Class #4216

Restorative Mat

55 min - Class


Release your judgements and come back home to your body with this restorative Mat class with Amy Havens. You will create a sense of liberation by mobilizing your thoracic area through standing sequences and other juicy movements. Enjoy the deep feeling of invigoration and freedom Amy has to offer you!
What You'll Need: Mat

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Good morning or good afternoon or good evening, wherever you are. Thank you again for being here with me and I don't have Luna with me. Last week for those of you who are here, I said that she might, and I was hoping that she would come in, but she's not here today. She will make her presence at some point, she's doing great, she just had her doggy daycare. But today we're going to spend a lot of time standing, as I had mentioned last week.

No props. So if you don't have any props nearby you're fine. And we'll go down and we'll go up but a lot of it will be standing up today. And what I want us to feel and concentrate on is just being yourself, just be your body. We're not just be in yourself, be your body, let go of any expectation or judgment, I just want you to feel where you are right now.

Some of us are in our homes. Some of us are in a studio setting. Some of us are maybe outside. Some of you are in your bedroom. I don't know where you are but be in you, be home in yourself is the point right now, okay.

And what I really want to do is have us feel more liberated, more mobile in our bodies in general, and specifically thoracic spine. So think ribcage, heart, lungs breast tissue, scapula like that part of our body. So let's start this way. Start standing any way you feel comfortable, whatever that means for you. And I want us to take our two hands and rub them together.

Just get some heat, get some energy and breathe. You can do inhale, exhale, nose or inhale nose, exhale mouth. Yeah, just be yourself. Just move with me today. Let's move together.

Yeah, no judgment. (exhales) Never judgment. I know you don't anyway. Okay, so pause the hands. Hopefully feel some nice warm energy. And I want you to take those palms, especially the heel of each hand and wedge them up pretty high on the side of your rib cage, right by your breast tissue for us girls right there.

And the guy's way up here by your underarms where the ribs are, we've got ribs all the way through here up, but get them way up by your underarms. Okay, so inside this part of us are our lungs of course, and let's start breathing and moving those lungs. So breathe big and then exhale. And you can use your hands to press against yourself lightly. But I do want you to feel on your inhalation, that your ribs are articulating out into your hands, against your hands and exhale, (exhales) how those ribs move in away from your hands.

Let's do several of these. So bringing awareness right away to the thoracic spine, this mid spine body and (exhales) you can feel how the breath is starting to move you maybe getting you feeling taller already or that you're standing up more inside yourself. I noticed that when I breathe big my rib cage, not only widens but my sternum lifts up a little bit, which is good. Gets us out of that sunken chest or that tired posture. All right, a couple more times, simple but effective.

So inhale can lift us. Exhale can lower us a little bit or pull us in. Inhale can open us, and exhale can soften us, one more time. Inhale can lift, widen, expand and maybe the exhale just softens us or brings us in ease. Okay, lower your arms.

Let's start with circling the shoulders again. So I'm gonna use that thoracic rib cage area a lot today. Yup, I'm feeling the urge to get some more mobility in there. So as big of circles as you want with your shoulders, you may hear a little crunchy bits, that's okay. That's your life in there. (laughs) Okay, and then reverse.

Any of those little crunchy bits hurt maybe back off the range a little bit. Yeah, but they also might... that stuff just needs to be moved around. So feel how your scapula your shoulder blades can move backward. They can move upward.

They can move forward. They can move down, right and you're picking them up, your muscles back there and in there are picking up those bones, moving them around. Okay, one more time. Just the scapula. Good, and then just shake your hands out.

I'm going to have a stay in parallel now, unless you were standing in Pilates V. So just go ahead and open up your stance and let's just do some easy parallel knee bends. That's it? Knee bend, hip creasing, and ankle creasing. And I want you really, to specifically on these, to think about your ankles yielding a little bit or bending more so that you can get lower (exhales) in this movement tracking your knees parallel.

Yeah, and I like to think of some other imagery here that the back of my knees, as I bend the back of my knees if I was behind my knees, they're moving forward. That's fun. That's in Franklin imagery. And then as I stand, the front of my knees are moving backward. So you can think knees the back of the knees move forward.

The front of the knees, move backward or let's think angles. So as I bend the of the ankles are moving back. How's that one, as you straighten the front of the ankles are moving forward. About three more, front of the ankles coming in and back. Who's getting deeper in that movement.

