Hi everyone, thank you for joining us today. We are gonna work on the foam roller. So if you're taking this class, you should have a foam roller. And we're also gonna be using some weights. I have two-pounds weights, one-pound weights would be perfectly fine, zero-pound weights would work equally as well.
So if you don't have weights, is what I'm saying, you don't need them, it's fine. I have my lovely girlfriends here to move with me and you. So let's go. All right, so what we'll do, you guys, ladies, just stand with your feet on the outside of your roller. You don't have to squeeze it or anything, just, that's it, it's on the mat, so we'll just stand with our feet hip distance apart.
Now what I want us to do is to take our arms up, up, up, up, and press the arms out to the side. So we're gonna get a little taller as the arms start. So I push with my arms until about that T-shape, and then I let them start to be soft. And then we're gonna inhale. And we're gonna exhale, let the head be heavy, and start rolling down now, depending on what feels better in your body, you could choose to keep your legs straight, or to bend your knees, it's up to you.
I'm gonna keep my legs straight today. And what I'm attempting to do as well, is try to keep my pelvis right over my feet. I'm gonna pause at the bottom, your bottom, inhale. Not your literal bottom, just the bottom of your movement. And then you're gonna roll up, so you're gonna push into the floor with your feet, feel the gravitational pull of the Earth pulling your feet down as you lightly lift your spine in opposition.
And then we bring the arms up. Now they're light, now they're active and reaching, now they're light again, and we'll roll down again. So I find that really interesting, that just playing with ideas, energetic ideas, can really manifest itself in our bodies. Top of the head reaching down, soft and heavy arms. Can they be soft and heavy at the same time?
Maybe. Feet pushing to the Earth. There is Earth underneath this floor. We roll up (deep breathing) Anytime you feel like you need a little grounding, just remember, there is Earth underneath every floor. Take the arms up, hold the hands, turn the palms inside out, we're gonna reach up and over.
Let's go left, ahhh, just waking up, and up. And that's how I like to wake up, my Pilates practice, usually, and lift up. And then let's go over to the left again. This time we'll turn, and take the arms, maybe about down near the sternum, pushing them away from the abdominals, which are pulling back towards the spine. We'll come back to the side stretch, and then up.
And inhale, reach up and over, stretching the ribs away from the pelvis. Exhale, rotate the ribcage, let the arms push as you pull in opposition with the center of your body. Unwind, lift up, open the arms out to the side. And bring them down, oh yeah. Okay, so we're gonna get on our roller, and as I explained to these girls already today, I'm a little bit of a hot mess today.
So if I fall off my roller, just ignore me, continue, just keep going. We're gonna sit at the front. We're gonna sit right up in front. You've gotta be right at the front to position yourself all the way back onto the roller. Okay guys, we're gonna pick up the weights.
We're gonna rest the weights in our hands, against the shins. Now again, if you don't have weights, or maybe some of us have shoulder things that we're organizing around, and you don't wanna use the weights, please make your choices accordingly. So I'm gonna use my arms, I'm pushing the weights into my shins, and I'm gonna round my spine. So I'm kinda rolling over my coccyx. Isn't that such a cool word, coccyx?
And then we're gonna push the arms into the shins to lift back up. I like that word. Exhale, roll back, how often do you get to say coccyx? I'm gonna start saying it more, get ready, and lift. Let's do one more like that, exhale, roll down, and inhale lift up.
So we're gonna start this class with the most difficult move of the day. Lift the arms up, now this is where I might fall, but I will try. Roll down, be prepared that you might experience some assymetry in your body, I don't know, maybe. But what I feel is that the weights help, the weights help if you push them forward, come all the way down. Hopefully the head has landed right where it should.
We're gonna take the arms up and back. We're gonna reach around to the sides, just watch your neighbor, gonna take the arms in front of us, with the palms facing down, lift the head and chest. This is the hard part, and roll up. Oh look at us, amazing! (laughing) I didn't think that would happen. I didn't either (laughing), I'm pleasantly surprised, but that's good.
