Hi, everyone! Welcome to my house! I've said this before, and I'll say it again. It's a little surreal for me here without seeing all of you, but I know that you're there. So, that's exciting. I'm excited to be here with you. Thank you for joining me today.
As you may know, we're gonna do a little Theraband work, or play with the Theraband a little bit. And yeah, I hope you enjoy yourself, and as always, if needed, please modify or in any other way look after yourself as you need. No one will know what you're doing anyway. So, let's start up on our knees today, and we'll take the band in our hands. What we'll do is, I alternate when I use the band between just holding with my thumbs and holding with my whole hand, just depending on how much pull I need.
So I'm gonna pinch with my thumbs in this moment, and we're gonna take that band and press it against the thighs, and as you press it against the thighs, take your arms back and think of wrapping your arms behind you. So we really feel the upper back starting to activate, and we feel the chest lifting up, and then take the band off the thighs and raise your arms up over your head. And then we're gonna side bend. So we're gonna go left. Hold onto the band with the right hand.
Pull down on the band with the left hand. Lift the left arm up, and lift your body up. And then go to the other way, to the right. So we find that side stretch right away. We pull down on the band, we let the band come back up, and we lift the body up.
Let's do it again. Inhale to go over, opening that side body. Exhale, additionally stretching as you pull down on that bottom arm. Lift the bottom arm, let it float, and come back up, and then going the other way. Inhale, and exhale, and inhale, and exhale.
So let's add some rotation to that. Inhale, now take that top arm, it's my right arm in the moment. We're gonna rotate around so we're taking the band and bringing it parallel to the ground, and then we're gonna come back, open to the side, and we're gonna lift back up. We're gonna inhale as we reach over, exhale as we take it into rotation, inhale as we come out of rotation, and I'm all the time using my hamstrings to press my pelvis forward, keeping that lower body still. Let's do one more, inhale, and exhale into rotation, and come back out.
Lift up, and inhale, and excuse me, exhale into rotation, pressing the pelvis forward, and come back, and lift up. Then take the band one more time around the thighs, press back with your arms, bringing the arms really close together behind you, lifting the chest, and then return, and come down onto the mat. So let's take the legs out in front of us. You can have bent knees or straight legs at the moment. Wrap the band around your feet, and it's best to try to keep the band as open as possible, rather than bunching it up, if possible.
So wrapping the band around the feet, sitting up nice and tall in the body. So I'll do a similar action to what we just did on our knees, where we take the band and we press down, and as we're pressing down on that band, we're lifting the chest up. And then take the arms forwards, and then begin rolling your spine down towards the floor. As you roll down, you're thinking of pressing into your feet or stretching the band. Come all the way down onto your back, and lift your head and chest, and then drawing in, so what I like to think of is using the band not to help me get up, not to make it easier, but to give me the opportunity to look for more depth, which is why I'm going slow, slow, slow.
So we roll up. We bring the shoulders over the pelvis, and then we press back with the arms to lift the spine. And then I'm gonna adjust on my mat. This is real life here, folks. I'm not straight, and I wanna be.
So we pull back, real life, no edits. Thank you for understanding, and we go down. So tucking the tail under, reaching out with the arms. So even though you're pulling on the band, your arms can be reaching forward to help you create some opposition against the abdominals. We come all the way down onto the back of the head, and then we lit the head and chest up.
Press the low back into the ground. Deepen into that connection, so it feels as though you're not just lifting up, but you're bending inwards, bending inwards, bending into yourself, until the shoulders come over the pelvis, and then, press back with the arms and lift the chest. Take the arms forwards, and inhale, and exhale to go down, all the way, and lift up, and articulate, bending inwards, bending inwards, bending inwards, so the band loosens up as we get more upright, and then we pull the back up, bringing the arms back. Let's do two more, arms forwards, and go down, keeping the collarbones open and wide, coming all the way down, touching the back of the head, lifting the head and chest, and rolling up, and lifting up, and reaching forwards, last time. We're using the band to create a little feedback or to create different sensations than we might otherwise have without.
I like to push down with my arms a little as I'm coming down, and then as I'm lifting up, I like to lift up on my arms a little bit, not in a big movement way, but just in an energetic way, and lift up. So as promised, that was our last one. We're gonna now bend our knees. Scoot in a little closer. I would recommend holding on pretty close to your feet.