And then up two more, front of the ankles move back, front of the ankles open toward one another here. If I had eyeballs on my front ankles, they would be closing right now. The lids would be closing. And as I stand the eyeballs, eyelids would be opening, just some imagery. Okay, I'm gonna turn sideways.

Let's do some standing roll down. Inhale where you are. Here we go. Moving the body a little bit more now. Head, shoulders, thoracic spine.

I'm bending my knees. Do what you need to do. Let yourself be upside down, breathing in, (inhales) exhale, start rolling up. (exhales) Inhaling at the top. Simple exhale, head, shoulders, thoracic spine, bend, if you like straight legs on these roll downs you can do straight legs. I'm doing bent knees, feels better for my body today.

Two more times, inhale, exhale and round, (exhales) getting down, mobilizing the body, breathing in. Exhale, rolling up. We're gonna add on to this one, everybody. I'm gonna back up a little bit. Head, neck, shoulders.

So from this down position, let's go ahead and walk out. Not all the way to plank. Just get some weight on your hands, get some weight on your feet. Well, the weight was there on their feet. (laughs) Just kinda pedal out your feet a little bit. Yep, I'm just kind of treading.

Yup, I'm the feeling the mobility, I like to kind of even look at the ankles, making sure they're tracking. So let's go ahead and put both heels on the mat or down on the floor and move your upper body side to side on your arms, okay. So I'm weighting one hand more than the other. So that was very distal, the hands and the feet, those cues. So I want everyone to settle in.

If you like the idea that you're in a downward dog, that's fine or up stretch and Pilates language. Just be here. Okay, and you can come down to your knees if this is a little too much on your right now, but let's move to thoracic rib cage. So I'm going to, you can't probably see me that well, don't worry, be yourself. I'm moving my rib cage from left to right.

I'm trying to undulate my ribs side to side. And again you can do it down on your knees and it would be rib cage. It's almost easier to get the ribs moving down on your knees. I just came down there. Yeah, so you're just moving ribcage.

I'm gonna face you, you might be able to see it. Rib cage right, rib cage left, rib cage right, rib cage left. Yes, my whole body is also moving. You can allow your elbows to start to bend and yield a little bit. Let's do eight more.

Yeah, moving with your breath. Kind of free up that mid spine where your scapula are, where your breast tissue is, where your lungs and heart are. One more each side, right and left, okay. Yeah, and then pause in your quadrupedal. I'm going back to the side view.

We've been doing a little bit of this ribcage mobility so I'm staying with that theme of here. Taking my hand, that's closest to you. I'm gonna put hands on my shoulder. And then as a rotate, my thoracic spine opening toward you. I'm also trying to push down with the other arm.

So this is a great place. We did that breathing at the beginning right? When your hand is by your ribs. How about thinking about the inhale on that, into that lung. There it goes.

Exhale announces keep those standing arms straight, take this elbow and try to rotate your ribs toward the other side. Elbow toward wrist. We'll do five total, inhale as we open into that lung, exhale elbow to wrist, and you're in a long spine. You're not doing cat back, inhale open, there we go. Exhale and elbow to wrist, two more, focus on the breath guys, inhale, mobilize at thoracic spine, exhale elbow to rest. (exhales) Once again, bigger, bigger, more air and exhale elbow to wrist.

Good, and then just come off your knees, shake your hands. Let's do the other side will face this way, in case you need to see it. So you're in your quadrupedal to begin, (chuckles) hands on the shoulder. Here we go. Take the first one kind of mellow, if you need to, inhale and then exhale elbow to wrist, and I'm trying to keep the standing arms straight.

Here we go. Pushing down with it, opening the ribs try to breathe into this lung and exhale rotate. So if anyone out there has asthma or any auto-immune things some of these movements are tricky because we may not have as much mobility through the lungs and thoracic spine due to that breathing challenge right? And sometimes autoimmune issues kind of lends to having a tighter rib cage body. So if that's you like it is for me.

We really need to focus on these thoracic rib cage and thoracic spine mobilization exercises. One more time. I think this is six, but okay. And I'm sure there are several of you out there that are feeling that, because it's a real thing or just under stress and all that, cat backs. And now we're gonna come onto our hands and let's go back into one of the cats that I do a lot from Kathy Grant work, is you're sinking back, reach those hips as far back to your sit bones as you can, and your arms as far forward as you can.

