Class #4246

Fundamentally Speaking

55 min - Class


Karen Sanzo brings her twist to various props in her series Power of Props with Karen. In this class, you will use the Overball to create 360º breath awareness before moving into Pilates fundamentals and a few full Mat exercises. She also shares a poem at the beginning that metaphorically describes the breath as life's teacher. This is a great class to regroup your practice since it's nothing fancy or too tricky.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

About This Video

Oct 23, 2020
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The breath is life's teacher. Observe me, says the breath, and learn to live effortlessly in the present moment. Feel me, says the breath, and feel the ebb and flow of life. Allow me, says the breath, and I'll sustain and nourish you, filling you with energy and cleansing you of tension and fatigue. Move with me, says the breath and I'll invite your soul to dance.

Make sounds with me and I shall teach your soul to sing. Follow me, says the breath, and I'll lead you out to the farthest reaches of the universe and inward to the deepest parts of your inner world. Notice, notice, says the breath that I am as a valuable to you coming or going, that every part of my cycle is as necessary as another, that after I'm released, I return again and again, that even after a long pause moments when nothing seems to happen, eventually I am there. Each time I come says the breath, I am a gift from life, and yet I am released without regret, without suffering and without fear. Notice how you take me in and says the breadth.

Is it with joy? Is it with gratitude? Do you take me in fully? Do you invite me into all the inner spaces of your home or carefully into just the front foyer? What places in you am I not allowed to nourish?

Hi, I'm so glad that you joined this live show today. Well, show it's not a show, it's a session with a ball and it's going to encompass the breath, the diaphragm of core separate your upper cavity into your lower cavity. We'll start this in standing, I invite you to join me with your ball. Take it out in front, take an inhale, take your breath in and exhale, bring it out. What I'd like you to do today with me just to start, it seems like it's a little bit slow, but it will pick up.

I'd like you to take your breath in through your nose and out through your nose. I'll be quiet and you'll be quiet. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) One more. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Take the ball, place it under one of your arms and let your arms rest right into your ribs. Side bend in the opposite direction so that you feel the right ribs inhale into the ball.

Allow your arm to rest on the ball and take your breath in through your nose and out through your nose today. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Three cycles. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Switch sides. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Notice your breath, notice when you breathe in, do you grip into your back or do you feel your breath up? We want to fill the breath up and not grip up.

Let's try it two more times. I know you all are good breathers, this just gets all our nervousness out, all our preparation out, and now take the ball on top of your head. Seems silly, I know, lace your fingers, press down on the ball, gently bend your knees and then straighten your knees. As you grow up tall, crown of the head into the ball, inhale bend. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Can you breathe laterally into your lungs?

These ribs behave like bucket handles, they go up and down on either side. Fill them laterally and posteriorly. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Now going to bend your knees then around your torso, put the ball in your tummy, curl your bottom, let the ball make you feel like you're doing the hundred beats in your chest. Load your legs, breathe. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Try really hard in this first five to 10 minutes of the session to breathe in through your nose and out through your nose, just give it a try.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) Every time you exhale, see if the ball can get pushed in a little further so that when you breathe in the next couple of times, the breath comes laterally. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) It wouldn't be surprising if your legs are starting to get loaded a little bit. See if you can round forward a little bit more into that little ball shape. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Last one. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Push the legs straight, tighten your tush, bring yourself all the way up to standing.

Narrow the legs, take your arms down by your side, gently draw your abdomen in but not gripping it, okay? We're gonna fill up and invite the breath instead of gripping. Now we just start a little marching with the legs, don't roll your eyes, okay, the exercises will pick up but now we're getting a long torso and we're just marching the legs with the breath. Then when you're ready, we'll take one leg out in front, press the ball into that leg. It's gonna be a little wobbly, I can't see you.

If you have to stop and catch yourself, that's certainly fine, and then we'll switch. And then we'll switch. Go through two breath cycles. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Switch one more time. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Step towards the back of your mat.

