Class #4256

Hug Your Midline

60 min - Class
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We all need an extra support system to center us through our most challenging moments. In this episode of Plot Twist Pilates with Kira, she adds “hugging the midline” to her story so you can feel more anchored in your body. Enhance the traditional Mat work with the intention of creating more internal stability by focusing your energy to the center of your body.
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Hi, everyone. Welcome back or welcome to the first time to "Plot Twist Pilates." Believe it or not, this is week four, the fourth episode of "Plot Twist Pilates." And what we've been doing is telling the exact same story of intermediate Pilates mat every single week, but looking at it or telling the story from a different point of view. So the first week we focused on the main supporting player, which is your powerhouse. Then we worked on the point of view of spine mobility and then we worked on opposition last week. And now we're gonna add on hugging your midline.

So hugging your midline is about harnessing your energy towards the center line of your body to create more internal energy or more internal stability, I should say. So we kind of established our midline from the very beginning of class, or from the very first class when we focused on powerhouse. So let's review how to scoop your powerhouse in and up. So start with your feet parallel and together, I'm gonna start facing you. Place your hands on your hips, and then just pivot into your Pilates stance.

So it's heels together, toes apart and your toes are about four fingers distance apart. Your hands have just landed on these bony landmarks called your hip points. You wanna feel like you are using your abdominals to lift your hip points up towards your naval, or the center of your body. So you pull your hip points up towards your navel, almost like you're lifting them up like they have suspenders on them. As you do it it'll feel like you're pulling your lower abdominal into your lower back, which conversely drops your tailbone down.

So as your hip point lift up and scoop your lower abdominals in, your tailbone reaches down and then it continue that midline. You start here, you pull your navel up the length of your spine, and then it goes to the back of your neck and lands right at the base of your skull. So you wanna feel as if your navel is lifting so much it's lengthening the back of your neck. So you have a long line from your tailbone to the base of your skull. You support that with the scooping in and up of your powerhouse.

So now let's go to the base of your mat. Re-establish that position. So you find your heels together, toes apart. Start to scoop your powerhouse in and up, pulling your lower abdominals back, lifting your navel up to the base of your neck and lengthening your spine. Let your arms just hang and then take a second to establish the three corners of the feet.

So you wanna feel pressure on the ball of your big toe, your small toe, and the center of your heel. Like you have two little tripods that are supporting you. And once you find that, scoop even deeper, reach your arms forward like you're trying to touch the wall and then stack your arms one on top of the other. Feel like you're reaching your elbows forward towards the wall in front of you, but pulling your ribs back, pulling your waist back, and pulling your lower abdominals back. So we're gonna start with something we did last week.

We're gonna do knee bends. Bend your knees and just look down to make sure your knees aren't bowing in or out, they're lined up with your second toe and then just let your hips relax like they're hanging from your waist. Find the three corners of your feet. Now, pull your inner heels together. You'll start to feel your inner thighs.

So straighten your legs you initiate with your powerhouse. So I'm pulling my lower abdominals in. I pull my navel to the base of my skull and I wait for it. I keep lifting, and I keep lifting my powerhouse and my legs straightened. I bend my knees again, reestablish the three corners of your feet.

Pull your inner heels together. Now this is kind of a weird cue but just play with it for a second. As you straighten your legs, feel like your thighs are pressing back. So I'm gonna pull my abs back, lift my navel, and I press my thighs towards the wall behind me after really scooping deeply here. And again, bend your knees, drop your hips away from your waist.

Pull your heels together. Find your inner thighs or your midline. Pull your powerhouse in and up so much that you can press your thighs back and come up to straight legs. Two more. Bend your knees, relax your hips.

Find the three corners of your feet. Pull your inner heels together. Find your inner thigh connection. Scoop your powerhouse and then straighten your leg, pressing your thighs back, abs back. Final one.

Bend your knees. Find the three corners of your feet and pull your inner heels together, scoop deeply, and then pull your navel up to the base of your skull and straighten your legs. All right, from here, push the ball of your big toe and small toe into the floor and lean forward. So your hips are right over your arches and then reach your inner heel down into the floor and lift your hip points up into your navel. Try that one more time.

So I'm starting with equal pressure across the three corners of my feet. I shift my weight forward and pull my abs back. And then I pull my hip points up into my navel as I reached my inner heels down. I'm gonna start to feel the backs of my upper inner thighs and my abdominals a lot. Try to stabilize that position, reach your arms forward and pull your waist back.

Reach your arms up towards the ceiling. We are gonna do circles. Every time your arms go up think tailbone down, hip points up. Here we go. Lift your hip points and lower.

Tailbone goes down, hip points go up. Reach your inner heel into the floor, and then circle. Inner heels reach down, hip points go up, and circle. Reverse, inner heels reach into the floor, your hip points lifted, and then circle. Reach your inner heel down, hit points up, and circle.

One more, inner heel down, reach your arms forward and hold them there. And then you're gonna lower your arms all the way by your side. Keep leaning forward. We're gonna do chest expansion. You're gonna hug your midline with your arms.

What you're gonna do is you're gonna make paddles with your hands first. You're gonna slide your thumbs underneath your hips. You'll press your thumbs forward into your thighs in order to expand your chest. Notice how I'm squeezing my shoulder blades together, or hugging my midline with my shoulder blades. So I'm gonna set up again, leaning slightly forward but reaching my inner heels down.

My hips are over my arches. Press your thumbs forward. Hug your midline with your shoulder blades. Pull your abs back, press your triceps back. So I'm pressing the backs of my arms back and my chest is going forward.

I look over one shoulder. I look over the other shoulder. I look center, and then reestablish that start position. Press your thumbs forward. Open your chest or hug your midline with your shoulder blades, press your triceps back and your chest forward.

Can you hug your midline with your upper arm bones and feel like your chest is going forward and up, arms down and back? You look over one shoulder, look over the other shoulder, look center and lower, let's flow. Inhale, reach your arms back. Hug your midline. Look over one shoulder, look over the other shoulder, look center, exhale.

