Class #3742

MELT Map

40 min - Class
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Description

You will restore your connection to your center of gravity with this gentle MELT class by Sue Hitzmann. She starts with a basic body scan so you can notice how you feel and so you can see where you have stress stuck in your body. She then moves into different sequences that will help you rehydrate your tissue and find more balance in your body.

Note: Sue recommends using MELT Method Soft Roller for this class.
What You'll Need: Mat, Foam Roller

Transcript

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Let's begin our MELT map with the basic rest assess. I want you to lie on your back with your palms faced up, and your arms and legs extended. Now we're gonna come back to this position a couple of times through each sequence so that you can really value what each sequence can actually do for your body. So to do a basic body scan, you need to use your body sense so I invite you to just give yourself permission to go into your body and sense what you feel. I want you to notice your masses and spaces.

Scan your body for these masses and spaces. Masses are the areas of your body touching the ground, and the spaces of your body are those areas naturally lifted, so your head would be a mass, and your neck would be a space. So if you can sense those things in your body, you're already using body sense. To scan your body for stuck stress, there's three areas stuck stress loves to live, your shoulder girdle, your diaphragm, and your pelvis. So I want you to begin in your upper body.

I want you to notice your head, your arms, and your torso position. When stuck stress lives in our shoulder girdle, it's gonna displace those three primary masses. Ideally, your head feels like it's weighted right behind the bridge of your nose, and if you scan from the back of your hands up to your shoulders, your arms are ideally evenly weighted to the ground. And in your upper torse, ideally the heaviest region of your torso is in the midrib wall, where women define the bra line. But I want you to notice, if your head feels like it's slightly tipped off to one side, or one arm feels more weighted to the ground, maybe one should feels more lifted.

And in your upper back the most telltale sign of this stuck stress is feeling like most or all of your back weight is right up against your shoulder blades. You might even feel the edges of your shoulder blades digging into the ground. But when you use your body sense and you scan that midrib wall, it might already feel a little bit lifted or light from the ground. Now if you're not sure what you feel, default back to movement. I want you to slowly turn your head left and right.

You can also identify stuck stress by noticing if you have limited range, or if you feel pain as you turn your head. Or if your shoulders are moving around for you to gently turn your head. If you're feeling any of those things, you've also identified stuck stress in the shoulder girdle. Bring your head back to a center point. I want you to take a focused breath, and begin to notice the shape and size of your low back space.

Now when stuck stress lives in the diaphragm, it's gonna displace the nice shape and size of a low back curve, which is ideally from your belly button to the top of the hips. Now I'm gonna let you cheat on this one and stick one finger in your belly button, but don't touch your low back. And I want you to notice, does the arch of your back feel more lifted above the belly button or below the belly button? If you're noticing it feels like you've got more lift above the belly button, you've identified some stuck stress living in your diaphragm. Take your finger away, bring your arm back to your side and take another focus breath.

I want you to begin to notice your lower body masses and spaces. The masses of your lower body are your pelvis, the back of your thighs, the back of your calves, and your heels. You also have a small lift just where your pelvis begins, right at the gluteal fold, your knee space and your ankle space. I want you to notice in your pelvis, if you've got stuck stress living there, instead of feeling two evenly weighted butt cheeks you're gonna feel your tail bone is really weight to the ground. The back of the thighs aren't going to feel like evenly weighted masses instead you might feel like the back of your thighs aren't touching the floor at all on one or both sides.

Your knees ideally are evenly lifted, your calves, ideally evenly weighted masses. Notice if that's not what you feel. Your ankle bones, ideally the ankle bones are off of the floor and if you didn't have stuck stress living in your pelvis, your feet would naturally rotate outward like a letter V, northeast, northwest. But I want you to notice if your feet feel more like they're pointed east-west, southeast-southwest, or you're distinctly aware that your toes are pointed away from your ankles. Those are all signs of accumulated stress in the pelvis.

How many of you guys are noticing what I've just described? Are you guys noticing anything in there? Okay so you probably are noticing that too, and I know that's a lot to take in so I want you to remember and commit these four common imbalances to memory. Because the four I'm gonna point out are the ones that compress our neck and low back unnecessarily, and destabilize our core. So just remember if you lie on your back and you feel all your back weights against your shoulder blades, your mid back is arched off the floor, your tailbone is very pronounced to the ground, or the back of the thighs are off the floor, you want to spend some MELTing before you do your Pilates or any type of activity so that you don't unnecessarily compress your back in just any movement that you do.

One more thing to identify. Divide yourself into a left and a right half. Just scan your body, ear to heel. If your autopilot is functioning efficiently, you're gonna feel balance from left to right but I want you to notice if one entire side of your body feels more weighted or one leg feels longer than the other. How many of you guys are noticing that one?

