Class #4139

Mat Flow

50 min - Class


Focus on flow and efficiency of movement with this Mat workout by Kristi Cooper. She teaches exercises you already know, using the BASI Pilates® Block system to organize the class. She eases into it with a gentle warm-up and then gradually increases the intensity as she goes.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi everybody, welcome to class. I'll give it a couple more seconds and let everybody get yourselves set up. Today is about flow. We're gonna kind of ease our way into it and gradually increase the intensity as we go. I don't have the class designed for using props, but it never hurts to have something nearby in case you need an assist.

And I think I have Nairobi and Ireland and the UK here today and a couple friends from local areas too, so thank you for being here. And let's just start. If you've been in our classes you know you're gonna be partly your own teacher, so I'll try to give you some incentive and some clues and cues that'll guide you in that direction as we go. But for now, just stand on your feet, stand on your ground, decide for yourself right now what you want out of it. Because you can tweak whatever I set the tone for.

So for me, I'm going for flow and finding ways to do that for all of us, hopefully. Stay where you are, but your feet are apart. Here we go. Look down, the outer edges of your feet are parallel. So it might feel a little inward toe for some of you.

And then just stack yourself up like building blocks. Your knees are over your ankles, your hips are over your knees. Let's hang out there for a second and just, as we kind of feel for where we are when we start and can check in at the end, just tilt your pelvis forward and back and find where level is. Going up a little further, where are your ribs? In all that setup below, did you forget the ribs, or are they somewhere they don't want to be?

Let's get them over the hips as best they can, shoulders over ribs. And then your head, the hard part for me, is just kind of floating there on top. Maybe ears over shoulders. Let's take an inhale, we're gonna roll down. Inhaling here, and then just exhale, let the weight of your head start to draw you forward.

It's not like you're collapsing, but you're just gonna let yourself roll down as far as you want, all the way if you can letting your arms just hang, head hang. You can bend your knees. Inhale, start coming back up. I think of it really coming from the gentle press into the ground, the rolling of the pelvis. Re-stacking hopefully right back where we started.

And inhale, setting your intention now. Exhale, roll down, finding where it's tight, what feels pretty good, what do you need to let go of? What do you need more of? Maybe that's the same question. Inhale, and exhale up.

And inhale. Exhaling down. I'm gonna put my hands on the ground, this time completely. Bend your knees, oh boy, I'm a little stiffer than I thought I was. Exhale, try to straighten them.

Let's bend them again. Inhale, it's almost like you're curling the middle of your back to do this. Exhale, one more. Inhale bent. Exhale, hold the strain.

Shift your weight a little more forward if you can. Can you also lift your toes? Oh that's a little early for that, maybe. And then toes down, we're gonna roll up, feel free to use your hands on your legs. Up we come, and then once we get to the top, let's take a deep breath, let the arms float up, bring some energy in, and exhale, oh.

Let's just go to the mat, lie on your back, starting with some pelvic curls. Give ourselves a little bit more time to warm up here. So again, same alignment basically in terms of where the feet are. Feel your feet step onto the ground, almost stuck on the ground, body is long, collarbones wide, eyes wide, if you were here last time that was sort of, it wasn't a theme, but we're so hyper-focused at screens sometimes, I'll do my best to be clear. We inhale.

On the exhale, allow the belly to just fall naturally, don't try to do anything, but go ahead and roll the pelvis up, bone by bone, to the shoulder blades. Take a second, standing on now not just your feet, but your triceps too. Collarbones wide, inhale. And exhale, taking it back down. Oh, just checking in.

Release the tailbone, fully inhale. Exhale, and roll the pelvis up. You'll be making minor adjustments, right? So when your shoulders creep up because you're lifting up, you go right, I'm gonna fix that. Inhale, 'cause then you feel solid.

It's not about right or wrong, it's more about that feels solid. Exhale or roll down. We're gonna do a few more of these, so just keep that rhythm for yourself, starting to create a sense of fluidity in your body. Exhaling up. Inhale, try to get your fingers down, your wrists down, but keep the position elsewhere.

Roll down on your exhale. I'm gonna give us three more. Exhale, roll up. And just notice so much of this work, at least in the beginning, first principle, at least from Basi was awareness, right? So let's get that awareness now so we know what do do with it later.

And two more. And I'm spending a little more time in this warmup because what we know about movement is the more we release first, the more efficient we're gonna become. The more efficient we'll be, last one. So I'm trying to just not do more than I have to right now. Sort of a theme this week it turns out.

