Class #3915

Spiraling Mat

25 min - Class


You will find the connection between movements with this creative Mat workout by Rebekah Rotstein. She explores spirals and how we can use them to find continuity through movement. She also plays with expansion and contraction, providing ways to stabilize and mobilize your spine.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Oct 21, 2019
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Hello, I'm Rebecca Rotstein and I am so happy to be back here at palazzos anytime. This is my ninth year visiting and every year I like to share something that I'm inspired by. And right now I want to talk about integrated movement. So our class today is a spirals mat class that is exploring this theme of how we can find the continuity through movement and how we can find a flow and how we can find the connection between motions. So let's get started. We're going to go onto our hands and knees and have your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips. We're going to start off with a nice cat cow series, so we're going to inhale and exhale.

So we're finding this continuous contraction and expansion, finding a little bit about polarity and opposition, and that's going to play throughout our spirals movement. Let's do two more. Inhale here and exhale. Just warming up the spine. Inhale and exhale. But observing how it's not really just the swine that's moving. Now we're going to make a wave like action.

So we're going to shift the weight back and we're going to exhale to propel ourselves forward into that cat. And we're going to cow back leading from the tail and exhale leading from the tail so the rest of the body basically goes along for the ride. So you start to feel that relationship and that connection through the body. And inhale, reach back. Exhale forward. Once more tail leads the weight, inhale back and exhale forward.

Let's add in a little bit more through the rest of the body. Let's take one hand back and return forward. So we're going to basically cow it back and Kat it forward and we reach. So we find that connection, that integration through the arms as well. There is nothing passive, there's nothing quiet.

There was a nice act of stretch just like an animal would reach, reach, reach, reach. And let's do two more. Keep the breath throughout and last one and all the way down. Let's roll forward again and let's bring our legs forward and we're going to sit with our feet straight out in front of us. Starting some rollback holding onto the backs of the thighs. Start rolling backward. And now inhale, rolling up and rolling back.

Just like before the tail leads the way in Hill rising. And again, let's let the arms be part of the movement. So notice how you can allow the elbows to be involved. So elbows lift and then we roll back and the elbows drop. And that helps us pull ourselves up and exhale.

So here is a part of our contraction. Here's part of our expansion through the front body at least. And exhale, inhale, rise up. And last one exhale. So there's a wave like movement and inhale up like it's take one hand and cross it over to the opposite knee. And inhale, reach back. Inhale, rise and exhale. So we start to spiral through the arm leading from the thumb. Exhale, inhale. And then you'll notice that the spiral also transmits throughout, transmits throughout the entire body. Try the other side and exhale.

Inhale, rise up. So it's essentially like an arch and cruel sort of motion, but it's also contraction expansion to more. And I tend to be a little bit stiff in my lower back. So I'm gonna think about more of the expansion happening through that lower back. As I roll back and rise, now we're going to alternate back and up and back. Up and back. Exhale and rise. Last time. Exhale and rise. Let's lower ourselves down, very slowly.

Holding onto the backs of the thighs so that we can relax through the front of the hips and we can start to get that stretch through the low back. As I was saying before, as admitting, this is my challenge right here and Loring all the way down. Lifting the arms up over head and opening the arms down to the side. Drop the chin and we start to roll up lifting tall and lowering back down. And then we'll do just a traditional roll down and roll up.

We let the arms come up overhead, breathe in, and exhale. Rising up. This time, we're gonna roll down on one side of the body. So we're gonna roll down on the right side of the body, lifting the arms all the way overhead and circling all the way up. And let's reverse that. Go down on the left side of the body. It's my challenge point and rising up and once more lowering down on the right side of the body.

So it's a circular sort of movement, but there's still a spiral within it. And rising up last time down and feeling yourself, letting go in that low back area and rising all the way up on this side. Now let's go down through the center. Exhale. So we find the length through the low back. We find the contraction through the front body and lifting the arms all the way over and Loring the hands down by the sides.

Let's bend the knees and let's do a little bridging sequence at this point. So let's begin by leading from the tail, just like we've done throughout. Inhale here and exhale, lowering back down. So we start with a little articulations series rising up and exhale or going back down. And let's just do one more like that, rising up and lowering back down. Now let's try it a little bit differently.