Yeah, so if you're noticing that, I want you to remember that because we're going to see if we can restore your autopilot's connection to your center of gravity and get you to feel more balanced on the floor. Take one more focus breath and when you're ready, bend your knees, turn yourself on your side, and you guys are gonna come on up to sitting and you're gonna sit on your roller. You guys are gonna lie back onto it. So the best way to do this, is to bring the roller right at the end underneath your pelvis. So that you're right here.

Once you get your pelvis there, I want you to slowly roll yourself on back and come on back down all the way onto the roller. Once you're here, touch the top of your head and make sure that your head has 100% landed onto the top of the roller. Make sure that you're actually in the right place. Now once you're there, you're gonna place your hands onto the floor. Make sure that your feet are just hip width apart.

If you wanna really measure it out, you can always put your feet together, turn your heels outward, turn your feet like a letter V, and then line your heels up with your toes. That's about hip width. You could also walk your feet forward just a little bit so that you don't feel like you're jamming your heels close to the roller. We're gonna try a few MELT moves. The first one is called gentle rocking.

I want you to just begin to tip your body just a little bit to the right, almost enacting the sense of falling. Catch yourself with your right arm. And then tip your body over to the left side. I want you to watch how this nice, gentle tipping is just an easy motion, just catching your body left to right. Now you don't have to do this with any great pace, this is a reconnect technique.

It's a way to help your autopilot reconnect to your center of gravity by challenging your balance on an unstable surface. If I tied a string from your nose to your sternum to your belly button to your pubic bone, all of your masses are simultaneously tipping right and left and if I velcroed your spine to the roller you and the roller are staying connected, you're not gliding your back against the roller. So when you do this sequence, you'll always spend some time doing gentle rocking, about 30-60 seconds. And then come back to a center point and let's try the tuck and the tilt. You're gonna place your hands like a pizza pie right onto the front of your pelvis, fingertips on your pubic bone, heels of your hands on your hip bone.

And the first move you want to try is a tuck. You're gonna allow the heels of your hands to get heavy on the top of your hips. You're gonna elongate your low back so that the low back travels toward the roller. Hang out there for a second, notice what that feels like. Take a breath in and on an exhale, you're gonna push your pubic bone away from your belly button.

That's gonna increase your low back curve slightly. That's what we call the tilt. So go again, try the tuck. You're gonna allow the heels of your hands to get heavy. Hang out there for a second and notice how did you get there?

If you feel like you're pushing into your feet, squeezing your butt cheeks, or lifting up your hip, I want you to stop doing those things. I want your feet to remain light. I want your pelvis to remain tipped into that tucked position and I want you to just pay attention now to where your ribs are. And now push your pubic bone away from your belly button. Increase that low back curve.

This time notice if your ribs came with you. And if your ribs came with you, just take your hands, put them on your rib cage. And instead of focusing on what's moving, let's focus on where we want to stay still. And I just subtly want you to tuck your pelvis and tilt your pelvis. So draw your attention to what's staying still instead of what's moving, is what we call differentiation.

This is a way to allow the nervous system to reconnect to the center of gravity by creating the subtle motion. So I want you to watch how subtle this movement is. Watch how Hallie is just gently tucking that pelvis under and then again tilting the pelvis away. Now remember those two moves because we're gonna use those in the lower body length and low back release sequence. Tucking, sometimes I call that a sad dog pose, and tilting sometimes I call a Playboy Bunny pose, or a happy bunny so if I start yelling out those words later this is what I'm referring to.

Let's try it one more time, tucking the pelvis under, and then tilting the pelvis away. And now find somewhere in the middle of your tuck and tilt. We're gonna call that your home base, that's your neutral pelvis. In that position, let's break down a three dimensional breath. I want you to place one hand on your belly, one hand on your chest.

And I want you to start taking some slightly slower than normal inhalations into the front and back of your body, in equal timing. Now as you're taking these inhales, I want you to notice in your hands, does your chest and belly fill equally? And if they aren't, can you control the diaphragmatic motion to allow your torso to expand from a midline, up to your hands and down the roller in equal timing? Try that one more time. On your next breath, at your own pace, I want you to place your hands onto the sides of the ribs.

I like putting my fingertips on the fronts and the heels of my hands on the sides. In the same fashion I want you to try to take a breath that allows the diaphragm to move widthwise. Expanding from the midline like the yoke of an egg out to the sides of your body. I even like to think about breathing into the back of my spine so that my breath enters the back body as much as the side body. Now notice what that one feels like.

On your next breath, at your own pace, I want you to put one hand over your heart, or over your collarbones, one hand down onto your pubic bone, or the front of the pelvis, and this time I want you to try to take a breath that allows the diaphragm to move due South as your lungs fill due North, all the way up to the collarbones. Now as you're taking these focused breaths, what you're basically doing is inhibiting your brain stem to control your diaphragm, instead you're doing it with that frontal cortex and this is going to alter the way the autopilot communicates with that oscillating muscle that really allows us to sustain control and stability. You might notice that your body is gently rocking or tipping on the roller as you do this, that's part of of the rebalancing effect so don't stop it from happening. Now I want you to place both hands on your belly. Instead of focusing on the inhalation we're gonna focus on the exhalation.

