Class #4194

Go with the Flow

55 min - Class


Ground yourself with this flowing Mat class from Amy Havens. She creatively incorporates the Theraband and Overball throughout the workout, providing opportunity to explore different sensations in familiar movements. Take a moment with Amy at the end of class for some self-care to feel renewed and ready for your day.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball, Theraband

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Hey, hi everyone. Welcome back to class and I'm on the ground to start class today. I wanna feel grounded, I want us to feel grounded, so I decided to start this way and welcome you in to take class with me again. So for those of us who are in California, we're experiencing another surprise as of yesterday, we got shut down again, a lot of our businesses, another kind of curve ball in things. So I'm really glad that today's title of class that I thought it was go with the flow, 'cause that's what we need to do is just kind of go with the flow.

And all of the rest of us in the world, some of you are also still on shutdown, some of you are back in, I just want us to all embrace the fact that this is crazy and uncertain and unpredictable and that we all collectively have gone through quite a lot and are still going through quite a lot with everything, health driven and business driven. But we're here to move, we're here to breathe, and I wanna thank you again for always coming and just giving that energy to me and I'll give it right back to you. So going with the flow. I asked you to kind of have a few props handy, 'cause we weren't really sure what we were going to do and going with the flow I'm looking out, I just have to express what's happening. There's a chipmunk or squirrel crawling up the tree right outside this window and the branch is quite close to the window.

That's great. Come on down and look inside. He probably wants to take class. Just like the dolphins at the window at the studio, we would always look out and see what's happening. Now I've got a treat with chipmunks and squirrels.

Okay, band, let's start with our band. And today in class we'll have our band, we'll have our ball, probably no magic circle, I didn't bring mine out, and no hand weights. So we're gonna breathe, guys. We're going to connect to our breathing. So I want you to take your TheraBand behind your back, sit comfortably.

Of course, you see, I'm just folded up with my legs here, and I've got that band right at the base of the rib cage. Think, it's right behind your diaphragm, just right behind the diaphragm. Get enough resistance on your band though that you feel that, I'm going to say the word tension, we're going to use the word tension in a positive light, strengths, let's use that. Support, even better. So I'm gonna do breath in nose today, training my mask breathing everywhere, so inhale nose, exhale nose.

Which means I can't talk as much, sorry, but here we go. And exhale nose. What I want us to think about, I have to cue, is the expansion of our body from the inside out. All right, the back of your rib cage expanding against and into the TheraBand. Let that band be there for you to feel the support of it.

Sitting taller with each inhale. Let's go about five more. Hey there, little squirrel, how you doing? Yeah, going with the flow, take the breath in. We always need our breath, no matter what's going on, to work with strength exercises, work with slowing down exercises, with flow, all of our principles, so we need that breath, number one.

Yeah, exhale. Let's go one more time, guys. Inhale. We'll do this TheraBand against our back a little bit later when we're getting spine stretch and open leg rocker prep. But for now let's go ahead and just lighten up the TheraBand and hopefully you feel like a little bit of back body wake up and you know how I love that.

Scratch my nose. Let's come down, keep the band against your back, and let's warm up our scapula. So I'm gonna have you just put your hands flat, you're still holding your TheraBand. It's kind of between the thumb and the index finger and now I've got it, the band is right at the base of my shoulder blades. And let's go ahead and just go into some of our scapula pushups, warming up those blades.

So I'm letting my scapula glide toward the center of my back, the spine. And then as I press my shoulder blades wide, I'm thinking not thoracic flexion. There's that difference, remember. So thoracic flexion, if you need to look, would be that, me pushing those ribs up, although that feels great, I don't want us to go there. I want us to really just work scapula glides.

So scapular going retraction and protraction against the TheraBand. Retraction and protraction with breath. Inhale. Three more. Think about the length from tail to head.

Scapular movement, the freedom of those scapula to glide, come together, and go apart, one more time. Coming together and going apart. Now go ahead and just sit back off of your wrists for a moment. I'm gonna have us release the band just slightly, get it, keep it nearby. Come back into your quadruped.

We're gonna keep on doing some mobility just to keep warming up. And I've been doing a lot of thoracic rotation, trying to get more for myself. So I want you to place fingertips on the shoulder and open your body toward the monitor, if you'd like that. I'm going to take a breath in, exhale toward the other side, elbow toward elbow. Inhaling toward the monitor, exhale this elbow to the other elbow.

Three more. And all of this is in that nice, long, neutral spine, energy out tail and head. Thinking about moving thoracic movement around your heart and your lungs. That's where we need a lot of it right now, don't we? Opening around the heart and lungs.

