC have always integrated the subtleties of body movement -- to unlock full movement potential in all areas of mind, body, spirit. Pilates is a pathway to so much learning and growth for each individual--and it is an art to keep that alive and pass on. Thank you! Best, Jennifer
Excellent, a gift for the hips!
Margot K
Thanks Debora. Great lesson!
I loved your class. Im in Teacher Training 56 and your hands on approach and cueing and tips brought a lot of aha momments. Would you have a class on help with pain when putting weight on bent knees, right side of patella?
Thank you again your great!
1 person likes this.
This was sooo beautiful! The way you worked with Gia made me wish I could be your client! So gentle, so precise and concentrated. The video really felt as if I - as the viewer -was sneaking into a private session! You are a wonderful role Model to know how I would like to be as a teacher..! thank you!
Debora Kolwey
wow! thank you so much for your kind words
1 person likes this.
fabulous teaching! i just viewed this video and feet and ankle strengthening and love your cues and presentation...right up my alley! thank you,

Thank you for this wonderful series Debora and for sharing the journey you have been on with your client.  There is so much to explore and experience in this session - amazing.

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