Okay, hang out here for just a second before we go down. Check yourself again, touch the top of your hips maybe, that you are as long as you can be. If you carry that sensation of you touching yourself up further, the ribs are still intact. And I don't mean closed or hunkered down, but they're just in line, is a better way of saying it. Let's put the hands to the ground, and exhale roll down.

Oh, I could do about 50 more of those before I fully loosened up, but instead we're gonna bring our feet together, take our arms either out to a low V or a T or this would be, what do you call, goalpost kind of arms as even more challenging. I'm gonna do a low V with palms up. Lifted heels, everything glued together as if one leg, coming towards the green wall, inhale, rotate the lower body, and keep the knees aligned. Almost like you're pointing your knee over there, or wherever they're kind of aimed, reach them further. Then to come back from the ribs, the waist, the pelvis, and you're back to center, other side.

So when you're going to the side, the other foot comes off, right? 'Cause they're like one leg. Exhale, see if you can create a sequential movement. And again, inhale over. Both shoulders stay on the ground.

Exhale, melt it back to center. Inhale over, just alternating sides. And exhale. Now you can keep that or bring both knees up, parallel the shins, try for that rather than leave them hanging. Here we go, same thing, you can widen your arms here if you want.

And exhale. Again, if you want to go really opening that shoulder and chest early, do it, you can take those arms into that goalpost position. That feels good, I've got to admit. Inhale, lifting hips, reach it over. Oh you can tell I'm waking up when I start to yell at you already, exhale center.

But again, finding the sway, the motion. And actually, the range of motion is dictated by keeping the shoulder down, so it doesn't really matter how far as long as you're getting that rotation preparing us for more. Let's do two more sets. So far so good. Oop, that was two more.

Oh well, gotta finish to the back. Oh, all right, put your feet down one at a time, or just down, and I'm gonna keep them together for now. Release your fingers behind your head. From here, just inhale. Exhale, it's the pelvis we're gonna curl first.

Just a little, just to get that low back there. I need a tiny bit more stretch. Inhale here, keep the pelvis where it is, exhale, we're gonna float the upper body up to meet it. Inhale, start to release the pelvis down, and exhale, lengthen your body all the way to the ground. You can keep your elbows up now, inhale.

Start the exhale of the pelvis, curl up, imagine just reaching your tailbone, it's far, but in that curve. Exhale, curl ahead and control those abs. Stay up, stay up, inhale, start to reach the tail bone down and then finish the exhale coming all the way down with your whole spine. Again, pelvis. Inhale, exhale, upper body.

Start the inhale, release it down, and take it all the way. Last time. Pelvis, I'm taking another inhale to exhale to come up, if you care. Up, inhale, start to stretch your tailbone down. And exhale down, leave the pelvis down.

You can separate your feet a little bit, stay engaged though, again, as if they were one even though there's separation. Exhale, curl up, just your upper body, upper body. Can you stay up here, let your head really fall back. Actually that's not a great cue for me, I always never know what to do with that myself, so I have to try to come a little higher, and then literally push my head back knowing that it can't move because my hands are so strong. Then come down.

But it makes my neck longer and it just feels better and it turns out it makes my abs work more which is sort of the point at the moment. Exhale, curl up. Think about it, 'cause it's so tempting to pull your head out of your hands. Oh, you thought I was gonna say something else, didn't you? Inhale, lengthen, press it back, get higher though, and take it down.

And again, inhale. Starting to feel some energies and more life in your body, doesn't have to be frenetic. Doesn't have to be anxiety, it can just be like right, oh I'm making some changes in my body right now. Inhale, exhale, take it down. I'm gonna help myself, so I'm gonna invite you to join me.

Inhale, reach and grab the legs. This is that one that you see me and Mary do all the time. It just feels good, it feels good, I'm like right, I can handle that. Take the arms up and back, oh keep the body up, then go down. We're doing four of those.

Inhale, exhale up. Inhale, reach to the legs, exhale pull yourself not just up but kind of forward, make yourself the shape of that C here that we're gonna use in the roll-up later. Inhale the arms up, put them behind your head, and take it down. And exhale, remember what you were doing with the back of your head. So it's sort of easy on your head, it's just all right, we're here again.

