Class #4130

Take a Seat

55 min - Class


Amy Havens offers the opportunity to de-stress and get grounded with this restorative, breath-inspired class. She will guide you through various stretches and gentle mobility exercises that will enable your body to release tension it may be holding. Let go of normal Pilates expectations and relax, as there will be no true Mat exercises.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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Hello, everyone, it is Amy Havens again and I want to extend an immense amount of gratitude for everyone again to show up today because we've changed the time. Obviously, we're here much, much earlier. So in California, it's 8:30. In other parts of the world, it's eight hours different and things. So thank you and for those of you who have been taking class with me every Tuesday, you've seen that I've done something different each and every week and I do that for myself, and a lot of reason's because I like the variety but I know that you also like that variety.

And I love to kind of up-level things and then also soften things down and gives your body and your mind an opportunity to have those fluctuations of movement and experience. I think it's really important to have that and today is that day and so, let's all just find ourselves down to the ground. You can see I don't have a mat at all, just come on down and what this class really is for me and for you is an opportunity, hopefully, to de-stress a little bit or a lot and I want to encourage all of us to let go of any kind of Pilates expectation, there really won't be any true mat exercises, we will not do the hundred series of five, any of those. This is kind of a follow up from the mat for stretch relief class that I did a couple months ago. And I know some of you have watched that and have given me great feedback and comments that you really enjoyed it, that it helped you tremendously and I'm happy to hear that because that's the goal and the purpose of that style of class or offering as well as this one.

I won't go into the whole political thing, the pandemic endemic but even just without those natural disasters that are occurring, life gets stressful and our bodies hold a tremendous amount of stress in various places and pockets in and around our body and so sometimes the best way is to slow the train down, get down on the floor, get down with the ground, where we are grounded and really just move slowly. So I would encourage us all to have this experience today is a very breath inspired session. Feel grounded, there's no hurry, there's no expectation, you'll be rolling a lot softly, very liquid like, a lot of you know I love the water element and the water theme. What else can I give you? You may hear little squeaky barks in the background because I have a beautiful puppy who sometimes is in the room with us, but today she was a little feisty so I didn't wanna have her interrupt me in guiding you and she's back there talking to me, she's not happy that she's in my bedroom, but all right.

So let's go ahead and start I want everybody to let's just come on down to our back and just sprawl out. I'm gonna have my arms and my body kind of in a soft x position, so my arms are above me, my legs are apart, just easy and let's really focused on breath and you know that I've been speaking about the three directional breathing. So we have our accordion side to side breathing, we have our up and down the front line of our abdominal wall breathing and we have our front to back breathing. So all of that intended to fill up your spaces in your thoracic zone, your torso and as we exhale, let's just, I'm gonna ask us really not to engage abdominals right now at all. In fact, let's bring the theme of minimal effort into class today.

Minimal effort, okay? So nice big full breath and exhaling, just feel how that air leaves your lungs and out your nose or mouth and how your body might meet the floor a little more. Don't press it, no need to press your back down. Inhale again and just use the breath (exhales) to get you a little bit more grounded. Keep on going and let's put our brain to different body parts and body areas so that you feel kind of the weight of the back of your skull, no extra pressure needed, just feel that weight.

The back of the hands, the back of your arms and shoulders, your buttocks, the kind of the flesh on your butt, back of your legs, calves, heels. Okay? And just notice when you inhale, all those surfaces might get and feel lighter and during your exhalation, those places might feel more weighted and just welcome that in. Just get yourself into like the soil, right? If we were on the beach, we would probably want to snuggle down into that sand a little bit.

One more nice preparatory centering breath and the exhale. Okay, so, breath inspired. We're going for some mobility today. Everyone bring your legs closer together maybe they're underneath the line of your pelvis, straight down. Arms can come a little bit narrower to you, I'm going to stay with my palms face up and this is a very easy rocking motion.

So I'm starting at my ankles and I'm doing a flex point, not even a real full point. Feel your heels on the floor and the rocking motion of your ankles. And I'm gonna give some homage to all of my years of dance training. I am such a beautiful lover and grateful person who have been a dancer and I will always be a dancer in my heart and soul. And all of this, many of these things today are kind of dance inspired, dance class inspired from way back.

