Class #3684

Be Your Own Partner

40 min - Class


Explore how you can use imagery and your own body to help you get more out of each exercise in this Mat workout with Debora Kolwey. She encourages you to think about the ways a teacher gives tactile feedback so you can get the same feeling when you are working out alone. By moving this way, you will give your body more space so you are free to move with efficiency and ease.
What You'll Need: Mat, Pilates Pole

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Debora Kolwey. Last time I came to Pilates Anytime, I taught a class using a lot of partnering. And this time we're gonna try and see how we could be our own partner and see how that goes. In this mat class, Gia and Anna are gonna be taking the class, and we'll have a good time. So go ahead and lie onto your back.

Warm Up Stretch

Bend your knees up into your chest and just loosely wrap your arms around your shins. And see how the weight of your arms resting on your legs helps gives you a little bit more weight and release into your hip flexors. Maybe allowing you to let go of some of the tension that we tend to hold there, and finding a deeper place to flex from. And now knowing that we have to lift our body up also, use the pressure of your arms on your legs, but exert a little pressure upwardly from your shins into your hands, and feel if that gives you some tone around the pelvis, and allows your tail to curl up off the mat. So keeping that, go ahead and take your hands around to the back of your head.

Pressing your skull into your palms and your palms into your skull, connect around into the back of the shoulders. If I was gonna pick you up right now, I might come behind you, pick your upper back off the mat. So how do you do that to yourself? Now we'll move our way into foot work. Come to the V.

Pilates Stance

Breathe in as you extend out, and exhale as you come back in. Continuing to imagine perhaps, that somebody is behind you. Maybe they even have their arms underneath of your upper body, and not only ae they holding the weight of you, but they're slightly tilting you forward to allow the energy to run downstream from your chest into your pelvis to strengthening you to hold your legs up. Let's go to bird on a perch. Nice deep flection in the ankle.


Pointing the toes forward. If you're able to bend your knees in quite closely, separate the knees a little bit to make a little bit more room in the hips so you can lift your pelvis up a little higher, exactly so. Two more times. Exhaling, deeply flex. Inhaling, extend.

This time pull the toes back, stretch through the whole soul, and imagine that somebody's there to press your heel into. Or maybe somebody has you by the ankle and pulls on your leg. So how do you flex your ankle a little bit more deeply to get that extension through the hip? Last time. Exhale deeply, gradually extend now, and point and flex your ankles.


Press through the ball of the foot to tone the whole front of your leg up into your belly. Reach through the heels to find the connection up the back side of the leg to hold the weight of your legs up into your pelvis. One more time. Deep flex, can we go right into the 100? Begin to pump your arms and use the actual pumping of your arms, the energy of that to create a buoyancy in the chest.

Point and Flex

Now extend one leg up to the ceiling and use that leg to pick some of the weight. If I was gonna pick your pelvis up off the mat, it would make you lighter. Switch legs. Use the leg that's reaching up as if I were pulling you off the mat to free the hip so that you can extend the leg more deeply. Beautiful, bend both knees into your chest.


Use your arms on your shins to roll yourself right on up to sitting. Place your feet under the strap and we'll go into the roll up. So legs tight together. Go ahead and grab your pole. Take the arms as far back behind you as you can without straining your back.

Roll Up

Feel like I'm there pulling on the pole, so either you hold the weight of your arms up a little off the mat and give yourself that length all the way through your body that you want for the roll up. Bring the arms forward, lift the head, neck, and shoulders. Exhaling now, deep in the flex of your spine. Reach out over your legs and then roll back. Flex the ankles around the strap to tilt the pelvis.

Roll yourself back down. So now, how do we get out of those quads? Inhale, bring the bar up. What might I do? Maybe I would press down on eh front of your thighs and you could feel the backs of the legs wake up.

Roll back now. Imagine that the strength of your leg is pressing down onto the mat to help you. We can do a couple more a little faster. Breathe in, exhale now. Still feeling the strength of your arms holding the upper back off the lower back to keep finding the room.

