Class #4204

Magic Circle Basics

55 min - Class


In this Mat class with Kristi Cooper, you will go back to basics using the Magic Circle to build your skills and gain more depth. The ring will provide assistance in your contractions and movements, enabling you to access deeper connections. Take the new sensations that you create to get greater benefits in more traditional classes.
What You'll Need: Mat, Magic Circle

About This Video


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Hi, everybody. Welcome to class. Welcome to the garage. I've already met with the little lizard this morning, and there's at least one other critter in here that I'll be keeping my eye out for, but you're here to keep an eye out for yourself. Hopefully, you have a magic circle.

If you don't, you can try it with a firm pillow, not too big. You don't want it too heavy. This is very light. And so, we're gonna kinda go back to basics, and that's not quite accurate. It's more about like skill building, so that I'm going to be using the ring, the magic circle, fitness circle, to assist in contractions, and movements, and depths, hopefully, that we use when we're really just going sort of traditionally with the work.

So, grab your ring. Stand yourself up. Be glad that you're here as much as I am, I hope, and parallel feet. If you've been in my class, you know I just gotta figure out where I am to know where I need to go, and to take your moment, take your time to decide what you wanna get out of it. Hopefully, it's a little bit of what we just talked about.

Holding the ring in your hand. The ring itself, obviously, it's not meant for massive strength, right? So we're not aiming for making our hands touch if it's in our hands, or our knees touch. It's really to assist us. So, right now, let's just take the heel of the hand or where it's comfortable, but you're not gripping it with your fingers.

So I like to keep mine nice, and straight, and soft. We'll just stand tall, whatever that means to you. Shift your weight forward. I'm not squeezing it. Shift your weight back, just kind of aligning yourself so it feels like you are in one line, whether you're slightly back or you're slightly forward.

Ultimately, I like us to end somewhere midfoot or the weight is over the midfoot, maybe a little more forward from there. You're long. You just lightly squeeze on the ring. Again, it's a sense of... See if you can squeeze and lift your chest at the same time.

Breathe as you wish. I tend to exhale as I'm squeezing, not always, and press, and press. Notice how my arms up high. I'm doing that on purpose. If your shoulders go with you, try not to do that, but you can also let them just fall, and keep the elbows up.

I'm gonna go a little quicker now. Just breathing, just coming into your body, feel the front of your body, look for that. So the idea is just like, right, my arms are on my body, both the front and the back side. So as I squeeze, I have a subtle sense of pack, but also a sense of lats or the back side of your body, or the side of your body, depending on how you feel it. But anyway, let's just go.

Press, and press, and press, and press, and press. Keep going. And if you are inclined to challenge your balance, I'd like you to start to lift your heels. It doesn't have to be high. It doesn't have to be high.

Just challenge, see where you are, not necessarily challenge. Come down. Do it again. We're pressing, pressing. We're slightly lifting.

We go down. Just kinda play with what's going on in your feet, what's going on in your body. Are you arched in your back? You'll know because you'll have to really catch yourself and connect again. A couple more of those.

Just rise or don't, and just squeeze, feeling for it. Just tapping into how this ring can work for us. Okay, take your ring to your hip. It's actually not your hip. It's where that greater trochanter, that fold is.

Put it there, and with your feet wide just so that you can feel the side of your body. Again, my elbow is up. I'm not dropping it down here. The heel of the hand is there, and I'm just trying to tap into the lat again. I wanna know where I am spaced.

A couple of fingers, you can reach around. Touch it if you can't feel it. For me, it's a subtle sense. Drop the shoulder, pull the ring. It's small.

We're just kinda tapping in. We'll move in a minute. Pull, and pull, and pull. Again, you don't really need a ring sometimes. You could do this without a ring.

It's nice to have one for sure. Less imagination, right? Just a few more, just feeling for that. What do you have? Are your collar bones wide?

Let down here. Anyway, up or down. Let's change arms. Standing or bend in a squat. I'm gonna do halfway because I don't know what I started with.

Elbow is up, not so much that you're rolling the whole shoulder, and just feel for it it. Do you feel that little ridge is up and up, like, oh, hello. In my case, good morning. We could do this. And just pull, and pull, and pull.

Love the magic circle. Well, with few exceptions. The hard ones. Just a few more, a few more. Just feel it, feel it, feel it.

Cool. Hand to hand again, same thing. So if you find you're not getting tired at any point it's not worth it to just try and figure it out. Sometimes you just have to take the ring away, shake it out, then come back. But what I'm trying to do is the ring, the halo right over head.

So it's not in front of you if you can help it. Elbows out to the side, squeeze in. Still trying to feel that same lat connection. Squeeze, squeeze. You could stay on your feet together.

You could squat. You could do all sorts of things. I'm just gonna share here and warm up, and feel how just before I go to put a little pressure on the ring, I subtly drop my shoulders, and that's just because I know how to feel for the rest of the body, the lats in this case. A little bicep. Here we go.

