This video is part of a course.

Class #3856

Awareness Mat

25 min - Class


Welcome to Class 3! Today, Gia uses the Magic Circle to help bring awareness to the midline of your body. This class is perfect for the middle of the week when you've been on the grind at work and need to bring your attention back to your center.
What You'll Need: Mat, Magic Circle

About This Video

Aug 05, 2019
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Hi, I'm Jia Calhoun. And today we're going to be doing a class focusing on breath and awareness. It's great for the middle of the week when you've been going on the grind at work and then you need to kind of come back into yourself and kind of focus on your center. So we're going to use the magic circle. If you don't have a mentor circle, you can also substitute with a ball. Um, we're not doing anything where the circle is going on the outside of your legs. So just something to squeeze.

So we're gonna start with the circle between your thighs. You want it above your knee so it's not on the kneecap and just watch out for, there's a little nerves and stuff where sometimes it's uncomfortable. So just kind of play around with your position. And then you're going to start with your feet as close to hip distance apart as possible. I've fairly narrow hip, so mine are much wider than my hips, but I'm still squeezing the circle already. Arms are just down by your sides and in long neutral spine.

Just take a deep inhale as the XLH is going to schoolies that circle, pulling your abdominals in, but keeping that neutral spine. Inhale, open the circle. Exhale close. So as a circle is moving, you're thinking about your breath too. So this is kind of what your body's doing. You inhale, expand as you exhale everything contracts in inhale, release, keeping that neutral spine as you squeeze. Two more. Last one.

So you're going to add a little public tilt to this. So inhales the open and neutral. Exhale as you squeeze a circle, tilt your pelvis up and imprint your spine. Inhale back to neutral. Open. Exhale, squeeze. Tilt your pelvis up back to neutral as you open, released the circle.

Axial squeeze. Tilt. Two more. Last one, find a nice gentle squeeze so it's not as hard as you can. You're just kind of holding it there. I'm going to bring your legs up to tabletop.

You're going to keep your legs and tabletop hands are going to go behind your head. One Hand on top of the other. Take a deep inhale here. Exhale, just lift your chest up and then lower back down and then lift up. You're trying to get your shoulders off the mat so you're getting to the tips of your shoulder blades. And again, you're not squeezing as hard as you can miss a nice, gentle squeeze. So you're engaging the inner thighs. Exhale, lift two more. Yeah, whole the next one. Now you're going to take the circle out, put it between your ankles and then lie back down. So you're going to lift your chest up. Hareesh legs out. Arms are reaching long.

Squeezing that circle again, gently and are pump the arms for the a hundred seal. Inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale. Inhale and exhale, and he'll focus on your breathing. Exhale, you two more with the arms. Inhale and exhale. Last one. Lift this and exhale. Now we're going to switch to the legs. They squeezing. Two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five.

Inhale and exhale. We have three more. Yes. Inhale, exhale. Okay, last one. And then hug your knees into your chest.

Take your circle out from between your legs. Legs are gonna go out long. It's going to flex your feet. Legs glued together. Hands are holding the circle. Reach your hand or your fingers up so you're not gripping the circle. Just anchoring your shoulders down. Take a deep inhale as you actually just gonna hug the circle.

Gently roll up one, one at a time. Reach your head through the middle of the circle, and then roll back. I can go back and keep the ribs and get connected. You're going to roll up again. Exhaled, come inhale. As you start to roll back. Exhale, you finish. Inhale starting your roll up. Exhale to finish.

Yeah. Inhale, roll back. Exhale as you lower to more hugging the midline, pulling those legs together, re sure. And then inhale, keep flexing the feet. Exhale. Last one.

Okay, last one. We're going to stretch your hamstrings a little bit just with the circle. So you're gonna turn the circle. So the padded sides up one leg will come up to the padded side. I like to put the ball of my foot in there so that way I can really pull the circle down and flex my foot and just gently pull that leg towards you.

Try to keep the back of your leg straight. If you're a little bit lower, that's fine. If you're here, that's okay too. Just go where you can. Now keep the circle in your opposite hand. Same hand, his leg, it's going to come down and you're gonna Cross over. Just slightly. Keep that hip down and we'll stretch the it band on the side. Keep flexing that foot. Can you use that circle to help you flex a little bit deeper?

It's not the most pleasant stretch, but it's good for you. And then bring the leg back up. You're going to put the circle in your hands, hugging it against slightly fingers along. Point your toes, and then slightly turn your leg out. We're gonna do our leg circles with the arms up. So you're gonna circle around and then back up. Cross the leg around and left. So with the arms up, you have to stabilize a little bit more with your torso.

So you're not using your hands to brace one more and reverse. So your circle not quite as big as it would be with your hands down form or and lift. Try to maintain that external rotation. Inhale around, exhale up one more, and then reach that leg all the way out and then other leg comes in. So you're going to put that, follow the foot on the padded part of the circle, straight and leg. As much as you can. Flex the foot and just gently pull it towards you and breathe. Just breathe naturally while you stretch that leg.