Let's rise up and you'll notice that I'm in a little bit of a tucked position. I'm gonna untuck and it's going to change the activation through my bottom, through my rear. I'm going to lift the arms up and I'm going to lower down on one side and then roll up. So in other words, I'm Loring on my left side and then my right, and then I'm rising first from the left and the right. So I unlevel the pelvis and reverse it. So I now lower down from the right side and then I lift up from the right side so it becomes a figure eight or a wave like action. Let's do one more there.

Let's add in the arms. I know that I did this motion or this part of this little sequence once before in PyLadies anytime, a number of years ago, but I'm so inspired by the waves outside that it makes me want to do it again. And don't worry about what's happening with the arms. Just let them move. Let it be organic. Even if you're struggling with it, just find the movement other side, down and up, because your arms are connected to the rest of the body. And there's your integration just by allowing them to move.

You're integrating it and rising up. Let's actually do one more here. Lowering down and rising back up. Now reach your hands and put the energy into them. Push down into your feet. Make sure that you're not talking your chin. And then we're slowly going to leave or down.

And here's the spiral in the inner thighs. We push back up and then we lower back down and the inner thighs spiral here all the way down. And now let's just do a couple pelvic tilts. Breathing in and out. And last one. So we're going to roll, actually, we're going to straighten one knee and we're going to roll onto the side, and we're gonna push ourselves up and lengthen and reach up toward the ceiling. So here's our push. Pull and pull down, rolling onto the other side, and we roll and we push reach and pull yourself down. So here's your contraction expansion. Here's your spiral. Integrate the motion, connect the dots and inhale and reach. Exhale down.

Let's speed it up a little bit and reach and, and breech and down. And then reach and down and reach and lower down. And this time we're gonna make it a little bit more interesting. I'm even off my mat. So we're gonna roll onto the side. We're going to slide out that top leg and without using our hand, we're going to reach and push this time from the foot, the foot going to spiral and it's going to pull us back into a seated position.

And then we're going to bend that knee and it's almost like a bow and arrow reach. And then you're going to lower yourself down onto your side and you're going to roll onto the other side. So we don't use the arms, it's the foot, it's the trunk that lengthens out. And that pulls us up into that seated position. And then we bend this knee again and we lower selves, we can tract onto the side. And let's try that once more, reach through that heel, lift that pole. And spiral you up. Reach through your hands and we pull back.

And then we lengthen and stretch and reach. Reach, reach forward. Forward, forward. One last time. Feel the connection. Feel the length, feel the polarity and lower yourself onto your side. Hey, lower your hands down. Now let's lower it cause I should say roll yourself onto your side.

One last time. And we're going to sit back just a little bit more cause we're gonna do a nice little sequence starting from a mermaid position. So you're gonna lift your hand that is furthest away from your top foot. Lift it all the way up. Find this nice stretch, breathe in, and exhale side bend the other direction. And once more, lift him, rise and side bend the other direction.

Once more. Lift and side bend. Now we start to get interesting here. So we're going to spin or pivot the top foot without using your hands if possible. We're going to shift our weight forward. So we're going to start to get a stretch to this inner thigh area and back and forward and back and forward and back. And you can use your hands. Lengthen and return once more.

Lengthen. Now stay here. Pivot on that knee. We're going to do a little side bend, stretching over and rising up, and then we're going to lengthen away and return and side bend and up and reach and return. So you're going to notice there's never a collapse. We may be contracting and expanding, but there's always in integrity throughout the body. This time let's shift our weight away from the supporting foot to bend and then shift the other direction to backbend and side bend and rise and back button. Return once more, side bend and rise and backbend and return.

Now we're going to place our hands down re-pivot that foot and maybe walk the front foot out just a little bit to stay on your mat and fold forward here. You may find that your your end limit, your end range has actually at the shin and that's totally fine, but I would like you to just to relax into it for a moment, even though you're still pressing through that back foot, so you're gonna lift up. Inhale, here's your expansion and exhale drop back down. This time we're gonna lower the back knee. Keep the back toes tucked and square off your hips. Take a moment to find an organize your pelvis, letting your head stack and rest on top of your shoulders. We're going to hover, lift and lower and lift and lower and lift and lower and lift and just stay.

