Class #3713

Energizing Mat

30 min - Class


Work on drills to strengthen your body with this energizing Mat workout by Christi Idavoy. She continues on from her previous class by restoring your ability to maintain your position in a deep squat. She also adds many variations in a quadruped position so you can find more mobility and strength.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Mar 26, 2019
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Hi. Here we are. We are going to do rounds two of a mat class, the one that we did prior in this section was a little gentle, was more of a softening and a warming up and loosening tissues up for what we're gonna do now. So I'm gonna have you ladies go ahead and start lying on your stomach. We can bring our heads towards the center.

And we'll just start with our palms under the forehead and lengthen the legs all the way out so you can stack up your hands and let your hands come under your forehead. And just take a moment to take a deeper, fuller inhale while you're there. And as you exhale, let everything release and notice how your body relates to the floor. Notice what the points of contact are. And as you're inhaling, notice what part of your body seems to expand the most.

And you can really take advantage of the floor here and become a little more aware of the front of the ribs, the front of the abdomen. Notice if you feel a sense of that area is rising and falling. And does it feel like the rise and fall wraps around your back, wraps around the sides of your ribs and into your back or not? And on your following inhale, go ahead and bend your knees. And we'll bring our feet from side to side.

So just let the feet rock from side to side a little bit. Allow that to pick up a hip off the ground and then the other. Let it feel good. Just to loosen up the back a bit. And again, notice how the front of the body, through the head, neck, shoulders, front of the ribs, stay heavy on the mat.

And then go ahead and find your center. And we'll lengthen the legs all the way out. And we're going to tuck our toes under, flexing the toes. Bring the feet about hip width apart. So about the width of your sitting bones.

Remember, it's not that wide, alright? And let both of the knees bend for a moment. When you're ready, start to lengthen out through your right heel. So reaching the right heel away. And that's gonna lengthen through the knee.

And you'll feel the way the front of the thigh kinda moves off the ground. And then alternate. Just like that. We're just gonna keep alternating from side to side, bending one knee as we stretch through the opposite heel. We feel how that picks up the front of the thigh.

I'm just gonna bring your legs a little closer together. Yeah, just like that. And so again, we're looking at the relationship of moving through the balls of the feet, through the metatarsal, moving through that big toe. And notice how that creates extension, or opening, through the front of your hip. The next time that both knees bend, go ahead and have a pause there for a moment.

Slide your hands, now, along sides of your ribcage as if you were setting up for swan or for a push up. So palms are on the ground. Elbows are reaching back towards the feet. And now reach the pubic bone down into the mat first, and then start lengthening both of your heels out and away. And notice how that helps to really again, set the pelvis down into the mat, and maybe even create a little more length through the lower back.

Bend both of the knees for a moment, just so that you can contrast what the pelvis and lower back feel like when you're there versus rolling through the big toe, out through the heels, feeling the opening at the front of the thigh and the pubic bone pressing down into the mat. We're gonna maintain that feeling now, as we inhale. And as we exhale, start to roll the shoulders back away from the ears, reaching the breastbone forward and up, coming to stand on the lower ribs. So just like a little baby swan there. Just a little bit of extension in the upper back and then slowly coming back down.

Inhale when you're down. Exhale and we'll do that again. Bring your hands back just a little bit more. Yeah. And then coming back down.

So have that feeling of sending the pelvis into the ground and even out through the feet as if you wanted to create a sense of opposition. It's like your pubic bone is reaching out through your heels as your breastbone is reaching up through your nose, so to speak, and out through the crown of your head. Really creating length through that low back. So you too, can bring your hands back a little bit more. No, with your hands on the mat.

Yeah. Yeah, awesome. We'll just do that one last time. And then we'll come back down. Slide your hands back a little bit further.

Yep. And now this time, untuck the feet. Let the tops of the feet rest on the mat. What a relief, right? Might be for that big toe.