And then opposite hand stays on the circle. Same hand comes down. Cross it over. Just slightly. Keep that hip down on the mat. Flex your foot a little bit deeper, tried to reach out through that heel and you'll feel that not so pleasant. Stretch in your ITV and just breathe into it a little bit more. As you stretch, try to relax. If you start to tense, it makes it worse, and then bring it back up to center places. Circle in your hands, point your foot, turn it out slightly, and just hug that circle gently. You're going to cross your leg around and live again, trying to keep the hips anchored down so you're not rocking. Side to side.

Two more around and up. Last one and reverse around. So this is my harder side, so my circles a little bit smaller than the first side was around. Add up one more and then reach that leg long and rest. So we're gonna come into double leg stretch.

You're going to bring your knees into your chest. Hands are going to stay in the circle and you're going to reach that circle over your ankles, hugging it slightly. Lift your head and chest up as high as you can. You're going to add hills, you reach arms and legs out. Exhale, you pull everything into a little ball. Inhale, expand. Exhale. Get rid of all the air and hill. Full breath.

Exhale three more and two trying to grow a little higher each time. Last one. And then we're gonna go into a little oblique. Oh, very variation. So you're going to have this padded part of the circle on one knee, on your thigh more, and then you're going to bring the opposite elbow onto the other petted part. You have some options with this leg that's free.

You can either place it down on the mat, you can reach it out, or you can keep it in tabletop. I'm going to keep mine and tabletop because it helps keep me a little bit more square. You're coming into this little twist. You're going to think of bringing your knee and opposite elbow together to squeeze the circle and then back so you squeeze. It's a small movement and squeeze, but it's very effective. Far More. Um, three. Make sure you're using the leg just as much as you are. The upper body. One.

Good switching science. A lot of times people want to just use the arm, but you can really get into the lower part of your abdominals for use the leg to opposite elbow on the circle. Hands behind your head. The other leg is where you like it and you're going to school weeks, a circle and release, squeeze, release. So if you're just looking from the outside, it doesn't look like I'm doing much, but it's burning quite a bit. Just two more. Last one, and then take the circle out. We're going to Roth up to a seated position. I'm going to do spine stretch, so you're sitting straight up with the legs open as wide as your mat, and then feet are flex. You're going to keep the circle in your hands again, hugging gently so they get nice and tall. Take a deep inhale. As you exhale, squeeze the circles slightly. Reach forward.

Think of your head reaching through your circle again, just like you did with the roll up. And then roll up, sitting up tall, and then x hills. You reach forward pulling the abdominals back. Inhale as you lift four more. Keep reaching out through those heels. Inhale, sitting up tall. Exhale, getting rid of all the stale air and then the Rola two more. Okay, last time. So we're gonna bend your legs, legs glued together.

Hands are still on the circle. We're going to treat this kind of like your steering wheel. So for now we're just going straight. You're going to squeeze at circle gently and you're gonna roll halfway back and then rule back up, sitting tall. So inhale at the top. Exhale the roll back, and then rolling up. Inhale and exhale.

One more. Try to hug your inner thighs together. Just like you're hugging that circle. This time you're going to roll back and hold. Find the spot that's challenging for you. You're gonna twist one side and center twist to the other side.

So for now you're trying to keep both sides of the circle even and just rotating from the waist, waist, and center, hugging those inner thighs together. One more each way. They're going to roll back up and then roll halfway back again and try to go one inch deeper. If you can. The same. We're going to add a twist to the circle. So as you twist to one side, you're going to also twist circle. So the opposite hand is up on top and then back to center to the direction you're facing. The opposite hand goes up and center. So it was like you're turning that steering wheel and whist and going right and left one more each way.

Try to keep the hips even so you're not letting lower body shift and then roll all the way up. We're going to place the circle between the inner thighs. You're going to roll back down. Feet are fairly close to you. Again, as close to hip distance as you can get. If you have a mini magic circle, you can get a little bit closer to hip distance apart and try to have your feet evenly placed. Arms are just down by your sides. You're going to take a deep inhale at the bottom here as he actually gonna roll your hips up to a bridge, one bone at a time, and he held the top exhale as you roll down so you're not squeezing as hard as he can. You're just keeping a nice pressure on the entire time. Just gentle and then rolled down so that way you can keep the inner thighs working evenly the entire time you're rolling through the spine rolling up.

Okay, and then rolling back. This time, you're going to hold it up. Keep the hips lifted, knees are reaching over the feet. You're just gonna squeeze that circle a little bit harder. And then open, squeeze and release to think it really pulling into the center and squeeze. Try to use both legs evenly. We all have one leg that's a little stronger, so try not to overwork that side. Four more and three, two. Okay, now you gonna hold. I'm going to lower the hips and inch and then push up. Lower an inch and lift.

