Class #4424

Expanding Boundaries

50 min - Class


In the second class of Fortify The Mat with Misty Lynne you’ll expand the boundaries of the beginner Mat sequence! You’ll move core to distal, adding in Single Leg Circles, Side Lying work, and Mermaid to your order while focusing on how everything begins from a strong center. Adding in the Franklin Ball will encourage you to stay honest and push yourself to work harder!
What You'll Need: Mat, Franklin Ball

About This Video

Mar 02, 2021
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Welcome everyone. It's time to Fortify The Mat with me, Misty. We're gonna start down on the floor and we are actually going to have our squishy ball next to us, really ready to grab whenever we need it. Let's get started. So as you all may have noticed, I like to begin with a little bit of prep here, working on the pelvis and just loosening up the low back connections here.

So let's find our feet into the floor and let's just do a few rocks here. And I just do this once again, waking up the lower limb. It's just as important as everything that we're working, even though the focus is here today. We're focusing core to distal. Let's turn the feet out and in waking up the ankles, preparing the feet for the work that's at hand because the feet always have to come to the party, right?

Let's plant them here. Find your big toe connection and your pinky toe connection and the inner and outer ankles as well. We're just going to start with some pelvic rocking. And you can be as voraciously rocking or as calmly rocking as you would like. But as we're rocking here, we're connecting the breath with the movement.

I like to exhale and inhale and make sure that it's my abs that are driving this, rather than my butt cheeks. I like to let the cheeks be free. As you know, they come to the party as needed, but I'm not dragging them in. Now I'm coming back to the center and I'm just going to circle my pelvis here. Once again, nothing violent.

Just a gentle circle of the pelvis, seeing if I can keep my femurs pretty stable here and if I can find the connections between my front body and my back body. And now I'm going to reverse my circles. And remember that the breath work is everything. So, please inhale and exhale as you normally would as we finish these hip rolls here. Now returning to the center, welcoming the feet to the work by curling your toes.

Channel your inner kitty cat. Kneed your feet, curling your toes in and it's stretching them out. And then we're going to do some bridging here. So find the rotation of your armpits forward. If you had a post-it on your armpit, I want you to shine that post-it toward the ceiling here and that helps you keep your chest open.

Now take a big breath in, post it forward. There's a smiley face on it. So, you're smiling up at the sky. We're going up into our bridge. It's the first bridge of the day, so it might feel a little crunchy.

Honor the crunch. Just roll through it. At the bottom, we inhale and then we exhale. Let's do it again. Checking in with your feet here. What are your feet doing? Is your big toe anchored or has it lifted off of the mat?

No lifting, please. Rolling back down using your breath as we go. Inhale at the bottom, exhale scooping, peeling off the mat up into the bridge, holding it on this one. Let's take three big breaths. And as you exhale, try to feel everything wrapping around you.

Inhale into your front and your back body, and exhale blowing it all away. And last one, we take a big breath in. Now, starting at your breastbone, melting down into the mat and away from the ceiling as we come back to the mat. Arms come wide and behind the head. Let's interlace the palms here and let the thumbs telescope down either side of the neck.

Inhale, give your neck a little bit of a lengthening and exhale blow. We curl up to the shoulder points, keeping the armpits rotating forward. Inhale the lower back. And again, exhale. As I'm curling, I'm being aware I can see my inner elbows in my periphery so that I'm not here and trugging my shoulders.

Exhale, blowing and curling and looking at my abdominals, reminding them that they need to be turned on here so that I get through this hour. And one more. We're going to exhale, blow and curl up, hold. Now we'll do our walking bridge. Take a big breath in, don't move, and then exhale as we scoop up into the bridge. The head weight comes down, and then we'll reverse it.

As we roll down, the head weight comes up. And we're doing this to give ourselves a nice stretch down the back body and up through the front body. And stretching the roll down as you curl over. You're not done until the tailbone hits the mat. And then we reverse.

We lead with a scoop back down to the mat. Chest is broad here. Tailbone starts to reach for the floors. We roll down. And can we do one more? Exhale, scooping, curling, lifting up and hold it right here.

