Class #3895

Me and My Mat 2

35 min - Class


Find places in your beginner program where you can start to add a few challenging activities (and even challenging thoughts) with this Mat workout by Karen Sanzo. She encourages you to progress your practice either by increasing the repetitions or by holding some key exercises for an extended period of time. You will be guided through all ranges of movement exercises using breath and the key connections you have learned from her previous classes and tutorials.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Me and my mat. No props, just you and your body and your breath. Starting in standing. I feel a little like Jane Fonda, but hey, what the heck? Love her. Inhale, arms up to the sky. Exhale, arms down. Inhale, arms up. Circle around. Don't be afraid to use your arms to stretch your ribs. One more time. Arms Up. They stay up. Legs come apart. Just from here. Big Inhale.

Lift the chest. Arch your upper back. Look up to the sky. Exhale, bend your knees, round your spine. Give yourself a big hug. Inhale, press your feet. Open the chest. Open the heart. That's a big inhale. Exhale, round your spine, making flection connection all the way around.

Inhale, extension, connection. Open the chest. Open everything. Exhale, come back to center, right arm comes up. Side bending torso to the left, two feet equally planted down. Stay here. Can you side bend any bit more? Arm is nice and strong. Bring yourself all the way up. Left arm up. Inhale your left ribs open as you side.

Bend to the right and bring yourself up. Don't bypass this breathing. Opening, opening up your body. Opening up your mind one more time. Bring yourself back to center. Arms come up, right leg comes up, hold, inhale, exhale, lowers down and then switch. Inhale, exhale. The first couple are a little wobbly and then they get better.

You find a focus, you find your buttocks, you find all the connections you need in standing. One more time, ending here. Arms out to the side, legs out to the side. Bend the knees a little bit. You're going to step over this way and then bend. Step over this way. Then step over this way. Bend, step over the other way. Again, it feels a little Jane Fonda Ish, but we're just getting the hips and the knees in check.

Now we take a bigger step and stand a bigger step and stand two more and come up. Uh, last time. Come up, arms down, spine. Twist right along your spiral. Firmly planting the feet, allowing the left pelvis to twist to the right. Exhale center, twist to the other side, allowing the pelvis to move. As you twist. Now Watch. Twist your torso in your thorax, but keep your head straight ahead and then stay looking straight ahead. I know I'm looking right at the camera and twist your trunk.

Twistings spiraling. So important. Take an inhale as you exhale, round yourself down and then unwind yourself up. Now instead of a round, we're going to hinge forward. Remember a hinge is about the position of the sacrum lifted the front ribs come to join the back ribs and the head is in line with the spine. Arms are out long. So from this hinge position, we're gonna stand up, tighten the buttocks. We're going to hinge and stand back up.

We're going to hinge, stand back up. One more time, hinge and one more time. Stand back up. Now I'm going to hinge forward on just my left leg, bowing or hinges. The hinges comes from the hip joint and now the load is going to be in the left leg. As I just hover my right leg up off the ground, I'm going to scoop in my belly. But in this position here, it's not so much about your abdomen pulling in, although it should be engaged. It's about the position of these back ribs and that keeps a load all the way in this left leg nice and strong. I'm just going to hold this for about five more seconds. Four, three, two. One leg comes in, stands back up other side. Again, a double leg.

Hip hinge says that I hinge forward from my pelvis, flexing at the hip, not my spine. My spine stays long and Straw. Now I'm going to use the table for balance. I'm going to pick up my inside leg, outside leg here, working really hard. Want to be very mindful that this knee doesn't collapse in one. Oppress the floor from your heel, getting a nice load in the back side of this buttocks.

So important for bending over, picking things up. I can raise and lower this outside leg. I can do a myriad of things. Most importantly, managing the load in the outside of this buttocks and then bring ourselves all the way up to standing. Continuing now with a little leg focus. Let's start lying on our side. Make a little, uh, kickstand with this top hand, of course, and then slide both your legs forward, starting very long and strong.

With the top leg, we're going to lift up and up and up. So really waking up this whole lateral line. Interestingly enough, as I lift my top left leg up and down, I actually want you to press your bottom right heel down. It will make a very deep connection in the bottom leg. We're going to get five more, four, three, two, and one. Now dynamic kicking forward to point the toe. Go back, the belly pulls in the pushes back the leg.