Reach back, it's better than the alternative, right? Let's not jinx it, roll down, trying to find the center of the spine against the roller. Head goes back, arms reach back, any amount, you choose where it feels good in your body. We're gonna take the arms, palms facing up, out to the side, we're gonna turn the palms to face down, lift the head and chest. What helps me as I lift up, is to try to push down with my feet, and also push them forward a little.
That's my strategy, good, and inhale, we'll do three more. And exhale, I really find that the weights help a lot with this. The energy in the arms, that pushing. Maybe the additional gravity, additional gravitational pull we have against the spine. Arms reaching out, arms reaching forward, head lifting up, spine lifting up.
And inhale (laughing), and exhale. The pelvis, you mean, Mandy? Just the weakness, wherever I'm sticky. Reach back, reach around. Also, another thing to consider is, as the head lifts up, really tuck the tail right there, so that the lower back is pushing into the roller, and that should help you get through any sticky places.
So we have some arm work here, too, did you notice? That was my hip. We take the arms, we reach out, we take them forward. I'm the lucky one, I've got all this space underneath my mat that I can find as my arms. Okay from here, take your arms out to the side, so bend, and take them out to the side so you've got room.
Sit up all the way, we're gonna make a circle 10, nine, eight, seven, can you circle yourself taller? Three, two, one, reverse your circle, 10, nine, push the weights away from one another, seven, six, push through sticky material, five, four, three, two, one, take the arms down, bring them forward, and roll down. So once we're all the way down on the roller, we're gonna stay down for a little while. Guys, what I want us to do is just keep the weights in our hands. You can hold with your thumbs like you are, because we're gonna end up lifting the weights at some stage.
So we're gonna inhale, we're gonna exhale. And I want you to see if you can not shift any of your weight, as you lift your left leg off the ground. Now it's not a spectacular looking action, but for me I find it quite difficult. Put the left leg down on the floor, transition to the other side without moving. Well, the leg has to move, but, what I find the most difficult is that transition of putting one leg down, getting light on the other one, and lifting it up without changing the weight in my arms, without changing the weight across my pelvis.
And we're gonna do two more to each side, so that's four more times. Is it easier on one side or the other? Those are the kind of questions I like to ask myself, just to kind of formulate a practice of listening in, physically listening. Last one, so gals we're gonna do the same thing with the legs, but this time we're gonna lift the opposite arm at the same time, any amount. So, if you could lift it just off the floor, or stop over the shoulder, and down.
Transition still, switch, and down, transition, switch, and down, transition, switch, and down. So I'm gonna make a change. So we go to the first step, which we just did, now hold the leg and see if you can take the arm backwards, towards the ear, without anything else shifting. Bring the arm back, lower the leg, and the arm. Lift the arm and the leg, the weight stops over the shoulder.
Then everything stays still as we now take the left arm overhead, maybe there's a little stretch there for ya. Take the arm back, and arm and leg come down. We're gonna do that one more time on each side. Here we go, now the arm reaches, and comes back, and everything comes down. Arm and leg lift, the arm goes overhead, the arm comes back, the arm and leg come down.
Okay, so come up onto your tippy toes, move your feet a little closer in to the roller. now you don't have to hold with your thumbs anymore, if you just wanna use the heels of your hands to press into the weights, you can hold with your thumbs if you want, I just find that more comfortable on my hands. And what I like to think about is trying to roll the weights away from me. We're gonna lift one leg, you're gonna want your arms, so press down, we're gonna change for five, five. I find this easier than doing the transition at the bottom, personally, you guys?
It's like something about the distribution of weight that makes it easier. Okay, one more, we're gonna bring both legs up, drop the heels to the backs of the thighs. So basically your knees are as bent as they can be, and then take the knees away from the body. So the feet reach towards the floor, they don't have to touch, just any amount that feels appropriate to you. Suck the stomach in, and bring your knees back in.
As most of you know, who've had class with me, or heard me talk about Pilates, I like the game where you try to pull your skin away from your shirt, all the time. That's a fun game for me. And you can play it if you want. Okay, we're gonna step this up a notch girls, you ready? Okay, what we're gonna do is we're gonna push into our hands, we're gonna curl the head and chest up, lift the feet again, one leg down, one leg up, five, use your arms, five, so we're just repeating what we've just done, four, three, three, two, lifting high enough, and if this doesn't feel good in your neck, just put your head back down and don't do it.
