Class #4481

Move From Your Center

50 min - Class


Connect back to the core of your Pilates practice and unlock your potential in the sixth class of Mechanics and Metaphors. Explore the muscles that comprise your powerhouse to rediscover your internal design. Ignite your practice and move from a new understanding with Amy in this exciting Mat class.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi everybody, we are here from The Pilates Center in Boulder, and I'm Amy Taylor Alpers. And we're gonna talk about moving from your center today. So we're gonna talk a little bit at the beginning about some anatomy, just so you have a sense of what your center is. There's lots of terms, could be your powerhouse, could be your core, could just be your abs. So you might've called it anything, but we're just gonna give ourselves a definition to work with.

All right so we're basically talking about just the muscles between the base of the rib cage and the base of the pelvis. All right, so we have the diaphragm up top pelvic floor below, but we're gonna work a lot with the stuff in between. So we've got all the abdominals that wrap around and completely encase you where you have no bones other than your spine. And what's so great about that is that that makes it a powerful pump that pushes and pulls air. And we've got four layers of abdominals, and I like to think of it like if you were counting the rings on a tree.

Like you took a cross section of a tree, and you looked at the rings and you could count them in one, two, three, in this case we're gonna go in three rings, and that deepest ring we're gonna put up a picture of it so that you could really see that that deepest ring is like a corset around the whole center of your body. And it's the primary breathing muscle we're gonna be looking at. It's a piece of the pump along with the diaphragm that allows for air to get pulled in and air to get pushed out. And that is you can see now on the picture, so on the left of the screen is a picture of your transversus abdominis. So the deepest layer of abdominals connects all the way across the rib cage, all the way across 360, connects into your back tissue, and then all the way across the top of the pelvis.

And it really is just like a corset. It really is and it's very elastic, but it needs to be also very strong. So we don't have any ribs or bones in this area, so this powerful pump muscle is the one we're gonna really focus on. And then you can see how the diaphragm which domes up inside the rib cage, as you would exhale your deep transverses narrow, that would push the diaphragm up and push air out. And then you release and air gets sucked back and the diaphragm drops, and then you exhale the diaphragm rises, you inhale the diaphragm falls.

So exhale air goes out and then inhale you release a little bit. And a lot of the exercises are very, very timed to that. So we're gonna look at that specifically and then deep inside the ring of abdominals is where your psoas runs. So from about T12 down coming out of the lumbar spine across the pubic bone and down to the very upper inner top of the femur. So the pump mechanism is also containing your psoas along with your lumbar spine.

So you can literally imagine that it just grabs all of you and narrows you around your waist, narrows you around your pelvis and gently around the rib cage. So were just gonna keep working on that pump mechanism today, and the way it organizes you, for every exhale will reorganize you and realigns you so that your legs feel very much connected to your center as well. So that's our theme moving from your center which is really essentially breathing effectively and making sure you time the breath well with the exercises. So we're gonna start with an exercise it's called footwork. Not everybody does it, but it was something that we learned originally from Ramana.

And it's basically footwork from the reformer but it's done on the map. Okay it's not an easy one, take a break whenever you need to. Okay, but it is a nice pumping exercise. So it really could feel like you're doing exactly what we just talked about. So just lie down for a second and just maybe even close your eyes and picture air rushes in it fills your rib cage, the diaphragm or the floor of your lung area drops down to give you lots of room.

And then way down below that at your waist, between the ribs and the pelvis, you narrow that third ring in and you let the air rush out. Then you release all that air gets vacuumed back into you it get sect right in and then three rings in you exhale, exhale and the exhale is what pushes the air out, you don't even have to do that part yourself in terms of making sounds or extra work in the throat or the mouth. You just contract your deep abdominal layer, and that transverses will be followed by internal, external obliques, and then the rectus will help you curl more. So you're just gonna be a big pump mechanism like a bellows for a fireplace, something like that. So let's take our arms around behind your head, take inhale, big inhale, exhale three rings in to curl up and bend your knees into your chest.

You'll be in a little Pilates feet and we just stretch out and exhale whole, fill and empty. And see you can actually push all the air out. If somebody was there they could literally hush it. Inhaling and exhaling. And now we're gonna go bird on a (indistinct).

So we're only gonna do about six reps of each position. You can do up to 10, but enough's enough. Exhale, so you can go as if your feet are wrapped around the foot bar, you're gonna have a sense of pushing the foot bar, which in effect pushes you back into your center. And then at this end you have a sense of feeling, so you have a sense of oppositional energy go into your flex, so you're on your heels now. So the inhale acts as ballast, it balances the force of the legs going away from you.

