Class #4219

Fabulous, Fun, & Fit FriYAY!

60 min - Class
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Grab your chair for this deceptively challenging Mat class with Cathleen Murakami as part of her series Funtastically Fit with Cathleen. In this class, your breath will lead you through traditional Mat exercises using the chair as well as some other movement disciplines. She gives modifications for added ease or difficulty as well as the option of Hand Weights, enabling you to customize the class to your personal goals.
What You'll Need: Mat, Table Chair

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Hello, hello, everybody, I'm so excited to be here, I'm Cathleen Murakami. This is my debut, live with "Pilates Anytime". Some of you already know, because you have been taking part in some of my already recorded classes. So yay, Friyay, we are gonna have some fun, fun, fun. I hope you have your chair.

I do have a yoga mat folded up on the chair for a little bit of padding. So depending on the type of chair that you have, you may want that as an option. I also have little two pound weights, the weights are always an option. You can use a little lighter, a little heavier, or none at all, you know, your arm is always on the weight. So you will hear me give you some options.

Generally, I say option one, option two, option three, they are progressive in challenge and difficulty, it just depends on how you feel. It is the end of the week, maybe you've been going for it all week, maybe you've not, I don't know. But ready to rock and roll. So I am going to start standing just in front of the chair. All right, maybe a little bit closer there, and ground through your legs and your feet.

Get present, here we are, all together. And we're gonna inhale and lift our arms up, as we exhale, we're gonna bow the head down first, curl over and softening my knees, my hands are coming to the chair, I'm grabbing the edges, leaning forward and curving a little more into my upper back on the exhale, stepping back a little bit, leaning my hips back, inhale, exhale. So you're just moving your weight over your arms, and then back over your legs, so that you can address the spine, the bowing of the spine at different angles. Individuate this, so just feel how it is for you, whether it's your morning or your evening. Make sure your breath is moving through your spine.

Last one, let's step back a little bit, and bend and alternate your knees. Your pelvis will swivel, so you'll feel that in your lower back, the lumbar, quadratus lumborum area. Keep breathing through that, that's it. Pause here, roll forward, step your feet back a little bit. Soften your knees, okay?

And I'm leaning my pelvis toward the chair, you bend your knees as much as you need to. I am softening my elbows, but I'm still feeling my energy lift up. I'm going into an easy extension, this is the first one of the class so be careful, and I like to wiggle a lot, kind of work out the little glitches. Inhale there and then curl back. Lean and do that hinge.

Play with this as much as you'd love to. And then again, come forward, I'm curling through that lower spine, softening the knees, softening my elbows, hinging the pelvis forward as much as it works for you. Press your energy down through your arm bones, extension, take a breath and open the collarbone, that's it. Exhale, engage through your center. Hinge back one more time.

Oh, I love this, it feel so good. And one more breath and then we're curling forward. So I'm rounding, I'm flexing to that low spine, bending those knees, softening the elbows, breathing through the movement, enjoying the shape. Take a breath there, and then bring your knees to the floor and come down. All right, we're gonna start with some basic bridging articulating through the spine.

When you put your feet on the edge, I would suggest first, like I have this pad, maybe (indistinct) your arches on. I am not gonna try to hook my foot so to speak, too much, but just anchor them in place. I used to always do this with sit bone width of the heels, but I've actually been playing with a smidge wider. So go to the position that works for you. Hopefully, you don't have rollers underneath your chair.

If you do, your chair's against the wall. All right, this is how we're going to start. You press into those arches, you feel the back of your legs. The inhale will levitate your pelvis up in the air on that neutral diagonal. Pay attention to what's happening with your chin.

Take a breath, as you exhale, deflate the breastbone area, and slightly soften through the lower back, but use the abdominals to walk your vertebra back down to the starting position, okay? Repeat, press, feel your hamstrings. Inhale, glutes kick in, reach the pelvis up the knees over your toes. Stay there and exhale, take another breath. Melt the chest, walk the (indistinct) down via your abdominals, so you're not over gripping in the glutes.