We'll bring our arms up to the ceiling and let's connect the hands to the middle back by making gentle fists here, taking a big breath in and we exhale to roll back down, down, down. We'll keep the arms up here, sliding both legs long along the mat, reach and hold. And how long can we go without locking the knees? Now get the balls of the feet to the mat and drag the heels in. Three more like this.

So, I'm keeping the balls of my feet connected to the floor as I'm sliding out in a way. The work is starting from my core. I'm lengthening here and then I'm exhaling and dragging it back in. Now while you're doing this, think about how we are connecting the front body and the back body, and the inner and outer body lines as well. Exhaling, pulling in, feel the work from here and from the under butts.

Last one, sliding away hold. How long can you get those legs before we curl up? Looking into the belly, hold it right here. Take a big breath in and exhale. Come back down, arms come up.

And again, as we're working our ab prep here, we're not forgetting about the leg connection. They're plugging up into the core in the frontline and they're lengthening away from the core and the back line. Hold your scoop, reach the legs long and lowering back. How about one more? Make it juicy. Nodding and curling and lifting up, hold.

How connected? How much length and energy do we have? Can we come to a low hover here? Now, let's tell a story. Just kidding. This is burning. So, let's lower back down.

And can we do one more? Big breath in, nodding, curling and lifting and up. And how much more up can you get? Can you lengthen long through the body? Can you find like the strength and energy of the inner and outer thighs?

Hold it. Inhale and exhale. Rolling it back down, bringing the arms back into the sides, bending the knees. We're going to do a couple more bridges here and add rotation. So, exhale. I'm articulating up. I'm making sure my big toes and my pinky toes have equal value here.

And now I'm going to inhale. Wringing out my spine, I'm rotating one hip to the ceiling as the other one rotates to the floor. But my goal is to not lose any height in these hip twists. I'm still maintaining my connection to my center line and not dipping down on one side or the other, as in not arching, 'cause that's not so sexy. Instead, I'm keeping my body line long.

And back to the last side, twist and bring it back to the center, rolling down through this spine. And we have to do the 100 today. So, I'm giving you options. Option number one, you can work from here in tabletop or at 90. Option number two, you'll start from here from long legs.

Choose your poison. Choose it wisely. But remember, honor your body. We're nodding the chins to the chest. We're finding that length. We're floating the legs off of the floor.

We're standing into the low core and pump like you mean it, inhaling for five and exhaling for five. And as you're stretching, keep looking at your body. It's yours. You might as well watch it. Is it doing what it's supposed to do, Or are you starting to lose your connection? If you're losing your connection, hug your thighs together.

Keep pumping. It's hard to pump and talk. And again, exhale. Three more sets. Blow to blow. Last one, exhale three, two, one. Hold and lower it all down. Take a big breath in.

Let the back arch use this time to really find your length, stretching back down, bending the knees in. And we're going to do a slow bent knee roll up to reset at the top. Big breath in, nodding and exhaling, and we're curling up. Find the weight of the feet into the mat. Use your core to come up and sit tall.

I don't know about you, but the 100 always makes me thirsty. So starting with some bent knee rollbacks as our prep, sitting nice and tall, take a big breath in, exhale. Start to scoop your belly. The scoop is coming from the pelvis and not from the breast bone. So holding your scoop here, feel the connection of the forefoot into the mat, rotating your armpits forward and roll up to sit tall.

Now, you can press your hands into your legs like we did last week. You can let your hands gently rest on the backs of the legs here, or we can bring the arms forward. Once again, I like the fist orientation here because that reminds me that my hands are connected to my shoulders and my shoulders are not connected to my ear lobes because that wouldn't be pretty. Now we're gonna do one more scoop here. Exhale, scooping, and rolling back, holding the shape.

And because we're having so much fun, we're going to lift one leg up. It's lifting from the hip joint, not from the knee. So I'm exhaling to lift, and then I'm inhaling to place it back down. Exhale and inhale. Now, as you exhale, how much deeper can you make your core connection?

And inhale back down, and last one. And lower back down. Now we're going to take a big breath in here and exhale. Curl up one inch and inhale, scoop back one inch. And then again, inhaling, curling up one inch.

Feel your connections. What are your inner thighs doing? And back one inch. Find your under butt, wrap your inner sits bones toward one another. Now I'm not saying squeeze your butt. You don't want to be like making diamonds with your butt cheeks here.

