Class #4238

Mixed Flow

55 min - Class


Amy Havens offers this flow that mixes traditional Mat exercises with complementary movements and stretches. You will begin with a standing series that will help you deepen the range of motion in your hips while working your legs and glutes. She then moves down to the Mat with traditional exercises and inversions at a slower pace for easier access. Embrace the release as well as the work!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hey, everyone. Welcome and thank you for again joining me for a class live in my house, in my den. Overcast skies here in Santa Barbara. We had record heat over the weekend. It's like this weird fluctuation, which is so relevant to life, right?

Sometimes it's hot. Sometimes it's cold. Things go up, things go down, as we're all living proof of that and we're able to sustain anything, right? 'Cause we've got strength and power. So let's move today.

I had crazy dreams and lots of cats in my dreams. I don't know if anyone can interpret that for me. And they were all beautiful cats, of course. But I have my lion pants on today to celebrate my dreaming. So I want us to start standing and let's just ground our feet.

Okay, so just feel your legs, just nice and solid underneath your pelvis. And yeah, close your eyes for a minute. Just let yourself sink into your legs, sink into your feet, your feet into your mat. So that's our grounding. And then let's work on opposition going up through the trunk.

Create that space between your ribcage and your hips. Lift through the sternum without pushing it forward so that your back doesn't start out in a grip. Maybe the back of the neck is really long. I like to think of the tip of the ears also kind of pointed up like little elves. Okay, take a deep breath, everybody.

Now let's go ahead and start to raise your arms up, any amount, any way you'd like to lift them, and then lower them down. We'll do that three or four times. Ground your feet, levity lifting up. It's okay to even look up if you want to. And lower the arms down, we'll do it twice more.

Inhaling, creating this space, and exhaling as you lower. Keep those feet grounded and resist the urge to push and pop those ribs out. All right, we're gonna start warming up our feet and what I want everyone to do, look down at your feet just for a moment and some of us have feet, you know, that have a little angle out to them. I'm not gonna force us to be completely parallel in the feet. Locate your two hip bones and then your knee caps.

And if you need to do a soft bend of your knees, that line, I do want straight. If your feet evert out a little bit, that's okay. This shouldn't hurt the knees, in other words, just to be here, okay? So then re-straighten and we're gonna start lifting our toes up and down. And so I'm actually lifting a toe pads all the way up, trying to get right on the tripod underneath the foot and you're lifting and you're lowering.

And as you're doing the lifting and lowering of the toe pads, the toes, feel that you're still grounding your tripod in to the mat but you're pulling everything else up, all the way through the legs, into the pelvis, up into the lower stomach. Lower back should still remain long. We're not arching back there. Couple more. Lift those toes, lower those toes.

Now this one, hold the toes up. If you need to look down to do this, you can, but I want you to try to put just your pinky toe down. Some of you, this is gonna be so easy. And then your fourth toe, your third toe, your second toe, your first toe, like you're rolling a piano. Let's do that about five more times.

Ready? Up the toes and lower fifth, fourth, third, second, first. No judging. If you can't get it, don't worry. You get to practice.

I know that my left foot is a little sleepy most of the time so I've gotta put my brain on my left foot. My right leg knows what to do. That's just my personal experience. It's getting better. I do this every day.

Yup, and then one more time. And just after you roll those toes down, just pause and just feel what you feel. Probably a little bit of connectedness at your ankles, kind of the side lateral and maybe the arches of your feet, which is so good. Now, bend both knees and I want you to point those kneecaps straight forward. Okay?

Plumb line. Your head is still over your shoulders and we're basically just gonna stay here for a moment. Okay, that's what we're doing. We're loading our legs. We're in a nice neutral, plumb line spine.

Now, if I were to say let's try to go lower, let's not think it from the knees. Let's think it from our ankles. Ready, go. Ankles flex more, allows us to go lower. Hello, quadriceps.

Boom. Now stay there. I want you to imagine that you're pulling your mat apart. You're not, you're not gonna roll your ankles, okay? None of that.

Kneecaps still forward. But as you pull your mat apart, you should be feeling this wonderful lateral connection into your hips. Then from there, let's hinge right forward over those hip joints. I'm not gonna turn sideways on this first one, but just take yourself into the hinge that you know your hinge is. Yes, recognize your kneecaps are still forward.

Could you bend more at your ankles to go lower in the hinge? And now lastly, before we add on, shift your weight slightly back to your heels. Hello, butt muscles. Do you feel the glutes? Okay.

Now unhinge, stay low. Unhinge torso over legs and then press your tripod feet down into that floor and stand. Okay, so before we do that a few more times, just so that we're not arching our back everybody place one hand right at the base of your ribs, the other hand right behind your rib cage at the lower aspect of the ribs. I like to call it the 12th rib, which it really is. This last guy here, or girl, your ribs, put your hand there.

