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Class #4351

A New Direction

55 min - Class


Look at Pilates from a new direction through this workout that takes you from standing back down to the Mat. Warm up your body with Maria as she choreographs the connection between Pilates and dance to get your heartbeat pumping. You'll finish out with Breast Stroke and Swimming on the Mat to embrace your inner athlete.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Good morning everybody or afternoon, depending where you're at. So my name is Maria Leone, and we are coming to you live today from the center of Beverly Hills. And this is my Studio Body Live. We're gonna start standing today. Bring yourself upright on your mat, you haven't done so already.

If your mat could be in this orientation, it will make your life a lot easier. Let's just stand nice and tall, close down your eyes and bring all your attention to where you are on your feet. And then just take a little shift forward to the front of the foot. See what that feels like and take a little shift backward onto the heel, see what that feels like. And now find yourself in the center position.

Go ahead and open your eyes. Inhale here, exhale, nod your chin. And we begin with a roll-down, just really warming up the spine, let the arms hang soft in the knees. Knees are really, really, really bent. Get to the bottom, let the head really hang.

Feel the weight slightly forward on the front of the foot. Grab opposite elbows, we're in ragdoll now. And just take little swings, not even a swing, just like a gentle little movement side to side. Head is heavy. Release the arms, keep the knees bent, drop the tail to peel yourself up.

Really move yourself through bone by bone. And if you live to the sternum, notice how the shoulder blades will just slide down. You don't really have to think about the shoulder blades. If you just lift the heart, this nod the chin, take your time. Like you're pushing back into a wall behind you.

Bend the knees, soften the knees. Really try to roll through that lower spine. Come all the way down, drop the head. This time, see if you can get your legs a little bit straighter, don't force it. Bring your hands onto your shin bones.

We're going into half lift, inhale, lift the chest. The gaze goes towards the edge of your mat and exhale lower down. Let the head draw you into the shape. Inhale, lift out and up. Belly in, heart goes long and exhale.

Allow the weight of your head to traction you. Some of you might keep your hands on the ground for this, fingertips or hands flat, exhale, let the head drop. And again inhale and exhale. From here, put your left hand right in front of your two toes. Take your right hand, spiral it to the ceiling and bend your left knee.

Now pull that right hip back to the wall behind you, push through the ground, open the chest. Maybe turn your head, maybe not, if you're having some neck pain, maybe just keep your head straight down. Bring that hand and other hand in front of your toes and spiral the other way. Push through the ground, drop the shoulders. There's a strong bend on one knee so we can open that side of the body.

That's do that again a little quicker and open your chest. Remember to use the floor, use the ground to create length. And lower and then the other side and lift, push the ground away. Two hands to the floor, generous bend in the knees. Imagine your tail is heavy.

Like you have an anchor on your tailbone. The tail drops, as you come near the top of the heart lifts straight to the ceiling, the shoulder blades, just let them slide into their home. Sandwich the spine, let's reach the arms up and over the head, pull the abdominals in, lift the heart to the ceiling. The gaze goes to the ceiling, stay here. Grab your left wrist inside, bend up and over to the right.

Really pull that arm out of the socket, shift the hips slightly to the left. So we don't usually do this kind of a shift in Pilates. Keep the tail really vigorously pointed down, consciously inhale into that top lung for me and come back center, catch the other wrist, take the arm up, pull the waistline long and then side bend the other direction. Shift your hips to the right, belly is tight. And now see how you can use the breath, breathing into that top lung to increase the stretch and come back center.

Pin it and face me. We're going into a little bit of contemporary dance. Interlace your hands. My hands are gonna come around your head and then pull to the opposite hip. Up and around and to the hip.

Then again, inhale and exhale. Keep the arms and close. And if it's too much you can open up and just maybe touch your fingertips. So you don't have quite a tight class. And then we're just mobilizing the shoulder joint, right?

Full range of motion here through the shoulder joint, inhaling and exhaling, last time, inhaling and exhale. Hands to your hips, we're going to do a little side lunch. So that's just start super simple. Just stepping to the side. The back is nice and straight.

Now this foot, it's not gonna be perfectly turned out, a perfectly parallel. That's come back together parallel and then just do a natural step and just feel that your knee is pointed out over your big toe. Real simple, last time. Stay here, take your hands to the ceiling and do a little swing of the arm. The arm swings down and up and down and up.