Instead, we're wrapping the under butts toward each other, so we're feeling the connection of that lower glute. Now we're ready for our roll-ups. So rolling all the way down, bringing the arms either up to the ceiling or long behind you. This is your choice today. Honor your body. Here we are, arms are up.

Let's flex the ankles, big breath in, not the chin of the chest. And as you're curling up, you're reaching long through those legs. You're continuing the curl. You're continuing to reach past legs, hollow your belly, energy through the arms, armpits rotated forward, tail down. Now scoop, tail comes under.

We're going to roll back bone by bone and we're standing on the feet. Keep standing on them. They're shooting them away. Coming back down. Let's do it again, now the chin of the chest. Exhale, scoop, curling up, heavy heel, heavy calves, heavy hamstrings and deep core.

Stretch long over, more, more. Give me more energy. And now let's hollow back, nearly We're not done yet, two more like this. Nodding the chin to the chest, curling up, look at your ankles. Are you standing on your feet or you standing on your outer ankle bones? Don't do it, I say. Hollow your belly.

Reach long, reach longer. Now, hollow it again. Come back. Working in opposition, reach long through your fists, long through your arm pits all the way back down. We're going to add on on this one. Are you ready? I am.

Let's go. Chin to the chest, exhale scooping, peeling off the mat. Peeling off the mat but not peeling your legs off the mat. We would never do such a heinous thing. Spine is round. Hold it here.

Let's take a big breath in and exhale. Scooping your spine, rolling back, maintaining those armpits and let's hold it here, just behind the tailbone. We're gonna walk here. So, lift and lower. Other leg lifts up. And now what we're doing here, we're pulling in and up with the lower abs in the front body.

The back body is lengthening away. So it's as if somebody got my heels and they're dragging me across the floor. And lifting one more each leg. Exhale to lift, inhale to lower. And last one, we're up, we're down.

We take a big breath in and then we're going to exhale, slowly descending back down to the mat. What joy? So, now prepping for leg circles. Oh no, no. Let's do the roll over today because so many of you love the rollover. As you know, it's one of my favorites.

So I'm gonna take my legs up here and I'm gonna press my inner heels together. Inner thighs, wrapping my sits bones. You know the drill. Big breath in. Now exhale, take a little bit of a lift to go over slowly because it's slowly done to make sure you're making all the connections. Separate and flex.

As you're rolling down, maintain the plugins of the femurs into your hip joints. Core is deep. We find the floor. One more, bring the heels together. Point, scoop up and over. Separate and flex, slowly peeling down because it's so much more fun when it's slow.

Keep the feet apart, hip width. And we're going right back over. No whipping, just scooping and breathing. Zipping, connecting the inner sits bones, pointing, rolling down, feel the abduction of the legs the whole way down. And here's our last one.

Separate and flex, scoop lifting up, rolling over. Zipping together, hold, lengthening and pointing, articulating back down, taking your time, keeping your armpits rotating forward. That'll keep your head seated as well. Now we're gonna bend the knees in and place the feet mat width, prepping for legs circles here. I want to do some hip rolls side to side or knees ways, we might call them here.

Let your arms just be open here. And as we're doing this, the idea is I'm twisting and I'm giving myself a little bit of a press up so that I'm stretching through the belly of my quadriceps. That's going to help me when I go to lift my leg for my leg circles, especially if I tend to be tighter to the front of my pelvis. So, one more each way It feels good. So, let's just give it a little bit of an extra press.

And then we go the other way same thing, twist and press up opening the front of the hip, stretching long and then returning center. Pulling one leg up into the chest and then extending it up to the ceiling. And hopefully you don't feel quite as grippy in here. My bottom leg is heavy to the mat. Hamstring is connected in both legs and I'm circling.

Now, remember in your leg circle the goal is symmetry. It's not speed and it's not sides. So we're thinking about drawing a symmetrical circle reverse please on the ceiling. But I'm thinking about drawing the same circle on the floor. So my connection of my five bone in the hip is where my thoughts are.

I'm holding it here, pulling the leg in, and now we'll climb a tree. So take a big breath in nodding, exhaling curling. Start to walk up your leg, blowing. Lengthening through this leg is what helps you get up with this one. Sitting up nice and tall.

