Class #4120

Be Your Own Teacher

50 min - Class


Deepen your practice by letting the exercises become your teacher with this Mat workout by Kristi Cooper. She invites you to focus on what teachers think about when they are cueing so that you have a better understanding of the movements and your body. She encourages you to choose the outcome that you want so that you can center your practice around that.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi, everybody, welcome back. Pilates Anytime: The Garage Edition, or as my friend in the UK, Jane, would say, "gar-age." I've been practicing that. Here, it's 11 o'clock, or near it, and 81 degrees already, so I'm already sweating, (Kristi laughs) and it's not just from nerves. But I have a theme for us today, and it's something I do even when we're not sheltering in or in lockdown or whatever the case may be, but it focuses on, "Be your own teacher." I say that because we all need someone to watch us and help us and guide us through our patterns and so on, and I think that when you focus on certain questions that most teachers are looking for or ask, your practice just becomes deeper, and that's really the goal for today. In the end, the practice itself, the exercises themselves, actually become the teacher.

They become the reason you start to understand where you are in space and so on, and where you've made improvements or not because you're doing those exercises so regularly, and you're asking yourself some questions. So, I'll move us in a moment, but the first thing I like to do is choose your outcome or the outcome we wanna have. So, whatever that is, if it's late for you and you're going to bed, and you wanna be a little mellow and thoughtful, you get to do that. You get to choose the outcome you want so that everything you do in the midst is centered around that. "Do I feel like I'm straining?" If you wanted to relax, "Do I feel like I'm straining?", and so on.

So choose your outcome right now. What's your intention for this time? Then secondly, what we'll do is just I'll be asking you as we go through the exercises you probably know to observe. What do you see, and is it what you think it should be? And of course, then I'm gonna have you fill yourself up, so we're gonna touch.

So you're observing yourself. You're observing what you know it's supposed to look like or hopefully what you think it's supposed to look like, and then you touch. I'll give you little tips and tools along the way there. I already mentioned ask questions. Get curious about what it is, what is so for you today.

So when you get going, "Why does it hurt today? "Why is this easy today? "What feels good about this?" And then go back to your intention and see if they match. And then if not, you're gonna figure it out! That's the biggest part of this, is like, "Well, how can I create the situation I want?" So that's that, and then I think that's basically it. So let's just keep that in mind.

Decide your intention, ask the questions, touch yourself. If there's someone around, let them show you. That's obviously a good idea. Tools you may need, or if you have 'em, set yourself up near a mirror. Grab a Theraband in case you want a little help, or you wanna make something more challenging.

So, I'm not gonna guide it around props today. Let's just get moving, shall we? Let's go. All right, have a seat. Look at yourself, right?

Look at your feet. Let's point 'em straight ahead, as much as you can. If you can't get the toes down, that's okay. The inner seams of the legs. I have my feet apart, do you?

Knees straight up to the ceiling. So you're just sort of watching this alignment you're trying to set up for yourself, sitting right up on the sits bones, keeping everything else the same. Hold on, and then draw, like you're pulling the knees away, but resist it a little bit. So you start to feel connection hopefully in the middle. And then, you wanna be sitting up tall.

How do you know if you're sitting up tall? I don't know, lean back a little and feel what that is. Lean forward, that's harder of course, and then sometimes, I just put my hand on the top of my head and then reach into it and just sort of decide, "Oh, I can get up there," and here we go, just breathe. Inhale, (Kristi inhales) settling into your intention right away. Exhale, stay tall, (Kristi exhales) and inhale. (Kristi inhales)

And exhale, another few more of this. You have the option too to change that resistance a little. We were pulling the knees apart a little. Now push on 'em gently, I'm talking light, but you resist in the opposite direction. Inhale, (Kristi inhales) and exhale, just sort of feeling, evaluating where you're starting this work out.

Inhale, (Kristi inhales) and exhale. (Kristi exhales deeply) Now, as if you were gonna stay tall, crown of the head to the ceiling, inhale again. Start to exhale, and pull those hipbones away from the thigh bones. It's gonna be small, and then come back up. It's just noticing, "Am I actually initiating "from the abdominals in this case?" You could even use your feet, so long as they don't become the only thing.

You're holding onto the back of the legs, so you might even feel the hamstrings, maybe a little glute kick in. I'm just exhaling, if you can't see, just slightly tilting backwards, and then I sit right back on top, feeling those bony landmarks. (Kristi exhales) And up. (Kristi inhales) And exhale. (Kristi exhales) I feel like we should all be able to share what our intention is, but that would just be weird.

Mine is to stay focused and to feel really good at the end, and I think that's already starting to happen. Exhaling back, all right, we're ready to go further. Now, I know I've slid back on my sits bones, so I'm gonna just pick myself up and make it better. All right, we're rolling almost all the way down. Roll back, same start, roll back.

Let the arms start straightening out, and then stop. Check yourself out. Are you rounded still, or have you leaned back where your legs are coming up? If so, you're gonna come forward and make it work for you. We're looking for a nice, long curve of the spine.