Keep that squeeze [inaudible] times and three, two, one and then roll down and then released a circle. So we're going to put the circle between your ankles now and then you're going to lie on your side. So however you want to get there, go for it. You can have your hand behind your head or you can lay all the way down. I'm going with my hand behind my head today. Try to keep your legs in line with your body and then I'm going to point my toes just cause it helps me to reach my lays a little bit longer.

You're going to keep a gentle squeeze with that circle. Again, you're gonna pull into your abdominals and just lift both legs up and then lower back down lift. So you should feel the inner dialogue on that lower leg helping you lift. And with the weight of the circle, it's working a little bit harder than it would if you're just lifting the legs together. Four more and three, two they get a whole little squeezes with that. Circle three, four.

Can I try and get both legs working in that? Squeeze two more. And then we're going to lower onto your stomach. Try to keep the circle there. So you're gonna have one palm on top of the other four hit on top of the poem. Lift your legs up. Shoulders are down. A little squeezes here for ten nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And then I'm going to switch to the other side. Make sure I'm not going to fall off the mat. And then hand is where you want it.

Both legs and lifting. Reaching law. You're going to lift both legs up and down again. Your legs are in line with your body, making sure your ribs are in on your back. We have four more. Three, two, one, hold it up for eight, seven little squeezes, three, two, one, and then bend your legs. Take a circle out.

Just put it down for now and we'll do a little back extension. Fly down on your stomach. We're going to bring your arms to like a cactus position and you're just going to keep your arms at this 90 degree angle. Legs are pushing down into the mat. You can have your feet together or apart. You're going to lift it up or back up. Try not to get into your low back and then lower back down.

Inhale to lift. Exhale lower. So don't worry about how high you're getting focused more in length in your spine. And Loren, just think of bringing your arms with you, lit and low. Two more. Okay, last one. I'm going to lift up and hold.

You're going to keep your chest up and just reach your arms out in front of you and then bend back to that cactus position. Arms reach out. And then back. So think of moving your arms from your back so it's not just the elbows pulling down, you pulling the scapular down, pulling from the laps. And serratus, all of the muscles in your back are working to move the arms and then you're back. Extensors are also working to hold your upper back up to more. Last one and then remember to breathe and then hands come down. Push back into child's pose.

Take a brand. So we're going to go into teaser. Before we do our final stretch, we're going to use the circle of two different ways for our teaser. So the first set, we'll put it between our ankles. Second set will hold it in our hands. So put the circle between your ankles and then you can lie down.

Legs are going to go out to a 45 degree angle. Arms are going to come up overhead. You're hugging that circled just slightly, not as hard as you can. Inhale and exhale to roll up. Inhale and exhale, roll all the way down. Try to control that movement. And then again rolling it and then rolling back. You're going to hold this next one up. [inaudible] grab your circle, bring your legs together.

You're gonna hug that circle between your hands this time and roll back. Try to keep your legs in the same position. Roll back this time if you'd like, you can bring your arms up and then keep your arms up overhead as you roll back arms come back down to roll you up, arms up, roll down, and then bring the arms up. Roll up to that teaser, and then arms come up as you rolled out. Hug your knees into your chest. You can just move your circle out of the way and just rock side to side.

And we'll finish with a little stretch so you can spring your arms down by your side. Fetal come down. You're gonna take one leg cross at your knees when like over the other. If you can get your arms out to a t, go for it. I'm just going to keep my arms in a little v and just bring one leg or twists to the direction that your legs are. Try to keep that opposite shoulder down. If you want to turn your head the other way, you can just try to breathe into ribs, find a nice opening coming back up to center, but keep your legs crossed this way and then both legs will go the other direction.

This time let the weight of your top leg kind of pull the other leg down. You get a nice stretch in your hip. Again, you can turn your head in the opposite direction if you'd like. It feels really nice. And then coming back up on cross your legs and other leg on top. So I'm going to go in the direction of the legs.

Your head can go the opposite way if you'd like. Again, keep the opposite shoulder on the mat. Let's get a nice stretch and your spine breathing into the ribs and into the back. And let me coming back up, keeping the legs across this way, bring your legs to the other side. Let the way that that top leg pull your leg down and switch out your hip a little bit. One more deep breath here and then back to center. And then just roll up nice and gently and just take a nice breath and I continue on with recipe day. Thank you.

The Pilates Daily: A Class for Each Day of the Week: On the Mat


2 people like this.
I like the class a lot; short and effective...thank you Gia
Your way of teaching really allows me to tune in and focus on the details, thank you. 
3 people like this.
I love your voice. So calming. Great short class series.. great job x
Lisette-Anne I agree with you. All of Gia's classes are like that for me too. 
1 person likes this.
Thank you all! 
Mary A
1 person likes this.
Lina S
1 person likes this.
Nice workout with the magic circle. I've liked the hundred variation as well as the challenging criss cross variation.
Lina That's one of my favorite ways to work the obliques!
Dena M
1 person likes this.
This was a great workout. I like having an option for getting in an effective yet fast Pilates workout.  Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Lovely class, tough little abdominal section yet you managed to talk!!!!!👏🏼
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