And then as everything comes in you really squeeze it all out and exhale and then last one will stay out and you're gonna point and flex just breathing. If you need to come around and take a hold of your legs, feel free to do that. Don't worry or you could take them up to 90 degrees it still feels very nice to articulate and warm up your feet since they're far away from your breath. And then just one more inhale and then exhale and bend your knees in and let your knees part a little bit. And you can just really give yourself a nice squeeze here.

And then you can take your feet straight out on the floor. Now were gonna do hundred, if you wanna bend your knees in and take them up to the ceiling and lower them down, that's fine too. All right, but you're gonna do it on a breath. So we take a big inhale and then three rings in you're gonna exhale yourself together and levitate your legs. You got it and we go in two, three, five and out two, three, four, five.

You fill and you squeeze and you fill and you try to imagine a little bit, Sue has crazy long legs, so I'm giving her a little help to feel like she's a little more in her lungs, and not so much like she's being tipped by her legs. So if you even maybe need to bend your knees today a little bit so you can really focus. Let's go fingers together and hands a little bit lower, exhale and last one, just a big inhale huge lung expansion, exhale three rings in squeeze, beautiful, and then just bend your knees. Excellent, were gonna roll up if you have a strap, go ahead and use it or some sandbags are really nice. If you don't and that's fine 'cause a lot of us don't, imagine, imagine heavy, heavy sandbags, holding your legs down, all right.

And then we're gonna take an exhale into position, so the exhale always centers you. And then you start inhale up, and then this movement exhales and pushes the air out. And then you fill and then you exhale again and you're just connecting connecting to the breath mechanism and the powerful, powerful abdominal squeeze. And then you bend and the more flexible your spine gets as you breathe and bend, the better your breathing and bending gets. So you just keep working on both, and then you think how low can I go really bending and let's see your hands a little narrow.

We're gonna do one more nice strong fists, and last one, big inhale picks you up, exhale empties you completely, inhale rolls you back and exhale empties you. Nice job so that you get right away the powerful effects of all that oxygen. We're gonna go into single leg circle. You're gonna bend one knee in and straighten it. Now, as you circle you're gonna use the inhale again for your ballast so you feel nice breath here and then a powerful exhale centers you.

Inhale around and exhale back to center that's the way three more, inhale around an exhale I'll get out of the way of Sue's long legs and exhale and last one and exhale each time reverse now when you go across, this exhale here can really pull you back to center, and around and over and exhale connect. So it's like a moment each time on your exhale that creates some clarity, two more exhale and let's go really big on the last one on the crossover phase way over. And if you can take the leg pretty high you get an even better exhale. All right and then we'll bend the knee and switch. And in and up and cross over down around exhale, and see if you can almost focus more like it's a little less even though it's a leg circle, little less about the leg and even a more about the huge inhale and the powerful exhale.

Two more and exhale nice last one. And good, now reverse. And you might even feel like you're connecting across your pelvic bones in the front, like a little narrowing across from hip bone to hip bone, way over powerful exhale, and over we go and one more, just lost count and I always do and exhale. Nice, all right, you're gonna bend your knee, you're gonna roll on it, you can pick your hips up and move them to your heels. You're gonna grab your ankles.

Take a nice inhale first and then exhale yourself very small, get a little lower, and then inhale and the rolling exercises in place are all about massaging the lungs massaging the spine and cleansing the lungs. So you take a big inhale and you feel that your exhale brings you home and bringing you home exhales you. So you really try to coordinate those two movements and how much deeper could your exhale get in a way? Nice, let's do one more, that helps you return. Beautiful, put your hands down, your feet and he'd pick your hips up, straighten your legs and you lie down.

So you breathe in for two and out for two, and in for two and we wanna go nice sense steady and you fill the lungs, and then on the next one exhale both knees in. And then you fill your body and you empty your body. Fill your body and empty it, you got it. Especially the lungs and then the abdominals, two more inhale, exhale. Beautiful Sue and last one, exhale into your scissors.

We'll do five sets, pull, pull switch, pull, pull. So you in and in, and ex, exhale, and last one and exhale into your next position. Inhale, fill the lungs, exhale squeeze oh, nice job. And maybe you're starting to feel as I can feel with Sue that there starts to be a almost hydraulic quality to your exhale as it gets stronger. And your inhale yes, is that the very other end one more of your legs and then you twist.