And so I'm gonna start from the side view. We know some of us love to arch that spot forward and hinge here, so when you hear me say the word hinge, I'm not meaning here in your ribs, meaning in the hip joints. So I'm gonna keep my hands like this on my torso so I can keep myself contained in a way. Let's take the knee bend. I'm gonna rephrase that.

Let's take the ankle bend, flex those ankles. You'll see me go just a wee bit lower. Now we take the hips back, torso is forward. Stay in your hinge at your hips, your hip hinge. Okay?

Stay there. Could you go lower by flexing your ankles more? I think the answer was yes. I felt it from all around the globe. I'm pretty intuitive, you know.

Kidding, okay. And then I'm not kidding, I am. Take your weight back on your heels. Hold there. Release your hands, you don't need them.

How about your take them right here in front of your arm, your shoulders, okay? Now as you unhinge, lower your arms, press to rise. Let's go two more without all the pausing. Bend. Hinge, hold this hinge.

Hold, hold, hold. I want you to get back on your heels more. Flex the ankles more, press those heels down. Now unhinge, press your legs to stand. One more.

Go for it. So maybe you can go lower. Yeah. Some of us can go deeper in the hip joint flexion, the knee flexion, and the ankle flexion. Stay there.

Get those legs in it. Okay, everyone come to stand. Good. Hope you're feeling the massive muscle work in your hip, your posterior hip and your quad. Okay, stand facing forward again.

Roll through the arches of the feet. I'm just rolling onto the ball of each foot. So we're gonna start. We are started and today's the beginning chunk of the class is more leg, standing legwork, okay? So I want your ankles to be pretty warmed up and juicy.

So just do a couple more of these little bits there. Okay, now take one foot. This happens to be my right foot. I've got my heel up. Knees are bent.

Let's bend. Pulse. So as we pulse, I'm pressing the ball of this foot deeply into the floor. The heel is really high. I'm loading my quadriceps.

Good, let's go, eight, seven, six. Knee caps are forward. And four, three, two, and one, now hold it down. Hinge over the hip joints again right here. Hinge, unhinge.

Three more. Hinge, unhinge, and hinge. Remember, it's not the ribs pushing forward. It's your hip hinge on hinge. Press the heel down.

Straighten those legs. Other leg. So you lift the heel. Press through the ball of this foot. Bend, straighten.

Bend the standing knee, straighten, bend. Yes, you can be pulling some awareness into your abdominals. Just a little. You don't need a lot. And bend and bend and hold.

I don't think I did that on the first side. We're gonna pulse this way. It's okay. That and six, we'll hold right here. Hinge again, four times, over and up.

Stay low in that standing knee and up, lower and up. Good. And lower and up. And then place this heel down, straighten both knees, hold right here. We're gonna lift both heels up off the floor.

Ready, go. Heels up, heels down. Let's do 10 of those. Up. You might know what I'm thinking.

I'm pressing my balls of the feet down to lift the heels up behind me. Press down to lift. Five more. Now you can try to do this without rocking forward so much. You're just really rising up and down and rising up.

We're gonna stay up. Hold. Imagine pulling the mat apart like here without rolling your ankle. Just stay there. Focus your eyes somewhere forward.

Okay, lower the heels down. Let's do some Joseph Pilates, genie arms. Everybody rise up to the balls of the feet. Okay, I want you to bend your knees, kneecaps forward. Quadriceps are gonna be loaded.

Your calves are gonna be loaded. Your feet are going to be loaded. Hold here. Let's do 10 pulses. We're going down a little bit, up a little bit.

Focus your eyes on something right in front of you. This is maybe where you need a little more navel inward, no arching spine. Four more, here we go. One and two. It's up to you how low you go.

And one more and then rest, rest, rest. One more around other arm on top. Lift those heels. Now that you know what that is, maybe you can go lower if you want to. I'm gonna try.

If you wiggle, you wiggle. That's part of the journey. Things throw us off a little bit, right? Down and up, down and up. Whoa, down and up.

So I'm concentrating on trying to pull the mat apart a little bit energetically. Five more. Goodness. Four, three, two, whew, one. And everyone relax.

Shake your feet out. Okay, stand wider. Real wide. Take up as much space in your space as you can. Be energy, in other words, take it over.

Okay. I'm feeling strong like the lion on my pants today. I'm gonna pivot my whole body to face that wall. Why don't you pivot yourself in your room, too? Okay, so we have a really wide stance.

Shoulders are square to this wall. Ribs and hips are square. Now the front knee isn't locking, is it? No, 'cause you've got your quadriceps engaged. You've got your butt engaged on this hip.

This leg is getting a good hip extension. What I do want us to do is work with that pushing down in the ball of the foot to lift the heel business. Here we go. Push down, lift the heel. Now, hold there.

This should be contracted, right? Your glutes, right? Keep that engaged, long abdominals up the front, arms wherever you want them. I'm gonna do a little bit of this genie thing again and lower the heel. Nine more.

Lift, lower. Lift, lower. And lift, easy shoulders, meaning don't lift them up and thread your stomach back a little bit. Your lumbar is in a normal neutral arch. This is basically your gait, right?