First I want you to just take a nice six-sided breath, on all six sides of your body. Let your natural exhale come out of your body one time. Now what's happening in your exhale is called the core reflex. We're gonna bring the core reflex up to your conscious mind taking another six-sided breath but on your exhale, slow your exhale by going (shushing) until there's no breath left. (women shushing) I want you to feel when you make that exhale that your abdomen engages inward.

Take another six-sided breath, try another sound. Try an S-E (hissing) and again try to get (women hissing) all of the breath to come out and see if you can feel that cylindrical contraction happening from all six sides. Let's try one more sound, let's try an H-A sound. (pointedly exhaling) Now whichever sound drew your attention to it, inward gathering from all six sides, I want you to do that sound one more time. (women exhaling) So everybody's gonna have a different sound, and that's important.

When I ask you later to find your core reflex, you can always make your sound but this time take a six-sided breath, let your natural exhale initiate the breath and see if with your conscious mind you could feel and follow that contraction and assist your mind in feeling the core reflex. But when you inhale I want you to fully let it all go. Let your natural exhale initiate the breath, but then see if you can actually enhance your sensation of the hugging. Again that's what we call finding our core, we're gonna use that in some of the other sequences. Now let's add a little bit of upper body length.

I want you to take your hands away from your belly and bring them up into the air. Now the natural tendency is your arms are gonna wanna go right over the shoulders and what we're gonna do is we're just gonna angle the arms down almost like you're holding a box over your pelvis. And then you're gonna reach your fingertips up toward the ceiling and notice how this is coming from the back of the shoulder blades, and then you're just gonna allow the skeletal weight of your shoulder girdle to sink back along the side of the roller. So just reaching the arms up, and then sinking down. Now notice as you continue that motion if your arms go up but then when you come down you're shrugging.

See if you can actually activate the movement from the back of the shoulder blade and create that length between the shoulder blade and the rib wall. So it doesn't need to be the biggest movement you can take, you're just trying to allow the two bones to glide against one another because this is something especially for women that we lose, is that nice glide ability between the ribs and the shoulder girdle. Now allow your shoulder girdle to remain heavy. Turn your arms down toward the floor and set your hands down to the ground and let's try one more lengthening technique, called the neck turn. I want you to really energize your arms, I almost want you to feel like you're pressing your palms a little to the ground.

Now don't hyper extend your elbow, just get the arms long. You're going to slightly tip your nose up to the ceiling. Take a breath in and on your exhale find your core, and slowly turn your head a little to the left. And as you turn your head slightly to the left, I want you to energize a little bit more pull down that right arm. So really thinking about reaching the arm away.

Taking another breath in and on an exhale just slightly tip your body over to the left side, and see if that enhances your pull. And then come back to the center, how about taking your left hand across your heart? Taking another breath in, and on an exhale, compress your hand in towards your chest as you tip yourself a little to the left and again energize the pull to the right arm. And then bring your body back to center, set your left hand down. Same thing, both arms are nice and strong, take a nice breath in, on an exhale keep your nose tipped up and just slightly turn your head a little bit to the right, energizing that tensional pull all the way down your left arm.

You're looking for a fuzzy sensation down the arm. Then same thing, take your right hand, bring it over your heart, take a breath in, and on an exhale you're just gently compressing your heart in towards your chest and just slightly tipping yourself off to the right side, energizing that tension against the left arm, inhaling there for a moment, and then exhaling and slowly bringing your body back to center. Let's try it with the palms faced up. Let's bring both arms back down, again nose stays tipped up, take a breath in, on an exhale slowly turn your head to the left, energize your right arm away. Again you can always take your left hand over your heart, take a breath in and on an exhale tipping yourself just slightly to the left as you compress your hand into your heart, finding that tensional pull against the tissue.

Take another breath in there, and on an exhale, bring your body back to center. Again, both arms down, energize both arms, take a breath in. On an exhale slowly turning your head to the right, taking your left hand over your heart, take a breath in, and on an exhale compressing that right arm away from the left arm, energizing as you slightly tip. Take a nice breath in. (inhaling) Exhale. (exhaling) And then come on back to center. Okay so let's see what that sequence does.

I want you to straighten out one of your arms and both of your, or one leg. And then I want you to slide off the roller, pelvis, ribs, and then your head. And bring your palms faced up, arms and legs extended. So now what did we do? We did a little bit of rocking, we moved our pelvis around, we made some funny breathing sounds, big deal.

