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Class #4384

A Flow For Everyone

60 min - Class
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Description

Find your foundation with Saul Choza as he takes you back to pre-Pilates movements. You’ll use the wall to articulate your spine and feel the two-way stretch before beginning the Mat exercises. Move your body into this week as you flow from standing, kneeling, to supine positions, prepping the body for lessons to come. Flow through a beginner, restorative workout that will remind you how versatile Pilates can be!
What You'll Need: Mat, Wall

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Welcome everybody to my first class of the Rise and Recharge series. This is the last week. Today, we're gonna do flow for everybody. So let's all stand up, please. Yeah, I you have a wall that would truly help a lot because I like to use the wall as a feedback.

This is a great tool to introduce the 100. This is a great tool to create articulation of the spine. So with that said, I want you to lean up against the wall if you have a wall. If not, just make sure you stand up straight with one-third of your weight on your toes and two-thirds of your weight on the back of your foot, okay? So we're gonna lean up against the wall and we're gonna bring the feet forward about 12 inches.

Good, make sure that your spine is nice and long on the wall. Not if this is not possible right now, this is something that we can work towards and you can always use a pillow behind the neck to make sure that you continue having that beautiful long neck up against the wall. So if you see me sideways, I really want you to think of whenever I make reference to a long neck, I literally want you to think of the back of the neck reaching nice and long. I hope you guys can see that. So having said that, here we go.

We're gonna start with deep breaths. So inhale for me. And exhale. Now, if your chest starts rising, it's okay. Just breathe deeply into the body.

The whole system should just blow up like a balloon. Yeah, so think of the sides of the body, the front of the body, just inhaling deeply and exhale. Again, inhale (inhales deeply) and exhale. Let's check the body a little bit. Please make sure that your sacrum is nice and flat on the, spread on the wall.

It's a same feeling you're gonna have on the mat once we get down to the mat. Yeah, your lower back, I don't necessarily want you to press into the wall but I want you to lengthen that lower back as well as your necks, because whatever happens in the neck happens in the lower back. Good, your shoulders. Just lift 'em up for a second, please and just roll them back and just drop 'em. That's where the shoulders should be.

I don't want you to press them up against the watch, just a neutral position. So now we're gonna create action with that breath. I need you to inhale deeply and then lift the shoulders up towards the ceiling and then drop the shoulders down one. Again, with the inhale, you create more space in the upper part of your lungs and then drop the shoulders down. Again, inhale and exhale.

Now we're gonna circle the shoulders. We're gonna bring the shoulders in inhale and exhale. Bring them down. And again, inhale, bring the shoulders forward and take them back. One more time.

We're moving up the joints right now, special part of the body. Excellent, now let's reverse that. Back up and around. And one. Again, trying to take as much as you can air into the system.

Two. One more time. Inhale (inhales deeply). And exhale. And everybody asks me, so how am I supposed to breathe?

You're supposed to breathe in through the nose and out through the nose. We have a natural furnace in our system and we need to use it. Inhale (inhales deeply). And exhale. (exhales slowly) Only breathe out of the nose.

You're exhausted and you need to cool off your system. At this point, we're warming up the system. And therefore by expelling the air out through the nose, we're keeping the nostrils warm to where that comes in. Yeah, it's warm enough, infuse it into our bloodstream. Excellent, very nice.

Good, take the arms down for me please. And now we're gonna create a full range of motion with those arms. If this is too challenging for you, I want you to go back to your hands on your (audio warps) and create the same action with the scapulas. I haven't (audio warps) yet, but whenever you move the arms I want you to start being aware of what's happening with your shoulder blades, your scapulas. Yeah, and mechanically, they should move with the arms.

Let's (audio warps) that. Inhale (inhales deeply). And exhale. So you wanna think of your scapulas, wing to (audio warps) out to the sides and then rotate up towards the ceiling and they come down. Excellent, one more time.

Here we go. Make sure that your spine is nice and long (audio warps) the wall and bring it down with control. Excellent, very nice. Now just press the arms up against the wall for a second. We're gonna do (audio warps) of the cervical spine, of the neck.

So inhale deeply and on the exhale I just want you to drop the chin to the chest for me please, and feel that stretch. Nothing else changes, just the neck. Now with the inhale, I'm up into a beautiful pride position. And again inhale deeply for me, please, and empty the lungs out into the chest, navel deep into the spine without pressing the spine into the back. You've got to lengthen it, again.

And exhale. (exhales slowly) Inhale (inhales deeply). And release, beautiful. Now we're gonna articulate for the thoracic. We're gonna obviously include the cervical spine, the neck, and the upper back.