Can you take it a little higher, just a little higher, a little higher? You'll notice as your ring gets further away from you, it's hard to squeeze. That's pretty much across the board. So don't worry about it. Just think abo squeezing it because next class you'll take the ring away and remember it.

All right, just extend your arms up. I take my thumbs inside quite a lot, because I like to ever so slightly pull. So let's just, if you like, because I am not pushing on this. This is purely spacing. For some of you, it might be too much you could even just put the ring around your neck and take your arms a little wider.

Here we go, we're going up and over to the left, and then come back up. And I mean up and over, and come back up. Try not to rotate. Check yourself out. Careful on your knees.

All that means is try to.... You can straighten them fully, but try not to just drop into the hyperextension if you do that. Here we go. Up, and then I do exhale just before I start to come up. And up.

Here we are. Thanks for being here. Clean your space, take up more of your body, reach it longer, anchor with your feet, and just sort of finding all sides of the body before we get down on the ground and really go for it. Well. Deep and over.

We're doing just one more each way. Over and up, and over and up. Just one more thing, take the ring behind your back. I'm just lightly holding it again, doing my best to reach the elbow straight back. They won't go completely straight, and I can barely squeeze the ring, but here we go.

We're just going to reach the ring down. As we imagine, the chest rises, thinking if I could squeeze the ring with my upper arms, I would. And bend, and just bring it right up. So right here, it's easier to squeeze. Remember what we said.

If you start to straighten your arms, we're gonna get a little tougher, but that's okay. It's not abut squeezing the ring right now. It's about the posture. It's about waking up the back of the body. Bend, and let's press down.

You might like it more if we do it this way. When you go to straighten, do it on a low diagonal. And remember you're proud, you're tall, you're just going, oh, right, there you are. Then we come up. When I get near the bottom, I'm lucky because I'm still holding the ring.

So I as I said, if it's really hard for you, you could lose the ring on this one, and just think of expanding that upper spine as you try to even squeeze a shoulder blades together. Set it, yes. Good. How often do we get to that? One more time, out on that diagonal.

Voila! Okay. So then from here, just set your ring down. I could even drop it. We're gonna roll down just to warm up a little bit more here, inhale. Let your head go forward.

Let your spine go forward. Try not to shift backwards. And then inhale, hang your head. It might need to bend your knees here, right? That's fine.

I'm gonna bend them a little. And then from tail bone, really it's from my heel. I start rolling back up. Ring's still on the floor, and I'm tall. Inhale and exhale.

Let go of anything you don't need right now. We're gonna be way more efficient if you do exhale, meaning muscle tension. And one more, go down. Hopefully that ring is there in front of you. Take it on its end.

So handle, handle, and then you can put both hands side by side on the handle. Okay. From there, just pull yourself back enough that your arms are straight. You're still over the midfoot. Let's push down.

Don't push so hard that it goes flying away from you. And then reluctantly or resist the return by drawing up on the belly as if somehow you really didn't want that ring to become unloaded. Push down again. Pull up on the belly even there. Exhale, scoop and draw in.

It's like you're trying to bring your pelvis closer to your chest. Inhale down. Exhale up. Notice you don't need a lot of tension in your arms, especially if they stay straight. Inhale down, scoop the belly.

Imagine the Wunda chair. Inhale down. Resist, come up. We could do it with the heels if we want to. No.

Go for it if you want, but I'm not. I'm only doing two more. So, be nice to yourself. Down and up. Last one here.

Down and up. Now you can let the ring go. Just drop it. Roll yourself up one more time. Take a big breath.

Arms are not. Reach, I like to reach. Shake out what you need to now. Now that you've taken in the triangle, let's go. We're going to the floor.

And I'm gonna sit in a diamond position today or for now anyway. Same hand hold. Close your body. Body is upright. You now where everything is.

We are simply exhaling. Draw the belly, and I'm not moving the spine, just to extend the arms. And notice at the end you can't press as hard, and don't. It's not a big deal. It's just can you use it to keep you up you know how push on a table and you can get higher.

It's just kind of the same idea. All right, so bring it back in. A little bit of a squeeze. You can squeeze a little harder here, as long as it doesn't change your posture. Extend, still with some resistance, even though it lightens.

Pull it back. Exhale. Pull it back. Give you a little extra bit here as you go forward. Once you're there, once your arms arms are straight, you can actually either grab the fingers or the thumb inside like I said before, and pull it back.

So you can actually work the way back home. Shift the energy, push forward. I hope that makes sense. I just drop the thumbs in and I pull apart, and then I let go and push it away, and I draw it. So I'm getting both sides of the upper body, not to mention having just to sit here.

All right, next one. We're gonna roll back a little. So as you push forward, pull the hip bones back. We're not going down. We're just pulling the hip bones back.