The closer you hold on towards your feet, the more support you're gonna have. This is gonna be a little challenging. So we're gonna go down, keeping the knees bent. Come all the way down so you're just at your shoulder blades, and then feel here that your low back is committed to staying connected to the ground, to the floor, and that we're dropping into the best neutral pelvis that we can, or tailbone down. From that place, we're gonna curl forward, and we're gonna pull back.
And what I mean by that, let's do it again, curl forward. What I mean by "pulling back" is I mean we're working the down. We're working as we stretch the band down. And exhale, and inhale. And as we continue through this movement pattern, we're continuously feeling the inner thighs pressing into one another.
Maybe you actually also wanna feel the heels digging into the ground, right, so we feel the inner thighs and the backs of the legs and the abdominals, and maybe a little shoulder work as well, a full-body experience happening. We'll do four more, curling in and back, and three, and back, and two, and back, and one, and back. You're welcome, and all the way up. So we're gonna sit up, we're gonna lean back, and we're gonna pull, and push. So even though the band is releasing as the arms reach forward, you can create that push sensation.
Pull, and push, pull, and push. One more time, pull, and push. Now, as you exhale, go down again, rolling down through the spine, pressing the heels down, looking for alignment. Now, what we're gonna do here is everyone's gonna rotate towards their computer, or whatever device that you're using to take this class. So we're all seeing each other, or you're seeing me, and I see me, but I know you're there.
And we go up, and we go down. And we go up. So my body's rotating to the right, so I'm gonna talk about that. What I'm trying to do is I'm getting that upper rib, my left rib, to try to come down towards my right hip, and I'm doing the same thing on the right ribs. So it's almost like the two ribs are trading places, the two sides of the ribcage are trading places and they're funneling into the same place on the pelvis, the right hip.
If you're rotated left, all those words are exactly the same, except for the left. We have three, and just like we did when we were in the center, we work both ways. And two, work both ways, and one, and down. And through center, and up. And all the way up, and a little bit back.
And pull, and push. And pull, and push. So we get a little flexion, or a lot of flexion, and we get a little extension, a little arm work. Just one more time. And now we go down again, and when there is one side, there is the other side.
So we all rotate towards the other direction, feeling that rib that's rotating away from the mat come across towards the opposite side of the pelvis, and we lift up, and the same side rib that we're turning to is also reaching down towards that side of the pelvis. I imagine a funneling sort of idea. And again, it's not up and down, maybe, but instead, maybe we could think of forward, so increasing the flexion, working on the down. Increasing the flexion, working on the down. We'll do five more here.
Remember the legs are squeezing together. Remember the heels are pressing down into the earth. And back, and three, and back, and two, and back, and last one, and back, and bring it to the center. We roll the spine all the way back up, and one more time, we're gonna lean back a little, and we're gonna bend, pull, and push, pull. So I'm just behind my sitting bones here and thinking about being very straight in my body, in my spine, and I'll just do that two more times, and one more time.
We'll stretch the legs out and bring ourself into an upright position. The knees can be bent, they can be straight, but now I'm sitting right over my sitting bones. We're gonna bend the right elbow. Turning the right palm up, turn to the side. So we rotate right, and reach forward, and bend the left arm, rotating left, and center.
So what I'm doing with the arm that's not pulling is I'm just allowing it to reach forward. The visual, it kinda feels like the band's flossing across my feet. If that doesn't work for you, that's okay, but that's what I imagine, reaching that opposite arm forwards, and center, and reaching forward and sitting upright all the time. We'll do three more in each direction, and center, and three, and center, and two, and center, and two, and center, one more time please, my friends, and center, feeling the deep rotation that we can use the band to help us achieve, and center, and then take a stretch forward over your legs. Take the band off your feet.
Take it into your hands. Mine gets a little sticky, so I'ma unstick it. We're gonna roll back. So pulling apart on the band, going slow, just like we did when we had the band around our feet. So can we find that same commitment to detail without the help of the band?
Then we come all the way down. Once you're down, we're gonna reorganize on our mat so that we're ready for some pelvic rolls or bridges. I have to scoot a little forward in my situation. We're gonna take the arms up over the chest, and then what I want you to feel is that as your arms reach back over your head, the shoulder blades rotate upwards slightly, but they lay very flat on the floor, and we're gonna inhale, and now as we start exhaling, we're gonna step into our feet, flatten the spine against the ground, and begin lifting the pelvis away from the floor. As we lift our pelvis, we're gonna send our arms through space.