You're walking. I don't want you to flatten your back. Lift and hold. Okay, I'm taking a change of my hands and putting them on my pelvis. I want to isolate just bending my back knee.

Now, those of you who have some knee stuff, this may not be your favorite move. So don't do it if you don't need to or try it, do it small. Okay? So I've bent the knee. It's a really interesting balance in my back foot.

Now I want to extend the knee and the hip. That comes from right back here, you know that. Extend. Four more. Bend and extend.

Focus your eyes on something, it will help you. Oh, yeah, good muscles working here. Two more, long abdominals for support. Last one, bending the back knee. Okay, now keep your back knee straight.

Bend your front knee and straighten it. Same story. Only as far down as you want to go without any pain in the knee cap. I have more pressure on my heel, by the way, than I do on my toes. Two more and then we'll do two knee bending.

I'm doing creative things with my arms to help me hold my balance. Okay. For myself right now, genie, I'm going to bend both knees down. You know the shape. We did this a lot.

And straighten. Let's think about some good muscles of sports, specificity, hip extensors, right? Front leg glutes also because you're drilling your heel into the floor and your quadriceps. Four more. Let's go down a little lower if you can and up.

Down a little lower if you can. Yes, you can. You can also do hands behind head. Mr. Joseph Pilates would love you for that. He loves us anyway.

And up. Okay, lower arms, abort. Move around. Acknowledge what you feel. The big leg muscles.

Maybe it's because I'm wearing my lion pants. I want to use my big muscles today. Okay. Other side. You know when you dream, sometimes the next morning, I don't know about you, but things get a little colorful.

That's what's happening. Okay, so big stance. Unlock your front knee. So you've got to pull up your quadriceps, really make your thigh work. You've got a good line of hip extension here, long abdominals, okay?

So we're pressing the ball of the foot into the floor, lifting the heel up, and then lowering. Now, if you have bunions, this is not your favorite move. I know because you're rolling right over the big ray. But we also have to keep moving that foot. We've got to keep moving that joint, okay?

The pinky toe should also stay intersected on the floor. You don't want to not have that touching. Press down, five more. Contract your back leg glutes here, right? Four more.

Really push that floor down and lift that heel. Nice job, guys. One more time. Hold, hold, hold. Whatever you want to do with your hands for support.

We took it into bending the back knee, any amount, and straighten. Yes, your balance is gonna be challenged. Don't you need that in life? And again, flex the knee. Extend the knee.

Hip extensor muscles right here if you'd like to think specificity of muscles. Four more and stay square, if you can. All right. It's really easy to turn those pelvises. Lift up through your trunk so you're not sitting down in those lumbar discs, okay?

Bend the front knee, any amount. Drill your heel down. That front heel has to push down into the floor. Try to keep the back leg straight. Good.

Four more. Anywhere you want to put your arms. Three, and then we'll put them together for eight of the lunges or the marriage proposal lunge, holding here. Ready, here we go. Bending both, straightening both, keeping in hip extension on this leg that's I'm facing you here.

That's my left leg. Your other leg, right? Keep that hip in extension. Get that beautiful quadricep hip flexor, lower abdominal stretch. Four more, everybody.

Try your hands behind your head. Test yourself a little bit. Go a little lower. If it hurts, don't do it, but go low. Your muscles need the work.

Two. One more time down and then transition out of it however you wish. How are we doing? You feel your feet and your ankles and your legs. Okay, take a wide stance again.

And why do I keep touching my joints here, hip joints? These are hip joints, right? So just kind of locate those and bend both knees, hinge forward. Now I want you to shift your weight from one side to the other, one leg to the other. Now just keep repeating this, okay?

We are really going to be thinking about pulling the mat apart. Pause on this side. Thanks. Both feet are pushing out. Your ankles aren't rolling but you're imagining you're stretching your mat wide.

How do you feel on this bent leg? But a lot of work probably, hopefully. Okay. Use that push to transfer your weight to this side. Pause.

Are you feeling it the same? Could you get more of the balance and the feeling? I have to activate it more. Most of you know me, this is my sleepy side, my left side. I'm gonna go again over here.

Eight, push, transfer weight. Push, transfer weight. Push and transfer weight, four more. And one, push, two, push, three. It becomes a little dance, doesn't it?

Hold here. Okay, hinge at your hip joints. My torso is nice and low. I'm looking right down at my mat. I'm making sure that my bent knee, kneecap is facing you.

I'm not locking up the other knee. And then transfer weight now down like this, nice and low, and nice and low, and nice and low. If this is too much for you, don't go here, but challenge yourself. Your legs can stand it. Your hips need it.

Good, four more. Here we go, guys. Four, three, two, and hold. You should be on the other side. Unhinge and stretch.

Just take a moment to breathe a little bit. Good. We're not nearly done. Okay, come in closer. And now we're, how does that feel, right?

Good in the hips. So legs underneath your pelvis. Pick a leg to stand on and just bring the other leg up. Whatever happens happens. If you lose your balance, no big deal.