And all the way down, great. Next one, add arms. Pressing up on your inhale, that's it. Exhale, reach the arms toward your chair, levitate up, up, up, rotate the palms in, your arms alongside your ears, stay there and pause, distribute your work, take another breath. As you exhale, traction your spine, so I'm slightly engaging my hamstring, to pull my spine away from my head.

You will feel your abdominals a lot, your hamstrings a lot. And then the arms come to the ceiling, you inhale and you exhale and return. We're only gonna do that one more time. Add that tractioning. So when I say add tractioning, I'm just pulling, I'm exaggerating so you see this, I'm pulling all the way down, so that my tail reaches between the feet.

So the vertebra just have more space. Yeah, the final frontier. (laughs) Inhale, pressing up, exhale, reach the arms, and sweep them overhead, that's it. Take one breath and sustain your position, just feel how you're working globally, take another breath. Now put your mind on your inner thighs and your hamstrings a little bit.

As you exhale, you soften that upper body so you can pull the spine toward your chair. Opening all those spaces in between the vertebra. Arms come to the ceiling, inhale, exhale and return down. All right, now, if you have weights nearby, have them handy just in case. Come a little bit away from the chair, and have your legs straight, all right?

So it's gonna feel a little different now. If you know you tend to hyper extend your knees, pay attention to engage behind the knee just a smidge, all right? Already reach energy through your leg bones, okay? Through the bones so the muscles are not over gripping. And here we go again, pressing up, reach long through the torso and legs.

That's your inhale. The exhale, I'm gonna float the arms, and bring them overhead, careful with your ribs. Feel the work, inhale here, as you exhale, again, melt the chest, there's not gonna be any tractioning as you come down. It's more of how can you work through the lumbar area there. And then the arms come up, inhale and the arms come down.

We're gonna repeat that just once. And inhale, press reached energy through the legs, that's what levitates your pelvis, all right? You can leave your arms down, all right, because we're gonna go into leg float, or you can challenge yourself. So option one would have been the arm staying down, option two, your arms are straight up. Option three, this is of course, more challenging.

Keep your pelvis level, float one leg up, flex, and return. That's an inhale, exhale, and flex and return. Again, flex, oh, the teaching voice, again, (laughs) And flex and return. Keep going, inhale, exhale, inhale. Exhale, are you keeping that pelvis level, everybody?

One more, inhale and exhale, stay there, breathe in. As you exhale, soften your breastbone. I'm actually micro softening my own knees, and rolling through the floor. It's harder to get that lumbar area down, isn't it? Inhale, bring those arms up, exhale and return them down.

Scooch a tiny bit closer, just a little bit. Okay, put those weights, actually, no, I've changed my mind. Not put them aside. Bring your legs in between the chair, all right? And press just a little bit outward.

so you feel your lateral hip stabilizers, your glute medius. Okay, the lateral hip musculature. All right, if you know we're gonna do a roll-up, if you know you need a little give to the lower back, like generally I do, I'm gonna bend my knees. But if you don't, keep your legs straight, all righty. And the arms will come overhead, you'll inhale the arms to the ceiling, lower the arms bit, your head will look forward, you're curling, bring your arms on top of your chair, press down, lift through the lumbar spine, inhale, exhale, and maybe slide a little forward.

Reach and flex your (indistinct), inhale there. And as you exhale, you're gonna curl yourself all the way back. Press your legs out just a little bit, and sweep those arms overhead, repeat. Arms up, head up, exhale, early. I'm rotating my palms down, and lifting through the lumbar spine.

So you can press down a little bit on your chair, as though someone was holding your ribs and lifting them up off the kidneys. Exhale, shoulders are down. Inhale there, as you exhale, breathe, articulate, smooth as butter, all the way down, one more time. And arms up, head up. Look toward the chair, curl forward, and reach inhale there, exhale and return.

Feel shoulder blades engage with the side of your ribs, and all the way to the floor. All right, I'm gonna put the weights aside, and scooch a little more forward. And I'm bringing, let's see, that room there. I'm bringing my legs on top of the chair, all right? So you may wanna take a peek just so that you know we're going to lift, open, lower, up and close.

So just that you have a frame of reference about the width of your chair, 'cause I have my mat sticking out on the edge just a little bit. All right, engage in neutral. Your head and neck are going to stay down, breathe to levitate your feet, that's your inhale, open the legs, exhale, inhale up, exhale, press together. Inhale, open, exhale, inhale up, exhale, press together. Inhale open, exhale down, inhale up and press together.

