Hi everybody. I'm Kara Reeser and we're going to do a beginner mat class together. Um, here are the prompts. You're going to need a hand towel and, um, let's go ahead and get it prepped. So our, we're going to fold it into about three or four kind of long folds. Um, so it's something like this and then we'll just set it over here. Um, we're gonna need a theraband. Uh, I'm using a medium strength theraband. Um, you know, whatever you have at home is fine. If it's really lightweight, you might want to double it up though, cause it can kind of let us down and then we're gonna use a, um, blanket or at home you could use a yoga. I mean, um, yeah, Yoga block or a meditation cushion or it's just something to sit up on so that during the seated sections we're comfortable. So I'm going to take my blanket and I'm going to sit it back here and um, sit on my blanket.
So you should do the same and just get into a comfortable seat. So actually that's a little low for me, so I'm going to double that up. Um, and that's going to feel better as we move into the practice. There we go. So the theme of today's class is, um, the attention being on the sensation of stretch or better said would be letting go of tension, letting go of holding, letting go, letting go, right? So muscle tissue actually only knows how to contract. So it doesn't actually stretch, it just contracts less or more.
So this whole class, we're going to be kind of diving into the sensations around stretch and using our mind and our attention to help the contractile tissues let go. So that could be in our, just directly in our muscle, but it could also be kind of in our mind, right? Just sort of right. Letting it go. Um, the other thing I want you to think about is that a lot of times we avoid things like pilates and yoga because, um, the sensation of stretch can be kind of threatening. It can make us nervous, right? It can make us feel like there's harm being done to us. So I love during this practice just to keep leaning into the breathing, particularly the exhales and really reassociating that sensation of stretch with something very positive, something that's gonna make us feel better at the end of the day. So when you notice yourself like, whew, I feel that in the back, my legs, you know, just you're gonna use that XL phase just to let it go, right? Cause it's actually not a threat. Might feel like it, but it's not. So we're going to get started with breathing so that we can, uh, have that right by right in our pockets as we go through the practice.
So find a comfortable upright position. Just take a couple breaths and just notice how you feel. You know, are you wound up? I'm a little wound up, so I'm going to calm it down and hmm. Right. And see if you can imagine your trunk lining up in a central access of support or a center line or a something of a relaxed upright posture is a good way to think of it. We're going to start with some counted breaths, right? So the goal for this breathing series is to going to be to exhale longer than we inhale. There's all sorts of good, smart, scientific reasons I think that will be helpful to you in this session, but you can just trust me and we'll go forward.
So go ahead and close her eyes and we're going to inhale for one, two, three, four, and now we're going to exhale for one, two, three, four, five. Inhale for one, two, three, four, five. Exhale for one, two, three, four, five, six. Now, if that's as far as you feel like you can go, keep doing that. If you can go further with me, let's inhale for one, two, three, four, five, six. Exhale, four. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. And just do two more of those that whatever count felt right for you. Inhaling, exhaling.
Inhale an exhale. Well, that feels so good. Let's just do it one more time. Just getting into the breath. Inhaling, I'm gonna just make that exhale just a little longer than your inhale, right? We're going to keep trying to let the exhale expand throughout this practice. So let's bring our blankets to the back of our mat here and have a seat with our legs straight out. First stretch, hamstrings.
Here we go. So finding that vertical axis of support, that upright posture. Again, let's do the deep inhale
Wrap your hands around your heels like I'm doing
We're going to start with some pelvic movements. Um, we're going to start with the movement first of, um, curling the pubic bone towards the navel. Inhale.
So what we're working with here is just opening up the joints of the hips and the low spine. So you probably don't feel like a massive stretch here, but you're definitely getting some release and movement in the lumbar spine, sacral area. So the next time you're back to center, you're going to take the right side of your pelvis and move it towards the ribcage. Inhale, exhale. Take the other side towards the rib cage.
Cross your left leg over your right. I like to bring my arms out into like a cactus position here to increase the stretch. We're going to inhale. Go over to the left.
Inhale over to the right and take the top of your leg and pull down. So you're in a full twist. Turn your head the opposite direction. And let's take two deep breaths here. Inhale, exhale. Let your shoulder blade come back towards the Mat. The left shoulder blade. Inhale, elongated. Exhale.
Take this leg up right, and it might be lower. And then we're going to inhale, cross all the way over in him. Exhale, center. Inhale, twist over. Exhale, center. And then to going this way.
Inhale out. Exhale, center.
So we're going to go in help the outside of the left foot with stick, trying to keep my right shoulder blade down. Exhale, come back.
Okay, we're going to do the roll up exercise. We're going to take, um, our tau and we're going to go through like a little series here. So you're going to hold this towel and roll back down. So I want you to slip the tub behind your head and we're going to start with head lifts, little shoulder stretching, and we'll end up in the rollups. So we're going to go inhale. I want you to use the towel to stretch the back of your neck coming forward as high as you can get. I'm really shaking here. This is super difficult.