And now squeeze your shoulder blades, press your upper arm bones together. But over one shoulder, look over the other shoulder, look center, this time reach your arms forward. Pull your waist back, stack your arms. We're gonna descend with control to the mat. We've practiced it a couple of ways.

We're gonna really work on opposition. If you have a history of knee or hip issues, just find a way of getting down to the mat with control. If you're still standing, pull your abdominals back, reach your elbows forward. Start to bend your knees, just like we started with. Keep pulling your waist back and try to land your tailbone just behind your heels with control and then place your hands behind you.

Scoot back a little bit and then press your inner thighs together and your knees. Root down through the ball of your big toes as well. Press your hands firmly into your thighs to help you lift your spine up and sit up tall. I want you to feel like you're pressing your thighs forward and down. And when you press, feel like you're pressing from your sit bones, from down here.

So I'm gonna press my thighs forward and down and pull my hip points back and down to around my spine. I'm gonna stop when my elbows are slightly bent, but still keep pressing my thighs forward and down and then bend your elbows round forward over your legs and then roll all the way up. Once again, use the backs of your thighs. Feel like you're pressing your inner thighs forward and down, round your spine. Keep pressing your inner thighs forward and down, and then bend your elbows round forward.

Roll up through your spine. Last one, press your knees together and then round back, pushing your thighs forward and down. Now just hold here to see if you can find that connection. Are you feeling the connection to your hamstring right at the top of the muscle? Then keep holding this position, press your knees together, reach your arms forward, and then continue rolling down while pressing your inner thighs together and then rest your head, arms go up towards the ceiling.

Keep reaching the ball of your big toe into the floor. Press your knees and your inner thighs together, and then pull your hip points into your navel. See if you can maintain that connection to your legs and lift your head and shoulder blades up. Pull your hip point into your naval, reach your arms forward. I'm still feeling the work in the back of my legs and my inner thighs.

And then rest your head all the way back down. Hug your knees into your chest and just rock from side to side. From here we're gonna prep for the hundred. So bend your knees into your chest, one hand behind each thigh. Press your thighs up into your hands.

Once again, you'll start to feel your hamstrings from your sitz bones. So press your legs together. Press your thighs up into your hands. Keep pressing forward with your thighs from your sitz bones. As your legs go forward, pull your navel to the back edge of the mat.

Keep pressing your legs together. Bend your elbows and curl your head and shoulder blades up. I'm still pressing my thighs forward from my sitz bones and then pull your knees into your chest. Rest your head and shoulder blades all the way down. We're gonna add on, press your thighs up into your hands.

Keep pressing your thighs forward, simultaneously pull your navel up the length of your spine. See that opposition that we worked on last week. Then curl your head and shoulder blades up, press your heels together, separate your knee so that the distance of your arm pits. Keep pressing your heels together so you feel the inner thigh connection. Hold here, reach your arms forward.

Feel like you're pressing your thighs down, legs forward. And we pump, inhale two, three, four, five, and exhale, two, three, four, five. Keep pressing the backs of your upper inner thighs together and exhale. Two, three, four, five. As you hug your midline, pull your lower abdominals into the mat.

Inhale, two, three, four, five, and exhale. Two, three, four, five, inhale, one long exhale. And again, inhale, two, three, four, five, and exhale. Two, three, four, five. You can always lower your legs by pressing the backs of your thighs closer to the mat.

And again, inhale two, three, four, five, and exhale. Two, three, four, five, two more sets. Two, three, four, five, and exhale. Two, three, four, five, final one, exhale, two, three, four, five, hold here. Pull your navel back, press your thighs down, rest everything down.

So bring your legs all the way together. We're gonna set up for the roll-up. Bring your legs together, knee caps up, toes point forward, and then just relax your legs. Let your hips settle into the floor, so hug your midline. I want you to feel like you are rolling your inner thighs in towards one another and down towards the mat.

You'll feel your inner thighs hug, and then let it relax. And again, rotate your thigh bones inside their socket so your knee caps point up. Pull your lower abdominals in, slide your navel up the length of your spine, and then let it all relax. One more. Screw your thigh bones inside your hip socket.

So I'm rotating them till my knee caps point up. I scoop my powerhouse in and up. Reach your tailbone towards your heels, flex your feet. Feel your inner ankles reach down towards the bottom edge of your mat. As you scoop your powerhouse back, arms go up towards the ceiling.

Keep that feeling in your legs, you're gonna roll up to a seated position. Curl your head and shoulder blades up. Reach your inner ankles forward, roll up and round forward, reaching your fingers to your toes. Keep pressing your thighs down into the mat so you can lift your waist up. As my arms reach forward my lower back tries to touch the wall behind me.

So I'm gonna do it with my feet under the strap. Just so you know, one cue does not fit everyone. So everyone's bony structure of their legs is different. Some people feel like it's easier to hug their midline in Pilates stands during the roll-up. Some people like to do with their feet pointed.

So do it in whatever position feels good for you that you can feel like you can press your upper inner thighs together. I'm gonna place my feet underneath the strap. So if you have a strap, slide your feet under and look at your inner ankle. They go forward and pull your pinky toes back. Round forward pressing your thighs down, slide your lower back up the wall and then curl your hip points all the way to the back edge of the mat as your inner ankles reach forward and you lie all the way down, arms go up and back, ground your ribs and your lower back into the floor.

Arms go up, lift your head and shoulder blades up. Check out your feet, inner ankles reach forward, pinky toes back. Now press your lowest rib into the mat. And then round forward, press your thighs down, waist up, and then curl your tailbone under, reach your inner ankles forward, pinky toes back, and roll down one bone at a time. Reach your arms back.

Make sure your lowest rib is on the floor. One more this tempo. Arms go up, curl up so your ears are between your arms. Try to press your lowest rib into the floor. Send your inner ankles forward, find the shape.

Maybe your head can go further forward. Your thighs can press down more and you can slide your lower back up the wall more and now reach your inner ankles forward. And these hip bones go all the way to the back edge of the mat. Find that opposition, inner ankles forward, hip points back, arms go up and back. We'll do three for flow.