Stay Straight and exhale, and two more and back and last time and back with the heel reaching long right here. We're going to circle it small five times in each direction, a very familiar exercise, and then reverse it, making sure that this leg doesn't sag down. Okay, so it has to stay loaded in the top of this hip. Good. And now pause right there. You're going to bend the knee. You're going to take your top arm, bring it all the way behind you, grab your ankle. If you can. If you can't, then you just leave the leg. Here. You're using the backside of your left buttocks to push it back and back and back and back. Bottom right heel, pressing down front ribs connected towards the back ribs. Two more. And then last one, reach both arms and both legs away from each other and just hold that right there. So now you no longer have a kickstand. Top leg, 10 more times nine, eight, seven, six and five and four and three and two and one.

And then everything comes to rest in the center. Holding yourself right here. Gonna [inaudible] yourself, self up on your right forearm. Preparing here now for a little mini site plank, a short version, side plank. Managing our position right here. This would be the easiest position pressing down with both of your knees to engage the bottom hip. Remember whenever you're up off the mat, it's the part that's closest to the ground that's working.

Let's do that one more time. So in this side, it's the bottom side. Now I'm going to take my top leg lifted up and hold and then bring it in and lower down. Now I'm going to take both of my knees and slide them back so that my head and my torso are in a straight line. Now the exercise becomes a little more challenging. I can lift the top leg, come in, go or down needed a little bit more challenging. I stretch both legs out.

I lift up my head is in line with my spine. One arm reaches a I hold for five and four and three and two and one. Remembering you have the progression which was both knees in switching sites. Remembering in your sidekick series that when you lift up the top leg, you first want to get the awareness of the entire lateral line. If this leg nudges forward a little bit, you're going to be working more of this anterior thigh and what you really want is the lateral hip at the pelvis.

These muscles right there up and down about five, four, three. You can count these and let me know if I did more on one side or the other. Lift up and hold bottom heel pressing down. It talks to that bottom hip very deeply. Now circle five and four and three and two and one reverse it, one and two, three and four and five and rest.

Now you're going to bend this knee and bend the bottom knee. Sometimes for a little to support reach that leg. Very long dynamic, kicking forward to back to flex it and pointed. Inhale and exhale. There's no way you can be completely still in this dynamic exercise, but you get the gist of working to keep the pelvis level or the leg level with the pelvis. Of course we'll do two more. And then last one, and again, what I mean by that is not letting this leg sag down cause that makes too long of a length here. So now we take this top arm, reach it all the way over the head, we get long and then from here we get 10 more, nine, eight and seven. Six you'll hear my breath start to speed up because it's not easy.

Five and four and three and two and one. Bend this knee, bring it behind you and lengthen it. So from here we want to look at my belly. Hang forward. I want to take my ribs back again. We'll hit the rib position in another tutorial.

But from here I want to be sure and manage my rib package so that it's back, gives me the fullest stretch of this leg. I bend my knees, come up for my first side plank. My knees are actually in front of me. It's my pelvis and my shoulders that are level. Again, this is not easy, but it's managing the underside of the hip. A lot of people get carried away with their arm and shoulder in the side plank. And what we really need to do is ask the hip for a little bit of help down below. And we'll do that one more time. Press Down with both of my knees. Take the top leg, managing this, load this lever.

Now it gives you more work on the bottom hip. We come in and down. I'm gonna take both my thighs, slide them back, manage my rib packaging here to knees pressed down and I lift up and down to about three times here last time. Just a little lift, bottom side, working bottom core members, a three dimensional space, two legs come out long and then I lift up and I hold myself right here for five. You could lift your top leg if you want. I can't two and then one and then I lower myself down. Ben, both my knees in come to my backside.

Yeah, keeping the idea with the hip awareness. I'm going to lift up into a couple of bridges here. Remembering now when I lift up into a bridge, this is actually hip extension. We're going to build this a little bit more. Now I'm going to bring my right knee into my chest to allow my pelvis to tilt and then I'm just going to do bridging with my left leg because the only thing that can lift me now is my glute.

My spine is in a little bit of flection because I've pulled my opposite knee to my chest. We'll do this. Three more and two more and last time, lower down, switching legs again, having this left knee into my chest puts my pelvis in a smidge of a posture. Your tilt and that will take away any desire for my spine to do. Hit Do, do spinal extension and now I can isolate hip extension. I'll get five more and four and three and two and one and then lower down.

Continuing now on with trunk flection from top to bottom. This is against gravity. I nod my head, chin, my neck flexes. Yes, my neck is loaded. Yes, front of my body. Trunk is loaded. Yes. And then I lower myself all the way down. Be Mindful here that the neck does receive a load. I have [inaudible] just flex my neck. Then I flex my trunk.