This is my cat Phoenix. Say hello. (chuckles) Big breath in. Now I'm hinging back with a flat back. Think neck pole here, flat, flat, flat. And then eventually I've got a scoop.

So, I'm gonna slide down my leg. And then again, nodding my chin and my chest, walking up my leg, connecting here at this hamstring to get up, sitting up nice and tall, growing through the crown of my head and exhale scooping back down, taking my time. Now we're gonna add on at the top of this one. So, nod, curl, climb the leg, hold it here. Sitting tall, take a big breath in, bowing over.

The leg is gonna come down to a low hover. The arms are gonna reach long to the sides. Then I'm gonna reach back. Grab my leg. How much quad was I using there? Sitting up toe, hindering back flat, and then sliding down my leg.

Other leg comes in. I give it a little bit of stretch here. Now my other leg is straight out from the center of my hip. Reaching my leg up arms, come down, single leg circles crossing. Now my circles a little bit smaller on this side, but it's cleaner.

So I'm happy. Two more and last one, and then reverse your circle. Four more, just like this, three and two. Don't forget about your breath. With breath and depth even here, hold it.

Bring the leg back a little bit extra and then nod your chin as your chest climb tree, walking up the leg, not forgetting about the weight in your standing leg. Hold, hinging back and then scooping round down the leg. And then again, nodding, curling, climbing, reaching up sitting tall and hinging and scooping round to go back. Opposition, so I'm pressing at away as I'm curling up. And last one we're adding on on this one, you know I like the good stuff.

So we're coming up, up, grow tall through the crown of the head. Here we go. Bowing over with the round spine, finding the rotation of your armpits, open your arms wide from your middle back. Bring the arms in, grab the leg up, and then hinge scoop down. While we're here, we're going to grab our squishy ball since it's nearby.

Might as well use it as a way to help get up. So I want you to think of squeezing the inner thigh muscles, not the knee bones to hold this ball. Finding the wrap of the armpits, I'm rolling up and I'm counting out loud for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and one. Now we're going to take the Franklin ball behind our legs and give it a squeeze, sitting up nice and tall. And then we're gonna pick the legs up, finding the scoop here without dropping your breastbone.

So our prep for this is rock and roll. So you're gonna rock back and rock forward. Now this rock is so small. You may not be able to see it, but the idea is that my core is staying in and stable. My under butts are wrapping around and are supporting me.

My armpits are rotated forward and that those three points are what gives me maximum control here. Holding onto the ball here really reminds you that the legs can't kick away when we're doing full rolling like a ball. Now, just to add insult to injury, we're gonna hold this here. Arms will come forward. We're going to bring the toes and the heels down to the floor.

And then continuing to prep, feel the low abs. Pick the legs, rolling down and through the feet, and exhale, rolling up and balancing. Three more just like this. The shape of the body is staying the same. Two more and up. And here's your last one and up and now here's your grab.

So remember if the ball gets to be too much, just get rid of it. No one needs to die today. It's Pilates. It's fun. So we inhaled a roll back, exhale, roll up and we balance. And now that the ball is here, we can't cheat and kick the legs away.

So we have to find another strategy. Hopefully that strategy is maintaining the upper body shape, keeping the integrity of the spine and rolling. I like three more, and two. How about one last? Inhale back, exhale up. Stay, hold your shape.

Bring your arms up. Hold your shape. Bring your legs down. Get rid of the ball. And we're just gonna take a quick stretch here because we've earned it. Darn it. Stretching forward, we'll hike one hip back, given the and the low back a little bit of a breather here, stretching over the left.

And now we'll go to the other side. Same idea. Hip comes back, stretching forward. Rolling up to sit tall. Legs are gonna go mat width. We're going to use the ball again for spine stretch. So here we are.

My ball is fairly far forward, depending upon the length of your arms in the ball. Yours may be farther forward or back than mine. That's okay. What matters here is that we're focusing on the integrity of the shape. So I'm peeling off of the wall. I'm reaching long, my navels pulling back to the back wall.

And when it gets to my full length, I'm gonna make sure my armpits are rotated forward. So I feel the connection from my armpits down into my core. And then to come back up, I'm gonna spider walk the ball and my arms back in. Again, chin to the chest, exhale and curling for spine, stretch, walking the ball away, stretching, maintaining my opposition, drawing my sits bones together lately as I walk back in. Two more, just like this.

