Hi everyone. Today, I have Heidi joining me for a really fun, advanced-ish flowing mat class. We are going to be really appreciating our whole body today. So part of the fun is going to be exercising our quads, and our hip flexors and our backs. Which I think sometimes as teachers, we spend a lot of time telling people that maybe they should avoid feeling those areas.
But I have come to embrace those parts of my body, in terms of trying to balance out the strengths of my whole body. So, are you ready to go? I'm fully ready. Okay. Let's do it.
Let's do it girl. All right, so we're gonna start. So we're gonna start seated on the mat. Reach your arms in front of you and roll to the mat. Taking just a moment as we come down, going through a few fundamentals but don't worry Heidi, we're gonna really have some fun and get moving.
(inhaling deeply) And as you exhale, press your thigh into your hand and your hand into your thigh and think of drawing the front of your body down away from your shirt, trying to find a deeper connection through your center. Release that effort breathing in to do so. As you breathe out, press the knee into the hand and the hand into the knee and pull down through the front of the body, deepening, continue to exhale, when you think there's no more exhale, see if you can find more. I want you to release that leg down to the mat and bring the other knee into the chest. Hands to the knee, thigh area.
Find an inhale. As you exhale, press the thigh against the knee. Sorry, the thigh to the hand and the hand to the thigh. Deepening through the front of your body. Again, nice inhale, fill the body up with air and as you exhale, what I'm trying to help you find is a deeper connection through the front of the body that's gonna inspire our entire workout.
I'm gonna refer back to these feelings. Breathe in, release the effort and breathe out. And again, it's just about a 10% effort. If you work too hard, you miss that opportunity to find your center. Release the leg down.
All right, so the next way we're gonna do it, you're gonna take your left hand and put it on the inside of the leg. So, for me what I felt just now was a nice connection down the middle of my body. I want to find some connections through your obliques now. So as you breathe in, you just prepare and as you exhale, allow the knee to come a little closer to the chest. As you press your thigh against your hand like you're gonna cross your body with your knee, but your hand stops that.
Release that effort, place the foot down. Other knee to chest, hand to the inside of the knee. Find an inhale, (inhaling deeply) and as you exhale, knee into hand and hand into the knee and think of that hourglass shape. Breathe and release the effort. (inhales deeply) Breathe out.
Press the hand into the knee and the knee into the hand just creating a nice focus, connecting your mind to the body. Again, breathe in. (inhaling deeply) And as you breathe out (exhaling deeply) last time here, think of the hourglass shape through the sides of the body, navel to spine. Later in the workout, I'm gonna refer to this as knee pressures and we'll be using it as inspiration for a lot of the exercises, okay? Bend the knees, feet flat.
We'll breathe in. Heidi, take it to a full interior tilt, like a nice big arch in the back. Let the back exercise. As you exhale, relax the back muscles. Draw the navel in towards the spine.
Draw the sides in creating the hourglass shape. Think about the knee pressures. One more time. Inhale, and exhale. Let this exhale last longer than you ever thought you could.
Keep breathing out. Keep breathing out. Release any neck shoulder tension, keep breathing out. Now hold the pelvic tilt. I want you to maintain all of the muscle activation you feel right now in your front and side body.
And return your tailbone down to a neutral position so that you keep that feeling. So we're trying to use our connections in neutral, which I think is hard to do. Let's do one more tilt, actually, with that in mind. So inhale, prepare and as you exhale, navel draws in towards the spine, the sides suction in, you're going in to that tilt. Now all of the muscles that are working to make that tilt happen, maintain them and find the link in the front of the body returning to neutral position of your pelvis.
Now the fun begins. Maintain that feeling, bring your right knee back. Bring the other leg back. Nice inhale to prepare. Go through a head nod, chin to chest.
And I want you to pretend that someones pressing down on your feet and you're pulling back like you did on the knee pressure. Maintain that energy and we're gonna start to lower the legs. Lower than you might like and appreciate that as your legs get really low, you might exercise your back but as long as that's not pain or strain, you're in a special, wonderful, little place. Let's get one more long breath in, two, three, four, five and out, two, three, four, five and hold. As if it's an exercise, draw your knees into your chest and put your hands under your thighs.
Heidi, we're gonna roll up for just a little easy rolling, like a ball. Because the roll up is a hard exercise for me, we're gonna use rolling like a ball as a warm up for you, okay? So in this position, just press your hands against your thighs and your thighs against your hand. It's basically the opposite feeling of those knee pressures. So let that create some energy in your center.
(inhaling and exhaling deeply) Two more. Steady through the pelvis. Last and best, take it back. Steady. Are you ready?