Take an inhale, start that exhale. Keep the curve for the spine, but come forward until your shoulders are over your hips, and then stack your spine right back up, and on the head maybe, inhale, and exhale. (Kristi exhales) Whoo, how come I'm breathing so hard already? Inhale, hold, exhale, keep the curve. It's like reluctantly going forward.

I'm holding back with the belly, because I don't wanna just lift with my legs or hip flexors. Inhale, exhale. So my goal here is to get more fluid. Inhale, start exhaling, come forward. You could always let go of the hands too, right, if you wanna make it a little harder.

Exhale, roll back, let go. (Kristi exhales deeply) Inhale, hold, exhale, come forward. I like to hold on to do the sit up straight part. Otherwise my knees flare. Inhale, exhale, roll back, starting to get more fluid, hopefully.

If you're not, how could you? Come forward, and up. You don't have to hold the back of the legs. You can hold the tops, anything, right? There's not really a right and wrong.

It's just, are you getting the sensation of warming up your spine? I'm gonna add on. You don't have to, buy why not? Exhale, come back, go to that spot that you know you can hold. Lift one arm up, inhale.

Oh, come on. You could go as far back as you want, exhale, bring it down. But the goal here is you don't move anything else. Other arm, up, exhale back down. Hold, inhale, exhale, come forward, with or without your arms, shoulders over hips, feeling from the tailbone all the way back up to the top of the head.

Exhale, roll back. (Kristi exhales) Pick an arm. If you can think to alternate, do, good for the brain. Exhale, down. Inhale, other arm, exhale down.

How about both arms? Inhale up, up, up. Oh, don't move the spine, don't move the spine. That's all I got. Exhale down, hold, inhale, and exhale up.

You know the drill. We could do two more, or change it. Can you do two more? Ask yourself. Are you still rounded?

Are you observing what you wanna see? Inhale up, be nice, exhale down. Other side, up. You don't have to hold on either. Both go up, don't move that torso, exhale down.

I'm holding on to get back up. Inhale, start that exhale, up we come. Whoo, I said one more, didn't I? Here we go, exhale down. (Kristi exhales) Pick an arm.

Inhale it up, exhale like you're pushing through a solid, so you actually feel like that upper arm is doing something to help your abs. It kind of is. Both, inhale up, oh my goodness, exhale down, grab on if you're going to, and come all the way up. From here, soles of the feet together. Just drop the knees out to the side, kind of butterfly-ish, and round forward, taking a breath here.

(Kristi inhales) And so now, I'm just noticing my hips, one in particular. What do you notice? It's a constant investigation, I think. All right, coming right back up. We're gonna do a little bit more warmup before we go, which sounds funny in an 80-degree garage. (Kristi laughs)

All the way down. Let's take that same motion from the other end, arms down by your side. Feel your body in this position. Is your head up? Are you looking behind you easily?

Draw the chin down. You're like, straight up. We're almost like we were just sitting. Inhale, this is gonna be a pelvic curl, just a few. Start that exhale roll, just like you did in your sitting, but we'll go all the way up now to those shoulder blades.

Inhale, hold, exhale, soften the front of your body to somehow stretch and round the lower body down, inhale. So what do you notice? I'm notice I'm like, on a boat, swaying side to side as we go. So I'll see what I can do about that. Inhale, and exhaling down, down.

Little better, little bit better. I'm gonna think about my feet this time, 'cause if I think too much about the middle that's moving more than I want it to, it might just move more, exhale up. (Kristi exhales) Yeah, I have to chill out on myself a little bit. Stay here for a second. This is another place you can feel, or even look down your body.

Can you see your straight line, or are you arched up in your spine? Try to correct for that. Lots of ways you can feel first flat in front of the hips, hamstrings working. Exhale, roll down when you're ready, and release. Just two more.

Inhale and exhale up. (Kristi exhales) Inhale, hold, maybe reach the arms a little longer, exhaling down. (Kristi exhales) Last one coming up here, smoothest ride I can, Kristi. Come on, what are you gonna do on your end? Exhale up, and then inhale.

As you exhale, roll down. Let the arms just float up right above your chest as you go down, palms toward each other. Inhale, expand your ams out to a T. So we're down on the ground, we're reaching into a wide T. I'm not resting my arms on the floor.

It's a big, bit stretch for me. Exhale, come back to center, like you're hugging a block. Inhale, stretch it wide. It's not a lot of tension here, until maybe you get to the bottom, and you just try to reach the far sides of the room. Exhale back up, and inhale, opening.

Start thinking about, where are you in space? I've given you something else to do, but are you looking behind you? Are you over-tucking your chin? What's going on? And exhale. (Kristi exhales)

This time, we'll go out, we'll stay out. Inhale, hold it there. Can you make your chest any broader? Can you make your arms any longer? And then just set it down, set your arms down.

If that's too tight for you, just move 'em down, right, 'cause we don't wanna change anything we just set up. Bring your knees up if it's available to you, or you can just do this on the floor with your feet down. Either one's fine. Coming towards that beautiful green fake wall, (Kristi laughs) inhale, rotate. Both shoulders stay down.