Rural back. Slip the head tail out from under the head. Reach the arms up and down towards your lap. Inhale, reach.
Fly the towel out. Inhale, reach, exhale. Okay.
What is roll up position. Hook the towel on your feet and take a forward fold stretch. Inhale, touching in with the sensation of stretch and letting go. Reach the arms out. Exhale, you're going to roll down through the spine.
That's the hardest part. So if you're using momentum or you're cheating, good for you because a doesn't come immediately. Just doing your best is perfect. Rolling Back Down, right? That's the main thing where we're motor learning here, right? We're not just getting stronger, right? We're going to go up one more time, but we're also learning things that we don't do normally, right? That also makes us tense up sometimes.
So this practice of letting go can be really helpful for nervousness, for anxiety, for doubt, all of those things. So all around just a good idea and rest. So now I want you to bring your arms up and then slide your feet in. Pick your knees up, and if this is available to you, put your feet on the towel, like such right. If that's not available to you, um, put the towel underneath your knees and you're gonna Change your grips.
Or you're like this. But I'm going to go for this one. So we're going to just practice a little bit of public and versions here, rollover. So I want you to pull the legs towards you, bend your elbows, and just pick your booty up a little bit. Inhale, exhale. So I'm really now getting a stretch in my lumbar spine, right? So if you're doing the version where you're holding the towel like this, you're just trying to lift your bum up a little bit and back down. All right, three more. Inhale up, right? Maybe you go pretty far. It's up to you. Exhale down, right? But I'm using the towel to assist. Good. And I'm elongating those exhales. Inhale, especially on the way down here. Exhale, nice and slow and let your low back completely melt in to the surface of the mat. Super. Take your left leg into the towel, slide your right leg out, pick your head up, Tuck your Chin and pull that leg towards you, right.
And again, so I'm getting such a full back body stretch here, back of the leg, back of the back, back of the shoulder blades. So much of it. And then we're going to walk down nice and slowly controlling with your trunk muscles, right? And if you go plummeting down again, it's fine. We're in the practice, we're in the zone, here we go, other side and moving that towel out of my way and I'm going up into my tree. So walking up all the way, right? And again, I'm either trying to grab my ankle or my foot if that's available, right? And then dropping the head towards the knee. We're going to float down. Inhale, Oh, I just love the stretch. Exhale, because my head is dropped, right?
I'm also getting a little bit of stretch in my sciatic nerve here. So if you feel that kind of weird sensation, uh, that's what it is, right? And if you feel something that feels dangerous or Yucky, you know what to do. Get out of that. So walk on down. Great. And bring this knee into your chest.
Give it a little bit of a tug and roll yourself up to seated for rolling like a ball. Now we've done the rolling like a ball in all three of these beginner classes. So have you been taking the other two? We should be like getting pretty skilled at this, um, or at least better, right? So we're going to bring those toes up and down a couple times and I want you to notice how that tips your tech pelvis back a little, right?
That's what we want is a Roley Poli pelvis here. So I want to keep the legs in. Inhale, roll back, exhale, home. Inhale. I can glance down. That's going to help my roll. Leanness. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Now, if you have to use momentum, I suggest a big leg swing like this to help you, right?
Cause that's going to get it going. And it doesn't matter if that's not like the way the pros do it, right? We just want to get that moving. Bring your souls, your feet together. I have to scoot back onto the front edge of my sit bones. We're going to go into a long cold butterfly stretch here.
So I want you to just take your flat, his back, you can find right, and then start to bend your elbows and reach your elbows for the Mat. Oh boy. I bet you feel that right? And then drop your head down.
Go even deeper. Exhale and slowly stack your spine up.
Inhale. Oh, I love to breathe. I'll tell Ya. Exhale can really change your day, I'm telling you. In inhale and exhale. So now we're going to push back into child's pose. We're going to go into an exercise called picture cap, where we're really going to get some stretch into our shoulders.
Really smart way to protect your low back is to know how to direct your pelvis in space when you're doing prone exercises. So I'm going to lie down and put this right on my hip creases, right? So we've been working on keeping a nice steady press into the hip creases there.
One more set. Inhale up,
Move your towel out of the way and let's get some rotation on before we finish here. So we're going to do thread the needle. You're going to take your left arm out, you're going to stretch up a second, and then just bring it through. Bend your elbow, keep your hips squared off, and just take a few deep breaths here. Inhale,
We all have thoughts that are harder to let go of, right? So this is the practice here. So we're gonna just get into the body to help us
One more time. Inhale. It's why does you can go,
Use Your hands to come back up because boy, that was a big stretch. And let's finish with the little open like rocker. We'll start with the prep. So we're pretty stretched out for this exercise, so you might surprise yourself. We're going to inhale, stretch your leg up.
It's about letting go of the tension that doesn't allow you to do your best basically. And here we go. Both legs. Inhale, see if you can roll back and see if you get back up.