So as the hips are coming up, the band is coming down, and as you come up into the top of your bridge, you're gonna press up into the band and simultaneously pull down on the band. Then lift the band off the thighs and begin reaching back overhead, that same sensation of allowing the scapula to upwardly rotate as we bring the pelvis back down. Inhale. Same thing again, exhale, flatten the spine. Send the arms forward.
You can pull out on your band a little bit as you're doing that if you want a little extra shoulder work. As the thighs lift up, the band wraps around the thighs, whoops, standing evenly on both feet. That was a cue for me, but maybe something that you needed to hear as well. And then we lift the arms, roll the spine down, reach all the way down through the pelvis to the tailbone, and we'll do three more. Lifting up, noticing the equality of weight over the feet, pressing into the band and pulling down on the band at the same time, and then curling the body down, feeling the heels actively pulling backwards towards the pelvis as the pelvis is laying back down into the ground.
It's a great way to warm up, fire up the back of the legs. Last two, lift up. The inner thighs continue to stay active all the time. Press and lift, and then lift and go down, reaching the arms all the way back and down, and one more, lift up. Now this time, keep the band on the body, on the pelvis or the thighs or wherever it lands on you.
Press up into it, so little pulses. We lift and pull, lift and pull, lift and pull, lift and pull. So feeling those backs of the legs, creating as much or as little energy in your pull with your arms as you wish, and we'll do four, three, two, and one. Lift the arms, roll the body down, coming all the way, all the way, all the way, all the way, all the way back down, and once you arrive down all the way, we'll take the arms over the chest, we'll lift one knee, we'll lift the other knee, bringing the legs up into a tabletop position. So what we're gonna do is we're just holding the band a little bit taut.
We're gonna take the body over to one side, and I want us to just keep the arms still. So that will limit out range a little bit, and then return back to center. And then take the knees the other way, keeping the band still, and center. So you might notice as you shift the pelvis from side to side how the weight wants to shift away from the shoulder blade, but we can still anchor into that opposite shoulder blade. Just as it feels like it wants to start getting light, we can heavy it up, and center.
We'll just do that one more time through, over, and center, and over, and center. So now, as the knees go left, the arms go right, and we get more range, and then we come back. And now as the knees go right, the arms shimmy to the left. I guess shimmy's not maybe the right word. More of a drift, drift.
I'm trying to keep my band fairly level there, which is proving to be challenging, and pulling out on the band a little bit, and center. Let's just do one more to either side, reaching across and finding center, and last time, reaching across, and finding center. And then what we'll do next is we'll keep the legs as they are, and we'll lift the body, curling the head and chest up. So reaching up, take that band. Press up on the band a little with your shins as you pull down with your arms, so giving a little bit of a chance to curl into that shape a little more.
Double-leg stretch is coming up now. We're gonna reach out, we're gonna pull, wrap, lift. Reach out, bend in, pull, wrap, lift. Reach out, bend in, pull, wrap, lift. Continue that.
And bend, and curl, and inhale, and exhale, and curl, and inhale, and exhale, and curl, and four, back, and curl, three, back, and curl, two, back, and curl, and one more, out, in, and curl. Now lift the band so it's just over the knees. Stretch one leg forward and bring the other knee way into the body, and change, way into the body, and switch, and switch, and switch, curling up, and switch. Another option, if your neck is tired, is just to reach back and support your head with your hand. Completely up to you, or you can keep the band there and just pull out on it and out on it, and we have five, and five, and noticing that the pelvis is staying still as the legs are switching from side to side.
Three, and two, and one, and now, we're bringing the knees in. Let's take the head down. Just turn it over to one side, turn it center, turn it over to the other side, come back in center, and now, curl up again, lifting the feet up. We're gonna go towards the right knee, stretch the left leg out, pull the right arm down, lift the left arm up, and center. We'll do that slow to the other side.
Rotate left, pull the left arm down, lift the right arm up, find center, and a little quicker now. Pull, center, pull, center, and rotate, center, and rotate, center, and two, and two, and one, and one, and now continue without stopping center. So side, side, keep creating the pull. Four, four, three, three, two, two, one, one. Come into the middle.