Bring yourself down to your hands and knees. Take your rib packaging backwards and start to round over the ball. If your ball is filled too much, this might be a little bit uncomfortable but we won't be here long. Why are we doing this? Well, I'm gonna push my mat away and I'm flexing my trunk over the ball, allowing my back posterior ribs to try to fill posteriorly and laterally.

So I'm inviting the breath to my back body, two cycles. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Bringing myself out to the quadruped position, I'm gonna let my ball stay there for a second. I'm gonna recognize my spine now in relatively neutral, two breaths. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) I'm not moving my spine when I inhale or exhale, expanding the breath, inviting it in. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Minimize any gripping.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) Now that I have my core engaged in this neutral position, I'm gonna take the ball in front of me with one hand, reach it long. And then as I bring it in, my opposite knee will come in and the ball and the knee will press together as I curl my tailbone round into flection, two cycles. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Return the ball, hands on the ground, one cycle of extension. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Returned to neutral-ish, right? Take the ball in your other hand, inhale, exhale, ball to knee, knee to ball rounding spine as much from the bottom as from the top, inviting the breath into the back body, two cycles.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) Ball down, hand down, cycle yourself through extension, be patient with the breath, neutral, pause. Inhale three seconds, exhale, curl. In the curl now I'm gonna push my hands forward, sit my bottom back, my head comes to the ball. As you gently press your head into the ball where your hairline is, okay. If you don't have a receding hairline that is, so push your head into the ball and let your eyes glance underneath your bottom.

That gives you a flection connection in the front of your neck and in the front of your ribs all the way through. So the back body is long, front body is short. This will repeat itself in the exercise rolling like a ball, inhale. (Karen inhaling) Exhale. (Karen exhaling) Crawl your hands in, unwind your spine and bring yourself all the way back up to vertical.

Last one, ball in the belly, rounding forward smash the ball, reach your arms. Now take your hands to one side until you feel that lateral side open, two cycles. (Karen exhaling) So we're breathing in for three and out for three, that's one cycle. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Using that ball to invite the breath. Again here, the ball is kind of restricting my front body from pushing forward and inviting my back body to fill.

Reaching this arm way away as I side bend. Back to center, crawl yourself in, push yourself on your shins, bring yourself up to high kneeling. Recognize this high kneeling position as your shins down to engage your bum and your thighs and your front rib package kind of back, ball on top of the head again, hands on top of the ball, elbows in your peripheral vision. Now we head into thoracic extension or upper back extension. I'm going to inhale now and my sternum is going to behave like a pump handle.

So the pump handle of the ribs is from the sternum doing a pump handle versus the bucket handle of the ribs which is this way. And what we really want is the full breath, okay. So hands on top of the ball, crown of the head reaching up and then inhaling go back for three counts. (Karen inhaling) Exhale forward. (Karen exhaling) Be sure you can see your elbows, excuse me, in your peripheral vision.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) Present your chest to the ceiling, exhale, stay here. (Karen exhaling) Inhale more, go back more. Notice that the chest is lifting higher, upper back extension, exhale, bring it all the way forward. Bring yourself to lie down on your back. Take your pelvis, lift it up, put the ball underneath your bum.

Now, bend your knees into your chest, stay with me here. Allow the ball to posteriorly tilt your pelvis so that might mean you have to kind of fall back a little bit and let your legs come to about a 45 degree, I mean, about a 90 degree angle, okay. So hold there, be a little wobbly, that's certainly fine. Now as you tilt your pelvis, use your abdomen to tilt your pelvis instead of just folding your knees in in a rest position. So the thighs are vertical, the belly pulls in, the tailbone curls.