Are your shoulders down? That's the question. You're looking straight up, but if you have to check it out, do. Exhale, come center. Other side, inhale.

So here, the reason for this is just to warmup through the rotation. It's gonna help us flex and extend a little more too. So to make it a real rotation, you've gotta do it, this one kinda right. Knees stay exactly lined up, so one is not coming over the other or lower than the other, and center. You don't really feel anything.

How could you? One of the things I try to do is I push the bottom inner thigh into the top one a little, and then I start bringing it back. Inhale over, and exhale. The range of motion in this one is gonna be dictated by your ability to keep those shoulders down. (Kristi exhales) Again, you can lower your arms a little if you need to. One more each way, and up, (Kristi exhales) and again. So if all of a sudden you felt like your legs are super tired, you could've changed that, right?

You could've put 'em on the ground. So you're just asking yourself, "Is this working the way I want it to?" All right, lace your fingers behind your head. We'll do just a few more rolling up, not rolling up, chest lifts. Inhale, elbows are up. Exhale, nod your chin a bit, curl up, up, up, up.

Hold it there, inhale, exhale down. And as you go down, were not just going down. We're staying in the movement. Exhale, curl up. (Kristi exhales) What does that mean, "stay in the move"?

It means as I go down, I'm trying to set my head down further than where I picked it up. (Kristi inhales) Just an idea. (Kristi exhales deeply) And inhale, exhale down. Breath pattern, don't let it confuse you. Of course, you're gonna just do what works, 'cause you have a goal, and you're observing that when I over-correct or I over-cue, it bugs you.

So you ignore me at that moment. (Kristi laughs) One more, up we go, up we go, up we go. We're gonna grab onto the back of the legs one more time. Exhale, pull just a little higher. Stretch one leg out, then the other.

Press the legs down into the mat. Press 'em down into the mat. I can barely do any more pressure than just the weight of my legs, but I'm thinking I'm gonna do that. From there, pump the arms. Inhale, two, three, four, five, out, two, three, four.

Keep pushing the legs down, and out, two, three, four, five. Inhale, together or apart, it's up to you. (Kristi exhales) Inhale, keep going towards your feet, and exhale. Try not to over-grip in the glutes. Keep it into the middle of your body, and exhale.

You can either stay there or pick up the one leg. Float it up, two, three, four, five, and out, two, three, four, five. Up, and out, switch legs. Push that down leg really down. Out, two, three, four, five, in, and out. (Kristi inhales)

How about both legs up? In, two, three, four, five, out, two, three, four, five. Hug your knees to your chest. Whoo! It's officially 90 in here now. (Kristi laughs) Good, I like sweating.

All right, from here, we are gonna rock and roll. So, you can just start getting that motion. Hold on behind the knees. Pick your head up, and then stop moving the legs, and keep the curl of the body. Inhale back, exhale up.

Inhale back, exhale up. Inhale back, I'm on that same boat on this one, it seems like. (Kristi laughs) All over the place, but it's all right. That's just me today. That's not me forever.

Okay, one more time. We're going up, and we're staying up. Put yourself on your mat to get ready for a bit of a roll-up. From here, sit tall as you can. I like to then almost just hinge forward first, and then just like we did in the beginning, pull those hip bones back, so you get the nice, long curve.

And the arm placement, right, you can put 'em anywhere. You can turn 'em down or up, it's whatever. But if you're gonna use 'em, commit. So you've got some energy in the pecs. It's not just, that's where they go.

It's like I'm holding something. I am in the exercise, or not. Observe how that is. (Kristi laughs) Exhale, we're gonna roll back. We're gonna go back, we're gonna go back, we're gonna go back.

We're gonna reach all the way back, and then arms up. Exhale, oh, swimming forward. And inhale, exhale, back. So I'm gonna be my own teacher. You know the move now, and if it gets tough, you're gonna grab on or bend the knees, either way.

'Cause otherwise, I'm just tossing myself. That's not my intention. And up, (Kristi exhales deeply) and back. And up. (Kristi inhales deeply) Still tossed myself, but at least I did it that time.

How you doing? What do you need to do? You don't even have to go all the way down. (Kristi exhales deeply) Stay up on this one. Hold it. Reach forward, pull back in the abs, or the hips, however you see it, bones or muscle, back, back, back, and then we sit ourselves up, roll all the way down, bring up the right leg, or a leg.

I'm gonna say right, so there you have it. I'm gonna focus on keeping my foot relaxed, but a lot of people are gonna wanna stretch it, if you come from the BASI school, but right now, I'm just gonna let it be. Crossing over, circle it down, around, stop at the top. And again. Breathe however you want.

I'm doing inhale over, exhale around. (Kristi exhales deeply) Two more. (Kristi exhales deeply) Other side. So observe or feel whether or not you're rocking around on the hips. Don't do it, if you are. (Kristi laughs)

How are you gonna figure it out? Last one, hold it there. Grab onto it somewhere, probably not behind the knee, anywhere else, and then draw it towards you. Take the stretch. (Kristi exhales deeply) Bend the knee a little.