Bring the arms back in or the ring back in. Do it again. So as you push, it's like forcing the hip bones backwards a little bit so you're in a nice tall seat. Bring it back. You can roll a little further now, right?

And pull it back. Press. If you don't do the sound pull thing, it's okay, but it's kind of fun. Pull back. I'm going a little further, but I'm not quite to my sacrum yet.

I'm just checking out where are my collar bones. Just been warming up the spine this way. And one more time. Come back up. Keep it close to you.

Turn toward the screen. Rotate, and we'll just stay here for now, we'll come back, and extend the arms out as far as you can. Pull it back in center. Go, get away, rotate. Extend the arms out.

You're tall. You're getting taller. You pull it back in, with or without those thumbs, center, other way, press, reaching out. Draw it back in. Center, and twist, press.

It might be too much to switch to the thumbs on this one. It's too fast. One more each way if I didn't already say that. Let's go. Press.

Again, it's not a lot of effort in this. It's just like right. This helps me stay upright. Press and in. For the moment, put the ring down, parallel the feet.

We're gonna come back to that in a moment, and we'll roll down. Head on the mat, feet parallel. open up the chest, inhale, exhale, we roll up. We roll up. We roll up.

Check yourself out. Sometimes it means you have to touch, looking for a flat line across the front of those hip bones, or looking down your body and making sure that the rib cage isn't higher than your pelvis. If it is, just calm down. Talk a little more and don't worry about it being perfectly straight. Everybody, let's roll down.

Down, down, and inhale. Start the exhale, we roll up. You get to step on your feet. You get to stand up even in this position. (indistinct) Inhale, hold.

For me, it's like the melting of the front of the body, so I can spread out the back of the body. Keeping the knee alignment, and belly's at the bottom, one more like that. Exhale, up. Hold it there. You could even stand on your upper arms, so you're connected.

Inhale, exhale, roll down. If the ring is near you, grab it. You don't have to do it this way, but you could put it just under your hand or hold on to it. Hips fall right in. Exhale, or you sit on it, either way.

As you roll up, it's the idea of engaging it, the ring. You've build up the same movement. The idea of can I press on it. Stay up here for a second. I have one more thing to say.

If you focus on the hands, it will throw you out of position. Think of the ring were above your elbows and squeeze it from there, even if your hands barely do a thing. Okay, come on down. Down. Down.

Touch or don't and come back up. As you're going up, you get to reach in. Think I have a ring between my upper arms, and come on down. I'll give you this last one here. Up you go.

Opening. And just stay here for a moment. Maybe think of sliding the ring further towards your heels, but more to the point. Draw your heels toward the ring and connect to the hamstrings, hopefully. When you're ready, let's roll it down with or without that exhale.

Maybe move the ring before you get there, and put it between your knees. Knees are up. I try to keep my feet straight off my knees. So I'm gonna say do that. If they come in a little, it's okay, but we are trying to just kinda maintain the distance here.

Arms out to a T position or a low V, whatever works best for you. We're going towards the screen, towards me. Inhale, we lift the hip. We're sliding, reaching, twisting over to one side. Lightly squeeze the ring a tiny bit more to bring it back.

You can lighten up on it whenever you want to. Inhale over, reach that top, almost like you're turning the wheel of a car there. Exhale. Squeeze the ring a little to come back. Again, keep going.

Inhale over. Shoulders stay on the ground. Exhale center, inhale over. Exhale center, keep it going. It's much like when it's in your hands, you don't focus on the knees.

Focus on above the knee. That's where it's really being held. (indistinct) We do a few more. They just really feel good. If you further, fine.

Just help yourself back. What's happening to that middle? And so put the feet down, hold on to that ring right where it began. You can adjust at will whenever you need to. Arms are down.

We exhale, peel up again. You can squeeze the ring a bit. So it might your feet are a little further apart than they were, but do try to get them parallel. Get to the top, stay at the top. Pulse the ring in three times.

Exhale, one, two, three. Maintain the squeeze and roll yourself back down. You can release the tension on the ring at the bottom, but don't get too sloppy. Inhale. Start the exhale.

Feel the belly draw in. It's really not about the ring. It's not about the now, right? Roll up. Up, up, up, reaching, almost like sliding the skin forward on those knees, and squeeze pulse, one, two, three.

Inhale and exhale roll down. I call those mat basics. I'm doing things. I'm trying to get you to tap into areas that will help in other exercises. Keep going, up we go, like the inner thigh, the seam of the inner thigh.

Once you get there, feel those hamstrings. If you don't feel the hamstrings, what can you do? Tuck more, push higher, and squeeze. Two, three. Roll down as if you're trying to reach the ring almost away from you or up and over you.

Inhale, exhale, up we go. You're at the top. We squeeze, one. It's subtle. Two, three, hold.

Inhale, exhale down. Time to check yourself out again. Where are your shoulders? Where's your next? Do you need a pillow?