Okay, and don't rush through the cat. I bet we can all elongate a little bit more by doing two things, reaching the hips and reaching the arms at the same time. You probably feel some really luscious stretch through your back, maybe your pelvis. Okay, now want you to press the tops of the feet and the shins down on your mat. Start to lift up your spine.

Think of the back of the spine, the backbone up to the ceiling rounding. You're gonna go nice and slow. This is all about mobilization. Mobilization, lean your hips down. Keep yourself in a rounded upper back and now start to move backward.

It's lifting the lower back up to the ceiling. Reaching back into that cat, here we're gonna do two more. This is mobilization, press the shins, press the feet. Hamstrings and glutes are slightly activated. Leaning your hips forward, your scapular all wide.

You can really get some movement through that part of your back. One more time, guys, inhale and exhale. Here we go. (exhale) And all the way back. Okay, we're gonna come up to standing, but before we do come back into that, on your hands on your feet and lift and lower your heels a couple times. Okay, yeah, just lift lower the one more time and then walk your feet forward.

Bend your knees. Roll up to standing. Okay, so we're all going to be up in standing. Let's face one another. And I want you to stand in parallel all the way together.

If that works for you, make sure as you're all the way together your knee caps are also standing forward. The kneecaps aren't turning in on each other. Take your arms out away from you. Palms face up. And I want you to do this guys, rotate your arms so that your palms actually face your back wall and then rotate your arms so that your palms face up and almost to the back wall.

So we're really exploring internal and external rotation of our arms. You can take them shoulder level if you'd like, just a couple more. Now this is not moving our thoracic spine of course, you're really moving your arms at your shoulders right now. Right, but you'll get there. You'll see.

And then lower your arms down. Okay, so this arm or one of your arms take it all the way up. No, I had a dance, my world came from dance, so I have a little curve in my arm. It doesn't matter, you can also have a straight arm. What I want you to do now is turn your thoracic spine toward that side on a diagonal or as much to the sidewall as you can, without moving your pelvis turn back to face me and lower the arm.

We'll do the other side. So we think arm first, thoracic spine turns, rotates. We turned back to face each other and we lower. That's all we're doing first. So we have arm, thoracic spine, body and down four parts, lift trunk rotation, I'll say that cue, trunk rotation and down.

And it's lift trunk rotation, back to center and your legs are strongly pulled to the midline. I love that work. Remember the boomerang work a few weeks ago. (laughs) Yeah, worked at midline, four more here, lift trunk rotation, so we have to really stay tall. I think about my trunk rotation occurring from my lungs, not my lower back. Okay, one more each side.

And we lift, lungs, center and downs. We really haven't done any extra with our arm yet. Okay, now what I want you to do shake your arms out, is now adding in the trunk rotation. I'll just stand up a little bit forward. Is this, you start the same way arm.

Now, as you turn your trunk, can you carry the arm? I'll show it this way first. Can you continue turning and lower your arm further behind you? Keep looking at it and then return to center. Okay, so the other arm will go up, turn your trunk more.

Continued carrying your arm back and down. Alright, here we go. Arm, trunk, continue to arm going down, it'll stay by your leg. Arm, turn, it goes way down four more. Yeah, lift and spiral your spine.

You're trying really hard not to take your legs and hips with it. Trunk, one more. We're trying to have mobilized one more time. Turn and rest. Okay, good.

Take your arms out to a T position. And then this is an interesting arm exercise. You're doing cross, cross, open, cross, cross no trunk rotation. This is arms right? And these are brisk movements so we cross, cross, open.

We're slicing through the air cross, I like to change arms, whichever one starts on top right there. It's the other one? and cross, cross, open, shoulder blades of course are down the back and cross, cross, open, cross, cross, open couple more sets. This is just to get some arm work in and we rest lower. Okay, open your legs to standing on a second position.

Okay, we're gonna do that trunk rotation business with the arm here. It is more interesting. It gives your legs, a little something to do. But before we do that, as you stand check that your knees aren't locking in the cue I love is as if I'm trying to pull the mat together with my legs. So that I'm really activating my inner thighs around to the back of the hips.