So inhale deeply for me, please, and then drop the chin to the chest and exhale through the abdominals and roll down as if you're doing a roll up. When you get to your lower back, now this time you are gonna feel that elongation of that lower back onto the mat. You keep your pelvis in a neutral position. And let's hang out here for a second and just do some small little circles, five circles with the arms and then reverse that. Now inhale deeply and roll that for me, please.

Nice and tall. Feel the articulation of the spine. Bone per bone just stacking up until you get to your longest point of the spine. Again, inhale for me please. And let's articulate the spine, peeling your spine off forward.

Once you get your lower back, you should feel that lower back elongating on the wall. Small little circles, five circles with those arms and reverse. Now roll up one vertebra at a time. Feel the elongation of the neck. Maintain that elongation of the lower back.

Let's do this one more time. Inhale deeply for me, please. And then empty the lungs, chin to the chest. Navel deep into the spine, head rolled down. Lengthen that lower back.

And now this time, guess what? You're in a 100 position. So let's do just 50 breaths right here. Feel how beautifully elongated your lower back is on the mat. Feel how open your upper back is.

Feel how long your neck is. And from here, let's just take a couple of deep breaths. Inhale (inhales deeply) and exhale. (exhales slowly) Keep the abdominals pressing into the wall. This time you can press the abdominals into the wall and you should feel your lower back spreading and connecting into the wall.

This is what you're gonna experience eventually on the floor, but not today. Maybe tomorrow. Now from this position, let's roll up one vertebra at a time, lengthening the body, long neck. Excellent, very nice. Now what we're gonna do on the next repetition, we're gonna try to include the pelvis and we're gonna try to expel the air for 12 counts, okay?

As we articulate the spine, peeling it off the floor, I want you to expel all the air out. So are you ready? Here we go. Inhale deeply (inhales deeply) and exhale, peel up the spine. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 14.

And then roll up one vertebrae at a time. How did everybody do? Were you able to expel the air for 16 counts? If not, let's give it a try again. See if you can inhale a little bit more into the system so you can be able to expel the air out for 12 counts.

So here we go. Inhale deeply for me, please. And exhale, roll down. One, two, three four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12. And roll up for me, please, with the inhale.

Feel how nicely the lower back is feeling, it's starting to elongate. Yes, as we move, let's do this one more time. Make sure your abdominals are engaged at all times especially when you're in that rounded position. Let's give it a try. This time we're gonna go for 14 counts.

So inhale deeply for me, please. Lengthen the body and exhale. Drop the head down. Chin to the chest. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

And inhale, roll up one vertebra at a time. Feel the abdominals lifting you up as you articulate all the way to the top. Think of the crown of the head reaching up to the ceiling and excellent, good. As I said earlier, we're gonna always work on some form of squat because this is what we do every day. So it's important to keep those muscles supple and strong.

So in this position, I want you to bring your feet forward about a foot and a half, about 18 inches. So here we go. Now from this position your spine is still very long up against the wall. You're gonna bend the knees and you're gonna reach the arms forward with the inhale. Right here you can breathe naturally.

Make sure the spine is nice and long. Feel the wrap of your glutes. Feel the abdominals lifting in and up. Good, let's hold it here for three more seconds. And from the back of the legs, keep the spine nice and long.

You're gonna come up into an upright position one. Excellent, we're gonna do this two more times. Feel the back of the legs, bend the knees for me, please. Make sure that your knees are not further than your toes as you go into that deep squat. The deeper, the better obviously.

If you wanna go to about a right angle position with a back of the legs. Hold this position again. Feel the wrap of the glutes. Feel that pelvic floor lifting you up, connect with your inner thighs. Even though your legs are out, your inner thighs should always be a part of a squat.

Excellent, you guys are doing great. Make sure the back of the neck is nice and long. And now from this position, go from underneath yourself, press yourself up. My wall is not as slippery, so I'm gonna inch up a little bit and bring the arms down. Excellent, one more time.

Here we go. You're gonna bend the knees. Scoop the abdominals, feel the back of the legs working. Yes. If this is too much on your knees, try not to go as low.

Yes, we gradually built into this strength that is comfortable for us. So here we go. Hold this position, wrap your glutes. Feel the inner thighs. Fell that pelvic floor.

Now lengthen the body and come up to an upright position and release, good. You need to step back about six inches, bring your heels back together. Now that whole experience that you had here and throughout the whole exercise, I want you to find it, solidify that feeling of the wrap of your glutes, the inner thighs, the obliques pulling in transverse abdominis. But I say that three times. And from this position for me, please, I want you to push up against the wall.

Let's come back to the wall for a second for me, please. And I want you to brace your core. I want you to brace that powerhouse, lengthen that whole spine and from the back of the body, from your triceps, from your lats, I want you to push yourself forward and come back to the center again. Excellent, let's try that again. Here we go.