And all those beautiful movement educators who are so ingenious with their work. Oh my gosh, okay, so ankles rocking, let it, the reverberation, maybe let's make that rocking a little bit bigger and start noticing how your skull is also rocking. Your spine is getting like a gentle, articulated, rocking and a sway and then I want us to start slowing it down, slow it down, slow it down until you stop the rocking and just feel though your legs just basically fall open and ease in the body on the floor, your body on the floor but possibly a little bit of vibration inside. Okay, I want us to do that again. So just start some rocking.

If you could roll your leg bones inwards slightly now, just slightly roll your leg bones inward and continue the ankle rocking and speed it up a little bit. Let's get some more vibration, some more kinetic kind of a kinetic symphony inside. Okay, yeah, maybe you start feeling how the rib cage can be getting heavier on the floor, your diaphragm getting heavier in you and then slowing down the rocking and again, just pause the rocking completely. Nice everybody, take your hands to your ribcage and where your right rib cage kind of stems off to the right and your left rib cage stems to the left. Put your fingers right there on the bases of the ribs and I want us to do three large breaths and see if you can really expand this arch around that rib cage area.

So, big inhale and I'm using my hands to kind of pry the ribs apart a little bit and exhale. And inhale and exhale. One more time, a big breath in spreading those ribs and exhale. Okay, now let's take our hand. I'm taking my right hand, you can go with your right hand, place it on your forehead, kind of cup your hand on your forehead and I want you to just barely barely barely drag your hand on your forehead to encourage a soft cervical rotation.

So I'm using my hand to guide my head to the right and then I want to use the heel of my hand to guide my head to center. Really easy, using the hand to slightly pull the head to the right, take a breath in and let's exhale and press the heel of the hand to bring you back to center. One more, using the cupping hand, gently using the hand kind of pulling on the forehead skin to move your head to the right and then using the heel of the hand to guide your head back to center and then from there, just lower that arm by your side and just take notice of maybe some ease and calm around your neck and your shoulders. Maybe the ribs have decided to drop a little heavier and who knows what will show up. Let's take the left hand to the head and just hold that left hand cupping your forehead.

It's just super easy, right? There's so little effort needed for this. Little effort in but efficient movement today. So here we go. We're taking the hand and kind of dragging it along the forehead to guide the head to rotate to the left.

Heel of the hand presses against my skull to help me come back to center so my face is right up to the ceiling. Palm on the forehead rotating to the left as far as you feel comfortable going. Heel of the hand pressing the forehead to come back to center. Remember, minimal effort. One more, let's inhale through that head rotation.

Let your bones be heavy, everybody exhale, heel of the hand to the forehead and center yourself and lower that arm down and just feel. Bend your knees, step your feet up toward you, think preparing for bridging but we're not gonna bridge quite yet. Okay, so right at we'd know if you've been watching a lot of my classes, we were doing this leg movement, you could think of it as a thigh movement at the hip joint, which is what it is. We can call it the piston because that's what my language is from the Kathy groundwork. It's also a thigh movement at the hip joint and I just want us all to do it so slow, hardly any effort right?

And we wanna think about this movement, minimal effort, efficient and just thigh toward torso and then foot to the floor. So I'm doing the same leg over and over and what I want us to all pay attention to, is the natural occurrence when the thigh comes to the torso, most of us, our lower back region will just rock gently to the floor when the thigh comes toward us and when our thigh goes away, the lower back region might come away from the floor. It's so organic and natural, let it happen. Okay, we're gonna add on to that and as at the time that the foot goes to the floor, how about sliding it all the way out long and hold that for a moment. So you've got your leg fully extended.

Let's take a breath in through our nose right now and as we exhale, we initiate that sliding of the leg all the way back up toward the torso. So here's what I'm gonna have as pattern, inhale on the legs slide away and an exhale as we slide the leg in, thigh toward torso. Twice more. Inhale, slide your leg long and exhale, (exhales) slide the leg in and one more time, easy does it. Inhale and exhale.

Now when the thigh is toward us, which it probably is now, take the same hand on the knee, I've got my right knee up and my right hand just came to that knee. And I want us to just move the leg, the thigh bone outward and back in and yeah, your pelvis will probably move and I would really love for you to let whatever happens happens. Let's not be so committed to pelvic stability right now. Okay. Guide the leg now a small circle, just an outward circle and let it come in and I want you to do the other direction of that leg.

Yep, two or three little circles out around, letting the breath help you, maybe the inhale helps you come away and the exhale helps you center and take that foot to the floor. Other legs turn, so I'm in my left thigh now doing a piston. And I'm really just, easy does it letting the thigh rock toward the torso and then the thigh away and exhale toward the torso, inhale foot to the floor. Exhale, the thigh toward torso, inhale to the floor. And remember, you are feeling that when the leg comes toward your body, your back will really gently rock down to the ground a little more.