Now we're going to hinge by straightening that back knee and we're going to bring the arms straight overhead. I like to think of hugging the hips together here for a little more support and I'm bring one hand back and I'm going to look over that shoulder, struggling to balance throughout and then I'm going to switch and do the other side turning my head and then I'm going to look straight down. Now for those of you who have some SSI and stability, you might find that this is more challenging, but it's also a great way to improve that stability. We're going to stay here. And then we're going to bring our hands back down. And then we're going to lift our hands as we come up into a standing balance position. So now our pelvis is really well positioned, directly over our leg, and we're going to return to that position we were just in, and we're going to bring our hands back. So we're in a nice wide lunge now.

Now we're gonna pivot and we're going to open the pelvis and it's going to be like a yoga side angle where ideally this shin is perpendicular to the ground and these toes are actually internally. The foot is internally rotated here a little bit at the, at the ankle. Inhale, feel the stretch, enjoy the spiral, and exhale let's lower selves over to the other side. And then we're going to continue this spiral so that we lower down into a seated position. And I realize for some people this might be a little bit much on the, on the, but you're gonna work with what you can. You're gonna take the same side hand as the top foot and side bend away from it. So you've been toward that top knee, and exhale, lowering the hands, find the expansion. Inhale, open the chest and exhale, let's contract and then we're going to unwind unspeakable return to that position we were at previously and now let's bend the knees and let's push the knees out.

Whew. Getting a really intense stretch on the inner thigh area and then let's pivot and spiral to the other direction. Let's lift that heel and lower and once more, lift the heel and lower. Let's lower the back knee, pivot on the knee and then lower selves into a seated position for our second side mermaid. So we're going to lift the hand all the way up and bend toward the feet. Inhale and side bend away.

Let's try it again a couple of times just finding the length, but also you'll notice that length does not necessarily have to remain constant. So we can find length, we can find contraction, we can find expansion, but there is still a change throughout. There's never a collapse. And last time and side bend over and lifting the arm up. Now we're going to do our little spiral through the hips. We're going to shift the weight forward and come back and let's use that motion through the hand as if we're pushing and you might feel a deep stretch through the soleus calf muscle all the way down to the Achilles. And let's do one more.

Now you're going to pivot on this knee and rise and we're going to do a little side bend and lunge toward the direction we're bending. And now lift and find the length lifting up for your backbend and side bend over and rise. So notice how we can find length and expansion. We're never collapsing into the low back though, and once more over, and one more back then. And this time we're going to shift the weight away so we get a nice stretch on the lateral side of the hip and up and shift and lower and shift and return and shift. Let's do one last time. It feels really, really good on my hips. I hope it does for you as well. And then this time what we're going to pivot on that bottom knee.

Maybe walk this foot outward a little bit and straighten the knee and lower the head. Take a breath in here. Get a release to the back of the neck, so the base of the skull where there's often a lot of excess tension, especially for those of us who are using a phone much of the day and texting. So we're going to lift up, but not from the base of the skull. We're going to do it from the top ribs. Here's our expansion and exhale lower down. Let's lower the knee and we're ready for our hip and glute work here.

So we're going to first organize ourselves so that we can stack right up and I'm going to open my foot just a little bit there and we're going to lower down and we're going to hover and lower and hover and lower and hover and stay. This time straighten that back. Knee is going to enable us to hinge forward. We're going to bring our arms straight overhead and I'm plugging that back foot into the ground. I'm going to lower one hand and I'm going to look out toward the beautiful water. And then I'm going to switch hands and I'm going to struggle to stay upright.

And then I'm going to bring both hands up overhead, lengthening through the crown of my head, bringing both hands back, and then I'm gonna shift the weight forward to balance and I'm pushing down through the ground so that I can find that appropriate amount of tension throughout my entire body. And then I'm going to return into that big lunge. Big step back, bringing my hands back because now I'm going to pivot and lift this arm overhead. And here's my side angle pose. So again, knee is over the ankle and I'm going to spiral and twist through my upper body. Breathing in the toes of this foot are slightly pointing inward. Inhale once more, and exhale, and then I'm going to lower down. And then I'm going to continue my spiral so that I'm completely seated.