And now from here, again, we're gonna roll back through the shoulder blades. Start reaching the breastbone forward and up. Pause there. Pubic bone is pressing down into the mat. So notice the curve that you have in your spine, keep it the same as you push down through your arms and onto your knees, coming up into a swan that way.

Shoulders rolling back. Really press down. Keep that feeling through your pelvis and you're on your knees. And then you'll bend your elbows and start to roll back down. Shoulders rolling back and coming all the way down.

Just do that one more time. Rolling back through the collar bones, shoulders are wide, pushing down through your knees to pick your pelvis up like one piece with your low back. And then push into child's pose. Send your pelvis all the way back and let that have a release. And you can rock little bit from side to side here.

Huh. Rolling around in those hips. And then when you're ready, you'll start to make your way up onto your hands and knees here. Exactly. And again, tuck your toes under here.

We're gonna go through the similar movement, except we're gonna do it in quadruped now. So we'll tuck our toes under, have the knees right underneath the hips. Heels of the hands right under the shoulders. Push back into your toes and have the feeling of drawing your hands towards your knees as you stick out your chest. Make it feel as if your hand were gonna slide back towards your knee, but it doesn't, so that it helps to create a little bit of tone around the back of your armpit and an opening around the front of your heart.

And then flip the feet, push down as you round up into a cat. Exhale when you're there. And then you can lean back a little bit. Tuck into the toes and pull with the heels of the hands to lift the breastbone forward and up. And then tuck the toes as you press and round the spine.

And then tucking the toes again rolling back through the heels of the hand and up through the heart. Sit back into those toes a little bit more. And then push off the toes to press and lift. Making it a little bit more dynamic now. Tuck the toes under, sit back into them.

Push with the toes, pull with the hands. And the untuck the toes, push down to round the spine, lean back. Tuck the toes. Pull with the hands. Reach the breastbone forward.

Push with the toes. Untuck the feet. Push down and round. Lean back. Tuck the toes.

Pull with the heels of the hands. Push with the toes. And then untuck. Round the spine. Lean back.

Last time. Tuck the toes under. Pull with the heels of the hands. And now stay there. We're gonna use the toes here and start to look down at the mat.

So fining a longer, more flat back position, neutral spine where the head, the space between the heart, or shoulder blades, and sacrum are on the same level. Exhale now and with the toes in that position, start to hover the knees over the mat just a little bit. Notice where you feel that. And then very slowly, bring the knees back down. Inhale.

Exhale. Push down through the hands and through the toes. And lift the knees, just a hair, away from the mat. And then slowly, ever so gently, coming back down. Inhale.

Last one. Exhale. Press and lift. Now hold it there. Shoulders are rolling back.

Imagine your face is coming back into your head a little bit more. The shoulders are pushing up towards the ceiling, yet rolling wide. The heat is rising. Knees are hovering. Bring your knees together and back to parallel.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale knees together. Inhale. We're almost done.

Shoulders back and wide. Keep that feeling we did before. Heels of the hand drawing towards the knees. Last one. And the knees come down.

Child's pose. Woo. That's good for a cold day. (giggling) Insta-heat. And when you're ready, you're going to come back up now.

And this time, so walk to the back of your mat, still on hands and knees. Bring your left knee to the center now, so it's under your hip. And then you'll take your right knee and cross it on top. And you really wanna get your knee snug there, so it's knee to knee. Now take your back leg and cross, and bring it forward.

And you might have to help your leg around sometimes with your hand and keep going this way. Keep going until you get to the front of the mat. Exactly. Just do one more. And stop when you've got your left knee in front.

So the left knee is in front of the right. Exactly. Separate your feet wide apart and start walking your hands a little closer to your knees. Just a little bit. Let your hips sink back a little bit more, you wanna be really mindful of your knees here, and you're gonna start rocking your pelvis from side to side.

Letting your hips go all the way to one side. And as you go to the side, see if you can slide your foot out a little further away. So when you go to the right side, say maybe your left foot can slide out a bit further. When you go to the left side, I'm sorry, to the right side, maybe your other foot can slide out. Yeah, making space in those hips and knees.