Inhale, reach to the legs. Exhale pull, you use the biceps, pop those elbows out to the side when you do it. Arms up, put the hands back and down. Inhale. I'm gonna pretend this is four, if it's not, we can do it after class.

Exhale. Inhale, the arms up, we're gonna stay up here. Put the hands back, come towards me, rotate. Inhale through the middle, try not to lose height, exhale, rotate the other way. Check out your legs as you go, 'cause they're not moving, they're your support system or moving around them or over them or above them, however you want to see it.

Just moving through, we're gonna go to the front and stay there. Stay there, stay there, can you be any higher? Take that hand to the back or the opposite hand to the leg you're looking at or you're nearest, grab on to the leg or somewhere and pull yourself not more to rotation yet, just forward to that leg, just like we were doing a moment ago. Probably don't need a whole lot more rotation, but if you do, do it. Put your hand back, oh there's a nice little ab cramp.

Other side, get there. Find your leg, pull yourself towards it, towards it, toward the leg. If you need to rotate more go ahead. Put your hand back to the center, and lay it back down. Right, from here, shimmy yourself back onto your mat or back on your mat if you need to, and let's just take a moment.

Hug the knee in, one or both, just hug them in. Take one leg, whichever it is, and just stretch it up, get it ready for a few more things. I don't know what time it is in Nairobi, but you may be all warmed up and ready to go, I have no idea. But it's 8:30 here in the morning. I'm a morning person, but here we go.

We're gonna go right into the hundred from here, so let's just take the arms straight above our heads. Shoulders around the mad, and we're going straight into it. Inhale, exhale, off we go. Inhale, and exhale. Two.

Three. Four. Can you be longer? Six. Seven, stay in it.

Heat up, eight. Nine. And 10. Pull the knees in, hug them to your chest, bring your head right back up, we're doing a little bit into just a rocking. Flowing one into the next.

Rock, rock. Keep the shape you started with, where you start, you stay. If you're fluid, if you're solid, and you want the challenge, you tighten it up. You look down, you can put your head between your knees, even. You're in charge.

Three more. One. Two. Stay up on three just for a balance and a focus. And then sit yourself back, but you're upright.

Stretch your legs out, and take the roll-up from here. I'm wishing I had one of those assists right now. All right, so for this roll-up, instead of going all the way over to there, we're gonna just imagine we're hugging the space and hold here, inhale. Sit up off those sit bones and start to roll back, back, back, take the arms overhead. Touch, come right back, we're still in the game.

Exhaling up. Inhale, start pulling those collarbones back, exhaling reach back. Inhale, I'm pretty sure my driveway's on an upward slope. Think of the workout, that's good. And down.

Taking it down. One more. Feeling how your energy is going forward, from the backs of your legs through your spine, all the way forward, include the neck, now we roll down. You can just let your arms by your side as you get there. Take up the right leg, stretch it up.

If that's too tight, you're bending the lower leg. But let's just keep it slightly pointed, I'm gonna slightly turn out today. Crossing the body, exhale down around, stop. Inhale over, down around, stop at the top. Number three out of five.

One more. Let's go the other way, but before you do, keep that bottom leg involved. Let's go outside, up one. Again, up two, finding rhythm in it now. Three.

Stay up there, reach up for it, grab somewhere except for maybe the knee, you can pull your head up too, at first. In fact, pull the leg towards your face and keep it like that as you put your head back down. Parallel the leg, flex, and point. Use the toes in that action. As you lower this leg, we'll bring the other one up.

Crossing the body first, and around one. Two. Keeping the rest of your body stable so the leg is kind of playing a little. One more, other side. And around, up boom.

And around, up. Two to go. One more. Hold it up, grab on somewhere, pick your head up if you need to, or don't, just come with me, it's kind of nice. Pull the leg in, you know where we're going, and set everything down, taking the leg with you.

Right, from here we bend, we bend both knees in, rocking again, on three we're up. Two, this is it, come up. Hold, right? Slide your hands, maybe it's just your knees, you can maybe go a little lower. Push your knees into your hands as you come away from up, but you're in complete control, come back in.

Push them away, and come back in. Time the rotation of the pelvis with it, so it starts almost there. Back, and up. This time we're gonna lower ourselves down, so go to a place where you feel like you're under control. And you can set yourself down slowly, maybe.

So the double leg stretch, we inhale, reach back. Arms and legs are opposition, exhale circle around. Inhale reach, stretch the whole body, and around. Commit to it, put an exclamation point on it. You can be flowy and also strong.