Exhale and inhale once again, exhale thigh toward torso now, we're gonna add the full leg slide. So take that long leg of yours and stretch it all the way out on the ground. Take a moment to just feel the length of the leg and that's a breath in. Initiate exhaling the leg will slide and you move the thigh, you carry it and piston towards your chest. Three more to go.

Inhale, slide the leg out and exhale, all the way in. Two more, let your belly move, let your stomach rise and fall. (inhales) (exhales) Mobilize the body, let the breath help facilitate that, it's an inhale and exhale and this thigh stays toward your torso. Same hand on knee and move the leg out and in. You can put a little pressure of your hand down on your kneecap if you'd like to.

It's just kind of moving that thigh bone's, lateral movement side to side and then take it into a circle. Two or three circles of that single leg again and you're letting your body respond, you're letting it move how it will. Okay and then three the other way. Let the breath help. Inhale away, exhale toward you.

Inhale away and exhale toward you and inhale away and exhale toward you and voila, we've done some hip joint mobility with very little effort, it should feel pretty good. Time to do some bridging, real easy, breathe in through the nose. Let's concentrate on the feet for a moment and as you press your feet down into the mat, allow your pelvis to rock back and very slowly start to peel your way up. I'm only going half way up my back this morning, go far up as you wanna go. Breathe in there and exhale as you unroll your spine.

Minimal effort, maximum efficiency, come all the way down, overshoot it, inhale into a little lumbar extension. So I'm letting my pubic bone drop forward and then my exhale is the opposite way the pelvis tilts back. There is my low back on the floor rolling only halfway up. I like to kind of imagine the thigh bones spiraling in a little bit, helps my back feel pretty good and roll down. And then again, once you get to the pelvis, keep going, go into extension of that lumbar region, take a breath in.

(inhales) Exhale and we go back into the pelvis toward the torso rolling through your bridge. Okay, here we are. We're gonna stay up in this bridge for a moment and I want you to put your hands just on the side of your pelvis, I've got pants with pockets on, you could put them in your pockets, just on the side of your legs and very gently, let's take that pelvis and laterally glide it from side to side, laterally is a side to side motion. You can think of a conveyor belt, that usually works. And if we had an objective, it would be that we do this pelvis gliding side to side without twisting the pelvis or back.

So, you're really just trying to stay on the same plane and allow your feet to respond also. So, if I go to my right, my feet, I'm letting them rotate a little bit at my ankles. I really want you to just allow normal mobility to come in. You're gliding side to side. Okay, now pick a side, right or left and stay to it and then lower your body all the way down to your spine, to your pelvis so once you've landed on the floor, go ahead and increase that extension of your body inhaling and then exhale, come back and pick up the pelvis.

Glide it to the other side, we're just gonna do one and then lower yourself down. You've probably landed lower on one cheek than the other one, I don't know or hopefully you are level. Inhale, go into extension of your lumbar spine, let the stomach rise and fall. Exhale and pick up your pelvis and come right back to center and then roll all the way down everybody until your pelvis is all the way down. And then we'll stretch both legs out again and open up that line of the hip flexors.

Take your hands, interlace your fingers and just hold them above your body. I'm looking straight up to my hands, I can see the webbing of my fingers. Looks pretty good, I like to see that and just very easily take your arms above your head and I want you to keep looking to your hands. Just keep looking. So we've added a little bit of cervical extension in a very mild way and then start to move the arms, arching them down toward your belly button and you're doing a little bit of cervical flexion without a whole lot of compression.

And again, inhaling, just carry the breath, exhaling. So little bit, I'm using my eyes quite a bit to look up. Okay, dialing down any extra effort, arms are coming down and you're doing a little bit of cervical flexion without trying to do too much and one more round. So picking up the hands, we're making an arc all the way from pubic bone to then above the head. And I want you to stay with hands above the head, release the arms and open them away from you into a place that feels normal and comfortable.

Okay and your eyes seeing the ceiling, were gonna move our breath, everybody, now into our chest and I want us to arch the back on the inhale. Here we go. Big, I'm taking my rib cage to the ceiling, I'm almost trying to look back to the wall behind me on the inhale and the exhale is getting the back to melt to the floor. Two more times, inhale, lifting the chest to the ceiling, it's like I'm trying to get my ribs higher off the floor by arching my back and exhaling and nestle down into the floor and one more time, a big breath in and exhaling there. Okay, now, you might wanna look toward the monitor just so we can see what we're doing.