Are you looking behind you. I'm gonna be kinda flat. Up we go. Up, up, up, and squeeze. One, two, three, hold.

Inhale, exhale down. Right. From here, we're just going to take the ring, put one foot in it for now. So I'm putting probably the ball of my foot. Maybe a little closer to the arch, but the ball of the foot feels best, and I'm just holding the side, so just outside the handle.

Other leg goes all the way down or bent if needed. Bend that top leg. Try not to turn it out. It doesn't matter how much you bend it. Go towards straight.

Bend it. You can use your arms here. No problem with that. Exhale, straighten. In fact, if you're really flexible, you might want to.

You could even pull it over your face if you want to, if you're ready or if you can, but it's not really the point right now. Just kinda loosening it up. I'm just gonna do two more. Bend, trying to keep my foot flexed, and up. One more time.

And up. Okay. Before we get too tire or too lazy, still gonna do one more thing. Grab with the opposite hand. So I have my right leg up.

I'm gonna grab. Sorry, it's not the opposite hand. It's the same hand, right arm, take it out to the side. Left arm goes out for balance. Just kinda leaving your pelvis where it was.

Open it out. If you're really flexible, you might have to do an underhanded grip to pull and enjoy, but not for too long. Help yourself back up. Let's switch sides. Another foot in.

Other leg down. Maybe check yourself out. See if hips are level. Pull down bending. Be gentle on the fingers, remember.

Exhale to straight or towards it. Bend and straighten. And I keep catching myself trying to point through the foot. I'm gonna work harder on these next three to not do that. It might mean my leg doesn't get straight, but I'm not fooling anybody but me.

Two more. One more. Oh, I did it again. Oh well, next time. All right, take it up, and then we're taking it out to the side, out to the side.

So again, underhand grip if you want. Other arm is there for balance. Just opening it up. If it feels too much too soon, you could just hold outer side of your leg and not go as far. Okay, bring it up.

And from here, we're just going to rock and roll. Just rock and roll. Rock, and rock, and rock, and rock, and up, and stay up when you get there. All right, back to that diamond position. So we are going to start the same way we did, and I'll add on to it.

We are tall. A little bit of resistance, but we add to it as we push away. We roll back. Let's go lower this time. We're going down towards mid back.

Inhale, exhale, pull yourself back up. It's up to you if you want to pull on the ring outwardly. The tip, it helps. Exhale, roll back. It's like you're sending all the energy that way, except from the middle of your body.

Inhale, exhale, pull yourself back up, sitting tall at the top. Exhale, press back, roll back. Inhale. Exhale, bring yourself up, sit tall. Inhale, exhale, come forward.

I stay curved until the last minute, last one like this. We go down. Inhale, exhale, come up. Let's make it a little more interesting. A little bit.

Exhale, roll down. Roll down. Hold your position. Body doesn't change, except your arms. Inhale, raise them up.

Exhale, bring them down, hold. Inhale, exhale, come forward like you're gonna put your head through that ring, and then at the end sit up tall. Bend the elbows. Push away. Get out to that landing spot, sort of mid back.

Hold it, inhale, arms up. Hello. And down, hold it there, inhale. Exhale, start to go forward. When you get near the top, you can pull the arms in and sit tall.

Interesting, right? Exhale, roll back. There you are. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, down.

Think of the arms being attached to the abs. Hold, inhale. Exhale, pull yourself forward through that ring, and then bend the arm, sit up straight, inhale. You could take your arms back or not lift them at all. Inhale, exhale.

And here we come forward, forward, forward, and sit up tall. I think two more. It could only be one, but guess what? I think it's actually one. Well, anyway, we're doing one more after this.

Up we go, up we go, up we go, up we go. Sit tall, little squeeze. There we go. Reach them up. Lower arm down, inhale, exhale, up.

Oh my goodness. How's it getting so hard so soon? Keeping the arms bent. We're gonna rotate toward. Rotate to me, I rotate to you, so whatever way that is.

Hi. From there, same thing. We're on the diagonal roll back, maybe not as far. We're not doing the arm. You're welcome.

Come back up and pull the arms in, sit tall. Go to the other side, sitting tall. Again, the ring is just... It's that reminder that you don't just collapse. Don't let go.

You're on both side of your pelvis, so maybe you don't roll that far. Come forward, bring yourself up and center. Switch again. Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale, hold. Exhale, come forward, and sit up tall. Center, other side, rotate. Reach, reach, reach. Inhale.

Right here, I can't squeeze it. I'm trying, but I can't. If I do with my hands, it messes me up. Up we come, and center. Let's move on.

Placing the ring at your heels. So the ring is flat on the ground. I'm grabbing it. Everyone will have a slightly different place, depending on, well, your foot and ankle. And I'm holding it where it feels pretty secure.