Bend your knees, inhale, reach them under the chair. Inhale, bend your knees, reach them over the chair. And then, as you do this move, check how much is your upper body trying to help you. Check one more, inhale, exhale, and reach above. Put the feet now this time on the top, on the top flexed, all right?

Yes, and these micro bend, adjusting the Airpod there. And then press your pelvis up in the air, tip toward the screen, inhale. Exhale to the center, tip away from the screen. Exhale to the center, again, monitor that your lower back is staying neutral as possible, meaning not overarching. Rotate and rotate and roll all the way down.

Okay, legs straight, arms up, curl forward. Same thing with the legs, and open, lower, lift and close. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Inhale, when your legs come together, they really press. Let's just add one more, why not?

Up, close. Oh, the knee bend, in, reach under, in, reach over. You need to put your hands behind your head, that's an option and a choice. Guys do it like the first time with the head down too. Under and over, can you do one more?

Yes, you can. And over, very good. Heels on the chair, roll yourself down. Press your pelvis up again, exhale sustain, rotate again to the screen and center. Away, center, toward me, center, away, center.

I turn my head then, but I didn't mean to, keep your head straight. Keep your head straight, girl. Turn, center, turn, center. Pause, breathe in. Soft chest, abdominals, melt the spine.

Oh, yeah, and come all the way back down, very good. Legs on the inside, again, arms up, one roll-up, head up, or sorry, arms up, head up, curling. This time if you can, maybe you can grab your chair somewhere, maybe not. You have that option that we did in the beginning with the hands on the top, and kind of traction yourself. Lifting up and over.

Oops, I'm pulling and lengthening my hamstrings just a bit, yeah? Not too bad, right? Good, and then roll yourself all the way up. Oh, my left one just doesn't want to stay in. So we're going to come to standing right there in front of your chair, here.

Take a hold of the sides, walk yourself back to a plank. I have my feet just a little bit apart. Take an inhale, feel your line, exhale and hinge back. So here's this sort of like a downward doggish position, all right? So I'm going to come forward into a plank and breathe in.

As I exhale, my elbows bend as much as you would like to today, triceps, okay? Then start pushing your body back, and reach. So come up, I am flexing a little bit here. Coming over, finding my line of neutral and plank. Bending, challenging the upper body strength, and then start pushing back and hinging at the hips.

Lengthen your armpits, that's it, curve and flex to the lower spine, inhale. Sometimes it's like that buffalo position. And exhale arrive, bend your elbows as much as you'd like. Inhale, push your body back. Exhale, reach those heels to the floor.

Lengthen the armpits and hamstrings one more time. Curling and arriving, and bending the arms, inhale. Strength pushes you back, back, back. And, okay, this one doesn't like my ears, just stay there, hang out for a second. And, of course, we're gonna reverse this, of course, right?

Did you already figured out how? So as we go forward, we bend the elbows into that tricep dipped position. Push yourself up, curl, and return, okay? And bend your elbows, hugging them in, shoulders are down, find your line. Push yourself up, and press back, curling, okay?

Keep it moving. Bend, breathing in, you gotta drop the scapula right away. I feel like I'm gonna ram my head right in that chair. Push up, exhale, curl through the lower spine. Coming back, I'm sure somebody out there is counting.

I think this is number three. But you know how we Pilates teachers, that's our worst, our worst habit. Two more, all right? We're just doing one more. So coming forward, yeah, feel it.

Oh, let's do a few push-ups since we're here, come on. And one, and two, if you're not bending the elbows, you can sustain the position and just build your strength, of holding your body in space. Yeah, keep it moving. Four again, and one strong leg, strong legs. And, three, and four, great.

Step in and soften the knees, put your hands in front, let your head bow. Okay, good, good, good. All right, let's turn sideways, and place your forearm on your chair. I'm gonna hook my hand, you have a choice, you can either extend the bottom leg forward, so they are ajar. Or if you want a little more challenge, stuck your feet, okay?