I'm going to open my chest, inhale and exhale. And I did that slightly out of order, but it's all good because we're now going to take the same side hand as the top foot and side, been away from it, breathing in and exhale, and now we're going to do one more thing in the order that I did on the other side. We're going to go into a little expansion, little back Ben and contraction and returning on swiveling into the position I was initially and then we're going to bend both knees. We're going to get that stretch once more between the inner thighs and then we're going to turn to the other direction. One more time, lowering the head, lifting the back heel and lowering the back heel, lowering the head, lowering that knee, pivoting on the knee and lowering to where we began that entire sequence. So let's move on from here. Let's go into our hands and knees and actually let's do more of a down dog position. We're going to continue our spiraling nature. We're going to lift the heels and lower the heels, lift the heels.

Now notice how you could shrug your shoulders, or you could create length and width between your shoulders as you do this so that you start to feel more activation and more activity happening between the mid shoulder blades as opposed to above the shoulder blades and lowering back down. So let's take one foot and lift it up for an arabesque and we're going to pull that knee inward. And then we're going to pivot and we're going to lift the foot straight out in front of us. We're going to bend the knee, lowering that hand, and continue to swivel and pivot until we do a back bend [inaudible] and then we're going to return onto the side and we're going to try and stay steady as we lift the foot up. And then from here you're going to bring that arm up overhead and return into your down dog. Now lift the other foot and pull the knee in and replace it with the other and pull the knee in and replace it with the other and pull the knee in and lower that knee down. So we're going to turn out just a little bit lower. The other knee spiral, the arms open. Here's your expansion, [inaudible] and contraction. Place your hands back down on the mat.

Lift that same foot up again and lower it down. Pivot. And we're going to come into a sidekick position. We're going to kick the foot forward twice. Kick, kick and point back. Kick kick and point back. Once more, kick, kick and point back and straighten the knee. Bring the other foot out.

And we're going to lift the arm up for a side bend and then we're going to lower the hand and reach and rise up again. Yeah, and lower the hand and reach and rise up and pivot and swivel. And we start on the second side, pull the in and switch and we're ready for a side too. So we pull that knee in, we swivel on that hand, bring the arm straight out, pull the knee back in, swivel into like a stargazer. So the top, that outside foot, the ball of the foot is planted as we back then and we return onto the side.

Devloping the leg up toward the ceiling. Bring it all the way down and lowering yourself down. Lifting the other foot up. Inhale and exhale, pulling the knee in and lowering the knee down. Then on this side, we're going to open. Inhale, expand, exhale, contract, pivot on that foot, coming into a sidekick, lifting the foot. Go forward twice. Little harder for me on this side.

Actually I think we did three, so let's try and keep that even one more. And back Loring the foot, straightening out the other knee, lifting the arm up and side bend right here and lower the hands. So we get this nice continuous movement and lifting up and lowering down, staying steady. You don't have to stack your feet. You can have one foot in front of the other if you'd like. And so I'd been over and then we swivel and lift that foot up and let's pull the knee into the chest.

So it almost becomes a little bit similar to say the the articulation of an obstruction on the reformer. Let's do one more here and let's walk the feet all the way forward. So let's start to lift up through the chest and lower back down and rising all the way up. Inhale, let's bend the knees. Let's open the knees. Let's bend the knees contract. Let's expand through the chest. Let's contract. Let's expand. And last time, roll the legs in and roll all the way up and we're going to open the arms all the way up. Lower down with spiral one, or I'm in and rising other. Amen.

And feel that connection through the whole body. Yeah. And spiral. Okay. And rust. Thanks so much for joining me.


Always wonderful, Rebekah!
3 people like this.
thank you for making me feel like a dancer again! 
Wonderful Rebekah!
1 person likes this.
I wish I could love this a thousand times! I didn’t know when I stared, but this was exactly what my mind and body needed. Flow, connection, and integration. My hips are so tight and this sequence called on them to release and find ease. And by the end I was sweating and found that post workout buzz. You’re a dream, Rebecca!
Very cool and fun! a keeper! How did you know I was in need of an awesome class like this!?
I love this, Rebekah!  It feels sooo good!  Congrats and thank you!
Fabulons Workout, so inspiring, thank you.
Dieter N
Thank you for this wounderfull lesson,a like it very much!
Lina S
Some exercices remind me some contemporary dance moves I did a few years ago while attending a workshop. I like it!
Such a beautiful class. Thanks for the new ideas.
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