And open and close. The rest of your body is still. You can hug it way in if you want, get crazy. Back and in, just be aware again, of where you are. Flow through the whole body in this one.

The whole body, getting one more. The whole body, hold it in. Bring your body up a little, just guessing, extend the leg, I don't know, closer to me, hug that other one in, and then change. Pull, pull, traditional hands, right? You could, outside hand to the ankle, or you could just stay on the knees.

Sometimes you can use that opposition to help you stay up, but it doesn't mean you're not working. Breathing however you want, just make sure you do. Use the arms, use the arms, it is fine, you must use the arms. Let's go, four. Three.

Two, simply have to finish with this next one here. Both knees in, head goes down, turn, look to the front. Look at the floor further, go the other way. Look to the back, look down further at the floor. Back to center, curl yourself back up.

Extend one leg up, you've stretched it, try to keep the pelvis down. Left leg, other leg is on the floor, and we're gonna pull pull, and you're pushing the opposite leg switch. Pull pull, go. Pull pull. Upper body stays still except for you can even use your arms a bit.

One more, each leg, both legs up. Hands behind your head, let your head go down. Elbows are up, you know what you're doing here with your head, right? Come back up, your head's being pressed back. Both legs lower, as far as you want.

Exhale, come back. Both legs, reach long, keep your upper body up, exhale back. As the legs go down, maybe your upper body is trying to stay up higher. Just two more. The breath really helps, doesn't it?

Right here, hold it, bend both knees, extend the legs furthest from me, turn to the front. Get up there, you know how to do it, in fact grab on, pull higher just like before, return your hand. Switch, hold it there, grab, pull higher. What are your legs doing? I just caught my foot over my shin, line them up, put it back.

Let's go we're off. Inhale, inhale exhale, exhale is how I do it. Do whatever you want, just breathe. Switch and reach and reach. If you could wring out your spine really, this is the first real chance, go.

Go flow, flow, I've been rhyming all week in weird ways and that was one of them. Here we go. Both knees in, hug them and rest your head briefly. Arms down, legs up, exhale over for rollover. Flex your feet, check yourself out, don't look too far behind you.

Try not to look at your abs either. Push the feet apart about hip distance. If it's available you're gonna lowr them, and now it's like someone's holding your ankles as you roll down. Reluctantly putting your spine on the mat while you stretch your legs. Circle the legs down and around together, inhale.

Exhale over. Flex your feet, separate, lower if you can, roll down, trying not to collapse. For you flexible people out there, clearly I'm not one. You're gonna try not to just give in to it, you're gonna hold your abs, flex open. For once us unflexible people have an advantage.

Look at the abs no matter what or we'll fall over. Switch directions, so you're just gonna open. Go over with the feet apart, over, zip up the legs, and by that feel the back of your body, flex your feet, and lower down. Push away, up and over. Close, flex, down.

It's like the flexibility in this case, let's make it about the spine, not so much the hamstring. I'm gonna do one more, around and over. Come together, flex, and lower down. When you get there bend the knees, hug them, again looking to one side, to the other. Back to center, and we're rocking for three, hold wherever you want til you're getting looser, up on three, you're just, I guess it's more like two and a half, isn't it?

Right, so sitting tall. Let's do a little spine stretch here. I like this version, it's really hard for me not to teach this version, it's not a real version according to some. But a friend of mine who struggled with this exercise as much as I did in class taught it to me and so I stick with it, I call it the Erin. We're holding our head like we talked about.

Our legs are in the ground, they can be bent, it's not a big deal. Exhale, we round over, over, get the top of the head on the ground in between your knees. I did it once in my life. And then just come right back up for now. How's your spine, what are you doing?

Is it leaning forward, is it leaning back? Check it out. Inhale exhale down, down. It's like you're folding into yourself creating a shape that literally forces the air out. When you are out of air, you will automatically rise.

Exhale, I'm gonna change this one. So we're down here, you've exhaled all your air, this time instead of going up on the straight line, go on the diagonal, start from the tailbone. The middle back, low back, whichever order it should be, there you go, check the back of your head again. Push into it, feel that nice traction, then extend your arms right alongside your ears. Inhale, refold them behind your head, exhale around, we're coming right back up to the original vertical line, and starting again.

Inhale, exhale, fold over yourself. The elbows can be low, it's okay, you can be really low as long as you're not hanging on your head. From here, the long diagonal starting from the base of the spine. Take your time on that part, that part's kind of juicy, or it gets to be. When you feel like you are there, extend your arms, let the hands of course separate.