Settle in here, you might need to wiggle your shoulders a little bit, why are we doing this? Well, we're engaging the belly to posteriorly tilt the pelvis without shortening the shoulders. We're inviting those same back ribs to heavy down into the mat as we breathe two cycles. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) And if you think about it, you can inhale your breath and do that, or you could inhale your breath and you'll feel your posterior ribs almost go down, this is major trunk work at the bottom. And then you can bring your knees into your chest and you'll notice that that's a resting position which is fine, but we don't wanna stay there too long because this is work.

Inhale. (Karen inhaling) Exhale. (Karen exhaling) Now, recognize your body in this posterior tilt, the ball helping you passively to get that posterior tilt. Now we start a knees way side to side. It's a small knees way, you're in a posterior tilt from the action of your lowest belly at your pubic bone, not your ribs gripping, you're inviting the work and inviting your breasts, come back to center, knees in, pause.

It's always okay to pause. Back to vertical, legs lengthen up, flex the feet. My hamstrings aren't particularly tight if yours are, of course you bend your knee, because what you want is this vertical thigh bone. Now in this position, you're gonna inhale as you exhale. I'm gonna tip the pelvis, and the pelvis will be what invites my legs to move, which is different than just throwing my legs up.

Invite the pelvis, (Karen exhaling) tilt it. The low back journeys back down to the ground, the back ribs are down to the ground, the front pelvis lifts. It's much how you start short spine on the reformer. Inhale again. (Karen inhaling) Exhale, tilt the pelvis.

(Karen exhaling) So you really have to be very mindful of this tipping of the pelvis that it doesn't become a gripping of the pelvis. That would be a good t-shirt, tip, don't grip. One more time, inhale (Karen inhaling) and then exhale. (Karen exhaling) Scoop and tip, straighten legs, one leg lowers don't change anything. If somebody were to walk by and see somebody doing this, it wouldn't look like anything at all, but you know that you're tipped from your belly and your legs are challenging.

Two legs up, bend the knees, pause. Back to vertical legs. Now, if your hip flexors are going, oh my gosh, why is she doing this? My hip flexors are grabbing, then your legs are being controlled by your hip flexors which is a true statement, but you may be letting go of that deepest part of your core. So pull the pubic bone up and your belly in and feel that load in your front core.

And then we'll start to corkscrew the legs. So do not let the front low core go as you circle the legs. Wanna make it a little more challenging? Hover your hands up, whoa, hover your hands up. Good, knees come in, hug, hold, pause.

Now, take your legs to 90, start to allow your pelvis to go away from you as your feet touch the floor but don't just dump into extension, okay? Allow the pelvis to go towards an anterior tilt with control and then let it come into a posterior tilt with control. Anterior tilt, my abdominals get long, posterior tilt, no butt squeezing, no gripping, only tipping. One more time, reaching it away, curling it in, arms down, legs come up, last session here, I mean, last exercise here on the ball. Okay, so two legs face the ceiling, if your knees need to bend that fine.

Legs will go to the left, two breath cycles over here to the left. You're going to feel your right side more. Inhale, (Karen inhaling) exhale, curl. (Karen exhaling) Inhale, exhale, stay. Legs to center, and then legs to the right.

Now you feel the left, inhale, (Karen inhaling) exhale, curl. (Karen exhaling) Inhale, exhale, stay, everything comes back to center, knees come in, feet come down, but off the ball, and then lie your back down. Take the ball, just put it between your knees. You're not gonna squeeze it, we don't need to overwork those adductors right now, we're just holding the ball. Now, I believe, or for me it's true, that my back ribs are heavier down to the mat and my torso is long, so I don't need to change anything.

Now, for some of you, if you feel like with your back ribs down that your head did this, then you need to get a towel, or a little cushion and you need to put it under your head, and that allows your ribs to stay heavy much like when you have the headrest of the reformer up. I don't need that, so I'm gonna take it away, but be sure and use it if you need to. Now, in this next tipping bridge, I'm gonna pretend like that ball, the ball being my prompt for what? The breath, the invitation. Tip in, sorry this sounds a little lecturery and then curl, well, I'm not really sorry those of you that understands how I teach, so, you know, lift up and hold, and then I'm gonna rest my ribs down, noting my ribs, not ripping my bottom, and then rolling my pelvis down and rolling it to neutral, and then rolling it into a little anterior tilt from my hip joint, not just lifting my ribs.