Sitting up nice and tall. And then, just for a moment, put your hands back just so you can play with this idea. Earlier, we talked about squeezing the ring to lift the chest. We can do that right here if you lightly squeeze the ring from the upper inner thigh, not from your feet. I mean, yes, they're involved.

It sits you up, doesn't it? Automatically, if squeeze the entire inner seam of your leg, it sits you up. This will help you, I promise you. The hundred, the teasers, all that. Relax.

Do it again. Squeeze, lift. See if you can involve an entire rep of the leg where it makes you literally pop up a half inch or so. All right, you get the idea. A light squeeze, arms forward.

As you squeeze a tiny bit more, reach your body forward, forward, forward, forward. Now roll the pelvis backwards, and this is gonna be your C shape at the top of this position. You've got that squeeze of the ring. I'm not worried about point or flex. Let's roll down.

My ring travels. Maybe it shouldn't, but it will, so I'm not gonna get away from that. We're all the way down. We reach the arms up. We look forward, squeeze that ring from the upper inner thigh, and here we go.

Doesn't that help? You might pick up the ring on one side. Now it's just information. Inhale, exhale, roll back. I'm imagining I have a ring in my hands again.

And inhale, arms up. You can go all the way to the legs. Look at that ring. You can even hold your legs. Exhale, come forward.

Use the ring. Let it help you, let it help you. Now hold back. Sometimes we get caught in what is the exercise supposed to look like, and how am I gonna get from here to there. This is helpful.

When we don't have the ring, you don't think about it, hopefully. Forward really long. Hands together, straighten those elbows the entire time. Roll back, back, back. We're down, arms up, reach forward.

Reach, reach, reach. Remember we're kinda holding those sit bones back. Again. And back. Give us one more to really think about that breath.

Exhale down. It really is helpful to start the exhale before you lift. So you're looking at your feet. Start the exhale now, squeeze that ring. Now go.

Right. All right, taking the ring. You may have to lay down to do this, but it's gonna end up between your ankles. So lie back, pull the knees in, and you know we're gonna do the hundred. So just take your arm straight up above your shoulders.

All we're doing is exhaling. And as we curl our head, neck, and shoulders, we squeeze the ring and extend the legs. Barely squeezing the ring, just so you know. Pull the ring in and come back down. Exhale.

Curling up, stretch the legs away. Up inner thigh. I kind of imagine little magic circles under my arms too, and back down. Let's go. Curling up, reaching out.

Start to draw the legs in and come back down. Staying up on this next one. Excel curl up, stretching out those legs, stay there, and just pump the legs inward. It's two, three, four, five, and out. If you can do the arms too, go ahead.

Three, four, five, and out. Two, three, four, five, and in. Two, three four, five, and out. Two, three, and I can't. In, two, three, four, five, and up.

Two, three, four, five, and in. Two, three, four, five, out. Two, three, four five, hold the leg. Squeeze, pull the knees in. Take yourself down.

Inhale, going up again. Exhale, reach the legs, it can be high or low, and squeeze. In, two, three, four, five, and out. Two, three, four, five. Keep thinking you're going forward, and out two, three, four five.

Two, three, four, five, and... Four, and out, last one. Keep going forward, and pull the ring in. You can take it out. Let your feet come down the ring is now in your hands over head.

Feet are parallel. Inhale. Start your exhale. You're peeling up again as you take those arms just over head, just over chest I should say. Okay, os just go back down.

I'll get that right. You roll down, reach over head. Inhale, exhale, peel your spine up, and your arms will come up and land right above your chest. Right, check yourself out. We are about to pick up your right leg.

So if you have to adjust, do, hopefully not, but your pelvis is level. Right leg up, bend the knee, straighten it if you can, and we're gonna kick down. One, flex to bring it up, two, or, sorry, two. Three, keep the ring still. Four.

Five. Six. Seven. We're doing 10 I guess. Eight, nine, and 10.

The ring where it was, you're still up. Just touch the bum to the floor and stretch back up. One, and two, and three. We'll just do five. Here's four.

Get up there, stay up there. Five. Refold the leg. Adjust yourself if you need to. We are coming down with the spine.

The arms will reach back over head. Take the stretch. Inhale, you know what we're doing. So we exhale. We peel up.

We bring the arms back right over your chest. Make sure the shoulders are still close to the mat. Other leg up, left leg I believe. Stand it, and we kick down, flex up. Two.

Trying to keep the hips still. I think five, six, seven. Keep those hips up. Eight. Nine.

Stay up there, flex the foot, level hips, touch down. One of five. Two. One more. Try to be up as high as you started.

Put the foot back down. Ooh, wow, I dropped a fair amount. That's cool to know. We'll exhale, roll down, roll down, roll down, and then bring your knees up again. This time, you could...

Well, yeah, here we go. Put your feet in the handle. Hold on to the other. If you are not using one, just put the pillow behind your knees. It's just as hard.