Arms reach behind you. Arms lift and we do a roll up and exhale. We have the same roll up, I love that. Start to go back, inhale. It's not easy for me and I've been doing this stuff for 20 years but that's why it's so exciting.
Arms lift and peel and exhale. (laughing) We're having the exact same experience. Inhale, take it back and exhale all the way down. Let's do one more. Arms forward, peel it up and exhale reach over.
We're rolling down, inhale and take it all the way. You can leave your arms beside you. From here, going into a fun variation on single leg circles. So it's actually gonna start with a lift and lower of the leg. Before we begin though, let's regroup the moment or the feelings that we had at the beginning of the workout.
Exhale. (exhaling deeply) Pretend the hands are on the knees, ready? Press. Inhale lower. We're gonna sneak one more in and hold at the top.
This now goes into three circles. So exhale cross the body, inhale lift. (exhaling deeply) Stop on a dime. Three around, reverse. Exhale, inhale.
Inhale, lower. Are you shaking? Exhale. Push your bottom leg against your top leg to pull the legs up. Inhale, lower.
Two more, exhale, pull them up. Up from the right side. Lower, the legs are secondary to our center. All right, from here you're gonna transition to the other leg lifting. We're gonna roll, lower the heels, pick the other leg up, lower it down.
Two around, whole body. Three around, we lift. Now here's our transition. Lower the leg, send the right arm out and you're to your right side. Bottom leg squeezes up into the top leg.
Exhale, lift. Inhale, lower, two more. Exhale, pull 'em up. Inhale, lower. Last one, lift.
Let's hold it for a second. Bottom to top leg, feel the left side suction in. Lower down. Now we're gonna transition onto our backs and roll up, like rolling like a ball. So roll to the middle.
So, here we go. Ready? I'm gonna scoot a little this way. Why don't we do a lovely transition into single leg stretch. So we'll reach the arms forward and breathe in.
As we exhale, we're rolling down. Go ahead and bring your right knee into your chest. Heidi, extend your left leg out. Work it lower than you really want to and switch legs, breathing in for two and breathing out, (exhaling deeply) breathe in, breathe out. (exhaling deeply) Breathe in, hold here.
Now, we're gonna extend both legs out and roll to our stomachs on the right. Ready? Like double leg stretch. Arms and legs go out, roll to your belly. Go into a little flight.
Two, inhale. Three, hold. Now we're going down and extend the arms out and go into that nice lift where you are exercising your back and you're happy about it. We transition, roll to your back. Bring the knees into the chest.
We're going to the left. Roll over. Find a position, hands under shoulders, bring it up. We go, exhale one. Inhale, take the thighs with you.
One more set. Inhale, both legs up for a second. Both legs are gonna go down, arms go back and then we flip. Ready? Arms and legs out, we flip.
To your back, roll it around, hands behind head. See if you can center yourself and here we go. Inhale lower, exhale lift. Try not to be afraid of the legs going low. (exhaling deeply) I'm a little afraid, are you?
From here, we gotta re-lower our legs, go to the left. We go, lower, flip, hands under, come up. And we go, exhale one. (inhaling and exhaling deeply) One more. Hold, we flip it around.
Walk forward. Well, I'll walk forward just a bit. Why don't you walk forward just a bit, too. Okay. So from here Heidi, we are going back to the feeling of the knee pressures.
That's perfect. All right, so from here we breathe in and as you let the breath out, think of bringing your right knee through your hands, your hands back beyond your right knee, getting that knee pressures feeling. Inhale, just release that effort for a second. (inhaling deeply) And exhale, we're gonna do that one more time. So ready?
It's like the knee's gonna pull through the hands, the hands are gonna pull past the knee, nice strong deepening through the middle. Now, keep that energy and start to push your left foot down into the mat. Notice as you push your left foot down, it creates a whole different energy of work through your core. Now take your right leg, reach it back, you're in a plank. Head still in alignment with the spine.
Yeah, I had to do the same thing. Bring the left knee down, take a moment. We do the same thing on the other side. Inhale, find a breath. (inhaling and exhaling deeply) Exhale, knee through hands.
Hands pull back past the knee or you think about it. And inhale, release the effort. Just one more time, exhale. Get the connection right away, you know what the feeling is, you just have to commit to it nunely. Stay with that connection.
Start to push your right foot down. Really dig it down, dig it down. And now pick the other knee off the mat, extend into your plank, head in alignment with spine. Keep the connections through the belly. From right here Heidi, we are gonna bend our arms and come down to transition into single leg kick.
Walk right up to your elbows. I want you to challenge the lift of your back today. No pain or strain, feel really happy to exercise the back of the body. The shoulders open back, abdominals drawn up and not so much you lose your extension. Yeah, let's bring your tummy down a little more.