Exhale scooping, curling rounding, walking out, hold it here, rotating the armpits. Now this time we're gonna squeeze the ball stack, vertebra on vertebra to return to the top. Are your ribs in alignment with your pelvis or have we popped forward? Find it. Last one, bowing forward this time, rounding the spine, keeping your pinky finger and your thumb pressing into the ball, so you're maintaining the shoulder blade integrity.

And then we're rolling right back up. Hold, find your connections and then get rid of the ball. Next is open leg rocker. We're gonna prep right here. So I have options. You can interlace the hands behind or in-between, or you can just class behind the legs.

Whatever is easier for you to maintain the shape. Now, breastbone is lifting up. Still in this prep idea here, both legs are going up, up, up, up, up and both legs are coming back down. Three more. We're going up, up, up, and bend. Just more lengthening and lift up.

Breastbone stays up, arms stay engaged, shoulders stay down. And one more for good measure. Hold it. Slide the hands up. Hold the stretch. Bring the legs together. Keep holding the stretch. What's your core doing?

Now's the time to check in. Arms go up. Hold the stretch and lower backward down to the mat. Just a very small corkscrew. Each direction stays very calm and quiet through the pelvis. What I want you to think about in this corkscrew is not the size, once again, of the corkscrew from the feet, but the size of the Os, the circles that you're drawing in your hip joints and on the mat to make this shape.

So, it's more of a deep focus than a distal focus. Last one each way, around and down and around and up. And last side and up. Bend both knees. We rock up to sit tall. Legs can go mat width are a little bit wider, and we're going into saw prep only.

So last week, saw prep was just a twist and a hinge. We're adding a scoop today. So I'm going to twist as I'm getting taller, and then I'm going to hinge as I'm getting taller. And then I'm going to scoop round and roll up. Other way, twist, hinge, scoop round to come up.

All kinds of lovely pops. That I feel amazing, but just doing your practical adjustments cost extra. Just kidding. Last one, twist. Keep reaching through the heels, hinge. Keep reaching through that back hip, scoop.

Keep reaching through both legs up, come center. And now we're going to lay on our bellies for Swan prep. So, I'm gonna come onto my forms here. My hands are in diamond. You are welcome to put your foreheads on the mat here and stack them actually on top of your hands.

We're just gonna start with prone hip extension. So I'm going to reach my leg not up, but a way and up. So my goal is not height. My goal is always length. And as I'm lifting, I'm thinking, "Am I squeezing my butt cheeks to death, or am I lightly engaging my under butt and only putting work where it needs to be?" I'm hoping that you're going for the latter, 'cause the former is way too much work. And now I'm gonna come down a little bit lower and I'm gonna lift both legs out and away, reaching away from my pelvis to float my legs up.

And then I'm coming back down. Three more, just like this. And as you're doing this, focus. Are you feeling work also on the inner line or the midline of the leg, or is it all just in your glutes? And stretching the legs away and let's do one more. Reaching out, and hold.

From here, keep the armpits rotated forward. Lift both arms up and lowering them back down. Three more just like this, up and down. So, not shrugging to lift. Lift from here. I'm rotating my armpits to face the floor and I'm lifting up and then I'm coming back down.

You have one more of these. Stretching up, hold. Bring the arms in. Place the hands beside your chest. Press back into a child's pose, and hold this stretch here. While you're here, sit your weight back in your toes.

Have your toes curled under, 'cause we're prepping them here for our next trick. While you're here, if you can see your ankles, I want you to look at them and make sure they're not bowing out. Like you're supinating or everting. Keep the weight between the first and second toe, stretch through, rotate your armpits. And now from across your middle back, let's pull forward to all fours for quad hovers and plank prep.

Palms are underneath your shoulders, rotate your armpits forward, and find that place where your back is nice and flat. Your neck is a connection between your head and your spine. So, it should be straight. From here, we're going to hover. Find your under butts and inner thighs and lift and hold two, one and lower down.

Guys, don't forget about your hand. Press your knuckles, your finger knuckles into the mat. Press the L of your thumb into the mat. Lift and hover hold, three, two, one, and lower. I'd like to see two more of these.