And let's just start simply everybody bend your knees and straighten. We'd like the knees to be aiming more to the sidewalls. Ben, you can place your hands on your legs. For right now we wanna get a good crease right there in the hip joints. Wanna think of the back of the knees again, back of the knees, you're moving forward, from the ankles moving in.

I'm gonna start adding a little arm movement just like that. Simple, simple, down, stand, three more down and stand and down stand less, stay down this next one, stay down there, and just little pulses (exhales) getting into those legs. You can go lower. Maybe pelvis gets down the line with the thigh. Yeah, three and four more.

Here we go. Four, three, two, and one we'll just straighten all the way up. Now, if you've done, I've done, I've had to kind of create my feet open a little bit. Try to keep your stance this wide. Keep charge of your legs.

Okay, and then let's try that arm piece again. Then that trunk rotation piece again. So arm, I'm gonna do the big one where we turn all the way lower the arm behind us. It comes right to the side of the thigh other arm, lift, turn through your ribcage, think ribs right? And lung, legs to integrate it.

So we'll take arm, pelvis stays forward, trunk rotation, other side. Maybe use your eyes. What do I mean there? Look through space, track a nice horizontal line through space with your eyes and the eyes move with the spine movement, four more (inhales deeply) exhale (exhales deeply) and return, arm. So we'll just do one more of these each side.

And we're gonna start moving those legs a bit more guys. Turn, yup, getting a lot of healthy movement through your torso. Bend both knees again, place your hands down or maybe even your elbows down and then just shift your weight a little side to side. Okay, staying on this theme of rotation. I'm going to change my leg position pointing my feet parallel.

So hands can come down. It's gonna move my heels more parallel. Okay, so what I plan to do here is just set my hands down. I'm leaning some weight into my hands and then let's just start bending the knee like a single leg lunge. Okay, feel free to make your legs wider if you want to.

Yeah, so you're just lunging to one side and the straighten and bend one knee, that knee cap faces forward. And right now there's no trunk rotation. The torso just nice and centered between the pelvis, four more, see if you can get a little lower and straighten, bend, one more each side bend. Last one here and straighten. And then go ahead and roll yourself up to standing.

Yes, I'm still in parallel with those legs. Arms out to the side. Bend one knee, hinge at your hip joint. So you're gonna come right over in a relatively flat back position. Bring your body upright and then straighten the knee.

Let's go a side to side with that. We're gonna add trunk rotation in a minute. So bend, lean forward, I'm getting pretty low to the ground. Bring that trunk right up above pelvis and straighten. And we bend, crease at the hip joints trying to get your body nice and low, unhinge, press the stand, lean over and lunge.

Nice flat back. Add a little arm with this, I'm gonna take him here and bend, so as I hinge forward, I'm reaching my hips back where my hands toward you, out of the hinge, keeping them up if you can, lean over lunge, hinging, unhinge, press to stand one more each side, lunge, good. Getting some good work in those legs and ankles, bend, hinge, unhinge press to arise. Okay, so this is what I wanted to add on to that. We've warmed up the thoracic spine beautifully for this.

Let's just take our arms out to the side. Lot of energy from the breastbone all the way out, bend one knee, want you to hinge forward. We already did that. So the outside arm, the one that's with the straight leg, turn that body, put that hand on the mat and then continue turning your trunk to look uppish toward the top arm. Don't worry about your arm.

Think about, can you turn your ribs more? Can you turn your lungs more and breathe, and then lower yourself. We're gonna repeat that arm movement and trunk rotation three more times. So yes I'm moving my arm, but I'm thinking thoracic mobility breath and exhale coming down. Two more inhale slicing through the air, energy out the tail, out the head and return.

Last time rotate, trunk rotation, and center. Now arms out to the T. Bring your body up. Hello, and then we do the other side. Okay, bending on to that single knee, hinging forward.

Bring the outside hand down. Okay, so here we go. We're turning toward the bent knee side the lung, the arm, the rib cage, and then return to center. The hand can come down, so you can lead with the arm. And again you're thinking, okay, how much can I turn the chest?

Can I breathe bigger? And exhaling down two more, inhale, exhale. One more. Right, where our hands were on the side of our ribs at the very beginning breathe there and exhale come center, arms out to the side, unhinge woo and press to arise and lower. Okay, bring your feet together and then just kind of bend your knees and march for just a second.