Naval deep, lean back again. Connect, inhale for me please. So everything just connects properly. Take a deep breath, inhale. (inhales deeply) And just push up and release, excellent.

Good, now we're gonna go into spider up the wall, and this is a great exercise for shoulder mobility. I'm gonna show you what it looks like from the back. You're gonna be length away from the wall. I'm gonna use this wall so you guys can can see here. You're in a Pilates stance.

Your spine should be nice and long. So bring what you experienced in that last exercise, bring it to this exercise. So what we're gonna do, you're gonna spread those fingers on the wall and we're gonna walk the wall with our hands, with our fingers. Our fingers are like tentacles of a spider. And you're just gonna walk it up the wall until you can't walk your fingers anymore.

From this position, you're gonna step forward about four to six inches. And we're gonna do that again. So here we go. Walk up the wall again, find your longest point. And if you can't reach higher anymore, you're gonna walk your hands forward.

Again, here we go. Up, up, up the wall. One more time until your body's completely up against the wall. Excellent, from this position, walk your hands down as you step back, and we return to our beginning position. Excellent, let's try that again.

This is the feeling that the end of the exercise when we're close to the wall, that is the feeling that you should have when you do double leg stretch. So here we go. Walk your hands forward. Feel the transverse abdominis, feel the obliques just creating a nice band around the waist. And again, walk your feet forward four to six inches and start walking your arms up the wall and let's walk forward again.

And keep walking, your hands as high as possible. Last time. And release, good. Let's walk it down. We're gonna do this one more time.

Excellent. What I really wanna say right now is that you also wanna start being aware of where your scapulas are, where your shoulder blades are. You wanna make sure that the shoulder blades are moving with the arms. So here we go. On this last one, I want you to feel the scapulas rotating upward as you reach the arms to the ceiling, as the fingers crawl up the wall.

Keep the abdominals engaged. Walk your feet forward about four inches, four to six inches and continue walking up the wall with those fingers. Again, walk forward a little bit more and stretch. Last time. Feel the scapulas rotating up towards the ears.

Now return back, step back, walk your hands back. And release. So now you feel that upper body nice and open. You can breathe deeper. So having said that, let's go down to the fourth.

No, actually I lied. Let's march a little bit. Since we already opened up the upper body, now we're gonna work with the lower extremities. So dynamic stretching. We're gonna kick the right leg up and then bring it back down.

Notice how quickly I bring it up. And I want you to think of using your feet as well as you lift those knees into the chest. Almost think of that as marching, if you will, okay? So we're gonna do six repetitions. Here we go.

Starting with the right One, two, three, four, five six. Excellent. Let's take the arms out to the side and do the same thing. But this time you were gonna rotate those legs out a little bit, and we're gonna kick off to the side. We're gonna do six sets.

Three, four, five, six. And bring it back to center. Now we're gonna do four marching, four sets. One, two, three, four. Off to the side.

One, two, three, four, two sets of the front. One, two. Two sets to the side. One, two. Now we'll do single front and single out.

Single front, single out. Single front, single out. So let's do this one more for good measure. Out to the sides and release. Excellent, very nice.

So here's my favorite. If you have knee issues, you can always use a chair and just do a single back lunge. Hold on to the chair and just do that. Yeah, only go as far down as you can so you can protect your knees. Now, if we're healthy and we can go on to our knees, this is what the exercise will be.

Step back. Even with a chair, you can also use the chair 'cause I wanna challenge you not just, you know, on strength, but also balance. We're gonna alternate the legs. So step back with a right, left, right and stand up. Good.

Left, right, left, and stand. Good. Try to see if you can stay upright as much as possible and use the front leg to get yourself up. Excellent, left, right, left, and up. Good, right, left, right, up.

One more time. Left, right, left, right and release. And as you know, in classical, there's always a very elegant way to go down to the floor. So we're gonna use that back lunge that we just did. We're gonna step back with the right.

We're gonna turn that foot in a little bit and gonna sit down on the floor. Beautiful. If you need to use your hands, you can. Let's go into fourth position just to continue warming up the hips. since we already warmed up the upper body.

Now we wanna warm up the hips. From this position, now try to sit up as tall as possible. First, we're gonna stretch the body forward. Yeah, reaching the arms, keeping the spine nice and long, protecting your lower back. You're gonna feel a stretch in the right glute as well as your IT band if you're lucky.

Now from this position, you're gonna take your hand to the right. Keep your spine long for now. Feel that stretch in the leg. Now come back to center. Excellent, and then let's reach to the other side.

Good, center again. Now with your core, drop the head down and roll up. Excellent, let's go to the other side. What I want you to do is I want you to keep your feet exactly the same way they are. I mean, in the same position.