And lifting up, widen your back, breathe into your middle back here and lower. How about just one more? Rotating those armpits forward, lifting up, hold three, two, one. Let's do three more. Three, two. Let's do three. Just kidding.

Lower back down. Place your knees down. Another child's pose here. This time you can curl your toes under, stretching your arms away. Hold the stretch here. And while we're here, we're just gonna do a little bit of an armpit rotation in this position.

So, let your elbow pits rotate in towards your ears. So I'm rotating almost as if I'm putting more weight into my thumb side of my hand. And then I'm gonna rotate back out, and notice how that just makes me want to lightly lift my breastbone just because that's a good thing. And then again, rotating the other way my breastbone drops, my head may lower. And then I'm gonna rotate the other way.

Feel the work from your triceps and across your back. One more, rotate. Let that rotation just happen. It feels good. And then we'll go the other way, opening the chest. Let the breastbone lift just a little bit.

Retract your shoulder blades just a little bit. Pull them together. And now it's time for sideline. Pick your favorite side and then do the other. So, I like to lay all the way down here. My bottom arm is palm facing up.

My top arm, this one, is fingertips forward. And if you can't get your palm flat, you can always go to a fist. Remember this is a strong base of support for you. Bottom leg is your anchor. Put it into the floor, flex it. Now find your inner sits bones.

Without them you will fall down. Shoulders away from the ears, top leg is gonna lift and lower. So here we go. We're going up and down. Four more just like this. Feel the glide of the leg and the hip socket.

And it's a gentle glide. It's not violent. Last one, lifting up, bring it just to hip height and hold. Bottom leg is going to join it. Bottom leg lifts up and down. And I'm using my inner thigh.

I'm really focusing on, "Can I lift from the inner thigh without buckling my knee?" Two more, lengthen and lift and lower. Release the tension in your neck and jaw, because that's a thing, and lift the leg up and hold. Both legs are going to lower here. I almost forgot something. Let's bring the arm up, rotating the armpit forward.

So it's not here and it's not here. It's rotated forward. It's power. It's giving me strength. It's making me work my balance here. And then I'm gonna lift both legs up and down without compromising my waist.

So, my waist isn't smashing to lift my legs. Oh no, no. That would be cheating in my country. Ms. Landia, it's a fabulous place. Find your inner thighs, lift and hold. Find that balance.

Keep your top armpit rotating forward, splitting the legs here for strength. Reaching that top arm up, hold this position. Find your bottom armpit drawing under you just a little bit. Hold the stretch. Hold the stretch. Hold the stretch. Come back down.

We'll flip over to the other side. Same idea. Legs are stacked, ankles or flex like you're standing on your feet, as if there's a wall at the end. Find your inner sits bones. Top leg is stretching beyond the bottom one.

Top arm comes down and here we go. Top leg is lifting up and down and four. So, find your inner thighs in both directions. So I'm lengthening out of my inner thigh to bring the leg up and I'm contracting it to bring my leg down. Bring the leg down to hip height, hold it right here.

Bottom leg, it comes up to join it and lowers down, maintaining my waist. Four more. Keep reaching long through the top arm as well. It's not out to lunch or early dinner if you're in the UK I'd suppose. And last one, up and hold. Bring both legs down. Top arm is gonna go up. Rotate the armpits forward.

Stabilize on this bottom arm and we're lifting both legs up. Don't let your waist dip. That's no fun. Instead, reach long out of the waist to bring the legs up. Three more. Lift, lower and two more. What's happening at your top shoulder?

Have you forgotten about that armpit? Lift and hold. Split the legs, hold. Stretch long up, hold. Reach the stretch. Find it. Reach that back leg long, long. Find this armpit.

We're having so much fun. And bring it back down. Take a big stretch. Arms, overhead, and flip over on your back for the teaser. So, you have a couple of options here. The ball's gonna assist with finding the midline.

You can either start with the ball at the inner thighs here, ball down at the ankle bones here, or no ball because you just don't want to do it. And that's fine too. No matter what though, I'm not squeezing the ball with my bones, I'm squeezing the ball my muscles. So, let's start from 90. Let's be kind to ourselves. You may start here. Let's all start here.