Hold onto your shin. Pull this leg up as high as you can. Yes, your hip is gonna hike. It's okay. It's okay.

The leg you're standing on is what I want us to focus on for a moment. Squeeze that buttock. All you've got, squeeze it, contract the glutes. Pull yourself up high. Now the leg you're holding onto, can the pelvis rotate slightly posterior?

Yup. How's that feel? Just knowledge. Just acknowledge, what does it feel like? Okay, now if you were to try to go more neutral pelvis where you're at, just feel it.

What does it feel like for you? Hmm, I have to lower this leg quite a lot. It's okay. That's more of my neutral pelvis, but we're not always neutral. I hope not.

Take your hand on your shin. Pull it up high. Allow posterior tilt. Feel what you feel. It's okay if you're losing your balance.

Remember, we're not perfect. We're feeling movement, right? We're experiencing movement. Now, if you want to try to go more to neutral, do what you need to do to go more neutral. Currently my body doesn't want to go that way, which is kind of nice.

Likes to take a little risk. Okay, one more time. Yeah. Good thing movement is not supposed to be perfect, right? And then neutral and then set this leg down and just feel what you feel.

Okay. Pretty cool, right? Just feeling yourself. Other side, up we go. And yes, we'll get down to the floor in a minute.

Maybe, we will. Okay, hold on to that shin. Pull it up as high as you can. The leg you're standing on, can you contract your gluteals? Firm, strong, be tall.

Okay. Now let's all allow a little more posterior tilt in pelvises. Just feel what you feel. Mm-hmm. Okay, and now can you go more neutral pelvis?

Check it out. And then two more. Ready, go up. Really pull, contract standing leg glutes, pull quad up, posterior tilt, and then neutral. I suddenly heard the song "Welcome to the Jungle" just pass through my head, Guns N' Roses.

Welcome to the jungle. I'm in rare form this morning. Okay. And then stand. Okay, feel what you feel.

All right, now, parallel legs. Back to home. Bend ankles and knees to come down into a hinge. Ooh, hello, ankles feel better. Okay, hinge over hips.

We're gonna take our one leg. This happens to be my right leg. Doesn't matter to me which one because you're gonna do two. Take one leg out to the side, please, just take it out. Okay.

I pointed my foot. I'm gonna flatten it so I've got the whole foot down. Feel ground. Can you hinge over this leg more? Okay.

Whatever you want to do with your hands. I tend to like to have my hands help me cue myself. This hand is gonna go here and this hand's gonna go on my tush, okay? I use those hands to keep this femur in good behavior so it doesn't collapse in or go too far out. Now shift over to the leg.

See if you can lift this one up and do it. Remember, it's not perfect. Work your muscles. Five more, everybody. Go lower in your hinge if you can.

Four. Weight is back on this heel. Three, two, and one. Stay low. Transfer your weight.

I need to get over here. Okay. Hand in the middle of the knee, hand on the tush. Feeling muscles, feeling alignment. Hinge, load, lift.

One, two, three. Hello, leg. Yes, ankle stability, good. Five more, guys. Five.

Four, maybe ask a little support from the abdominals. And two, one, stand. We're up for another round. Yes, because we need it. Don't question yourself.

Go right to it. You've got this, you guys. You came to work. Five, four, three, two. Hold it up on one.

Hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it. Five little pulses. One, two, three, four, five. Don't overthink it, go. One, two, trust yourself.

Three, just move. Four, keep it up there. Five, hold it, hold it, hold it. Five little pulses, whatever that means. Two, three, four.

Can she do it? Five. Okay, good. Hello. Hello, body.

Feels good. Wiggle your hips. Shake it out. Do a little Beyoncé move, wiggle your hips. Okay, I'm gonna stand this way.

I'm gonna bend the knees. I'm gonna round my spine. Oh, that feels good to round. Sweep your arms, maybe like lines, just real loose, just sweep. Okay, get lower so that you can put your fingertips on your floor, on your mat.

Walk out until your hands are flat. If you want to go down dog, go for it. Just feel your weight on your hands and your feet. I did this last week, felt kind of nice. And I want us to shift from right to left side.

So my feet are still anchored. My heels are flat. I'm looking at my toes. I'm noticing I'm not white knuckling my toes. How about you?

And no big deal if you were white knuckling. Just giggle and go, yep, yeah, she caught me or she made me notice. I didn't catch you. Teachers make us notice things, that's what we do, and the students receive information, right? So beautiful relationships we have with each other.

Okay, pause. Feel hands and feet. Lower your knees. Good. Come into quadruped, everybody.

Hands right below shoulders. Let's do some cat back, breathe in, round your back. I want you to press your arms into the floor like you mean it. Lift your back up. You're not hunching your spine.

You're lifting your body into flexion, right? You're not shrugging your shoulders. You're really lifting also your lumbar. Take this time to press your shins down and your feet down. And maybe the tops of the feet help you get your lumbar more flexed.