You're just gonna lift the knees up. You're gonna take the knees to the other side. I'm gonna turn around a little bit so you can see what I'm doing. But the idea is that you do not move your feet from where they are. So from this position, let's just go forward.

With your hands forward, flat back, lengthen the body. Good, inhale deeply for me, please. Wherever you feel the tightness, I want you to breathe into it. And on the exhale, I want you to release it. Now, take your hands to your left side.

Good, excellent. Now let's bring them to the front and now let's take them to the right. Good, keeping the spine nice and long. Now from here, let's go back to center, scoop the abdominals and sit up nice and tall. Good, we're gonna now alternate side to side.

And as we progress through the week, you're gonna experience this a little bit more challenging. For now, we're just gonna lube up your hip joints, just side to side. Excellent, and go to the other side and switch. Good, again. Lengthen the body as much as possible.

And if you're feeling a little daring, which I always recommend, you can eliminate your hands and bring them in front of you, so you can start using your powerhouse the way you would use it on stomach massage. So you would have the hands in this position and then switch. Good, but notice my feet stay in the same place. Yeah, and switch. Excellent, again.

We're gonna do one more set, please. Navel deep and switch. One more time. Let's go to the other side and we are ready for the towel exercise. I hope you have a towel.

Try to have a towel that you can actually lay on. You know, half of your torso should be on that towel. If you don't have a towel with you right now, just place your hands behind the neck. One hand on top of the other. And all we're gonna do is we're gonna use the exhale to do a crunch.

This is preparing us or preparing your client to find that connection of that upper body contraction, okay? So what it's gonna look like, it's gonna go one, two, three, and then with the inhale you're gonna bring it back down. Now, if you have a towel, the top corners of your towel. And from this position, I want you to inhale deeply for me, please. Elbows are sort of pointing at an angle.

Yeah, so your serratus are activated. I want you to inhale for me, please. And with the exhale, I want you to come up one. I want you to come up two, three. Now, remember this feeling.

We had this feeling on the wall. So here is that feeling again. And this feeling, I want you to transfer it to the 100 for tomorrow's class. So let's bring the body back down with the inhale. And again, let's come up with the exhale, one, exhale, two and exhale, three.

Hold it here for a second. Feel the serratus anterior wrapping. Feel the obliques, feel the lower abdominals and bring it back down with control. Let's do three more. With the exhale, we go up one, two, three, hold; two, three, and bring it down.

Good, two more please. And exhale up, one, exhale up, two. Exhale up, three. Bring it down. Good, one more time.

Here we go. And exhale up, one, exhale up, two, three. And release. So that is your 100 version, free Pilates version. So you can start exercising the top fibers of your abdominal wall.

Now we're gonna do the pre-Pilates roll up version but we call it roll down. You're gonna open the legs hip width apart, yes? Good. Make sure that your abdominals are lifting in and up. From this position, I want you to inhale and exhale, roll down one vertebra at a time.

Let's see if we can bring that sacrum down to the floor. Now with an inhale, open up that upper back, lower back a little bit more and press the air out as you bring the body forward. And the inhale lifts you nice and tall. And again, exhale, roll down one vertebra at a time. Scoop the abdominals.

Keep your feet flat on the floor. Inhale deeply for me here, please. And exhale round the upper body forward. And I want you to feel serratus, upper, middle fibers, lower fibers of the obliques. And inhale, feel the spine lengthening even more.

Again, here we go. Just breathe into the movement. Exhale to go down, breathe deeply here, and exhale to articulate the upper, middle, lower back to come up into an upright position. The pelvis is the last thing that's gonna tilt forward. The pelvis is the first thing that's gonna tilt back.

That's gonna roll back. Now as you come forward, you're gonna keep that pelvis right where it is and think of the upper, middle, lower abdominals. And it's not until your shoulders are over your hips. They're gonna allow that pelvis to come up into an upright position. Let's do this one more time.

Here we go. Exhale, roll down. Breathe deeply here and pressing the air with your abdominals, round the upper body forward. And inhale, sitting up nice and tall. This time let's go all the way down.

So here we go. Inhale deeply for me, please. And imagine that you're on the wall and bone per bone vertebra per vertebra, you go down to the ground, yes, feeling the abdominals working. And this time we're gonna reach the arms over the head and feel a nice elongation of your spine. Bring your arms back to the sides for me, please.

And now we are ready for pelvic lift with a breath. This is gonna be our roll over version. So you're gonna lift the pelvis off for four. Inhale (inhales deeply). Make sure that you connect with your pelvic floor, you'd narrow those hips.

You narrow that waist like you did and spider up the wall. You close the rib cage and you reach the arms over the head. Now from this position, I want you to articulate the spine one vertebra at a time all the way down. And you bring the arms down to the floor. I'm gonna scoot down a little bit 'cause I want you to see my hands as well.