The hand that's farthest away from you is the hand I'm gonna use first, this one back by my wall. So I'm gonna curl those fingers in the hand, I'm gonna take these fingers and I'm reaching them toward this palm that's facing you and I wanna get my hands to touch. And as I get my hands to touch, you can probably see, my body's to come into this really interesting, almost like I'm gonna roll over to my stomach movement. It feels so good. There's a nice, easy compression that's happening on my shoulder stretch.

And then all we're doing everybody is just going back where we came from. Okay, same side two or three more times. And so I lift my hand I like to wiggle my fingers, that's the direction, I'm going toward it. Meet your forearm and your hand and just keep reaching that hand further out on the carpet or your floor or your mat. Yes, everything is rotating.

Your pelvis, your lumbar spine, even my legs, it's like they're doing a little pretzel braiding back there. Feels so good and then come back. So mobility, breath and ease, one more time. Let's Breathe in, (inhales) look at those fingers, exhale and you kind of, you have to use your feet on the floor don't you? To push up a little bit.

We don't need to over push anything, just let that happen. Hopefully, you're ready to do the other side three times. I'm gonna go ahead and have you just lift that hand, lift those fingers and rotate, look up to that backhand and reach, hand past the other hand and then unwind and you return onto your back. Same side, lift that finger kind of curl, here go the fingers, they are coming up and over you. You might have to use your feet on the floor, that's fine.

Hand past hand and take a big breath in and extension, exhale as you unroll and come back over. We have got one more and then hand using the feet if you need to and use that hand, reach past the other hand, pause there to get a big breath. Stretch a little more, reach a little more, exhale as you come back in and all the way into a letter X on the floor and pause everybody. Breathing in and out, just check in on your breathing and see if you feel any different than you did at the beginning and hopefully you have. Come up to a seated position everybody and I want us to go into, I'm gonna have a slight, turn on slight angle right now and so, you're up, ha, feels so good, to sit upright and my feet are apart.

I want us to take our hands behind and allow your shoulders to really glide into your ears. Sink back a little bit. Okay, so we've got a head of course and we've got a tailbone, we know and if we allow the head to come toward the tailbone, our spine is going into flexion. Yes, we know that. Now if we go the other way, I'm gonna take my pubic bone there and rock it toward the floor and kind of undulate into this extension of my spine.

Chest lift, we did that on the floor, we arch the back, we already looked up to the ceiling with our cervical extension and then we're coming into flexion again. So I wanna cue it this way, head to tail or tail to head for flexion. Okay, tail away from head, head away from tail for extension. Two more times, that's gonna, this movement is gonna go right back down on the floor in a moment. So we're doing head to tail, I think it's gonna feel really yummy for everybody and extension, inhale this minimal effort remember, maximum efficiency here.

Just how little can you go in effort to flexion and extension? Okay, so we'll come back to that in a second, remember what that is. I needed to come back on the floor but I'm gonna stay on this diagonal like this and here's how I wanna get to the floor. I want to extend my arms behind me and just so slow, roll down onto my back. We've just done a roll down but we didn't really even need to, don't worry about it.

Leg sways. So here it is. You're rocking from your ankles first then your knees kind of sway and you're gonna move your pelvis also with you like that and then rock back, the feet are gonna drive a lot of this movement. I want us to go to the other side. So I'm letting my feet go first, then the knees, then the thighs, then the pelvis and then coming back.

Alrighty, knee sway, ultra, ultra relax-o-camp-o today, just super, super gentle. Okay, remember this is about mobility, ease and breath. How about we inhale and exhale. Now, if some of you, I'm gonna change my position just a wee bit to allow the arms to come now more up into that X position and some of us are really going to feel more of the diagonal stretch right through the arm to the, an armpit to the chest to diaphragm and go ahead and take your knees to one side. Whichever side you choose, look up to the opposite hand and breathe.

That's our inhale, the exhale is the return and we'll center our head as well. Okay, knees go to the other side let the feet move. And as your knees go to one side, rotate your head and look up to that hand, wiggle the fingers if you need to, breathe in big and exhale as we come back. A couple more each side, so the feet lead, we turn the knees to one side, we rotate the skull the opposite way. Use your eyes, look up, you can even wiggle.

