Class #4011

Magic Circle Play

30 min - Class


Get ready to play with this fun Mat workout by Jenna Zaffino. She uses the Magic Circle in creative ways, using it to strengthen and stretch throughout the class. She encourages you to let your body move how it needs to so you can feel open and free.
What You'll Need: Mat, Magic Circle

About This Video


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Hey everyone, let's get ready to play. Take your circle in your hand. We're going to use it as a weight to help us open up the range of motion before we get a little smaller. So we're just taking it up and back and getting a little bit of a rhythm going. Let's do two more. Let your body move how it needs to right now and then let's reverse forward and to, and this should be really free and fun.

One more. Now let's take the other side and two and three and just let that circled. Determine which way or how far you want to go. Reversing direction two and three. And every time we do it, it's going to be a little different.

So we're going to take it across the front body, so each arm will have a different kind of range of motion, a different pathway. And that's okay. Let's reverse around two bonus points for following the circle with your eyes and not falling over. It's go other arm and two, just rolling through your feet, starting to shift your weight, reverse direction. One and two, and three and four. And then we're going to take the circle forward. Bend your knees, let it swing through your legs. Come up and switch hands. Little bit of coordination. Don't throw it too far. Yes, it's a little like a kettlebell swing, but also hand-eye.

Some nice fun motion for the hips. Let's go four and three. You can be liberal with your swings or you can go crazy. Good. Now let's go up to the side and then we're going to swing and catch it and swing and catch it and swing it.

Catch it and swing and catch it and swing and catch it and swing and catch it and swing and catch that. Keep going. Reach it and reach it and reach. There we go. As you get comfortable, you may get a little bit more courageous. Swung it up a little higher. One more. Now let's do a little bit bigger. One to the front and front, front and right across reach, reach, reach, reach. The only rule is, well, I'm not going to say the role because as soon as I say the rule, it's going to happen, but you know what I mean?

There's only one thing you're not supposed to do here too. I'm jinxing myself right around. Good. Let's bring it back together. We're going to start with our circle right on our forearms. Just below your elbow would be the direction and roll your shoulders back. I've got my legs together. To start.

We're going to squeeze into the circle in an effort to rotate our shoulders open, so chest open, shoulder blades, just gathering together, hands reaching, and then release. Let's press to open and release. Think of the fronts of your bicep muscles facing to either diagonal. It's not a big range of motion, just a little rotation here. It's maybe even calling the rotator cuff muscles into play. From here, we're going to press into the circle and as you rotate, let's just take a little lunge forward so we add a little element to it.

Release, squeeze and release and squeeze and release and press. So at the beginning here, I really like to get just considerate of the sort of tension that I want to work with. If you kill the circle on the first go round, oftentimes you don't have much left to go for a full set. So let's just temper ourselves. Let's pace ourselves. Good. One more. Each side, lunge and center and lunch and center. Very nice. Now we're going to take the circle. You're going to find this space at your biceps just at the top where you can hold onto it. And I'd like you to bring your fingertips together here.

And what we're going to do is squeeze the arms together, the upper arms until it's easier to bring your palms together and hold it. And then we'll slowly release here. So let's squeeze in for three, two, one and release. Let's let the arms drive the hands together to one and release. If you can spread out those fingers more so you're really getting a lot of activity and to your hands, we all need that stretch to one and release. Now from here we're going to go in to one and stay.

Peel your fingertips away from each other, keeps squeezing into your biceps and flex. Press through the heels of your hands. Keep squeezing, bring the heels of your hands back together, rotate or press, and then open at the top. So we press the biceps together, bring the palms together, we peel the fingertips away. We open and reach through the heel of the hand, still working in word with those arms, and then we pull everything back together. Close to open the arms. It feels like nothing and yet, well it looks like nothing. It feels like everything reaching.

Pull it in together all the way back. Let's add a little knee bend as we reach, pressing it out and then bring the heels together. Release one more time just to vary our standing position. Good. Pull all the way back to center. Good. Take your circle. Let's take the heel of the hands on to the circle.

We're going to leave the fingertips. Free. Elbows wide, pressing in three, two, one little release again. Three, two, one little release. Bend your knees to one. Pull it together. Three, two, one and lift three, two, one and lift three, two. Now stay all the way down. And pulse go. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two. Stand up tall. Press in about halfway and reach forward. Three, two, one. This time as you come in, bend, stand up. Three, two, one bend, little release. Press two, one bend, release. Press two, one vendor release for four, two, one. All the cracks are a bonus to one and that's what I've been telling myself.

Three, two, one and one more. Three, two, one. Let's lift your right heel up as you lift your arms overhead. Lower to chest level. Repeat on the left and lower and the right and lower. Just getting used to a little overhead movement and lower. We're going to lift up the heel as you bend the knee to lift your knee up higher. Bend your elbows and let your halo drop per really sit down.