So here we go. Inhale, peel the spine off the floor making sure that you engage in your powerhouse. Reach the arms over the head. You're still inhaling and exhale, roll down one vertebra at a time all the way down, down, down, down, down. And return the arms back down to the sides of the body.

Inhale (inhales deeply). Arms over the head. Keep your arms nice and long on the floor as you melt the spine down. Feel that sacrum spreading onto the ground and bring the arms down. Notice what I'm doing with my arms.

As I'm lifting my arms, I'm turning my palms inward. Yes, so I can honor that shoulder girdle mobility. Lift the pelvis out for four again, inhale. Now you're gonna reach the arms and turn the palms, face them inward. You're gonna reach the arms over the head.

You're gonna feel the scapulas rotating towards the ears. You're gonna roll down one vertebra at a time. Excellent. Let's do this one more time. Here we go.

Inhale, lift the pelvis off the floor and reach the arms over the head. And roll down one vertebra at a time. Navel deep. And release. There's more than bringing the legs over the head on the rollover.

There's also bringing the legs from a low position, but I'm gonna teach you how to connect your legs to your core so you don't take everything into the hip flexors. Let's start with bent knees, feet flat on the floor. You should be able to touch your heels with the tip of your fingers. From this position flex the foot, dorsiflex the foot. And then dig that heel on the ground and stretch that leg on the floor.

Good, notice how you're activating that whole back line of your leg. From this position, I want you to just to rotate that leg out. I need you to visualize the inner thigh, the glutes and the psoas making that rotation. Now bring it parallel and then drag the heel back into place. Good, let's do the other side.

Dorsiflex that left foot. Dig that heel into the ground and slide it down all the way down to the floor. Goo, make sure nothing changes in the upper body. Your spine doesn't arch, your neck doesn't arch either. It stays nice and long.

From this position, rotate out from the glutes, the inner thigh and the psoas, bring it back to center and then press a heel, activate the back line of your leg and bring it back to center. Excellent, let's do that again. Here we go. Dorsiflex, dig that heel into the ground and feel the back line of the body lengthening. It's almost like when you do foot work and you're pressing that heel into the bar and pulling the toes back.

Now from this position, rotate from the glutes, psoas, your inner thigh. Bring that leg back to center and drag it back in. Stomach is in. Yeah, make sure you start active in that pelvic floor and your abdominal muscles. I haven't talked about that yet but definitely always whenever you're moving, always think of coming from the center.

Right now, what I really want you to understand is that lateral rotation and how important it is to be able to do this series of five without gripping into the hip flexors. And bring it back in with control. And now we're gonna add an extra move to that. So from this position, we're gonna still flex, dorsiflex that right foot. You're gonna dig it down to the floor.

And once it's out there, I want you to visualize again, the glutes, the inner thigh, the psoas, rotating that leg out. Keep that rotation and see if you can lift that leg up with the inner thigh. Yeah, so feel those fibers all the way down to the knee and then bring it back down with control. Yes, you're still bringing that leg down with the inner thighs. Now turn that leg in and bring it back in to the center.

Excellent, and let's do the other side. Dorsiflex left foot, dig it down to the floor. Feel that rotation of your glutes, inner thigh, psoas. Now, pick up that leg with the inner thigh. So you should feel the inner thigh fiber just lifting that shortening.

And now you're gonna lengthen them as you go down. Again, nothing in the trunk should be moving right now. And bring it parallel and down. Excellent. We're gonna do that again but we're gonna do it, we're gonna do three repetitions nonstop.

Reach that heel down on the floor. Feel that whole back line lengthening, especially that lower back. You wanna keep that lower back nice and long on the mat. Now from this position, rotate out, feel the inner thighs, lifting that leg up. And bring it down.

Again, lift it up. Think of the inner thighs. And down. Good. So I'm not saying that the hip flexors are not gonna work, but you wanna share the load with other leg muscles as you do this series of five.

Now let's bring that foot parallel, dig it down to the floor. And let's do it to the other side. I hope I don't wanna talk much about your core but I hope that you are feeling those lower abdominals, that pelvic floor creating that action. Yes, you're connecting those inner thighs to the erectus yeah, and, and that pelvic floor and the obliques. Let's do two more for me, please, just let that, lift it up.

One more time. Bring it down to the floor. And I have the foot flexed because I want you to feel that back line. And let's bring that foot parallel, leg parallel to get into the floor and bring it right back in. Excellent, I hope that you guys can take that with you and apply it for our next session.

So we haven't talked about how the abdominals and that breath come into play. We're gonna do marching on your back with a single leg. So I want you to focus on the exhale to draw that leg in. But first I want you to bring in the feet together and sort of rotate from the glutes out a little bit those knees, no wider than the shoulders. Now, from this position, with the exhale, I want you to bring that knee into your chest.

