Class #4164

Pelvic Floor to Mobilize

50 min - Class


Leah Stewart teaches the second part of her Pelvic Floor classes as part of her series Move and Bloom with Leah. In this standing sequence, you will explore broader ranges of motion through fun, free movement. This class practiced with Leah's other Pelvic Floor class will help you create healthy muscle tissue that gives you balance to support you at any stage of your pregnancy.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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I hope that you are having a fabulous day wherever you are joining class from. I am so honored and happy that you're here. This is class four of my five week class series here on Pilates Anytime. I am now 33 weeks pregnant, and so I am well into my third trimester, just feeling all of those wonderful third trimester sensations and feelings and so we've been exploring all sorts of fun movement. So, remember that I'm gonna give you a really short little tutorial at the top of this live class, and then we're gonna go into our movement class.

So, when you are watching this and redoing this class in the future, you can always just skip this part if you want to and go right into the movement portion. So, this is week two of my pelvic floor part of the classes. So, we had the first week last week, we did "Pelvic Floor Grace to Strength." So we explored a lot of seated and kneeling pelvic floor. And now we're going into our standing series. So, we're gonna be sanding, pelvic floor work for mobilization.

And I think that last week we talked about just exploring beyond the key goals and exploring beyond some of the ranges of motion that we kind of tend to, I'm gonna just say it frankly, limit ourself to in the context of Pilates. And I talked about how I feel like Pilates really embodies kind of this sense of movement exploration due to just knowing that Joseph Pilates was a big advocate of creativity and exploration and he was a man way ahead of his time as far as movement goes. And so we want to explore some more standing movements and we're gonna be doing a lot of mobilizing today and the reason we're gonna be doing that is last week we talked about just the different motions that the pelvis makes. We have forward and back, we have side tilts and we have rotations. We want to keep exploring those ranges of motion in a completely different way where we're not seated on the mat.

So, in saying that we're gonna be doing a lot of work today that is gonna be expanding and opening the pelvis. We're gonna be doing a lot of circular motion, just kind of fun free movements. So, just really embrace that and just have a really great time with that. And I think what you'll find is that you're gonna start to feel some different sensations within your pelvic floor and within your pelvic bones that maybe you haven't felt before or that you don't feel very often. And then why we do that is because we're not, when we're seated, we're closing that movement chain and when we're up and our pelvis is free, just like if we were in a kneeling position like we explored last week the chain of motion is open.

And so we have a little bit more room for that mobility in a different sense than when we do when we're seated on our bottom. So, I want to explore that and I also wanna draw in just that connection between the legwork, the hip work, the spinal work in a standing position because that will translate into more of our everyday functionality in a whole new way. So, if you like both of these classes, my suggestion would be to toggle back and forth between them. So, do the "Pelvic Floor Grace to Strength" class and then to perform this class as well, the "Standing Pelvic Floor for Mobilization" and they really will compliment each other and they'll be really nice. And also talking about the fact that reiterating what I talked about last week, which is the fact that pelvic floor health really comes in the way of increasing and tapping into the breadth of the range of motion of our pelvis.

So, we wanna make sure that we're not just focusing on straightening or strengthening rather, strengthening and strengthening but we want to make sure that we have that compliment between lengthening those pelvic floor muscles, learning how to rest through the pelvic floor muscles and then learning how to contract them for strength. So, we're gonna keep going into that so that we have healthy muscle tissue that can perform all of those actions and that is what will create balance within the pelvic floor. So, for me at 33 weeks pregnant, I'm starting to feel the pressure of my baby, just the weight of her, she's growing, she's getting bigger, sitting down onto my pelvis. So, when I move through these ranges of motion, it helps to alleviate some of that pressure. And when I alleviate some of that pressure, I'm able to engage the muscles more efficiently.

I'm able to keep the bones feeling more healthy. And that is what I believe during, this is my fourth pregnancy. I have to say I haven't had any pelvic floor problems and I think a lot of it has to do with this gentle mobilization that we're gonna be exploring today. So, that's it for a little bit of a tutorial. Let's get moving.

So, we're gonna start in a standing position. At any point in this class, if you are pregnant yourself, or if you're having pelvic floor pain or you're here because of that and you need to take a little break, you need to take a little seat, go for it. I might do it myself. So, just don't be afraid to take a little breather, take a little seat and I will really try to build in different movement vocabulary so that we can have those little bit of those calm moments in the middle of here. So, we're gonna start in a standing position.