So big breath in. Now the chin to your chest, exhale blow, curling up into your teaser. Think of rocking up like a rock on a rocking chair. You're keeping that action nice and smooth. Now, if that went well for you, bring the arms up.

Keep it going well for you as you roll down. Bring the legs up to 90. Let's do that again. Teaser, nodding, the chin and the chest, you can keep your hands or not. As you're curling up though, try to keep the length equal in both sides. Hold this teaser and rolling down.

Here we go. Last one. Nodding the chin to the chest scooping and curling up, find the hollowness of the core. Use your ball for good and not for evil, holding it up, holding it up. Story time, just kidding. Hold and lower back down. Bring the arms down. Reach the arms up.

I feel like we need to do one more teaser guys. Feel like we need to start with the legs all the way down but with the ball to feel what this feels like. So hugging the ball, press your inner ankle bones down toward the wall that's farthest away from you. Big breath in, nodding up. Once you see your toes and the ball, start to come up.

Everything comes up together in one piece. Hold it. Wave at your friends. Come back up, take the ball between the hands. Stay hold. And now we're just gonna come into a seated Z sit for our mermaid. This is mermaid prep.

So from the Z sit position, we'll have the ball down by our sides. For the first few, we're either going to have the hand here on the shoulder or down here at the hip. So we'll take a big breath in and then exhale side, bending over, keeping weight in this hip, hold and drawing back up feeling the underside of the arm getting you there. Again, side bending over. I'm leading by tilting my head and then I'm working sequentially through the spine through each piece of this.

And then I'm rolling back up. To add difficulty, we can add weight by bringing the arm up. So make a fist, side bending over, stretching long through that armpit. Pressure is into the ball, but we're not shrugging at the shoulder. Hold it here.

Bring this arm around and through. Thread the needle, take a stretch reaching both arms long. So my back hip has come up and that's okay with me. But when I come back to this position, I need to get that back hip back down, and then I'm coming up. (sighs) Second side. I love mermaid, sorta.

Now make sure the hand is not behind you please, or it's gonna be a very uncomfortable mermaid. Dropping the hip hand to the shoulder or the hip, whichever works best for you, pressing in, side bending away, stretching the bottom arm long and then pulling it back in from the bottom side. Let that inform our lengthening and stacking of each vertebra one on one. I bring my other hand here, side bending up and over big stretch, lengthening through the side of my neck, keeping my hip dropping down as much as my personal head drops down and then I'm drawing up. My arm goes up. I make a fist 'cause I like it.

Then I side men up and over, stretching long. And now I'm gonna thread the needle, reaching back toward the back edge of my mat, keeping energy into my arm pits even here. And boy, do I get a nice stretch of my posterior shoulder? But alas, all good things must come to an end. So I'm gonna unwind. Come back here.

Get my hip down first, rotating my shoulders and my armpits. And I'm coming up to stack and I'm finding my center here. Good. Now, place the ball off to the side. We'll do a little bit of seal prep. Just a little bit though.

So I'm here. I'm pressing my ankles into my hands. I'm pressing my legs into my arms, scooping my belly and I'm looking at my heels. And then I'm just gonna clap my legs together, coordinating my armpits and my inner thighs and my under under butt and clap, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. We'll roll back and up. Inhale back, exhale up. Maintaining that connection, let's clap again.

Clap two, three, four, five, six, seven, and hold, roll back. Maintain that connection, coming up and hold. We're gonna do one more and try to end standing. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, roll back. Let go, come up and stand tall.

So now, before we grab that, I'm sorry, for now we're going to go into a plank position here. So, I'm starting here at the end of my mat, finding my engagement all the way up through my midline and from my midline down to the backs of my legs. I'm nodding my chin and my chest here. I'm articulating up and over, rounding my spine, draping up and over, not gripping anywhere I don't need to grip, holding here at the bottom. Now I'm gonna walk out into my plank position.

And as I get there, I'm making sure I'm keeping my heels of fixed. My belly is drawing in my armpits are rotating forward and I'm thinking pretty thoughts, because I want my spinal angle to be pretty as well. So no sagging, instead length. Now from here, scooping up, depress my heels down, holding and then walking back in. Now while we're here, I want you to knead those toes.