So why? This is what's gonna happen. You're gonna inhale deeply. And literally I want you to feel that pelvic floor in the obliques on the right side pressing the air out and pulling that knee into your chest. There is a bit of rotation on that hit.

Okay, so I really want you to be aware of that. So these puppies can turn up. So here we go, inhale deeply for me, please. And on the exhale, draw that right knee into your chest. With the exhale, empty the lungs completely.

And inhale, bring that leg down. Let's alternate. Let's go to the other side, inhale. And if you wanna use your hands for now to sort of have some tactile cue to activate those muscles, do so. I do it once in a while, just to find that deep connection because that's what it's all about.

It's really getting to the core of movement. Again, inhale and use your exhale and draw that knee in with the expelling of the air. Excellent, very nice, good. And bring it down. Again, inhale (inhales deeply).

and exhale. (exhales slowly) Nice, let's do this one more time. Inhale deeply. (inhales deeply) And exhale. (exhales slowly) Inhale to bring it down.

Let's go to the other side. And exhale. (exhales slowly) Inhale. And release. Notice nothing happened in my trunk or my pelvis.

So now we're gonna go, we're gonna actually use both legs with the exhale. First, you're gonna lift up that right knee into your chest. Then that left knee with the exhale. And then inhale to bring the right leg, left leg. Let's alternate.

Left leg, exhale, right leg, exhale. And inhale to bring it down. Great, that's awesome. Again, and here we go. Use your exhale, make it very guttural.

To the other side Inhale and bring it down. Good, one last time. Here we go. Exhale. Left.

Inhale. Beautiful. So that would be your single leg, single leg stretch. And now let's do double leg stretch with the same intention. So carefully, if you need to bring your hands underneath the buttocks, you can so the pelvis doesn't move around.

Now from this position, point the feet for me, please, long toes. And with the exhale, bringing those knees into the chest. There's a slight rotation of the hips out. So we turn up those hip flexors. And then inhale to bring it back down.

Again and exhale. And inhale, very nice. Let's do three more for good measure. Exhale, feel that deep connection, expel all the air out. And down.

Good. Last time. And release, beautiful. Good. Now we're gonna do what I call a cross-legged tic toc.

This is sort of like crisscross for the series of five. And basically what I want you to do is I want you to take that right leg over the left, you're gonna open the arms out to the sides and you're gonna take both legs. Keep the abdominals engaged of course. You're gonna take both legs to the left side and then bring it back to the center, one. And again, cross it over.

And two. Good. As you're crossing, you wanna look to the opposite side, please? Three, again. Four.

Five. Inhale as you go over. Six. Let's do two more. Seven.

Last time. And release. This is a great exercise to prep you for all of that twisting exercises that we do. So now you're gonna look to the opposite side. As you take the legs to the right, you get to look to the left and bring it back to center, one.

And it really feels great on that lower back. And bring it back to center, two. Good, again. Three. And remember you're gonna inhale to protect your back and then exhale to bring it back in.

I'm getting so many adjustments as I'm doing this. I hope you're doing, I hope you're getting the same in your body. I hope you're getting all these adjustments as you move. Good, two more please. And last time.

Over and release. Excellent, let's roll onto your side and fit up for roll down into roll like a ball. But before we do that, it is important to have flexibility at all times. And I know for many of us, especially at our beginning states, it's very hard to sit up in an upright position with those legs straight. It's almost impossible.

So the only way we're gonna get better is if we practice. So just hang out here for a second, please, and grab onto your toes. So from this position, lift the chest up. Shoulders pulled back. Feel your sit bones pointing back.

So from this position, let's see if you can straighten the legs out a little bit. Good. Just enough, don't push it. I want the stretch to happen in the hamstrings, not in the lower back. So that's why I want you to flatten out your back so you protect your lower back and it doesn't round this way.

Yeah, I want you to keep your shoulders pulled back. Yes, excellent. And then from there, straighten out. And bent, good. One more time.

Here we go. Stretch and bent. Excellent, good. Sitting up nice and tall and see if it's easier to sit up in this position. Good, we're gonna go back to that roll down.

And I'm only using, well, actually roll down should be used all the time. It's such a great setup exercise to be able to execute 100 roll-ups, teasers, jackknife, rolling like a ball, open like rocker. So having said that, let's go into a roll down and feel your powerhouse connecting. Yes, and hold. Two, three, and exhale around the upper body forward.

Now, do you feel that connection at the bottom of your movement? Let's go again. Let's feel that connection. You should feel everything just wrapping to the center of the body. Yes, feel your lats sort of wrapping forward.

Yes, in this position. Feel your core working. Now, can you lift those heels off the floor for a second? Bring them down. And then with your exhale come forward.