This is so important. Staying right here, reaching long. Inhale, exhale. I lower my shoulders. I almost feel like I'm pulling my throat back and then my eyes glance at the ceiling. I'm gonna do that two more times. Neck flection, trunk flection. The net getting tired is different. Then the neck hurting. So the neck getting tired is okay. As I curl up a little bit more, I'll take a little bit of drag off my face because I can curl my trunk.

I'm going to take a big inhale here. Exhale, lie myself all the way down. Right leg comes into table top. You've been here before. The belly scoops, left leg matches, two legs squeezing together like one. Now with my arms coming to the ceiling so I don't use them, they come to touch in the center. My legs sway to the left. They come back to center. My legs swear to the right. They come back to the center. They sway to the left. If I can maintain that, then I lengthen my lever arm. I bring everything back to center.

I take two straight legs over the other side. Everything comes back to center point and flex the toes. Pull the belly in. I hold right here in a toe, pointed together. Toes turned out. I go to the left, pause. I lower my legs. I follow my heels with my eyes as they go to the right and as they come back up and then I switch. If I end up needing a little help for my arms, I put them down, but I don't want to always rely on them.

I want to keep my core connection as I do this little exercise we call corkscrew one more side and then last time and then knees come all the way in. Pause right there. Two feet, press down, arms come up. Bottom comes up holding right here in this bridge. Now I'm going to roll my spine all the way down. Arms come down, head comes up, legs come up, hundred beats.

Yes. Ah, Ah Huh. Ah, okay. Ah, and we'll get more of those after arm's come up over the head. Preparing to roll up. My first roll up will be a helping roll up as I press my leg into my thighs or my hand into my thighs to curl up. I stack up my spine, I start to roll just part way down. I manage this downward load right here.

And then I bring myself back up. Palms face the ceiling. I roll partway down. I challenge the load by leaning my body to one side, leaning my body, the other side. Come back to center. Bring it on up. One more time. Tip and curl my pelvis all the way down. Hold arms to the left. Roll a smidge. Arms to the right.

Roll a smidge. Arms to center. Everything all the way down. Who Does it? Tough one, right knee comes into your chest. Give it a little stir. So different pieces of a mat workout. Load your system, make you have a little breath challenge. And then you continue on single leg. Circle around, up and stop. So guess what?

On single leg circle, what if I take my hands to the ceiling, make a core connection by squeezing my palms together and then I revert. Nice. Here's two more. And then last one. Now I'm going to hug my knee, lift my head because I have more hundred beats to uh, finish up. So I'm going to curl this rib, hover my left leg up off the ground. And hold everything in Nice and connected.

Okay. Now can you let go of your hands and don't change this position? Continue. Last one. Switch legs first. We give that leg a little stir.

Get the hip joint. Now if this leg doesn't go straight a year, thigh is the part that matters. You don't want to, uh, you know, just try to bulge yourself up like this or you want to stay nice and long. Inhaling, exhale around and come up again. How do I make this harder? I can reach my arms above, over my head. Squeeze them together. Last one in this direction. Reverse it. Last one.

Give it a hug. Hugging. It starts to reinforce the flection. I lift my head, I curl my trunk, I pull this knee in, I have her there other leg up. Now I try to hold this position, pulling my belly in. Got 20 more beats. [inaudible] oh, I'll do 10 more over achiever. Everything comes down to feet. Come down, lifting up your bottom. Now the bridge almost becomes a rest.

You almost look forward to the bridge and then lower yourself all the way down. Lifting your head, grabbing your thighs, curling yourself up, rounding yourself forward, preparing for rolling like a ball. Inhale, start to build up your ball. Make it a little bit bigger here. The distance between your thighs and your belly stays the same.

You start to tip over. You inhale through those back ribs. Exhale, rolling like the ball. Yes. I hope you saw my shirt. I'll show it to you in a little bit because now maybe you've never done it, but remember Mr [inaudible] did rock around the clock. So when he rolled down and then they come up and he rolled down and then he came up. So this is imperfect here, but we're going to go for it on this high table and I'm just going to come till you see me all the way in the front. Keep your rolling.

Yes. And then we're going to go back in the other direction. Gets your obliques come up round. Now, believe it or not, I like to do rolling like a ball before I do my full roll up, but we're going to actually incorporate the rollover with a little momentum. So that was another little peek. Rolling like a ball is a challenging exercise there for me. It is.

Any way to keep that flection connection. So inhale here. Exhale, scooping in the belly. Starting to roll back. I'm going to use a little momentum rollover. Roll down. Roll up around four rollback arms, press, lift it, rolled it. Come up. Round Scoop, back, press, arms rollover. Roll down. One more. Rolling.