So the diaphragm basically just interdigitates with the psoas so your inhale and your leg movements are very, very coordinated if we can figure that out. Last set to exhale come on up to sitting. All right so now it's nice 'cause spine stretch just takes you right back to something simpler. So big inhale and powerful exhale squeeze the air out, squeeze the air out, get it all the way out. Fill yourself back up, exhale deep squeeze.

All your muscles moving air, beautiful, fill your lungs. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze three layers into the tiniest tiniest waistline possible. Last one, deep squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Beautiful, nice job. And then you just inhale and come back up.

Yeah, and then I like this transitional a bit more. So you're gonna just curl your pelvis back, point your feet, bend your knees and then straighten your legs up. And you've exhaled two here always centering yourself. Then you inhale, pick your center up, exhale it forward. Inhale, so you feel like you're not just picking your pelvis up but you're picking your abs up.

Pick your abs up and return, and let the movement help push air out of you one more time, inhale up and exhale let's try some together. Flex your toes feet, you can take hold or not, just let's do three more. Inhale and squash the air out, good job, good try. Add two more inhale and exhale. Squeeze it out see if the squeezing yes can help you actually get all the way up to your toe.

All right point your toes and lie back down. And we're gonna jackknife over and up, and pause here for one second and just reorganize yourself. Take a big inhale, exhale get a hold of your center. Now we're gonna do three sets, twist your center, lengthen and lower and back up again, beautiful and twist your center, and as you come down you have to hold your inhale really well and then exhale yourself back up. Twist, the whole body twists but you could feel it very much nice Sue and reverse and around and exhale.

You're one last set, your one big pump mechanism air comes in the body, air gets pushed out of the body last time, and around and exhale up, and then you roll right on up to soft. So once again, same thing. Let's be careful not to tighten the back of your lungs, twist to the right, ring your lungs out squeeze until every last atom of air has gone. Inhale and exhale and really feel the curl and the twist like you were a dish rag and you are ringing all the air beautiful. You're using those powerful transverses layers and those oblique layers to twist and ring and all the air comes out out out.

And we'll do one more set, big inhale, squeeze, exhale, exhale, exhale, and last one, twist and squeeze the air up, beautiful, okay, nice. And then bring your feet together and just swing them around and lie on your belly, and take a little moment, maybe once again, take a nice inhale and then exhale your center together. And a lot of times in Swan it's sort of this lower back area of our center that's maybe not quite as strong. So if we think of that center as 360 degrees around us all the way then we start to get a little bit of the upper glute in there as well. So we're gonna take our Swan, so you're gonna look up and you still feel that you've got this powerful lift deep psoas abdominals and back down again and again up and we're just bending the spine, you got it and peaking abdominals up and then deep exhale wraps you together and puts you back down again, nice.

And again, up we come and you can bend and bend even more, yeah, beautiful and exhale down. And then this time let's go up and take an exhale at the top. So you're gonna take a big inhale and then at the top take a moment and exhale your center strongly together, beautiful. And then let's do five dives. So you release inhale, exhale, exhale, and up in and up, and last one, nice.

And then go ahead and just take a little child's pose, give yourself a little break. Now, take a moment here even, feel your heart rate and take a nice inhale that fills your chest up and then a nice exhale can lift you back out and then we'll come on to your good. Now here in particular I think this particular exercise gets a little confused sometimes in terms of how use your center for it. So you have to really feel a nice lift up through here. So that your course is very connectable, and then let's even levitate the legs just a little bit.

So you know you're holding them with your corset and then you're gonna go switch, kick and switch, kick and switch, kick and switch, good. And you inhale and exhale. And if we get it really strongly then it's basically an exercise for your center almost more than for your legs because it's all about connecting and holding right here. Switching from a psoas in the middle beautiful Sue that stays in the middle. Yes, so that she is not rocking back and forth and her legs are connected right up through the middle, gorgeous.

And then one cheek down on the mat, hands high up on your back. All right take another inhale and a nice exhale to just organize yourself, take another inhale and then exhale three kicks, kick two, three, an inhale, fill the lungs and then exhale find your center. And if we time this really well, so arms and legs move together and arms and legs move together, then the breathing starts to make a little more sense and the coordination starts to make a little more sense. Inhale, exhale and last one inhale and exhale nice, excellent, and then just take a little child's pose again for a brief breath. Fill the lungs and on the exhale gather yourself together, roll yourself up, and we're gonna go into neck pole next.