For those of us with my body type, you know, arched back, that really is important. Now sink your hips back toward your heels. Stay in flexion, please. Ah, lengthen that lumbar spine. Lengthen that lumbar spine.

And my hip, my hip bones went right to my heels. I'm going to come up onto my quadruped, rounded spine. Elongate to neutral spine and shift weight over hands. I'm not going into more extension. I don't need it right now.

I'm in neutral spine and I just want us to shift weight over hands, forward to back. Now, what can we be thinking with the arms? We did, you know, full, full load up on the legs. Right now as we're loading the arms, yeah, we're in external rotation of upper arm. I am slightly pulling my mat apart also.

Okay, pause in neutral. Let's breathe in. Head to tail cat. Here we go. Again, take the time, round your lower back more.

It's like almost you have to, for me, I have to make my lower abdominal muscles kind of weave toward one another to open up that sacrum and then I'm gonna end lumbar and move that shape back. Yeah. Now go all the way back, everybody, so that your sit bones are sitting on your heels. Bow down a little bit. Just put your forehead or top of head down and slide your hands so that they're back by your feet.

Yep, it kind of looks like a child's pose. We're only gonna be here for a moment, although we could stay awhile. Now with your arms, start to widen your arms out away from your feet and then only open as wide as you can with your palms facing up. Most of us can only go a certain amount, okay? Now I want you to start externally rotating your upper arms.

Palms should now be facing the floor and then continue sweeping arms all the way up above your head as if you were kind of doing another kind of the child's pose, right? So your hands are way in front of you now. Guess what they're ready for? You to load them, press your body up into your cat. I'm looking at the lion on my pants.

I'm gonna move this cat forward, staying in flexion as long as I can. And then at the very end here, I'm pretty much maxed out. I'm gonna let my hips come down, pushing my floor down. I'm looking forward. We're doing some Kathy Grant cat work.

Of course we are. Okay, and look, we're kind of in a swan, right? Look up higher if you can. Now, from this position, sit your sit bones way out, arch your back a lot, arch your back a lot, and keep looking forward as long as you can. I'm looking forward.

I'm looking forward. Yes, my eyes are starting to change. I'm seeing my mat now. I'm putting my head down on my mat and then the cat goes back to sleep. Let's take the arms all the way back as they started.

We're gonna do that one or two more times with more flow. So your hands are by your legs. Palms are face up, open arms away from you. Upper arm is in internal rotation. Start to rotate it to external.

Sweep the arms in front of you. You may have to wiggle your hands. Here we go to cat. Widen your paws of your hands. Press the feet down, press the shins down, carry your spine into flexion all the way.

Your hips will come down and voila. The body knows it needs to go to extension now. It's just harmonious how it happens, right? I'm getting a stomach stretch. Look up as high as you can.

Push the arms down, engage your hamstrings. Take a breath. Now we're gonna go back. Lift your sit bones, guys. Lift your sacrum, lift your tail.

Stay looking up. This is lots of extension of those spine. Keep looking up as long as you can. Reach the butt back. Stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch.

Forehead down, arms sweep around. We'll do one more. Here we go, big breathing. Widen your cat paws. Put weight on and lift into cat, coming down into that beautiful extension.

Just lift. Now, stay here. Wiggle a little bit. You guys know I really liked the summit. Excuse me.

Lean toward you. I'm looking over that shoulder, happens to be my right one. I'm gonna flex that knee a little bit and just kind of pick up the foot. Just feel what you feel. It's a really lovely stretch on the other hip and abdomen.

I think you can feel that. Let's switch-a-roo, ready? Bend and wiggle the foot. Feel like you can reach the pelvic half more toward the floor and then even it out. I want everybody to come all the way down onto their body, forward body, front body.

Wiggle into place if you need it. Okay. And then just stack your hands and just put your forehead down. Legs are long behind you. Enjoy a moment of nothing.

Just be here. Lengthen your body down. Okay? Engage your buttocks, press your hips into the floor, lift both legs up, and start to flutter the legs. We did that last week.

I do it a lot. We want to keep those knees straight and flutter from your hips. Lift your forehead off your hands. Lift your hands off the floor. Put your hands on the side of your thighs.

Keep fluttering those legs. Keep fluttering, keep fluttering, keep fluttering. Now if this is too much in your back, just take a little rest. I'm gonna keep going. I'm gonna put my hands by my shoulders.

I'm gonna put them on the mat. I'm gonna stop the flutters. I'm gonna lower my legs. Please do the same thing. See if you can now press back up into that cat or that swan.

Excuse me, different animal. Swan, swan, swan. And then we're going back into that extension. Come all the way down. Yay.

Okay, we're gonna do a couple traditional exercises. Single leg kick. Come on onto your elbows. Do what you need, arm position, leg position. I'm narrow with my legs.

I'm looking forward. I'm slightly lifted. One heel, kick, kick, down. Kick, kick down. Yeah, we have stable shoulders.

Stable shoulders, strong upper back. Four more, guys. Four, three, two, one. And then let's go for double leg kick. We'll do four repetitions.