One, both legs out, knees bend, back is supported, we take the feet away. Keep the curl, keep the curl, keep the curl, and back. I don't know about you guys, but I can take my feet lower when I'm lifted. (deep breathing) Down, and down, and up, one more, oh it's so hard for me. Okay guys, we're gonna put one leg down, we're gonna put the other leg down, we're gonna pick up our weights, and we're gonna put our head down, we're gonna take our arms over the head, again.
We're gonna reach around to the sides. We're gonna take the arms forwards, here we go, we're coming up. Good, take the weights in one hand, set them down. We made it. Okay, let's take the pelvis off the roller, and turn the roller like this, sideways.
Just leave the weights, just in front of you, so you can reach 'em, and then we're gonna pick up the roller. I just gave two directives, I changed my mind in the middle, but we're all together now, so that's all right. Okay, so I want us to have our heels about as wide as the mat, maybe just slightly wider than the pelvis, and I want you to take your roller up in front of you. So think about this, think about simultaneously squeezing in with the hands, and trying to use the elbows to pull the hands off the roller, does that make sense? Squeeze with the hands, but try to stretch the elbows so far away, it's like they're trying to pull the hands away from the roller.
We're gonna stretch the arms forward like that. Hands squeeze, elbows pull wide, we bring the roller back in. Make sure the elbows stay a little higher than the hands all the time. Go forward, and pull back, and we'll do three more. Forward, then pull back in, and two more.
(deep breathing) one more time. Now I want us to take the arms forwards, I want us to take a breath in, and I want us to take the roller forward as we take our spine forward, we'll exhale, taking our roller out over the toes, or wherever you can in your body. Now, from there we're gonna lift the spine up, bringing the arms up with us. If that doesn't feel good in your shoulders, just keep the roller in front of your back, and do the straight back thing anyway, and then go back down, and roll back up with straight arms. Inhale, exhale, go down, reach out with the spine, lifting the roller overhead, or keeping the roller in front of the chest, take it back down, and lift up.
Again, inhale, exhale, roll down. Now I'm holding my roller quite lightly. Reach out, go back, and peel up, pushing the feet away, let's just do one more. Go down, reach out, now what I want us to do is I want us to lift the whole spine up, bend the elbows, and rest the roller on your head. (laughing) So, go back to that thing where you have elbows forward of the hands a little, you're pushing into the roller, but you're pulling your elbows out.
We're gonna do a seated spine twist here. We're gonna lift and turn, keeping the feet aligned, and center. And lift and turn, and center. Feeling free, as needed, to just let the knees bend, if that's better for your body. And center, some of us feel better with our knees a little bit bent, which is totally appropriate.
Let's add a little twist, we'll go pull, pull, a second twist, and pull, pull. One more like that, pull, pull, and pull, pull. We're gonna go over towards me again, I want you to stretch your arms up. Lift your spine with the roller. Now as the roller comes to you, imagine that it's pulling your baCk to it, return to center, here are some breathing cues.
Inhale, exhale, inhale, get taller, exhale, return. Here are some more breathing cues. Breath, just breath, I like to use one breath for every movement. This makes sense as an inhale to me. And center, last one, inhale, reach up, and come back.
And come back to center, and then we're gonna take that roller down, we're gonna put it underneath our ankles, and we're gonna put our hands behind us. Press the back up, my weights might be in my way, we're gonna find out, gonna inhale. Maybe a little further back with your arms, Erin. Okay, you could turn your hands out, Andrea, if that feels better to you, it's up to you. Here we go, we're gonna come up, we're gonna let the roller roll a little forward as you come up into that back support positive.
Now I want you to push the roller into the ground with your legs, like you're trying to decelerate your pelvis. Lift through the center of your back, and come back down. And inhale, and exhale, press down, lift the hips, lift the chest. After doing all that seated work, it's nice to have a little bit of freedom in the hip flexors, in my personal opinion. And lift (exhaling), right at, right now it is.