Lift, lift, lift, lift, lift, and take the arms back and place the feet down, again setting up for some bridging, inhaling there. We'll just do one like we did in the beginning, rolling up, stepping into the feet, bringing the arms down across the pelvis. Pull it down, lift into it, and then lift, and go back. Just one for free, all the way, and down. And now, what we're gonna do is we're gonna come up.
You can stop the band, I'm gonna guess over the pelvis. We're gonna lift the left foot off the floor. So without the arms on the floor to help us balance, it becomes a little more challenging. So watch your control. Stretch that leg up and organize your band so your band is where you can touch.
So that's gonna be different places for different people. We're gonna take the leg down, and touch, down, and touch, down, and touch, two, and back, one, and back. Now we go arms, leg, everything back. Arms, leg, everything back, and three of five. Whoa, I almost fell over. (Meredith laughs)
Two of five, relax, one of five, and now lift the arms just above the chest. Place that foot down. Shift onto both feet. Roll down, and as you roll down, reach your arms back. Come all the way down, and inhale, and exhale.
We go back up, taking the arms back forward, stepping into the left leg, stretching that right leg up. Find where it can touch the band. Now take just the leg, and back, just the leg, and back, just the leg and back, and two, and one. Now arms and leg, and everything back. Arms and leg, and everything back, and three, and back, and two, and back, and one, and back, and bend the knee.
Step into that foot, take the arms overhead, lifting the hips up high, and now roll down, down, stretching those arms overhead, getting that nice, deep lower spinal flexion, and come all the way down. Now, I have to scooch back for this. Pardon me. We're gonna take the right leg out straight. We're gonna take the left foot into the band.
We're gonna find a position with our arms on our band where we can anchor the elbows, nice and close in towards the body. So I'm pressing my arms in, and I'm pulling my leg towards my body, and we're gonna do just a few leg circles here. So cross the body, down, out, and center. What's nice about having the band for our leg circles is that we get that support, we get a little bit more stretch, and we can really get a little bit more freedom in the hip joint. We'll do two more like that.
And one more, and then we'll reverse. So inhale, take it down and across the body and back. Out, down, across the body, and back, and three of five, and two of five, and one. What we're gonna do next, so we're gonna make that circle a little bit bigger. So as the leg comes back across the center of the body, we pick the pelvis up off the floor, take the leg down, put the pelvis down, out to the side, and center.
Pick the pelvis off the floor, take the leg down. The pelvis comes down, the leg comes out, and we come center. We'll just do one more. Off the floor, down, across, and center, and we'll do the other direction too. So go out, down.
As the leg crosses the body, let the pelvis lift. So it's like a spinal rotation and a leg circle. And out, down, and float the pelvis off the floor, and feel the obliques working to bring the pelvis back. And one more, out, around, and center. Now we're gonna take that leg down to about a 60-degree angle, we're gonna lift our head, and we're gonna start lifting our body.
So at any moment, if you need to use your arms for help, please do. Gonna roll up, and now I'm gonna bend my arms. We're gonna all lift our backs, get that nice back extension like a single-leg teaser, and then as the spine starts going back into flexion, the arms can start straightening. You can choose when that happens for you. Go all the way down to the shoulder blades, and we go forward, bending the spine, and then lifting the spine, leaning a little bit backwards, and then go back down, letting the arms straighten, working through the spine.
We'll do that one more time, curling through, lifting up. Now, take the band in the opposite hand to the foot, put the other arm behind you, and now take the body across, let the body rotate, let the leg come across the body to the other side. Come back to center, return to both hands, and roll down. Then once you get all the way down, we're gonna pull that leg back. So now you don't need to have your elbows on the floor anymore.
You can give yourself a lot of tension by holding on real close to your foot. We're gonna bend, create some tension, and stretch the leg. And bend, create some tension as you stretch that leg, and three, stretch the leg, and two, stretch, maybe trying to pull back into that stretch a little deeper each time. Last time, stretch the leg, and now do the same thing we just did sitting up where you hold the opposite with the opposite hand, and we take the leg over across the body. I'm taking my left arm out to the side in this moment.
So we leave the left hip down for now, and then we're gonna allow that hip to start to clear the ground and leave the ground. We're just gonna keep reaching over, and I'm gonna reach down with my right arm, the arm that's holding the band. I'm just gonna let it sit. I can push out into that stretch, and then we're gonna return to center and bend the knee and take the foot out. I don't know if there's a very beautiful, graceful way to do that, but someone might give me some advice.