I want you to face the side so you can see my profile here. (Leah exhales) And I just want you to bend your knees and feel like your toes are really nice and stretched out. And feel like your shoulders are nice and soft here. And I just kinda want you to bounce a little bit here. So, you're just feeling like you're grounding yourself.

So, it's really easy when we're doing our movement to feel really grounded when we're actually seated on the mat and when we're laying down on the mat. When we're standing, it's harder to feel that sense of grounding ourselves. So, I want you to really feel as we move on our feet today, you feel that sense of grounding yourself through your feet. So with your feet bent there, shoulders relaxed, I want you to close your eyes and take an inhale through your nose. (Leah inhales) And exhale (exhales).

And inhale. And exhale (exhales). Two more times. Inhale (inhaling). And exhale (exhaling).

Just entering into the space, entering into your movement, entering into this next session you're gonna allow yourself to move (exhales). So, now inhale. Your arms and come up overhead. You're gonna straighten your knees. Just gonna lift your sternum up slightly toward the ceiling.

Then exhale, bend your knees and bring your arms down. And inhale, reaching up, feeling that length through your torso and then exhale. Bring it down. And inhale, and exhale. So, grounding yourself.

You wanna feel that length through the back of your ankles as you do this. And last one, inhale and exhale. So, now arms are gonna come up again. Inhale. You're gonna hold that position.

Now, as you feel the length through your front body here, you feel a little bit like you're sticking your bottom out, a little bit like your tailbone is reaching out and that's fine. Now, this time you're gonna draw your abdominals in. You're gonna come over the top. So, now I'm in a scoop position here and I'm gonna bend forward and my arms are gonna come down just forward here. And now I want you to pay attention to this position.

So, you're looking down at your feet. You wanna make sure that your toes feel really nice and stretched out. You wanna ground yourself through your heels. You really wanna feel that bend in your knees and that fold in your ankles. And now from here, you're gonna articulate, roll through your spine all the way up.

Exhale, initiate from the pelvis. So, the bottom of your pelvis is very narrow. You feel like you're drawing your tailbone towards your pubic bone and you're rounding forward. So you have this beautiful long curve of your spine and then articulate up. Inhale and you can stick your bottom out a little bit and feel like you're pulling your tailbone away from your pubic bone as you stretch up and exhale (exhales).

Good and inhale up. So, taking our time for this warm up, just connecting into the standing position. Exhale over the top. And inhale up. One more time.

And exhale, pelvis comes underneath. You feel that abdominal connection and I want you to hold here. So, again, I want you to draw your pelvis in as much as you can, tuck your pelvis as much as you can underneath you in this position, hold it there. And now I want you to just sway your body back and forth. So, toward me, toward this screen and away.

So, you're just loosening up the spine a little bit. And you can see I'm kind of letting my hands flow. You just want to feel really nice and free. We're gonna be doing a lot of swaying actions in today's class. And I just want you to feel free here.

Now, as you do that, you're not transferring the weight from one foot to the other. You're staying grounded equally through both feet. And your pelvis can move slightly here, but I want you to keep the primary action happening in your spine. And your pelvis is just kinda anchored. And you're keeping that posterior tilt or that tuck with your pelvis as you're anchoring it.

Now, come back to center. Feel that curve, accentuate that curve. Now place your hands on your knees and reach your pelvis out. So, you're feeling really nice and long here. Draw the tailbone away from you as much as you can.

Push energy against your knees, feel that length through your spine here. Now in this position, you're gonna release your arms here. Draw the abdominals into support your lower back and your swaying gonna be back and forth here. So, if I turn to the front, you wanna think like you're swimming like a shark. You're feeling that horizontal sway.

So, there's no rotation going on in the torso. We're just swaying it horizontally. So, keep that beautiful extension. Reach those two sits bones out away from you so you feel that nice length. Come back to center, put your hands back on top of your knees.

Feel that length through your spine. Exhale, tuck the pelvis underneath you, push the hands away. Then inhale, extend as much as you can. This will repeat the pattern of the spine that we do in the pelvic curl on the mat but obviously we don't get the hip extension that we do when we're lying supine on our back. So, for pregnant women after 20 weeks we don't do a lot of supine work.