But if your nervous system and connective tissue are functioning relatively efficiently, notice your masses and spaces now. If you started off feeling like you had a lot of back weight on your shoulder girdle, ideally now your midribs have settled a little bit to the floor. Perhaps the arch of your back is a little bit less extreme. You might even be able to turn your head left and right, try that one. If you feel like you freed up a little bit of range or decreased pain, we're already well on our way, so you guys are noticing that.

Now you might make some indirect changes. You might noticed that your butt cheeks or the back of the thighs have settled to the floor and if you're feeling those indirect changes, I would tell you that if you have any hip or knee problems some of the culprits are indirectly living in your upper body and so treating your upper body can alleviate some of the tension down below. But I also want you to notice your autopilot. Divide yourself into a left and a right half. If you really felt offset from left to right when you started, you might feel a little bit more balanced from left to right and that's your autopilot reconnecting to your center of gravity.

Take a nice, focused breath. How do you guys feel on that sequence, yep? So bend your knees, turn yourself on your side. Come on up to sitting and let's try an upper body compression sequence or an upper body rehydrate sequence, starting with a rib length assess. So the most important thing if you're gonna do this is to start with your ribs on the roller around the bra line.

So watch how Hallie's gonna come on down. And a good way to tell you've the roller in the right place if you bring your arm up and reach along the arm and you move your arm up and down, ideally you feel the shoulder blade is on your side of the roller. Okay so if you're there, bring your hands behind your head and to set yourself up what we're not gonna do, and I'm gonna have Hallie do this wrong. Go ahead and extend all the way back, you see where she's gone. This is not what we're gonna do.

We're gonna come on back up and we're gonna set ourselves up by first tucking our pelvis. We're gonna start by curling our ribs forward, anchoring those bottom ribs right where they are, take another breath in and on an exhale, you're gonna allow just your ribs to extend over the roller. I want you to take a breath in and notice if there's any tightness in your chest. Exhale, stay there for second. Find the exhale, and then slowly curl yourself back up.

So let's use this as an assessment, taking a breath in. On an exhale, we're gonna go back into our rib length, take another breath in and then this time I want you to side bend to the left. And as you side bend, I want you to take a breath into the right side of your body. Notice if you have any tightness over here. On the exhale come on back to center.

Take another breath in, and on an exhale side bend to the right. And again noticing as you take a breath in if you have any tightness on that left side, if there's any resistance to taking the breath. Then come back to a center point, and this time take a breath in and on an exhale you're gonna side bend to the left. Notice how far you go. And then come back to the center, and side bend to the right, and notice how far you go.

Try to remember what it feels like and let's see if we can actually make some improvements just by doing a basic upper body compression sequence. So I want you to begin by pointing your elbows forward so that we get the shoulder blades away from the roller. And I want you to be mindful that you're not pulling your head forward, you're pressing your head into your hands. You're gonna lift up your hips about one inch off the floor, and I just want you to slide your butt cheeks toward your heels, that's gonna move the roller up towards your upper back. And we're gonna begin gliding.

Now you can start with a relatively large motion, so that you kinda get the hang of the movement, but the goal here is to start to create a little bit of gliding just against one or two vertebras. So once you get the movement going, let's clean it up, I want you to think about the pelvis staying in a little tuck, the ribs staying in a curve, so think of it like two curved surfaces going over each other. So don't be flat-backed, try to create the compression, almost like as if you're compressing on your side of the roller. We're preparing the tissue for our sheer. You're gonna get smaller and smaller and smaller until you just stop on a spot.

Set your tucked pelvis back onto the floor. You're gonna curl your ribs forward to present those bones to the roller, and then teeny tiny, you're gonna create a tipping action pinning the flesh around that one vertebra and just trying to arch the ones up above into a little side bend. And then you'll come back to a center point. I want you to wait there for a second, give the tissue a moment to adapt. And then plant your feet firmly into the ground.

Lift up your hips, push into your feet this time, and move the roller down a little bit, perhaps near the bra line. And let's try it again, you guys are gonna create a gliding motion. So remember gliding prepares the tissue for a sheer force but it's also a way to investigate the tissue for tenderness or areas of adhesion. So you might notice that as you're gliding, there's some tenderness along the spine. So don't lean on the most tender spot, just find a spot that you think you can tolerate the compression.

Again, you're gonna get smaller and smaller, stop on a spot, set your tucked pelvis down, curl your ribs forward, and again it's a tiny tipping action so really thinking about this movement staying very small in the motion, don't make it very big. And then same thing, you're gonna wait there for a second, give the tissue a moment to adapt. So we're gonna glide one more time but we're actually going to glide the shoulder blades and the upper back so I want you to stay exactly where you are, lift up your hips. And this time I want you to take your right elbow, and I want you to slightly tip it up toward the ceiling, leaning a little bit to the left. And just glide the inside edge of your left shoulder blade.