In the comments, if you have a graceful way, tell me, and then we're gonna switch sides. So the left leg goes out straight, and here's where we wanna anchor the elbows. Notice the ribs are on the mat. Notice the pelvis is as level as it can be on the mat, and we start with five small leg circles, around. So again, freedom in the hip joint, letting that leg just stir around in the hip socket.
Here's three, using the left leg or the other leg as an anchor, last one, and just noticing the ease that the band provides here in this exercise. Down, across, and pull towards you. Out, down, across, and pull towards you. And three more, keeping the shoulders wide, and two more, and one more. So now, here's where we make it a little bit bigger, friends, my friends.
We lift the pelvis off the floor, take the leg down, out, and center, and as we're making that big kind of full-body circle, notice the relationship between the center of the body and the changing of the center of gravity. We do one more, and we use our abdominals to help support the spine as it moves through that range of motion. And now let's reverse it. Go out, down, cross the body, and pull in. Think obliques to lower that pelvis down.
And out, down, across the body, and pull in. One more, out, down, across the body, and pull in. We've done both directions, yes, yes we have. Take the leg down, lift the head, start rolling, pressing down with the other leg, bending the arms as you need to lift the back at the top, and then allowing the arms to straighten as we start going back down. What I do is I push out with my foot into the band to create opposition.
We keep the collarbones open. We feel the body come down to the shoulder blade, and then we go again, rolling up, lifting the back, lifting the chest, reaching forwards, and going down, down, down. And with just did three, so that means one more, coming forward, bringing the body up, leaning back a little bit, so get right behind your sitting bones, and then taking the arms forwards and rolling down. This time, we'll come all the way down, and once we do, we'll bring the leg up. So you can hold on a little higher if you want.
To get a little bit more stretch, I'm gonna bend the knee, press down with the arms to pull that leg back, looking for the alignment from the hip to the knee to the ankle. Bend, pull down to stretch up. And inhale, and exhale, two more times, maybe pulling a little deeper into the stretch each time. And inhale, and exhale, last one. And exhale, and then, oh, you know what we didn't do?
I'm sorry, we're gonna do one more. We're gonna lower the leg, I'm sorry. We're gonna roll up. Here's where we realize that I'm a human who makes mistakes. We're gonna lift the body, pull the back up.
Now stretch the arms forward, take the band in the other hand, put your opposite arm down, twist, I know that we all make mistakes, so I'm sure you'll forgive me, and if you don't, well, I don't know what I'll do. Probably live, but I think you'll forgive me, so it's okay. Yes, and now we go down, and we lift the leg, and now we take the band in the other hand, the same hand that we just did, the opposite hand to leg, and we keep the pelvis on the ground initially as we take the leg across the body and take your arm, your other arm, out to the side for counterbalance. Then we allow that pelvis to leave the ground, and you could just explore into that stretch. So you go where you want, always creating support from the center of the body.
You know that. And then we come back to center, and we bring both feet into the band. (Meredith exhales) We're gonna lift the head and chest. You can use as much tension as you want by pulling down with the arms. We're gonna keep the body lifted and take the legs down as far as we can, and bring them back, curling forward.
And inhale, take the legs down, keep the center of the body in your focus. I'm pulling out with my elbows and slightly downwards, and we'll do three more. Down, and back. Down and two more, down, and back, and down, and now as your legs continue down, can you start curling your body, curling your body, curling your body so we go down with the legs, and then we take a stretch forward with our body. You can hold onto your feet if you want and give yourself a little bit more, and then I'm gonna readjust on my mat.
The reason I keep looking at my computer is 'cause my Zoom likes to shut off occasionally before I'm ready for it to. So, just so you know what's happening with that. So I'm just watching for that to happen. It's happened twice now. It's not a big deal.
I just have to click a button, and then we get back to business. Okay, so sitting up tall, I've separated my legs now on the mat. I have the band in my hands. So we're gonna do some forward folding here. So we're gonna inhale, and we're gonna bring the head down.
As the head goes down, what you can start doing is you can start bending your elbows. I'm taking my elbows out to the side wide, and I'm using the arms to pull me into that stretch. We're gonna inhale at the bottom. We're gonna exhale as we start sitting back up, allowing the arms to reach out straight. So that's the pattern that we'll repeat a few more times.