And then I'm gonna exhale, belly sinks, inhale into my back, invite the tip, exhale, deepen, curl more. So now, I'm here, I am in a bridge, I'm gonna bring my feet under my knees if they aren't already there. And now I'm gonna tuck my shoulder blades in, I call it like sticking your sheets in, you know, when you make your bed, lean to one side, tuck your sheets in, lean to the other side. I want you to resist clasping your fingers, and I want you to maximize the blades, and the deepening of your abdomen and now breath here. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) You'll notice that your glutes are starting to kick in without even squeezing your bottom, because your glutes work because your butt is lifted.

Now let's talk to the hand position in this bridge. Let the breath come through your body expanding your ribs laterally and also lifting that pump handle and now your sternum is gonna start to go towards your chin, not your chin towards your sternum. So leave your eyes to the ceiling, leave the bridge of your nose pulling back into the mat, and then slowly drip, drip, drip, inviting the breath in and out of all those places, inhale again. (Karen inhaling) Exhale. (Karen exhaling) Tip.

Take as many breaths as you need to build up that breath into your back body. As the bridge starts to build, you start to build tension in your bottom, arms are down. I'm gonna hold this bridge and then I'm gonna invite my chest, my thoracic spine to start to link them upward. This actually is the start of a back bend. I'm not squeezing the daylights out of the ball, I'm just holding it, and then I'm gonna lower myself down.

Now my legs move away. I'm gonna bring myself up to sitting, I take the ball, and now I'm gonna put the ball behind my back because now the ball is gonna invite me into extension. Notice here that my pubic bone and my pelvis aren't going to change but I'm gonna let that pump handle action of my chest go back. If you need to support your head with your hands, let's go ahead and do that, and that's fine. Elbows in peripheral vision, inhale.

(Karen inhaling) So now your inhale, the breath is going to go this way. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) The diaphragm still has to descend, you have to allow all your ribs to open. Can your hands go back? Hey, it's okay if the answer's no, you keep your hands wherever you need to. But what I'm doing is I'm trying to open my chest without gripping into the back, so I'm making an invitation to all this breath without gripping into extension, two seconds.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) I'm gonna glide my hands behind my head, lift up, with control, just gonna bring myself up to sitting, take the ball in front. Now we'll start to breathe in and roll backwards, the ball will be gently between the knees. So for some of you, this is gonna be a lot harder than you're used to. So as we tip the pelvis back, we're only gonna go with the distance that the feet want to pop up, or until I feel like I'm gonna fall, and then I'm gonna curl back up over my belt. If you need to hang on to your legs, then you do that.

But I'm not just falling back, I'm working the tipping of the pelvis without ripping my bottom and my legs are kinda soft. Just take time to work the tip. Working the tip of the pelvis really gets you lengthened and then we come up. Let's do that one more time, tipping up the pelvis without gripping of the button. That's why I have the knees bent by the way because then the pelvis can rotate around the joint of the hips, whoa, my voice is shaky, and then we come up, that's enough of that.

Now, with the ball in front of us, again, just holding the ball, as you tip here, see if you could not overwork the legs. Allow the knees to bend, allow your spine to just lie itself down, whoa, and then the ball comes over the head. Now, sometimes we work slow, sometimes we work quicker, today's more of a slow business, so as I come up, I need to bend my knees, I need to grab a thigh, and I need to come up. Now I can hoist myself up with my hips and it'll look like I'm rolling up, but I know that I want the breath to curl me down and up. (Karen exhaling) Inhale.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) One more time, we'll add the rotation force. This time, the ball is something precious in your hands. And I keep moving to present it, to present in front of me. I'm gonna bend my knees. Why bend the knees?