So kind of just letting go of the arm again, not something we do a lot in Pilates. Release and catch, release and catch, last time, release and catch. We're gonna add a little bit of a swing to that. I'm gonna turn here, turn with me, and just drop the top of your body and up, inhale and exhale, adding a little bounce of the knee. Last time, hold the arms up.

Pull the belly button and lift the chest. Circle the arms behind you and step forward into a runner's lunge, stay here. So we've been here before, make sure the booty isn't sticking out. Pull that hip back, light on the fingertips. Really strong back leg.

Take the back leg in about a third, straighten it, the toes point towards the corner of your mat. And then just enjoy this first hamstring stretch. Deep breath in, long, slow, exhale out. Step your two feet together to the top of the mat bend your knees and come into ball position. Some of you might wanna try that awkward pose we've been working on.

So the knees reach forward. You get absolutely vertical in the spine, let's come back to ball everybody, sit yourself back. The knees open slightly and we're into brace butterfly. So here's a place that you wanna maybe experiment with that contact of the leg on the upper arm. So the knees are hugging in.

So this is a preparation for crow everybody. From here, the legs go out straight and you're at the top of a roll up, shoulders out of the ears. From here, tuck yourself under and roll back about halfway. Lengthen your left arm to the ceiling, creating length through the spine. This front hand pushes something away.

So you rotate and you come center, you rotate and you come center. Keep that length going up through the crown ahead and through those top fingers. Notice that the legs are absolutely still, go ahead and sandwich them together. The further back you are, the more challenging this will be, come center, let's switch arms and let's rotate the other way, just pushing something away. But the action is from the trunk, not the shoulder, you're spinning around your own axis.

Last one like that everybody Come back to the top of your roll up. Let's do a beautiful roll down. Start from the base of the spine, let's travel the head with your back. Come all the way down, slowly lift the legs and find your hundred. That's begin our breath, vigorous in for five and out for five.

Squeeze the legs. And now, adjust your legs as you need guys, you know where your nice hundred is. So maybe you need to be a tabletop. Maybe today you're feeling feet are down. Maybe you're going full and the legs are very low, strong, strong, strong breath, almost done.

(Maria exhales) Last time, pull the knees in, the head goes down. Let's go to single leg stretch, the head and shoulders come up, reach the other foot way past the edge of the mat. And let's inhale for two counts, two movements, exhale for two, inhale for two, exhale for two. Keep lifting the chest, effortless effort, even in your face, think about that. It changes it, I swear and inhale and exhale, almost done and inhale and exhale, knees in, head goes down.

Take your hands behind your head, lift your head and shoulders up. We're gonna do the legs only of Double Leg Stretch. The legs shootout, you decide where they're going. Exhale, in, inhale out. Try not to move that pelvis guys, exhale, in, inhale, out, move from the center of the body.

And last time, inhale out, exhale, pull in lower down. One leg to the ceiling, the other leg out straight. Take a moment just to really compress. Don't think about pulling the top leg in. Think about compressing the bottom leg into the ground.

Imagine right now that the exercise or the stretch is for the hip, not that top hamstring. And let's change sides, the other leg is up, it's straight. Don't worry about it. All your focus is on the bottom leg. Open that bottom hip, contract that bottom leg Push, push push.

So you're active here and let's take the two legs up and let's prepare for single straight leg stretch, head and shoulders up. The other leg really low, reaching past the edge of the mat. Let's inhale for two counts, and then exhale one, two. Now those of you that have the flexibility, go ahead and take that leg all the way to your forehead. If you've got it, use it and inhale and exhale.

Two more, inhale and exhale. Knees in, lower down, hands behind the head into Crisscross, lift the head and shoulders up, stay here. Opposite elbow to knee, inhaling for two counts and exhaling for two counts. Making sure that you're not dropping as you change sides. So once we start moving, we turn the volume up through that entire exercise.

Keep your focus, keep the pelvis still, knees in, lower down. Release your head from side to side. Okay, so something a little bit new. I call it double twist. Take your hands behind your head, lift the head and shoulders up, twist so that you can see me, so you're facing me.

So you're in this Crisscross position. From here, the hip comes off the mat and you see, it's not very big, right? But I'm trying to rotate my hip, trying to rotate within a rotation. Now that bottom leg doesn't move. Keep pulling opposite elbow to me, last time like that and all the way down.

So it takes a second to find it. But when you find it, you're gonna know, okay? Hands behind the head, lift the chest. And we go across to the other side to Crisscross, set up a beautiful position. And now they hip pulls across the body.