Exhale, head down, abdominals drawing back, spine bending over the thighs, and inhale. And then start lifting up again. So rolling through the spine, stretching through the arms, sitting tall, and we'll do that three more times. Rounding down, and lifting up, and sitting tall, maybe even going into a little back extension. That feels nice to me, and finding center.
And two. (Meredith exhales) I'm gonna do that same thing again, 'cause it felt good, rolling up. Once you're up, maybe push down on the band a little to take your spine into a little thoracic extension, upper spinal extension. And then back to straight, one more. Round, and back, and press down a little to lift the chest, and center, and now go down again.
This time, what we're gonna do is we're gonna bring the elbows in towards the body. We're gonna push down on the band, going towards straight elbows to bring the back up on the diagonal. We're gonna sit up, lift the arms, so here we go again. Go down, arms come in, press down, lift the back, lift the back up straight, and three more. Round, arms come in, arms press down, back extends, legs are reaching out, and up.
And round, and down. Press, and up, add one more. Round, arms down, press out, and up, and then just lift the band off your feet, keeping the feet and the legs in that same orientation. Holding the band in the hands, we're gonna turn, let's say turn towards the camera so you can see. So opposite hand's gonna reach out towards the foot.
The other hand from the back is gonna pin the band to the ground. Now, we're gonna go into that saw, and then we're gonna reach out and up. So we pull the band with the spinal extensors, we lift the arm up, and we return to center. Inhale as you go across, band goes down, opposite arm comes to the opposite foot. Reach out with our spine, coming up on the diagonal.
Lift the arm, come to center, and rotate. And reach, and lengthen, lift, and center. And rotate, and reach. I love this exercise. It's such a good, nice sensation to use the spinal extensors to stretch the band.
Lift and center. I love it so much, we'll all do one more together. And reach, and extend, lift the arm, return. One more time to the back. Reach, or the back of my house, anyway.
Reach out, and I guess we're all going to the back of the camera, and center. Making a change, go across, go down, reach out, find that extension, and then take the band over the chest and reach up and back. Come back, lift the arm, come center, and go. Reaching down, lengthen the spine, stretch out. Go into extension, back into rotation.
Lift, and, should we do that one more time? I have to adjust my mic a little, and we'll do it one more time. Rotate, and pin the band, lengthen it, extend, letting the band wrap across the front of the body. Come back, lift the arm, and center. And over, reaching down first, reaching out second, going into rotation third, coming back.
Lift the arm, lift the body, and center. And then let's just bring the legs together with bent knees or straight legs. We'll do a little bit more spinal rotation here before we go into our side-lying position. So sitting up tall, this time, instead of an underhand pull, what we'll do is I'm taking the hand closest to the camera. I'm gonna lift, pull it up and back, and now take the arm that's straight and pull out in the other direction.
So one arm's pulling back, one arm's pulling out, and then center. And then we'll do it slow again. So one of 'em's pulling up and back. One of 'em's pulling out to the side, and center. Now you know the pattern, so we can go a little quicker.
Down and out with that bottom arm, and center, and I just really, for me, I love the feedback that the band gives us, that we can really feel into doing that with a lot of integrity and get a lot of range, a lot of work through our spinal extensors, through our arms, through our obliques, so many things to think about! I lift and rotate, and center. We'll do one more to each side. Lift and rotate, and center, and lift and rotate, and center. Okay, so we'll take the band off the feet, and we're gonna come into a side-lying position. So let's start getting in that direction.
I just have to fold this back a little. So we lay down on the mat, and what we're gonna do here is we're gonna lay on the bottom arm, but I'm gonna hold onto my band with that hand. And then we're gonna take the other arm up into the air. So one arm's down on the ground, and if this is too hard to balance, just leave it, and put one hand down. So now we're gonna lift the legs, and we're gonna pull that band down towards the thighs, and then we're hover the legs as we lift the arm.
Lift the legs, take the band down. And what for me this illustrates is just that nice side-body connection from the lat into the oblique, into the hip. We're working all the muscles in the side of our body here. And down, and out and up, and down. We're gonna do four more, lifting the legs.
Give myself quite enough room. My sofa's in the way a little. I'll just try to clear it. I'll flex my feet, and down. And two, and down.