Because it allows you to tip the pelvis, yes, your hip flexors are gonna work a little bit here, but your tummy and your rib connection is decelerating down and down. Whoa, I forgot to work the rotation, and we have to do that again. Y'all lift the arms, however you need to come up, you come up. Now we have to work the rotation. Press this ball in front of us, bending the knees, tipping the pelvis, hold the load.

Tip one side, tip the other side, whoa, tip one side, group wave, whoa, that's much harder, group wave, and then comes in, and then we tip, and we curl, and the voice changes. Oh, I'm gonna have to lie down. All righty, so now, just do a little knee business side to side here. Okay, we're gonna put the ball aside for a second and all the work that we just did to get all this information here, arms are gonna be down by your side, pelvis is flat, equal weight on both sides of your gluteal cleft, right? So we're not gonna be tilted, we're not gonna be extended, we're gonna be long and neutral.

Now, one leg in, other leg matches. Now what wanted to happen? Did your ribs wanna come up? Do you need to put that towel under your head? All these things stay here.

Now, you're gonna pull the belly in and tip the pelvis. Not by moving the thighs, but look, by tipping the pelvis and that moves the thighs, that's how you start short spot. This is actually harder here because I don't have the straps to press into. But I can think push my knees up to the ceiling as I pull my belly in and get a tip of the pelvis. One more time.

Hold that tip of the pelvis, not by resting your leg, you can rest your shins if you want, but don't rest your thighs, tip the pelvis. And now lift your head, curl your trunk, reach your arms long. Now, what are you gonna do with the pelvis? Untip it, tip, untip it, tip it. One more time, untip, one more time, tip, everything comes down, we come down.

Tip the pelvis, curling it on up into a bridge, tuck your sheets in, working it right here, take an inhale, and then as you exhale, tip the pelvis, unwind your spine, coming down in the articulated spine, all the way down. Now, take your right knee and actually pull the knee into your chest, and consciously tip your pelvis at the same time. So now there's not a bulge in the belly, it doesn't matter the size of your belly of course, but you wanna engage to tip the pelvis and hold the knee in. And now when you initiate this tiny little bridge with your left leg, the most important part is this initiation, initiation. And I'm holding the tip of the pelvis and the knee in, so I don't get an extension force in my back right away, I get initiation from the hip.

This would be like knee stretches round on the reformer. Five more, four, three, two, and one. So it's not a big lift because I don't wanna bypass the initiation. Left knee comes in, pulls in, ribs are heavy, tailbones curl from the action of the abdominals, and then press and lift, press and lift. What's your head doing by the way?

The bridge of your nose, the back of your eye sockets, that's the back of your opposite foot. You don't wanna jam the chin to the chest like that, you wanna feel, and open, and invite that breath all the way in through your nose. Let's get five more, four. I am doing a class sometime in the next couple of weeks called seriously not counting, because we have to do enough sometimes to get the feeling. See I've already forgotten, three, and two, and one, and lower yourself down, all right.

Now, we're gonna reach the arms low, we're gonna get ready for our abdominal series here, no ball, no nothing, just to get it in the middle of our session, inhale, exhale, curl the trunk, one knee in, however you do it, and we'll just count ourselves through it, okay? So reach long pulling in 10 times, go. (Karen whispering) Pause, two legs, two arms, reach up, circle, hug. Five times, here's two, circle hugs three, curl the trunk four, last time and hold, two straight legs. Now this time with your scissors, don't flail this leg way down.

Work the in, in, switch in, in, inhale on your back. (Karen breathing heavily) Two knees in, I have to pause for a second, you can keep going, I need to give my neck a little rest. Two hands come behind the head, I lift my head, lift my legs, and now I curl the trunk. I lower, all right, keeping the curl here, forehead towards shins, one more bend the knees, crisscross 10 times, one, two. (Karen murmuring) Rest.