Let's do that one time more. That looked really great. So the strength of your arms is literally picking up your ribs away from your low back to make room in the belly, to make room in the hip, and then go ahead and bend your elbows and put that bar down by your side. We'll move into the roll over. So slide forward a little bit down your mat.


Come out of the strap. Bend your knees up into your chest, and extend the back of your leg. So how would I help you in the rollover? Maybe I would pick your feet up and take your legs over. Take the legs out to the side.

Stay for a moment and press the toes on the mat if you can get your legs down. Feeling your quads picking your hips up and then roll back down, exhale, exhale, exhale. When your hips touch, point the toes. Circle the legs to find the muscles around the back of the hip and roll over again. Open the legs.

Press down through your arms to keep the chest lifted and roll back down, exhaling. Nicely done. Point the toes, circle the legs to find the muscles around the back of the hip and roll over one more time. Flex the feet. Press into the mat.

Stay for a moment, feel the lift of the quad all the way up off the hip and roll back down your spine. Easy does it, and then bend your knees into your chest and roll yourself up to sitting. Place your left foot under the strap. Okay so when you tug back on the strap, you can feel the connection all the way up into your hip. So when you lie back down, bend your right knee into your chest.


We'll do the tree. So gently pull the leg in. So now, pulling on your own leg, you're using the strength of your arms to free the movement in your hip. Go ahead and bend the knee. Hold the shin, and tug, and release, and tug and release, and notice that the closer you can pull your knee into your shoulder, the easier it is to get the back of your shoulders down on to the mat.

So if I were gonna open your chest for you, right, maybe what would I do? I would come over and just give you that partnering. How can you do that with your own arms, pulling the leg in close enough, reaching your elbows out a little to the side to give that freedom in the chest, and now extend the leg up toward the ceiling. Gently hold the backside of your leg. Using your arms again to assist your hip flexor to pull on your leg, free it up, and now we'll move our way into the tree.

So press your leg forward into your hand until it makes you wanna pick your head up. Hand over hand, walking up that leg. Lifting the elbows a little to open up the chest to free the movement down here as you tilt the tail and roll back down. I'm standing on your left leg. Walk your hands down.

Inhale, even if you can bring your leg past 90, keep it reaching up out of the hip. Walk hand over hand up your leg. Soften the knees a little bit, and now as you go back down, curl the tail, tilt the pelvis to start walking back. Leave your leg where it is, and let's do one more time. Breathe in, expand the chest.

Walk hand over hand up the leg. Reach that leg up, and up, and up, and up as you point and flex, and point and flex. As you point the foot, press into the ball of the foot to tone the front of the leg os it lifts itself up out of your hip. Reach the heel to curl the tail around the backside getting ready for single leg circle. Push through the ball of the foot, walk yourself back down.

Keep reaching the leg up to the ceiling, press your arms down by your side. Now what would I do for single leg? Maybe I would pick your foot up and circle around. Exhale, reach to the top. Lift the leg as you circle around, and now try pressing the back of your left leg into the floor.

Single Leg Circles

So every time you circle around, press down, sorry, into your left heel to free that hip. Stop at the top, take your leg out to the side, reach through the whole little toe, come around, and across. What part of you could be helping you make this circle a little bit freer? Pressing down through the arms to open the chest to free the hip. Pressing down through the back of your left leg so that the quad isn't coming up and getting in your way.

Last time. Bend your knee up into your shoulder. Give it a good squeeze and slide your right leg down the mat. We'll do the other side. So you can see how you use other parts of your body like somebody ese is helping you.


It frees the movement and gives you a little bit more out of it. Okay so gently hold your shin. Give it a tug. So you're using your own arms to assist the bend in the hip. At the same time, imagine somebody is pressing down on the front of your thigh.

Flexing through the foot under the strap gives you some length all the way from the underside of your right shoulder blade all the way through to the heel of your right foot. Start to extend the left leg up, gently tug and release, and tug and release. And as you pull the leg closer, it actually allows your shoulders to get a little bit closer to the mat. And then press your leg away. Start to walk hand over hand.

Reach this foot purposefully up to help lift you, and then begin to tilt the tail but then start walking down so that your hands are there to slow that down a little bit. Lift the head. Press into your leg. Walk hand over hand. That's it.