Stuck your feet on this position, my pod may wanna fall out, but hmm. I'm gonna just have to put it down and hope this side is working. All right, so here we are. And you reach, engage your legs strongly. Inhale and exhale.

As you bring your pelvis back in line with your head, make sure the inner thighs are working. Avoid collapsing, and lower, you feel your waistline yet? Come on, inhale, exhale, inner thighs alive. Inhale, exhale one more time, yeah. All right, very good.

Let's turn around, I think my left one wants to stay in. I am gonna mic back to you, okay? You get rear view, and this side I will do the stacking version. All right, well, it doesn't stay in, now we know. And one, and two.

So your top hand can help you come up, push energy not inward through the inner thighs, but also down your legs. And up and up. Here's that infamous two more. Last one, very good, all righty. Shake your arms out, your arms are probably a little tired there.

Shake them out just a little bit. And do this little figure eight move, my fingers interlaced, something like that. And then reverse it, okay? Nice, shake, shake, shake. All right, this one, I'm gonna turn this just a hair, so you can see.

Your hands would be, one more plank. You're like, "Oh, stink eye, one more plank?" Hands in the center, all right? And then we're gonna alternately tap the shoulder. And you can do this from your knees. But the chair's pretty high, see something like this.

And you just need to be very aware that you're not sagging through that lower back, all right? Otherwise, we're here in their full plank, all right? Find your line, and again, if I'm taking the weight of one hand is not happening this morning, or this evening or whatever you're doing this class. Then just hold for building your marathon of strength, okay? I got one foot on the mat, one foot off, here we go.

And tap, two. So what I do is really push down to the supporting arm. Legs really strong, yes, you can feel your body shift laterally a little bit. I know that's okay. As long as we're not going out of our lane, too much.

Keep going, one and two, and three, and four. Mental power, five, six, seven, eight, nine, you can do it, 10, oh we better do the triceps here. And one, and two, and three, and long neck, and five, and six, and seven. Last one I promise, eight. Knees down, quick tricep release.

I just happen to come down to my knees, but if your knees are not happy with that, just find a position that you can kind of go into this release. Yeah, breathe along that lateral line of your body. You did good, once again. And last one, okay, nice. I'm going to put the chair now in this position, so that my body can be over the top.

But just the mat, just a little bit here, so that it's on the edges. This is just a dining room chair that I'm using. Okay, so from here, you can grasp lightly the other side of your chair, and for most of you, I'm gonna guess, this is gonna be about your shoulder width. Snuggle close, and we're in a somewhat of a quadrupedal hands and knees position. So feel your line first.

So I'm one of those, when I used to do a lot of teacher trainings I would say, "Your setup is almost more important than the actual execution of your exercise." Because organizing your starting position, gives your body a memory of where to go back to. So organize, that's Alan Herman. Organize your neutral spine, where the shoulder blades are anchored on your back, okay? Your shoulder girdle and your pelvic girdle. I have my toes in extension, so they're curled under.

So you're already working here, then I'm just gonna micro shift my weight onto my arms and hover the knees. And just feel that right now. And notice are your wrist buckling or something's, your anchor of your forearm and hands is shifted. Here, you do still wanna use your inner leg a little bit, lift through your pelvic floor. Yes, I'm still blathering on, and yes you're just hovering, okay?

And then gracefully and lightly put your knees down. If you need a little release, take it now. Same position, so now that where your home base is, and we're just going to go into some simple leg kickbacks, okay? Yeah, like from the 80s when I first was teaching. Breathe in, organize, feel your body, shift, and hover.

All right, I'm gonna move the screen leg first, no higher than the hip. Push and return, push and return, push and return, push and return, pelvis oval, that was four, five. I'm definitely counting these, six, and seven, and eight, great. We're immediately changing sides, keep your mind (indistinct) strong, one and two, and you'll feel your neck and head wanna collapse, you will feel your body wanted to come higher and there should get fatigued. So this is where you condition your brain and your mind.

Here we do definitely have two more. And push, release. Bring your knees lightly down, oh, mine was a lot higher. Ooh, cheater, bad teacher. And reach back.

A couple of deep breaths. Good, come forward and up, same thing. All right, so you have the option of just hovering. You have the option of just doing the knee kickback. Now we're gonna do straight leg up and down, all right?