Huh, that's always a good little sequence. Press the feet, tip and curl, lift up. Lord, one more time. Working that deep pelvic, tilt here, and lift up and then roll down. Now, let's work a neutral bridge.

So neutral bridge says I lift my pelvis and then I just crease my hips boom, down. Lift, down, lift, down, head doesn't change one more time, lift, and down, and pause. Now, to throw something at you, we worked our back ribs, the breath, you should still feel nice and flat down from that beginning work. You like how I talk with my hands even in that class. We're gonna do the abdominal series now, again, and we're gonna do it with our head down and our trunk not curled, okay?

So now we're gonna work the neutralness of the pelvis. And so now, if I reach my legs too far away, watch what's gonna happen, it's gonna do this kind of business, we don't want that, so we're gonna go up. Well, you can go whatever distance you want. I'm going here because I don't wanna change the shape of my spine or my ribs. So that's gonna be single leg stretch with just the legs.

Now, I'm gonna hold one knee in with my hand and reach the other leg away. I'm gonna stay down in my chest, down in my trunk, really working this core engagement without flection, double legs. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) You can circle the arms of course. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Talk about hips, getting tired, this will be it. Now, single straight leg, trunk stays, pulls in legs.

(Karen murmuring) Last one. Knees come in, rest. You'll feel more in your legs and you'll feel more in a deeper connection of your core. Two straight legs, arms down by your side, lower tad, raise a tad. Now, I can't lower my legs any lower than this, otherwise I'll change all this business up here, you of course, lower them however you can, we'll do one more, and then press down.

When your hips feel like to get a little extra work, then of course you can lift up your pelvis, reaching all through the knees, invite the breath, link. When you lengthen the chest, the arms stay long, and then the chest reaches up, and then we roll down. So how are we gonna do crisscross with our head down? Well, we're gonna do it like this, arms come out to the side, two knees come in, and the knees are gonna sway. I'm gonna sway my knees to the left and I'm gonna yearn my right chest to be in the opposite direction, I'm gonna feel the right side of my torso and then bring myself back.

The legs will go to the right, and yearn my left torso back. My pelvis is gonna lift a little bit, that's fine, but I'm doing a crisscross, I called this crisscross from the bottom, and then one more time to the other side, and then one more time return, and then lower the self down, and pause right there. All right, now, roll to your side and come on up, because now we get ready for an extension. So in the extension part, I'm gonna take this ball and I'm gonna put it kind of under my sternum, don't know exactly where it goes on everybody, but what I want you to be mindful of here is that these hip creases are down, I'm gonna put my forearms down and pull my shoulders back as my chest kinda helps me curl my sternum in front of me like this. So my arms are pressing down and my chest is lifting up.

Now my body's engaged, not because I'm gripping it and squeezing it, but because I'm lifting up in my spine and my glutes are my stabilizers, when I do that, hands come down, pull the elbows back, unweight your chest on the ball, and then reweight your chest on the ball. Arms, press, elbows pull, chest comes through my arms as I inhale my breath, exhale down, two more. Last one. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Okay, mow I'm gonna take the ball away, I'm gonna take the ball between my heels, sometimes people get a hamstring cramp when they have to put the ball there, and I'm still gonna prop myself up. Now look up, this is resting, and this is lengthening, I hope you see the difference here.

Lengthen legs, bend legs, inhale, exhale. Now I'm gonna lower my body down, the exercise is called double leg kick. I'm not gonna put my head all the way down because of the headphones, so straighten the leg. So I'm gonna go kick, and kick, and kick, and then reach long, arms come long, legs go long, chest lifts up. Turn your head to one side, grab your arms, and kick one, two, three, reach long.