Soften the back of your knee slightly. And as you walk away, you tilt the pelvis, you roll through your spine, but your hands are there to help offset any tightness in your back. Which is gonna pull you down. Maybe faster than your belly can control you up. So come on up to the top.

Lift your elbows here. Spread them out to the side, and again, use the strength of your own arms to pick the weight of your ribcage off your lower back, but also to support your belly in pulling you closer to your leg. Flex, point, flex, point, flex, point. Pushing into he ball of the foot to open the front of the hip. Reaching through the heel to pick the back side of the leg up.

Go down for your single leg circle. There, beautiful. Press the arms down by your side. Reach up and over, circle. Around and reach for the ceiling.

Single Leg Circles

In with a breath. Every time you come around and you push that toe up to the ceiling, it picks your weight up. Right? Let's go the other way. And it allows you more room to have a freer circle.

The freer your circle is, the more you can get a good twist in your spine, the more you get a good twist in the spine, you open up the other legs hip. Last one, circle, bend the knee into your shoulder. Hold your shin. Use the pressure to lift your head. Roll yourself up for rolling like a ball.

Pick up your hips, come to your heels. So now you're gonna hold onto your legs, right? And the more you can feel the pressure, if you have the range to actually cross the one hand around, can you hold the opposite ankle? At least for a couple. Now you see you can press your legs out into your biceps.

Rolling Like A Ball

You feel how that tones your hips? Yup, and that's gonna open up your low back. So you lift up inside. Curl the tail, roll back to your shoulders, exhale, come eight back home. Beautiful.

So maybe you can't keep it the whole time, right, but you know what you're after. You're trying to gather your legs up. Go ahead, curl, exhale, and any amount that you can keep the knees a little open and use the pressure into your arm, makes the hips wake up, right? Which opens up your lower back and makes the ball more smooth. Two more times.

Lift, exhale. That's it. I'm pulling you up by the tail, and now come back to the top. Moving into single leg, press your feet dow to find the back of the leg, right? Press your hands down to find the back of the shoulders.

Single Leg Stretch

So you lift up, and when you lie down, you don't get heavy. You just roll. You're very light, light, light in the back of the shoulders and the back of the hips to make this free. Inhale, exhale. That's it, and what are your arms doing for you now?

They're maintaining the alignment in your outer and inner hip. Very good. Pulling the foot directly in line with the sit bone, and then we'll go into doubles. So here you are like that ball again. Pick yourself up with your limbs, circle, open the chest, gather, curl.

Double Leg Stretch

Somebody came over and lifted your feet and your arms up for you, and circle around. Beautiful, two more times. Big breath in, and circle around, and last time. Pick yourself up, and then use your arms to help you curl into the tiniest little ball that you can and grow out of that for your scissors. The leg that's coming up picks you up off the ground and you switch and tug.

Single Leg Pull

The leg that you lift, take your time. Open up the back of the knee so that you can get all the way around into the back of the pelvis. It frees the leg that's coming down. Last time now. Hold both legs up to the ceiling.

Arms are there to lift your upper back. Heels press, lower the legs, inhale, and exhale, come right back up. Feel the muscles around the back side of your leg pulling down but also pulling your pelvis back up into your shoulder blades. One more. So the weight of the legs isn't heavy, and then we go to elbow to knee.

Double Straight Leg Stretch

Breathe in, and breathe out. Good, lift and twist. The twisting torso activates the muscles that pull your thigh towards you faster than your thigh pulls itself. Last time, take one more big breath and then roll yourself right on up to sitting. Arrive up for spine stretch.

Criss Cross

So somebody nice came behind you. Right, and they just picked you right up off your pelvis. Only you have to do that with your own arms. Good, and then curl forward. Allow the weight of your head to naturally take you into a deep curve and then roll back up.

Spine Stretch Forward

Pressing down onto your legs to lift you right up. Exhale, curl forward. You see here. Reaching the arms from deep in the back of you, and roll right back up. Lifting, lifting, lifting, lifting.