All right, see, I heard you all agree with me, thank you. (laughs) Chef's choice. Inhale, organize, come on up, I'm gonna shift my feet there a little bit. So adjust if you need to, all right, hug your energy to the midline, screen leg out, I'm gonna point my foot this round, float and lower, float and lower, float and lower, float and lower. Again, up and down, up and down, up and down, up and down, pull it in, other leg, and float.

And, two, you should mostly feel your glutes and hamstrings, as the prime movers for your leg, of course. And then all that core strength and alignment awareness for the rest. Keep that other knee low. Two more here, up and down, up, touch, bring your knee in and come down, and curl back and give yourself a little break. Exhaling, yes, I'm panting, I'm just kidding.

All right, bring your body across the chair. So I have for this one, any gentleman there, you may need to make an adjustment. Ladies, you want the ladies over the chair. It's usually uncomfortable otherwise, so then I'm doing this to try to free the very, very top of your quadriceps, you know, right by the groin, kind of try to free that area. Yeah, there we go.

Okay, so we are on top of the chair. And here, just put the fingertips forward on your mat, of the toe tips back. Before we begin, I'd like you to just micro anchor the pubic bone. Hopefully, you're on a pad or mat, into the surface it's on without squeezing your bum, yeah? So if you do that, you will feel a lengthening ish sensation in the lumbar spine, which I would like you to have.

So just go ahead and see if you can feel that, some of you might need to bend your knees a little bit to facilitate that. Just feel that, it's very, very tiny. It's little micro pelvic flexion, a little bit of hip, actually extension here. Yep, so I just want your abdominals to have a chance, okay? And then we're going to float one leg up, it doesn't have to be high, the other leg up, it would be ideal to match that, press your legs together, right?

Open and press, open and press. Now the tendency here, keep going, is for the head, your eyes to start looking down, and then start looking down and down and down, and there goes your head. So do your best to feel that really long line of energy through the center of your spine, through the center of your neck, the center of your skull and out of the crown of your head. Your central line, really lengthening you, okay? Yes, I'm still opening and closing the legs.

And one more, press, and then bring your legs down. You can soften your knees, okay? I'm gonna go on to my toes. Take a big breath, same thing now, you are going to lengthen the lower back, anchor your pubic bone, really pull your chest away from the floor. All right, both arms forward any amount, they may be lower to the floor.

It is not the goal to get them up here by your ears. All right, you can just feel where you can still plug into your shoulder blades. Bend to stick 'em up, your elbows the same level as your hands, and reach. Heavy knees here are going to help you keep some length in that lumbar spine, all right? As you inhale, it's the reach of the arms.

As you exhale, it stick 'em up. Notice if your nose is starting to go down toward the floor. Keep it pulled up with the length in the lower back. Yes, we could do this. Let's go three and two and one, rest.

Here you can, I don't wanna say collapse, but kind of really rest. Like there's again weights on your knees, weights on the top of your head. All right, grab your weights. My apologies, I neglected to tell you to have them nearby. Underneath you here, all right?

So you can put them down at any time, all righty? I like these, I've been using these, I super like them. They have a little band here, and then they're sand inside. And so for some things, I can open my fingers, and just have my thumb hooked, and it's really nice to feel your arm bone energy reach through. And if you wanna know where I got 'em, I don't know that I can say, you can message me.

How's that? I'll tell you, they aren't expensive. All righty, so, remember the leg thing? Of course you do. Remember the arm thing?

Of course you do. Well, let's try to put it together and see what happens. (laughs) All right, so the legs, did you see me move back? I moved back because of the weights. I'm gonna lift, lengthen the lower back, and then lift the legs, all right?

Take a breath, use your brainpower and reach the arms. Pull, open the legs, and reach, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. This is killer. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Yes, I'm slightly rocking on the chair, cool.

And inhale, exhale. One more guys, inhale, exhale. Bend your elbows, you can put your feet down if you want to. Go up and lower, up. If you wanna do the legs, you can do the legs, okay?

It's up to you. I'm not right now, or it would be here, right? Yes, or you could have those legs down, which I'm doing right now. Two more, up, lower, up, lower. Oh my, why did she even think of that?