You can do short little bouts of lying on your back. And to be quite honest with you, you get late into... So, you really wanna feel that sense of articulated through your spine and reaching out. Then we'll do work later on to open up the hips that we're not getting when we do this action like we go get when we do the pelvic curl. One more time.

So, initiating from the abdominals and then reaching the pelvis out. Hold this position. Now, I want you to hinge forward. If you have a pregnant belly, you can open your legs a little bit so that your belly can go in between your thighs. And I want you to really feel that connection there.

So, we're gonna be exploring some squatting movements later, but this is gonna be the start of it. We're just warming up the hip joint here. Now from here, I'm gonna turn towards you so that you can see what my hips look like. You're gonna take your left hip and you're gonna rotate it back. So, your left knee is gonna extend.

You're gonna rotate your torso forward and you're gonna get a nice stretch through that side and then come back to center. And now, right hip back. Exhale, inhale center. So, you can see I'm rotating my body but keeping it parallel to the ground. So, I'm not dipping this way.

I'm rotating, I guess I would say horizontally. I'm keeping my body as parallel, my pelvis as parallel as much as possible to the floor and exhale. And then look at that rhythm, that pattern. I kinda push into my knees. I reach my shoulder forward.

I extend my spine so that energy is radiating through my entire body here as I move. And rotate and center and rotate and center. Let's go two more sets. Exhale and center. Exhale and center.

Last set. So, just keep that rotation. You'll feel that stretching through the back of the leg and you'll feel that stretching through your pelvis. Come back to the middle here. Lower your body down a little bit if you came up and I want you to take your arms out here.

Now, from here, you're gonna tuck your pelvis. You're gonna lower your hands down as if your fingertips are gonna touch the mat or the floor and then reach up, reach those hips out. Exhale. Initiate from those abdominals. Reach those hands down.

Then inhale. Reach out. Exhale (exhaling). And inhale, reaching up. One more time.

Exhale. And inhale. Hold that position. Hands back down on your knees, tuck your pelvis and start to roll up. So, that shoulda got you nice and warm as you were moving here.

So, now I just want you to sway side to side here. So, I want you to take your weight and these are the little breaks that I'll give you in between some of our other sequences. So, you might build up a little bit of a sweat here. You might feel your heart rate go up. Especially if you are pregnant, you're gonna feel that heart rate go up.

So, I want you to feel that sway here and release it here. So, now you're gonna come into your bend of your knees here, and you're gonna take your left side of your hip. You're gonna swing it to the side. You're gonna look to your left. So, you're mirroring me here.

So, you're gonna swing to the side and swing it in. So, it goes forward to the side, forward to the center, forward to the side, forward to the center. So, from the side you can see that I'm sticking my bottom out here. So, we have a big arc in the body here. We're reaching that hip out and I'm swinging it back.

Swing it to the side. (Leah exhales) One more time. And now we're gonna go the other way. So, swing it out, swing it in. Swing it out, swing it in.

So just feeling that rhythm and that kinda semi circle sensation of your pelvis and swing it and back in. Let's go two more. Swing it and back and you can see I'm lifting my heel up, really getting that action and that grounding through that foot. So, now we're gonna go from side to side and then we're gonna add some lunges to it. So, we're building onto another sequence.

So, we're gonna go to your left. So, reach it out and bring it in and to your right. Reach it out and bring it in. So, I always think of when I do this, I think of like an M, like a, boom, like a nice arch, two arches. So, you really wanna feel that swinging motion.

So, you're not just side to side, but it's forward and back in and forward. So, even though you don't necessarily feel, you might not feel, a lot of engagement so to speak here, you have to also understand that when we're in these positions, so stay here with me to your right side, you feel that stretch is happening in your glutes, you feel that kind of little bit of that sitting into your hip here, you feel kind of that lift of your pelvis here. You can think of your two sits bones drawing wide. Now, we'll come back into center. There's a lot of mobility work.

There's a lot of like supple work that's happening within your pelvis when you do something like this. One more set. So, reach and in, to your right. Now, you're gonna take a step out and you're gonna open your arms. So, the pelvis is still gonna go forward and out.