Two more times. Exhale, soften the jaw. Feel the strength of the flection of your ankles toning the whole front of your leg all the way up into the lift of the hips. Last time over. Exhale and take the palms into the instep of your feet.

Pull back on, if you can reach. Pull back on the sole of your foot. That's it, and feel the inner thigh line of your leg, right? So palm to sole and sole to palm. How are you plugging your legs back up into your pelvis to open up your back even more to come into open leg rocker?

So now bend the knees, draw the heels in, and extend the legs up toward the ceiling. Your arms are picking you up as you tilt and roll back onto your shoulders. Inhale and exhale, come right back up. There you go. Hold where you need to hold, keep going.

Open Leg Rocker

On your legs so that you don't feel like you have to change where your hands are. Find the height where you can make a good strong connection from your hand to your arm to the lift of the shoulder girdle. Helping to hold up your ribcage away from your lower back. Last time, let's try a couple with the legs together. How does drawing your legs together tone the balance around your hips?

Yes, inhale. Curl the tail, lift, exhale, do one more, and come up to a balance point. Suspend the pelvis. Come now, stay up, push through the ball of the foot just enough to tone the legs up above the quad into the belly. You feel that?

And if you can let go, it doesn't matter, really. But turn out and crisscross, crisscross. Find those deep, deep muscles right where your sit bones are to get you ready for corkscrew. Beautiful, put your hands down, and now roll up onto your shoulders and use the muscles that you crisscrossed to help hold the weight of your pelvis as you rotate to the right. Come down that side of your body.


Exhale, twist the spine to find the obliques to lift you up to the left. You got it. Lift your feet up now like I'm holding your legs up for you. Yes, then I take you over to the left. Oh the other left.

And then come on down. That's it. We'll go again. And then roll up onto your shoulders. So take your feet to the right.

That right, you got it, and then come on down. What are your arms doing, how does the strength of your arm keep the back of you open and the chest expanded, so as your legs come down, you don't collapse in on yourself? Roll around. Are we even side to side? Okay good.

So now you're gonna roll right on up for saw. Reaching the arms out to the side now, deep flex. How does the lift of your arm expand you so you can take a deeper breath? Over to the right. Keep twisting, keep twisting, keep twisting.


Turning that back arm up. What if I were partnering you to tilt you and curl you further back into yourself? Roll back up to sitting. Big expansive chest. Sit back over your pelvis.

Beautiful, rotate to the left. Keep opening the collar bone, and opening the collar bone, and opening the collar bone, and twist. Use your back arm now to pick you up and come back through center. We could go a little faster. Breathe back into those ribs.

Exhale, flexing the ankles strongly to feel the strength of your legs to sit up out of. Last time, rotate on over to the left. Turning, turning, turning. Beautiful, and then come back up tall. Bring your legs together, and we'll flip onto our belly facing this way for swan.


Good, tuck your toes under for a sec. And press the balls of your feet into the mat, and notice when you push into the ball of the foot, it tones the muscles of the legs right up through the front, right? And you can actually lift your kneecaps. Do you feel, Gia, how you're not laying on your thighs now? This is gonna help your extension.

So your weight is more in your pelvis and in your hips, and not hanging out back on your thighs. That's what the push of your foot does. It's not so easy to keep that when you're on the tops of your toes, right? But you felt it, so you can try to recreate. So slide your toes the other way.

Try to press any amount that you can into the tops of the feet and still feel that those kneecaps are light and the energy's going headwardly, right? So as you come up in your swan, your arms are there to the degree that you need them to hold the weight of your chest up so that you don't sink through your shoulder girdle. Yes, good job, exhale as you come back down. Lengthening, lengthening, lengthening. Breathe in.

Allow the pelvis to tilt forward, but use your arms to pull you forward out of that. How do you feel in your knees now? Good, okay, and then exhale as you come back down. We're gonna do it one more time and do a little bit of a rocking. So coming up, breathing.

If I was helping you, maybe what I would do is pick your chest up and roll your collar bones. How can your own arms do that for you? And then rocking, lift the legs. You can just keep your hands by you or lift your hands. Whatever you like better.

