Class #4580

Unlocking your Breath

40 min - Class
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Unblock your throat chakra with this restorative Mat class by Jason Williams. He starts with breath work and gentle head/neck stretches to prepare your body for what's to come. He then adds self-massage and a guided meditation to help you find release.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hello, hello, hello. This is Jason Williams from Baltimore, Maryland. Thank you for joining me. Pilates Anytime. Today's class is the fifth class in our vital restoration series, unlocking your breath.

So we're working our way up to those throat chakra here, which is the fifth chakra in the chakra system. So think of the color blue, right? The blue color. Again, as we go up the color spectrum whenever we work with self-expression and communication. So sometimes if we're a little bit quiet or having trouble speaking what we need to express, we could have a little bit of a blockage in our throat chakra.

So hopefully today we'll get to unlock that by using our breath a little bit, okay? So we'll start with a nice meditation, we'll flow and then we'll calm down with a little bit of Reiki, all right? So find a nice seat wherever you are. Again, sit nice and comfortable. I wanna start with some nostril breathing today to kind of open up our nostril passageway and open up each hemisphere of the brain.

So what we're gonna do is you'll take your right index finger. You're gonna place it to your right nostril. You're gonna kind of seal that off, and wanna inhale and out through the nose. So you'll inhale through the left nostril. Exhale through the left nostril.

Inhale through the left nostril. Exhale through the left nostril. So continue that breath, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Now, what this does, it's gonna open up again, each hemisphere of the brain, give you a little bit of energy. (breathes slowly) This is great if you have allergies as well.

(breathes slowly) Two more rounds, inhaling through the nose, exhaling through the nose. Let's go one more time, inhale. And out. And then we'll switch sides. Left index finger to the left nostril.

Right nostril inhale. Exhale. (breathes slowly) Good. Inhale. And take your time through this practice. It takes a little bit of practice.

(breathes slowly) You can even close your eyes while you do this. (breathes slowly) Good. Breathing in. And out. (breathes slowly) Two more times. Good. One more (breathes slowly) And release there. Good.

Take a nice inhale through your nose and out through the mouth. Okay, and close the eyes if you haven't done so. And now just feel as you inhale, you should be able to get a little more air in through the nostrils and out through the mouth. Good, inhale. And out.

And continue that breath at your own pace nice and easy. No need to rush. (breathes slowly) Relaxing your jaw and your body, your face. (breathes slowly) Two more rounds, inhale. Exhale.

One more round, inhale. And out. As you get nice and centered and focus, you'll begin to blink the eyes open. Very good. Nice. So bringing both hands just to the knees here.

I'm gonna start with some neck stretches. So you're gonna slowly tuck the chin down to your chest. Get a nice stretch here through the back of the neck, and then slowly lift up, up, up, looking towards the sky and the ceiling. Open up through that throat or the front of the neck. Then we're just gonna do a nice, easy up down, tucking the chin to the chest, and then back up.

Again, go with your breath here. So you don't have to have a specific breath, but just breathe. Inhaling and exhale, opening up through the neck and that throat chakra here. Good. Nice easy stretches through the neck.

Tuck in the chin to the chest. One more time, looking up. And then coming back to center, and we'll move to nice, simple neck rolls, head circles. So tucking the chin down, and then slowly roll the neck looking up towards the ceiling. Down around.

Nice easy head circles, stretching out through now the neck, maybe into those upper traps, where we hold a lot of tension, a lot of stress. Good. And continue to breathe at your own pace. Again, you can also close the eyes here. One more time around.

Take your time. And then once you get back to the center well, reverse that in the opposite direction. Going the opposite way. Neck roll, looking out towards the ceiling, tucking the chin down and around. Looks good, feels good.

Then you get off all the tension, a little stress out of the neck. Sometimes we don't realize we hold a lot of this tension here, sometimes we do. But it feels good to kind of just be with our body here. Then in the neck then your shoulders, release. Good.

One more time around and we'll come back to neutral. Good. And then slowly lift the head up here. You can extend your right fingertips out to the side. I'ma bring my left hand to the right side of my head.

Do a nice, easy neck, shoulder stretch and bending. You don't have to pull too hard here. Nice and gently. So a nice neck stretch to this right side of the shoulders. You can walk those fingertips out a little bit, feel it down the arm.

Good. And just go with your tension here. Again, you don't want to pull very hard. Again, you can kind of feel around somewhere, maybe it's tighter. Another little trick, you're gonna slowly turn the chin down in a way.