I can move much more on this side than the other, the bottom leg doesn't move at all. Keep integrating your breath, guys. You should have a pretty new experience in your obliques right now. Keep your attention in the whole body, integrate everything. Let's do two more.

Last one, knees in. We're gonna rock up. So pull the knees in, rock yourself up. So we've been working on Crab, index fingers to the big toes. We're gonna try to do the leg change back there.

No big deal if you can't, it's just like extra choreography sort of, but Joe did it. So I'm doing it. Roll back, change your legs and come up, let's do that again. Roll back, change the legs and come up. This time, we're gonna transition.

Roll back, change the legs. Come all the way up, the knees go down, the hands go down. Either step or jump back to plank. Walk your feet into your hands, bend your knees. Peel yourself slowly, all the way back up, turn and face me.

We go back to that modern dance little series. Hands together, so we can build a little bit quicker now. We're gonna begin to add a little bend of the knees and a little bit of movement from the trunk. So we inhale and we exhale and there's that feeling of a catch and release right now. So I want you to experience the feeling of the movement, more than thinking so much about your shape and your form and all that stuff.

Just breathe and move and make it feel good. Last time, all the way up, back to those lunges. So this time we're gonna lean forward a little bit and now you don't have to stay with me, some of you will be moving much quicker. I kind of always like to start slow before I move quick, the back is flat. I'm hinging and I'm coming up.

So I'm getting low to the ground by bending the knee, not by changing the spine, straight hinge, straight up. And when we come up, let's make it really nice Pilates posture. One more like that. This time I'm open your knees, your feet and your knees a little, the hands come up. Let's just start with swinging the arms again, catch and release, easy-breezy with the breath.

And now let's add the trunk, all the way down and up and there's a knee bend. So we bend and bend, good. And release and catch (Maria exhales) release and catch. Again, release and catch, last one, release and catch. Quarter turn, pull the belly in, lift the chest.

Circle the arms. The other foot comes forward into your lunge. Let's say it's the left foot, I think that's right. Super strong back leg. Pull the left hip back for me.

(Maria inhale) And breath. (Maria exhales) Keep pulling the upper back along, feel your whole body. Now the bad leg comes in about a third, turn it out, step on it, drop your body. Try to be as square with your hips as you can be. (Maria exhales) Step the back foot in, we come back to your ball.

Some of you will come immediately up into that awkward pose. It is indeed awkward. (Maria exhales) Whoops, back to the ball. Sit yourself down. Find that brace butterfly again.

So here, we're pulling your belly button towards your heels, getting the shoulders out of the ears and back to the top of a roll up. Stay here, pull the waistline back guys, feel the back of your sit bones on the mat right now in this moment. From the base of the spine, we peel back, stay here. The chest is lifted, open the arm to twist. Some of you will even look back to that hands, come back to your C shape and rotate to the other way.

If you want more work you could roll back a, little bit further. Try to leave the front of your hip alone and center and twist and center, something new. So twist and now from here, you're gonna saw your pinkie past the pinkie toe, push the back arm back. So we're in a saw, like a close legged saw. Come back to the top of the roll up, tuck and roll back, twist the other direction, and now saw off the other pinkie toe, push the back arm back, belly button goes over the opposite thigh bone, back to center, tuck and roll back and twist and twist.

Use your arms to help you guys. Back center and tuck and roll back and twist and into your saw, back to the top of the roll up. Roll yourself back down. Pull your knees into your chest. Lift the chest, Double Leg Stretch everyone, inhale out, exhale, recoiling, really pulling in from the center.

Inhale out, exhale from the center of the body. Not the limbs, again, out, exhale, pull in, stay here, listen carefully. You're gonna roll and face me. Roll onto your hip. The legs stay in the air, hold it here, head is down.

The bottom leg goes down and up, down and up. The hips are stacked. The shoulders are stacked. Squeeze that bottom leg and just kind of get comfortable in that side position. Two more here.

Shoulders are dropped. Hold the legs up. We're gonna transition. Pull back to ball from the center of the body, rounding lift, lift, lift to the other side. The legs are in the air, everybody and the bottom leg goes down and up.

Keep feeling the length of the spine, easy and effortless with the breath. Then the body will follow, set your attention in your mind and the body will follow. Three, two, one, pull back into that tight ball. Let's do Double Leg Stretch again. Big breath in, exhale.

Inhale, stretch further than you were before. Reach past the mat. Last one, inhale, exhale, pause here. Roll to me, the legs are up. Now this time, two legs down and up.