Put one facial cheek down, hands in the small of the back. You can clasp or stack. It's your style, do what you need. Kick two, three, and make this feel good. Take your time.

Open the ribs. Open them. Turn to the other side. Three kicks. One, two, three.

Take your time. Collarbone and upper ribs are so wide. One more, you decide. And one, two, three, and open the ribs where the heart is, the lungs are, give them space. Turn other side and one, two, three, and open.

Okay, glorious. Come back into one more cat, rounded cat, and then tuck your toes. Let's get a neutral cat. Okay. Some of us called this to float the cat.

You could just hover the knees. It's all relatively the same thing. It's a lot of good work. So hover your knees. You're on your hands and your toes.

Your balls of feet start to move forward and back. Okay. Yup. Adjust your feet back if you need to. A lot of good upper body, lower body connection now.

Four, three. We're gonna jump our feet to our hands. Go, jump. Did you make it? Adjust your hair as if you need to.

Have a seat. I'm gonna turn this way just because I always face that way so I'm trying to change my look in terms of how I look over my shoulder. Here we go, breathe in. We're gonna go half roll backs, guys. Half roll backs, half roll back.

Flex the spine. Get to your sacrum, excuse me, and your lumbar spine, maybe to the 12th rib. And roll back up. We'll do three more. Maybe we can do a little hands on elbows.

Try it, hands in front, straight arms, do what you need. I like hands on elbows because I can really focus on kind of dialing my pelvis back, more posterior. It's back, now I gotta get lumbar flexion, get the 12th rib down and come up. Two more. Go.

Right, look forward. Let it happen. Ah, I got an adjustment. I don't know if anyone heard that. As soon as I said let it happen, my body went okay, in a spot that feels usually really compressed.

So let's see. We're gonna go all the way down. Oh, got another one. Okay, lay flat. I like the decompression, that feeling.

I don't like going to the chiropractor 'cause they can never really do it but if I do my own work really well and intense and mental work, I can decompress beautifully. Feet flat, hands flat, bridge, roll up. Okay. We've been into extension already lots. If your back is feeling icky 'cause you've done a lot of extension, you don't have to be so high up on your upper back.

You can actually stay down at the base of your ribs. In fact, why don't we all come down for a minute? Everyone come down, come down to the base of your ribs, that 12th rib and just let your body weight go from right foot to left foot. Like you're on a hammock. Boy, my visuals are really happening today.

You're on a hammock. There's a cool breeze kind of breezing off some of this hot body that you have right now. Just notice how your body shifts maybe. Intention, okay. Find center.

In other words, stop moving side to side and roll back down to the mat. Okay. I'm curious about something. Before we go bridgey, go back halfway bridge, just your halfway bridge. You're still in your hammock swinging, kind of imagine that.

Now what does it feel like for you to take one leg off the floor? You could table top it or you could just take it and reach it out. Do whatever you want to do with that. So your one leg, enjoy the load on that leg, right? And then can you shift your weight a little from side to side?

Just, you know, moving while, just keep moving in a lot of different directions and you'll feel different aspects of muscle contraction. Maybe you need a little more on this edge or that edge kind of thing, you know? All right, guys. Take the foot down. Other side.

Still same posterior tilt, right? Or your flexion, and then shift a little weight side to side. Just notice what you notice. Just moving, exploring. You're on a little physical exploration.

If it hurts, don't do it. Okay, and then set the foot down. Now arms by sides. Maybe you have more freedom in your body to go higher, if you wish, up into your upper back, okay? What I'd like us all to explore now is walk our shoulders close together underneath our back.

Clasp your hands together and press the edges of your hands way down on the mat. Use your shoulders, in other words. Press those hands down. Walk feet closer together. Here we go.

Shoulder bridge. Take one leg up. Hold it there. Hold it, hold it, hold it. Flex it down.

Flex it up. Point it down, point it up. Again, flex it down, flex it up. Point it down, point it up. One more round of flex, flex, point, point, and set the foot down.

Don't come out of your stance. Regroup it. You may want to clasp your hands the other way. Just experience the weird feeling of that. Take the leg up.

Point down, point up. Flex down, flex up. Point down. It doesn't matter, really. I mean there is, yes, it does matter what the foot is doing.

Today, you're exploring. Okay, one more of each, point and point and flex and flex and then set the foot down. Release your hands, roll your spine down. When your pelvis gets down, bring your thighs to you and hug yourself. I'm gonna rephrase what I was starting to say there.

It does matter in shoulder bridge what the foot is pointing or flexing on which direction. When our leg comes in front of us, it's usually flexed foot. When the leg goes behind us, a hip extension is pointed or extended. Just today, I didn't want to focus so much on that. So, okay.

Chest up. What? Bring your chest up. Flex your feet now. Flex your ankles.

Put your hands on the outer pinky toe edge and pull your feet so close to you. Let your sacrum and your lumbar spine flex underneath you. Get yourself in your tiny little roly poly body. Stay there. Ready for a double leg?