And one. It's a science in my house, how far to move the sofa so we've got room for all the things. I don't have it down pat yet. So let's bend the bottom knee. So create a 90-degree angle with the bottom knee.
So the shin's at the front of the mat, and then take your band and put it on the foot of the leg on top. Again, no beautiful way to do that, as far as I know, and then we can just lay back down. You can bend your elbow and rest your head. So what we're gonna do here is we're just holding that foot in the band, and we're gonna push it away, so you get a little length through the body. My elbow's quite close to my body, my upper elbow.
I'm gonna take that leg forward, and as we go forward, we let the elbow bend. Now we're gonna go into a full circle, and as we take the leg behind, we let the shoulder open as well. Arm straightens as the leg goes back, and we do it again. So forward, up, external rotation of the hip and the shoulder. Take the leg back and away, and back forward again.
It's a nice little stretchy series for the hip that I enjoy, and I hope you enjoy too. Up, back, reaching away, and one more. Up and back, reaching away, and then let's go to the back. So back, lift up, bring it around to the front. Find your hamstring.
If you need to bend your knee a little to do that, do that. Reach, get that full range of motion in the hip. Allow the arm just to adjust as necessary, reaching around. Just two more is enough. Back, up, and around, using the bottom knee to create some anchor.
Up, around, and then bring that leg in as close as you can to you, and put it down. Sit up, and take the leg across the body for a hip stretch, bringing the knee into the chest. (Meredith exhales) Bringing the knee into the chest, dropping the hip, easing our way into that stretch, leaning a little forward, and then let's take that knee out to the side. It's a big stretch for me, this one, guys. I have to adjust a little.
Gotta lean in, letting that knee, that upper knee, get a little heavy, and then come up. Your band should be close by. We'll bring it with us, and we'll change sides. So, getting lined up on the mat, taking the arm overhead, holding onto one end of the band, the other arm floats up in space, and here we go. We lift the legs and take that band down towards the upper thigh and back.
Just make a small adjustment, and again, pulling and floating the legs. So feel the pull come from underneath the shoulder blade. It comes all the way down the side of the body, and back, and all the way down the side of the body, and back, pulling in from behind the belly button, finding the space in the lower abdominals, like in the pelvis, the low pelvis. We'll do five, and back, and four, and back, and full side-body work here, three, and back, and two, and back, and one more, and back. And now, we'll bend the bottom knee, we'll take the band on the foot, press out into that band with that leg, laying back down on the arm, and now reach out into that.
Reach out into that band, so we lengthen the body. Keep the arm close to the upper body. Take the leg forward. Let the elbow bend. Lift up.
Let the shoulder rotate as the hip rotates. Press the pelvis forward into the stretch. Let the arms straighten, and go again. Up, forward, up, around to the back, pressing out, and through, keeping the bottom leg as an anchor, allowing that elbow to straighten and reaching through. Two more, press out like you're trying to stretch the band even more, and one more.
Then forward, and go back, up, around the front, and back, up, around the front, and three more. So really getting all the range that you can find in that hip, pressing into it. And two more. Up, around, and through, last one. Move back, up, around, and through.
And then what we did was we pulled that leg in as far as we could, and then you can take the foot out, leave the band as it is, sit up, bring that leg across the body for a stretch. (Meredith exhales) Easing my way into it. I don't think I've ever done as much mat work in my life as I'm doing in this moment, which is great! Mat work is great, I love it. So once we've done that, then we're gonna let the knee drop open. Let's shift the foot a little, lifting the body up, getting that top knee as heavy as we can.
You could even guide it with your arm. I like to hold in front of or behind and use a little bit of leverage there to make sure my spine's elongating as much as I can, and then we'll unwind ourselves. Band is close by. Bring it with you, and come down onto your mat on your stomach. So what we're gonna do here, we're gonna take the band in our hands but the palms of the hands face up.
You're gonna take the elbows fairly far forward. So I'm resting about on my ribcage. Then what you wanna feel is that the elbows are just parallel to the shoulders. So drawing the abdominals in, energizing through the legs, we're gonna take the forearms off the mat, and then we're gonna pull the band so we externally rotate the shoulders. Bring it back, and externally rotate the shoulders, and back.