We and then lower all the way down. Lift up, pull it in, reach it up, lower down. Raise the heel, lift your knee, press it high, lower down. Raise the heel, lift the knee to the toe and one more. Each side. Lift and bend. Hello and place and lower. Last time and lift and bend and place and lower.

Let's circle the arm around. Come back to center and to just opening up your bicep and three, shifting your weight and for reverse and you might even feel like it's possible to start taking a balance and three and four bring it back to center. Let's do the other way one, and together if you feel like you can balance right, go for it. And three and four reverse. Going back to confront. Sometimes spending so much time in requires a little time out, up and for and together. Good. Let's bring the arms forward.

We're going to bend your elbows back behind your head. Think like a big old pair of headphones right along each ear and then press in again. Three, two, one release, press, press, press and release. Press two one and release and press two one and release. Now from here, a little pressure. We're going to just circle those headphones around to your ear.

Circle it in front of your face. Hello, frame your head, circle it to the other side, maybe parallel and all the way back around four times. Here's two to go front to go side to go back, so I'm in tempting to just let my shoulder and my arms do the work here and just trying to keep everything else still to one and we're going to reverse directions. Going side to front to side to back, and just resisting the urge to bend. We're going to get a chance to bend in just a moment. Good. Three, two, front to side, two back and four and front and side and back. Let's take it in your right hand and then let's toss it together and step out together. Figure it out. Just try to make it happen and step through.

You're stepping out with the opposite hand that you through the circle, and this is just a distraction to get us away from that shoulder work. One more and back to center. We're going to take our legs into a turnout position. Come back all the way up overhead. Bend your elbows. This time we add the spine so you've got a little bit of a pressure into the circle. You're going to start to side bend slightly as you take it around.

You're going to bend your knees as you bend your upper spine forward, you're going to aside bend back and then we're going to take the chest on the ceiling. Huh? And then again, side bent and forward and side bend. Just carve out that circular space and side bent to go forward. Bend the knees, side bend and up. One more time and side vent and forward and side bend and yes we go the other way, so go side. Then the knees and the spine side and chest on the ceiling side and around side and keep that pressure side. See if he can hang on to it.

It's definitely an act of endurance. Lift last time, side bent and round and side and center. Chest lifting all the way up to lower, all the way down. Okay, we've got one more standing exercise for the moment. Wide. Second position, reach our arms all the way up. This time we're taking it out long out to the side. Then from here we're going to bend the knees and you're going to round the spine forward. Drop the way down into your legs and hips. Press down through your feet to come around to the side and you guessed it, chest on the ceiling, same direction side.

Then bend your knees, reaching to the side bent and then stand tall and to the side vent. Rounding forward, let that spine flow and reach. Think of that circle. It's a planet orbiting you to the side and lift. We've got one more in this direction. Side bend and forward bend, side bend and reverse over to the other side.

Bend your knees deeper if you can side, lift your spine higher and side bend, bending over to the side and catch that balance. Do suck and rounding over lift and side and around and over and lift. Whoo. Let's forget together and wow. Let's get our bearings for a moment. Here we go to the ground. Let's go ahead and reach our arms all the way up round all the way forward.

Place our circle down, take your heels, lift them up, and we're going to go ahead and transfer onto the floor here. Incidentally, if you lose your balance in the standing exercises, it can just be a really good piece of information. Of an area that you need to spend a little more time in it. So no worries. I fell. Maybe you did too. It's going to be okay and we get to stretch now because we did all that work. So we're going to take our circle perpendicular, reach one leg down.

You can start with ever leg you like place the ball of your foot up against the handle of the circle and let's just point and flex. So with your fingers, add a bit of resistance so that your foot has to work the circle to reach up and resist it on the way down. Let's do one more time reaching and good. So we'll keep, if I've got my left leg in the circle, my opposite hand has the ring. Take your hand other hand out to the side and then just cross your body over.

Let's just explore what's there and then recover back from that experience and then do it again. So you're just reaching into that end range and recover. We'll do two more times like that reaching, and I'm at this point just playing around with leaving my hip connected to the mat, not doing too much. And then let's take it over one last time. And just for an added treat, we're going to turn the sole of the foot to the side of the room.

Just wake up the side muscles on our calf and then release and then turn it. It's like you're looking at the side of the room with the sole of your foot. Let's just do one more there and release and then bring it all the way back up. Exchange hands, take your other arm out to a tee and just open that leg out to the side. Can you keep your opposite hip down?