Yeah, and rotate. Okay, now place that hand on the mat, we're gonna start with this hip mobility. I've been doing this too, so this probably isn't too much of a surprise for everybody, unless you haven't been here, which is fine. Welcome, if you're new. You're taking your knee up and I want you, with a neutral spine, bring your knee as close to your chest as you can without flexing your spine, then take that knee back as far as you can.

And now we're gonna start circling it. And I want you to do five in each direction and make these circles large. Try though to keep your shoulders square and weight even on your hands. This is a hip mobility moment. That was five that direction, go the other way.

And you might feel some response, of course, on your opposite body side, your left side if you're moving your right leg. You're probably feeling some glute contraction, hopefully so. One more. Woo, big circle, and then come off your wrists. And that I'm going to sweep around, just so you can have my side view.

You can stay right where you're at. It's the other side now. Hand to shoulder, thoracic rotation. So inhaling, as we exhale it's elbow to elbow. Inhale, the supporting arm is pressing down.

We just warmed that up with a thoracic and scapular pushup against the TheraBand. So use that strong arm, push down into the floor, exhale, turning through the heart, the lungs. Two more, inhale and exhale. One more, exhale. Elbow to elbow, really rotate.

Place the hand down, pick up that knee. Staying in neutral spine, bring your knee as close to your chest as you can. Now going back as far as you can. I started my circles going out, so you can go any way, like five each way. Nice energy out tail and head, big circles.

Get some mobility in those large hip joints. One more the other way now. Big circles, trying to stay square. And two. So one more.

Place your knee down and just sit back of your hands for a second. One more little warmup, so place your hands down, tuck your toes back and either leg, step forward, kind of think runner's lunge, and I'm just doing a little pulse. It just feels good, it doesn't, here we go. We're warming up. All right, take that front foot back, do the other side.

I'm just going to pulse, pulse, pulse, a little bit, getting those large, keep going, alternating sides, kind of the quads, hip flexors, hip joints open. And change. A couple more each side. Just stepping back. If you wanna start moving more into an up stretch in between, let's go for that.

Take a little bit longer up stretch and then step into a lunge. One more each side. See if we can do nose breathing. One more. Wonderful, have a seat everybody.

I'm gonna turn it around and come this way again. Let's grab our TheraBand. TheraBand for quite a bit at the beginning here. So putting in across the balls of the feet. It's hard to do nose breathing if you're not used to it.

I've been trying because of the mask wearing necessity and I'm finding it nice and challenging mentally to stay focused on my breathing out through this thing. So digging your heels into the mat, let's lift ourself really tall from tail to head. I have my arms straight and my hands are pretty far down the TheraBand, mini rollback, inhale, here we go, exhale. I sound like Darth Vader. Roll the hips under.

I'm gonna try to get to the lower or mid part of my sacrum, pause, inhale. Coming forward, round the spine, elbows can bend, that's fine. Inhaling, sitting tall. So as we roll back see if we can keep the arms straight, shoulders integrated, we're rotating the pelvis off of those femurs, trying to deepen the lumbar flexion of your spine. Pause, breathe in, curving forward.

Not just forward, but lift the lower back high as you flex forward. I was thinking we'd do four of these. Here we go. Pelvic rotation, back off the femur heads, lumbar flexion, scapular stabilization, all of our stuff. But here we go, let's go with the flow, just go with the flow.

One more time, let your body move. So I do like to talk anatomy with cuing and things, but sometimes it just gets to be like, who cares? Just move. You know what I mean? We care, but okay.

Keeping on with this, arms staying straight, I'm gonna take myself toward you by bend, and my palms are face down right now. Now, as I start turning towards you, rotation of the trunk, I'm gonna rotate whole arm, palm faces up, and that allows me to pull this elbow back and look over that shoulder, feeling this whole right body waking up. As I return toward my legs my palm faces down, alternate sides. So the arm goes through external rotation, you trunk rotate, and you come back to front. Let's exhale as we turn.

Inhale, return. Four more. So how can you grow taller? Use the strength support resistance of this TheraBand, building strength, but let the recoil of it bring you back, bring you back with control. And one more to this side.

There we go. Now holding yourself to the front, I'm gonna grab all of this extra tail I call it on the TheraBand, so just put it, make a fist around it. Let's do some bicep curl with a rollback. So starting a breath in, exhale, back to your sacrum and kind of the lower mid part of your sacrum and bicep curl. So 10, eight times, let's do eight.

So you wanna think about contracting the stomach in just a little deeper slightly before you bend your elbows. Four more, look straight ahead. Three more. Two. One more and bend.