Squeeze the bottom leg into the top leg and they move as one unit. If you're brave, you'll release this hand. I actually did this at Pilates anytime at the edge of the mat once, it was very, very scary. Three more, three, or keep the hand down, two and one, keep the legs up, pull into ball, tight recoil. Let's go the other side, lift the legs up, two legs down and up.

So we're really moving from the obliques guys. So that top hip does pull up into your armpit. You'll notice your bottom waistline lowering and lifting into the ground. Seal the legs, make them more one unit, almost like a mermaid tail kind of a feeling here Two, lift one, stay here, pull into tight ball shape. Maybe reconfigure if you need, back to Double Leg Stretch, inhale, exhale inhale and exhale, full breath guys.

Make your breath the soundtrack. Last one, roll to your side. Ooh, maybe arms up, maybe, maybe not. And let's begin a little flutter of the legs. So start this small and make sure you really have that sensation.

Pelvis is still, legs straight. And then see if you can challenge yourself by making this bigger, either bigger and/or faster, or maybe both, try to keep your head relaxed for five, four three, two, one. Back to your ball, lift as you transition, work even more here, set yourself up, roll to the other side. Two legs are high, began a slow flutter of the legs, maintaining stability as best you can with the pelvis. And now you're gonna go on your own tempo and your own range, whatever works and maybe you are going back to one of the other things we did earlier, right?

Just a simpler version of this. Doesn't matter what you choose. Take a moment right now to drop in and feel where you are in space. I'm gonna be quiet for a moment. Take a few breaths and move.

(Maria exhales) And back into your ball. Okay, I'm going to be quiet here too. That's do three Double Leg Stretch together. Moving on your own time. Go ahead and close your eyes, really feel where you are.

Connect to that breath. Last time everybody. Open your eyes, lift the hips, roll yourself up, cross the legs, let's go right to Crab, rollback. Maybe change the legs, maybe not. Let's do a second one.

And now this time, we're gonna transition, up and over the legs to plank and walk your feet into your hands, bending your knees and peel yourself slowly all the way up and turn and face me. Let's open your feet wide, open the hands and we're going into Grande Plie. So we go down to the bottom and up to the top, real simple to begin with. And you can always come back to just this simple motion. Let's begin to connect with the inner thighs though, right?

Just like you're on the reformer. So we're moving from the glutes, hamstring and inner thigh. Three more, let's pick up the tempo and two and one. I'm gonna shorten my stance a little, come down, stay here. Let's take the two heels or one heel up and down or two heels up and down.

Relax the shoulders, relax the face. Feel where your tail is pointed, straight down. Three, two, one, stretch the legs all the way straight. Take your left arm to the ceiling, other hand on the waist, side bend up and over. So we're gonna do a little different in the side bend.

We're gonna allow the hips to shift over. So this is very (mumbles) for those of you that danced. Armpit to the ceiling, open, open, open those ribs, come all the way up. The other arm comes up and we do lift the ribs out of the pelvis to start up and over for that side bend and then use this hand to shift those hips over, right? So the bend is coming from much lower, all the way down to the hip socket, different form and all the way up.

Bend your knees, come back down, stay here, lift the heels up and let's take little pauses up from the inner thighs. And again, if it's too much, just put the heels down. No big deal. Belly is tight, for three, for two, for one, stretch the legs all the way straight, quarter turn this way and find your lunge. So some of you did this with me yesterday.

We're gonna Batma, arms are out, sweep that leg forward and step back. So this would be like a begin or a way to go. Just working that balance and going straight vertical from the crown of the head to that bottom foot. As you get comfortable and you have a sense of that balance. Give it a little bit more oomph.

So where does the oomph come from? From you sweeping the leg across the mat. That's why it's better not to have on that sticky sock. Sweep, two more, last time and pivot back to me, stay here. And from here, lift the heels up and down again, up and down.

Relax the shoulders, soft hands, for three and two and one. Let's pivot the other way. Set up your lunge, front leg is turned out, nice and vertical and sweep and step back and really think about, instead of thinking about the leg that's moving, really think about this standing leg. (Maria exhales) And think about using your breath, making sure your hip is moving the opposite direction of your foot, right? So as you kick, don't let the hip go with your leg.

Give it a little bit more oomph. I'd love to have a Batma standing right now. Last one, come back to your Grand Plie from here. Take your right arm up, side bend up and over, stay here, belly in. From here, straighten your legs, push the hips to the side, notice how much further you go.