Check your hips in your mind's eye. Is that hip that is attached to the leg in the air higher on that side? Just assume it is; it usually is. Take the sit bone or hip and point it toward the other ankle, so you lengthen. Then see if you can straighten your leg.

(Kristi squeals) Then see if you can flex. Okay, soften it again, put it down. If you swam around on your mat, fix it, and take the other leg. Easy, quick stretch, and we're gonna cross the body, down, around, and up. One. (Kristi exhales deeply)

No rolls, (Kristi exhales deeply) if there are any. (Kristi exhales deeply) One more, switch sides. For me, it helps to think of that down leg pushing down a little bit so the other one can be free. I think, hmm, let's do one more, just in case. Grab onto it, find your stretch.

Whoa, this is gonna be a different side. Bend the knee a little. This is where you're gonna lengthen that side of the waist, in my case, the left side of the waist, or sit bone toward opposite ankle. Then see if you can straighten. Mm, just barely.

That same hip I felt in that diamond stretch, too. So we all have our things, and that's just today. That's kind of a lot of times, in my case. Right, bend the knees again, hold onto 'em. Press your knees into your hands.

We're going into a bit of a double leg stretch. So curl yourself up, and then from here, let's just go right into it. Inhale, reach the arms behind you or up, and the legs front, exhale, come back. Again, inhale, exhale. Your goal, don't move your trunk, okay?

If you are, if you're falling back, what are you gonna do about it? Maybe don't reach the arms back! Maybe reach 'em forward. I'm gonna do two more like that. (Kristi exhales deeply) Hold onto the right knee, extend the left leg. Hang out right there.

Look at your feet. The top of each of them could be holding a tray. It's one of those cues that Rael taught us so long ago that just sticks. So for me, it's not here. You can't hold a tray with one foot way low.

Line 'em up. Switch and make sure you're doing it on that side. And switch. (Kristi exhales deeply) Now, I find a spot on the wall when I'm thinking this way, and I'm gonna touch it with that big toe each time. Press, and press, press.

I'm hugging it even closer now, 'cause that felt really good. That's part of my intention, if you haven't guessed. Let's do in, in, out, strong arms. And in, in, out, both knees in, head down briefly, but get ready to be back in the game. (Kristi inhales) Exhale, curl up.

You can push your shins into your hands to get there, but you gotta let go and put 'em behind your head now. Extend that leg, turn to the knee, here we go, same idea. Twist, criss-cross. (Kristi breathes rhythmically) Stay up there. Another breath cycle.

Both knees in, rest. Hug them to your chest, or wherever it feels good, right? Okey-dokey. We could do something fancy here. I'm not feeling fancy, so why don't you do something fancy if you feel like it. (Kristi laughs)

I'm gonna rock and sit up. Spine stretch. Right. (Kristi sighs deeply) Meant to be upright as a start, right? So your back is up, as if I were sitting against a wall.

Hopefully it's straight. There's ways you could play with that. Usually I just ask someone, "Am I straight?" Darn, I can't hear that. Sitting as tall as you think you can, think that top of the head, we're rounding forward on an exhale, pulling back in the hips, but I'm actually not rolling back. It's like I'm against that wall.

Go for it, and then come back up, inhale. You can turn your palms down, either way. Exhale. (Kristi exhales deeply) Get all the air out by making the shape super tight. Get the top of your head on the floor.

When you run out of air, you'll just roll back up easily. (Kristi inhales deeply) (Kristi exhales deeply) I turn my arms out 'cause it gives my shoulders more room, my chest more room. It's that same thing we said earlier. Exhale down, flex your feet. (Kristi exhales deeply) And come back up.

(Kristi inhales deeply) (Kristi exhales deeply) See if you're getting any looser. Ask yourself, "Could I be any looser?" And by that, I mean, this is the hardest exercise in the world for me, (Kristi laughs) but can I make my spine any more flexible? It kinda feels like it, actually. Adding on, exhale, round forward. When you get there, it's that back of the leg into the ground.

I'm gonna lengthen the back on the diagonal. So from tailbone, lower back, middle back, upper back, hopefully, arms by ears. Then exhale, round forward, and all the way back up. Similar to what we did last week. Exhale. (Kristi exhales deeply)

Go, go, go, get the air out so it's easier to drive the legs into the ground. Reach long, diagonal, come on, like someone's pulling your hands. Exhale, re-round, and roll back up. Again, if the breath starts to be something that doesn't work for you, you can change it. For me, it's kind of integral.

Inhale, growing longer, find more space, oh, but watch those ribs for those of you who are flexible there. Exhale, round, and come up. (Kristi exhales deeply) Two more, sort of. (Kristi laughs) Inhale, working with yourself. Find whatever intention you had, and then make the move match it.

Does it feel good? Do you wanna focus? Do you wanna go to bed? Whatever it is, (Kristi laughs) but still do the position. Exhale down, adding on.