Keep going. If it's available and appropriate, you're gonna walk your hands back towards your feet. So your top knee kinda comes away. And as always, listen to your knees and your body. And then your rocking from side to side, and literally trying to like, get that foot to reach a little further away.

And if you get there and you feel stuck, that's okay. That's just part of it. (laughs) The tissues are trying to figure out what's going on, what are we asking them to do? Yeah. And notice if you can sense how you're sitting bones are pretty wide apart when your legs are in this position.

There's an opening that happens through the seat. And then when you're ready, you're gonna find your center, have a seat down there. And it's okay if the knees slide apart. Come up to siting as tall as is available. Take your hands down that front shin, towards the foot.

We're gonna stand this foot on the floor and start to turn around this way to the other foot. And that's gonna bring us around so that we end up in the opposite position. Exactly. And then we sit back. And walk the hands forward again, bringing the pelvis up.

And again, just start rocking your hips from side to side. And as you rock from side to side, encourage your feet to keep sliding out a little further away from each other. Notice how much weight is on your hands, under your hands, and try and lighten it up so that we're really asking our legs to support everything above as we move through the hips this way, alright? So it, the whole point is that it might feel kind of awkward. It might feel like it's hard to organize, but that's okay.

That means we're waking up new parts of our brain, creating new connections. And then again, finding your feet and rocking your hips from side to side now while you're holding onto your feet. And that will possibly take away some range. As long as your knees feel okay with it, it's fine. Alright.

And then we'll settle down into the center and come up to sitting tall. Notice where you land. Hands on the top knee. We're gonna walk them down that other foot. And then we'll turn that way.

And this time, we're gonna come up into a squat and we're gonna stay down in this wide squat. Exactly. So you guys are gonna stay down there. It's okay if your facing the back, you can stay keep facing that same way. And just start rocking from side to side here.

So as you rock from side to side, you can almost feel like you're gonna straighten one leg to send you over to the side and then straighten the other exactly. Let your ankles move. Let your knees move. Whatever has to happen, let it happen so that you can hangout in that position a little bit longer. So we really wanna work on restoring our ability to hangout comfortably in this deep squat.

Beautiful, ladies. We'll do that one more time. And then we'll settle into were we feel centered, where the weight's pretty even. If you need to separate your feet a bit wider or bring them in, do what you need to do so that you can hangout there. Elbows against the knees.

And start to lift the chest up, finding a more vertical spine. Inhale. Reach the hands out in front of you and possibly up over your head as you push down through your legs to come up to standing. Reach it all the way up. Bring the legs together, let the arms come down.

Just kinda shake it out for a second and we can turn around so that we're all facing each other again. Notice how your legs and your knees feel. They might feel like something. There's like a lot of fluids now, a lot of circulation through the lower extremities. So we're gonna bring our feet a littler closer than hip width apart, but not quite to touch so that there's still a little bit of space.

And again, just rock your weight forward and rise up onto your toes. And then lower your heels down. We'll do that two more times. Shift forward to come up and then lower back down. Shift forward to come up and lower back down.

Remember when you were doing this lying on your stomach how rolling your toe and reaching out through your heel was helping open the front of your hips? Keep that feeling as you relax your shoulders above. So when you rise up onto your toes, almost make it feel as if your toes were gonna keep sliding back and behind you. And notice if that creates maybe a little more tone in your under butt, the glute fold. We started calling it the bu-thigh at the studio.

It's where your butt and your thigh come together. Your bu-thigh. Just do one more. Now we're going to stay up there. Reach the hands out in front of you.

Start to lean back, so it's like thigh stretch. Same exact idea as thigh stretch, from the crown of your head out through your knees, there's a line. Bend at the knee and start to lean back. Keep leaning back, keep leaning back. This is gonna come to a point where you can't really lean back any more and your pelvis has to come down.