And then rolling back up, I would like us to cross the pieces of TheraBand, don't have a preference which one goes on top. Bend your elbows out to the side a little bit and we're gonna work on the upper back engagement. So from the, I think you can probably see, but here's what I'm doing, is I'm gonna just elbows are bent and I'm working my upper back, a contraction, I'm not pulling my shoulder blades together, no pinching there, but I'm thinking elbows out to the sides, and then a little release. There's not a lot that's going on in my movement. It's the muscle work between the scapula, but without moving the scapula, my ankles are pulled down on the TheraBand as well.

Now cross the straps the other way for four more. We did four and four. And open, and like rhomboid work, of course. Two more. Good, last time.

Good, you guys. Let's go ahead and just roll ourselves back. Take it off of your feet, roll yourself down onto your back. You probably know what's gonna happen, some pelvic curl and we're working a connection of hamstrings, glutes, with this, so take your TheraBand right across your pelvis, make it firm. And similar to what I did in the reformer class several months ago, and I do this a lot with the TheraBand and the bridging, is so we want to have that the band firm across our hips, so that when we bridge up it's we have to push against it.

Inhale, prepare. Here we go, rolling up. I have a fist on my TheraBand, I'm pulling the fist down into the floor. I'm working my arms quite a bit. The extensors of the body, so hip extensors, arm extensors, back extensors.

You know the drill, breathe in, roll yourself down. Let's do four repetitions. Inhale at the bottom. Articulate, mobilize, peel, all the words, segmental. Breathe in, hips up into the TheraBand, roll yourself down, chest away from chin, long spine, trying to get some decompression value out of your movement.

Inhale, exhale, curl. Press up into that TheraBand, use it, pull your arms down, feel your body. Inhale, mm, hm, hm, roll down. One more time. Inhale, prepare.

Exhale, rolling up. Stay up there. Let's do eight little pulses of the hips to the TheraBand. Eight times, one, and two, they're little, three, hips a little higher, not the ribs, and six, seven, and eight, roll down. Rolling down, rolling down.

Once you get neutral, bring your ankles together, knees together, lift your TheraBand, and bring your legs to tabletop, guys, and press your TheraBand right over your shins. Kind of like past my knee, just right below my knee there to my shin. And once again, hands are on the band, pull that band down. Make enough tension that you feel like, wow, that's a little bit of a challenge to hold it to the mat. We're not doing much.

Take a breath in, as we exhale, press your arms down and your shins up and try to do a teeny pelvic tilt in your pelvis and your lumbar spine. Inhale, let go of it. Exhale, engage it. So this is that very deep internal corsetting connection I want us to feel. Abs.

Two or three more. Exhale, arms down, shins press up, do pelvic tilt. My thighs aren't moving. I keep the angle of my thighs the same, you are too. Inhale.

Let's take two more, everybody. So that's five repetitions, four or five, doesn't matter really. Try not to move the angle of your legs or your knee joints or your hip joints. It's your pelvic tilt, again. One more, exhale.

Be strong. Keep that feeling, please. Lift your head, your neck, and your shoulders, bring your arms up off the mat. Just press your shins a little higher against that TheraBand. Let's do some arm pulses here.

Breath out through my mouth. Try to do it through the nose and out the nose. Different, isn't it? In, out, in, out, two more cycles, and in, out, in, out, and exhale all the way, rest. Oh my, just a little side note while you're kind of, is there's a lot of science and research and yummy nerdy Pilates stuff that's going around with nose breathing, the science and study of nose breathing.

Check it out, it's good for us. It's really good for us. Really, really good for us. So chest lift, grab that TheraBand, you guys, lift it up, flex your feet, curl into a nice, tight, little ball. I want you to reach the band over the other side of your feet, down past your sit bones, legs to the diagonal.

Now return it. You've gotta do knees to nose, you might have to flex your feet, reach that band, bring it over your head. And again, around the feet, flex them, tight, little ball shape, extend, and return knees to nose, curl and extend the arms. Oops, I'm getting a little crazy. Flex the ankles, reach, extend your legs, in knees to nose, flex your feet, arms overhead.

Two more times. Curl, stretch, pull on the band a little, in, flex arms overhead. One more. Let's hold it, hold it, hold it. And in, woo, oh.

Roll yourself up. Put it across your feet, let's do some full roll up and now four times. So grab that TheraBand, you're on your balls of your feet, sit up tall. Let the band help us, flex those ankles, breath in high with your body, exhale, roll back. Segmental movement.

Okay, so we like the roll ups with TheraBand a lot. Inhale, exhale, let the band help you, let it help you, pull back with the core just a little bit. Round forward. Sitting tall, exhale, roll back. Inhale, head, neck, and shoulders, exhale.