Good, you guys really nice. We are going back out wide though, okay. Wanting to go wide and get that second position. Second position is open, heels are in line knees, now let's see what our legs can handle right now. So I'm gonna have you just go down, stay in a pretty deep position, arms out, try to stay low like this.

We're gonna pivot, I'm gonna turn this way. So I've got to lift this heel and turn. You may have to adjust your feet, if your arm is like a sticky mat, like I am. Okay, now we're pretty low. Arms are just reaching forward and I want you to see, can you go any lower than you are?

No stress in your knees. No stress. Hold, hold, hold. Now it's the front leg heel, push that heel into the floor and to straighten it. Stay here, let's do that three more times.

We're gonna go bending and straightening. I think the front heel drives the work to help me stand up, two more. I really like these, those simple but effective leg strengthening exercises for standing work. One more time. This is not thoracic mobility, is it?

No, no, okay, bend back down. Let's re pivot to face each other and hopefully you're relatively where you were to start with. Okay, other sides, so you pivot, bring your arms with you. Adjust, if you need to. Here we go.

The front leg, the heel of that front foot pushes firm into the mat to help you straighten both knees and then we bend. So you can go pretty deep back knee hovered off the floor, push and straighten two more as you bend, rib cage is stable now, exhale front heel pushes into the mat. One more time, bending and push, go down into that lunge, re-pivot to face the front. Now let's see what happens if we just do one pivot to each side, okay, here we go. So we pivot and we pivot and we, you may have to move the foot, my mat's nice and sticky.

So I don't wanna aggravate my knee. So I actually have to kind of pick up the foot and pivot. Yeah, four more. Try to stay low, turn. Last one, each side turn.

And then we'll face front everyone go down nice and low again, restraint in the legs. And then see if you can re shift your weight to your arms bend your elbows. So that brings you lower to the floor. Look behind you. What's behind you.

I just see a plain old white wall, but that's okay. Keep your head in that direction. Straighten your elbows. And then one more time. Bend those elbows come down nice and low if you can.

Okay, and then find your way all the way down to your mat. Surprised we're down on a mat. Let's come down to our tummy, more thoracic spine work and we'll be doing some swany kinds of movements and some swan with rotation kinds of movements. Okay, so what I'd like us to start with is let your forehead lightly come to the floor, hands today, I'm gonna have my hand start out wide on the outside of my mat and my hands are kind of in front of... Yeah, I know you can tell what's happening.

In front of my, like my fingers are just off the side of my eye line. Okay, now take this moment, it's simple but pull your tummy up, press your elbows against your mat and lift your face up off the mat a little bit, just so your nose has clearance to breathe. And then as if you're rolling a little marble with your nose to the top of your mat and you're gonna look to that marble with your eyes. Okay, so yeah, your neck, your cervical extension is happening. Now, I want you to just do very small, start picking up the chest and I'm gonna say, don't go any higher than just barely lift your nipples off the floor.

That's the truth. That's all as high as I want us to go and then come back down to your forehead. Okay, we're gonna do that two or three more times it's very small, so lift your face slightly. Keep your elbows pressed. That sense of rolling that little marble, your nose can look forward, your chin and look forward.

So you're extending cervical but also now upper thoracic spine kind of a tricky little part to get you that right behind the sternum. Okay, and come back down, twice more hands right behind the sternum. So elbows pressing, shoulder blades are stable on our back. You're trying to gesture and express that chest forward. Nipples can just barely come up off the mat and lower all the way down.

Okay, one more time, everybody. And we're gonna add on to that when we get there. So we lift, okay. So nipples are barely above the floor, I'm looking straight ahead. Okay, now let's start to use the arms.

I'm pressing my hands on the floor. Elbows start to come up and we're doing a little swan right now. So today I'm just gonna stay looking forward. Some days I look a little bit more up, but I wanna think about the length in my tummy, the strength in the legs behind me, and then coming down really thinking mobility through thoracic spine, all the way to the forehead. Two more.

So we rolled a little marble. We look at it. We looked to the wall right in front of us. We start to straighten the elbows which allows us to push us up or lift us up. And then we come down, reach your thoracic spine your chest spine, reach it forward.

Make those muscles work there. Here we go, one more time. Really elongate was the word I was looking for, using the breath, inhale, lifting up. Now everyone stay here. If this is too much for your back some of you might be not loving to be this high.