One more time. We're gonna do this one more time. And I've really want you to go deep into that position. Good, hold that position. Good, now let's try a roll like a ball.

I want you to inhale. Just release the heels out the full roll back and then come back to center, one. Very gently, think of massaging your sacrum, two. Again. Three.

Again. Four, five. You're doing great. One more time. Six And release, excellent.

Very nice. Now let's go into a quadroped position, please. And we're gonna warm up the spine even more. Today is all about prep. Yeah, it's all about connecting and making your spine fluid and delicious.

So here we go. We're gonna go into cat cow. But first let me show you something. First, we're gonna create some stability in the shoulders especially if we're gonna do pushups and balance control and all those fun, exciting exercises. So from this position, I hope you can see me.

You can see my arms. I want you to laterally rotate the shoulders outward like this. Good. Ideally, you wanna make sure that your neck is nice and long and then release for a second. So I'm gonna give you a different view.

Here we go. From here, think of the neck nice and long. You're gonna laterally rotate your arms. Yeah, through the shoulder joints. So you feel your lateral rotators of the shoulder connecting, rotating.

And then release. Mine are burning already. So let's try that again. Here we go. Rotate outward and feel that rotation.

Excellent, make sure that your spine is nice and long. And release, good. Again, here we go. Rotate. Now this time we're gonna add some shoulder blade mobility.

I want you to think of wrapping the shoulders to the front of the body without losing that lateral rotation of the shoulders. Sort of protract, if you will. So the upper back rounds a little bit. Now without losing that lateral rotation of the shoulders, I want you to pinch the shoulder blades together. Good.

And again, round. And retract. Good, keeping your spine nice and long. So where do you think I want you to work from? Or what position do you think I want you to work from when you do a pushup or a long stretch series, yeah?

It's definitely not here, 'cause you're collapsing and your serratus anterior is not working. I always want you to think of rotating the shoulders out and protracting the scapulas so your serratus anterior is activated. So you're pushing away from the shoulders. Feel how solid and strong that position is. Excellent, let's give it a little break 'cause my shoulder girdle is tired.

Good. Excellent. Let's come back to that quadroped position. And now let's go into cat cow. But what I want you to really think of is that lateral rotation and that protraction of your shoulder blades.

Keep the spine nice and long. And with the exhale, I want you to empty the lungs out. It's almost like the towel exercise that we did earlier. And then inhale. Flex, dorsiflex those toes, press them back and arch with the inhale.

Again, exhale. Flatten the top of your feet on the floor. Wrap the scapulas around. Lengthen the back of the neck. Breathe, exhale, exhale.

Use your abdominals to push all the stale air out and then curl the toes under and inhale into that cow. Rotate the shoulders outward. Then look up. And again. Exhale.

And inhale. Curl the toes under, press those heels back. And press the air out again. Flatten the top of your feet. One more time.

Inhale, inhale, inhale. And release. Excellent, let's sit back on your heels please for a second. Now this one's a little bit challenging on the knees. If you have knee issues, be very careful.

You can always double up your towel and place it underneath your knees, or you can always grab a pillow and place it underneath the buttocks, okay? So we're gonna go into saysa, which I love so much. I think this is so beneficial for our reformer work when we have to do knees off or when we have to do a one legged squat on the reformer with arm springs, it's very been beneficial. So from this position, just your knees slightly open about shoulder width and your your feet could be your, your big toes could be together in this position. Now you can use your hands if you need to and come up into an upright position.

And then curl the toes under. It's very similar toe position that we did for cat cow. Good, and sit back. If it's a little painful right now, it's okay. We need flexible feet and this is a good way to not only, you know, stretch your ankles but also the metatarsal and sit back again.

We're just gonna do this three times. But you're gonna see this being used throughout the week, so be prepared. Here we go, and come up again. If you wanna get a little bit fancy, use your glutes and your quads, lift yourself up onto your knees. So here we go.

Think of squeezing the buttocks, use your quads and come up. Yes, excellent. And let's sit down again. Top of the feet flat on the floor. One more time.

Lift the buttocks up, up, up, and curl under. Good, and now we're gonna go into what I call preparation elephant. The preparation for the elephant. So from this position, you're gonna roll back onto the metatarsal here. And then bring the knees down.

And again, let's roll back. And down. Good, one more time. Let's roll back. Good.

Now, we're gonna try to straighten the legs just a little bit. So press like heels down to the floor. If it's not possible, that's completely okay. That's why we're here. We're here to be inspired and recharge and be lifted.

So bring the knees down. This is a work in progress. Our life, our existence, it's works in progress. Nothing is perfect. I promise you.