Come back, rest here, curl. Oh, yeah, okay, good, good, good. All right, come on up. I'm going to probably put this in a little bit of an angle. We're gonna sit on the chair, okay?

And I'm just turning my chair so that you can see what I'm doing. I'm taking the mat off, oh, goodness, okay. And I'm gonna move this up, just a smidge. You're sitting kind of on the front of the chair. Not really on the backside, okay?

And I take my swig of water. So in this position, the arms are next to you, and I'm kind of like tractioning myself back. So you're in a flex mine, but I call it a long bow. So as you do this, of course, you're gonna get some wrinkles of your clothing in the front a bit. But again, it's as though someone's grabbing the ribs and scooping you off of your pelvis, so that we're avoiding this sort of dumped out feeling, like this, okay.

And then you're just here, and your legs are hovering. So if you feel you might even have a little shake here, if you feel that there's any temptation to arch to sustain, then keep your feet down on the floor, all righty? So, the first thing is you're scooping back, and you're pushing through one leg, breath out, as if someone's grabbing that opening up the groin, pulling, and lengthening your center. And then just push down on the chair and lengthen your spine up and breathe in. And then as you exhale, push through the heel gently.

The leg muscles are just working, they're hugging to the bone, but we are not squeezing the quad to death, okay? And coming up, imagine your bone marrow, coming out of the heel and on the bottom of the foot, okay? And you just feel the reach forward and then reach backward, yeah? One more time. And as you exhale, of course, there's that abdominal sensation.

Take a hold of one leg, it is sort of the single-leg stretch position, curl back, hug it and comfortably exhale all your air. My knee is going a little bit sideways toward my armpit. Then let go of it and check and feel your abdominals holding your leg in position, and then come up. Yes, I know the upper leg muscles are working too, but I'd like you to have a sensation or connection to the center. And coming up.

Remember, again, it's a long bowed spine. So letting go is just a little check, and then you come up and exhale. So do exhale all your air just to give you a heads up on feeling the abdominals working with you on this, one more on each side. Shoulders down, feel, and come up. Here's our last one.

So this is kind of a release in between. (exhales) And come up, okay? Adding on, come back, reach the leg out. Let go, come up, pull in, exhale, reach the other leg out. I like to flex my heel when open my toes.

Give yourself a check. Oh, and I forgot to mention. No, you don't get to lean back on that. And up, and reach, and come up. What if we went a little faster?

So yes, I'm rocking through my spine, I want to. So I'm not just kind of stagnating energy in my spine is just one shape. How's this going? You kind of have this rhythm, yeah? Take one more of each.

Okay, take a break. So that's your option one, because now we're going to do this whole thing without any hands. So I'm gonna show you what that looks like, on this hard chair. So what did it look like, there is a little bit of a torso pump, but I'm not pumping my chest, yeah? I'm staying in that bow and coming towards my leg, it's gonna look something like this.

(inhales and exhales) So you see how the knees coming in, not low. And this leg, you kind of let it toss, so to speak, all right? If you're not doing the full pumping, you're doing this, and up, and up, and just get used to this rhythm. All right, there is another class I think I have coming up that I'll be doing it this again. So you have a second chance.

All right, you're ready, mentally ready? And, (inhales and exhales) Kind of let yourself swing, like you're on a swing set. Four, and three, and two, and one, Do you feel that, yes? Say yes, all right. Now, same bowed spine, a little more abdominal here, okay?

Oh, this is nice, I can use my elbows to hug in. I'm going to stretch my legs forward they're low, I'm gonna bend my knees to one side. So those of you that ski, look down toward the feet, push your inner ankles together and reach forward. It's that long bowed spine. So I'm breathing out each time.

The knees are glued together. I kind of look down lovingly at my feet. In a circle, roundabout, same direction, roundabout, and reverse it and one more. Have your legs a little bit apart, have your hands above you. Just some easy belly circles.

All right, if the arms and the shoulder, don't like your hands in this position, just cross them across your chest. I'm rotating to my pelvis, and my belly, and my shoulders are going around. And I am breathing, this kind of a free movement, the reverse of that. It's a breath driven, nice release. A couple more times, last one, yeah.