Arms go up, inhale, lift up, exhale, round over your hips. Inhale, roll to the back of your hips. Exhale, roll down through your spine. Inhale, lift up, roll up through your spine. Exhale, round forward.

Inhale, roll to the back of your hips. Exhale, roll all the way down. One more, inhale, lift up, exhale, round over your hips. Inhale, curl your tailbone under, inner ankles forward, hip points back, rest all the way back. Good, I'm gonna take my feet out of the strap.

I'm going to go into single leg circles. We'll start off with your left leg. Pull your left knee into your chest. Just let this leg hang out for a second as you pull this knee in. You're gonna do exactly what we did before previously with just one leg.

Feel like you're rotating your inner thigh down towards the mat and then lower it down or relax it. And again, rotate that thigh down towards the mat. You'll feel your inner thigh working, and then lower. One more, rotate it in, and then press your left thigh forward, extend it up towards the ceiling. Flex the bottom foot, keep your top foot pointed.

Now play with this. Try to rotate this side out so your kneecap rotates away from your midline, but this inner thigh rotates down into your midline, and then let it relax. You rotate your top leg out and the bottom leg in, and then let it release. One more, rotate your top leg like you're screwing in a light bulb and then rotate this inner thigh down. Press your arms down.

Now cross your leg over the midline of your body as far as you possibly can, keeping this hip down so you feel nothing but this inner thigh. And then scoop to circle it around and pause center. Inhale, rotate your thigh in your hip socket. See how far you can cross it over without that hip coming up, and then pull your navel back as your leg swing. Inhale, cross over, exhale around and lift.

Two more, cross, exhale around and lift. Final one, cross, exhale, pause at the top, inner spiral this side, outer spiral this one. Reverse, open as wide as your left shoulder, circle all the way over to the right side. Open, exhale, use your inner thigh, open, cross, squeeze both inner thighs together. Last two, exhale around and lift, final one, and then hug that knee into your chest.

Switch sides, so now hug your right knee in, slide this left leg down the midline of your body but just let it relax, let it hang out. Then rotate the thigh in or inner spiral. It feel like your inner thigh is reaching down towards the mat, and then let it go. And again, rotate, internally rotate that left thigh bone in your socket and then let it go. One more, you're gonna rotate it.

Keep reaching that inner thigh down, flex your foot. My inner ankle reaches for the bottom edge of the mat. I press my right leg forward, extend it up, the top leg externally rotates and the bottom leg internally rotate, you should feel that inner thigh connection with this toe lined up in front of your nose. Press your arms down. Cross your leg over your body as much as you can keep that right hip down.

Feel both inner thighs moving towards one another. Now exhale around and lift, inhale, squeeze your inner thighs, exhale, top leg is externally rotated. Bottom leg is internally rotated. Two more, exhale around and lift, final one. Exhale, re-establish that position.

And then you open, cross your inner thigh over your body and center, open, exhale. Now what about that bottom leg? Are you still reaching that inner ankle down to the bottom edge of the mat? One more, and then hug that knee into your chest. Slide both legs straight.

Once they're straight find that internal rotation of both legs. My knee caps are pointing up. My inner ankles are reaching past my big toes. My tailbone reaches for my heels. My lower abdominals and my ribs sink into the mat.

My arms go up. We're gonna transition to rolling like a ball with a roll-up. Curl your head and shoulder blades up. Look at your feet, so check them out if they're not relaxed. With your inner ankles forward, pull your lower abdominal in, round forward, and then sit all the way up, rolling like a ball.

So bring your feet, your hips closer to your feet. I curl my tailbone under and try to sit directly behind my heel. Keep your hands here for a second. Feel the three corners of your feet and press your inner heal into one another. Pull your hip points away from your thighs and round forward.

Notice how my shoulders are close to my knees. Then I have to pull my ribs back and circle my arms around to grab my ankles, and then pull your abdominals back so much like a suction. So lift your feet up. Now press your inner heels together and lift your knees and your shoulders up a little bit. So notice how I was collapsed here.

I was around, but I was collapsed. So I'm pulling my hip points into my navel. I lift my waist up and then curve into myself. Here we go, we're gonna roll. Pull your heels together, roll back.

And then exhale, come back up. And again, press your heels together. Find that inner thigh connection, roll back, and then come back up. And then press your heels together and lift your tailbone up. And then come back up.

We're gonna do one more like this. Press your heels into one another. Lift your tailbone up, and then find your balance. Now hug your midline with your legs, press them together. Your right hand goes on your left ankle.

Your left hand goes on your right wrist, hug in tight, press your inner thighs together. Your upper inner thighs and round your spine. Three like this, lift your tailbone up towards your heels and then come back up, and again, think of lifting your tailbone up. That's what tips you over, and exhale. Squeeze those inner thighs together.

Roll back, roll up. Change the grip. My left hand goes on my right ankle. Right hand goes on my left wrist, hugging tight, press your inner thighs together and curl your hip points back. Lift your tailbone up, exhale, roll up.

And again, pull your lower abdominals into the mat. Drag your head over your knees. One more, roll back. You'll find your balance at the top, at the top. And then you place your feet down.

Place your hands behind you, slide back. Feel your inner thighs rotate down towards the mat. Feel your inner ankles reach past your big toe, and then round your spine. Meet your fingers past your toes. Pull your ribs back, pull your lower abdominals back, and then pull your hip points back.

I feel like you're dragging your shoulders back with your powerhouse. Keep reaching your inner ankles past your big toes. Roll all the way down, one bone at a time, and then hug your knees into your chest. We'll get ready for the series of five. All right, so once you're here, scoop your powerhouse, pull your lower abdominals in, slide your navel up the length of your spine.

Keep pressing your inner thighs towards one another, even though you are gonna extend that left leg forward and transition your hands, even here, hug your midline. So I feel like I'm pulling my upper inner thighs together and then scoop to curl your head and shoulder blades up. Switch, pull my abs in, hug my midline as I switch. Scoop, hug my midline and switch. Inner thighs brush and switch.