You can go down a little bit lower, hands can come further forward. However, what I'd like to do is have you bend an elbow. You can't see I'm bending my far elbow as it lowers to the floor I'm gonna look around this way toward you. This front arm is straight right now. And then the back elbow straightens.

And I look forward. So now it's this elbow that's closest to you I bend it lower to the mat and it allows me to look behind me. Guess what? We're in our thoracic rotation. Here we go.

Back arm. All right. I'm also using my neck, seeing what's behind me and then look to the front and then elbow to the mat. Look around. Maybe you can actually look so far you see your feet would not be something, four more times.

Yeah, try to look and see the feet. Oops, there's one, other side, bend the elbow. You've gotta lengthen and turn. Yep, there's one more foot. One more each side.

Good and center, thoracic mobility. Just kinda tricky to do prone. We're done with that. Let's everybody come all the way down. Kinda wiggle your hips back and forth here guys.

Okay, now stack your hands one on top of the other and set your forehead down. Bring your legs closer together. Not yet. Keep them apart. Keep your legs apart.

Bend your knees. So I'm bringing my heels up toward my sitting bones and then I just wanna rotate. See, I'm kind of moving my feet side to side but I'm also letting my thigh bones one's turning in, one's turning out and then go the other way. Keep this kind of slow. Now this is actually a lot of pelvic rotation but you can start to allow your whole spine to mobilize as well.

It actually makes me wanna move my head opposite of my feet. Yep, kind of move through the spine, feet one direction, head, neck and eyes the other way. Feet one direction, head, neck and eyes the other way. Maybe four more, a lot of breath, right? (inhales) Inhale on the rotation and exhale through center.

One more each way, inhale through the rotation. So you can go a little further. Exhale through center should feel pretty good. Okay, here we go. Okay, that's enough.

Come on up off your stomachs. It's hard for me to talk down there, okay. Let's have a seat facing one another and I'd like you to go into diamond sit, right? So diamond soles of feet together. You're right on your sit bones and really locate those sit bones.

So I'm just kind of rocking a little bit, so I feel the base of me. And I want you to hold your shins like this with your hands, pull yourself up, tall, take a deep breath. Now let's go and do some contraction of the front body. And because we've done a lot of twisting, but let's go into some yielding into flection. So I want you to think about pulling your hips back away from your feet and then roll up to sitting tall.

I'll just stay facing this way for a few of these, exhale. So it's the top of the hips pulling back, stretching and inhaling up to sitting tall, just two more times. And yes, there's more rotation coming. (chuckles) So I wanted to get you kind of in your seated mindset and round, around, okay, stay here. Turn your legs to parallel. Extend your legs forward of you.

Reach your arms in front of you and everybody, let's just go down a little further, not a full rollback, but see if you can get back on your sacrum a little bit further, back on your sacrum, it's okay to bend your knees if you need to. Right, but you're pulling both of these hips back. You're allowing your spine to flex or yield and let's come back up to sitting tall. Couple more there. Kind of a mini rollback, if you wanna think of that, top of the hips pull back.

Sacrum is opening the SI joint opening, so you can get right back on that sacrum, legs have energy and roll back up. Okay, one more time. (inhales deeply) Exhale and round (exhales). Mobilizing thoracic spine yup, into flection and then roll yourself back up to sitting. Okay, go back into your diamond sit position I'm just turning back to facing you.

Okay, arms out to the side. So we did this standing with the arms where one goes up and we take a trunk rotation. So let's do this actually, this choreography. So we'll take our arm up. Turn your trunk toward the open side.

Take this hand all the way back down and just return to your thighs. Same movement we did standing. So we lift and we turn, it may be easier down here on the floor than it was standing. Might be harder down here. So this is such great work, not just for your abs of course, but your back muscles.

Right, and want to keep our torso nice and centered between the pelvis. It might be easier to feel that specificity down. So trunk stays between the pelvis. One more each side lift, rotate, really using your spine muscles, using the muscles in the spine. Good and center.

Okay, arms to the side, thoracic side bending. When did you go over? And then today let that other elbow bend down. So you get lower to the ground and once your pulse this okay, so what I'm thinking, lots of things here that I'm breathing in here, this the side of the lungs, right, the side of the spine, rib cage nice and open. I'm allowing my supporting elbow to bend, to bend.