So we're gonna bring your feet up forward, again if you have a strap, yay. If you don't have a strap, sandbags yay. And if you don't have sandbags or a strap, pretend it, pretend it, pretend it, and pretend it in a way that's more about what's going on here at this end of the body and a little less the legs they could just feel very, very weighted or maybe even a sense that there's a magnet under the floor that's holding them to the floor. All right, so you inhale and roll up and you exhale all your air. You inhale and it fills you up and you exhale keep it long, but narrow and strong, beautiful, inhale, bend, bend, bend, bend, exhaling all the air.

Fill, see if you can have the air, go ahead and exhale and flatten yourself long but narrow. See if you can have the moot movement itself push the air hush and then fill you, and last one, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. Good, so now if we breathe like crazy, if we have used our abdominals like crazy, then if we get to something much more difficult like scissors and bicycle, maybe it's there for us 'cause we know this is a challenging exercise. So you're gonna jackknife over and up and you're gonna grab yourself by your center. So you're holding your center with your own abdominals so that you can scissor your legs and switch and switch.

And even though you're in a little bit of extension, you're still having to really hold the corset. And then if you want to bicycle, you just continue go Sue. And if you can touch that floor fabulous but you do it from a sense of real power. And then let's go ahead and walk over. And if you don't wanna walk over, no problem, you just roll down and then you bring yourself back up into shoulder bridge.

Now this one can be all legs or it could come from your center remembering that the root system of your legs, your psoas goes all the way up to your breath mechanism, your diaphragm. So you're gonna straighten one leg, just gonna make sure Sue doesn't kick anything. There we go, we'll just do three up and down, up and down and switch feet. And you think about how you exhale, you lengthen but you also narrow, nice, beautiful. And then you can just take your arms out and just take a nice roll down through your spine and then roll on up.

Okay so now spine twist it's not actually that easy and exercise we know but it's primarily a breathing exercise. So you feel your abdominals and your diaphragm. You take a big inhale and you exhale, twist twist. And the twist is a lot of abdominal contraction to push air out of you. Fill your lungs, squeeze, squeeze, fill your lungs, squeeze farther, fill your lungs, squeeze, squeeze, exhale last one, squeeze, squeeze, nice.

All right, point your toes, you're gonna lie back down. Now we're gonna jackknife over and up and try to get up a little higher so you can get up, up, up up so that you feel like you're holding yourself with your abs and your glutes, but not so much by a tuck. And then you abdominal squeeze your way down. Yes, and you inhale over and up, and you exhale squeeze your way down. Let's do two more.

You can do it in one breath, inhale up, exhale down or you could do it in two breaths. So you could go inhale and exhale, and then inhale and exhale, nice, okay, great. All right, let's use some sidekicks. Now the hardest part of sidekicks for a lot of us certainly not unusual is this tendency to actually and go ahead and just let it go for a second here Sue. Yeah, okay and you can still be up on your elbow, but you you see how easily maybe put that hand behind your head so people could see.

How easily we could like, just let the center go. I can just have this be a leg exercise. So take an inhale and then exhale and pull yourself together and hold your corset a little bit more. So that the hip is attached to your corset versus if she lets go now the hip is disconnected and we're really gonna use the side of the thigh more than the top of the hip. So it's not a shape or a position so much as it is take a big inhale and then exhale your corset together up a little more off my hand that's right.

And then we go to the front, front and to the back, back. You inhale, but then you squeeze and narrow your center. That's right so that, that's where your control is. You're not at the mercy of your leg. You yes are very much moving the leg forward from your abdominals and back from your abdominals and last one and exhale, yes.

And you bring your feet together and you bring your arm down. So again, we might easily just collapse again. So take another inhale, exhale, pull yourself together. And you can have a sense of almost pulling yourself up into your upper body a little bit so that you don't feel like the legs are pulling on you so much. And then we're gonna turn out and kick up inhale and exhale.

So even more Sue let's come up. So let's say it's not necessarily rule but probably your underneath ribs won't be touching the mat. And that's not just 'cause you're holding them up, that's 'cause you're connecting your corset beautiful. Inhale up, exhale down, inhale we'll do five, inhale up exhale. And even here, can you feel like you lift the leg with your center and not just with your leg and then reverse your foot up and down.