Some of your hamstrings are getting there, turn your head to the other side and kick, kick, kick. Shoulders go from internal rotation to external rotation, and back to internal rotation, kick, reach long, external rotation, and then one more time, kick, kick, and reach long, lift up, and pause. Grab the ball, straighten your legs, bring yourself up, separate your knees as wide as the mat, touch your toes together and sit back. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Reach your arms long. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Now, in this position here, we're not going to flex, okay?

So now I want you to let your hands especially if they're sweaty, my hands are sweaty, so I'm gonna push the mat forward. I'm yearning for my buttocks to reach behind me, as my chest comes through my arms, and I lengthen the sides ribs, my forehead's going down. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Invite the breath. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Lengthening out the torso. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Stay here for a second.

(Karen exhaling) Now, our leg series today is gonna be a little different. It's gonna be on your forearms and your one leg is gonna go back and it's gonna lift up at an angle. My shin is gonna be down on the opposite leg. Now, it's gonna wanna start to turn your body, so you have to work really hard to keep it here. My head is in line with my spine, my arms are pushing forward, my ribs are open.

Lift, 10 times. It's a soft point of the toe. Six, seven, eight, nine, 10, hold. Circle the leg five times in each direction. As you breathe in and out, expand the sides.

Reversed, two, three, four, five, bring that leg down, sit your bottom back one time, lengthen the torso, come forward, left leg goes out, resist just hanging it over here like this, square it off, breath your ribs, and then 10, nine, eight, I'm gonna push these arms. Seven, six, five, straight knee, four, three, two, one lift hold, circle five, four, three, and two, and one. Reverse one, and two ,and three, and four and five, lower down, bend the knees, and lowering yourself out of the way back, and bring yourself forward. Quadruped, hands down, elbows straight, your elbow creases incidentally like this, you should really kinda face each other because your radius bone takes the brunt of that weight when it bears down. If you give way to your arms like this, that's a wrist injury waiting to happen, and it takes you all out of the information that your arms can feed to your blades and your chest.

Now you're gonna curl the toes really well underneath you. You're in a neutral position here, it may feel like you're arched and that's fine. You're gonna take an inhale, exhale, hover the knees off the ground for three breath cycles. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Lower down. Now, hands stay, toes stay, knees stay, curl from the bottom, lift knees from the bottom, three cycles.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) Bring it all the way down, toes down. Bring yourself up from here, spine stretch, followed by sole, followed by kneeling, followed by standing. Just to let you know a little bit where we're heading, we're almost done. Now, just take the ball in front of you, go ahead and combine a hip hinge with a flection, just get it out of your system. Because at some point, we're gonna take this hip hinge away, but this feels good right here.

Now, bring yourself up, take the ball into your belly, nod your head, hundred beat your ribs, and just do flection. And what that does, exhale, that really tries to separate your L5-S1 keeping your sacred vertical as you round your ribs over and separate your spine and come on up one more time, inhale. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Now for the sole, want you to take your hands on top of your head again, okay. So in this position here, I'm gonna grow up, now watch. I'm gonna twist on, inhale, exhale, forehead past left knee, elbows are in their peripheral vision, right, but down, et cetera, et cetera, come up in the rotation, come center, exhale.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) Be sure you keep your elbows in your peripheral vision, otherwise your spine will want to extend if the elbows go way back, twist and flex. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) One more. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) I realized in that exercise, I forgot my favorite exercise, rolling like a ball, we're gonna do lots of ball rolling, okay. So we're gonna add that. I like to roll like a ball with a ball 15 times.

Yep, that's a lot, but here's what we're gonna do them in sets of five. First set of ball rolling, ball between the knees, hands behind the thighs, a bigger ball-ish shape, see if I got rid of that. So I'm gonna get ball like, get tippy like, right, and then inhale five times. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) I'm not tooting, that's just my back on the mat, and even if I were, it'd be okay. One more time.