Now how much distance can you put between that hand up there and the knees over there with the breath? And yep, we're kind of in spinal extension and lots and exhale as we come back, just a little flexion. Inhale to the other side, feet, knees, pelvis, we look up to the hand and we exhale to center. Okay, now adding on to that, what I want us to do with the legs, is let the legs do that same drop. They've gone to the drop right?

Now the top leg, I want you to let it swing on the floor and swing and it's just, I'm kind of making a little horseshoe shape with it and there's a really wonderful stretch occurring in that hip and the glute and then that foot is gonna slide back on the floor and return where it was. Then the other foot, I let it go, the knees drop, that top leg foot sweeps right up around. Okay. Yeah, so here we go, foot sweep is making a little horseshoe and center, other foot. I'm thinking of horseshoe just because that's where it goes and it's gonna try to meet the hand to foot right there.

And hand to foot, now see what's happening is we're coming into a little bit of almost rolling on to our side, almost. Four more times, just make it easy, everybody. So if you wanna think of a shape, it's kind of almost going into a side sleeping position. So the top leg, I'm really sweeping it and trying to get a stretch in the hip. Okay and just one more time though and sweep.

Yeah and around. Okay, now roll on to the side that faces your monitor, come all the way around onto your stomach, just flip yourself around. Oh, I could do all that rolling for probably 30 more minutes but I wanna keep completing our circuit, right? So what I have in my body here is my hands, not stacked but they're separated. And I want you to just to set your hands, your forehead, right just on your fingertips there.

Bend your knees, lift your feet up into the air and just easily start to, if you wanna look at the monitor to watch, I'm just so easy letting my feet lead the way and I'm swaying them toward you, which is putting one of my femurs into internal rotation one is in external rotation and then sweeping the feet the other way. I like to let my head go with the direction of my feet and just keep going. You're just doing feet to one side and feet to the other. And what's also occurring in a beautiful way without really having to think too much about it is each pelvic half is doing also its own mobility and motion at the sacrum, that sacroiliac area. Yep and as you go to one side, notice what you feel.

Sometimes there's a stomp that occurs somewhere around pelvis, possibly and then the other side, same thing. And just notice, again, we're just mobilizing today remember, we're just kind of doing some super easy low effort exercise today. Okay, a lot of breath and mobility. Now, I do want you to go to one side and stay, lower the legs down and you'll notice that the opposite knee is bent. Can you slide that knee more up toward that elbow and then the opposite hand forward?

So I'm kind of going into a crawling movement here, I just feel like I've got a limb reaching and a limb reaching and then come back to center. Bend your knees, lift your feet, rock your feet to the opposite side. Lower the feet to the floor, so you've got, now the knee can pull it up more your elbow and then reach the opposite arm forward. It's almost like we're going to crawl and then come back. So now, if we really were to take that into it more of like a literal crawl, I'm going to look toward you all why don't you look toward me, there we go.

And then that knee that's closest to our monitor, let's bring that knee to the elbow. That cool, we just did it again and then the opposite arm is reaching. Now let's spend about three breath cycles here and we don't need to lift our head too much higher than it is but if you wanted to, you could lift it a little higher. And exhale and come down a little bit, get grounded, we got two more breaths. The breath will actually lift you (inhales) and the exhale will actually lower you.

(exhales) Then one more time (inhales) and then your exhale will lower you (exhales) and then unwind that knee and hand and you'll do the other side, so the other knee comes to elbow any amount and then the top arm reaches, here we go. And here we go with the breath is an inhale there's a little uplift to the ceiling and then the exhale as you kind of lower down. So here's where I always, this is where the water image comes in for me. If I were floating in the water, the water would be moving me or it's moving as that current of breath is making motion occur and settle. Okay, now, ever so slightly, move your hands apart and maybe kind of almost goalpost position if you like that phrasing and I do want us to lift the upper body, just a slight swan.

Okay, I'm taking the leg that's farthest away from you up off of the floor. I've contracted my glutes a little bit to do that. I wanna now bend that knee and I'm gonna guide that foot behind me up and rotate and I'm using my opposite hand and kind of pushing on the floor and I'm rotating my pelvis toward you guys. And I'm kind of trying to get my foot to the ground and then unwind and when I say kind of is because I don't need to really force it. Okay and then the other leg, so a leg lift, bending the knee.

So that foot is good, I'm gonna reach it toward the wall that's next to me and this front hand is gonna help. I can push it on the ground and try to get it to the floor. So we're putting our body into some really nice rotation. Okay, so let's do each side a couple more times. So here's the phrasing.