Okay. So I'm gonna bend my elbows wide like we've been doing. I'm putting a little pressure on the ring with my feet. But again, I don't wanna break the ring. And I don't really mean, but just need the contact on the back of my body.

So we're going into rolling like ball. Pick your head up. Drop your heels if you can. Get a rocking motion going. Now keep the shape.

Keep the shape. If you can make the shape tighter, do. Knees apart or together, it's up to you. Make it a smooth ride. Make it kind of fun.

You don't take the heels higher in the air, meaning you don't extend the leg at all. Let's do a few more. Nothing changes. One more, we'll stay up. Here we are.

Cool, cool enough? Stretch your legs out and separate them, thinking spine stretch here. For me, I go ever so slightly wider than the mat, just slightly. Either hand over hand or side by side, I actually prefer. We are pressing the ring down to lift up.

Start an exhale and round forward. It's okay if the ring slides forward, meaning tilts forward. If it actually slides, adjust it. So you're feeling that same sense of drawing the hips back, and then come back up. Inhale, light press on the ring.

Exhale, round forward. The hips are held back, the feet are flexed, and come back up. Inhale, light press. Exhale, go forward. I'll make this more accessible here.

Exhale and exhale, just bring it back up. Now we get that additional inhale. Press down, you go up with your spine. Exhale, round forward. Come on, come on, come on.

Inhale and exhale back up, very light pressure on the way up. From here, I think we're gonna need to move the ring out a tiny bit for the next piece of it, so just a little bit further away from you, closer to your feet. I've got super long arms, so that means I almost passed my feet. Exhale, round forward. When you get there and you can look at your abdominals or around your inner thigh, imagine that ring in your inner thigh and start to gently press the ring down, but make it start from your abs.

I don't know how else to say that. How would you do it? Arms are absolutely straight. We're just trying to deepen the connection there, and I'm pressing in a little release, but the position is not changing. For me, it almost feels like the breath starts it.

My hip bones wanna go way back there, but no, my arms are attached on this thing in front of me. And one more time. Roll yourself up. Take your rings in your hands, like we started, this is just another option of that, just to extend them out. I am not squeezing it on this one.

In fact, I'm probably gonna be holding it with my thumb, so I think I would recommend that for where we're going. We inhale. It's the same exercise, basically. We exhale like we're gonna through the ring, but the ring keeps getting further away. So we think, oh, maybe I'll put my head on the ground.

Form there, press into the legs, the legs into the ground to lengthen your spine on a diagonal, bringing the arms up along side the ears. Inhale, exhale, just round forward again, and start rolling back up, just as we've been doing all along. Inhale. Again, very little tension on this ring, none, actually, the whole time. Exhale, round forward.

Maybe right here, I pull apart a little bit just to... I don't know. I like it. Long diagonal, low back, middle back, upper back. Stretch into it.

Lean into it more. Inhale, exhale, round forward. And from the hip bones, once again, you roll back up to the top. Inhale. Exhale.

Rounding forward. Reach, reach, reach. Get those shoulders back on your body when you need to. Inhale back at the legs and the ground. You grow taller, grow taller, reach taller.

Inhale, exhale round, and come back up. Righty-o. We got a little add on. Why not? Exhale, round forward.

Round, round, round. Use what you need. Inhale, lift. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Rotate towards me.

If it's too tight on your shoulders, you can let one arm go. Okay. That's gonna be tight for a lot of people. Back to center, rotate the other way. I'm still on that diagonal, reaching into it, and center.

And what are we rotating, the spine. Turn from quite the waist, but the the whole spine as much as you can. Center, and rotate, and center. Reach way out there and roll yourself up. Right.

Place the ring on top of your, let's say the left ankle. Right ankle on top. Your hands are gonna go behind you to help support it, and let's just call this hamstring activation. So if you squeeze too tight, the ring will go flying. The idea is that you keep your spine straight, and you press down.

One, and up, and two, and up. And if you don't need it, take your arms off. Four. Five. Six.

Try to connect it to your abs. Nine and 10. Right. Oh, can we just flip it? No, we could've tried.

Switch legs. Okay, so now your left leg or the other leg is on top. You're sitting tall. Get that first. If you have to back up, do.

You're sitting tall. And we press down, lift up. Remember it's not about the foot. Can you make this come from right where the leg meets the glute. Let's do five more.

One. two, three, four, and five. Just keep it there or put it where you can turn on to your side, facing front. Adjust where needed. All right, you're on your elbow.

You are squaring yourself off, and really it's a triangle of space here. You're not hanging your lower side down, but you pick yourself up. You hold yourself up. And all we're doing, again, we're first thinking long, and then it's really from the abdominal. So you might put two fingers or touch yourself around the abdominals, and see if you can start there, and transfer to those inner thighs, all the way down to the feet.

You have nothing to do. You do enough. And I'm pressing, and releasing, and I'm pressing, and I'm releasing, and we'll do five more from here. One, and two, three, four, and five. All right.