And then use the strength of your arms to keep your chest lifted as you come up onto your forearms for the single leg kick. Notice if you have the tendency to go back onto your elbows, right? Do your best to come forward with your fist, wrist, and forearm, begin to kick. Inhale, switch, exhale. There you go.

Single Leg Kick

What I would suggest is that you point your foot a little less hard and that you un-grip your butt and just let yourself tilt. Tilt and keep going forward. How's the knee? Good. Okay, kick, and kick, and here we go.

Tilt your hip forward. How's that? Good. And now you can actually bend your knee, right? Without a click.

Okay, very good. That's nice. Okay let's come onto the cheek. Turn out less. You'll feel better.

Double Leg Kick

Okay, Gia. Yeah, now what are your hands doing? We say bring them up as high as you can onto your ribcage. We don't want them to sit in the low back and make you wanna just hang out in your low back, right? So if you can, you see, you use the lift of the hand to tone the muscle that's coming around to hold your upper back.

So kick three times. Shift into your upper back to get your thigh off the floor. Use the strength of your arms now to find the back of the shoulder to lift the chest to free the neck as you come back down. Pulling, kick, kick, kick. Inhale now, lift the hands up, exhale as you bend forward.

You tilt forward to free your knees. You feel that? Now watch it when you come up. Because what you're doing is you're turning yourself inside out and collapsing. Instead, hold your hand.

Don't try to bend your elbows, straighten your arms so much. Bend it a little bit. You have to lift this up. Do you feel the difference? Now your neck is free to turn.

You pull the arms forward to shift your weight forward to get you out of your knee. Do you feel what I'm doing to you? Now you have to figure out how to do it to yourself. Last time. Inhale up.

That's it. Exhale bend. Better? Last time. Inhale lift.

And release it back toward your heels. Beautiful. Okay, take a moment, and what would I maybe do? I might put my hand on your sacrum. So how do you use your arms to shift the weight way back into the pelvis so that when you roll up, your anchoring your sit bones and you're gonna cross your legs and come forward for the neck pull.

Neck Pull

Okay so now your feet are gonna come back under the strap. Press your legs out to the side. Let's say you don't wanna do the first one here, maybe, okay. Lie back down and just hold the sides of your legs. So again, what happens when we're here with our legs in the strap, and our quads wanna take over?

So who else could come in and help? Is that balance around the inner and the outer leg, right? So use your own hands and as you breathe in and roll up, pull backwards. Pull backwards to keep the pelvis coming around over your back. You feel it?

Now go ahead and hold your hands up behind your head. I'm standing there behind you, right? I'm lifting your elbows forward and up. You find that with your own hands to back, and then flex the ankles, tilt back. Hold your body.

Roll through the pelvis, but go longer, longer, longer, longer, longer. How beautiful is that? And then again, let the breath lift the chest, squeeze the air out as you curl forward. Roll up, sit tall. Flexing the ankles to lift the legs up into you.

Everything's going headwardly. Roll yourself back down one more time. Breathe in, let the chest pick you up. Exhale, curl forward. Roll up, sit tall.

Really pres your hands and head, and feel that strength in your upper back that you just got in your double leg kick. Pick yourself up. Lay yourself back down. Going farther and farther down the mat. So much so that the only thing left to do is take your feet out of there and roll up onto your shoulders.

Just stay right there. Roll up onto your shoulders. Take your time. Put your hands on your back. See if you can walk your hands closer to your shoulder blades away from your pelvis to get the weight over your upper back and head.

Not your neck, right? Now once you start, you have to create that platform. Once you start with your scissors, you may feel that you need to slide your hands a little closer to the pelvis, but that doesn't mean that you lose the weight in your upper back. So feel this, take your time. Big breath as you split the legs.

And then exhale. Come back and go the other way. Use the action of splitting to tone the muscles around your hips that you need to hold you up. So the leg that goes overhead, that side of your hip, you mustn't let it fall. Do you feel the hand under there helping you?


You can see what you're doing. So as your leg reaches up to the ceiling, that one is trying to go more into extension. There you go, and that would take you right into your bicycle. Extend the leg, and switch. Try to bicycle the leg more toward me.