Erin told me my personal opinion is the only one that matters, and I said in this moment, that's true. Last one, but not all the time. Okay, and now we go down, and we are gonna retrieve our weights. We're gonna put our feet on the roller. Keep it pretty close, and roll down.
So we're using the weights here just for feedback, just to push down on, and also to have that sense of pushing the weights away. What I mean by pushing the weights away is the same thing I mean by reaching your arms long, or pulling the scapula down, or any of those cues. We're gonna stand on our feet, we're gonna roll the hips up. Inhale, exhale, roll the spine down, and as you do that, think of trying to pull the roller towards you. Inhale, and exhale, tuck the tail under, lift up, standing on the feet, standing on the hands, standing on the backs of the arms, inhale, and exhale, peeling down, peeling, peeling, peeling, and down.
We're gonna do that one more time like that, you're welcome. Exhale to lift, if you haven't met your hamstrings, here they are, hello hamstrings, and roll down. Pressing the weights away, lengthening the spine down, really getting the movement through the lower spine. Okay, so remember that one arm, one leg thing that we did lying on our backs? We're gonna do it again, so wrap your thumbs around your weights, you're gonna need to hold on to them.
You can also leave them on the ground. We're gonna roll up, find yourself lifted in the air. Lift your left leg and your right arm, take the arm all the way back, and come back down. Now can you transition without a lot of shifting? Switch, and down, transition, lift, and down.
I think there might be room for three more to each side before I fall down in a cramp. Anyone, ladies, you good? All right, okay, two more (exhaling), a little bridging, two, last time, lifting, last time on the other side. Both arms down, and roll the spine down. You can unwrap your thumbs, push the weights away.
We've got one more thing, inhale, exhale, lifting up, lift the left leg, stretch it all the way to straight, take it down, flex it back, take it down, flex it back, three more, down, and back, two more, down, and back, one more, down, and back, put your leg down, switch sides. Leg comes up and goes over that thing, and up (laughing), over the roller, and up. Check in with your arms, roll the weights away. I think there's one more time. Bend your knee, put your foot down.
Roll all the way down onto your back. Once you get there, stretch your legs out. We're gonna take the arms just up over the shoulders. We're gonna lift the head and chest. Now as we roll up, we're gonna roll the roller in, and we're just gonna go down to our shoulder blades.
Roll the roller out, roll the roller in, roll the roller out, kinda like, in my brain, it's like a combination of rolling like a ball, and roll up, and back, okay two more. You can always do this without the weights, the weights just give us a little bit of extra arm work. And I also feel that they, I really do believe that they help. Last one, and now ladies, as the knees bend, we're gonna turn to the left, turn to the center, turn to the right, just off center, turn to the center, turn to the left, turn to the center, turn to the right, we're gonna do this for five more minutes. Just kidding, one more to each side.
Center, keep the body in the center, press down on your roller, it doesn't really matter where it lands on your feet, roll all the way up, it might roll a little, put the weights down. Grab the roller, pull forward. (laughing) You can just drop 'em, Mandy. There you go (ladies laughing). And then lift your back, you can pull on the roller and try to come up into back extension.
This is different, we all have different size legs and arms, so, like, if you need to move, if you need to learn how to speak don't ask me, if you need to move your hands backward, or anywhere, like, just make it work. And then let's bend forward one more time, find the stretch. All right ladies, let's come up, bring the roller with you, we're gonna put it around behind us. I think we're done with the weights, you might be happy to hear. So what we're gonna do is we're just gonna use our feet to roll over onto the mat, so that the base of the spine, the sacral area, is on top of the roller.
You can use your hands down on the outsides of the roller, just to hold the roller still underneath you. I'd like for us all to lift our legs, go straight up. We're gonna take the right leg back and the left leg down. We're gonna do a double pulse. Pulse, pulse, meet in the middle, switch sides, pulse, pulse, meet in the middle, pulse, pulse, meet in the middle, pulse, pulse, meet in the middle, two more times on each side, pulse, pulse, center, pulse, pulse, center, last time, pulse, pulse, center, pulse, pulse, center.