From there, here's the fun part. We're gonna back your feet up a little. We'll try. It may not work. We're gonna roll the ring forward so it touches the ground, so that you can lift the other leg out and put it inside.

Once you do that, you're free to let go of the top leg and put it inside as well. Knee cap stays forward or sit up and fix it, whatever you have to do so it's comfortable enough. Same position, otherwise you can also lie down all the way if you want. We are pressing into the ring, hold. Slight release, but stay touching it.

Press long and into the ring, hold. Release. Again, and again. One more time. Knee cap forward.

I do mean that. I know I keep saying it. Stay up there and a pulse of 10 just into the top. One, two, three, four, five, and six, seven, eight. Sometimes I just have to count.

Okay. We're gonna take that out and we're gonna switch it. So I'm gonna just flip around. Replace the ring. Do your best to have knee caps forward like We did this one on the elbow, but again you can lower it down.

And from here, we'll press, release, and press, and release, and you're long, and lift it, and release. I mean really see. Okay, now see what you can do with the ring without... I wanna say using your leg, but definitely without using your lower leg. How much can you pull down?

Just a couple more. Cool. Back your legs up, roll the ring forward. That was not as graceful as I was hoping for myself, so I'm gonna just take my time here. All right, both legs are inside the ring however we get here.

You're still tall. You're recollected. You're not tight back at your hips, and we press up, and hold, and release. Press up, and hold, and release. Imagine reaching further through the ring, and release just two more.

Hold it there. 10 press up. Three, four, five, and six, seven, and eight, nine, and yey, 10. All right, we're gonna take the ring out. Right, yep, that's what we're doing, and it's gonna be really fun now.

Have some fun with this. I'm going back to the inner thigh. And if this doesn't work, you might grab a friend. All right, so we're stretched out. It might be easier to lie all the way down.

We're just transitioning to lie on your stomach, but we want the ring already placed if we can. I like to lift my feet, bend the knees, and just roll over. You just have to keep the... Well, you have to keep the ring. If that doesn't work, you may have to sit up and just keep trying, or if you can reach back, do it that way.

Otherwise, you could just dorp the ring. Forehead on your hands. Try to bring the knees. They're not gonna be probably parallel with the hips, but they're not just totally flared. Hip bones in the mat, hover the knees.

From there, upper inner thigh squeeze. One. And I am trying to get my feet or knees at about a 90-degree angle. I don't always do it, but that's what I'm trying for. Let's do four more, three more.

I'm squeezing the whole leg. And one, relax for a second. Right, check yourself out. Yep, I did it again. Gotta bring those feet a little closer maybe.

From there, we are going to lift the legs on one. It's not huge. Try to keep the knees hovered, or that intention. Straighten the legs as you squeeze the entire seam of the leg. It's okay if the ring touches the ground, and then relax, rebend.

You squeeze the ring, lift the knees. Keep squeezing the ring more if you can as you go out, straightening them I mean. Lower the legs, rebend them. So that last bit, it's kind of a break. Squeeze the ring, lift the knees, stretch your legs out.

Its not about the height so much, and release, rebend. Two more. Squeeze, lift. Stretch out. Come on, come on, come on, come on.

If it's going too much in your back, try not to lift so high, even if it's high already, last one. Well, this one changes actually. Lift, stretch out. When you get down there, stay down there, and that would encourage the ring to be touching, and then squeeze form there with the straight legs. Two, three.

You can lift your head if that's easier. Five, six, seven, eight, nine. Oh, big squeeze, 10. Go for it, go for it, why not? Are your knees straight?

Are you sure? Okay, rebend. Take it. And because the hamstrings are so important, I'm gonna take the time to do this another fun one. We take the ring.

Another one you might need a friend. I'm putting it where my bum, my glutes meet my hamstrings. And then the fun part for someone who cramps, like me, is to take... I think of it as the Achilles tendon. Once I know it's sort of secure on my glutes, I come back to center.

And then when you point your toe, point or flex, you can hold on a little better. Slight hover the knees, so slight, and now you draw the heels to the glute. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one. Reach back, take away the ring. Switch sides.

If you need to stretch for your back, please take it. Sometimes if you've not done these before, it will a little tough on... Just because you're thinking about it. All right, you find where you think you'll be able to hold it. And I like, like I said, point, so I kinda think I have it when I turn back around to put my forehead on my hands.

A slight hover of that knee is just to activate the hamstring, and then draw in. Two, three, four, six, seven, eight, nine, and 10. Right, take the ring out. Let's just set it out above our heads. Help ourselves out for a bit of a stretch.

A rest position or a child's pose, knees apart or together. If this doesn't work for you, you can roll onto your back for a second. We're about to do our back extension. So come on back when you're ready and lie down. I think we did in the last, but I really just like it and need it.