Good I go little bit lower to the floor, four more, weight is even on the sits bones. Three, two, one, all the way up to the other side, you're going over and letting that supporting elbow bend a little bit trying to keep even weight on your sitting bones and your opening your ribs to the side. Eight more coming here we go and eight, then seven, and six and five letting the elbow bend and six and seven and eight. That was 16 movements on that. Let's do eight over here.

So we have one and two and three. So, I am bending my elbow, I'm pulsing and six and seven and eight other side for eight. And of course then some of you know, we'll only do it four times. We kind of do a little down stepping, four, three, two, and one. And then four times, here we go.

And one, two, three, four, we go up and over to the other side. One, two, three let's do the fours again. And one two keep your ribs open three, see if you can bend more, other side. And bend, bend, what comes down after four we do two lots of times and one, two, up and over one, two up and over. So that middle moment is a big inhale.

(inhales deeply) (exhales deeply) I'm doing it eight more times. Yes, It's a lot. Our back needs it, our lower back flexibility needs it. The kidneys need it. Of course our heart and lungs needed four more.

We need it. Four and three. It's about to get really wild here. So this is two pulses. We've done 16, eight, four, and two.

We go one. Here we go. I'll slow it down a little bit. One and one and one trying to keep those sit bones down. It's a little meditative.

Okay, eight more seriously. Eight up and over, seven, (inhales deeply) four, three, oh my gosh, your waistline is gonna be sore tomorrow. Just a little heads up and rest. Sit still for a minute. Just feel that energy.

So for those of us that sit a little bit more these days, or if you've always done a lot of sitting in your career, what not, our back doesn't, if we don't move it that way, it won't move that way, right. So we wanna have some flexibility and pliability in the side, bending ranges. I think you guys know that, but you could probably feel how that might've been a little tricky for some of you. Repeat it, practice it, it does get better. Okay, straddle sit.

We're gonna combine rotation, flection, extension, side bending and we've done this many, many times. So we're gonna open those legs. You can have your hands behind your head, okay? Use those hands to help lift that body tall. Let's start with trunk rotation, turned toward one leg.

it's your choice right? There's your rotation. I want you to round your spine forward into trunk flection, rotate your body towards me, trunk rotation and side bending, and then extension to bring us tall. A lot of words, other side, trunk rotation, flection, rotation side bending, face me. I'm just gonna repeat that guys.

So we're good. Turn first, there's lots of ways we could do this pattern. Turn, bend, returned to facing me and up to sitting tall, turn first, then second, reach out and up let's keep going. And we turn, we bend, return up to sitting, other side we turn, we bend, return up to sitting, once again, and we turn, we bend, return all the way up. We turn and bend.

Yup, return. Now what I didn't do is some extension or a little bit of upper back extension. So what I wanna have a practice for just a second. Hold your legs. I'm holding kind of underneath my thighs here using my hands and pulling up on my legs.

And that pull up is allowing me to lift up in my chest and my sternum. Okay, so it's, I'm trying to do upper back extension like this and keep that tummy really pulled back. So we're gonna add that upper back extension in here. Okay, with the hands behind the head. So let's return to the way we started.

We turn it first. Okay, who's feeling more mobile hopefully, yeah. Round down, return, return return. Now from the here, keep rotating toward the other leg. Lifting that sternum in that upper back extension.

Lose, that to come back to center. Okay, do the other side, turning first, this might be starting to get a little confusing, bend forward and I've changed the pattern from the Kathy grant version. I realized that I have, so those of you who know this I've changed it just a little bit sequencing. Now what I wanna do here is continue with thoracic rotation toward the ceiling extension. Try to come up into vertical set and returned to facing front.

Let's just do one more each side, okay. And I'll work on that for us, making it more clear in just a second. So we've returned flex at for, rotate to face me. So we've done all that. Now keep turning toward the ceiling.

That's that upper back extension, use that to pick yourself all the way back up to vertical return to center. One more than the other way. Turning first flexing of spine second, reacher side bend, keep going. Up you go to vertical and then center and just relax for a second. Okay, so I'm gonna have us do one more a little bit.

This is not part of that original pattern. Hands behind head, turn to face, one side from here. Just work on your upper back extension. Come out of it. Returned center, other side.

So you're turning, you're going up into upper back extension. Come out of it. Still facing that same leg, center just one more each side rotate, think swan through your upper back, come out of your swan, face that leg, return. Last time, twist, extend and center, center. Okay and relax.