I've got myself kind of in cobra or baby swan, a leg lift, the knee bends. Now as you start to take that foot behind you over behind you, use the opposite hand to help push you to that side. Pause and look up to the ceiling and just feel what you feel. I'm gonna rock a little bit and then I wanna come down. And so the other side, the leg lifts, I use the opposite hand and I push, the foot has found the floor, that's nice and then I'm looking up to the ceiling and I'm rocking a little bit, just rocking, whatever, however you perceive that and then we come down.

Okay, one more each direction and we lift a leg, bend the knee, that foot goes behind us I use the opposite hand to push. I'm gonna look up. So we're doing this really wonderful spiraling and rotating and breathing and exhale down and one more time, the leg lifts, bend the knee, you reach behind you, push with that hand and a little rocking and it's really good all the way down for tummy time. Okay, hands by your chest, move into what we would call maybe a rest pose or shell position and spend a moment here and instead of just sitting there in it, I want you to move those ribs, I did this, I've done this many times, I really like this to just keep moving so I'm swaying my ribs, side to side, trying to keep my torso heavy on the ground and using the breath. Okay and I want us to start using those hands also on the floor, kind of push with one hand as you sway to the other side.

Push with one as you sway to the other. That gentle pushing on the floor might give you more feedback in your lower back region and your pelvis, okay and then or your lats, all of that, start to make your way up more toward like, I'm not quite quadruped, I'm kind of in a, I'm not all the way up but I'm out of a child's pose. And then I want to take one arm forward, and I wanna take the other hand, the one that's closest to you guys, I'm gonna put it behind my head. Now I want to work on some more rotation, mobility through my thoracic spine, my ribs and I want you to exhale everybody and slowly take that elbow to the wrist of the other arm. But let's try not to bend that other arm to do so, we'll keep that arm pretty straight and then as you unwind, take a breath in, turn toward me.

Raise your ribcage, right? And then exhale toward elbow toward wrist. I'm gonna do five of those so that was our second one, inhale as we rotate, gentle mobility, exhale, elbow toward wrist or maybe thumb joint, which would require more lengthening as you rotate. Okay, this might be a time for all of us to think about the length in the sternum. I don't want us to do this with a round kind of slumpy back, I want it to be a really long spine, one last time, exhale, elbow toward wrist or thumb joint and then change it up.

I'm gonna turn my body just so I can see you all a little better. I can't see you but you get the idea. And so it's this hand toward the back of the head and then first exhale, rotate elbow toward hand, wrist. Inhale away any amount and exhale elbow toward wrist or even thumb joint. Reach toward that direction.

Inhale. Using that breath, exhale, stay grounded, get low into the ground, rotate. Inhale, two more, any amount. Exhale, think about long rotation and one more time, inhale and exhale. Once you've completed that one, take both hands down by your knees and then just place that head pretty close to the ground and once again, just do a little bit of sway from side to side and as you're swaying, go ahead and just roll your way up woo, yeah, to sitting and then let's find ourselves sitting on our sit bones again.

Okay, yep, hope you're feeling good, slithery, liquid like and kind of calm and relaxed and you've probably noticed that my little puppy is now quiet. She barked herself to sleep. (laughs) Okay. All right, so we're back to head and tail. And in head and tail, just relax and maybe you if feel that you've gotten a little bit more relaxed into this position, I sure hope so.

So where we're headed next is the knee drop or knee sway, I'm gonna guide from my feet, there they go. I'm leaning my knees towards you and there they are. Now the back arm and then take that one up and just come down onto the elbow. Okay and we're just playing you guys, we're doing some breakdown, I'm not even going to tell you what exercises but it's okay, sell, she's barking. Knees, back arm, come around and you're just putting it down on the ground, you can bend your elbows, get yourself low.

Let's do that several times, it's gonna go from the feet, knees, as the knees go the back arm lifts, put it on the ground, bend both elbows, get low. Okay and then just unwind, and the knees, follow the feet, the back arm lifts, you rotate and it's like you're kind of throwing a snowball or making a rainbow ark. We're gonna do two more, start with your feet, then the knees so if you had a little slow motion, throwing the ball, you've seen me do that movement before. I like to do that, it's a great stretch. Inhale and exhale and lift okay, we're going for one more, feet, knees, arm and as you're here, we're gonna pause now.