Inhaling tall, exhaling back, reach your heels forward, reach those heels forward. One more, all the way up and down. Let the band help you, reach toward your legs with your arms, so that the band can help pick you up, round, round, round, roll up to sitting tall. And everybody released just your left leg now, so the right leg is in the TheraBand. We're gonna do some foot and ankle work with the band.

Roll yourself back. Take that right leg up. You've got your TheraBand on the ball of the foot, so your heel is reaching high. Grab your hands way up high on that TheraBand and bend those elbows and bring your elbows firmly down on your floor. Keep that foot inflection for a moment.

And what I want us to do is just feel the back of this hip, your femur into your socket really and the whole back of both sides of the pelvis really pull into the floor. That's enough of the hamstring stretch for most of us I think. So then go ahead and start to point through your foot. Hopefully your TheraBand won't fall off. If it does just readjust it.

Gonna do five extension and flexion of the ankle. Keep your pelvis really pulled into the floor. Yeah, two more, mobilizing those tissues in the feet, the calves, and the ankles. And your one more. And then where we're going next is putting the TheraBand in the right hand.

So, or if your left bend right now, it's left and left. So I've got right hand, right leg. Move your leg out toward abduction or out to the side, and as you're doing that, the other leg isn't coming with us, I want us to contract firmly the glutes on this right hip, the abductors. Just really feel like you've got a good contraction that you'll feel in each leg circle. Now, if you take your leg over the other side, switch hands, inner thighs, of course, really feel.

So as we do our leg circles, let's go ahead and do it, one piece of TheraBand in each leg, I'm gonna lower my elbows to the floor. As we cross over really feel that inner thigh, circle go feel that outer hip. Five each way, let's inhale. Inhale. Try to feel your glutes contract as you take your leg out.

Last two here. One more. Other way, out to the side. Feel it, feel it, feel it, lower cross and feel it. Inhale, exhale.

Three more. One more time. Yeah, it should feel really good I hope. And change feet. Just step in nothing fancy, lower that second leg, or the leg you just worked.

Adjust clothes, whatever. And then also the foot, make sure you've got enough TheraBand there that you can do flex and point without it falling off. Lots of tension. Ankle starts inflection. Pull both hips down into the mat, ribs are nice and anchored.

Here we go, press to the ball of the foot, try to get to a point and then flex, and get to a point, I'm almost there, and flex and point. I don't want it to fall off. And flex. Two more. Moving through the tissues of the ankle, the foot, the calf.

Last time. So same hand as leg for TheraBand. Move it out to the side. Abduction, contract your lateral hip. Should feel good.

The other side is anchored strong, nothing's rolling there. Really contract, feel that, that's what you need to feel in your leg circle. Part of the control aspect. And then as you take your hands on the other, strap with the other hand, you do want to feel that you're contracting those adductors, you're not just letting the leg hang over the center. You're using muscles to bring the leg over to this side.

So let's feel that in five circles each direction, here we go. Elbows are on the mat, we cross over, inhale, exhale. There's the contraction. How's it feeling to exhale out your nose? Hopefully you're joining me with that.

And exhale, one more this direction. Other way. It certainly changes the way I have to cue, because I can't talk while I'm breathing out my nose. One more time. And then we'll go ahead and just take it off and we roll ourselves up to sitting.

Yeah. Let's take the band behind our back again, like we did when we warmed up, but we'll take it behind the back of the ribs, spine stretch forward. It's always kind of fun to do the spine stretch forward with the band behind our back ribs. And then, of course, we'll take our feet out to the side of the mat edge, have enough TheraBand, again, you know that you've got some resistance here. So ankles are strongly flex, we just did that, we just warmed them up.

Now I want us to take our elbows against our ribs and against the band, so we have external rotation, let's breathe in high. As we exhale, guys, reach your TheraBand forward, reach your back ribs back, and then it's that nice sense of flexion of the spine. We're not collapsing over our thighs, it's not a hamstring stretch. Your serratus is engaged, your scapula are forward of your ribs, and then as we inhale, sitting tall, just ease out of the resistance. Inhale in again, exhale and reaching.

So I'm thinking about my back ribs pressing back, but not in a collapsing way, that I'm stretching the band back, but also up. And then return. Let's just do two more. Inhale, exhale, feet are in flexion, TheraBand is stretching. Reach your arms more, see if you can reach your arms more, keep reaching your arms more.

That requires stomach in more, shoulders are low though. Keep flexing. One more time, 'cause we need a little bit of a preparation for open leg rocker. Get your low back ready. I didn't do ball and all the other things, that's okay.

We can go out of order. Or not fully in all the order. Keep going, keep going. Flex that spine, stomach in, stomach in, stomach in, stomach in, shoulders low, visualize a really successful open leg rocker. Roll yourself up to sitting, bend your elbows.