So I'm looking away from that right side to my left. And you feel it kind of wrap around the back of the neck here, maybe pulling at the top of the head and the back. Good. Walking these fingertips out a little bit more. Good.

And then slowly releasing there. And we'll switch sides. Good. Maybe go a little side to side here. Left-hand comes out, fingertips.

Right hand comes to the left side of head here. Nice, easy gentle pull. Really feel that left side of the traps, head and neck. Walking the fingertips out a little bit. Again, palpate around or feel around to where you need a little bit more tension or a pull.

Good. Again, don't pull too hard, right? We're not trying to strain anything here. And now you can slowly turn that chin or head around looking away from the left shoulder. So I'm looking down diagonally.

Good. Nice, easy pull. Maybe breathe. Nice breath. Good.

Working those kinks out, walking the fingertips out a little bit more. Nice. And then slowly releasing from there. Back to center. Bring both hands to the knees.

Let's do some Seated Cat Cows here. So rounding, leaning back through the back here. Rounding through the back, lifting up through the chest. Lift that head through the neck, nice and tall. Round it back to a little inhale here as you round through the spine.

Then exhale, pulling back up, lifting the chest, opening the chin, eyes to the sky or ceiling and rounding back. So I'm showing you from this angle. You're just leaning back using your hands here to have a little tension. Pull up nice and tall. Good. Lift the chin.

Round it back. Looks great. Feels good in that upper back, open the chest. Now lift the chin. You gonna lift that chin to open up through that throat chakra here and breathe.

Nice easy flow. Give me two more times. Good. One more. Nice.

Come to neutral. Relax. Come into a kneeling position here. So here you can tuck the toes or you can untuck, depending on your preference and the comfortability of your feet. So what we're gonna do here is you're gonna start with hands here. You're gonna lift up your chin.

Wanna pull back through those shoulder blades, as far back as we can go. Just get that nice shoulder retraction. Now, I'm gonna turn my head to the right. Turn my head to the left. Come back to center and bring my hands forward, right?

Pulling back. Now, I'ma go the opposite way. Turn my head to the left. Keep the shoulders back, hands back. Turn my head to the right.

Back to the center, release forward. So I'ma continue that pattern, pull back through the shoulder blades. Turn my head to the right, turn my head to the left, back to center, release. Keep that going and pull back shoulder blades, retraction. Turn my head to the left, turn my head to the right.

Come back to center, release. Good. About five more of these. So take your time. Pulling back through the shoulders. Turn head to the right, to the left.

Release. Good. Keep that going. Pulling back. Shoulder blades. Left.

Right. Release it back. Good. Pulling back, shoulder blades. Right. Left.

Turn back to the center, release. Good. Three more. Pull it back, turn the head. Good. Release.

Nice. Pulling back. Shoulder blades. Turn, turn, release. One more time. Pulling back.

Shoulder blades retract. Turn. Nice. Work through the posture here. Good. And then release.

Very good. So now what I'm gonna do is bring those hands to the hips. You're gonna slowly sit your butt back to the heels here. Tuck the chin down. And as you come up, you're gonna lift all the way up.

Lift the chin here, right? And then slowly round through the back. Tuck the chin down. Now, if you can't do this through your knees, what you're gonna do is you're gonna come all the way back up, right? And you're just gonna (mumbles) a kneeling cat cow here.

So you stay nice and tall here and then lift up, lift the chin, right? Round through the back. See, you don't have to go all the way back with your hips to your heels here, you're just gonna lift up, but if you have that in your practice, that flexibility, round through the spine, lift up nice and tall, lift the chin and chest. Tuck the chin here, round it down, and then lift all the way up. Head up to the sky. Nice.

Two more. Inhale it back. Exhale, lift it up. One more. Good.

And then lift it up. We'll stay nice and tall here. So after for camel necks, you can tuck the toes and slowly lean back, bring your hands to heels and then lift the chin and the back. Now, if this hurts your back or your knees, just go hands to your lower back and then lift the chin up, right? And just feel here your chest expand.

Feel that neck open up. Relax your jaw. Otherwise you can just be here, right? Good. Relax the head back, and then slowly tuck the chin.

Wherever you are, come back to here. Very good. Coming forward now back to all fours. So shoulders, elbows, wrists lineup for cat cow, rounding up through the spine, dropping the chest, look up, really open up through the chin here and the throat and the front, rounding up. Draw that belly in and then slowly drop the chest.