That was easy peasy. Now the ball is gonna go behind my thighs and my shins are gonna pull on the ball, I'm gonna hug my shins. So now I can't lift my legs over my head. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Last one. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) That's 10, where's the next one go?

Yep, if you guessed it in the belly you're right. Now I have to hold the ball with my ribs and my thighs together. This one's gonna be a lot harder. (Karen wailing) I had to, only five. Oh, I'm so glad we're doing this, feels so good.

On my back, yeah, one more. Whoa, okay, here we go, come up to kneeling down. Okay, hope you're having a good time, I am having a good time here. Okay, ball out in front, on your knees. The only job of the ball right now is to examine where the ball is.

So you can take the ball out in front of you, gonna take your outside leg and bring it up, touch and down. Now when you first do this, you're gonna sway your body side to side and hope to get it up there. But now, you're gonna use your breath, and you're gonna use your down leg, lift the ball up over your head on an inhale. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) One more. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Last one, it stays up.

Now the back toes curl, reach this ball to the ceiling, bring yourself up, step forward. Same right leg back, bend the knee, lower, low, low. Whoa, switch legs, right leg, curl the toes, that one's harder for me. Left leg back, get low, bend that knee in, bend, bend both, that's good, now so one more time. Left leg up, just holding the ball up in the air, you could hold a 15 pound weight if you want, and then come back down, go, and the last one, left leg up, come on up to standing and then right leg back and down.

Last time, right leg up, come to standing, and then stay. Ball on top of your head, separate your legs, side bend, (Karen exhaling) exhale, side bend. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) One more time to the left, and center, and one more time to the right. Now, how we started. Take the ball, put it in your belly, get low around your torso, load your legs.

(Karen inhaling and exhaling) You should be lower, should be more breath, hang your arms, rest on the ball, use your legs. Now take the ball, put it between your ankles, squeeze the ball, whoa, fix your shirt, fix your glasses, puff up your hair, arms down, breathe. (Karen inhaling and exhaling) Invite the breath, side by side, front back, keeping your legs tight, gathered in, nod your head, round your spine. Minimize leaning back in your legs, maximize the breath like spine stretch in your body. Don't worry about how far you go, legs are engaged, protect the back.

One more breath in, out. Building yourself up, navel to spine. Sometimes that cue is actually a nice visual, come on up, arms down, chest lift, arms reach, spinal extension from the upper back without swaying forward, level. Nod the head, round down, strong legs, strong breath, strong mind. Open your eyes, look at your toes, be sure they're not gripping, engage the legs into the ball, navel to spine, tailbone to heels.

Bring yourself up, arms reach back, chest lifts, heart shines to the ceiling, breath follows, come up. Last one, chin nods, spine rounds. Take the ball, unwind your spine, bring yourself back up. Thank yourself, thank your breath, thank your body, and I thank all of you for joining me today, and join me for the next seven Fridays to come. Have a great Friday.


1 person likes this.
Wow! That was an amazing class/experience. I love your teaching style and cuing. I have been a fan since becoming a member of Pilates Anytime 9 years ago. Thank you for continuing to inspire us.
1 person likes this.
Wonderful!  I am a fan of your style and expertise.  Keep visiting!
Michele F
1 person likes this.
Perfect class!! Great cues!
I love Karen!  More Karen Sanzo!

Thank you for another great class. I always appreciate your clear and precise instruction. Nothing too strenuous yet very effective!
1 person likes this.
Loved this! Always so good to see you Karen! Hugs and health from Omaha!
Nadia D
1 person likes this.
what was the reading please?  that was so profound and relevant at this time.  thank you
Thank you Karen, I really enjoyed feeling the breath and the movements in my own body during the class and you have given me  new ideas for cueing and subtle modifications to support and challenge my clients-which I know that they will appreciate and enjoy. I'm looking forward to working my way through your next 'Power of Props' classes.
Rajashree Srirangarajan
Just to clarify, "tip your pelvis" means posterior tilt , right?

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