Keep using the strength of your breath and your arms coming up under you to arch more your upper back to bend the knee to get the foot down. There it is, right? And then go ahead and bend your knees over your chest. Release your arms and come back down into your shoulder bridge. Bend the knees, place your feet on the ground.

Okay, arms are down by your sides. You're open, right? You feel nice and connected into the mat and free in your chest, strong in your arms. Good, and I'm gonna recommend that you bring your heels in line with your sit bones, and then begin to tilt and roll the pelvis. Let the breath come into the chest to pick you up enough to get your weight back over your upper back so that your arms can have some power, right?

Shoulder Bridge

And now slide your right foot down the mat. Kick it up to the ceiling. Flex, pull down. Use the foot that's on the ground to help keep your pelvis higher so that the kick can be freer. Switch now.

Heel up, toes down. Let the kick be free enough so that it actually picks you up. Do you feel that? And gives you the room to do the next one. Beautiful, bend the knee, drag that heel in.

We're ready for the other side. Inhale, slide the leg, kick up, pull down. Use the actual kick to pick you up more, to free the muscles underneath. Switch sides. Heel up, toes down.

Inhale every time. Exhale, and now when you drag the foot in, feel the connection from the heel up the backside of your leg, and then if you like lifting your arms, 'cause that's fun, do that. And as you lie down, go longer, longer, longer, longer, longer. Soon as your sacrum touches, begin to reach your arms forward, lift your head, reach yourself forward onto your legs. Extend the legs for spine twist.

Arms out to the sides. Take a breath in. Just to the right. One, two, and then sit up. Keep the strength in the back of the legs that you found during your bridge, right?


You're all toned and warmed up. You've got a really good seat to sit up off of. Twist, what are your arms doing? How can you use the back arm to take you into a further opening of the chest? As opposed to crossing the front one over.

That's it. One more, pull it around, and now on the left side, pull the hand, even the hand, even the hand. That's it, Ana. Right, let this hand lift and take you. Look at that.

It's gonna bring you right where you need to be for your jackknife, right? Which, by the way, comes next. So hands are down. So you feel really open, right? It's not just, oh let's do jackknife.


You're on your rear, you're lifted up out of your hips, your arms know how to connect you into your upper back and hold you up, and your breath is really happening. So go ahead, point, roll back, roll up onto your shoulders, press the feet up to the ceiling, press down through the arms, and then lay the spine down long just like you di in your shoulder bridge. Exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. Breathe in as you roll over. Open the throat, lift your chin just a little to bring it, room for the chest, and then exhaling, exhaling, exhaling.

Squeeze those legs together so they're combined in your pelvis, and they're not gonna pull on you. One more time. Go up. Good, now feel the strength in your upper back. Feel the lift in your chest, feel the length of your spine and the power in your hips as you roll back down.

Try not to drop your feet. And then bend your knees and roll onto your right side for side kicks. You're so ready. Yes, the hand that's under your head, it's the same thing. That arm connects you into the lift of the chest.

Side Kicks

The hand that's in the front holds your ribs up. Yeah, and then you can kick more freely. Inhale, exhale. So how do you free the movement of the leg so that you actually get the muscles that you want? Give me your heel.

Flex, come around. Yes, and then swing it back. Yeah, come around, come around. You've gotta get it far enough around so that you get past that tightness, and then your knee will stop clicking. Couple more front.

And back, last time. Come around. Now stay to the back. Remember being on your belly. Pull with your hand and feel the chest being able to lengthen further away to make more room, to extend your hip.

Take the leg on top of the other leg. Turn out, kick up to the side. And now pull back down. How can you pull your underneath hip back a little? Right, yes so you're right up on top of the side of that leg to free this kick.

Side Leg Lifts

There you go. One more time. And now take both legs together. Flex your feet. Bring them as close to being directly under you as your balance allows.

Side Double Leg Lift

Lift both legs up and down. And up, and down. Keep pulling the back of your leg up into your pelvis. Keep pulling your pelvis all the way on up. Yes, do you feel how much lighter?

You've gotta use your upper body more. Don't pull down on it, Gia. Get up on it. Do you feel that? Beautiful.