Good job. Hi. Give myself a pat on the back. Legs apart. Spine stretch followed by Saul. And then swan gives you a little heads up of what's to happen. Belize pulled in. How I'm going to manage my posture. Your ribs right here, they're backwards. Aren't not backwards, but they're pulled back this way. Inhaling, exhale, the head nod.

Ah, rounding, rounding, rounding in my spine as much as I can before simply leaning forward in my hips. I'm going to take a big inhale while I'm down here. Exhale, keep the back ribs back as I stocked the spine all the way up. Inhale. Exhale, head nod, rounding, rounding, another big exhaling. Yeah, stack up. One more time. Exhale, round and [inaudible] round and round and round. And then bring myself all the way, way up. Arms to the side saw.

Saw starts really long, really strong in the center. It's a twist on an inhale. It's an exhale. Reach, reach, reach. It's an inhale. Come up briskly. Exhale, center. Inhale, twist. Exhale. Notice my back palm up. Reaching this way to turn my thorax any bit more? Come up in that twist. Exhale, center.

Okay. [inaudible] ah, exaggerating the breath. [inaudible] oh. [inaudible]. Oh, ah, yeah.

Rolling down. Turning onto your tummy. Now. Spinal extension. First. Spinal extension forehead is down. Making a connection through your legs, through your legs, through your legs, through your legs. Arms come down. Helps your spine. Three times one and two and three now directly into rockets.

Active spinal extension one Optiv spinal extension, two active spinal extension. Three arms to the side, arms over the head. Swimming. Inhaling, exhaling. Inhaling, exhaling. Reach, arms out, arms back, arms down. Coming up to the hands and knees. Heels together, knees apart. Sit back. Lengthen spine, arms reach to one side, stretching the opposite ribs, arms reach to the other side. Stretching the opposite ribs, bringing yourself all the way on up to kneeling. Okay. This exercise, thigh stretch. You want to be sure your hip creases his back. You don't want to start in a bulged position of your thighs. You want your belly to be zipped up, your front ribs to approach those back ribs.

Nice long line arms by your side first. Everything's staying close to the center. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale x tail. One more time. Go back, stay back. Make it a challenge. You can take your arms up over your head. You could take your arms out in front of you.

You could take your arms out to the side and then bring yourself forward. I'm going to go back one more time like this. Take an inhale. Arms come out, arms come forward, arms come out, arms come forward. Or One more time. They come forward. Bring yourself all the way back. Sit back on your heels coming down to your belly again, getting propped up in this spinal extension. For this exercise we call single leg kick. It often gets lost.

Single leg kick and double leg kick. So my forearms are parallel because I don't like my shoulders to be an internal rotation, so I'm going to pull my chest forward, tightened my legs, I lift my heart, my upper back is an extension. Inhale, exhale, reach, love left leg. Inhale fur to exhale, reach long. Inhale for two. Exhale, reach long. Last one, inhale, and then you can do them all connected. Wow.

Reach Long. Next exercise. Double leg kick, often forgotten. Exercise. All the pieces come in your way right now turning my head to the right. I take my hands behind my back. My shoulders are in internal rotation, my elbows are down. I take an inhale. Exhale, I tighten my thighs. Kick one, I kick two, I kick three. I turn my hands around to open my shoulders and external rotation to lift my chest, tighten my legs, and then I turned my head to the other side, bending my elbows, hands up the back. Shoulders in internal rotation. Kick one kick to kick. Three. Inhale.

Exhale. Inhale extra in a rotation. If you can't grab your hands, that's fine. You can be external rotating here, turn your head. You can be internal rotation here. Kick, kick, kick, inhale, reach long external rotation. Turn the head internal rotation kick and kick and kick.

Lower yourself all the way down. Bring yourself back, sit on your bottom. Continuing now with our plank progression, so as I mentioned before, whenever a piece of your body is up off the table, it's that part of the body that you're talking to. So in this plank progression, it's the front part of her body. So the elbows are straight, the head is in line with the spine. So the, I can just pick my knees up here and I can just manage my body weight over my wrist. But if that bothers your wrist, then just move your hands out and then just take your body forward towards your hand so that this becomes your plank. Okay, so just hold this right here. Arms are active, feeder squeezing front ribs are to back ribs and then I'm going to bring myself back. I'm going to do that again. Now if I stay here and go right to a full plank, that's going to be more challenging. So I'm going to bring my hands back, come to my full plank. Now in this full plank, I have to feel the front of my body. For some people, they think that this is the plank and that's just hanging. So for some people, they're gonna feel their plank actually a little bit better if they're a little bit higher. Now I can challenge my plank by moving this out. This way I can challenge my plank by coming down on my elbows. I can lean to one side and come back up.