Now what I want us to do, everybody take the band away from the back, put it across the balls of the feet again. This is kind of an interesting way to do this. And I want you to cross those pieces again really work abduction of your legs. So we also just did that in the leg circles, that connection all the way down, elbows are bent out like they were in that little warmup. And just feel for a second here, we're gonna flex our spine.

Try to flex the lumbar spine. Roll up to sitting tall, change the grip of the TheraBand, cross the other way. It does feel a little bit different. Flex your lumbar spine. Now I'm gonna just choose to keep this one on top, it doesn't really have a matter right now, and I wanna roll back enough I can pick up my legs, because what's going to happen, undo, and then one hand on each piece of the TheraBand.

Now flex your ankles if you can, press the legs out, let's roll back. Here we go. It could feel a little wacky, don't worry about it. Try to use your hips, the abductors, as like little brake pads. You're gonna pull the legs out against the TheraBand.

Look down to your tummy, roll up, use the hips. Three more, breathe. Use the hips. A-B duct, pull that stomach back away from the legs. Two more.

One more time. Kind of fun, kind of fun. Hold, hold, hold, hold, bend the knees, bring it in, and rest. Okay, good. We know what we're going to do now though is we need to take the band underneath the back of the knees and just each piece is fine, just turn on your side to face me.

Let's keep going with the hips. So I'm gonna come all the way down on the elbow and we're gonna work on some clam now. And some clam. So just make the adjustments that you need. I've got my hand holding the TheraBand in a nice fist, I've got my bottom arm, like my pillow holding my head, leaning my head back a little bit though, so I'm not like chin forward.

Yeah, and I'm using the TheraBand, pressing my leg back. Couple more. See, I just exhale at my mouth again. I'm not gonna judge myself. It's just a really interesting thing to take note of.

Press and hold. Let's pulse for eight. Pulse back. And four and five, six, and seven, and eight, and close. Lift your whole leg up.

So you've got an knee up, a shin up, an ankle up, and I want us to do just a little front and back movement in the hip joint, flexion and extension at the hip joint. So the TheraBand should be kind of getting in your way in a way, that you're trying to pull against it, press against it. Pull against it, pressed against it. Hip flexors, hip extensors. Yeah, a couple more.

Not full front kickback kick. It's kind of what your hip joint does in front kickback kick. Just doing small lever right now. Hold it to the back. Hold it to the back, pulse to back.

Two, eight times, three, and four, four, and three, two, and one. (bell dinging) And I'm sorry my notification bell is going off like crazy. My apologies to that, I should have fixed that. Okay, a straight leg now everybody, up and down more abduction. Two, three, four more.

Get long through your trunk. Four more, and three more, and two more, and last one, and then bend the knee in and rest. Go ahead and take the band off however you can get out of there. Legs in the diagonal, let's turn out, we're gonna do a little passe developpe, no TheraBand, let your leg go. Just let it move.

Passe, toe to knee, knee to shoulder, lift and lower. One more this direction. We're gonna reverse it four times. Lift, toe to the knee, slide it down, get long in the leg, and lift. Toe to knee, slide, getting long.

And it's up, touch and a stretch. You're gonna love the next one, I've done it before. And you're gonna bring toe to knee again and tap, but before you tap, turn out, thrust out. Former dancers, this is like our little pirouette. Here we go, tap for five.

Tap, two, three, four, five, ankle five, four, three, two, and one, knee for four, ankle four, knee for three, ankle three, two and two, and single, single four times, and single, single, single, single, take it all the way down. Wrap, wrap, get toned in little circles, two, three, and four more. Four, three, and two, reverse for eight, and seven, six, and five, four, and three, two, two the one, and we rest. All the way up other side, guys. We'll get to the ball in a few minutes.

We're nearing the ball work, but let's get this side. So wrap your knees with your TheraBand. Come on down into the bottom elbow, secure your head, your heels are in-line with your sit bones. Get enough tension that it feels kind of like a good workout to press your legs. I need a little more.

Eight times, one, there we go. Hm. Nice and long out the tail and out the head. Don't forget to include that always continuing sense of elongation in that trunk, space between your hips and your ribs. One more for eight.

Here we go, eight pulses back, go a little bit more. And two, and three, use your muscles, glutes, rotators, six, seven, and eight. Bring your thigh down. Now just a parallel lift. So the thigh, the knee, the shin, and the ankle come up, press up into that band.

And we did little flexion forward of the hip and back into the hip extensors. Just the range what we would do front kick, back kick, but I want the TheraBand to kind of meet you and kind of get in your way. So you have to move against it and pull into it, press back against it. Pull into it, press against it. Long trunk and back.