Belly tight, see if you can take the bottom arm, up to join it, hug the arms in, all the way up. Back to the bottom of the Grande Plie. And we side bend, up and over, stay here. Use this hand to cut the hips over. Go further into your stretch.

Belly tight, the bottom arm comes up and the whole shape comes up and back to your Grand Plie, let's go a little quicker. So I'd bend over and reach, bottom hand comes up. The shape comes all the way up. Back to the Grande Plie, side bend over, push the hips. Go further, bottom hand up, hug them in and bend your knees, stay here.

Either bend and stretch, real simple like that. That's option one. Option two, Plie and Releve. Option three is taking little jumps here. They don't have to be big.

Just the foot barely clearing the mat, for three, two, one, all the way straight and pivot. Ooh, back to Batmas. Here we go, sweep. And you'll notice on that second set. How the leg is already moving with a little bit more freedom and a little bit more ease.

(Maria exhales) Relax the breath, the body follows. So sometimes doing less works better than doing more. Stay here, back here. Your option, bend and stretch. Some of you jumped.

I'm not gonna jump, some of you jump. I know a lot of you can jump. Keep your back nice and straight. Go ahead and level it up guys. Just cause I don't do it, doesn't mean you can't.

For two and one, quarter turn the other way. Back leg is back, here we go for Batmas. And if you want, just take that leg low. Feel what your body is telling you it can go. Where can it go today?

Today might be a little different than yesterday. Breath is the soundtrack. Crown of the head goes vertical. Push through the bottom leg. Two more, last time and turn and face me bottom of the Grande Plie, all the way up.

Toes forward, nod the chin, roll all the way down. Let the head hang, soft in the knees. Allow the head to traction your trunk down to the well. Bend the knees and peels slowly all the way up. Okay, we're gonna start to build a little bit more heat.

Just by stepping side to side. So this is the really basic and again, just like we did in the beginning, the foot is gonna kind of point where it needs to point, right? Don't force your foot into a position that's not right for you but always knee tracking with the toe. Now let's start to make that a little bit bigger. Traveling further.

Maybe some of you have begun to jump, bend your knees. Take the shape low. Keep the back flat and pitch forward. Keep moving, push, push, push. Some of you working a lot faster than me.

Some of you staying with the simple step. Now, if you can, without bending your back, bending the knees, see if you can touch, touch, touch, touch but you're getting there from the knee bend not a bend of the body. Three, two, one, both legs straight, drop your head down. (Maria exhales) Deep breath in. (Maria inhales) Pivot and lunge onto your right foot and come back to a plank.

Open the chest, hold it here. Come down to your knees now and find a nice straight line, crown of the head to the knees, spin the biceps forward, the elbows point back. Let's move the elbows, bend them one inch and one inch up and notice how from the crown of the head to the knee, everything moves together. So the thighbone and the head move together. See if you can take us a little bit lower.

So we're working Chaturanga. The lowest you would make it would be where the shoulders are in the same plane as the points of your elbows. Collarbones open, Pilates form please, shoulder blades wide and all the way down to the ground. Release the feet into Swan. Pubic bone stays down, big breath in, open the chest, shoulders are down, the arm won't make it straight and all the way down.

Okay, we're going into Breaststroke from the reformer. The arms are a little different here. So it's a little W position. So you're in a W, ideally legs together in parallel but you can adapt if needed, right from where you're at, pull your belly away from the mat and just notice how that makes your pubic bone drop more to the mat. Does that mean you grab your glute, right?

It just means you engage the transverse abdominis, you're in that W, 10 toenails on the mat. Knees are off the mat. Without disturbing anything, here's the hardest moment. Shoot the arm straight up over your head. Whoa, the back turns on like crazy, right?

Open the arms to a T. Now imagine your arms are wings being pulled. So shoulder blades are wide on the back right now. Reach the arms back to your toes. Pull the shoulders out of the ears, bend the elbows.

Now we're gonna add some motion of the back. Arms over the head, there's that burning moment. Open the chest and circle the arms all the way back to the toes. Heart goes forward. Belly button is in, pubic bone is heavy, back to the W.

Let's do that again. Shoot the arms out. Open the chest, belly lifts. Remember, it's called breaststroke. Pull that breast forward.

Back to W, hardest would be to lift right away. So lift and shoot the arms over the head. And then notice as you circle, the back will naturally be able to lift a little bit higher back to your W. One more time, lift the back or just the arms for some of you, lift, lift, lift, all the way down, hands go back down and into Child's Pose. (Maria exhales) Elbows off the mat, compress the sit bones to the heel.