Inhale all the way to that long line. Sometimes what I'll do to check this is I'll just make sure I can see under that arm, 'cause if I can't, it's probably because I've gone too far forward. So I might sit up taller. From there, thumbs pointed backwards, we pull back. One, try not to make it too much about the ribs.

Make it about the upper back, right in between those shoulder blades. Can you get longer, lean into it more? Four more, one, two, three, oh, come on, four, reach longer, reach longer. It doesn't have to come from the shoulders raising, but it might, and then round forward, and roll yourself up. I'm scooting forward on the mat, 'cause we're going into open leg rocker.

So, lots of fancy ways to get into it. Feel free to. For now, I'm just gonna have us starting here. We'll lift one leg, other leg, both legs, and then we'll go into the rolling if you know it. Have fun with this a little bit, no matter what your intention was today.

(Kristi laughs) So I'm ever s slightly behind the sits bone or tailbone. Inhale, extend one leg, put it back. Other leg, put it back. Both legs up, try not to move the spine. They don't have to go all the way to straight.

Rather have the spine stay still, come back down. If you don't have to touch, don't. Switch sides if you can think about it. One leg, other leg. Ask yourself if your back is still in the same position it was, and come back down.

Both legs up again. (Kristi exhales deeply) 'Cause now I'm psyching myself up for this rolling. So once you get up here, here's something I'm gonna suggest for you. I'm pulling my legs. I'm literally pulling my legs, or pushing maybe is the word, into my hip sockets, right?

Like I would slide my hands up to my knees. We're gonna roll back. Roll back, and then as I come up, I pull 'em up and out of my hips. Oh good, it worked. Come down.

Find what works for you. If you just wanna rock and roll or bend the knees, or whatever you need to do, we're trying to just get these positions, see where we are today. (Kristi exhales deeply) Breath definitely helps. (Kristi exhales deeply) Lift 'em up, push 'em down. (Kristi exhales deeply) Keep it smooth, last one, and up, let 'em go, or then just set 'em down for the saw.

So, widen your feet a little more than normal. I'm doing this not real traditionally, but you can. All right, so I'm watching myself. I'm a rib thruster on this one, what about you? Still trying for the upright straight, we'll come towards the front here.

Inhale, rotate. Go as far as you can first. Aim for a long spine. Reach back, take that arm, push it up, up, up, and then sit up, still in rotation, back to center. Other way.

You inhale, rotate, exhale, get long out. If you can get the hand outside the foot, do. Push the back arm like someone's pulling it, or you're pursuing it up. Inhale, sit up, center. And inhale, and exhale.

Sit tall, still committed to the rotation until you're home. Rotate, exhale, reach, come back up, and center. Turn, stretch, lift, and center. It's almost mechanical when I do it this way, but I kind of like that. (Kristi exhales) I really like that, actually.

Last two. (Kristi exhales deeply) Go further, come on. (Kristi exhales deeply) Must be an 11:30 train. I know all the beginning and end of the days. All right, from here, just bring your feet together for now.

If you can, hands are flat, fingers pointed toward your heels. If that doesn't work for you, you can turn them out. You can even do this on the fist. I'm not doing a lot. I just wanna open up the shoulders differently.

So here, and use the back of the legs. So here we go, lifting up. It's like a backwards plank. Strong arms. Then just hinge to come down.

You can let the arms float up. Put 'em back down. Adjust your hands if you need to, and up you go. Can you get your feet down? Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't.

Oh, where's the top of the head when you come down? And lift, and sit tall. And lift, and tall, arms are up. For now, make goalposts, 90-90, right? So you check it, look at it.

You're not here, and by here, I mean wrist in front of your elbow, if you can help it. Rather, try to keep it one on top of the other. If that's not available to you, you might have to just bring your elbows forward, but still try for the straight line. Twist, flex feet if you can, bent knees is fine. Twist to the front, two pulses.

One, two, center is taller in the middle, two, two, (Kristi inhales deeply) (Kristi exhales deeply) This one I choose, keep going, choose the exhale to kind of pump the air out, and it also reminds me to get tall for some reason, or maybe I remind myself. (Kristi exhales) If you want long arms, do it now, but don't let 'em get ahead of you. (Kristi exhales deeply) Your lower body is your absolute anchor here. (Kristi breathes deeply) And that'll do. All right, from here, let's go all the way over to the tummy, tummy.

I won't use that word. Lay prone on your abdominal wall. I'm doing a version of single-leg kick, which is lower than most of you know it. I have one hand over the other, forehead on my hands. From there, just think to lengthen your legs first.

Then hover the thigh bones, and you probably feel your hamstrings already, but I want to just take a quick look, because you don't wanna bend the knees. You'll really feel your hamstrings if you bend 'em, but it's not quite getting where we want. So, put 'em back down, hover, reach long. Hover the kneecaps and thigh bones if you can. Check that they're straight, and then hover your head and chest a bit.