I like thumbs back, and return the hands, and exhale. By the way, this part of it, this is all rail, this is all rail. Love this one. Exhale, rounding over. And the reason I fold my arms is simply so I can know where they are.

Inhale a long line, then I can just leave the upper arms where they are, and extend the elbows right into the rail version. Inhale, refold, open, widen the back, exhale down. And though yes you're probably feeling a stretch to the hamstrings, I'm hoping you're starting to feel some since of upper back. That's my goal for ya. Exhale down, inhale, grow longer, and just because you hit one spot, maybe you can hit further now that your body knows where you're going.

Exhale extend, can you lean into it more? Not from the chest so much, but actually flexing forward. Re-fold, round over, and come back up. If you're waiting for my breath pattern, I can only tell you what I do is just inhaling, exhaling over, that part I think is kind of important to be honest, even though you're not supposed to tell people when to breathe, I hear. But it just helps me move into it.

I'm inhaling here, exhaling there. Refold, but as you refold the arms, can your spine get longer? Like somehow you're reaching to your hands rather than your hands reaching back in place? Wrap over and come up. And that's not all, but wait, there's more.

Exhale around over. Inhale, come on, find yourself. Check your ribs, those of you that can, and I'm talking to me now, exhale, extend. Thumbs up if they aren't already, elbows are straight. As if someone pulled you, literally, like you breathe and let your shoulders come up for a second.

Someone pulls you forward, flex your feet stronger, and that's not just the toes by the way. Drop the shoulders if you can, it's not a big deal, and just gently pull your upper arms back, back, back further, back further it's tiny. Five, four, it's not just the toes, three, two, are you there? Do you feel your upper back? Come on, keep your arms straight, just round over.

Roll yourself up. You can love on it a little bit if we did it. All right, put your feet together. Again, flex feet, Lolita Sim, the gal who taught me this, and I still work on this 10 years later. I tended to flex my toes, so we're gonna flex our ankles.

And hopefully the toes will come with us. Let's take the arms in that goalpost position again and look for the wrists over elbows. You're not down here, trying not to be where the hands are in front of the elbows, but do the best you can. Coming to the front, you're tall, you're tall, squeeze your butt, up an inch, and twist twice, twist center, boom. Almost mechanical, boom.

You like it, you know it, especially the mechanical ones. 'Cause they're like right, I got here, then I got there, but we're still flying. One more. Stay there, reach the arms up. Lace the fingers again, put them behind your head.

And by lace, fully, lace lace lace. Elbows slightly forward, ever so slightly. Flex feet, you bend your knees at any point, once again. Just two sets of whatever, four total. Don't tell Mary I counted this way.

Three, I just wanted you to see the difference if there was one. Boom, okay, round forward, just take a little stretch. And then just help yourself back up. We're going down for shoulder bridge. So, we're not starting over, but we're gonna just make it more fun.

We're in the same start position that we did with pelvic curl, take an inhale. Exhale, just grow yourself up to the top. And before we get into this, 'cause this is very much gonna rely on the back of your body, take a second and draw the sense of drawing either your heels toward your butt, or your butt towards your heels. Make the hamstring fork. 'Cause then, you can take one leg off, and it's gonna stretch up.

And nothing else changed. We're gonna point, I'm gonna go slow, point down, flex to come up. So it's kick down, I'm inhaling up, you choose. Keep it stable, best you can, doesn't matter how low, let's do three more. One, two, come up, stay up, refold the leg, roll halfway down.

Round round round, inhale, step into your feet, drag your heels to your butt, or your butt to your heels, in sensation, other leg comes up, and point down, flex up. Point down, up. Three more to go, one, push down, two push down, three come back up, return the leg, and roll it down from here. Once again, pick the knees up. This time let them be a part, hold behind the legs, head comes up, start the rocking motion.

That doesn't involve you kicking your legs. It doesn't involve a yank of any kind. It's like riding. You might turn in a circle. If you do come back, next one, stay up.

Hold. Lengthen your spine. If it's available to you, straighten your legs. Open leg rock, we roll back, we come right back to the spot. Grow up.

I'm not telling you like your mom, grow the spine, I just don't have much time to say all of it. Go back again. Come on back up and hold, if you can. Don't worry, you can keep rocking if you need to, right? You start to find these places that help, and some days it just doesn't work, some days it's like oh, okay.