So your center picks the leg up, puts the leg down, picks the leg up, puts the leg down because that root structure of your legs, the psoas runs right through your center and that's your integration. So now let's go parallel and we'll lift both legs up and this can really feel like it's just a hip exercise, but can we get it higher? Yes, so you lower and lift with your torso more than just your legs. That's the stuff, there we go. Three 60 all the way around, up we come, nice Sue.

And now stay up, flex your feet, turnout, clap, clap, clap, clap, it's still holding your center. Point your feet, keep clapping. One more set, flex your feet. The turnout remains, the center remains and then point your feet and now she's gonna keep clapping as she rolls onto her belly, connecting through her center. Yes, and seeing if we can even get the center a little bit higher, yeah, beautiful and rest.

Nice, okay and then we'll flip over to the other side, and you guys just arrange yourself in your room, I'm taking lots of home that classes lately I know what that's like. All right, so very easy to fall apart up here and even to do a little bit of extension. So feel like your rap, your deep transversus muscle really holds your spine upright from your hips and hold your abdominal strong. And we go to the front front and to the back, back and inhale and feel it, especially when you come from the back that your center pulls the leg forward and in exhale. And even the movement around the arc has to come from a little higher that's right so that yeah the leg nice job is attached.

Beautiful Sue, last one. Yes, and bring the feet together. So you see I'm encouraging her pelvis up into her waist because the long legs wanna pull it apart. So we're shortening up but you got to also hold that underneath rib. Nice and strongly so your center holds you, and five times up and fill the lungs, squeeze the abdominals, exhale two more inhale and even your center lifts your leg, reverse your foot flex and point, inhale and maybe put a little extra work in the underneath side just because that's the side that's gonna easily wanna collapse down, and then five and finish.

Parallel, you're gonna lift both legs up. I try to feel a little bit yeah, that's nice. Almost like I'm a singular fish. And to bend sideways I have to bend my entire torso and down. So you really feel like your abdominals and your hips pick up those legs and down, and again up al least and up this time we'll stay flex the feet turn out, clap, clap, clap.

Even these claps are happening way up here. Yes, points your feet. Keep connected, flex your feet and point your feet and then rest. Nice, okay, excellent. All right, so let's turn back lie down and let's just do a nice little figure four stretch.

Give yourself a little break. So you're just gonna take one ankle across the other knee, That's right. And then bend the knee into your chest. And you're just gonna keep your hips a little nice release. Still breathing, still filling the lungs and then feeling your abdominals connect, yeah.

And that bellows mechanism keeps working. Yeah, but you take a little moment to calm your nervous system if it got a little bit higher. Okay, let's switch legs. And just checking in that you didn't tighten too much in your hips or your back, it's really muscular. The skeleton is somewhat at ease and muscles do all of the work.

And then, and we'll come up to sitting and we'll start our teaser. All right, so let's do, so we'll do the whole set today if we can. So we're gonna do, you're gonna curl back lift your legs and then we'll do three upper body three lower body, and then three whole body you got it. So your gonna curl back, lift your feet eye level, arms parallel and you lower your center and you pick your sensor back up very nice. You lower it, gorgeous and up one more time.

Inhale, exhale. Now you stay inhale lungs fill, exhale, abdominal squeeze and squeeze yes, and squeeze beautiful. And you lay it all the way down, and you inhale up and squeeze it inhale up and squeeze it out and last time inhale up and squeeze out, nice and hopefully you're feeling not only the tremendous amount of heat that comes from breathing this deeply, the stimulation of it but also the strangely calmness of it because it keeps you so centered and focused, and then the strengthening of it. And the fact that so much more of these exercises can be done with the support of the breath and for the intention of enabling and increasing the breath and always again, finding your center. So let's come on up, we're gonna do hip circles and you can do these on your forearms.

Let's do them on the forearms, you also can do them on your straight arms if you want. All right, but today it's a breathing and abdominal exercise more than anything else with a nice twist. So let's bend the knees in and take them straight up. And then you twist and ring very similar to saw obviously very similar to corkscrew and you use that credible last exhale to come back to center. You fill the lungs, fill the lungs, fill the lungs then start your exhale, gorgeous in and exhale we're gonna do one more set in and exhale last time, fill the lungs nice job and deep squeeze.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, nice. All right, gonna swing the legs around, and reach out and up for swimming. And now this one, all you do is breathe. You move the arms and legs but you just take some deep breaths as you go. So you pick everything up on an exhale and then you go in and out, and in and out, and one more breath in and out and then you rest everything down.