You can look forward little bit, and I'm tractioning in that. Kick one leg, kick, kick, straighten, switch. Kick, kick, straighten. Kick, kick, straighten. Keep the legs up, and think about sending your chest forward, so it's like a reverse chest lift.

Kick, kick, straighten. We'll change it little bit. We'll just let 'em pass each other. So it's inhale, inhale, inhale, inhale, exhale, two, three, four. Kick, kick, kick, kick, and exhale, two, three, one more set.

In, two, three, four, and out, two, three, four. Stretch 'em out, and just take a moment to press into your hands and come on down, sorry, to the rest position. Yes. Going right back down for the double-leg version of that. So from here, what you do is lace your fingers, if you can.

You can grab a couple fingers too, that works. I'm gonna try it lacing. Take your hands up as high as you can on your back. Then let the elbows drop. Be gentle with yourself, and turn your face to the front.

I'm gonna keep mine hovered because of the mic. Hover those knees again. Kick three times, one, two, three. Straighten the legs, straighten the arms, and it's that same position otherwise. Turn your head the other way, fold the arms, beat the legs, one, two, three.

Stretch and lengthen, nice and long. You could let go of the hands if you need to. Regrab 'em though, come back. One, two, three, and stretch, stretch, stretch. It's not so much about height here, although height's not horrible, and hold that.

Let go of the arms, take 'em out to a T. You'll probably lower your body a bit. Arms are floating and reaching, just like before. You can put your feet down, rotate your whole arm so the thumbs point to the ceiling, from the top, so you just roll 'em back, and lift the arms. Five, four, try not to move anything else, three, two, and one, once again into that rest position.

(Kristi breathes deeply) Yeah, all right, come down onto your side. I'm gonna do the same we did last week. So you're up on your elbow, bottom knee at 90 degrees. Line yourself up so you just feel solid. I sometimes say "Feel proud." "Look proud," not "Feel proud." You're up, you're tall, top leg lifts.

Just lift it, but imagine reaching it too. It doesn't lower much more than below the hip. All right, so now, we're about hip height, yeah? Flex and kick the foot forward for two. It's kick, kick, sweep it behind you, press.

And two, two, back, three, three, back, four, four, back. (Kristi exhales deeply) We'll go for 10, assuming I'm gonna count the other side. I think that's three to go. Make it nice and strong and hold it to the back there. For me, because I know my abs, I'm gonna roll back.

So I'm gonna think front hip forward. Look at your leg, is it straight? Remember that thing we talked about? Check it, observe it, touch it. Lift, adjust it if you need to.

I'm just lifting with the leg a little behind my hips. Lift, lift, still strong, lift, lift, lift, and lift. All right, just bring that leg in. Cross it over the other if you can. You can keep the leg bent, the lower one, or not.

We'll see what happens, and then we're gonna inch our way towards getting both hips down. It's that hip. Oh, but then that felt kind of good. Can you hug it? Can you pull it any tighter to you, even as you go up and down, and the hip going down?

(Kristi exhales deeply) Oh, yeah. All right, might as well while we're here. Keep it as it is, hug it even more. So I'm just wrapping myself around it, so I'm going toward the hip you're stretching, chest toward the hip you're stretching, and I'm gonna use that hand to help me try to spiral more. The spiral is probably not as important for me as getting the hip closer to the ground, so I'm gonna minimize that.

What do you need to do? Cool, let's do the other side. Not the stretch yet, you gotta earn that one. Come all the way down, lower knee bent, 90-90. Triangle of space here between your elbow and your body.

Lift the leg. Make it so you feel solid, you're stable. If you don't, how could you feel that way? Lift, just lift. Think from hip height up.

(Kristi exhales rhythmically) All right, everything stays in alignment. We flex the foot, kick it forward. I softly point it to go back. Two, and three, go as far as you can, four, I'm kinda keeping the trunk stable today, but you could do it with a bigger range if you wanted to move everything. (Kristi exhales rhythmically) We have one to go, or close to it.

Take it back, back, back. What's happening with your upper body? It's gonna rotate a little, of course, if you drop the hip forward, and then lift 10, nine, eight, two, and one, right. All righty, time for that stretch. Come on up, cross the leg over as best you can.

Oh, I thought this was gonna be the easy side. Learned something new today. So I'm just trying to get it to go down as I hug it in. You can take all the time you want. You don't have to add anything to it, 'cause you are your own teacher.

I'm gonna try to spiral a little more on this one. Boy, oh, boy, I've been going too straightforward lately, it looks like. That's okay, that's just gonna be okay. Okay, speaking of, and let's come onto all four's, please. Check yourself, fingers point pretty much forward.

I like fingers pretty apart, shoulders over wrists, hips over knees, whatever. Anyway, you're about to put your bodyweight on it. So if you have to make an adjustment, you will. Extend one leg back. Make sure it's straight, so you could push off the ball of the foot that you just put back there.

Other leg, so you're in that plank position. Just hold it for a moment. Inhale, and exhale, and it's like, get longer. I don't have any other cues than to say try. What do you need to do? Find some lightness in the movement, even though it feels straining.