See if you can find the tip of it, it's kind of like the tip of Africa, it's a small, little area. Kinda swirling around that. And then come back through the center, glide there. And then same thing, just slightly tip your left elbow up and see if you can find the bottom edge and the inside edge of your right shoulder blade. You might notice that there's some tenderness on one or both sides.

And then come on back to the center. Same thing, get smaller and smaller and smaller. Again you're gonna find a spot, you're gonna set your tucked pelvis down. You're gonna curl your ribs forward, and one more time I want you to create that sheer. So these are direct sheers here.

And then same thing, we're gonna go ahead and just compress and wait there for a second. So now let's rinse. Rinsing is the hardest part. I want you to start with your heels just a little bit in front of your knee so that the knee angle is a little bit open. Yeah and exactly if you guys have moved a little bit feel free, let's go ahead and just move our bodies forward so that we don't go too far.

And what we're gonna do is again kinda walk the feet forward so that as you lift your hips you're gonna bring the roller somewhere into your upper back. You'll take a breath in. In three steps you're gonna let your hips sink a little bit, push into your feet, curl your ribs, and feel like you're pushing onto your side of the roller. Run that roller down your back. Stop, make sure that you're not pulling on your chin, let your hips right. Reset your feet.

Again put your heels in front of your knees a little bit. Bring your body back up onto the top of that roller. And same thing, you'll take a breath in, and on an exhale you'll sink your hips, curl your ribs, and rinse down your back. And then reset your feet, same thing. Really try to lift up the hips, bring the roller back up to your upper back again you can be flat back here.

But again before you get going, let your hips sink, curl your ribs, and push into your side of the roller, all the way down. And then one more time, reset your feet, lift up your hips, bring the roller to your upper back, and again sink your hips and nice and slow, roll all the way down your back. Okay so now let's use that rib length as a reassess. So I want you guys to go ahead and make sure that the roller's in the same place as it was, remember you could kinda shimmy your shoulder, or bring your arm over there. Make sure you've got the roller in the right place.

And then same thing, pelvis stays in the tuck. You're gonna take a breath in, keep your elbows nice and wide, and on an exhale go into your rib length. So just extending it over. Take a breath in, and arc. Now once you're here take a breath in and notice if you actually can breath a little bit more into your upper body on the front side of your body's gonna change.

Take another breath in, stay there, and make your S-H, S-E, or H-A sound to really find that nice tensional pull. Then slowly come back up into flection. Take another breath in. And on the exhale go back into extension. And again notice if you've freed up some ability for you to create the extension.

Then take a breath in and on your exhale side bend your body to the left, and notice if your right side feels a little bit more open than when you started, and then again on the exhale come on back to center. And then same thing, take a breath in and on the exhale, side bend to the right again lengthening through, taking a nice breath in. Exhaling, coming back to center, and then just one more time again side bend a little right, side bend a little left, and notice if you've balanced yourself out a little bit, sometimes we have neck and low back pain because our ribs are stiff as a board. So how do you guys feel on that one? Nice, okay so let's keep going on this and let's work on base of skull sheer.

I want you guys to go ahead and lie on your right side. And you're going to start by just bringing the base of your skull onto the roller. Now where's the base of your skull? Well your hairline should be on the curved side of the roller so that your skull is actually here, a good way to tell is if you actually just bring your ear hole onto the top of the roller, and then let your head slightly fall back. That's the base of your skull.

I want you to create the compression, actively partake in that little bit of compression, and really small here, you're gonna start to create some small circles. Now listen, this is a direct sheer. So remember when we were using the ball, or any type of sheer force, it's a compression to the skin against the interface of the roller, so I'm not rubbing my skin against the roller I'm pinning the flesh and using my skull to sheer the tissue on the underlying plane. To give you more of an effect of that, slowly turn your head a little left to right. And I almost want you to feel how the tissue kinda crimps toward your ear, and then as you look away from the roller it tightens up.

So I want you to really feel how you're using your skull as that rolling pin. And then same thing, after you do any type of sheer force, you just wait there for a second. Give the tissue a nice moment to adapt. And then when you're ready, just turn yourself over onto the other side. And as you come up onto that left side, I want you to again kinda get into a half back pose, so maybe one leg up, one leg down.

Again right at the base of the skull, and again once you're here, you're just creating these really small circles. And whatever way your brain think a circle should go, circle it in the opposite direction. Let your brain find something else to do. Then again if you want, it's subtle turning motion. Again I'm kind of pinning the flesh between the surfaces of my skull and the roller, creating that mechanical force to create that cellular exchange.

And then same thing we'll just compress and wait there for a second and give the tissue a moment to adapt. So now take your time, you're gonna lie on your back. And I want you guys to place the roller right underneath the base of your skull. Now again, to get the roller at the base of your skull, I want you to just check. I always kind of like putting my hands on the roller and setting the base of my skull up with my nose slightly tipped up to the air.