Right and if you're concentrating on the breathing, instead of how hard the exercise is or how tight you feel or whatever else you might struggle with on that one sometimes that can just alleviate a little bit of that. All right, we're gonna do leg pull front because of the needed power of your center in this exercise. So if you can you're gonna take an inhale and then exhale push-up into your position. Now careful here not to tuck 'cause if we tuck there we can't really use the corset it's so well, all right, soften the shoulders a little bit. Stand on your hands, maybe walk your feet forward a little bit Sue so you're really on your hands up over here more that's the way.

All right, you're gonna pick up one foot, move your center back and forth, pick up the other foot, move your center back and forth. So you really just take it back and forth back and forth. That's right, so you feel that you're moving yourself from your center. Yes, one last set up, we go and up and then if you can you bend your elbows and lower yourself down or you put your knees down, either way nice Sue, nice. When you come back, one thing that I would say is keep the leg up a little longer.

So your leg is up, you go out, you come back in with that leg still up and then put it down because that's gonna challenge this quite a bit more. We're gonna try one more set Sue. So you're gonna be careful not to tuck, so that you can use these back muscles really well. All right, so she comes on up. All right, so we're holding our center, which is up this way.

So you're gonna pick one leg up low, go back and forth but keep holding this and then put it down exactly. Back and forth, keep holding it, yes. And up good and back and forth and down. Yeah, nice, nice, nice, nice. All right, and then sit back into a child's pose again.

Take a little breather release and relax a little bit. Nice, all right, and we're gonna go into twist one. Now this might be a new one for some of you, but again if you think a little less I'll teach you the choreography in case you don't know it. But if you think more about breathing and twisting and exhaling and using your abdominals than anything else makes the exercise make more sense. All right, so you're gonna have this foot forward, straight forward, this let's take it out just a little farther, and this hand might be on a slight diagonal like that.

All right, you're gonna step onto your right foot left hand upper arm, sweeps through and comes towards me Sue. Yeah, so you twist. And then you're going to exhale grab yourself by your center and take your center back up, good. So less straightening of your knees, little more picking up and twisting of your torso. So you pick up your torso and you twist it and let's put more weight on your hand than you think.

Yes, and then exhale twist and control yourself back down so that it doesn't become a dangerous shoulder exercise because you're in charge of yourself across your middle. One more time, you pick yourself up, you thread the arm through toward me over here, that's the twist. And then you exhale grab a hold of yourself and put yourself back down, nice job switch feet. All right, so I'm gonna have 'cause Sue is so tall, I'm gonna have you open your position up just a little bit. So taking your feet yeah and your hand about over here.

Yeah, just so that she has a little more room. Yeah so I like, it's not a rule necessarily but the truth is when you go up this hip has to turnout, almost 180 degrees. So if you start already a little turnout you're just gonna twist your knee or pivot your foot. So if you can stand on that foot and then slow legs take your torso up, twist it, stay on your hand, stay forward over your hands so you stay twisted and curled and then untwist and uncurl, there you go. Stay over your hand, go the other way yeah.

So little more in your hand we're gonna talk about that next week a little bit when we talk about being more like (indistinct), is really much more of an upper body exercise, yes, and then curl back in, but stay over your hand. That's the stuff so that you really have to use your center. One more time, you curl and twist and you stay on your hands. So you don't stick your butt out so much, you lift your center over your hand more over your hand more that's right, Yeah so that you're up in your abs and then you come back down and you hold those abs you stay on your hand. Yes, so it isn't so much straighten the legs really fast which is a tendency we have.

But we're gonna talk about that a little bit more the next time when we talked about getting your (indistinct) on 'cause they are really much upper body exercises than they are leg exercises in many, many cases, even though it doesn't always appear that way. But just like we're focusing today on that they are actual breathing and abdominal exhaling exercises. We're gonna do some boomerang. So one foot on top of the other point your feet, now you just did your twist. Maybe you even feel more connected here.

So it's less about moving the legs around in space and more about moving you. So you're going to pick the feet up, you're gonna pick your spine up. And then when you rise up you use those powerful abdominals, you circle the arms around, you flex your torso. And you float everything down, that's the theory. You got back up and you flex, hold with your guts come on up abdominals contract and they hold you, beautiful.