I know those are so hard, place your hands down in front of you. Walk your hands a little further forward everybody. How far forward can you come? I'm gonna bend my elbows down and up. It's getting me a little bit lower to the mat.

Yeah, good. Okay, and then walk your hands up. Let's bring our feet together. I'm gonna cross one leg over the other leg. Like that's gonna feel probably feel really nice in your hip joints.

So today we did a lot of opening in our hip joints and a lot of positions where we were out. So you might be feeling some of that. Try to as you're here, sit evenly on your sit bones, breathe. Remember all the way at the beginning of class, we took our hands way up by our breast tissue and we took some breath here. I'm gonna do that now, with my hands here, (laughs) it's easier to hold on.

So breathing into those side lungs, those side ribs. Yeah, and if you want to go ahead and turn toward this leg it does feel kind of nice to complete that stretch that most of us know. Yeah and then coming out of it, (exhales) then let's just switch a roo over to the other side, trying to get both of those sitting bones down, grow tall, just stay nice and centered, breathing big. Never the same class twice. Right, never, never, never.

That's okay. I like to vary it up. Turn, turn, turn. So we're gonna come out of this and find our way back up to standing to finish things out. So just find your way up, however it makes sense for you.

Okay, and let's do a little balance challenge just something pretty nice and kind of easy. So find yourself on two feet and I want you to pick up one leg and just stand on that single leg. So we did a lot of movement in class, a lot of rounding rounding, rounding side bend, side bend. Now go into stillness, but focus still on your breathing, (exhales) filling up, using your eyes to see something straight in front of you. I'm gonna cross this leg right over this knee.

And I'm gonna bend the standing knee just a little bit placing my hands down on my thigh. It's not a yoga pose, really. I'm just balancing on one leg. I take all that energy and focus it into something where I can stay relatively still, good. And then we come out of that and we'll change legs.

Just lifting that second leg up. Focus with your eyes. Keep the breath soft and fluid. It's okay if you lose your balance a little bit, right, no big deal, just find it again. Here we go.

Good and cross the ankle over the knee and do a little yield in your standing knee. Just a tiny little bend, hands can come to thighs. Maybe you see something on the floor in front of you that you're really staring at that could help you with your balance. Right, where the eyes go, the spine goes so you still find something to look at and extend toward it. Exactly, and then something also somewhat easy.

Go ahead and place both feet down. I want you to go feet together all the way together and also with your legs. And let's go up to a standing lift of the heels and lower of the heels, both legs and both heels rising up at the same time, up and down, lift freely easy but nice, rise, lower, lift, lower, lift and lower. Yeah, and then start to separate the feet. So we'll do rise and then one heel down the other heel down just easy does it.

Great work everyone, four more to go, here we are. And we have four, have a fabulous week. Again thank you for joining me. You place both feet down. Just take those arms out.

Really stretch your spine up, hopefully you feel open. Those of us that have worked, this is a morning time for us. Hopefully we feel ready for the day. Those of you who are later in the day, hope you feel ready to end your day and always you guys just thank you so much for coming to class. It's really a joy to work with you and have you worked with each other?

So till then, till next time, see yah. (laughs) Thank you very much. Bye bye.

Pilates with Amy Havens: Move with Amy

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1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for thoracic spine opening exercises; I desperately need those rib cage movements all the time...

Cathy S
1 person likes this.
I really needed that! Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy, really enjoyed that for myself and always looking for thoracic mobility exercises for my students.  
Claudia C
1 person likes this.
loved it!
1 person likes this.
Watched this live and really enjoyed the stretch and flow....loving your Monday classes and would enjoy more props in the live classes, especially foam roller if I can put in a request? 😀
Cynthia G
1 person likes this.
That was  great ending to a busy day.  My breathing is deeper and slower.  Thanks for sharing your extensive knowledge in this beautiful class.  :)
1 person likes this.
Commenting here re your live class on Tuesday this week (13th) it was really great, I enjoyed the Spinal mobility (and needed it also!) 
1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy what a perfect way to spend a damp wet Sunday in Scotland.  I feel ready to brave the weather now with joy in my muscles.  love your classes thank you
Hi Amy loved, loved, loved this class. A total body stretch with some super stretches. Thanks 😊 
1 person likes this.
Loved it...didn't realize how much I needed it.  Thanks Amy!
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