Now want to try something kind of tricky? Bend the top leg and place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh. Not in front. Like right on there. You can lay out on your arm now, if you like.


So you're using your foot on your inner thigh, and your inner leg is, your bottom leg's gonna lift up. Try not to put any pressure on the knee. Even if your foot can't go up higher. Do you feel how when you have both legs up like that, you are lifted up into your hips? There's no question, yes?

Okay so then when you go into your debilopay, you pull the toe up into that and then extend, and then pull down. If you can't keep the bottom leg up, that's okay, but you have the memory of that lift up into the pelvis, which actually doesn't it free the developé leg a little bit more? Okay, and now reverse it. Heel up, bend, pull into you. Slide down.

I'm gonna let go, okay. What about that left hand? What's it doing? Is it actually helping you? Good, one more time.

Keeping the chest lifted to free the movement of the hip, and now flip over onto your belly. Pull on the front of the mat for a second. Try to get your feet in the middle. And then lift both legs and clap for the grasshopper. Use the clapping.


You can take your hands under your head if you like, but use the clapping to actually keep toning the whole back side of your leg. Now as you turn to the other side, you have that tone to bring your legs off of. You feel the whole back line of your body and your leg is freer. Kick front, flex, and point. That's it.

Side Kicks

Don't hold back on the first one to save yourself for the second one. Go, lengthen. Go as far as you can. That's it. Go, lengthen as far as you can.

Beautiful, couple more times. And then we'll meet at the back. Last time, front. Stay to the back. How does the hand that's on the arm hold your chest up and forward?

Side Leg Lifts

How can you pick yourself up out of that hip so when you close your leg it's coming right up into your body so you have the room to turn out and kick? Beautiful. Inhale up, exhale down. So if your quad is tighter, it behooves you to bring the leg a little more forward. Yes, reverse the heel toe bit so that you're right balanced.

Yup, just let your leg come right out of the hip the way it's meant to be. And then just make sure that the back hip is pulled back so that you're on the side of that leg. Do you feel how much freer that is? That's fantastic. Okay, now bring your legs more underneath of you.

Flex your feet. Pull everything up. Yes, exactly so. Up, down, up, down, up. Use the hand Gia, to keep you from falling.

Side Double Leg Lift

Use it to lift you up inside. You got this. Okay, keep your legs up. If you wanna lay out on your arm now. Bend the knee, put the sole of your foot on your thigh.


Make sure you're not pushing down on your knee. If you don't have the range to get up higher, that's cool, but don't push on your knee joint, and now hold that up. Use the drive to pull your foot up to free the hip to come down. Use the fact that you're not falling down but everything is coming up into you. Good, one more.

Bend the knee to release the hamstring for a sec. Lift and come down, and now reverse it. What do we know about a flexed foot? It pulls our sit bone right up along, then point, grab something with the sole of your foot. Pull that down, that's it, that's it.

Last time. Flex up, now stay there, Gia. Don't go closer, go up off the floor. Yes, gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful.

Okay, now lie onto your back. Stretch everything out, and we're gonna come up into a teaser, okay. Just feel all that space, feel all the control from the back of your body. Breathe in, arrive up in your teaser. Reaching for your toes.


Tyr to keep your legs there, and then just roll back down to your shoulder blades. Breathe in, come up, reach, reach, reach, reach. Like on purpose, like I've got you by your hands, yes, and then roll back down. We're gonna make a little variation on a theme. I've got you by the hand, and then I lit you to lift your chest to free your hips so that you can lower lift your legs.

Good, beautiful. Inhale, exhale. Last time. Beautiful, and now come onto your elbows for hip circles. And here we go.

Hip Circles

Circle around and exhale. Use the press on your hand, wrist, and forearm to keep the sides of you up. Beautiful, last time. Big circle, and now flip onto your belly with your head at this end. Bend your knees.


Flex your feet. Take a hold of the front of your ankles. Knees okay? Now the thought is that you're using your own shin against your hand. Go ahead and flex.