Sometimes it helps to actually press it there. And then from here we're just going to bend our knee and then stretch the inner fi and again, bend and stretch it long and one more time. Bend and stretch. And then from here, bend it in and I just like to kind of loop it across the outer edge of my foot and just take a little pigeon, a little outer thigh hip stretch here. Take it as long as you like. If you need more time you can pause and come back or you can do this at another point in time. And then from here, let's extend, reach it all the way down and we'll take the other side all the way up, ball of the foot onto the handle, pointing and then flexing.

Just giving it a little work in two directions pressing up. This is also your recovery phase from that standing work cause we've got a little more to do coming up, a little more work phase to do. Let's do one more flex to stay. Take your opposite hand on the circle. Other hand goes out to a tee, just reach it across and every leg and hip has a different story to tell. Even the ones that are in the same. Bobby, just let let it express itself.

Think about what you can do to make the experience a little more light. It might not be completely pleasurable to stretch in that direction, but what can you do to make it a little less intense? Let's take it over and keep it there. We're going to peek out the window at the sole of the foot. Oh, that's lovely. And then let's do it again. Smiling just helps.

And two more times reaching across and the last time just becoming aware of parts of my ankle and foot just as you are too. So we're going to take it out to the side. Try to keep that other hip grounded. Bend your knee, stretch your inner thigh as you reach. Again, bend it and stretch it twice, reaching out and last one and reach. And then let's loop it around. Take that outer thigh stretch.

Can flex your foot, pull that heel in towards the center of your body. This is always a good one. And then we have to move on. So we're going to extend the leg up and we're going to keep the circle just like so, and we'll bend the first leg we started with and we're going to do a little bit of a roll-up variation. Hopefully we'll help you get all the way up. So let's flex the long leg and start to Crow your head and shoulders up. And what I want you to do is actually hook the circle around your knee.

Now sometimes you have to slide your heel away, but we're going to use our arms to bend the spine to come up a little higher and hopefully come up as high as you possibly can. Then we're going to extend or exchange legs to bend. And now help yourself down as you roll through the spine here. So take a deep breath in, curl forward, reaching up, finding the top here. It's okay to use your arms.

We're just becoming familiar with what the experience is to do a slow roll up. Sometimes a little help can help us bridge the gap here, so we'd curl up again. Elbows, bend wide, reaching out through the opposite leg and switch rolling down. Oh, all the way to the bottom, and then we curl up again, reaching long up to the top and switch and we're rolling all the way down to the bottom. Very good. Bring the heel of the hands on top. We're going to draw both knees into the chest. CRO your head and shoulders up. Reach your circle.

Long switch legs for eight and seven and six and five and four and three and two and one both legs. Come in, double leg stretch. Reach it out. Pull it in on your exhale. Reach it out long. Pull it back in two more times. Reached out, no big deal. Squeeze to pull it back in. Last one, reach it out and pull it back in. Reach one leg up the other leg out. As you switch, take the arms back as you switch. Take them forward.

Take them back. Take them forward. Take them back. Take them forward. One more time. Take them back. Take them forward. Bend both knees and let's take the circle between your ankles. Hands behind. We're going there. Flex in lower. Three, two, one. Squeeze to lift up to the top. Three, two, one.

Squeeze and sink the Valley. Two more times. Three, two, one. Squeeze last time. Three, two, one and squeezed at the top. Bend your knees and twist. Left elbow to right knee. Extend the legs out. Twist to the opposite side. Extend and twist. Extend one more and twist. Extend. Pull it in.

Take the circle just above your knees. Place your feet flat. Rest back down to the floor. Palms up or down your choice. And here we go. Inner thighs. It always has to happen with the circle. That's why they call it the ring of wonder. That's crazy. And then release. Go three, two, one and release again. Three, two, one.

And release three, two, one. This time we're staying going. Pulse. Seven, six, five, four, three, two. And you hold the right leg only opens to the side. Bring it back to midline. Left leg is frozen. Statue, bring it back to midline, right? Like again, out back to the center and open center. Hold and pulse. The right go. Eight and seven. Six, five. Smile. Four, three. And the right leg holds its place.

The left leg opens and squeeze. This is where some perseverance comes in. Focus storytelling in a good way. Good. One more time. Open and pulse. The left leg in go eight and seven and six and five and four and three and two have eight more squeezes with both legs.

Open and engage and seven and engage and just see. You know, how can I do this differently? What's available to me? Which one is tired? Which one can be called on a little bit more in terms of all those inner thigh muscles. You have three. I was counting and two and last one.

And squeeze and release. Good. Take your legs out, put them in. And now we're going to take the circle on the outer thighs and we're going to go into a bridge, which I feel is the best way to open the hips up. So we're lifting up to the top and then we're just slowly peeling down as we keep a little pressure on the outer thighs, letting the hips open up, reaching long, take a deep breath in, curling back, pressing your legs up. Opening up, rolling down through the chest and reaching all the way out to the tailbone. One more time like this, rolling up through the spine, reaching knees past your toes and rolling down in.