Yes girl, I love that. Okay, so using your arms to inspire you to be able to do that, with parallel legs, take both legs up about two inches off the mat. Yeah, right there is great. We're gonna prep it by just bending the left knee. Now, try to have relaxed toes and now just see, can you get your heel closer to your bottom?
It's almost like you're gonna relax your quad muscle so that you can pull your heel closer to your bum. Feel that? Yeah, so when we do single leg kick, that's what I want. Straighten the leg. Isn't your upper body getting tired?
Isn't that fun? Yeah. Other knee. Okay, so your upper body's tired. Whole body's exercising.
Easy toes, pull the heel more. Think relax your quads to get your heel to your bottom. Feel that? I try. All right, ready?
Straighten the leg. Yes girl, that's gorgeous. Okay, ready? Two taps with the left foot. We go, one, two.
Other leg, one, two. Get the heel to the hiney, one, two. Beautiful, one, two. Heel all the way to your head, two. One, two.
Two more sets today, one, two. Keep the upper body happy and healthy, but working, one, two. Both legs straighten, push up to your hands and knees. Sit back on your heels and counter stretch again. Oh no, that was fun.
Nothing like feeding your client the answers. Stretch over. All right, we'll come up. We're gonna go into a little series of jackknife into high scissors and then shaking that into a bridge. So we need to lay down.
Exercise is good. Extend the legs to the sky, breathe in. All right, here we go. Lower the legs. Even though the legs are going down, think about the knee pressures.
Knee pressures, knee pressures, jackknife over. Inhale, take it up today. Exhale, come down, two, three, legs to the floor on five. Four, five. Over and up, one.
For five going down, one, two, three, four, five. Again, over and up. More weight on the shoulders, less weight on the neck. Go, five, four, knee pressures, knee pressures, two, one. Here we go in over and up and holding.
Over and up. All right, bring your hands underneath your back, getting ready for the high scissors. So from here, breathe in. We're gonna lower the left leg thinking about that one more than the right one. Meet in the middle, breathe in.
Breathe out and switch. Think right leg out and away from you. Inhale, meet in the middle. Again, exhale, reach. Grow into it, Heidi.
Push into your elbows, lengthen out of it. Inhale, meet in the middle. Exhale as if your legs are gonna move out of your body. Press into your elbows. Meet in the middle.
From here, put one arm down, other arm down. Adjust the position of the legs as needed. Let's roll through the spine all the way down. Bend your knees, put your feet flat to the mat. Put your clothes back on.
Think about the knee pressures, sides suction in and here we go, roll to the top. Keep the sternum heavy if you can, ribcage slipping down underneath your skin as you squeeze right where your bum meets your thighs. Find an inhale, prepare. Exhale, roll down bone by bone, all the way. Find an inhale again.
As you exhale, as you take it easy. It's so easy that it's hard. So you feel the muscles more deeply in the body by allowing yourself to not work so hard. Find an inhale at the top. As you exhale, think sternum's heavy first.
(exhaling deeply) Ribs come down, spine articulates. Working the back of the body in a happy, healthy way we're doing it one more time. Inhale, prepare. Exhale, squeeze through the seat, deepen through the middle. Roll it up.
Go ahead and take this bridge a little higher than you may normally take it, embracing that exercising the back of the body is good. And here we go, coming down. Down, down and down. Next, we're gonna go into side kicks. So, roll over to your left side and scoot back to the back edge of your mat and we'll go ahead and do elbow bent, hand underneath head.
Take your top toe and knee and turn it out like a ballerina. From here, we're gonna lift the leg straight up, minimizing any movement of the pelvis. Now, we are going to find our right side. Move the leg even farther, and farther, and farther so that the right side is what's moving the leg and bring it down. And again, minimal movement of the pelvis at first.
Follow the rules, then break 'em. Ready? The leg comes back and we're moving it and we're moving and we're moving it. Right side working, Heidi? Yes.
I love that. And lower down. Cool thing is you only have to do it one more time, ready? Lift it up. And we're moving it, let the pelvis shift, take that leg as close to the right side of your head as possible and bring it down.
All right, take it into passe. First, we play by the rules. Toe to knee and we hold. Now, you are going to bring your knee back, lift your hip high like crazy. Do you feel your right side already?
So it's as if your thigh bone doesn't get to move. Your leg extends beyond that and you lower it down. We do it one more time. Toe to knee, bring the knee up, keep moving the knee first then, ready? Extend it.
Right side is what's in control of my leg and bring it down. From here, roll to your belly. Beats on the belly, hands underneath your forehead. Take a moment. Find a bit of more of a neutral position with the pelvis than you're naturally going to find.