Yeah, let's do six of them, okay? Extend your angles and stretch. Grab your toes, today it's different. Yes, it's different, feel it. Extend.

Hold, tighten your stomach. Get in that small ball. Stretch long, small ball. Three more. Small ball.

Let your back flex for you. Last one. Hold, pick a leg for scissor. Oh, yeah. Ready?

Pull, pull, pull, pull, stretch, stretch. I'm pulling on my leg, but I'm trying to lift it up, lift up and pull behind me. Lift up and pull behind, up and pull behind. Eight more, not now, but starting here. Eight, seven.

Pull up and behind, up and behind, loosen up those tissues. One more. Hold your legs in. Roll up. Ah, let's go for rolling like a ball, okay?

Bring your hips to your heels. Pause. Bring your hips back. Put your hands on your mat. Lift your hips up.

Bring your sit bones as close to your heels as you possibly can. Check into it. How close are you? Could you go closer? I'm pretty well there.

That's nice for me. And then go back. Twice more, guys, here we go. Lift sit bones like they're gonna kiss the heels. Do a rounding of your back.

Lift and put your hips as far back as you can. You're probably saying, Amy, you said rolling like a ball. Well, I'm preparing us for it. Get your hip bones really close and lift and go back. Now we're ready.

Come all the way up. Grab your ankles or where you need to go for ball. Go six times. No judging. Let it go.

Ooh. Three. Two. Say over one, stay over there. Put your hands behind your back so you're kind of in a rollover setup.

Just stay there. Your hands are holding your pelvis. Wiggle your elbows closer behind your back. I don't have my feet forced to the floor. If your feet are on the floor and you're there, awesome, rock it out.

I'm not, I'm not gonna force it. I'm basically supporting... Hmm, I'm gonna rephrase that. I am supporting my body, holding my back. I want us to lift our legs any amount higher and look up at your toes.

Hello, toes. And then lower your legs toward your torso but keep your pelvis in the air. Hi, my hands are on my lumbar muscles, kind of giving them encouragement to lengthen, lengthen. I'm going to raise those legs. Let's hold this for a moment or two longer.

Look up at your toes, maybe smile and go, wow. I'm actually kind of in that what could be the jackknife place but usually hands are on the floor. That's okay. Control balance kind of preparation, whatever and lower the legs. How'd it feel, guys?

Try it again. I think some of us just smiled at each other. So for a lot of us, this is not usually that accessible when we're going super fast, right? It could be a little scary for some being over the shoulders and doing this little inversion. So I snuck it in and definitely taking it slow.

Okay, so there you are. If you like control balance where your hands are in the normal place, which would be on the mat or overhead, take them there. I am not going to do that. I would like to take one leg down lower. As I work on extending the leg in the air, I want to extend my hip with that leg.

Hello, and lower the leg down. Switch them. The leg in the air is the one I want to focus on right now and the height of my back and the height of my pelvis. Yeah, let's do one more each side. I know your hands might be getting tired.

Switch. Yeah, guys, awesome. Change. How do I know it's awesome? Because I know.

I told you, I'm intuitive, I can tell. Bend your knees toward you. Good, you giggled. Two, let go and let's roll up to our sitting position. Go, let go and roll up.

Good, face me. Sit in a straddle, please. If you need to wipe off your sweat like I do, do that. If you need to roll up your mat, do that, whatever. Put your hands in front of you, okay?

And I want you to bend your elbows and lean toward your forward, okay? Yeah, many of you know I'm I love visual imagery and for me it just really puts me in another place of how I move, not necessarily what is the task I'm doing kind of thing. So right now, what I'm imagining is that there's a pool of water right here, which you well could be outside doing this, you know, looking at some water. And what do you see in the water besides your reflection? Maybe there's some little koi fish in there or you know, water, the grass or rocks or something.

So yes, you're doing a physical stretch of your hamstrings, but let your brain go somewhere else and it might enjoy the physical thing a little more, right? Bend your elbows. Stay there and can you bend more on your elbows and maybe see what's deeper at the bottom of the little pond there? What's down in the bottom? You've gotta really get down and look at it and come on up.

I don't know what you saw. I saw some cool stuff. Hands behind your head. Side bend, lateral trunk flexion. Think of this elbow kind of getting to the back of the other knee.

Yep. And then all the way up, other side. So we're just gonna keep this simple, go side to side. And you might say, what kind of imagery can I use now? Well, hmm.

Windshield wipers, rainbows, any kind of arc. Nothing. Trunk flexion. Go to the second side. How about strong bodies?

How about strong lower backs? Resilient. Yeah, that's a good one. Adaptive. Four more.

Yeah, our sit bones are staying on the floor. If they lose ground a little bit, okay. Ideally they don't but, you know, your body weight's shifting so it's gonna probably shift the base of you just a wee bit. Okay, stay to the side, please. That's side bend.