And switch, and exhale, and pull, and switch. Your legs move because you're pulling your lower abdominals in towards the mat. One more set and then hug both knees into your chest. Rest your head and shoulder blades down. We're gonna do double leg stretch the way Joe Pilates did it in "Return to Life." Because it combines hugging your midline with your upper or with your arms and your legs simultaneously.

So hold onto your shins, drop your tailbone and pull your lower abdominals in, navel back. Press your inner thighs together. Curl your head and shoulder blades up. Feel like you're pressing your thighs together as your legs go forward. I press my hands into my outer thighs like I'm squeezing a magic circle.

Keep pressing the backs of your legs together and then bend your knees to come in. Feel like you're pressing your thighs down towards the mat and reaching with your legs and then exhale and bend. And again, inhale, reach, press your hands into your outer thighs, exhale and bend. Press your inner thighs down towards the floor and pull your waist back. Exhale and then inhale.

Press your inner thighs down. Squeeze your hands into your thighs. Exhale, two more, press your inner thighs down. Pull your waist back and then exhale. Final one, inhale, reach.

Now can you make it longer? Pull your waist back, squeeze more and then exhale, hug in. Rest your head and shoulder blades all the way down. Single straight leg. So keep your inner thighs together, sink your lower abdominals into the mat.

Curl your head and shoulder blades up. Reach your legs up towards the ceiling, press your thighs forward so you feel that connection to your legs. Pull your waist back, release your legs and pull your right leg towards your left leg forward. And you pause, legs go up. They meet at the top and switch.

Pull, pull, like meet at the top and switch. Pull, pull, lift, pull, pull, lift, pull, pull. Legs up, abs down, pull, abs down, pull, pull, and pull, pull, legs up, pull, pull, and pull, pull. One more set, pull, pull, and pull, pull. Bend both knees into your chest, rest your head.

Double straight leg, overlap the palms of your hands. They go at the back of your head. Start with the scoping your powerhouse. So I pull my hip points into my navel, navel into my thumb. Lift your elbows up like an inch and feel like you're sliding your arm pits to your shoulder blades down your back.

So you feel integrated into your abs and your back. Squeeze your inner thighs together, curl your head and shoulder blades up, and then lift your legs up. Turn them out, feel like you're pressing your thighs down towards the floor, so you're using your but and your hamstring, and then exhale and lift. And again, inhale. Reach your legs forward.

Pull your hip points into your navel, exhale and lift. One more like this. Reach your legs forward. Exhale, lift, bend your knees. Grab the backs of your thighs again.

Press your thighs up into your hands. That's where you're gonna initiate the movement of your legs from the backs of your thighs. So press your thighs up into your hands, press them forward into a tabletop. You feel how your hamstrings work, press your inner thighs together. Now curl your head and shoulder blades up.

Reach your legs up. Keep pressing them forward and turn them out. So same muscles that are firing that are now gonna lower your legs, press them down and then exhale, lift them up. Feel like you're pressing your thighs down and pulling your waist back. Exhale and lift, shoulder bleeds off the mat.

One more, press your inner thighs down and then exhale. Lift, bend your knees and rest your head. Last one, Kira's faith, not Criss Cross. Your hands get stacked one on top of the other. Keep sinking your lower abdominal skin to the floor, and pull your navel towards your thumb.

Press your inner thighs together. Curl your head and shoulder blades up, and then curl up a little bit higher. Reach your left leg forward and try to touch the wall in front of you so you can curl up higher. And then rotate your right elbow away from that left foot. Further rotate around your own midline, and then come center.

Extend your left leg, try to touch that wall. Keep reaching, this elbow goes opposite of my right big toe. Well, that's the goal. And then you flow, ready? And criss and cross, and criss and cross.

You rotate around your own midline like you're rotating around your own spine. One more, criss and cross, hug your knees in, rest your head. Rock yourself up to seated for spine stretch. We'll do it the way Joe did it in "Return to Life." So open your legs a little bit wider than your mat. And once again, just let your legs relax for a second and then feel like you're rotating your inner thighs down towards the floor and flex your feet.

So my inner thighs are rotating slightly down. So my knee caps point up, my inner ankles are reaching forward, and the outer edges of my feet are pulled back. Now see if you can recreate that feeling of pressing your thighs down into the floor. Notice how it lifts me up. And I try to root my sitz bones down and I prop myself up.

Then reach your fingertips onto the mat. See if you can maintain that, inhale, lower your chin to your chest, exhale round for just enough to push the heels of your hands into the floor and pull your lower abdominals back. And then slide your hands further forward. Now your lower abdominals and your waist go back and then slide them even further forward. Press your hands down, press the backs of your thighs down, and lift your waist to roll all the way up, and exhale.

Once again, this is me just sinking. I'm surrendering to gravity, and this is me pushing gravity away by pressing the backs of my thighs down, head up. Inhale, chin to your chest. Exhale round forward, push the floor away, lower abdominals back. Slide your hands further forward.

Keep pressing your thighs down. Lift your waist to the top of the wall behind you. Slide your hands further. Keep lifting your waist up. Push your thighs down, lift your waist so you drag your arms back with your abdominals.

One more, inhale, chin to your chest. Exhale, round forward. Exhale, round a little bit further forward, round a little bit forward. Are you pressing your thighs down and reaching your inner ankles forward. And then press your thighs down, lift your waist, roll all the way up.

Same thing classical style. Inhale, lift, chin to your chest. Exhale, nosing your navel. Your arms go forward, waist goes back. Slide your lower back up the walls.

You press your thighs down. Roll all the way up, at the top you exhale. Inhale, lift, chin to your chest. Exhale, empty your lungs, empty your lungs. It's a breathing exercise.

Inhale, lift your lower back. Roll all the way up, at the top you exhale. Final one, lift, chin to your chest, round forward, inner ankles forward. Push your thighs down, roll all the way up, and then you exhale. Let's come to the bottom edge of the mattress for Open Leg Rocker.

So come closer, place the bottoms of your feet together. Reach your arms through your legs and grab the tops of your ankles. Hug your midline with your knees. So I'm bringing my knees into there as wide as my shoulders. And then I curl my tailbone under, rounding my lower back.