It's the row that you take that's exciting. Good, one more time for me please. Here we go. I want you to press and see if you can this time press the heels all the way down. Good, from this position, see if we can drop the head down and roll up one vertebra at a time.

Imagine you're up against the wall. You wanna make sure that your pelvis is in a neutral position. The back is nice and long. Excellent. So that is the pre-elephant exercise.

Now let's just move a little bit with our feet. We warmed them up a little bit. Now let's exercise them. So just go back to your Pilates stance, and I just want you to lift right here up and bring it down. Good.

And the other side, and down. Good, again. Excellent, lift. Good. Again.

Beautiful, good. Make sure that your pelvis doesn't move and you're only moving from the hip down. Everything else is nice and steady. Good. Now, should we add a challenge?

Let's lift that left heel, right heel. Left heel down and right heel down. Good, let's go to the other side. Boom, boom. Down.

Good. Left. Right. Left. Good.

One more time. And on the next set we're gonna move a little bit quicker and quick. One, two, three, four, five, six. Both heels up and bring him down. Excellent.

Chest expansions. Reach the arms forward. Inhale, reach those fingertips down and back. (inhales deeply) And look to your right. Look to the left.

Hold on to that breath. Look forward and release the air out as you reach the arms forward. Again, inhale (inhales deeply). And look to the left. Look to the right.

Hold on to that breath and really sit out. Try to breathe as deeply as possible. This is gonna be your last one. Here we go. Inhale (inhales deeply).

And look to the left. Look to the right. Look center and release. Good, now we're gonna do some breathe, Joseph Pilates breathing exercises. So you're gonna open the arms out to the sides with the inhale and then with the exhale, you're gonna bring your elbows back together.

You're gonna inhale, lift the arms up and exhale, bring the arms down. So here we go. Inhale (inhales deeply). (exhales abruptly) And inhale, lift the arms up. Sorry, I forgot to instruct that head up.

So you're gonna lift the chest up towards the ceiling again, without dropping the neck though. Inhale (inhales deeply). (exhales abruptly) Inhale and down. Let's do two more. Just for good measure.

Again, inhale (inhales deeply). (exhales abruptly) Inhale (inhales deeply). And exhale. One more time. Inhale (inhales deeply).

(exhales abruptly) Inhale (inhales deeply). And bring it down, please. Open the legs hip width apart. Now we're gonna work that chest. Open the arms out to the sides with the inhale.

And this time just press all the air out and knuckles up against each other, press it up, press it up, press it out. And inhale, lift your arms up to the ceiling. And exit, bring it down. You guys are killing it. Again, inhale (inhales deeply).

And exhale (exhales slowly). Inhale (inhales deeply). And exhale (exhales slowly). One more time. Inhale (inhales deeply).

Exhale (exhales slowly). Push all the air out of your system. Feel your abdominals contracting. Lift the arms up to the ceiling with the inhale. And exhale, bring in down.

Legs together. Now this one's gonna be a little bit more challenging. You're gonna lift the arms up to create space in your lungs. Bring the arms as high as possible. You're gonna place one hand on top of the other like this.

And from this position you're gonna exhale. Inhale, exhale, inhale, and open the arms out, one. Again, here we go. (inhales deeply) (exhales forcefully) (inhales deeply) And bring it down. Two more, just like that.

Inhale (inhales deeply). And this time, if you wanna exhale through the mouth, you can, and bring it down one last time. Here we go. (inhales deeply) (exhales abruptly) (inhales deeply) Open the arms out to the sides. Take a couple of deep breaths.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Just let everything go. You guys, thank you so much.

It was such a pleasure having you in class. I hope I can see you tomorrow for my second class: Back to Beginning.

Rise and Recharge: Return to Life

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Comments

1 person likes this.
Inspiring work! Thank you 
Andrew B thank you! I hope you like Back to Beginning! 
1 person likes this.
Good explanations 👍🇩🇰
2 people like this.
Enjoyed this whole sequence, especially the three breathing exercises at the end!
Dorthe V thank you! I glad to hear it was clear.
1 person likes this.
Hilary F the breathing is JP archival. 
2 people like this.
Great instruction. It's great to get back to the basics. Thanks Saul :))
Anne P. Right? Basic is everything. 
Lori
1 person likes this.
I enjoyed this class and the tip for turning out shoulders was very helpful to me.  I could feel how much more support I had when I did that.   

Wondering if you have any tips for improving ability to get off floor on  one knee.  I had a calf tear a few years ago and still can’t push off of that leg in order to stand from kneeling without help from my hands.   Wondering if you have any exercise suggestions to improve that.

Thank you, I will be repeating these classes.
1 person likes this.
Lori I'm glad you liked this workout. Try the class "Back to Begginings." You will find some exercises that will help stretch and strenthen the calf muscles. Let me know how it goes!
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