Pick up your left foot, point it. Lift for five, four, get it up there past your butt, two, one, change sides. Lift, lift, lift, lift, and lift. From there, just pike the hips up. Let your heels go toward the floor.

Lengthen your back. It's like you're pushing the ground away from you. You can stay high on the toes if you need to. Try to come down on 'em a little bit, nice, long, long body. And then we're gonna come forward a bit.

Take the hand in the back right there to the center, so the one furthest from me, and then rotate open. And hold. So you've got some weight in your feet too, right? You're there, you're looking long. It's reaching out of the crown of the head.

The rules are still the same. Inhale, exhale, lift your waist a little. Make like a rainbow, and then look down at that hand. Inhale, come back to the position you were in. We'll just do three, and up, over, and back.

(Kristi pants) And again, up, up, over, and back. Have a seat just there. Hug the feet in. Take that top arm, reach it up. If you can, put your right up against your ear without reaching into it, and come up and over, up and over, up, ooh, wonder if y'all heard that (Kristi laughs) pop in my back.

I'm getting really sore, and then come behind. We're going same way, back to all fours. Extend the legs. We won't get to look at each other for this one, and that's all right. But make sure you're strong before you go, all right?

So the hand toward your front goes to the center. Spiral the legs or rotate open, and up we come, into that side plank, nice and long. Check yourself. See if you're hanging your head. No, again, you're proud, you're strong.

You know where you are in space. If you're not sure, you're looking. We lift the waist to make that rainbow-like shape over, and if you have it in you, look down at the hand. Come back to the T or the side plank. You can use your feet here.

Push into 'em to go over, and come back. One more time, up and over. Come on back. Have a seat, just right on that same side. Draw the feet in.

Take the arm up right by the ear, lifting tall. You're gonna hold on strong with the other arm, by the way, and then just find your side bend and hold. (Kristi exhales deeply) Right, all right. Come on back around again. We're gonna come into that same back support position, just up and down, up and down each time.

So fingers, find your way. Just finding all sides of the body today, as usual. Lift up, (Kristi exhales) and come down. Arms float out. Take it back down to lift up, and come back down, lift.

Body up and down, hold the arms up. From here, turn them over again. So you're just taking the whole shoulder, not just the wrist. Turn it over again, and just float the arms up, reaching way up. Exhale, let 'em come down to that T, or even lower to do it only one more time.

Lift up, up, up, (Kristi inhales) and down, down, down. Okay, just a couple more things. I wanna do the shoulder bridge now. I know it's a little strange in the order of strange orders I'm doing today, (Kristi laughs) but that's okay, because I know where I'm gonna go after this. It's this, and then we do a little lower back extension, and then we get to get on with our day.

So if you haven't gotten close to the outcome you wanted, let's try to find it in these last few. Feet are parallel. Same start, with that pelvic curl. Exhale, roll yourself up, roll it up. Whoo, stretching out those legs, feeling the front of the hips are nice and flat.

(Kristi slaps her thighs) Hamstrings for sure, glutes, probably. Take, pick a leg, straight up. Hips are nice and even, as much as possible. Kick it down one, flex, come up, kick it down, two, flex, come up, three, four, five, only six, stay up on six. Just hinge down from the hip joint.

Just touch your butt, come back up. Keep the hips level, two, three, four, six again, five, and voila, you're up. You put the foot down, roll halfway down. Find yourself, spread out those collarbones. Come right back up, same position as you were just in, or better, other leg up, and kick down, one, flex, kick up, two, don't worry about the foot if it throws you off, four, five, stay up, and hinge down, push up one, two, three, standing on that foot, four, five, and finally, six, return the foot, roll all the way down, hugging your knees to your chest.

(Kristi exhales deeply) Right. Going over to swimming. So I'm just gonna roll over, or just rock up and then turn over. That usually feels a little better to me. Lie back down on your mat.

Take the arms out overheard. If your shoulders are tight, go a little wider, 'cause we wanna make sure that this stays in the back and not just into your neck, and by back, I'm thinking the entire line of your spine, not just the low back. First things first. You've got your hands on the floor. You've got your feet on the floor.

You can be a little wide if you want. Like in the beginning of class when we were pushing down, do that with your hands and feet, enough that you feel like your abdominals and your trunk is gonna almost come off the mat. And relax, do it again. (Kristi exhales deeply) Get the sense of the belly being involved. Relax.

One more, we're basically gonna keep it this next time. Push down, find the belly. That means the legs are already straight. Hover both the arms and legs, right arm, left leg starts it by lifting, and then you're switching. You're not gonna rock side to side.

You can go as fast as you want. How about inhale, two, three, four, and exhale. Get those arms up over those shoulders if you can, and exhale. And inhale, (Kristi inhales) and exhale, and check to make sure you're still on the right side, and exhale. Take a nice, long, lengthened breath, and relax.