Now, I'm gonna engage from those obliques and come around and I'm gonna come into a curve. So, my curve's gonna look like this. So, I'm here. I reach up, I reach my hands forward. My pelvis comes forward and out.

So, notice this position. I'm bending both knees. I'm feeling that width here and I'm opening here. Then I'm gonna swing my hips around. Use the obliques of the abdominals to control and back to center.

Swing out, swing in, exhale out, inhale (inhales). (Leah exhales) (Leah inhales) (Leah exhales) (Leah inhales) (Leah exhales) (Leah inhales) (Leah exhales) (Leah inhales) Last set. Nice and slow. Just feeling that movement of the pelvis. Now, this time when you go to your right, I want you to really sit into that...

And come back in. Now to your left one more time. And you're gonna reach here. Sit in that bend. Now, from here you're gonna take your right leg and you're gonna take it out to the side.

So you're in this side lunge position here. So we're here. Now, I don't want you to be afraid to stick your bottom out here to really feel like your two sits bones are nice and wide and nice and pulled away from each other. So, you're gonna be here. Now, you're gonna transfer your lunge and you're gonna drive that left hand through.

So, you're here and then come back. So, I changed my arm positions here. So, through. Reach, through and back. So, just focus on that for two more sets and then I'll add some pelvic movement.

And reach and back. And just follow that left hand. (Leah inhales) So now, let's add some pelvic movement. So, you're gonna go tuck the pelvis as you come through and reach the bottom out here. And tuck the pelvis as you come through and reach it out here.

So, I'll do it from the side so you can see how much movement I'm getting through my pelvis. So, tuck and stick the bottom out and pull it in, abdominal connection and reach it out. And exhale (exhales). Inhale and exhale (exhales). Inhale.

Exhale (exhales). Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. One more time, Exhale.

Inhale and then exhale and inhale. Hold it there and come straight up for me. So, now if you need to adjust your feet you can. You're gonna be straight up here. Now, you're gonna take a lunge to your left and you're gonna rotate and center.

(Leah exhales) So, now try to fix your pelvis. Keep it steady, center, and just get that rotation through your torso. Center. Arms are nice and strong and center. Last one.

Exhale. Center. Now, let's do the other side. So, we're gonna come into this position here. So, no pelvis first.

Just transferring the weight and keeping the bottom out. Exhale, inhale, transfer, and keep that bottom out. (Leah exhales) And just feeling that opening up through the adductors. You'll feel a gentle stretch. Reach.

One more time like this. And bend, thread it through, up. Now, we're gonna add the pelvic tuck and the flection of the spine. Exhale, through. Exhale, through.

Exhale, through. Exhale, through. You want to really feel that abdominal connection. So, when you're under here, you wanna feel like your two sits bones are coming together and your pubic bone and your tailbone is coming together. And then open, reach that bottom out, exhale, through.

One more time. Exhale. Reach the bottom out, pelvis comes under you and extends out and then press straight up. So, in this position, you're gonna rotate and up. Try to imagine your two hip bones are gonna stay relatively straight to the front.

So, we're not gonna rotate the pelvis excessively. That will rotate a little bit naturally, but you really wanna keep it under control. Two more and up. One more. And up.

So, now we're gonna just walk the left leg in. So, watch this action. So, you're gonna turn and come into that curve and turn and turn and reach out. Turn to the left coming in. Turn and reach out.

Exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale. So, I'm kinda losing my balance a little bit. What I want you to think about is as you lift that leg up and you tuck the pelvis here, again, it's a pelvic floor action here. The pelvic action here. So, you have this curve.

When you come up here you're gonna unfold your spine and bend your knees. And you really wanna feel that width through your legs. So, you really wanna get as deep of a plie as you can, and feel like you're widening your sits bones as much as you can. So, right here. So pelvis comes under you, and then it opens and widens.

It's narrow and then it's wide. Narrow, wide. So, just keep that action going through your mind as you do this. Narrow and wide. Last set.

Narrow and wide. Last one. Narrow and wide. Now, take your hands down to your knees. You wanna reach out here as much as you feel comfortable with that position.

Now, if you can, come onto your forearms here and I want you to sway back and forth. So, feel as much extension through your spine as you can. Use your breath (exhales). Reaching out through the spine, feeling the stretch through the hips and feeling that relationship. So, keep swaying for me.