So notice I didn't lean back. I made my lower abs and my ribs concave. Keep hugging your midline with your legs and float your feet up. Find your balance. So I'm gonna press my legs into my arms like a vice grip, and use that tension to tuck my tailbone under more.

Pull your hip points into your navel, and your navel to the back of your neck. Now scoop deeper. My abs go down and back as my legs go forward and up. Press your thighs forward, pull your waist back. If you need to hold onto the backs of your thighs and slightly bend your knees, or bend them to tabletop, you can do that.

But you wanna feel like you're pressing your thighs forward and curling your tailbone under. Now roll, look down, lift your tailbone up, press your front ribs into the floor then come back up into your round shape. And again, lift your tailbone up, press these ribs down to come up. And again, lift your tailbone up, and then see if you can come up a little bit further. It's hard to find the balance point.

Yes, I'm like, yes I did it. And again, rock back, lift your tailbone up, exhale, rock forward. And then one more, lift your tailbone up and I'll press these ribs down, and try to find your balance just on the back of your tailbone. All right, let's increase the challenge. Hug your midline, bring your legs together.

Roll your inner thighs together, or you can be turned out in a Pilates stance and you have three more. Curl your tailbone up, feel like you're pressing your thighs forward to bring you up. And again, roll back, press your thighs forward to the wall in front of you, waist back, one more. And then we're gonna end up in, guess which shape, your Teaser. So I'm pushing my thighs forward, pressing my inner thighs together, pulling my waist back, reach your arms forward.

Keep reaching your arms forward and roll down. You can also use your hands to walk yourself all the way down with control. Hug your knees into your chest. Going into corkscrew. You're gonna focus on keeping your heels connected the whole time.

Press your arms down into the floor, 'cause you would be standing on them in essence. Pull your lower abdominals into the mat, extend your legs up. Oh, one second. Hold onto the backs of your thighs like we did before. I want you to get that feeling of pressing your thighs forward and pulling your waist back.

So you're activating the backs of your thighs and then you can turn out into your Pilates stance. Heels together, toes apart, press your arms down. We're just gonna start with like a Tick Tock. You're gonna take your legs to the right hand, keeping your heels connected and then bring it back. Press your arms down and then go to the other direction and then return.

Press the backs of your upper inner thighs together, legs sway to the right. And then I pull my left lower abdominal into the mat to bring them back. Other side, my legs sway to the left. And then I exhale, pull my abdominals in, hug your knees into your chest. So we're gonna take this into circles.

Kind of like doing single leg circle but with both legs up. If you need to do it with your knees slightly bent, that's perfectly fine, just hug your midline. So I'm gonna reach my legs up. I'm pressing my legs together. Now first pull your inner thighs toward you, but see if you can keep your tailbone down.

And then legs go to the right. They circle down around to the left, and center. Notice I didn't make them big, reverse. I'm just focusing on keeping my inner thigh and heel connection and drawing circles on the ceiling with my toes. I go to the top of the circle, around to the right, to the bottom, to the left, and center.

And again, pull them towards you, left, pull your lower abdominal in, now maybe this that you can make them a little bit bigger. Hold them towards you. Cross, keep those heels connected, pull your lower abdominals in to support the weight of your legs. One more, legs toward you. Now pull your lower abdominals in like an anchor, press the backs of your inner thighs together.

Come up, hug your knees into your chest, rock up to seated, foresaw. So once again you set up the way we did, spine stretched forward. So instead of surrendering to gravity, stand on the backs of your thighs. So I'm gonna press my thighs down, reach my inner ankles forward, outer edges of my feet back. So I feel stable.

Reach your arms out to the side, abs back, chest out. As you rotate your ribs to the left, rotate your ribs to the right so you have a counter twist. And then lower your chin to your chest, round forward, pinky finger to your pinky toe. As much as you reach this arm forward, pull your right hip to the back edge of the mat. Look at your back hand.

Someone pulled you from this hand, you roll up into a twist and center. Lift your spine, stand on your thighs, and twist, round forward, pinky finger goes to your pinky toe. As this arm goes forward, pull your left hip back and then rotate your left ribs to your right inner thigh. This arm goes back, and then will all the way up and center. Lift your spine, rotate around your own midline, round forward.

Now this time I want you to hug your midline with this back arm. Can you press it all the way to the back right corner of the mat, lift it up so it lift your ribs up, and then roll all the way up and center. Lift your spine to twist around your midline. Round forward, pull your left hip back, left arm forward, and then reach that right tricep up. Lift your ribs and rotate the more, come all the way up center.

Last one, twist to the left, round forth, press this arm to the back right corner of your mat. Roll all the way up, center, final one. Lifted twist, now you press your right tricep up and behind you. So either pull your shoulder blade closer to your spine and then will all the way up and center. Okay, so we're gonna do some extension work.

Before we do that I just need to slide my mic pack over. Okay, so we're gonna do it a little bit differently today. You'll lie down on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you, like Superman. First thing is try to inner spiral your thighs so your knee caps point down. And then try to pull your legs together if you can.

If it feels compressed to your lower back, don't worry about it. This thing about lifting your inner thighs up towards the ceiling, and then pull your hip points into your navel. Pull your navel to the front edge of the mat. Keep pulling your hip points forward so much that you can lift your chest up and prop yourself up on your hands. Press the palms of your hands down.

I feel like I'm pressing my triceps down, and especially my thumb and index finger into the floor. Hold this position and try to pull your hip points up to the top of the ceiling, channel your down stretch on the reformer, and then lower all the way down. We're gonna add the neck roll. So start with the scooping your powerhouse. Pull your hip points forward.

Meet your inner ankles towards your big toes, and then pull your hip points forward so much, you can lift your chest up. Press your triceps down, press to your thumb and index fingers. Now keep pressing your triceps down to lift your waist. Look over your right shoulder, chin into your throat. Look over your left shoulder, and center, reverse.

Look over your left shoulder. Keep pressing your triceps down, chin to your chest. Look over your right shoulder, center. Keep this height, lower your elbows down. Feel like you're pressing your elbows down and dragging them back, but pressing through your thumb and index fingers.