Okay, if your hands want a little padding, you can put the mat back on your chair. We're gonna still use this and stay seated forward. Something like that, all right. Your choice, I don't know how wide your chair is, or how wide your mat is. (laughs) You can have your hands here by your hips, or a little bit behind you.

It also depends on the mobility of your shoulder joints and how you feel today. I think today, I'm gonna have my hands on the sides, but figure out what works best for you, all right? So look straight ahead, take your breath, and then you're going to just push down and walk forward a little bit. But your butt is slightly touching, not touching, but it could slide on the edge a little bit, yeah? All right, here we go.

We're going to slide and push, slide and push. Minimal use of the legs. But of course, they're there to help you. And coming up, down and up. And (indistinct), and up, and bend and up, and bend and up.

Can you stay there? You can, or you can put your butt back down, it's up to you, walk your feet a little bit forward, a little bit forward, flex your feet, my knees are bent just a little bit. Okay, now I'm gonna bend and push, and bend and push. Yes, I adjusted my feet. So adjust your feet if you need to, pushing up, it's triceps and glutes, same time.

So I'm flexing at the ankle, but if you wanna leave your feet down, you can do that. All right, and I'm pressing a little bit above neutral. How about four more, and three, and two, and one. How's that? Good, walk back a little bit.

Sit down, straight leg for the figure four stretch, or bent knee for the figure four stretch, okay? Up to you. So this is one option, kind of spin the calf and spin your thigh, so that it's friendly to the knee. So this is what I'm doing here, a little spin, and then press down through your supporting leg, reach your navel over the calf, versus just straight down, over you may not fold as far as but that's okay. And then go ahead and let your head get heavy and bow.

So now, you feel the hemispheres of the brain move to the front of your forehead. So let the way to the head traction your spine here, and then come all the way up, and then you'll change sides. Okay, so you're flexed, organized, you spin the calf and the thigh a little bit outward, yeah? You press down to your supporting leg, reach your navel over your calf, just till you feel a little bit of sensation in your hip, then let the weight of your head go, and have some pressure into the foot that's on the floor. So you're gonna lift in the lower back area.

But release to gravity, I mean, do release to gravity. Yeah, very good. Coming all the way up, now turn, you'll have only one buttock on the chair, okay? The outside leg straight down from your torso, the back foot, I have my toes extended if that's available for you, and you are holding on to the chair with the chair sidearm, but do your best to feel your upright neutral alignment. Okay, your upright neutral alignment, and your outside leg, the thigh straight down.

So some of you already are going to feel a lengthening sensation in the front of your quad in your hip flexor. Some of you also, depending on where you positioned yourself on your chair, you may wanna move a little more forward. So it's up to you, okay? If you need a little more length, move your foot a little further back, all righty? Okay, put your hand on your lower back.

Look straight ahead, I'm gonna look at the camera just 'cause, and press down in your leg, just a little bit like you're almost gonna stand up, and inhale, I'm pushing down with my backhand, lift your chest up, and reach through the back heel a little bit, you'll feel that opening in the whole front of the outside leg, and then release. And press down to go up. There is energy in the back leg as much as you can. And down, one more, everyone, exhale, good? Okay, you're gonna turn around, and I'll leave the chair like this so that you have kind of a back view.

So again, now, the leg is straight down, all right? The hand here is supporting kind of the SI joint, low back, sacral area. Sometimes it's nice if you have the mobility and the risk to go fingers up, so that you can help your body create this arc. But it's not necessary, all right? You're on your second side, so it might feel like a different body, all right?

We're all so asymmetric sometimes. Okay, backhand is on the chair, look straight ahead, be as aligned as you can be, press down in the leg, inhale. So there's a contrast, exhale, between the arching up of your chest and what's happening with your back leg. So the inhale inflates you into the shape. Again, my back leg is shaking a little bit to do this.

Okay, here we go. Maximize, breathe in and really fill up. Inhale, oh, and exhale. Beautiful everybody, super awesome. I'm going to turn this chair and face you.

Yeah, I have to run and get it. Runaway pod, I guess I have to make this, my little rubber plug larger, I must have big ear canals or something here. Wide legs everybody, hang on to the opposite thigh, and reach your arm. So I am isometrically a little bit pressing out. Take a big breath into that side.