I'm gonna grab a little sip of water. Keep that relationship between your pelvis and your femur as you keep swaying. So you're swaying and swaying. And now we're gonna hold it here. Reach it back as much as you can.

Your legs are rotated out where you're reaching your hips as much as you can. Feel that extension. Now, we're gonna go down to the mat. So, our hands are gonna go down. You want to keep that rotation through your legs.

So, depending on your body is how you're gonna be able to get into this position. So, stay low. Keep your hands down. And then I want you to pick your hips up, tuck the pelvis and drop the head. So, we're feeling a little bit of a stretch here.

So, you really feeling that engaging, drawing in. The pelvic floor's coming beneath you and if you have your hands down on your mat, push your arms away from the floor as much as possible. If your hamstrings are not allowing you to go this far, you can always bring them up to your shins and still feel that same roundedness. Now, watch here. I'm gonna take my head out and my pelvis out as if I were doing a back extension and that's where my movement's gonna start.

Then I'm gonna keep that sensation of my upper back and my pelvis reaching out as I lower my pelvis down. And then I'm gonna tuck the pelvis, engage the abdomen, let the rest of the spine follow as I press up. Inhale, extension. I am sweating a lot. I hope you guys are sweating, too.

And you're feeling really good. Reaching up and then tuck the pelvis, press those arms away and up. So, reach. So, here, right here, this is for me a really sweet spot. I can feel that width of my pelvis here.

I can feel that extension through my spine. Reaching up, finding that deep squat and then tuck and press up. Now here, feel like your two legs are gonna draw in toward each other and contract that pelvic floor. Bring those two sits bones closer together. Reaching, lowering the body and then pelvis initiates, draw the pelvis, narrow it as you come under and push those hands away.

And last one. Extension. And press as you come up. Slowly, roll up, bring your pelvis forward as you roll up. All the way up.

So, now again, let's just kind of release the pelvis a little bit. I'm like cracking up how much I'm sweating. I'm sweating. It's good. How do you feel?

I hope you feel good. I can't see you, I can't hear you, but if can feel your thumbs up and your smiles I would love that. That'd be really good. So, now just our little bit of our break in between our sequences, you're gonna just go a little bit of hip circles to your left, just to kinda keep that pelvis nice and loose. Good.

So, again, I'm hoping that you're feeling that sense of contract and release through your pelvis. One more time to your right, then we'll go the other way. And you're feeling that rhythm through the pelvis. So, now we're gonna play a little bit with some rotation of the femur and some rotation of the pelvis. So, we're gonna be exploring that a little bit and then we're gonna be exploring some more squat positions as well.

So, keep that roll through your hips. Okay. Are you ready? So, here we're gonna go. So, you're gonna start with your knees bent here.

You're gonna take your left leg and you're gonna reach it out. So, this leg is in, your right leg. Your left leg is out. So, you're mirroring me. We have this bend here.

So, I want you to keep that there. We're gonna focus on the rotation happening in the left leg. So, you're gonna rotate it here. So, you're gonna feel that rotation and you're gonna come here. So, you feel this kind of double bend of your knees, your hands on your thighs, and you're really upright in your torso.

So, you're really feeling that sense of that Pilates posture that we know and love so well. You're gonna rotate the leg in and you're gonna come into a little bit of a deeper bend. This will narrow the pelvis. Rotate, sit, rotate, bend. Rotate.

You might need to bring your feet in a little bit if they slide out, that's okay. Rotate, bend. So, it's up and sit. Up and bend. So, now just as we did last week in our seated sequence for our previous class, you wanna feel like you're narrowing that pelvic floor and then you're widening it here.

So, you wanna feel like you're narrowing the pelvic floor and you're keeping it somewhat narrow here. So, drawing the energy up through the pelvic floor and sitting nice and wide, drawing the energy up through the pelvic floor and down. So, drawing it up and expand the pelvis, drawing it up and sitting into it. One more time. Drawing it up and expand.

So hold here. So, now you're gonna rock the pelvis back as you flex that foot and forward. This isn't the prettiest position, but we'll feel it anyways. Rock back and forward. Rock back and forward.

So, you can see, I have a lot of motion through my pelvis here, tucking as it comes forward, expanding it back and tucking as it comes forward. Two more. Reach, inhale. Exhale (exhales). Reach, inhale.