Now right leg comes towards us, left leg goes down. We're gonna bend that left knee, graze it along the mat, and then bring it up, straighten it, and then the right leg. So we're bicycling, ladies, bicycling. Really take that leg, that bottom leg, and stretch it so long before you bend it. The bend comes at the very last minute.
We're gonna do two more, reach out, and one more, one more, and then let's reverse so the top leg goes down and out. Bend the top leg, take it down and out. The bottom leg, the one that's coming from the mat, reaches straight up. The torso is staying stable, just really reaching down, getting that hip flexor stretch. We'll do two more on each side.
And last one, and last one. Bring both legs up, and bend both knees. So now we're just gonna shift over onto the left hip, onto the soft tissue of the left hip. We're gonna take the knees a little bit forward, and a little bit back, a little bit forward, if you feel like you need to shift the roller, you should, and back, one more, a little forward, and back, and then center, and then go the other way. So here, even here in these stretches, there's always an opportunity, forward, to just see where you can bring awareness to the center of your body.
Can you use your obliques to help to stabilize your spine? Can you use your abdominals to help stabilize the spine, as the hip flexors lift the legs towards the body? Last one, and come center. Now we're gonna go over to the left again. We're gonna open the left knee, and bring it back.
Just using the weight of the leg, open the left leg, and bring it back. Last one, open the left leg, and bring it back, and return to the middle. Go over to the right, and drop the thigh down towards the roller, pick it back up. Drop the thigh down towards the roller, bring it back. Did we do three?
I think we did three. And then let's just go from side to side, just right across center, over to the side. Go as far as you want now, and then center. And here's a place where all of us can kind of, you know, we don't all have to look the same, we can work into what feels like what our body needs, that's part of the practice of listening, physically listening. One more to the other side, please.
Randi, was that, Randi's back just adjusted. That was a big adjustment. And put your left foot up on your right knee. That sounded like it felt good. It did.
So keeping the sacrum reaching over the top of the roller, we're gonna shift over and put the right side hip tissue on the roller. We're gonna come back to center. I'm just letting my right lower leg be fairly relaxed. And then we're gonna go the other way. Also, you know, now that I said that, here's another option.
It also kinda feels good to lift the shin so it's more like a table top, and use that right leg to push into the left ankle. So whichever one of those two choices you like the most is what you should do. Over to the side, and in center. Now in center, we're gonna take a hold of that left leg with our arms, gonna bring the leg into the body, we're gonna take the right leg out in space, and we're gonna let it reach down towards the floor. So sometimes it feels good to let the knee bend, sometimes it feels good to create a lot of reaching activity in the leg.
What always feels amazing in my body is to take the left knee out to the side a little. It's like I'm very tight in the front of my hips, it feels pinchy, but when I do this it gives me some relief. So there're some facts about me. And then we'll come back to center, and just be real easy with bringing that other leg back. And then I believe what we do is we put the right ankle on the left knee.
So, and then we shift on to the right, no the left hip, or either side, we're gonna go both ways anyway. And I'll remind you, and we're going over to the other side, I'll remind you that there's the option of just holding the lower leg, letting it just be relaxed, or flexing that foot, using that side to press up against the right ankle, which is actually more my preference, now that I've done both, illustrating the fact that's important to be able to have an open mind so you can change your mind if you want. And then also, we'll just do one more, it's nice to have an option, and you just can decide what feels best to you. And center, other way, take it over to the side, bring it back to the center, and then this time it's the right leg that we're gonna hold onto with the arms, the left leg that reaches long, and goes down towards the floor. Maybe it feels better to bend the left knee, or to create some reach with it.
Maybe you're like me, and you wanna bring your right knee out to the side a little bit. Maybe you wanna let the left foot rest on the floor, maybe you hate this and don't wanna do it at all, we're almost done. I don't know, I can't imagine anyone hating this feeling, you guys? Yeah, and then real gently bring that left leg back in. Let the knees just kind of drop into your chest, so your low back is round, and you feel that your pelvis is lifting off the roller a little bit, and then, very, very slowly, I want you to just start massaging the roller down the back side of the pelvis.