Like as if I'm smelling something good in the air, I'm gonna kiss somebody who's a little bit taller than me. So you can see how Hallie's hairline is on her side of the roller. So keep your nose a little tipped up, and slowly start to turn your head left and right. This is an easy way to know that you've got the roller in the right place, as you turn your head, the roller shouldn't feel like it's slipping out from under you. If that's what's happening, it's probably because you're dropping your chin.

If as you turn your head, if feels like it's gonna roll into your neck, you started with a little bit too low. So the pressure should be able to remain constant. So once you're sure that you've got the roller in the right place, instead of just turning your head, I want you to create what I call kind of a back stroke for my ear. Again I'm creating a sheer effect, I'm pinning the flesh, and I'm trying to create a little crimping almost like I'm wringing a rag, trying to stimulate those layers between my skull and the roller. Right so I'm kinda creating that sheer effect.

So now wait there for a second. Give the tissue a moment to adapt. And now let's take all of that fluid flow that we produced from the ribs and the skull and try to release your neck. I want you to grab onto the roller, tip your nose up to the ceiling just a little bit. And I want you to move that roller a tiny bit higher onto the center of the back of your head with your nose slightly tipped up to the ceiling.

So you really look like you're looking straight up. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed, arms at your side. Keep your pressure constant, actively partake in that. Take a breath in, and on an exhale, really slowly you're gonna nod your nose down as if you're lengthening through the back of your neck and the front of your throat, so don't lose the space in the front. Take a breath in (inhaling) on an exhale allow your chin to return back up. (exhaling) Take another breath in, keep your pressure constant, on the exhale same thing, nod your nose down.

Lengthening through the front and back of the throat, trying to pull that tissue. Take another breath in, (inhaling) and again on the exhale lift the chin back up. (exhaling) Try that two more times, nodding your nose down on the exhale, lengthening through. Taking another breath in, and then lifting the chin back up. And do that one more time. Exhaling and nodding your nose down.

And one more time, take a breath in, and lift your chin back up again. Great okay, so get rid of the roller again, and let's lie on our back and just take a quick check-in before we do some of the lower body techniques. Now again we've done quite a bit this time. We hydrated the ribs, we hydrated the skull and the neck, trying to draw the fluid flow to the neck. So again I want you to notice your masses and spaces.

Notice in your upper body any direct changes, if your head feels more centered, if your arms feel more balanced to the ground, or if you're really noticing your rib weight has come back down to the floor. How do you guys feel in your upper body? Are you getting the direct changes? So what about the indirect changes? Are you noticing your pelvis, or the back of the thighs has settled to the floor?

Some of you guys are noticing that, again oftentimes we've got issues in our upper body that are actually causing lower body problems. So again if you're noticing lower body changes already, we're well on our way to releasing some of the fluid flow back to the pelvis. So let's do one more sequence. Let's work with a lower body length techniques, a couple of compression techniques, and a release technique. So I want you to bend your knees, lift up your hips, and you're gonna put that roller right underneath the back of your pelvis.

So we're gonna make sure that the roller is in the right place because a lot of us like to put the roller super high up into our back. Now those of you who have anatomy, the PSIS, those posterior superior iliac spines, those on your side of the roller. For those of us without anatomy, put your hands on your hip bones. Like you got a New York City attitude, right? So if you've got your hands on your hip bones, that part of your pelvis, not on the roller.

That should be on your side of the roller so that you can see how Hallie's got the top of the hips well on her side of the roller. The back of her sacrum, right onto the top of the roller. Another way you can tell if the roller is in the right place is you're just gonna bring your right knee into your chest and then your left knee into your chest. And if you bring your knees all the way into your chest, you shouldn't feel like the roller's gonna fly out from underneath you, that would mean it's a little bit too low. But it also shouldn't feel like it's pressurizing your low back.

So we're gonna try SI joint sheer first. So you're just gonna move your knees slightly away from your chest, so if you had lase light beams on your knees, they'd be pointing a little bit towards your side of the roller. Place your hands onto the roller and notice how Hallie almost tucks her hands in towards the sides so as she tips she can kinda slide her hand in, and then slide the other hand in. And what that'll do is that'll stop you from tipping too far left to right. So what we want to make sure of is that we're getting on the SI joint.

So just slightly left to right as you're tipping, I want you to now just tip your knees slightly to the right side. You're right one your SI joint, we're gonna sheer that SI joint by sustaining compression, and there's three ways to sheer. You can try to circle both legs at the same time, but just make sure that your circles stay on your side of the roller. That's a direct sheer, to the SI joint. You could also keep your left leg still, and you could start to circle just your right leg, and you start with a small circle, and then slowly make it bigger and bigger.