Exhale, come back to the neutral. Widen. Come up and sit. And then come back. So, kind of release that leg a little bit.

How'd that feel? I hope that felt really good for you. I hope that you can feel that rotation and you can feel that narrowing rather and that widening of your pelvis. So, let's come here. We're gonna take the right leg out.

So, we fill that position here. We're gonna narrow, widen narrow and sit. So, I really want you to feel like your two sits bones are pulling together. All the energy is coming up through the center body. Then it's widening out.

You can stick your bottom out a little bit. Then narrow and sit. Narrow and widen. Narrow and sit. Inhale, exhale.

(Leah inhales) And sit. Inhale, exhale. (Leah inhales) And sit. One more time. (Leah inhales) And widen.

Hold here. Reach back, stick the bottom out, flex the foot, feel that beautiful stretch, feel that extension through your spine and then tuck and come under. You're gonna feel a little bit of an opening here, reaching out (inhales) and exhale (exhales). Inhale (inhales) and exhale (exhales). Inhale (inhales) and exhale (exhales).

Two more (inhales). And exhale (exhales). One more. Inhale (inhales) and exhale. Hold it.

Come back to the center and down. So, again, walk it out a little bit. We're gonna do another little series here with the same sort of rotational element of the pelvis. So, coming into your bend, take your left leg out. And bend here.

So you feel that contraction here or excuse me, that bend of your knee here, that plie here. So, now I want you to take your arms above your head. You're gonna rotate again this way. You're gonna flex your spine down this way. You're gonna extend your body this way.

You're gonna come back into that flex and come up and twist. So that's the parts. So, we go twist, contract down, extend the back leg, reaching up, contract down, bring it up and rotate. So, plie and down. Front leg stays bent.

Back leg extends. Bring it up and down. Bring it up and rotate. So, two more. Draw the abdomen down as you come here, reach up and down and torso up and rotate.

One more time. Rotate, draw it down. Reach up and down. Come up. And rotate and then walk it in.

So, let's go to the other side. That nice plie. And bring your leg back, your right leg back and body up. So, we rotate. Remember, we're sitting into this and bend.

Bring it out and bend. Bring it up and twist. And one. Flection of the spine. Abdominal connection pelvis comes underneath you.

Reach, feel that back leg extend and down. And up and twist. Two more. Reach and down. Extend and down.

Reach up and twist. Last one. Reach and down. Come up and down. Reach up and twist.

And come back to center. Just kinda shake it out real gently here. Good. So, again you feel that nice rotation happening in your femurs and that relationship between that rotation of your pelvis. So, we're gonna go back into a little bit of kneeling and squat series here.

So, to your side, bend your knees. Let's bring the arms up (inhales) and down. (Leah exhales) Bringing the heart rate down a little bit (inhales). And down. (Leah exhales) Again, bring it up and then I want you to dive and come back into this position here.

So, holding this position, I want you to shift your hip back again just like we did at the beginning of class. So, again, from the front, it looks like you're rotating your pelvis here. So, we're gonna take this pattern and we're gonna go into some rotation of your torso with the pelvis and reach it back, reach it back. So, a couple more. Toward the camera, the leg that's toward the camera and then away.

Last set and away. Now, hold it here. Feel that extension. Now, lower your body down a little bit. You need to widen your legs you can so that your torso is parallel to the ground.

Holding this position, you're gonna take your arms out above you. You're gonna lower your body down just like we did at the beginning. Now, you're gonna rotate and open toward me and then come down. Same direction. Rotate toward me and down.

So, we're keeping the pelvis relatively still here and we're thinking of rotating the torso. One more time. And I'm actually putting a little bit of anchor of this hand into the mat. So, just feel a little bit more stable. Now, I'm gonna pop that heel and I'm gonna feel a little bit of rotation through my pelvis and I can actually rotate a little bit further up toward the ceiling.

And then as I bring it down, I'm gonna drive that heel down and drive my bottom out more. So, rotate and center, exhale (exhales) and center. Feel like your two sits bones are nice and wide and center. One more time. Exhale and center.

Hold there. Bring your hands to your knees and roll yourself up. Roll yourself up just to give yourself a little bit of a break. You can stay facing that way or you can turn like I'm going to turn. Arms are gonna come up and you're gonna roll down.