One more, front and back. Please stay to the back, hold it there, get long. I knew you needed that cue, get longer and pulse back. And two, three, really work the tone in the tushy there. Four, and three, and two, and one, and knees together.

A long leg. I think you guys can hear that sound outside. Long leg up, down, and up, and down. Lengthen your trunk, don't forget. Keep yourself each elongated.

Four more, and we're lifting, and lowering, and press. Good, energy and strength. Last one, going with the flow today. Helicopters and planes. Take yourself out of the band.

That's the last we use of it for right now, so just toss it out of the way. Extend your legs to your diagonal and then I want you to turn out this top leg and we're doing our posse developpe and stretch it down. Four times this direction. Two more. Make it continuous, make it long.

Reverse it now, the straight leg comes up, toe to the knee, slide, reach, up, touch, and length. Two more, and up, touch, and lengthen. One more. Now come on to again, posse, toe to the knee for just a minute. See if you can really open both hips.

Shoulders are easy. We tap, five, four three, two, one, ankle five, four, three, two, one, four times. Trying to keep that hip open. Four, three, two, one, three times. One, two, three, one, two.

Two times, two. And four singles. One, two, three, and four, stretch it. Longer, longer. Eight little circles.

Two, four more. Tone, wrap, all the cues we know. Other way, one, two, and three, four, five, six, and seven. I just love those, I do them a lot. It just feels good to work the legs like that.

Come up time for your ball. And we're gonna think about it like a spine corrector in a way for hips on the ball. So let's go ahead and come down. I think we're this way. Yep.

You can just plop on over. Be with control, everybody. Heaven. So your sacrum is right on the top of the ball. Let's go ahead and hold the ball with our hands for two reasons.

So it won't roll away, but also we can roll our shoulders back, even that, just holding the ball and opening the chest line and getting the shoulders back might feel kind of nice here. Rib cage needs to behave. No thrusting, no thwarting, nor lifting and popping, all the things. Use your core, keep that anchored, bring in knee to chest, the other knee to chest, lovely. More knees toward nose, stomach is in legs to the ceiling.

Four times, both feet flexed, point. In case you didn't get a lot of that at the TheraBand earlier. Now you can really go for flex and point of your feet. You know what? I'm gonna do four more.

Just feels like I need eight total for right now. Flex and point, flex, point. One more, we're going to move right into scissor movements. I like to do them slightly externally rotated. Go for what you want in terms of range or balance or whatnot.

I do like to have us focus though on the bottom leg, getting out of the hip flexor. So extend the line and contract your tushy. Gently bring them up with control, change sides. There's some balance work. Inhale, rise, exhale, split.

Inhaling, exhale. Behave with the ribs. Inhale, and exhale. I'm gonna take four more, so you know what's coming. Three.

Two. One more. Both legs up, stay lifted. Externally rotate both legs, everybody, and I want us to start some of the (mumbling), crossing the legs. Last week we worked boomerang, remember, I did all that inner thigh work.

How did you feel? I was pretty sore actually, it was nice. So same idea right now, it's the inner thighs, it's not the ankle so much. They're crossing, but it's the adductors. So keep this going.

You've gotta hug that midline. Let's move this (mumbling) movement down, adding the little walking eight times. Here we go. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Up, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Again, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. And eight, seven, six, five. Two more sets, we've got it. Let's go, stabilize and not roll off the ball. Six, seven, eight.

Up. Can your stomach get a little more engaged here? Last time. Long legs, longer. Six, five, four, three, two, and one.

And bend your knees, just rest. Bounce your shins a little bit. Lovely. Leg circles. Think Cadillac, think reformer.

Here we go, legs vertical. As you take your legs down together, as low as you'd like to take them, check into those poppy rib possibilities. At the bottom externally rotate, open as far as you'd like to, I can't go as far as I want, I have a wall there. Darn it. Five each way.

That's okay. Pulling the stomach in, especially the, I like to think the lower the legs go, I need my ribs and stomach in more, not less. Around and up. Last two, down, around, and up. One more, exhale.

Five the other way, guys. Open. Now get them long, get those legs long, reach more. Even when we think that we're reaching, we probably have more to go. And maybe it's at the top of the head.

Involve the upper body in opposition. One of our principles, get oppositional quality here. Two more. And our last one. Open.

I'm gonna go with some bicycle movements. Now my bicycle, what's nice about bicycles on the ball is this leg, the one that you can see, the one that's down low, I can now actually get the full brush of the foot. On that spine corrector sometimes it's hard to get. But when you take that foot down to the floor, really pull the foot towards you, like you're dragging it through mud or the sand, pulling a spring. It's kind of fun to think of a pulling a foot strap with a spring on it, getting that hamstring connection, of course.