I think I'm not that different in that way from a lot of people. So, if your shoulders are really tight. I'm gonna offer you the option to just keep your hands down. Okay. Actually, another option, fully down with no ring at all.

Okay. If your challenging the shoulders or able to challenge the shoulders a little bit, they would go either right on the handle or just to the side, one and the other. I try for my feet to be together, but they're not. In other words, there's that inner thigh thing again. Let your elbows be straight.

That is important. So pick one of those versions where your elbows are straight. Forehead on the ground or near it. Without pushing on the ring, start to look forward, look through the ring. Lower just slightly above the ring if it's on the ground.

And then keep lifting, but not with the help of the hands, just with the spinal muscles. At a certain pint, if you feel like, okay, that's as high I can get, great. Maybe push a little into the ring if you wanna try for higher. Keep the back of the legs involved, and then come back down. So legs are super helpful here.

So we just do the hamstring thing. We wanted them active. It's really helpful for the lower back. Start looking forward. Start to glide the spine up, up, up.

You can put a little pressure on the ring when you get up there, if you wanna try for a higher, but not if it's just pain in the whole back. It's not the point. Come on down. I'm trying to work the back, but this works the entire thing. Here we go.

I like to inhale up. It lets me breathe, meaning fully expand the lung, and then I can bend more. Exhale down, but you can do it either way. More advance, you probably reverse that. I'm going up.

I'm gonna stay up. If you're on the ground, just think of gently pressing your chest forward. The rest of us, we are not gonna move the chest, but we're gonna press down on the ring, let it up, no motion in the body. Two, let it up. Three, let it up.

Four, and up. Five. How many should we do? Let's do 10. Six, you can come lower.

That's even harder I think. I think there's two more. What are your elbows doing? Just think long. And then finally, you can hep yourself down.

Release the ring. Do what you need to with your hands. I'm gonna take my down by my side for just a second. Put them by my shoulders now to help myself back into that rest position. And just come to sitting forward, back in that diamond position, taking the ring out to the left or one side.

Heel of the hand on. We're almost there. Almost there. This is getting easier all the way. And then from here, just my hand down for now.

Maybe a slight bend at the elbow, so you can turn the elbow point backwards or up, however you see that, and just a little press, a little press, a little press, and just very subtle hold. Take that opposite arm right up to the ear, and then lean or arch into it. It's not really a lean. It's more like use a slight pressure of the arm to lift your spine, but also side bend, and then com up. Again, light pressure.

Opposite arm up, take over. And up. Light pressure. Not too much. It just doesn't.

You don't have to work so hard sometimes to get a lot of good work. Why am I whispering? I don't know. And up. Just change arms, change arms, change everything.

Other side. And for a few, just press and find it, so that you know you're not just popping the shoulder up. You can still feel that lat that we started with. And then just a very subtle hold. Take the opposite arm right to the ear if you can.

Maybe a little more pressure to help send you up to arch over. And back. And again, light pressure, arm up. Arch over. It's almost like I'm taking my ribs away from the ring a little.

Up, two, and back, just one more. A little pressure. You use it to help you. it does need a little assist every now and again, but really you're doing it for yourself. All right, let's just take the ring away.

Sit comfortable if you need to be on your knees or in the other way. Fine, do that, because we're done, almost. A couple of collective deep breaths hopefully. Wiggle out anything you need to. Shift forward and back, and then, in your mind's eye maybe or in your spirit, ask yourself, did you accomplish what you wanna do, or is there more you can do throughout your day?

Do you wanna feel a certain way? And let's just do two to three collective breaths together. Shall we? Thanks so much for being here, okay? Inhale, and see if you can feel the wholeness of yourself.

Exhale, and whatever attention you might have collected, you can try and let that go, just by letting. Again, inhale. Exhale. One more, here we go. Join me.

And with that, just exhale, and enjoy your night, or your day, or yourself, or all. Thank you for being here. I really appreciate it till next time. Bye.

Garage Sessions with Kristi - Playlist 2


I’m a fan of the ring and loved this class employing the ring throughout. Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Loved it! The ring gives a bit of a feel of being on the reformer.  Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Thanks -needed this today with. All the fires around me-can’t go out-Carmel,ca
1 person likes this.
Great class ! I enjoyed it a lot to start the day☀️ hello from Switzerland 👋
1 person likes this.
Ah lovely.  Thanks for the encouragement as well.  You dont hear me but I do do comment (to myself) during the class. Have a great day.
1 person likes this.
Beautiful combination.  Love the circle even more now than ever.  thank you from Melbourne, Australia.  Its finally a sunny morning and what a way to start it.  
1 person likes this.
Nice class to emphasize all the subtle connections. I especially loved it for the extension work at the end and for adductors on the roll up. Thank you! 
2 people like this.
I enjoyed the class a lot; thank you much Kristi
2 people like this.
Kristi Cooper  I really have fun with your classes! Thank you so much! 🙏 Bruno, Portugal.
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