It's a good position for you to find breath into the back side of the body here. So use this moment to fill the back rib cage with air. Look up, put the forearms down. We're going to do that little slither down to the floor. So using the fore arms, skin to chin, and then the sternum and then the belly push all the way through, lift yourself up and then lower all the way back down.

From here, lift the head and shoulders up to Swan and lower down. So we're getting ready for Swan Dive and then the legs lift up and they lower down and the chest lifts and it lowers and the legs lift and they lower. Now you can begin to integrate that. Simple is just to release the hands and most people can do this guys, just keep connected. Be one piece, fully integrated from the crown of the head to the heel and your body will rock.

All you need to do really is release the hands. Some of you take the arms out and keep the arms over your head, if you'd like. Last one, super straight legs come all the way back into rest position, compressing the sit bones to the heels. Let's bring the two hands to one side of your mat. Doesn't matter which one.

So now you're in a side bend. Breathe into the top lung. Let's take the hands over to the other side. Same thing here, breathe into the top lung, bring the hands back center. Let's do that slither, fore arms down, skin to chin, the chest, the belly, lift to Swan and lower down.

Reach behind you and interlace your hands. So this is a position that we don't do a lot in Pilates but it is utilized a lot in yoga. So pull your shoulder blades together tight, pull your knuckles back towards your heels. Now that doesn't mean you hyper-extend your elbows. Get your knees off the mat, belly in, lift the heart, stay here.

So the shoulders are out of the ears. The shoulder heads are rolling back together towards the spine. Not something we do very much again in Pilates. Might just Double Leg Kick, really that's it. From here, let's lift the legs up.

So we're now in Locust Pose from yoga, release your hands, your hands about your side. We're now in Pilates placement of a Scapulars, begin swimming the legs, inhaling and exhaling. (Maria exhales) Keep pulling the heart forward. Some of you will open the arms to the T. The breath is smooth and steady, in for five, out for five.

So for me, this counter trains that hundred (Maria exhales) Last time, everything down, push it all the way back into your rest position. Come back forward to plank. Come towards the edge of your mat if you're not there, hold it here. Pull the right knee really strongly across the body. Little tuck on the tail, equal weight on both hands, everyone, and take that foot back.

Pull the knee across the body towards the opposite armpit. There's a feeling to me of pulling the tail under and take the foot back, let's do that again. (Maria sighs) Getting winded, pull across, lift the knee up higher to your chest, higher to your shoulder, take it back. Last time, pull across, spin the biceps forward. Use your arms, push the ground away.

Take the foot back, lift the hips up. So you're in Downward Dog. If you need to go back into Child's Pose let's just take a moment or two to breathe. Do whatever movement feels right on you right now. (Maria breathes heavily) Okay, we're going into our Fallen Star Series.

So we're gonna start by lifting your right leg up into an Arabesque. Pinkie toe to the ceiling, hip is slightly open. Then the knee into an attitude, heel towards opposite butt. Now let the pelvis rotate. So not perfectly square like we would do in ballet.

There's a rotation from the tail with extension, go all the way back to Arabesque, lower the foot down. Same thing on the other leg. Open the hip, point the toe, show off the (mumbles), if you got it, long spine now guys, bend the knee, come to attitude. And now my pelvis continues to move in the direction of that bent knee. Equal weight on both hands though.

So there's only so far you can go, come back to that beautiful Arabesque, lower the foot down. Moving on, go back to the first side. So we go Arabesque. We go to attitude, we go to Arabesque. Now, pull the knee across the body, tuck the tail, stay here.

Without changing anything, take the leg out straight. That's right, put it down, Fallen Star. You have two hands on the mat. Pelvis is twisted from here and my head is too low, bend the elbows and slide all the way down to your side position, stack your legs. We're into Side Kicks.

Kick that top like forward and back. So you guys know this, so just focus, particularly when it's movement, you know, just listen for the breath, relax the face and let the body move for you. (Maria exhales) Two more, last time everyone. Pull your knees in tight, sit yourself up, stack the legs, grab your shinbone, so we're into Mermaid. This hand comes up.

Use this arm to help you bend into that lateral bend. And one motion, down on the forearm, top arm comes up and when motion lifts, catch the shinbone, belly is in, open the lung, back to the floor. And last time, push off. (Maria exhales) Back to the forearm. From here, the top arm comes down in front of you.

Follow it a you're on your hands and knees. From here, take your right leg straight back behind you. The left arm forward, hold it, hold it, hold it. (Maria exhales) And lower it down. Left arm, left leg back, right arm forward, stay here and hold, shoulders are dropped, belly is in tight.