So, I've got this kind of, almost again, like we're gonna crawl, I'm gonna get back like this though, crawling. And so where we can go is your straighter-ish leg, Can you bend that a little bit more and let's turn our bodies to face one another, tadaa. So, we're on an elbow and we've got our hips open and then take that same arm and go one more or two more big circles now, this arm, think less about the arm. What if you didn't even have an arm? I know that's weird to think about but so bend your elbow and put your hand behind your head.

Turn your ribcage and your armpit. Okay, how much can you rotate that to face squarely down? I'm gonna try to get my elbow to the ground. Pause right there and take the knee and reach it back also. And then I'm just gonna drop that hand and start all over again just one more time.

So that arm does a big arc but I'm really thinking about my spine and my ribcage turning and trying to get the body to face prone. Right? Yeah and it should be a really lovely stretch on your lower back and we're gonna come all the way up. Now I need to pivot toward this corner of my room so that I can still face you to do that beautiful movement. So we'll gather back like this and we'll do one more of the knee drops to the side.

So angle your feet, lean the knees, that arm does a big arc, like we did before, we're gonna get all the way to the ground, get low. Okay, now it's just a subtle reposition of position. The back elbow goes to the ground, you turn to face me, tadaa, there we go, we're kind of in side support but we're not really doing side support. Let's make this leg a little bit straighter and then again, arm is lifting, but if we think about not the arm as the arm, so let's just like that. Bring the rib cage in, spiral your torso toward the bottom elbow and again you're trying to turn so you're square to the ground, effort to back knee back a little bit.

You're probably feeling some stretch in various places in your body. Drop that hand, we have one more. Swim that arm up and around, bend the elbow if you'd like to I'm going to and just keep turning, keep turning, turning, turning, turning. So it's meant to be a lower back stretch and glute stretch so the glute on the bottom hip and the lower on the top hip or top body if you can feel that, okay, I think you probably can everybody. And then let's come to face each other again here.

I'm gonna have my feet just come into, my legs come into a subtle straddle position, lean forward and back, this is so gentle, you can use your hands to just lean and come back and lean forward, you can just fall into your hands. Okay? So you're probably hopefully feeling some release in the leg region here. Now, as we do this gentle rocking back and forth, let's aim our chest toward one another. A little bit more of our chest toward one another so that doesn't encourage a shlumping of the back but just this nice rocking okay?

So easy. Minimal effort, maximum efficiency. So, as I've done this, we're doing this class for me, it's earlier in the day than I have been filming, for some of you, it's the end of your day. So it's good for all the time. Now, I don't know if you've noticed as you've done this repetitive rocking, does anyone notice how they're getting lower and lower and lower to the ground?

Hopefully without pushing it there, a couple more times, just letting the rocking motion, the very natural stretching of tissue and muscles, all the things stay right where you've landed, and just recognize where you've landed. Feels pretty nice, just take about three to four breaths where you're at. You can imagine your legs like branches from a tree getting more extended and full of leaves and lots of growth and just expression and extension. Good and then walk your hands all the way in, I want you to do that same kind of rocking motion toward either your left or your right leg. Hmm.

I'm gonna go this way first. So just easy toward the thigh and back. Often we've done, we'll do things like this, this type of movement and we'll say, don't move the opposite hip. Today, of course, you've seen that it's not about the rules. Let the opposite hip move, because you're also moving this part of your body.

It's just really natural organic motion. Okay, a couple more, inhale, falling toward the leg and an exhale rocking back and then once again, I'm gonna have us pause when you get down to that leg and three to four breaths right there. Maybe the X allows you to drop into the stretch of your hamstrings or your leg, calming down, letting the breath move our body where we want it to go. Or maybe it's moving it into a place that it's never been before. Maybe some of you are getting so low to your thigh, you've never been this low (chuckles) to feel the hamstring stretching.

Okay. Now while you're there, we're gonna walk our hands, we're gonna walk those hands, see if you can walk a little further out in front of you, way out just to the middle, just to the middle and then they walk back in. Of course, we have our other side now so we're gonna turn and here we go, swaying and back and swaying and back and I just can imagine that, those everyone out there watching, teachers that are out there, I can almost hear your thoughts right now hopefully saying, wow, I can really feel one half of my pelvis on the floor way different than some days. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry. But you might everyone tune in to whatever leg you're leaning toward.

That pelvic half might be feeling really grounded. That's great. And all of the back line of where your butt and your leg meet getting that stretch in there without having to like force a hamstring stretch, lying on your back and tugging your leg towards your body. Okay, so here we're gonna stay and you're gonna take three breaths. Just again, you're heavy, you're grounded.