Keep pulling your hip points forward. Rotate your inner thighs up towards the ceiling. Pull your right heel towards your right sit bone and then pull it closer. Feel like you're pressing your inner thigh up towards the ceiling to extend. Other side, pull your heel to your sit bone, pull it in closer.

Press your inner thigh up towards the ceiling to extend. Now you flow. You pull, pull, pressure, inner thigh up to extend, pull, pull, pressure, inner thigh up to extend, pull, pull. Are you still lifting your powerhouse? One more set.

Keep pressing down with your thumb and index fingers and dragging your elbows back, and then lower. Double leg kicks we're gonna do like chest expansion like we did in the beginning. You're gonna make those paddles with your hand. And if you can, slide your thumbs underneath your hips. Now notice how my shoulders collapsed to the floor.

I wanna press my thumbs down and widen my collarbone. So I'm hugging my midline with my shoulder blades, scoop your powerhouse, and then you kick your heels to your seat three times. Two, one, lower your feet, find the powerhouse connection. You do your chest expansion by pressing your triceps up. That's what lifts your chest forward and up, and then lower down.

Kick three times. The tip of my nose hovers above the map. I lower my feet, I press my triceps up and pull my chest forward and then lower all the way down. Kick for three, two, one, and then lower. Press my triceps up.

I'm squeezing my shoulder blades back or together and reaching back for my ankles. Final one, take for three, two, one, lower. Think of hugging your midline with your upper arm bones and your shoulder blades. Reach your fingers toward your ankles. Chest forward, lower all the way down and then sit back on your heels.

Stretching your child's pose while I do a little switcheroo again. We're gonna go into next form. So I'm gonna use a strap, but you don't need to use a strap. But if you have a strap, slide your feet underneath and your feet are shoulders distance apart. Feel like you're pulling the soles of your feet back towards you.

Even if you don't have a strap, you pull the soles of your feet, so all five bones of your feet. Your inner ankles reach forward, outer edges of your feet pull back. Stand on your thighs, so I'm pressing down. Stack your hands one on top of the other behind your head, press your head into your hands. Pull your abs into your lower back and then hinge back as you press your thighs down.

Curl your tailbone under and round your whole spine as your inner ankles go forward, and you roll all the way down. Pause here. Feel the reach of your inner ankles forward. Reach your tailbone towards the front edge of the mat. Elbows up, shoulders on your back.

Now roll up, press your lowest rib into the floor. Round forward over your legs, and then find your spine stretch. Stack your vertebra while pressing your thighs down. Lift your spine, press your head back to hinge, long, straight line. And now keep that lift, curl your tailbone under, roll all the way back down.

Two more with a little more flow. Inhale, roll up, exhale, round forward. Press your thighs down to roll up. Inner ankle forward as you hinge. Keep reaching through your heels as you roll all the way back down.

One more, roll up, round four, top of your head towards your knees. Find your spine stretch as you roll up. Inner ankles forward, hinge back, and then curl your tailbone under. Roll all the way down, rest your head. So today we're gonna add shoulder bridge, it's a good place to practice hugging your midline.

It's a hard place to practice hugging your midline. Line your ankles up underneath your knee joints. Once again, find the three corners of your feet. The ball of your big toe, small toe, and the center of your heel. Press your arms down like you're standing on them.

Press your feet down and then curl your tailbone up towards your knee creases, or between your knees. So I'm pushing down with my feet and my arms. I'm burying my waist and curling my tailbone up. Now keep pressing your feet and your arms down and roll up. Sending your knee caps forward, your tailbone touches your knees.

Keep pressing your arms down and then hug your midline. Check-in with your feet. Do you feel the ball of your big toe still? And then press your arms down and sink your chest bone down. Then your ribs, your waist, your lower back, and then your tailbone, and you start from the beginning.

Press your arms and feet down, and then pull your navel down. As I roll up, all I'm thinking about is pulling my hip points into my navel and sending my knee caps in my tailbone that way, that's all I'm thinking, but that's some of the things I'm thinking. Then once I'm here, I'd really wanna check in and make sure I'm pulling my upper inner thighs together so I still feel the weight of the three corners of my feet. And then roll down, starting with your chest bone, your hips are still up. And then your front ribs press into your back ribs, Hips are still up.

Then your waist touches, then one bone of your lower back at a time. And then you release back into your start position. One more, press to the three-quarters of your feet and your triceps. This is your chest expansion. Keep doing your chest expansion as you roll up, send your tailbone forward, pull your hip points into your navel, tailbone forward, hip points into your navel.

Once you're at the top, you're trying to get a diagonal from your knees to your hip points to your shoulders. Keep hugging your upper inner thighs together, press to the inside artists of your feet to help you with that. Now keep your hips up and see if you can sink your chest bone between your shoulder blades, and then sink your front ribs into your back ribs, and then pull your navel to the floor. And then one bone at a time through your lower back until your hips descend. And then you can hug your knees into your chest.

All right, we're gonna go into sidekicks. I'm gonna rock myself up to seated. I'm going to start on my right side. So the mic pack isn't in the way. Line your body up with the back edge of the mat and establish that standing position.

So I'm flexing my feet, reaching my inner ankles forward and pulling the outer edges of my feet back. And then I use this hand, it cup behind my head to traction my neck away from the reach of my heels. And of course what's holding it all together is my powerhouse. Pull your lower abdominals back and slide your navel up into your thumb. This arm is planted in front of your waist.

Press the backs of your upper inner thighs together to lift your legs up, keep them pressed together. Angle them forward as your tailbone stays on the back edge of the mat, lower your legs down. Reach this top hip away from your armpit, and then externally rotate both legs. So I'm in Pilates stance, I'm gonna point my top foot and then lift it up to hip height. Swing your foot to the front and then press it behind you in this hold.

Feel like you're squeezing your upper inner thighs together. Like you're trying to lift this leg up, and then swing your leg to the front, and then press your thigh behind you, hold. Think of squeezing your inner thighs and pulling your lower abdominals back. One more, swing your leg to the front and then press it back. Pull your lower abdominals back.