I kind of lift my legs out of the hip socket to keep going and I push them back to come back, and sometimes I push too hard. And on your back, exhale out. Let's do two more, enjoy. One more. Stay up.

Or come off, if the case may be. All right, just let the legs come down, back up if you need to. We're going into the saw. Another one of my favorites that took years to get. So we're in this long arm position, right?

And it's just inhale rotate. Exhale, with basically more, it's not a flat back, but it's an attempt to get the extension and the hamstring while we get everything else. Reach that opposition, come back up, and center. And inhale, exhale reach so that arm is coming outside but let's not forget the back arm, you get to rotate here, at least the upper body. Come back up, and center.

And inhale, exhale, oh wait stay here, stay on that opposite hip, stay on that opposite hip. You can look back, I'm not real attached to where you look, although sometimes I am. Today I'm not. And back, so you're your own teacher. And up, rotate.

Can you move your upper body independent of your lower body, and then really wring it out. And up, and center and. So again, I can sometimes make this mechanical on purpose 'cause I'm looking at my position in my mind. But you can flow with this, let's do some flowy ones. Just kind of go forward, and come up, and switch and go forward, and come up, two more.

Go forward, up, last one. Go forward, and up, close the feet, hands behind you, fingers face your heels if you can. Otherwise it can be sideways or back, you can also be on your fists. With your feet together we lift up, we aim for a straight line, and that includes the neck, so don't look behind you. If anything, look forward, I think.

And hinge at the hips, just sit down, let your arms come up. Turn them up just to get some sense of lifting the chest, return, your hands go down, you lift up. Use your feet. Come down. If you hyperextend, try not to use your knees.

Good luck. Lift. And down. For those of you who know where this could go, don't worry, I'm not gonna go there. Let's do three more.

Lift, feel how the back of your body supports you. Arms up. And back. And down, let's do one more. Lift, hold it there.

More from your glutes, even if your toes are not on the ground, it's fine. Bend your knees if you need to, I don't want any pain there, lift lift lift, get up out of those shoulder, and then sit down, arms up, raise them all the way up and fold over. You can adjust your legs however you want to for a little bit of a release here. And with that, we will turn onto our side. Let's come all the way down.

Either rest your head on your arm. You can support it, but just make sure you're not resting everything else, 'cause that's a weird thing for your neck. So I'm gonna encourage all the way down. When you look down your legs, or your body, you see your feet maybe just a little better, just doing a few of these sort of preparatory exercises for where we're headed. Inhale, exhale, hover the legs.

And by hover I mean reach. The legs themselves are only the weight against your abs, if you will. Inhale, set them down, barely touch them, just further within where you picked them up, do it again. Exhale, lift, I did say put your head down but I'm not going to 'cause I feel like it's gonna do something weird, you won't be able to hear me. Lift, and down.

And so it's just like, am I solid in my center? Can I relax the legs and make them just weights? Mine feel like weights. Lift. And down, just one more.

Lift, and down. Okay, so we have that sense, let's pick ourselves up to the elbow. If you've been taking classes, the same one I've been doing, adjust your hip so it feels like you're right on it without being in pain, and bend the lower leg, the top leg is up. Reach it just a little longer, but not so long that you're contorted, it's just like, proud. Right, kick forward, kick kick, sweep it back, a little pause, check it out, what did you do, your hips are still in line.

Let's go, flow. Pull pull, back. Pull, back. And back. I tend to inhale going forward if that matters to you.

Controls me going back there, but you can reverse that. Just do one more. Take it to the back, little bit of a rotation forward with the chest just because, and then just a little lift. A little lift, you get to relax your foot here. Works hard for you, let it relax and just lift from the center.

Lift, lift, and lift. Bring it back to the side, and lift again. 10, nine, just directly, straight side. Six, five, we're still proud, four, three, two, and one. Bring that leg in, let's cross it over for a stretch.

Oh, trying to sit down and they go no, I don't want to, lift it again. The pull inward intensifies it if you need it. And also kind of keeps me from falling over. And reach the sit bone down as much as you can. And lift up again.

Down, and up. And oh, down. And up. Right, other side, just stay facing so you can see, so you can tell me if I forget something, I'm going all the way, all the way down I mean. The alignment is theoretically perfect.