Yes. And then we're gonna try and hold the balance. So come back up, find that point of balance. Exactly. And now start leaning back again and imagine you're doing bridge.

So think of your pubic bone curling back, your tailbone is going through your knees, and your knees, it helps to have a really nice, soft, squishy mat when you do this. Now from here, push your pelvis forward, and your toes push the floor away to help you up. Inhaling, get really long. Exhale, bring the hands out in front of you again. Start to curl your tailbone under as you hinge back, your pelvis finds your heels, keep leaning back to bring your knees up off the ground.

Yeah and it's exactly what you do. You use your fingers, you get there, and then push down through those toes. Rise back up, let the heels and arms come down together. Inhale. Nice little drill.

And then again. Arms come up. Float forward and up. Bend the knees as you lean. The gangster lean into the big toe.

And when we lose it, we lose it. And then we bring our knees down. Yep. Push through the toes to send your pelvis forward, curling up like it's a bridge. Inhale, get long.

Exhale, bring the arms down. Curl the pelvis under as we lean back. It's like holding onto that feeling of bridge as long as you can. And then pull the knees back. Yes.

Push down through those toes. Rise back up. Arms and heels come down together. Last time. Inhale.

Reach it forward, floating up. Exhale, bend the knees and lean back. Lean back, lean back. Think of your pubic bone curling under. And then let it, yes good! And then your knees curl down.

Push through the toes, send your pelvis forward. Inhale, rise up. Exhale, bring it back down. Last one, ladies. Pubic bone curls forward.

Leaning back. Think of your pelvis sucking the thigh bones back and the knees float off the ground. Push down through those feet to rise up. Arms and heels come down together. And rest for second.

How do your feet feel? Warm. Warm. Warm. (laughs) Alive.

Lift all of your toes. Spread all of your toes and lower down the pinky, second, third, fourth, and fifth. Look down, how much space is there in between the toes? We wanna work that to having a lot of space and then let it relax. Just take one foot and stretch it forward.

Exactly, rolling over the toes. Bring that back down and switch. And now standing, keep the feet together, hands on your pelvis. And again, in mat, we're not gonna do that drill again. So that's the good news.

So think of here as if you were about to, though. Like as if you were gonna set up to kind of lean back without changing the shape of your spine, though. So it's just the idea. It's kind of subtle. And then shift the weight into your right foot and start to bring your left knee up into table top.

Keep your hands on your hips and notice what happens through your pelvis, if it shifted at all. And then bring that foot down where it came from and alternate. And then bring that leg down. And switch. So we do this so much lying on our back, it's really, really, really key to bring it up to standing to see if our body is really absorbing the information we're giving it when we're lying on our back.

Now we're going to keep our leg up. Standing leg is strong. Think of this inner thigh on the standing leg, really rooting back and your pubic bone really lifting up. Point the toes and flex the foot. Point and flex.

And point and flex. Last time. Keep the point now, we're going to keep our knee where it is, take your foot towards your standing leg, and then point it to the floor. And now take your foot away from your standing leg and point it to the floor. Try and maintain your pelvis in the same position so it doesn't matter if you don't have too much rotation.

Especially the internal rotation is gonna be tricky. What matters is that you're able to keep the pelvis relatively still so that you're really moving in your hip. Do that one last time. Taking it out. Finding the middle.

Take the leg that's in the air, bring it down in front of the standing leg. Cross. Pinky toes come together. So both heels are on the ground, pinky toes come together. Inhale and reach the arms out in front of you again.

Exhale, we're gonna go into standing roll down. Make it feel like the thighs are squeezing into each other. Bend the knees as you need to. Head and shoulders release. Beautiful.

Notice how that feels. See if you can get the hip of the leg of the front leg to kind of reach back just a little bit more. Notice what that does. Inhale while you're there. And as you exhale, keep your head where it is as you initiate from your pelvis.