Feel like you're pulling your inner thighs together. Now keep that feeling of your midline and swing your leg. Front and exhale, squeeze your inner thighs. Front, exhale, keep hugging your midline. It'll add to the stability from your powerhouse.

Two more. Final one, press it back and hold it back. Now, can you make it longer? Reach that toe away from you. Pull your inner thighs together and scoop your powerhouse.

Stack your legs one on top of the other for up and down. Feel like you're sliding your top leg down to the bottom of your bottom leg and lift it up. Keep your toe up. Try to reach your hip away from your armpit and lower it all the way down. Your hips stay stacked, lengthen to lift.

Now feel like you're lifting your bottom leg up to beat your top leg. Seal your inner thighs like you're squeezing a magic circle. And lengthen the lift, and exhale and lower. Two more, lengthen the lift, exhale and lower. Final one, lengthen the lift.

Feel like you're squeezing a magic circle. Hold here. Recreate length in this hip, five small circles in each direction. It goes front up and back, two, and three, brush your inner thighs, four and five. Brush your heels, reverse.

It goes back around and two, and three, and four, and five. Rest your legs for a moment. You'll lengthen this leg, so slide it past the bottom leg. Lift it from your powerhouse, bend your knee and place your foot in front of you. Try to get into as much of a Pilates stance as you can.

Press your knee up towards the ceiling, press that top hip forward so you're not rolling back. Relax this bottom foot. Now think of pulling both inner thighs together and lift that bottom leg up. Feel like you're sticking your tailbone out a little bit. Pull your abdominals and see if you can lift that leg up higher and then lower it all the way down.

And again, without tucking, feel your tailbone along the back edge of the mat, squeeze both inner thighs together, and then lower, three more. I'm pushing this front foot into the floor and lifting the bottom inner thigh up and then lower. Two more, exhale, press your front foot down. Pull your upper inner thighs together and then lower, final one. Pull your lower abdominals in.

Pull your inner thighs together and then lower your leg all the way down. Stack your legs one on top of the other. Externally rotate, so I'm rolling my inner thighs forward towards you. I press the backs of my upper inner thighs together, tailbone still out. I press into this hand, lengthen my neck, and then my bottom leg picks up my top leg and then lower all the way down.

Two more, pull your powerhouse in and up. Bottom leg picks up, the top leg keeps squeezing the backs of your upper inner thighs and then lower all the way down. One more, exhale, lengthen to lift and then lower all the way down. From here we're gonna go into heel beats. So turn onto your stomach, stack your hands one on top of the other.

Try to bring your heels together, toes apart. If that feels comfortable, you could also do it parallel, which is fine. But first find your powerhouse. Pull your hip points up into your navel and pull your navel up into your thumbs. Feel your tailbone reach back so you can press your thighs up from your butt and your hamstrings.

Open your legs as wide as the mat, now feel like you're squeezing a magic circle with your inner thighs. 10 times, open, squeeze your inner thighs, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Lengthen your legs, lower them down. Sit back in a child's pose. All right, we're gonna set up on the other side while I'll do the little okey-dokey and rotate my mic pack.

So make sure you lie down with the back edge of your body lined up with the back edge of your mat and recreate that standing position that we started in. So you reach your inner ankles past the bottom edge of the mat. Pull the outer edges of your feet back. Scoop your powerhouse, hand in front of you, tracting your neck and then press your inner thighs together to lift them up. Tailbone stays in place, your legs go forward, lower down.

Externally rotate and make sure that this top ankle is over the bottom one. So you create length in this side of your Pilates box. So you lift your leg to hip height, swing your leg to the front. It's still externally rotated. Now press your thigh behind you and hold it.

Feel like you're pressing your inner thighs together and press your leg back a little bit more. And again, swing your leg to the front. Now press your thigh behind you, feel your upper inner thighs try to squeeze together. Almost like you're lifting this bottom leg up. One more that tempo.

Swing it to the front, exhale, press it back. Can you pull your abdominals in, press your leg back more and then feel your upper inner thighs, then you flow. Swing it to the front, exhale, press it back. And to the front, exhale. When your leg goes back, feel your lower abdominals go back to the wall behind you with it.

Pull your abs back. One more. Pull your abs back, hold it back. Now can you lengthen your spine? So traction your neck, reach through your big toe, and pull your abs back.

Stack your legs one on top of the other. Make sure your hips and ankles are stacked. Slide your like down and up. Now feel like you're dragging both inner thighs together to lower. And again, make sure you're not tucking, like I am.

Stick your butt out a little bit and then lower. And again, lengthen to lift and then lengthen to lower. Two more, should be lifting from your powerhouse. Lengthen and pull your abs in, and then seal your inner thighs together. One more and then we're going to five small circles in each direction.

Ready? Circle one, and two, and three, brush your inner thighs, four, and five, or brush your heels, reverse, scoop and two, and three, and four, and five. Rest your leg. Inner thigh, lengthen your leg to lift it up. Bend your knee and place your foot flat.

Grab the back of your ankle. So right away I noticed I tucked. So you wanna lengthen from the crown of your head to your tailbone. Relax this bottom foot and then lift your inner thigh up to meet the top one and then lower it all the way down. Any and press both inner thighs together.

Pull your abs back. Your tailbone can go back a little bit a bit, and then lower it down. Three more, exhale, pull your lower abdominals in. Then think of pulling your navel up to your thumb which is at the back of your head. Last two, pull your navel all the way up towards your hand and then lower it all the way down.

Final one, lift, and then lower it all the way down. Stack your legs one on top of the other. You can turn out slightly, make sure your tailbone's back, and then press the backs of your upper inner thighs together. Feel the traction or the length of your neck and then lift both legs up, pulling your abs back and then lower. Two more, press the bottom leg up into the top, like to lift them both up and then lower.

One side definitely feel different than the other. Lengthen to lift and then lower all the way down. And then you can turn it off your back, hug your knees into your chest, and breathe for a second before we go into Teaser. So when you're there, place your feet flat on the mat. Make sure your feet are not too close to you.