What I mean is line up the toes, big toes really do match, and when you do lift here, you're not gonna slide, so you're already, as if you were standing upright, start the exhale lift and lower, keep going. Lift, and lower, and lift, and lower. And lift, and lower. A little bit more, we'll get longer. It's like not, well it might be real.

It's more of an idea I suppose. Okay, there you are. Set them down, keep your energy that you have to sit up, bend the lower leg, adjust yourself so you can be on your hip or maybe you have to scoot your hip a little bit back, everyone's a little different on this. Try to be as upright as possible. Leg is stretched, let's kick forward, one one, back.

And I'm saying one one because I'm trying to go as far as I can on the first kick, then go further. This is quick. How you doing? It's awfully quiet out there. All right, that's okay, I trust that we're taking care of ourselves, and by we I mean you.

Keep it to the back, hold it there when you get there. Recheck yourself. Legs straight, et cetera. Foot's not overly tight. Subtle lean into it.

Once you do that, you might be able to use the back of your leg more to push it further back. And you didn't bend the knee and you just lift from back there. You're still proud, you're still regal, it's starting to feel good. You can tell, I'm making up words and stuff. Okay, then we took it to the side.

Straighten out your chest so it's straight ahead, your leg is right off your hip, and up, two, three. Eight, nine, and joy. Next, come up. For some, this is enough you just cross your leg and hang out here to gently press it open, for others, you may want to come up and do the whole hip bone up, or sit bone up, sit bone down situation. I'm gonna go sit bone up first.

And then reach it down, but as my sit bones go down, my head is going up. I'm gonna walk out of here more elevated than I knew possible. I didn't tell you that was part of my goal. Lift, and down. And just feel the progress, feels good hopefully.

Great, all right it's time. Let's go face down, just whichever way you do this, we're gonna do a little single double leg kick. Here we go. Elbows, I like this a different way. I like this a different way, so I'm gonna queue the way you might know it.

Elbows under shoulders, you're strong, you're sturdy, you are anchored through the pelvis and you're pulling your chest through. Now for some that doesn't work once you start to lift the legs. So I'm gonna encourage you to feel free to move everything forward, meaning your elbows. So you can be lower, you can still do the pull, but you can also get the actual work done that you want. So you choose, I'm gonna hang out here now that I'm here.

Kicking one side first to a straight. So it's kick, kick, straight. Or both ways, kick, kick, push. Pull, pull, push, keep your upper body engaged like mad. And now we'll alternate, so it's pull pull, pull pull, however you wanna call it.

I'm inhaling, and exhaling. I'm keeping my body still and I'm moving right through. In in in in out. One more round. From there, both legs straight, you put them down for now.

Come down, turn your face towards the front, towards me, lace the fingers or grab hold of a couple fingers. Face down, elbows down, best you can. And I mean that, be careful with yourself. I got one that can and one that can't, but one is getting lower. From here, draw the belly up.

Keeping the pelvis anchored, hover both legs. And I do mean hover, don't go for height here. Kick three, two, one, straighten your legs. And your calves are still off, and straighten your arms. Turn your face the other way, bend the elbows, get them down if you can.

Kick three, kick two, kick one, reach, you can put the feet down if you want to. It's kind of nice, so try it both ways. Kick one, two, three, and stretch stretch stretch. One, two, three, reach reach reach. And one, two, three, and reach reach reach.

Last set, one, two, three, and reach reach reach. Tops of the feet down, reengage the abs, let go of the arms out to a T-position into a goal post position. Forehead down, just your forehead. Listen up here, try not to look, I'll be clear. Elbows down, but the hands are not.

Now hands down. All right now, look at where they are, and let's put the elbows up at shoulder height. So it's really like 90 degrees off the shoulder and then 90 degree elbow bent. Right, forehead down. This is how it's gonna go.

So your chest is basically down too, right? You're gonna lift just your hands. The elbows remain on the floor. Hmm, hello. Then lift the elbows.

Take a quick peek over and try to keep the elbows and the wrist parallel. Parallel, horizontal, level? Something like that. Then hover your head and chest. Your feet stay down.

Okay, here comes the fun. Extend your arms overhead or in a wide V. Rebend the elbows to 90 degrees with those level forearms. Check it out, ooh. Forehead down.

Here's the fun, elbows down. Hands, okay? Here we go. We go, breathe as you wish. Inhale, sorry.