Reach that energy out through the crown of the head, feeling nice and long here. Keep your legs or rather your torso parallel to the ground. Feeling that width. Arms come out, curving down. Pelvis stays fixed as you exhale and inhale.

Exhale (exhales). Inhale. So, again, keeping the abdominals intact so you're supporting the spine here and the rotation. Last one. Now, you're gonna pop that knee, or that heel I mean, sorry.

That heel. Rotate. You're gonna feel the pelvis rotate a little bit and then bring it down and rotate and bring it down. And rotate and bring it down. Two more, feeling that twist.

And bring it down. Last one (exhales). And bring it down. Hold it, bring the hands up. Use your arms, lift your chest just a little bit.

And you're actually gonna keep that same motion of popping the heels, but you're gonna alternate side to side. So, to the front it looks like I'm kinda like a boat kinda rocking in the waves. And then you're feeling that relationship between your thighbone, your femur into your pelvis, but you're also keeping the sits bones reaching out nice and wide. Rotate, rotate. Two more.

Rotate. Last one. Rotate. Come back to center. Lower the head.

Drop your upper body down completely. (Leah exhales) And rest here. Let your body drape over and feel really heavy here. (Leah exhales) And as you breathe, you'll feel the softening of your elbows. You'll feel your spine lengthen even more.

(Leah exhales) We're gonna go into a final little sequence here before we wrap up our class. (Leah exhales) You're gonna take your hands and you're gonna walk out one, two and three. So, I'm in this kind of very moderate sort of down dog or upstretched position. So, I have my weight on my hands. My shoulders are anchored down, so I'm not in a full down dog position, kinda somewhere in between.

I'm gonna lift my heels up, I'm gonna bend my knees and lower my heels down. So, I'm gonna reach my pelvis really far out. I'm rotating the legs. I'm gonna extend my knees and lower my heels down. So, there we feel that stretch.

Come up, transfer the weight onto the hands so you're feeling that shoulder connection. Rotate the femurs, draw the heels down, but you can push your weight back onto your feet a little bit here and reach your bottom out. So, reach the sits bones and the tailbone out. Come up and down. So, now I want the relationship of the pelvis.

So, it's gonna slightly tuck in here as I rotate, and then I'm gonna release it as I draw those heels down. It's gonna slightly tuck as I lift my heels up and then I'm gonna release as it comes down. Slight tuck. If you need to pin your feet in a little bit you can if you're slipping. Reach it out, bend your knees, slight tuck and take it down.

Slight tuck and bend. So you're just feeling that rhythm of the pelvis. It's not a big movement. I gotta walk my feet in again. It's a small movement, but it's still very effective.

Draw it in. Down. And I'm just letting my upper body kind of respond to the movement. (Leah exhales) Hold it there. Bend your knees slightly and walk your hands back in.

And drape yourself over here. (Leah exhales) Feeling heavier with each exhale, feeling the length through the hamstrings but opening of the the back of the pelvis with every exhale. (Leah exhales) Now, extend the spine up. Turn your legs out a little bit and carefully pull yourself back into a squat position. Now bring your hands together if you can.

So, you're in this kind of, your hands are in like prayer position and try to reach a pinky toes down to the mat. Lift your spine up and feel that width of your pelvis here. Then I just want you to sway back and forth if you can. If you need to keep your hands down, you absolutely can. And just sway back and forth here.

Just very gently, just feeling that opening of the pelvis, that deep hinge in your hip joint and just swing. (Leah exhales) Now, if you can place your hands on your knees, keep swaying as you bring yourself up. Pelvis is gonna come underneath you. Keep swaying as you bring yourself up. Keep swaying as you walk forward if you're not already facing the screen and just walking forward, hands on your hips, just swaying back and forth.

Feeling that connection. Now, ask yourself how you feel in your pelvis here. Do you feel open? Do you feel like one side might be firing a little bit more than the other? Do you feel some tenderness?

Do you feel release (chuckles)? Do you just feel tired? Ask yourself how you feel in your pelvis and your hips right now, because it's going to be very revealing as to what might be going on. So, for myself being 33 weeks pregnant, I feel just, I feel that openness, but I also feel where my little baby is putting some pressure into my pelvis but it feels lighter but I also feel really challenged. I feel challenged in my hips, I feel challenged through my pelvic floor.