Just before you get to the ground, hover on the ground or above the ground with flat hips and then pressed your thighs apart. Release and depart really Sen apart. Release the part. Release. Go four and three and two and one till your hips under roll all the way down through your tail. Let's draw your knees into your chest. We're going to try something a little radical. We're going to try to roll up and see if we can find a balance through a rolling like a ball situation. I don't expect you to stand.

I certainly won't, but what we're going to do if we rock up to seated is we'll attempt to come up to balance with our tush Hufford above the floor after rocking and rolling. Just just an experiment. Just something to have fun, so we're going to curl back. Find your connection, just like we did to roll out. Push your foot into the circle and you're going to roll back and we're going to see if we can find it. Woo. And we're going to roll back and see if we can find it a little longer. Roll back and find it.

It's getting better as we get more comfortable. Let's go for three and two Oh one found it. See if you can find it and come back up. Good. Other side. Let's switch legs. Find the tension. Feel the contraction. Here we go. Rolling back. What do we have? Whoa. Needs a little more force and reach back and find it.

There we go. Back at reach. Let's do two more and there we go. One more and one to work on. Let's go ahead and take the circle down. We're going to come onto hands and knees.

We're going to do a little sliding game between our hands and our feet, so I want you to start with your circle your one hand inside the circle. We're going to take a wide plank position here and your goal is to slide the circle with your hand towards the opposite foot and catch it. No big deal. So we're going to come down and you're going to catch it, and that was easy. Now we're going to slide it up to the same hand and see if we can catch it with the, with the hand, whoops from the foot, something like that. Now we're going to slide it down to the opposite leg and we're going to catch it and then we're going to see if we can come up wow. Almost, and get it with the other hand. Let's try it again.

So the legs are easy supposedly. There we go. Slide it down, catch it and light it up. Let's do one more time. Slide it down. Catch it, pull it up, catch it across. Catch it all the way up, something like that. Lower all the way down onto your belly. Reach your hands forward. Hands onto the circle. We're coming up into Swan. Draw your shoulder blades together. Just nice and easy. Find the best one you have in this moment.

Reach it all the way forward and slide just two more times like this. Big stretch, mobilizing that spine in the opposite direction of our rolling last one to come up. Beautiful and bend your elbows. Come on over. Our last one is yet another circus trick. We're going to just see what we have. It's a teaser. It's going to be wonderful, I promise. So we're going to lay all the way down onto our backs. We're going to reach the arms overhead. I want you to find your canoe.

As you come up, find your contraction, lift your legs, curl all the way up to your teaser. Bend your knees, take your circle in your arms. Reach up, lower all the way down. Find your reach, curl up again. Bend, switch, roll all the way down. Reaching back. Here we go. Curling up. Breathing is imperative. Find your teaser roll all the way down, curling up. Now here's our bonus point. We get up to the top.

Can you bend your knees, flip the circle and catch it? Let's see, something like that all the way to the ground and take a big stretch and reach overhead. All right, let's roll onto the side. Let's come all the way up. And the last thing, we're just going to keep the circle in between our legs just to have it be the ending of our session. And we've done so much contraction with all of our muscles. It's just time to express them.

We're going to reach out onto the diagonal and just stretch and reach as far as we can. And then just give yourself a hug as you come back to center. Maybe rounding your back, you're going to reach out in the opposite direction and then do the same thing. So we've all this contracted energy that we always work with. Sometimes it's good to really reach outside of ourselves and see what's available for us. And maybe it feels good to do the same thing with your legs. So this time did you reach out?

Maybe it's something different that you do and then you pull everything back together. Maybe it's a different reach. Just listen to your body. Where does it want to go after all that fun work. Last one, each side stretch. Maybe it's a foot touch and it's a big hug last time, stretch and pull it all the way in and just hug yourself for a little bit longer. Give yourself some congratulations for doing that fun and somewhat wacky, but really, really cool session with me. Good job everybody. I'll see you next time.


Jennifer E
1 person likes this.
Thank you thank you thank you! What an incredibly fun class!
Jenna Zaffino
Jennifer - You are so welcome- I felt like I was racing the sunset and it just made sense to throw caution to the wind and play! Thank you for talking the class! 
1 person likes this.
It was so nice! Thank you, Jenna!
Lina S
1 person likes this.
A very creative class! Thank you!
Jenna Zaffino
Thank you Lina and Galina !  I truly appreciate you moving with me! 
Jenna Zaffino We WERE racing with the sunset and this class is wonderful! Thank you! 
Laurie C
1 person likes this.
Never disappointed! Love this unique class!
1 person likes this.
So fun! And challenging
Jenna Zaffino
Awe Laurie Thank you!!
Jenna Zaffino
Marijane That’s my favorite combination :) 
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