Keep that going. Can you stretch your legs more? Just when we've got it, let's reverse it. So now, instead of pulling a spring, you might be pushing a heavy box away. What if the long box were in front of you and you're saying, nope, go away, box, and get out of the way.

Or if your dog was there, your cat, I don't know. You get that idea. Push away and push and make sure when you're pushing your ribs are behaving. You've got control in your nervous system. Four more, one, and two, and three.

Good job, you guys. Four, bring your legs together. Almost done with the ball stuff here anyway. Legs are piked up, you're turned out. I'm gonna do flex feet and we're going to do the beat, beat, open.

Very dancey like stuff. Good inner thigh, good hip. So I don't have a preference, one leg crosses over the other, up in the air we cross, change legs, cross. Legs go open and then cross again. So cross, cross, open.

Be steady, cross, cross, open, and cross, cross, open, and. You can change your foot position, you can flex, you can point, make it yours. Eight more times. For logistics in my spacing I'm keeping my feet flexed, so that I don't run out of space on my left side. Oh well, four more, one, and a two.

Feels so good, oh my gosh. And three, the joy of movement. Four, yay. Legs to chest, put one foot down, then the other. Before we leave the ball, stretch one leg long, that same arm up.

You see me do this a lot. It's so healthy to get the limb stretch on one side. Let your belly move a little bit, it's okay. Change sides. And then we, I didn't do any prone stuff today for back extension.

I just didn't, wasn't feeling like doing it, but we definitely need to get the thoracic movement, don't we? So you know what we're gonna do. You're gonna lift your hips off the ball. Ah, it feels so good, my goodness. Is to do the ball right between the scapula.

Oh yes. Heart and lungs, here we go, hands behind our head. So if we want to emphasize a chest stretch, let's do that one first, chest stretching or opening, I want us to take the elbows wide. Wide elbows, and then slowly arc over the ball any amount. We're emphasizing pectoral stretching.

It's important to stretch the pectorals, the chest muscles. Breathe deeply. Your inhalation will also facilitate that wide stretch. If it feels good to let your cervical spine come into the party and go into the extension, you can go there as well. Now, to come out of this, I do want us to raise the elbows a little bit.

Feel how your shoulder blades get out of the way back there, they get wide for a moment. You can come up to a little bit of flexion. Let's do it again, everybody. Open your elbows wide, wide, wide, wide, extend the spine, but really this is about that chest stretching, opening up, more space, breathe deeply. Look back if it does, if it's okay for you.

What if we were to do wheel or back bend? You're kind of already preparing yourself to go backward with intention. And come up. Now let's do two the other way where we focus more on spinal extension in that thoracic cervical. So for this I want us to take the elbows more forward, scapula wide for a moment, and let yourself drive over the ball.

Whee, you're going over that ball, thoracic cervical extension. You'll probably notice when your scapula are wide you may have more room to get over that ball. And then flex into that thoracic spine again. One more time. So I've got my elbows kind of hooked up and I'm letting my spine drive over the curve.

Both are good and both are healthy, extremely. So use your hands to support you, come up off of your back. Now, everybody, I want you to turn onto your side to face me, use your ball. We're gonna do a little book opener, another little thoracic thing. So I want you down on your bottom elbow, and then take your ball in this hand, reach it toward me, and then up to the ceiling, looking at it, looking at it.

Now, go around, keep your eyes on it if that works for you, bend your elbow if you need to, let that thoracic spine and chest really get the widening, the opening. Keeping your eyes on the ball. Let's do another one for sure. So you can raise that arm and just start all over. Just gonna come here.

And open. Yes, you could think about keeping your knees together if that works for you. You don't have to force that together, you really don't. It does feel different if you work the knees together, but I want you to focus on your chest right now. That left chest or that right chest, whichever one is holding your ball.

Really stretch that into the arm. And then return. And then one more with holding the ball, but instead this time it's gonna go up over your head this way up, up, up, up, up, and then around. All right, so roll on over, let's do all that on the other side. I'm just gonna face, continue to face you on my other side.

Always so nice to get the chest stretches. Here we go. And then arm is lifted, I'm looking at it. I'm letting myself rotate. Now I run out of space, because of my wall here, but I'm gonna bend that elbow and just keep turning and looking and breathing.

And then again, raising that arm, coming back to facing front, we'll do another one exactly the same. So now, if you're on your right side, holding the ball with the right arm, like I am, it's different for me, the heart sits more on the left, so the stretch always feels different for me on that left side. On my right side there's a slight more sense of ease here, but that's just the way that rolls. (laughs) Yeah, you might feel different with that. And then one last time the ball goes up and over, your arm is reaching up high, you're allowing yourself to turn, similar idea, just keeping your eyes on that ball, bringing it behind you.