And also because we don't traditionally do a ton of standing work in Pilates. So, it's always new and not new but it's always different for us as practitioners of Pilates to do standing work and to feel that translation from what we do on the mat into that standing position. So, find yourself through the center here and standing up nice and tall. (Leah exhales) Using your breath here. (Leah exhales) We're gonna roll down (inhales).

If you feel comfortable rolling down, you can bend your knees. Now, just you don't have to go all the way down, but just be nice and gentle here and just sway back and forth just for a little bit. Just releasing that, just acknowledging that you did a lot of work, maybe some different stuff that you haven't tried before. And I encourage you to do this class again and again just to keep exploring some of this movement vocabulary. And my whole point with doing some of these exercises, I'm gonna go ahead and take a seat.

You can as well as we just kind of wrap up here. My whole point in doing these exercises for you is to, again, just to really explore movement and to remind you and to remind me and to remind all of us that when we're pregnant, we are not limited at all in movement. Yes, there's things that aren't as advantageous for us to do, but what it is is an opportunity to explore movement in a whole new way. And when we can challenge the body appropriately, we are not only keeping ourselves feeling our best and the strongest that we can during pregnancy, but we are also preparing ourselves for the enormous act of labor and birth. And so we need to give ourselves that credit.

We need to be willing to push ourselves safely beyond what we might feel comfortable with. We need to be willing to feel that fatigue within our body. And so much of labor and birth has to do with our relationship and our awareness and our sensations within our pelvis, whether you're having a vaginal birth or a C-section or a caesarian birth, it doesn't matter. There's still so much that's happening within the pelvis all during pregnancy and through labor and certainly through birth. So, these exercises are designed to do just that for you.

The amount of movement, the amount of when you're in labor and birth the pressure that you feel on your pelvis, that awareness of the opening of the bones, that awareness of the fraying of the pelvis, the relaxation of the pelvis, the sensation and awareness and being comfortable with your pelvis is so incredibly important for us as we go into labor and birth. And it's so incredibly important for us in our postpartum recovery and healing and even if you are far beyond having children in your life or you have not had children in your life or you do not want to have children in your life, the pelvis is an integral part of our body as women. It is involved in everything that we do. Of course, men have a pelvis as well, but just speaking from in a women perspective, that it really is such a great center for us to be constantly aware of. So, this type of movement really benefits everybody, not just prenatal women or pregnant women.

And so I hope that you feel that exploration. I hope that you feel that empowerment through your pelvis. I hope that you feel good in your pelvis and I would encourage you for the next 24 to 48 hours to really pay attention to what you feel. I'm hoping that you feel really good, but if this awakens something or is revealing something that is maybe out of balance or you have a little bit of discomfort, kind of tap into that as well and pay attention to that as well because movement often is a great communicator for us and it really tells us what our body needs and what we need to address in our body. Of course, I am always available for questions.

You can message me straight through Pilates Anytime and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I'm happy to help you in any way that I can. Thank you so much for joining me for today's class. This was the fourth class in this series. Next class, class five we're gonna be doing more standing exercises but we're gonna have a little bit more of a dance flow to it.

So, I'm really excited about that. That will kind of be a marriage between some sitting and standing exercises. So, I hope that you try that class as well. Thank you again. I hope that you feel great and I'll see you next time.

Take care.


Thanks for a lovely class! I am 22 weeks pregnant and, even though I am a Pilates teacher myself, have been very cautious about what movement I have been doing through my pregnancy. Thank you for the reminder that we don't have to be limited in the movement that we do in pregnancy. Seeing you move as well as you do at 33 weeks is v impressive! After doing the class, I feel an intense strain through my calves - which I didn't even realise were tight - but a real release and relief for my R sacro-iliac area which can be quite painful at times!
Andrea B Hi Andrea! I hope that you are continuing to feel great during your pregnancy, and that you are enjoying some movement. I am so happy that this class helped to create a release in your sacrum, that is such a blessing during pregnancy. Please let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions. 
Great class!
Loved these creative variations Leah. Thank you. 
At 39.5 weeks, still loving these movements! Thank you!
Chuhang G
1 person likes this.
Great class! A variety of exercises for the pelvic floor, very creative.

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