Just like we did earlier, kneading like a cat. Kneading the toes into the floor, feeling that your big toe and your pinky toe are doing the same amount of work. So you're not rolling in or out. Hold it here. Scoop, feeling the connection from your inner heels through your inner knees through your inner thighs. We're taking a big breath in here at the top.

Nodding, curling up and over, rounding the spine. See if you can keep a better base of support here, now that we've worked on that foot activation. Hold this stretch, rotating the armpits forward, walking out into your plank position, holding it here. Stay, keeping the abdominals drawing in and up. Draw them in so much that you want to list forward.

Keep drawing in as you pull back, and again forward and back. Two more. As you're going forward and back, we're not losing our low core connection, right? We never do such a heinous thing. And back, stretch the heels to the mat.

Long spine walking in, take your time. Hold long toes. Weight is over the heels. Not behind them, but directly over. Let your head drop. Let your arms relax, scooping rolling, taking your time, finding your inner thighs all the way up to standing tall. Now we're going to round out today's work with just a little bit of standing foot work.

So we're using our ball today just to reassess and maintain that constant awareness of our alignment, especially through our feet and ankles. Hands to the hips here, staying nice and balanced over the pelvis. And as you're bending your knees, you're thinking about where your knees are going, but you're also thinking about the ankles. So folding at the knees and pay attention to if your ankles want to roll out, roll in or just hang out. So for those of you that feel this in your knees, I want you to visit your under butt.

As you're bending, feel the bend. But as you're coming up, activate your under butt lightly, drawing your sits bones in toward each other. Let's do two more, and up. Let's do one more. Bending, holding. Now, spread those toes.

Keep your inner ankle bones dropping down toward the floor. Slowly lift the heels up without losing your connection to your ball and slowly lower the heels down. Same idea. Did you claw your toes? Did you lift your toes? Don't do it. Instead, keep your toes down. That's how we balance.

Toes are there for balance, not for waving at people on screens far, far away. Last one, we're gonna lift the heels up. Hold this. Find your inner thighs, inner under butts. Deep core here, we're going up. And your heels may not be lifted as high as you can normally lift.

Well, of course not, 'cause the ball is there. That's okay. Focus on the inner ankle bone connection. Focus on the connection to the big toe and second toe into the floor. Three more. As you're bending, keep your pelvis nice and neutral.

No scooping. Two more. Resist to go up. Stay connected at the under butt. Maintain that connection. And one more. Up, hold, float the heels down. And now just with a soft and gentle turnout and a cat.

So here are finding this connection. So my inner sits bones are rotating forward and drawing in and I'm not locking my knees. I'm wrapping so that I can feel the engagement at my hamstrings, lifting the heels only as high as you can go without losing your ankle alignment. So, we're going up and we're coming back down. Try to go straight up, not forward.

So I'm going straight up. I'm not going forward. Two more like this. Go straight up and come back down. And go straight up and hold, maintaining your turnout. And it's hopefully even on both legs. Now maintain your turnout as you bend and straighten.

Do it again. Bend and stretch and three more, weight between the first and second toe. Stretch, really wrapping here all the way to the under butt. Two and stretch. And last one, hold. Lower the heels and then lift them. Four more. Try to keep your body still.

Try to keep your armpits rotating forward. That's gonna help with balance too. Oh boy, it's burning. Two and one. Stretch up and release, and get rid of that thing. Thank you so much for joining me today on Fortify The Mat with Misty.


2 people like this.
Great class.  And Kitty totally made my day!
Love your humor, precise cueing, and variations, especially with the small ball and bridging. Looking forward to more from you!
Lina S
2 people like this.
I've really enjoyed your class and the building on the previous one. 
4 people like this.
Great class!  Bring Phoenix  back and I'll attend every
2 people like this.
Tough at times but super!
3 people like this.
Really enjoying your classes, great explanations and pace. My cat does the same thing when I’m on the mat!
Fiona O
2 people like this.
Great class!! And I just love how your cat joined in. 
John Ove
1 person likes this.
I think I would have lost concentration with your cute cat. Did s/he actually drink your glass of water? Tsk!
Found it tough but fair and great cueing. You also reminded me of the importance of a smiling  personality. You defintely have that. Thanks.

2 people like this.
And another great class, with great cues!!! Thank you very much! Hope to be able live tomorrow!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
Thank you so much - love this class!
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