Let's go to rotation. Put your hands on the mat, right on either side of your knee and flex your spine, bend those elbows a little bit and let's just come toward that leg slightly. That's it. And then go back to your side bend and we'll come up other side, side bend, rotation, hands on the mat, and just a little bit of bend over that leg. Okay, great.

Yep, and then all the way up, guys. So I want you to put the soles of your feet together and get your hips pretty close to your heels. If you'd like to, press your knees wide. So kind of old-fashioned stretches right now, yeah? Good.

So we did a lot at the beginning in our hips and our quads and our glutes and our ankles. We were on the mat. We did I would say decent amount in our upper body and shoulders. We can do a little more for the upper body in the shoulders. And so let's do some push-ups.

Let's go for it, and do the style of push-up that you like, okay? I'm gonna go on my knees. I'm just not going in my plank push-ups these days but I am gonna go on my hands and my knees and I'm leaning my hips forward. Okay. Bring in some good awareness of your shoulder position and your core support, and let's go.

I'm gonna go for eight to 10 of these. Do what you want. Let's breathe. I'm halfway there. Two more.

And rest. Okay, good. Come up on high kneeling, please. High kneeling. And why do I do this position so often?

I like to do high kneeling and the side bend. I think it's a great exercise. It's good to have your body open up, open up your hip joints in this range. You can go tenting your fingers like this, flat hand, fist, what have you, and let's just take this arm and stretch, okay? You also know I'm talking a lot about this stays, your pelvis stays in good behavior.

You don't flex your hips. We did that at the beginning of the hour. Press your hips forward. Pubic bone and two hips are in this plane. Your spine and chest are in alignment.

You can take your arm overhead. Let's go for a side bend. Just enjoy it, enjoy it. You can twist and do all the things that you like or you can stay simple and try to lift your hips higher. Open that heart side to the ceiling, that rib side to the ceiling.

Awesome, you guys are so good, I can tell. Come on over, other side. Ready, down you go. Remember, keep your hips in good behavior. No arching of that, no flexing in the hips.

So your buttock should be contracted on this kneeling side and the other side. Breathe. Ready? Where you want to go. The ceiling body is reaching to the ceiling.

Breathe, breathe, breathe. Open the skin. Knee down. Okay, everyone come one plank. I am doing planks, I'm just not doing plank push-ups.

Okay, so I want you to do feet apart. Like we did a few minutes ago, bend and straighten those knees. I'm looking at my fingertips. Hips are going back. Three more, and on the third, we're gonna jump our feet to our hands.

Two. Are you ready? Go, jump and hold. Fun, isn't that? Stretch your legs.

Okay, stretch your legs. Bend the knees deeply. Swing the arms however you swing them. I'm gonna pulse the knees a little bit. I'm just rounding that spine and loosely coming up to standing.

I'm gonna stay facing you now. And we've rewound our low movement journey and here we are as we started. Stand on your two feet, ground your legs down as we started, and rewind. Do you feel better than you did when you started class? I do.

How do you feel in your muscles, in your joints, your skin, your heart rate, body temperature, awareness, spirit? That should be a big one. Thank you guys so much for letting me come and teach and be myself. Arms up. Take it all in, take a deep breath, you guys, and press it down.

Yeah, again, I just can't say thank you enough and thank you for typing in messages in the forums. Lawrence, you guys are so great. Love it. Everyone is. I really love the feedback because it helps me know who you are and what you like and what you respond to.

But more importantly, it's just our communication, which we know is absolutely vital in the world that we're in. So please keep communicating with me, to each other. Go give your people hugs right now and kisses and do your things. It's 9:30 for us so we've got a work day ahead, but great week ahead. Cure lamb starts, Kristi Cooper's here.

We've got some amazing people teaching this coming up, you guys, so voila, make it a good day.

Pilates with Amy Havens: Move with Amy

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Oct 27, 2020
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1 person likes this.
This was amazing!  Thank you for all of the standing work at the beginning. 
Bryn M
1 person likes this.
Great balance work which I always need but don't always do.  Thanks.  
2 people like this.
Amy, great class. This has been inspiring as I love to teach in this way, I love the way the class flowed with the cat being the central thread that flowed through class. And that turning into a jackknife/roll-over etc was so great. 
That was great Amy, thank you - feel so much better for it!
2 people like this.
Thank you Amy! I really enjoyed the standing and balancing, not easy for me but tried my best. I'm grateful for great instructors like you! 
1 person likes this.
The standing work in the beginning was something I have personally been missing from my workouts as of late.  I loved this class.  I love your spirit.  Exactly what I needed today, thank you.  Much gratitude to you and Pilates Anytime!
Amy that was amazing. I loved channeling the inner wild cat. I deeply appreciate you and your approach to movement. 
2 people like this.
I'm always wanting to comment not even a minute into your classes - I love your warm, inviting energy just as much as I do your movement. Thanks and hugs from Portland, OR
Fiona O
1 person likes this.
Great class Amy!!!
I’m surprised I could squat as far as I could. 
1 person likes this.
i feel so much better after, than before, thank you amy
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