Phew! Take a moment, maybe shimmy your hips side to side. When you're ready, bring your hands by your shoulders to help you lift up, round back. Take a little bit more of a stretch, rest position, stretch. (Kristi breathes deeply) And then look down, we come forward. Curl your toes under, and just see how that feels.

It's a stretch, trying to keep your hands down. I'm pushing the mat or the ground away to get the stretch, and then from there, I can play with, oh, okay, my feet are turned out, or they're turned in, so I'm trying to even that out a little, so that's such an important stretch. If you can come closer, you can do it on your knees. You can sit all the way up. That took me a long time to do that.

I'm gonna sit here for a second. I'm proud of that. Breathing. We are starting to wind it down. I'm gonna do a little bit of balance, and that'll be it. (Kristi exhales deeply) Kinda start taking inventory of yourself now.

You've observed. Hopefully you've been kind of touching, adjusting where needed, making it work for you, teaching yourself what you needed today, so that when we all get back to our studios, or our teachers, we're gonna be ready. All right, I'm just gonna press back towards my heels. If you can get 'em down, good on you. I'm working on that one still.

Then I'm just gonna fold over. So push the heels down as soon as you can. Stay on the bent knee position for now, and then we're just gonna aim towards straight. Some of you, this'll be a piece of cake, so challenge yourself however you need to. Exhale, start to straighten your legs, still thinking about how those hip bones can kind of pull away from the thigh bones.

Inhale, bend them, exhale, straighten. (Kristi exhales deeply) Let your head hang heavy. Bend, and straight. You can either roll up with straight legs or bend the knees again, but try not to lean back. Try to stay right where you are, as if you were picking up a napkin of a table.

Just let your body come up, right from the center, up, rolling all the way up to standing. And then when you get there, stay whichever way you wanna, face wherever you want, but just notice. We weren't standing when we started, but how are you feeling? Can you feel any differences that you were aiming for? We're just gonna end with a few heel rises for balance.

So I'll turn this way just for the fact that you can see if I'm leaning too far forward or back. But for the moment, I'm gonna put a little bit more weight toward the forefoot. Not a lot, not a lot, but a little, so it's almost like the heels are gonna lift off, and I'm gonna double-check that I'm still standing tall with my hand, and everything else is just free. From there, well, not entirely, but close, exhale, rise up just as high as you want, but keep the alignment of the ankle bones, and then set it back down. You can basically do whatever you want with your hands.

You can even hold on. I think I'm back on that boat again. And down, that's okay. I definitely feel more focused, which was my intention. And down, rising up, and down.

You can leave your heels down this time. Bend your knees, let the arms go forward, inhale, (Kristi inhales) and exhale. Start to just bring some energy or take energy out, but let it be easy either way. (Kristi exhales deeply) Just bending and straightening, letting the arms float in opposition to what the knees are doing. Same thing to the side.

Just knees go forward, arms to the side. (Kristi breathes deeply) And in. (Kristi breathes deeply) This next one, just leave your legs straight. Turn those arms out. Reach 'em up, reach 'em up, reach 'em up.

(Kristi inhales deeply) And exhale, let 'em float back down. Start deciding that you just did some good work, whatever happened. (Kristi laughs) Inhale, lift up. (Kristi inhales) And exhale down. This time, last time, when you look up, let your chest go with you just a little bit.

Once you're there, just sort of, you don't wanna arch your low back a lot, but just lift it up, serve it out. Serve out that energy. Bring in the positive energy, whatever you wanna call it, but feel good about the time you took for yourself. Let it go down in one final breath, however you wanna do it. Just take a deep breath in, (Kristi inhales deeply) and then exhale out, and I'm gonna thank you and let you go do what you're gonna do next, but thank you for being here.

I hope to see you again next Thursday.

Garage Sessions with Kristi - Playlist 1


1 person likes this.
You have made my day with this fresh start  ; thank you so much Kristi
1 person likes this.
I loved each moment of this refreshing session! Thank you Kristi!

1 person likes this.
This is the perfect mid-day break for me during wfh. Really enjoyed it, great pace, thanks so much!
1 person likes this.
Thanks, great ckass!
1 person likes this.
That was a very helpful class, especially the explanation of the open leg rocker. I finally think I get how that one should work. Thanks, Kristi!
1 person likes this.
Thank you. I've liked how some moves were connected, e.g. side plank and mermaid. Thank you! It's great to have live classes and to view them after if we missed them!
1 person likes this.
I have been working a lot on interoception and our ability to go inside our bodies and observe from within.   And also to assess asses asses ourselves as we train and ask "how do I feel now ?" after doing something.  Your class mirrors those thoughts brilliantly.  Body awareness and embodiment just keeps deepening in Pilates and we become so connected with our Bodies.   And on those bad days when we are tight and stressed and "stuck" all these principles really come to the forefront x  thanks Kristi
1 person likes this.
Thank you Kristi! It was so nice to move with you today& Lots of love! 
1 person likes this.
Nice class thank you :)
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much Kristi Cooper  🙏
I realy enjoyed this class, and had so much fun with it! Just love your simple and positive attitude! 🙏
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