So I'm rolling it down towards my coccyx. There I go, I got to say it again, Erin. Now I reach it down, I reach it down, I reach it down, until eventually it rolls all the way out from underneath me, but if you go really slow, in my experience and my body, it just feels really nice. It's one of my favorite things about the roller. All right, let's just, what?
I said it's the reverse wedgie, you'll lose your pants, but it's worth it. It's the reverse wedgie, Erin says she's losing her pants, but it's worth it. Okay and then just, yeah, lay on your back, and notice, listen, what is your body, like doesn't that feel nice? My sacrum just feels open and nice. But, there's more good news.
We're gonna do a different exercise now. So let's find a way to get up. Let's actually bring the knees into the chest, hug the knees into the chest, push your knees into your hands, and walk yourself up. We're just gonna do a little back extension. So bring the roller around towards the front of your mat, or to the back.
Yeah, let's all face each other, so we can smile at each other. Isn't that nice, for social interaction? Go like this (laughing). So what we're gonna do is, we're gonna take the roller out in front of us, and put it around, underneath your elbow. Depending on the flexibility of your shoulders, you might feel happier to have wider arms, or, I wouldn't go more narrow than the shoulder joint proper, but you have the option.
So the palms are gonna start facing down. The first thing we're gonna do is energize the back of the legs, and lift the abdominal muscles towards the spine, and then we're gonna turn the thumbs up, roll the eye of the elbow slightly upwards, and start dragging the scapula down the back. That dragging action of the scapula is gonna pull our back into back extension, you can also bend your elbows if you need to. Then we're gonna take the body back down, and we'll do rotation. So that rotation's quite obviously coming from the lower part of the arm, from the forearm.
But I want you to see if you can find a sense of turning the thumbs back, and the palms up, all the way from the shoulder joint, not just from the forearms and the hands. And then we're gonna take the roller back down. And we'll just do that a few more times. So what I like to imagine is that dragging sensation that I mentioned a little bit ago, instead of pushing down on the roller to try to lift, almost feel as like the roller is assisting me. I mean there is some pressure that has to go down onto the roller, that is not to be debated, but I feel like the lighter that you can be on your roller, the more ease you'll have in your back extension.
It's just an idea. Let's do one more. Last time, so this time, from the top guys, hold yourself there, lift the right arm off the roller, reach your right arm around to your right, look back at it, it's reaching now for your right foot. Come back to the roller, and put it down. Lift the left arm, reach, rotate the body, reach the arm all the way back around, bring the arm back to the roller, lower the body.
Leave the roller as it is, put your forearms on the mat, push your pelvis up, put your pelvis on your feet, and stretch. Bring your hands to your knees, tuck your toes under, roll over your feet, reach your heels to the mat, just like that. We're gonna come up to standing from here. I'm gonna get on the ground, but you guys go ahead. So press the feet down, lift the hips up.
Just noticing, maybe, are you in a different place than you were when we did this in the beginning of class? And then we're gonna inhale, we're gonna again feel the feet against the Earth, push the feet into the Earth, let the rest of the body feel light, and mobile, and come up, and let the arms come with you as you come up with standing all the way up. We're gonna bend the arms. Let the arms feel like, like why don't you imagine the feeling of water moving down a surface? What's that feeling feel like?
Or what does that visual look like in your body, feel like in your body? I can't say it the right way, but you know what I mean. Round down again (inhaling). So what I'm trying to say, a very poor way, we're gonna pause at the bottom, letting the spine just drape down. Now lift with intention, but with ease, what I'm meaning to say is that the image, I think about like a rain on a windowpane when I think about that that I'm trying to create, that rain on a windowpane, what does the rain on a windowpane look like?
As the arms come down soft, I think it feels nice, let's do one more. Feeling the feet, anchored into the ground, the head is being drawn towards the feet gravitationally. And lifting back up, and lifting the arms, letting the arms softly fall, and finishing with the arms at the chest, with the palms together. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yay (clapping).