I slide them forward. Now once again, I want you to feel the three corners of your feet. Really find that ball of your big toe and then press your knees and your upper inner thighs together. Pull your hip points into your navel and then pull your navel to the back edge of the mat. Then reach your arms forward.

They will remain parallel to your thighs the whole time. Curl your head and shoulder blades up and pause. Pull your hip points back so much that you can just float up, lift your chest up. And my arms are still on a diagonal line with my thighs. And then I press my inner thighs together and then roll down.

I reach my fingers forward and up, my waist down and back. And I finish with my head down. Keep rooting down through your big toe and press the backs of your upper inner thighs together. Curl your head and shoulder blades up. Keep pulling your hip points back and float your chest up.

Keep reaching up. Now pull your waist back and then reach your arms forward. Roll all the way down. If you feel stuck on the way up, you can do this. Lift your head and shoulder blades up.

Maybe you get to here and then it feels like the impossible dream. It's not, you just grab the back of your thighs, pull your waist down and use your hands to help you lift up. Find your Teaser position with that curled tailbone underneath, your front ribs are back, arms are parallel. And then see if you're gonna roll down from here. Curl your tailbone under and roll all the way down.

Now extend your left leg, externally rotate it, and press your inner thighs and your knees together. Arms stay parallel to the floor. Curl your head and shoulder blades up. Pull both hip points back and float your arms up. Remember if you need hands, use your hands.

Now try to feel like you're reaching past your toes and pulling your ribs back and your abs back. And then press your inner thighs together and roll all the way down, one bone at a time, and then switch legs. Extend your other leg, externally rotate it. Feel like you're pressing the backs of your upper inner thighs together. Pull your hip points into your navel and then roll up without using momentum.

Just reach up. You're gonna float. Reach up, keep pulling your hip points back. Try to reach beyond your toes but keep pulling your ribs back. And then roll all the way down, one bone at a time.

Place your feet down, press your inner thighs down. You're gonna feel like you're pressing your inner thighs down to the floor and pulling your hip points into your navel. Your arms go back. So I'm pressing my thighs down. I'm pulling my lower abdominals down and my ribs down.

My arms are hovering and they're supported by my powerhouse. We're gonna roll up into Teaser three. Step one, reach your arms up. Step two, crawl your head and shoulder blades up and look at your feet. Reach your inner ankles past your big toe.

Pull your hip points back and float up into your Teaser. Try to keep reaching forward. Now can you press the backs of your thighs together? Good, and then bend your knees. We'll transition into seal.

So I reach my arms through my legs. I grab the outer edges of my feet, the soles of my feet are together. Now this is about hugging your midline. You press your inner thighs together. So your knees are trying to be only as wide as your armpits.

And then use that vice grip to pull your waist back and press your arms back out into your legs. You should feel your inner thighs big time. Now keep this connection. Just gonna roll back and forth without clapping. Roll back, keep squeezing your inner fives into your arms and roll up, and again squeeze.

Hug in with your legs, out with your arms, come back up. One more, hug in with your legs, out with your arms. Find that vice grip and then come up. Now we'll add the claps. The claps literally come from your arms doing this, okay?

So, gonna hug your midline, squeeze your arms into your legs, legs into your arms. Your arms create the movement. You clap three times. Three, two, one, roll back, clap. Three, two, one, roll up, clap.

Three, two, one, roll back. Find that vice grip. That one wasn't so good. Try to get your tailbone up and suspend. Clap, two, one, roll up.

You have one more, roll back, and then come all the way up and then you can get up any way you want. Come up to standing. Let's finish with chest expansion. So that's where we started. We're gonna flow through it.

So root down through the ball of your big toe, small toe, and the center of your heel. You can take your hips, rock them forward so your hips are over your arches. Feel more weight in the ball of your big toe and small toe. Now feel like you're pressing your thighs back and inner heels down. Your tailbone reaches down, your hip points pull up.

And then this time we're gonna start with your arms forward. As your arms go forward, pull your ribs, your waist and your lower abdominals back. And then reach your arms towards your ankles. Press your triceps back. Hold your breath, look over one shoulder.

Look over the other shoulder. Look center, exhale, reach your arms forward. Inhale, pull your lower abdominals back. Hug your midline with your upper arm bones. Look over one shoulder.

Look over the other shoulder. Look center. Now root your inner heel down and pull your lower abs back. Two more, inhale, reach back. Keep pressing your inner heels down.

Look over one shoulder, arms are down and back, chest is forward and up. And then pull your waist back, final one. Meet your inner heel down, pull your chest forward and up. And then look over one shoulder. Look over the other shoulder.

Look center, exhale, reach your arms forward and pull your waist back. So I'm really trying to reach the wall in front of me. And I reach my inner heels down as my arms go up. My hip points are lifting up to my fingertips. Now pierce gravity with the crown of your head, arms open wide to the side, and then they lower all the way down.

You're done. Thank you very much. I will see you next week, 8:30 am Pacific time and 11:30 my time, I'm in New York City, so East Coast. Next week's theme is, what is next week's theme? Oh my goodness, I can't remember.

So check on the website and I will see you then, bye-bye.

Plot Twist Pilates with Kira: with Kira Lamb

Comments

1 person likes this.
Graet class!
1 person likes this.
Masterpiece class!!! Thanks Kira!

1 person likes this.
I can't get enough of your classes! Hope you do many many more for PA. 

I love your cues. Thanks
Thank you, Kira! While the moves are certainly not new to me, your cues have helped me to find a new sense of ease and grace while executing them. I really appreciate you helping us to find deeper connections for healthier, happier flows! 
WOW!  Your cues have changed the way I feel doing these movements and will certainly change the way I teach them.  Thank you for this incredible class :)
this was an amazing class. love!! the cues
Trank you ,this was an wonderfull class!
Your cueing is remarkable Kira. It has made me appreciate and improve all of the exercises. I have taken each of your classes and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Hoping at some point you might add weights or some props. Cheers!
The cues!!!!!! wow!!! thankyou!! Excellent class!!!
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