Eight, seven, six, five, four, two, one. Hold 'em, lower 'em. Push up to your hands and knees. Sit back on your heels for a quick moment. We do the other side.
Top toe and knee turn out like a ballerina. We're gonna make sure not to look at our feet so I want you to look out right into the corner of the studio and try not to look anywhere else. Float the leg up. Now lift it more, lift it more, lift it more. Take it down.
Minimal movement of the pelvis, leg goes up and it keeps moving and it keeps moving and when you think it's done, it's not, there's more and take it down. One more time, take it up, lift it up. Keeping moving it up and take it down. Passe, toe to knee. From here, we bring our knee back.
Move the knee, move the knee, move the knee, then extend the leg, then bring it down. One more time, toe to knee, knee to shoulder, extend it. Extend it, when you think it's done, it's not, there's more. Take it down. Roll to the belly, hands underneath forehead.
Reset the shoulders off the ears. Make it an exercise for the whole back of the body, trying to maintain as much neutral position with your pelvis as you can. Float your thigh bones up. Let's hold 'em. Think lift navel up a little bit more, Heidi, and girl, we're picking those legs up higher, ready?
Push up to the hands and knees. Sit back on the heels. All right Miss Heidi, we're coming up and going into twist which is gonna transition to the leg pull. You may want to watch this at home because it's a little bit of a funky transition and I want you to stay safe in your own body. Definitely come to the front of your mat.
Inhale, feet flat, twist it, one, two, three. Bring it up and lower it down. Now here's where the transition comes in. We're going up, inhale. We're gonna twist first, two, three.
Now, stacking your feet to the front of the mat and lengthening out into a T. Keep your neck long. Push into your right hand. Don't sink into the wrist. This left arm is gonna just swoop down beside you, you turn towards your feet.
In this direction, find an inhale. (inhaling deeply) Exhale, turn. Just parallel the feet and think about the twist, that's our focus. Inhale, turn. Now really push out of your left shoulder.
We go again, inhale, bring it up. Feet parallel, exhale, reach it under. All right, transition as gracefully as possible. Or not, you can fall too, that's no big deal. Ready?
Stack it. Walk your feet forward, Heidi. Can you kind of step forward? All right, there you go. You'll be glad I said that in a second.
Right leg first. Float and take it down, look at the feet. Two, take it down. Up, take it down, up, take it down, and hold. Lower your hips to the mat.
You're gonna turn onto your knees. Extend your right leg forward. Hands here for a nice finishing stretch. In this position, I want you to be thoughtful about the way that you're holding your position through your ribs. So give me an inhale here and without overdoing it, Heidi, think draw your navel in towards your spine and do a little pelvic tilt.
Okay, going into a really nice deep stretch, we're going to the middle. Now, from here, if it's available to you, set down as low as you can. Now we're gonna do like a big spider crawl to the other side, walk the hands, crawl. If you can, set your hips down nice and low. Now, we turn that and we're in our hip flexor stretch on the other side.
Now to really be able to address the hip flexors on this stretch, you really have to think of a pelvic tilt. You're not gonna do it, it's not physically possible, but you're thinking draw the navel in and tip the tailbone under. That's when you get up high into the hip. Bend the right knee, reach back with the left hand, see if you can get that foot. I know, isn't that so much fun?
Just let the right thigh soften down, baby. That's a girl, just like that. All right, reach the leg back. We're turning to the side, getting as low as we can just because it's gonna be really fun to get out of it. We're going to the middle now.
So go into a low squat. Now, I almost have a plank feeling with my upper body. So my hands are pressing down, not super rounded, not super flat, just supporting myself with my arms. In this position, see if you can press your knees out. This is just a sassy finish, this is just mean.
So right here, we're gonna try to come up. Articulate as best you can, keeping your hips as low as they are. Let's go ahead and open up our arms to the side, it feels kind of ballerina-yeah, let's just roll with it. From here, open your knees wider, send your hips to me. Open your knees wider, send your hips to me.
Lower one more inch. Hold, two, three. Stand all the way up, it's not over. From here, turn your toes in, turn your heels in, turn your toes in, heels, toes, get to parallel. Arms come down.
Putting together everything that you did today, making sure you're not hanging in your knee, ankle or hip joints, shoulders are open, back and down. Take your arms to the ceiling above you and I know you're not doing anything like knee pressures but what if you thought about them? Bring your arms down. Stand in your muscles. Don't hang in your joints.
Last and best. Take the arms up. Bring the arms down. Heidi, I'm so grateful for you. Thank you for joining me.
I'm gonna die now. Yes. Thank you so much for joining us for this really exciting mat class. We'll see you next time.