Any version here is good for your plank, so I can lower down both my elbow simultaneously, but I take turns on which side I come up. Yes, it's my arms. Yes, it's my trunk. What about a black? A back plank, back plank. We'll get you ready for leg pull up, which is more of an advanced exercise, but we start the back plank here, not by shrugging, but by depressing lifting the chest, lifting the heart, pressing the feet. This is our version of a little reverse plank and then come down. Let's do that two more times. Chest lifts by pressing the arms, buttocks lifts by pressing the feet, and then I progress that of course into the more traditional position with my fingertips facing in. I open my chest. Inhale, big exhale.

Press the arms to lift the chest, press the feet to lift the thighs and everything comes down three times. That's one. Exhale for us. The shoulders, press the feet, repress shoulders, repress feet, and then lower down. One more time. This is a toughie. Press the arms and the shoulders. Lift the chest, press the heels, lift the pelvis, press the arms, lift the chest, press the feet, lift the pelvis, everything comes down. Sitting yourself back up, reaching arms forward, pulling in the belly, lowering yourself all the way down, all the way down and all the way down. Bending both of your knees and true to form. Finishing with a bridge.

Take a big inhale and then as you exhale here, squeeze both of your thighs together, dipping one pelvis down, and then up other pelvis down and then up. And then lower your trunk all the way down, all the way down and all the way down. Okay, so now towards the end of the workout, feel how long and strong you can feel with both your legs out long. One leg lifts straight to the ceiling. If you can't lift a straight leg, then just slightly bend the knee, making sure the thigh is vertical. Now scooping in your belly. Take the a there, the other leg up.

Now hold yourself right there. Two arms come up. Now oftentimes we call this a fundamental, but you know this exercise right here, piercing concentration, alternating arms and legs, whatever you want to do here, it's all about where your back ribs are. Now let's take the same side arm and the same side, leg and whole and return. Same side arms, same side, leg hole and return both arms, both legs, long spine, hold and return. One more time. Hold and return. Knees come in, feet come down. And then bring yourself up to standing.

Okay, in the standing position. Now heels, toes apart. Shrug your shoulders up, back and down. Just a little basic heel raise up down. When you lower your heels, try not to raise your toes, so push the balls of the feet down to raise your heels. I hadn't been, Lord hadn't. So up and down and up and down.

One more time. Lift up and hold. Hold yourself right there. Now a track those ankle bones together. This is hard. It's hard for me all the time. I'm gonna actually hold my hands together. It gives me a little focus. I'm going to bend and straighten. Bend and straighten. I'm getting a little bit better.

Sometimes you have to bypass that little queasy spot to get it and then lower down. Now you put it together. Bend, lift, zip drop. Then lift, zip and drop. One more. Bend, lift, zip drop. Reverse lift, bend, plant the heels. Stretch the ankles. If up, just three, lift and bend. Drop Ziff last one, lift and bend and drop and Zip. Arms come down by your side. Inhale, arms out circles. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Reverse the direction. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, out to the side. Palms down. Four. Squeeze your heels. Seven, eight palms up. Same direction.

Four, five, six, seven, eight. Palms down. Reverse directions. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Palms up, same direction. Reverse. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Chest expansion, arms. Inhale, pull down. Look left. Look right. Look, center, release in health. Fill the chest. Expand at, look right, look left. Look, center. Release. One more time. Inhale, look left. Look right. Look, center release.

Last one, pull arms. Look to the right. Don't move your left shoulder. Look to the left. Move your right shoulder. Look, center, and then release. Thank you for joining me.

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1 person likes this.
You are amazing Karen ...I just really love your classes. It feels like home to me. i love your energy.  i identify with you. Like attracts like.
Thank you for sharing your work. all the best
Blair C
1 person likes this.
What great cues and energy.  I really love this. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Love the mat again!! Thanks for sharing your great energy and wonderful clear cues.
1 person likes this.
That was an awsome workout, with lots of energy passed on by the teacher. Thankyou so much!!💕
Rachel L
1 person likes this.
Wow everything about this class is dynamite! The clear cues highlight elements of each exercise that deepen the dynamic within the body. Simple exercises with many variations to increase intensity. IN LOVE!!
1 person likes this.
Dear Karen l like your class and l like your energy. Definitive one of favorite classes.
What everyone says! Thank you
Summer G
1 person likes this.
Your cues are incredible. Master of your craft! Thank you for sharing!
Aleksandra K
1 person likes this.
Bardzo fajna lekcja, fajna instruktorka !
1 person likes this.
Fun class. I love love love Karen's shirt! I'd love to get one!
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