As you wish. Hands up, elbows up, slope the head and chest, keep them exactly where they are, just straighten your arms, that's all you have to do. Re-bend the elbows, forehead down, elbows rotate down, and then hands. Hands up, elbows up, head chest up, stretch, and I mean like, stretch everything. Get as long as you possibly can.

Rebound the elbows but stay long in your body. Forehead, elbows, hands. Can we do two more? Yes, we can do two of anything. Hands, elbows, head, chest, stretch, stretch.

Re-bend, take a quick peek that your wrist didn't come in on you, that they're not next to your shoulders right now. Forehead down, elbows down, hands down. And we only have one more. Adjust yourself where you need to, lift your hands, hover your elbows, head and chest up, stretch, stretch, stretch, re-bend, forehead, elbows, hands. Right, take a moment.

Relax everything for a second, shimmy where you need to. Push yourself up and back to a rest position. If you can be in this position and you want a little more, instead of staying here, we're gonna walk our arms one side, then the other. That would be enough time for someone else to be on their back, hugging their knees to their chest. So walk your hands over to one side, stretching to the reach.

So what I did was take the arms to my left, I'm trying to get that side body to really open or the ribs to flare open. And then breathe into it. Take your hands the other way. Pretty sure the construction crew just showed up across the street. Arms the other way, but we're not distracted.

Breathe into the side of the ribs, long term position, just see how much you can move that torso just by breathing. Walk your hands back to the center, walk them back to you, curl your toes under. And before you think about getting up, stretch your toes. It's not that easy sometimes. So for me, I'm stretching my mat forward with my straight arms and I'm stretching my toes and realizing what's tighter.

We're gonna hinge, or not hinge forward, learn forward. You can be on the ball of your feet. Fold yourself over, maybe come towards the center of your mat so you walk out absolutely centered, 'cause yes, we are that close. Hang your head, shifting your body weight forward just a tad. Shake your head no like actively, not actively, but just do it.

And then let gravity do the rest. So you really feel the wright that you carry. Dripping, lengthening, falling, letting go of it. Just taking a moment to know that gravity in this position anyway is going to support you, and that you support yourself in this time. Then nod your head yes, and that was almost easier sometimes and then just let it go, maybe circle it, do whatever you want, but just try to let go of holding on to everything at the top there, for just a second.

Bend your knees when you're ready, find your feet again. Remember how we started they were parallel, so if you have to just do, we're about to stand up and walk out of this hopefully feeling a little more solid, having moved fluidly through as much as possible, even when there's challenges. Bend the knees a little more, enough that you could put your hands on your shins easily or you could let them hang, it's up to you. And just start to curl, you don't have to work for this, but support yourself. Rolling all the way up.

And so you're in that upright position again, just like before. We'll just stay up, just inhale, try to find more room, maybe the crown of the head is up at the ceiling, exhale. Maybe a little more space between bones or joints or sense of space, anyway. Just two more breaths, together anyway. Finding a little bit of ease so you can move more efficiently.

Whatever else you want to do, one more. Thank you so much for being here, I hope you'll be back next Thursday. Bye, thank you.

Garage Sessions with Kristi - Playlist 1


4 people like this.
If you have taken Kristi's classes before, you will know that she starts out slow to warm you up. Then she flows from one core/ lengthening move to another, while keeping up  a pleasant dialog of cuing and more.  One particular thing i love is her focus on spinal rotation and lengthening. I also love that i feel great during the class and afterwards. Thanks again Kristi:) 
Kristi, Love this class and love your passion for mat work ! I always take something new from your love for the work ! Thank you from Chicago :)
1 person likes this.
I am a devoted mat workout fan, and this one will enter my regular rotation. Really great stuff.
1 person likes this.
This is a great daily flow; I feel great and free whilst doing your classes...thank you Kristi
2 people like this.
I loved this class Kristi! Perfect flow! Where did you get your leggings? So cute 
My day started with this mat class! I’m invigorated! Thanks so much Kristi!
1 person likes this.
Thank Kristi for another great class!  Great way to start the day :)
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much Kristi Cooper ! This class was amazing! Your good energy is really contagious, and I love it! 🙏🥰
Gary that might be one of the greatest bits of feedback I've ever received! Thank you! Thank you, everyone! It can be a little awkward teaching in your garage but I remember on this day that somehow I was with a group that would come with me and I forgot about being in the garage. Thank you all for taking the class with me whether it was live that day or afterwards.
Nice class, your entertaining banter with your viewers made it even more fun.
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