So sending your sitting bones down the backs of your thighs to really roll the pelvis onto those strong legs, squeezing the thighs into one another. Once you come up, releasing the shoulders. Now we're gonna play more games. Keep your feet where they are, but start to turn so that you end up the other way. And we'll go in reverse on this side.

(laughs) Keep it going, bring those pinky toes together, hands on the hips. And now the front leg is coming up. So, again. On the standing leg, keep thinking of the inner thigh rolling back, shoulders relaxed. So even when it's a challenge, we wanna keep that sense of like, using the least amount of effort, only what's absolutely necessary.

Really common for one side to be a bit different than the other. Hold it and breathe. And now we're gonna flex and point. And flex. And if you find that keeping the thigh at that 90 degree angle just keeps making that hip wanna hike up, just bring it down a little bit lower.

You may not be able to hold it as long, it's gonna be a bit heavier possibly. So you just take breaks and then you bring it back up and we build up to it. Keep that leg on the standing leg straight. These are great exercises when you're in the kitchen and you're waiting for the water to boil or the pasta to be ready. These are really good fall prevention exercises for everyone in the family.

Now we're gonna keep the point on the aerial leg, so to speak. Keep your knee where it is. Turn that foot in and then turn that foot out. And you can, if you wanna challenge your balance even more, try looking around the room while you do this or even watching your foot that's moving below. But do maintain the height through the spine.

Keep sending that inner thigh back. Can you feel how much that standing foot is working? Almost done. Stay tall, really push the inner thigh on that straight leg back at the pelvis into that vertical position. And then bring it down.

The front, the aerial leg goes in the front. Pinky toes come together. Really cross 'em. Try and get those toes to connect. Straighten the legs as much as you can, but also be mindful that the back knee, especially if you're very flexible in the knees, squeeze them together rather than just pushing them back here.

Curl back down. So keep thinking of lifting up and around. Lifting up and around as you curl down. Notice if your toes are on death grip, try and relax the toes, and yet shift the weight forward into them. They press down, but they don't need to grip the Earth.

Relax the shoulders, relax the head. Inhale. Exhale. The head stays where it is when you initiate from the pelvis. Sitting bones start the movement rolling down.

Keep thinking my head wants to reach to the ground, but my pelvis is insisting I rise back up. Once you find your tall standing position again, uncross the legs and just walk in place. Just walking, walking. Let the arms swaying naturally. So don't swing the arms, just let it happen.

And then a little faster. And a little faster. And a little faster. And a little jog. And are the heels still touching the ground?

Still bringing the heel down. And stop. Close your eyes. Notice how it feels. Notice your heart rate.

Notice your feet. Travel from the feet up through the legs. Notice if there's any tension that you can let go of through your thighs, through your glutes, around your pelvis. Into your abdomen and your lower back. Notice how your ribcage sits above your pelvis and your shoulders on top of your ribs.

The arms hanging away from the ears. The back of the neck is long. Relaxing through the jaw. Feeling how the head sits above the neck. And taking a longer, fuller, deeper inhale.

And exhaling all of the air out. Exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. Really exhale all the air out. And then inhale. Reach the arms up over head.

Look up over your head. Open your eyes. Make it feel like you wanna lift your torso up out of your stable pelvis. And then let it go. Awesome, ladies.

So thank you so much. Quick little energizing workout. Hope you enjoyed.


1 person likes this.
I love how open my hips feel after the class. And that 'drill' was fabulous!
2 people like this.
ironic getting to "meet" my body anew after 68 years of experience
Louise M
1 person likes this.
Amazing class , great teacher
1 person likes this.
Lovely class! My sit bones say thank you my friend ;)
1 person likes this.
Loved this class. My feet feel warm and open and connected to my pelvis :)
Thank you
1 person likes this.
I feel so good, thank you Christi!
Well done :)
Wonderful class Christie!!! See you soon!
1 person likes this.
Wow, what an awesome and invigorating session - can’t wait to introduce my students to some of these moves! 😊
I feel so loose and yet so connected - love your way of queing and teaching! Thank you!
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