So as I'm doing that, thinking about pinky fingers up into the band, and I'm trying my very, very darndest to keep my wrists very straight. So it's a small movement, but there's many things happening. It's small and powerful. I'll just do that two more times, pulling open and back, and pulling open and back, and then turn the hands. So for this one, you wanna get in kinda close with your hands so you have a fair amount of tension possibility.
Maybe even double the band. I think that's what I'll do. I'm gonna double my band. Just depends on how heavy your band is and how long it is. So now, I'm gonna lift up even less.
So I'm gonna come just hovering. I'll lift my arms off the ground. Now we're gonna bring that band in underneath the chest. We're gonna lift the chest, and we're gonna reach back out, and we're gonna lift the chest, and we're gonna reach back out, making sure that the neck stays aligned with the spine. So don't look too far up.
Just look forward, and reach, and just two more times. Lift, and reach, and one more time, lift, and reach. Then we can just rest the band down. We're gonna use it again in a second. We're gonna take the arms to the mat.
We're gonna round through the upper back. We're gonna shift over our knees, letting the knees come in so that we can sit back towards our feet for a stretch. A lot of arm work, a lot of shoulder work. I feel a nice stretch in my upper back here. And then we're gonna finish the way we started.
So let's roll through your spine onto your knees. My Zoom hasn't tried to turn off yet! You guys must be the magical number, magical key, to making my Zoom work. So that's awesome. So I have my band. It's quite long.
I'm gonna hold it about that wide from my body, so a few inches to either side, and what we're gonna do here is we're gonna bend the elbows. So as the elbows bend, we wanna keep 'em just parallel to the floor. We wanna keep 'em just in front of the shoulder joints. From there, we're gonna externally rotate the shoulders. So what I thinking of is taking my elbows forward into the part of the band that's loose, and then we're gonna go up and back with the arms.
You can pull out on the band if you want. So it's a thoracic extension. We bend back kitchen, elbows forward, hands back, and then we return. I'll give you a side view, in case you're curious. So hamstrings are helping us hold the pelvis.
Go into rotation. If it's too difficult to be that far back, just take the whole shape forward, and then it's not the whole back. It's the upper back that extends as the arms reach up and back, and bend, and return. Now I'm coming back to my front view, 'cause I like to, I don't know, I imagine that I might be able to see you that way. You can see me better that way.
Reaching up, maybe we give that band a little stretch back there, and bending, and down. Let's do two more, rotate. You might notice that as we go through this range, you'll get a little further back. That's what I'm noticing. And bend, and reach, but stay within the comfort of your own shoulder flexibility.
And rotate, and reach. There it is, the computer, and back. So let's take the band down and just rest it on your mat. We'll just sit down on our feet, and we'll bring our arms out to our sides, and we'll take the right arm up and hold the outside of the opposite side of the head, the left head. "The left head"? (Meredith laughs)
You know. You can see. I'm not speaking well. So we just bring the ear towards the shoulder, and what I'm doing is I'm not yanking on my head. I'm not even pulling on my head.
I'm just letting the weight of my hand help me in that stretch, and then we're gonna take that arm very slowly down, reaching it out, so I'm trying to reach out towards my sofa, coming down, coming down, coming down, and as it comes in towards the body, just let it hang, so there's not a lot of push happening there, and then I recommend taking your hand off your head before you lift your head. I like to push it up from the bottom. And we'll take the arms again, and we'll take the other arm up, and just gently with the head, and just gently with the arm, feeling that outward reach. And about here is where I just start letting my arm feel like it's hanging. Comes into the body, and I'm gonna lift the hand, and I like to give my head a little bit of help.
Then we take both arms up, lifting the chest, and bring your hands behind your head. Let your elbows come forward, and then let your head gently drop in towards your chest. And maybe there would feel good to continue going forward. Don't yank, or do whatever you want, actually. But I think it's good to be soft here to kind of just ease into that spinal stretch, and then I lighten the pressure with my hands as I lift back up, very light on the back of my head.
Then we come all the way up. Let the elbows go wide and lift the chest. Then take the hands from behind the head, and bring them together in front of you. And I thank you very, very much for coming and joining me today. Please leave me a comment so I know who has come.
I know some of you I know, some of you I don't know, but I'm grateful to all of you regardless, and next week at this time, my friend Christy, who some of you know, will be joining me for a girl time class. So we'll be team teaching next week. So if you'd like to come and join us, we would love to have you. Thanks, everyone. Enjoy the rest of your day.