We all need to feel grounded, especially right now and grounded is strong, really. It's really strong. Think of rocks and boulders and things that are super heavy, they're grounded, they are solid. Hands in the center, walking out, or maybe you're getting lower, that's fabulous. You don't have to force it, walking toward the center.

Okay, we're gonna take two big breath cycles here, maybe you get lower. One more breath cycle, hmm, I've gotten my head all the way to the floor, that feels very nice. And as we roll ourself up, I'm gonna use my hands, rock, walk, walk, walk. Okay, to get the legs away from this position, adjust your glasses first, hands behind you and then drag your legs together like this, one, one, one, bend those knees up and let's try something. I wanted to kind of see where we're at.

We didn't really do any ankle, we did ankle flexion at the beginning with the rocking, but what would it feel like? Let's give it a go, to try coming down into a squat position, okay, kind of a sumo position and if you're not able to get here comfortably, I'd said this last week, you're gonna get there, I love this position. You can be up on the toes like this, that's fine. You can roll your mat up and stick it underneath your heels, right now I don't have a mat on the ground but what I want every one of us to do, no matter where you are, put your hands in front of you, and just go from one side to the next side. Okay, so there's lots going on, we've got heel lifting, flexion of the toes, yep, you can kind of move one hand, see how I'm kind of lifting one hand, I'm lifting one hand.

I really I just want you to again rock it grounded, stay heavy, stay low. Okay. Yep. Find your way to all fours, we're gonna come back to that. All fours is super easy flexion of the spine cat.

Extension of the spine is a cat. Rock your weight back, almost thinking of that child's pose. Arms are in front of you. Now, cat again, rounding up, lean your pelvis forward. It's not quite a swan, but it's similar, looking forward, look over one shoulder, bend the knee.

You can see this was the kind of the image of the the thumbnail for class but it such, a bawdy crawl, this is kind of a crawling thing again and I just want you, that straight leg that's behind you there, extend the length of that leg, breathe deep. Okay and then up we go, switch it to the other side. So you just lean your pelvis forward, bend the opposite knee, look over the shoulder. And really give that long leg a reach, almost the leg kind of reaching out from the rib cage, down the abdomen, through the leg. Good and through center, adjust yourself back into your little resting pose and let's try that little sumo position one last time.

One last time, for some reason feels better, easier to get to is to open up the hip flexors and here we go. Okay, so if we come to a resting position just in your squat and if you're not able to do this, again, just be patient but you can also just sit on the floor. We're gonna end this session to this class just with about three to four deep breaths. (exhales) Some mobility, breath and ease. You're welcome to do any of these movements any time.

Even one section of any that material will calm your system down. It's all nervous system deregulation or regulation to calm us down. Yeah, I feel nice and mellow right now. So I hope you all feel good. I wanna thank you for joining me again and I'll see you next Tuesday 8:30 in the morning, getting up and getting moving.

So much gratitude for everyone for coming and showing up and supporting yourselves, supporting me and of course, supporting the global community of Pilates so, thank you very, very much. Enjoy your day or night, bye bye.

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Pilates with Amy Havens: Move with Amy


1 person likes this.
Lovely relaxing body movements, thank you Amy
1 person likes this.
Thankyou Amy ..perfect at the end of a busy day! Feeling more mobile and mindful and privileged to experience your class. 
1 person likes this.
Truly calming class. I loved all the natural flowing movements. So good to mix things up a little so thank you. Do hope puppy was OK?
Fiona O
1 person likes this.
Great class Amy! I can’t do the sumo stretch due to an arthritic knee and foot. Do you have a variation I could try? 
Laura E
2 people like this.
Wonderful, I really enjoyed this class. Thank you
1 person likes this.
Thank You Amy ❤️
1 person likes this.
Lovely class, lots of great ideas which inspired my own class for this week, thank you. Don’t always need to be ‘stable’!!
1 person likes this.
Thoroughly enjoying these at home sessions Amy Havens and it’s great to know when I can’t join live, I’ll be able to catch up on PA. thank you!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy Havens 
Didn’t get to do this live but practiced this on a Saturday morning and it was a lovely, calm way to start my day. Thanks, as always, for sharing your time and space with us. See you Tuesday! 
1 person likes this.
Great class with many different stretching exercises; I loved it ; I am feeling deeply relaxed...thank you Amy
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