Feel where your head is. The forearm reaches around and catches the back ankle. Some of you will just stay here and enjoy a quad stretch. Some of you, kick the leg up, take your heart to knee, open the chest. We're in Dancer's Pose, breathing into the top of that chest.

(Maria exhales) One more breath. From here, release the arm and the leg, carry everything to the side. You gotta fight for it a little bit. (Maria groans) And then put everything down. And up onto your knees for side kneeling.

Cartwheel up and over. Let's take the hand behind the head and let's just do simple, straight up, straight down. The shoulders are out of the ears. See how you can use the ground to help you. So I'm constantly saying that, when we do mat work, the mat is literally your prop.

Last one like that, knees together. A moment to take a breath, inhaling in, exhaling out, up to the other side. The other leg reaches out, cartwheel up and over. Take the top hand straight up. And now you're gonna twist and you're gonna reach through this little window you created, drop the head and then take the arm all the way up.

Again, twisting, twisting the upper back. The shoulders are out of the ears. Pelvis as still as you can and up, some of you remove that bottom leg. Same action, twisting the upper back and up, if you can take the gaze to the hands, last time, twist and all the way up and now we're gonna transition, turn and face your mat. You're in perfect plank.

Hold it here and then lift it downward dog. And hopefully your teacher knows where she's going. Shoulders are down. Take a moment to breathe into the backside of the body. Okay, here we go.

Left leg goes up, beautiful Arabesque. Push them out away from you into attitude. Allow the rotation of the hips, feel so good. Not something we do a lot of in Pilates. Take the leg up to Arabesque.

Reach for, give me your all, lower it down. Other leg up, Arabesque, belly is in, sometimes it feels good just to go for it. And some days not. Attitude, rotate the pelvis. Feel your weight on both hands, all the way back to your Arabesque and lower it down.

Other leg, in to Arabesque, in to attitude, back to Arabesque. Now, here we go. Pull across the body, tuck the tail, hold it there. Feel where your head is. Stretch the leg out straight, try to hold it in the air.

Then put the foot down. Stay here for a minute. Equal weight on two hands. Bend the elbows and you'll kind of slide all the way back, I'm adjusting myself back a little bit. And you arrive in your sidekick position, hopefully.

From here, kicking forward and pointing back. And I don't mind if you're on your elbow or if you're all the way down but make sure you're connected to the head. The pelvis is still. This moment here, going back for me, I really wanna find that opening of the hip. So I try to use that moment, more of a stretch, inhaling and exhaling, inhaling and exhaling.

Last one. (Maria exhales) Two knees in, all the way up into Mermaid. So legs are stacked. Grab the shin, this hand comes up. I'm a little restricted, side bend up and over.

So now really use, pull from your elbow guys, not like this. Pull from your elbow to get that length. (Maria sighs) Bend over the other way, one action, one movement, make it fluid and flew it all the way back up. If you'd like, you can gaze up. If not, just look straight to me and back to the forearm and again, all the way up.

(Maria exhales) And back to the fore arm. Here comes the transition. This hand over your head. It sweeps down in front of you and it takes you right up to your hands and knees. And now from here, your right leg goes back.

Your left arm goes forward. So something we do a lot in Pilates, nice and stable, neutral, all those good things that your teachers work so hard with you on all the time. Back to all fours, opposite leg, left leg back, right arm forward. I think that's where you should be. Front arm hand reaches around and it catches the foot.

Some of you will just stay here. Some of you lift to Dancer Pose. So really use your foot here, use your leg, not your back. Push your foot into your hand and breathe into your chest. Notice how just those two things are gonna increase your shape and your ease in the shape.

One more a breath, release. Everything goes side with control and lower everything down and everything comes up and we cartwheel over and hand behind the head and let's do some leg lifts, straight up, straight down, but shoulders are pulling down again. Look for an openness here. There's really, the body wants to retract in the hip. Don't do that, power comes from the glute.

Long leg, remember you're striking a target. Two more here and come all the way down onto your knees. Just a moment to reset, refocus to the other side. One leg comes out, up and over. Ooh no, that is not right.

Come back here. The other leg comes up. I did something incorrect, sorry, up and over, stay here and twist through. We might've done one leg two times. That's okay, you go back and do it after.

And again, twist through. And all the way up. And twist through. And all the way up. Some of you take the bottom foot away and twist through, all the way up and again, twist and lift, a little flare to it, a little bit more reach.