I have the palm up, but whatever feels best for you. Inhale and spread those ribs open, and come all the way up. We're gonna repeat that same side, and inhale. Breathe, open up that lung and exhale. So it should be your left lung if you're bending to the right.

And coming back, switch it up. And over, so I'm not just going to my maximum shape, I am easing myself into it, exploring a little bit more. I'm using my breath, inhaling to open my inner body, but the shape I'm making is opening my outer body. Oh yeah, and exhale. Great, stretch one leg forward, it doesn't matter which one.

(indistinct) it's your left hamstring over, and then roll yourself up. Inflate, inflate, inflate, inflate, hip over, tip, tip, tip, tip, tip, tip. And roll yourself up. Okay, a little side view that is I'm just hinging, and then I'm rolling back up, switch your leg and reach forward. Just hinging, it's not an extension of the spine though, all right?

And again, reach, reach, reach out of the top of your head, tailbone in opposition, and back. How about one more, reach, reach, reach, and coming all the way back. I'm sitting sideways for this one. Actually, I'm gonna turn all the- No, I guess I'm not gonna do that. Sitting sideways for this one, lace your fingers, okay?

And, let's see, turn if you're able, you start to rotate the upper arm bone out. And then if it's available turn, so the whole arm is externally rotating, okay? And reach down, now it depends on your chair, the length of your arms, the length of your torso, everything. For me this particular chair I'm touching, so I'm gonna push down to lift the chest up. Okay, going straight up.

And I'm breathing in to puff up my chest. So I'm opening the biceps, the pecs, the front of the shoulders, the front of your throat a little bit. Push down and go up. If you are not on the chair, it's fine, your arms can just keep going to the floor. And then come up, turn the hands, place them, so the top of the hand is on your sacrum, curl back, press the sacrum a little bit into your hands, and your elbows come forward, avoid making a double chin, though, yeah.

Coming upright, inhale and palms down, push. This is your extension. I'm actually leaning back a hair if it feels good for you, breathe in and exhale in. And so as I flex the spine here, I'm imagining the kidneys moving back over the hands. And coming up, turn turn, turn, turn, turn, this is our last one.

Press down to go up. Open those corners of the collarbones under the collarbones, if you have any cobwebs in there. And turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, and I'm actually using my legs a little bit too, elbows forward, shoulders down, kidneys puff up behind me. Yeah, so we made it, you made it, thank you so much for joining me today. I was so honored and excited to do this series for you.

So I'll be around for about six weeks or so, I know we have one week off at the end of the month. And if you're going to jump in with me next week, we're working with the foam roller. So if you have a foam roller, the three-foot length, six-inch diameter, we're gonna have some fun with the fun foam roller. So I look forward to seeing all of you then, until then, so grateful, thank you so much for coming today.

Funtastically Fit with Cathleen: with Cathleen Murakami

Comments

Lovely class Kathleen!! So many fresh ideas and modifications with fabulous use of the chair ! Thank you and more please:)
Deborah Wasko, thanks so much! Hope to "see" you live for my final 2 Fridays!🤗
1 person likes this.
Original use of the chair. Fun and challenging class with a great teacher, thank you.
1 person likes this.
Loved the gyro addition. Hip flexor stretch w/ back extension was lovely. Thank you.
Pamela, thank you! So happy you enjoyed my class and I hope you can join me again. 
1 person likes this.
A very creative class. I've liked the prone exercices on the chair. Thank you. I can't wait to view the other classes. I can't attend live but for sure I'll see the recordings.
1 person likes this.
Nice class Cathleen.  There are so many things we can use at home, on our patio, at the park and on the beach to stay fluid in our bodies.  Thank you for the reminder.
Lina, so nice of you to take the time to email and let me know. Appreciate it very much and I am happy you can do the recoding(s) and get as much out. 
Terri, heyyyyy Terri!  Thanks for taking the time to email - it's been fun and super fun to hear from people i actually know in person.  Hope you are well where you are and managing with all that has happened this year. "See" you zoom soon!
1 person likes this.
What a beautiful energy you have. Fantastic class. 
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