And then you flex nice Sue and down beautiful. All right, let's do two more sets over open close, exhale rise up, inhale and exhale, beautiful that's the way. And again, hips, open close, rise up circle around and exhale. Now one more set, hips up and over exhale, rise up and connect, you got it, beautiful. And last one before we do our final last one, roll up, get ready and now before you go Sue come back up for just one second before you go, so come on down here, put your hands down like you're about to go.

You do curl back and lift the legs but then connect like crazy, connect to lift your legs pick them up with your abs. You got it, hold them with your abs. Right, come on up and hold them with your abs and circle and flex and forward. Nice job, so that's just one of those sneaky things that we can learn to do which is just use the momentum of the legs. And it isn't that you're not using your abs at all because they are required, but to actually do it with your abs is a little different, like really how do I make this an abdominal exercise?

How do I strengthen my center? How do I just stay constantly committed to it? 'Cause it's actually harder than it sounds. Okay, let's do seal. All right so now could it be the same as what we just talked about?

So that it's a little less I back and throw my hips and it's a little more I flex and pick my pelvis up. So we're gonna go clap, clap, clap, and then you pick your pelvis up and hold it with your abs. And if you don't quite get it, you see what happens. So abdominals hold you and then they pick you up. Yes, and your lungs hold you in the inhale and your exhale brings you forward and you pick your pelvis up with your abdominals, yeah and you exhale your torso up with your abdominals and let's just do one more, and inhale and exhale.

Nice, all right, Let's we're gonna finish today. Let's do control balance. All right, so that you could just test again your ability to actually hold your spine up with your abdominals, connect your beautiful core and do your legs switches from the deep psoas within. Over and up all right you're gonna move your arms around, and even here if we could soften the leg energy a little bit stick your butt up tiny bit, and hold yourself less with your sacrum and your glutes and a little more with your abs, and okay good job and up right so that you even wanna feel Sue like reach your pubic bone for the ceiling more up and yes, hold the front of you up. Good job, so that you're not hanging here.

You're holding yourself up with your powerful corset around your center. Nice, and then the psoas which is the other end of your legs, beautiful runs right through that container. Yeah, nice job and then finish your last set, and then you can just roll down and rest. Nice, so hopefully it's a forever ever journey. We know that for sure, forever ever journey.

And if we're tucking at all and we all still are probably a little bit then you can't really quite get to this. So we have to be able to maintain a pretty neutral here so that we can connect and then the bending actually occurs in the abdominals instead of too much in the pelvis which is definitely not where really your center and your core is, so squeezing here and then flexing here and using the glutes but in an upward fashion, instead of a downward fashion actually helps this stuff connect. So while you're lying there, let's just take three nice calming finishing breaths, release your pelvis completely. Yes, so you're not tucking. You can have legs straight or bent but your pelvis is at rest.

All right and your skeleton is at rest. Just let the entire skeleton be at rest, and then muscles can work better if we hold the skeleton in funny positions and muscles really can do their job. You're just gonna feel your rib cage as big as you can, let the diaphragm descend, fill, fill, fill fill all the way up to your skull and all the way down to your pelvic floor, and then (indistinct) in the middle three rings in and narrow and narrow till all the air is gone, and let's do that two more times. release and fill, air just rushes in fills you, fills you, fills you, and then between the ribs and the pelvis is where you can narrow almost all the way to a tiny belt around your lumbar spine and last time inhale and exhale and then you try to maintain a little bit of that integrity as you go about your day. Cool, all right, thanks for common class, and hopefully we'll see you next week.

Mechanics and Metaphors: with Amy Taylor Alpers


3 people like this.
Thank you Amy and PA for this treasureūüėć
2 people like this.
Good solid level 2 class with Amy teaching and Sue demonstrating.  I really like this format where one teaches & one demonstrates. I loved Amy's Spine & Muscle Instruction and her breath coaching. That helped!  i added leg weights for most of the class because weights help me with rollups.  As I do not have any equipment with leg straps, I also liked Amy's suggestion of getting sand bags.... Great Idea:)  Thanks Again Amy & Sue!
WOW! Amy, thank you, the core instruction in the beginning was so helpful. And the huge focus on the breath too. I can never normally do teaser, but I was able with absolutely no problems with this class, because my core was activated and I was able to use the power of my breath. Huge thank you!!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy-I could truly keep doing this class forever and ever and make transformative connections every time !!!
1 person likes this.
Amy Hi Hi Hi!  True to your surprise ! It was great to try to do. And Of course some awesome teaching.  Lelie

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