Last time, turn and face the mat and come into your plank position. Stay here for me, please. Walk your feet to your hands. You're up your head, soften your knees. Peel yourself slowly, up bone by bone by bone.

Get beautifully vertical. Turn and face me. So we're back into our little modern dance sequence. Hands are here. They come up over and pull in.

So just begin with that. And again, you don't have to be with me. (Maria exhales sharply) I recommend inhale and exhale. So just look for that feeling of catch and release. Catch and release, a real ease of motion.

Last one like that. Come all the way up. Some of you are just gonna go back to this simple lunge. Now some of you will add the arms to that and I'll show what you mean. So from here we circle and we pull, we come up and over and we pull.

Inhale and exhale and is a big step now. And you're taking the trunk far forward but the back is still straight. And maybe you add a little bit of speed to that. So not really a right or wrong way, guys. (Maria exhales) Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

Last time, come all the way up. Let's begin just swinging those arms. Let everything go, a little bounce and a bounce, bounce and a bounce. Let's add a swing to it. Maybe it's a small swing.

Maybe it's a big swing. All the way down, all the way up, release. Let the head just kind of flop around. If you can believe I'm saying that. Real freedom in the head.

Two more here and last time, hold the arms up, pull the belly in, reach, reach, reach for the ceiling. Drop the shoulders, belly in, open the arms. Bring your two feet together. We're gonna set up for Tree, okay? So take your right leg.

Option one is here, hips square. Option two, calf, hips are still square. Option three, get your foot, bring it into your inner thigh. Now if your foot is there and if your leggings aren't too slippery, I want you to squeeze. We're going to squeeze everyone to prayer.

Little squeeze between your hands, little squeeze between the sole of your foot and your inner thigh. Now your job is to breathe. Just focus where you are in the body. Notice that bottom foot. So mine right now is like freaking out.

Like the nervous system is like, "What are you doing?" Take a moment and send a message to melt the foot into the earth. Stand beautifully tall. Who cares if you lose your balance and everything comes together. Second side, ankle, notice, I am really parallel here. Ankle, maybe calf, maybe inner thigh.

Definitely not knee. Definitely not knee, all the way up if you can but the hips have to be square, right? Waistline is long, the knee is open. Find your prayer position. (Maria breathes heavily) Little squeeze between the hands, a little squeeze between the sole of the foot and the inner thigh and just breathe here.

Drop the shoulders, let the bottom foot melt for me please. And let's come all the way together, feet together, hands together and bring the hands to prayer and close your eyes. (Maris breathes heavily) The belly is pulling up and the tail is just dropping down. Focus on the breath. Now shift your intention and just allow your breath to breathe you.

So what do I mean? Give up all control of the breath and let it go. (Maria breathes heavily) And notice, it might shift. It might be come more diaphragmatic. It might go more into the back and the size of the rib cage.

Sometimes mine gets really, really tiny. So there are really long pauses for me between each breath. Take a moment to be grateful for that, that your body was able to be here today, that you were able to move no matter how well or how bad or you think you might've done, you made it to your mat today and you moved your body and you worked on breath and you worked on alignment. And that's a good thing. Let's take one final breath, in through the nose and a long, slow, exhale out through the mouth and then slowly allow the eyes to open.

I really do believe movement heals everybody, not just the body, but the mind. Take care, I'm here tomorrow, 8:00 a.m. See you then.

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1 person likes this.
Such an amazing class. I enjoyed every second of it. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Well this one made me sweat. Fun Class. Thanks Maria:)Β 
Maria, really appreciate the variety of movement in this class ! would love more classes Β like this , You are a really great teacher !
Lina S
1 person likes this.
Amazing class! I've enjoyed all the different exercises, the flow. It felt as a dance, each move flowing in the next one. It was fun and challenging. Perfect!
1 person likes this.
Fun, motivating, challenging ... thank you πŸ™πŸ»πŸ‡©πŸ‡°
1 person likes this.
Brilliant lesson. ESP love the transitions and the dance elements, free flowing energy. Thank you for sharing πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½
1 person likes this.
Maria - you are amazing! Love that you have all these 2/3 mat classes with such variety ;>)) Thank you!
I loved this class! And how you bring yoga and pilates together, with some dance moves! Thank you. A lifesaver on this snowy day in Stockholm.
Heather M
LOVE LOVE LOVE! This class was soooo yummy and fun. The pilates student, dancer and yogi in me are all very satisfied.Β 
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