Because when you flex, the muscles contract and they take you toward leg straightening. Going toward leg straightening is what's goin to pick your chest up. You know now that the more your chest lifts, the freer your hips can be. And now stay there, take a breath, and come into your swimming. Circle around and paddle, paddle, paddle.

Use the kicking and the paddling to hold you up, not to make your life more difficult. Take one last big breath, beautiful. Release down, put your hands under your chest. Talk your toes under. Come up into your plank.

Side Plank

Stay for a moment. Use the power of your arms up into your shoulder, shoulder girdle to hold the weight of your chest so it doesn't sag through onto your back. We're gonna go into a side plank. So take your right hand to the center of your chest. Feel the connection into the back of the shoulder girdle to twist your ribs.

Feel the back of the hip. Everything is lifting up into the strength of that arm. Big breath as you come back to the center. Adjust your feet for a moment so you're centered. Other way.

Left hand, use the strength of that arm coming up to hold you. Everything is pulling up, and then come back to the center. Good. What did we decide we're gonna do from here? We're gonna bend our knees and come around for seal.

So come really close to the front of your mat. Now you've got your own arms. Like your hands are pressing on your ankles, and your ankles are pressing on your hands. Your elbows are pressing to your inner thighs, and your inner thighs are pressing into your elbows. It contains you, right?


And you clap your whole leg. One, two, three, press to roll. To come back, you can clap just at the front. Two, three, now reach with your feet. What would you do, what would I do for you?

I would take you this way to free up the front of the hip to make a channel for your tail to roll you more through your lower back. You feel that? You can do that with your own arms, yes, beautiful. Clap, should we do one more? And then we'll come to standing?

Roll back, inhale. Roll up, come to standing. Fantastic. Okay, and then if you wanna, we're gonna do a pushup? So you can stay on your mat or you could go down to the floor.


Whichever you like better. Okay so a tiny little V shape. Not so much that the feet turn out but that you feel the pressure of the heel. The very back of your heel coming up the back side of your leg, right? So then you're gonna rise up onto the balls of your feet.

It doesn't have to be really high. Okay, the front of your foot is pushing you up into the lift of the front of your body. The heels are giving you the support so that when you go over into your plank, you don't just fall. Curl forward. Keep the front of the legs lifting up into the front of the spine.

Use the heel pressure to keep the back of the leg. Walk out. Find your plank position. Hold your body up. Bend the elbows, bring the chest forward and up.

And inhale, exhale, last time. Curl your head in to find the lift of your spine to walk back. Try to keep your heels connected and a little off the floor, and roll yourself up to standing. Yes, yes, reach your arms up overhead to lift you up out of your pelvis, and then carefully lower your heels. Do you wanna do that one more time?

Now that you know what's coming? Okay so use the arms to pick you up. Like somebody came and said, here, let me lift you up out of your hips. So that when you curl forward, you don't fall back into them. Furl cover, feel the push of the front of your leg, lifting the belly.

The pressure of your heel to keep you in the back of the leg. Walk out. Use the strength of your arms to hold your chest forward as you bend your elbows and come down and up. Forward, keep the head in nice alignment. Now push through the ball of your foot to hold the front of your leg up.

Start to walk back. Curl into yourself so that you find the strength necessary to not fall back. Bravo, bravo. You got this. And then lift yourself up and release down.

How fantastic is that? Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Great, great job.

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1 person likes this.
WOW!!! I love the cues and the flow of this class Debora! Thank you x
One and only fantastic workout; strong yet refreshing, exilarating and rebalancing. Love it:)
MAGICAL!!! I’m floating...Thanks so much, Deborah for sharing your beautiful teaching skills.
Fabulous! Strait to favorites. Thank you
Thank you for so many additional encouraging words I can use to talk to myself during my mat classes.
Imagining a partner helping really works - loved the extra length I found! Wonderful cues and perfect pace ...Thank you :>)))
OMG OMG! Amazing! Debora wonderful simple cues! Loved the flow, The ladies made the moves look so effortless!
This class is so wonderful. Cues, length, and with Debora... always, years of wisdom filter through.
Love the cuing on how to help my own body make deeper connection.
hooray!!! my best to you all and thanks for your comments!
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