Yeah. Hey guys, come on up to sitting for me and let's do a little bit, you know what I'm gonna do probably, is straddle stretch. Let's just have fun with your ball and put it right here. Roll it forward, spine stretch forward, but think of now you stretch your hamstrings, go for what you want. I'm gonna really reach it towards you.

Yeah, there we go, yep. And as I reach it toward you I'm also thinking about pulling my hips back to my wall behind me, but I want to use this as some stretch and then roll back up to sitting. Same thing in the front, breathing in, exhale, rounding, reach forward. So explore going lower to the floor. Explore going lower.

What does it feel like to challenge your flexibility like this? Such a kind of old fashioned calisthenic stretch, but it covers a lot of territory. Come on up and move the ball to either your right or your left leg. I'm gonna track it down the inside of this leg, rolling it toward my heel. I'm gonna try to keep my opposite hip back.

Just really stretch. It might feel like you get the stretch in your lower back, on the lower quadrant. And coming up. Same thing again this side, roll. We didn't do saw, we didn't do some of the regular series, but here we are, that feeling of it.

Other side, roll it along your leg toward that ankle. Oh yeah. And back up, one more. Stretch, reach, breathe. And then all the way back in.

I'm gonna move the ball, bring your legs together, everyone. I want us to finish with soles of feet together and we're gonna just sit quietly for a little moment if you want to. I hope you will stay for this. This is just a little bit of putting it back in kind of thing. If you take your hands down at your ankles and just give your ankles a little, and your calves, your Achilles, and ankles a little rub and just breathe.

Let's try breathing in and out the nose. Often we just rush away, I know there's lots going on in everyone's day today, or if you're at the end of your day, you're done. Give yourself another minute or so to complete the circuit with each other here, with me, and keep rubbing your calves up toward the middle of your calf and thank your body for being here, thank your body for being strong, thank your body for being curious to discover new movements. Give it thanks for all the things that you feel, the flexibility that you have, the mobility that you have, if you feel some limitation, be thankful for that, because that means you get to kind of go into it and learn about it. Your ears, that you can hear the cues from me and others.

Your eyes for being able to see what we're seeing and see past what we're seeing, if you know what I mean. All this stuff, it's appreciation right now. So just, you're just touching your calves, like these little hearts down here in your legs, kind of squeeze those calves. Good, and then just a little bit of touch in your feet to reground yourself. So I thank you everyone for another wonderful moment, another wonderful hour spent together, and go about your week with an open mind and go with the flow, 'cause it just seems like day to day everything seems to be a little bit different.

But what we know is movement heals and we keep showing up for movement. So my gratitude back to you. Thank you so much and I'll see you next week, bye.

Pilates with Amy Havens: Move with Amy


4 people like this.
Did this class this morning, EST.  Amy, I loved it!  Thank you for your creativity, your heart, and your fabulous teaching!  Also, for the end comments with a wink of your eye.  I can just guess...In any case, Pilates Anytime is truly a blessing for those of trying to maintain sanity in a crazy world!
Great job as ever Amy thank you. Sending love from here in the UK:)

Lina S
2 people like this.
Thank you Amy! I've discovered new exercises with the flex band. I don't particularly like the spine stretch forward, but I've felt it differently with the flex band. I like to learn or discover new things. This class was perfect at the end of my day.
4 people like this.
This class was such a nice blend of stretching and movement, that I didn't feel like i was in an exercise class (that is not a criticism). I feel stretched, lighter, and more toned. What a  pleasant hour~ Thanks Amy:) 
3 people like this.
I loved this class - I agree with Gary who said it was such a great blend and I particularly loved the hundred (breathing/imprinting) variation with band over shins.  Regarding inhaling and exhaling through the nose - please could you provide references of where I could learn more regarding this new thinking. Thank you Amy, love from Zambia x
Maria V
2 people like this.
It was very good. I am a beginner and it was a great challenge for me, even if it didn't at first  :) Thank You!
Joan Bee
2 people like this.
Great class, as always! Are you reading James Nestor's Breath? I am and have been focusing on nose-breathing. I especially loved breathing into the Theraband!
Wonderful as always!  Thank you Amy!
1 person likes this.
Another great class; thank you Amy

4 people like this.
Amy! I watch the recording of your weekly live classes every Sunday. It was become my ritual: Sundays with Amy. I love every moment. Every word. Every ounce of love you give. I find my wholeness with your work. Thank you! ❤️
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