And notice how Hallie's hand can kind of control some of that pressure so she doesn't go too far. And then the third way you could do this is to bring your knees together and just slowly march your knees forward and back. That's both a direct and indirect sheer. And then same thing, once we've done a sheer force, always just pause, compress, and wait. Like working fluid into a sponge, just like making a sponge useful, pause with that compression so when we let it go we get the full effect.

Let's try it on the other side, same thing. So again you're gonna slightly tip your knees over to the side, watch this. I don't want you to come too far over, right. So you really want to stay on the SI joint, again creating small circles. So you're creating a sheer effect by sustaining compression on the joint as you create a sheer.

Remember you could also do the indirect sheer keeping your right leg still and just circling the left leg. And again start with a small circle and then make it bigger and notice how your hand, if it's under your hip, can help you to control a nice range of motion with the hip. Or again you could bring your knees together. And you could just gently march your knees forward and back. You could one, two, or all three of those techniques, just try to remember what you feel.

And then wait there for a second, give the tissue a moment to adapt. And then bring your legs back to center. Go ahead and set your feet down to the floor for a moment. Now when we started we did a rebalance sequence and I had you guys practice something called tucking and tilting. Let's see you guys do a modified tuck and tilt.

So with your hips up onto the roller, I want you to tuck your pelvis towards your side of the roller, and then I want you to try to just untuck your pelvis and land your pelvis back onto the top of the roller. I don't want you to try to go over the top where your ribs will come with you, and that's really the secret of this. So when you tuck your pelvis, notice where your mid rib weight is. Try to pay attention to what's staying still as you untuck your pelvis back to the tilt. So use this as an assessment, tucking the pelvis under, tilting the pelvis away, one more time.

Tucking the pelvis under, and then tilting the pelvis away. So remember what that feels like, and let's see if we can make an improvement in your pelvic motion by doing just a few techniques. I want you to naturally tuck your pelvis so that you feel like your pelvis is a little heavy on your side of the roller, and let's try a bent knee press. I want you to bring your right knee into your chest, interlace your hands either over the front of your shin, or behind the back of your thigh, whichever is easier for you to reach. And now before you pull on this leg, I want you to tuck your pelvis more to your side of the roller.

Once you're there, find the ball of your big toe, the outside of your foot, and your heel. Just naturally compress to the ground, take a breath in, and in a subtle, equal timing, I want you to think about reaching your left knee over your toes as you tuck your pelvis towards your nose, working in opposing directions to try to find the tensional pull on the front of that left leg. Then inhale, ease back some of the compression. And then again, exhale, create the push pull. Great, so let's try it on the other side.

Same thing, you're gonna put your right foot down, bring your left knee into your chest. Now notice when you bring your knee into your chest, your right leg might wanna swing out to the side if we've got a lot of fascial restrictions on the tissue in our leg so, try to line your knee straight up. Again you're gonna take a breath in and before you pull on this leg, I want you to activate your tuck. Really feeling how if you drew your knee into your chest, it would help you to accentuate that tucking action. Now again, find the ball of your big toe, outside of your foot, and the center of your heel.

And then in equal timing you exhale, energize your knee over your toes as your pelvis tucks towards your nose. Then inhale, ease back a little pressure. And one more time, energize the pull. Great, so now keep your right leg right where it is, take your hands away from your left leg, and I want you to kick your leg out low and long. Absolutely parallel to the floor.

Now this is hip to heel press. And I want you to notice when you're here to keep your right foot light and your pelvis in a tilt onto the top of the roller. Flex your foot and really slowly start to bring your leg up but I want you to stop before your knee wants to bend, or you get perpendicular. Once you're there, let me teach you the difference between fascial pull and muscle stretch. Flex and point your ankle a couple of times.

If you feel a pull in your calf, you've found the land of muscle, fantastic! Now let's tie the fascia into it. You're gonna flex your foot and in equal timing, you're gonna accentuate that tilt onto the top of the roller. So remember you're not tucking, I'll have Hallie do it wrong. Tilting onto the top of the rollers, so pelvis is moving away from the heel. Take one more breath in.

And on an exhale flex the foot, tilt the pelvis onto the top of the roller. And then let that go, set that foot down, let's try it on the other side. Same thing, you're gonna start by kicking the leg low and long, left foot light, pelvis tilted, slowly bring your leg up and again avoid bending your knee. If you feel like your knee wants to bend, don't bring it up so high, you can always angle it down. Again you guys are gonna flex your foot, sending the heel up and in equal timing thinking about tilting the back of the pelvis.

Don't let your pelvis laterally shift. It's gotta come straight down on both sides. Inhale, ease back a little bit of that tension. And on the exhale flex the foot, and again tilt the pelvis onto the top of the roller. Awesome, okay so now bring both knees into your chest again and let's try a tough move called the tuck and tile challenge.

Now you already know how to tuck and tilt your pelvis cus you've tried it a few times. But we call this a tuck and tilt challenge for a reason. So you're gonna take your hands, slide them up your thighs and push your legs away, until it looks like your thighs are relatively perpendicular to the roller. Now this has a lot of skill to it, so listen to all of the cues. I want you to gently, is the cue, press your thighs towards your hands, nothing should happen in motion.

This should activate the rooted core and a muscle called psoas. So this is gonna stabilize that lumbar spine. So now, keep your ribs stable, I want you to tuck your pelvis, and watch how the thighs kind of levitate upward. Hallie's bringing her pelvis heavier on her side of the roller. Notice where your ribs are, don't move any of the weight in your torso, and now untuck your pelvis back to the top of the roller.

Look at how small this movement is. So let's try it again, we're gonna go ahead and try to tuck the pelvis to Hallie's side of the roller. She's gonna tilt her pelvis back to the top of the roller. Beautiful, tucking the pelvis. And then tilting the pelvis.

Let's go two more times, check that your heels are slack to your butt cheeks. Try not to use your quadriceps. Keep your thighs pressing into your hands as you tuck. Keep your thighs pressing into your hands as you tilt, keep your ribs stable. One more time, take a breath in, on an exhale tuck your pelvis.

And then tilt your pelvis. Now sustain that tilt, don't lose it, let's decompress your low back. Take a breath in, on an exhale, find your core, make your sound if you need to, and in equal timing press your thighs to your hands, ribs to the floor, pelvis to the top of the roller. Inhale, ease back a little bit of that pressure, and one more time, equal timing, thighs to hands, ribs to floor, pelvis to the top of the roller, and then let that go. Set your fee back down to the ground, and let's practice one more time, tucking the pelvis.

And then tilting the pelvis, much better! Let's try that two more times, tucking. And tilting, so notice, if you can actually undulate the pelvis with a little bit more efficiency, a little bit more ease, and actually feeling like perhaps it might be even a little bit bigger. Now let's reassess, bring your knees into your chest, try to roll that roller out from underneath your body. Lie flat on your back, palms faced up, arms and legs extended and let's reassess. So that technique to try to decompress our own low back is pretty profound.

And if you have in fact decompressed your own low back let me point out what it would feel like. I want you to tune into the space of your low back curve if you want put one finger in your belly button. If you feel like the curve of your back is perhaps more lifted, only the lift is closer to your pelvis and not under your ribs, or you're just feeling like your back is more relaxed on the floor, you've decompressed your own low back. How do you guys feel on that one? You might also notice in your upper body, your ribs, your head, and your arms are more settled into the ground.

If you turn your head left and right, you might notice that you freed up range and decreased pain doing the lower body length and low back release. You might also notice that you get some of that relief in your neck from doing lower body lengthen and release techniques. Also notice your lower body masses and spaces. If you started out feeling a lot of tailbone on the ground, you might notice that your butt cheeks are more relaxed on the floor. You might also notice that the back of your thighs or calves are more settled into the ground.

And then of course divide yourself into a left and a right half and your body from ear to heel. You might notice now that your body is much more balanced and if you're really in good alignment, I want you to notice that your body isn't a left and right body. It's a mass of waves. So I want you to notice, if you've got good alignment, your head'll feel down, your neck is up. Your ribs are down, the low back is up.

The pelvis is down, the gluteal fold is up. The back of the thighs are down, the knees are up. The calves are down, the ankles are up. And the heels are down. We truly are a biotensegrity system, and your fluid system has just reacted and responded to this type of treatment.

You did a great job, I hope you enjoyed the map.

Comments

Ewa
12 people like this.
no,no,no! it is too much talking; so disturbing; had to turn it off:( not relaxin' - at all!
3 people like this.
Go with it.  I combine Melt and Pilates and my clients just love it.  Just break it down into smaller sections.  Melt is the best!
Jan
Could a rolled up towel be used as an alternative?
4 people like this.
I love it. Its not about relaxing its about fascia.. Getting out of pain.. I can see using this before I ride my mountain bike and using this with some of my clients. Thank you Sue can't wait to take a workshop with you.. Tina Follett Pilates and Barrre 
1 person likes this.
Felt great after, not sure I was positioned right at all times. I will watch again as I would like to implement with some of my clients
Amy
1 person likes this.
Worked for me! I feel lighter, longer, and stronger(?)  if that makes sense?!
Question: how long is a typical Melt class?  
Thank you, Sue!
2 people like this.
That felt amazing and is just what I needed after lifting weights a lot lately. Love this! Thank you!
6 people like this.
Difficult to concentrate. The talking was too frantic and so had to turn off
Amazing! Thank you so much for this Fascia release run down
2 people like this.
This is fantastic! Oh boy released so much tension and stress particularly in my neck and lumbar. Thank you :)
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