Look up. Very good. So do a few more rounds here, cat cow. Getting that nice massaging action through the spine. Looks great. Feeling good.

Awesome work. Breathe. Good. Exhale. Two more rounds. Looks good.

Nice. One more. Dropping the chest down, looking up. There you go. Coming in neutral spine here.

So now you're gonna bring your left hand behind the head. So I'm gonna go elbow to the wrist, and you're gonna press up, open up through that chest and upper back and then slowly bring it back down. Elbow can tap the wrist, press the ground away, look up towards the ceiling. So now really opening up through the chest. Even maybe into that upper back.

It feels good to get that rotation through the spine, right? Good. Breathe. Inhale. Lengthen it out. Good. Exhale it back down. Good. Gonna love doing these exercises because we sit all day, right?

And it's an (mumbles) We start the round through our upper backs and this really opens things up. Good. And then you're gonna slowly come back to neutral. Switch it up, right hand behind the head. And you'll slowly bring that elbow to wrist and then press it up. Good.

And then slowly bring it back down. Elbow to wrist. Press it back up. So keep that motion. Good.

And then back down. Looks good. Press the ground away, look up towards the sky. Ah, feel that? Chest open up for that shoulder.

Two more rounds. Inhale, lengthen it up. Good. Exhale. Press the ground away. Nice stretch.

Exhale. Bring it back down. Good. And then come back to neutral. Very good. So we'll go to our belly. Nice and easy.

Turning the head to the right shoulder, bringing the hands to the back for a little Cobra and reach. So letting the elbows drop down if you have that range of motion in the shoulders, otherwise keep them up, right? Do you. So what you're gonna do here is you're gonna inhale, lift everything up. Reach back.

Head comes forward. Exhale. Look to the left shoulder. Drop it down. Very good. Inhale, lengthen it out.

Exhale. Drop it, look to the right shoulder. Good. So keep altering your head turn. Inhale, lift.

Head look straight ahead. Exhale. Look to the left. Good. Inhale, reach. Exhale, drop it to the right shoulder.

Good. Inhale, reach. Nice. Exhale to the left. Inhale, reach.

Good. Exhale, to the right. Nice. One more time. Inhale, reach it up.

Good. Exhale, drop it to the left, and then slowly press back to child's pose. Toes touch, knees wide. Sit it back. Good.

So then a nice stretch here. Keeping those hands long. So now we'll go to a little flow from this child's pose position. So you're gonna slowly, keep my hands where they are. I'm gonna shift my weight forward, drop my hips down.

My knees are still wide. Pull back to the shoulders, look up. Good. Now, lift that chin, right? Over up through the throat, and then slowly flow, sit it back.

So you'll just go back and forth. Go your speed, your pace. Inhale. Exhale. Open it up. Nice.

Inhale. Flow it back. Nice stretch. Lengthen through the spine. Exhale. Shoulders back.

Look up. Very good. Slowly sit it back. Great stretch to the back here. Again, my hands never leave this position essentially, right?

They're just staying right here. Pulling back through my shoulder blades. Lifting the chin Slowly sit it back. Let's do one more. Nice flow.

Looks good. Breathe. There you go. And then slowly sit it back, child's pose. Let's go pinkie side down, thumbs up this time to get a little more stretch through those lats here.

Now, hold here. Take a deep breath. (breathes slowly) One more deep breath. (breathes slowly) Very good. Now, we're set up for that modified swan dive.

So knees come back, hands come wide. And you'll slowly sit back, you'll inhale. Elbows come wide, scoop down and through. Exhale, come forward, look up towards the sky. Again, lift that chin here.

Inhale, sit it back. Scoop through, elbows wide. Scoop, exhale, lengthen it out. Very good. So keep that flow.

Hands are wide Inhale, sit back. My feet are up in the back. Nice. Chest expansion, throat opens up. Good. Inhale.

Sit it back. Exhale, come through. Nice. Two more times. Take your time. Good. One more.

Looks great. Feels good. Open up through the chest. Chin, neck right here and relax. Very good.

So now going to your left side. So shoulder, elbow lineup. A little snake and twist, but modified. You're gonna bring your right hand behind the head. You're gonna lift up.

So now my elbow's gonna come down to my hand here and then right back up, right? Looking up toward the sky. Now, options for the one knee down, the inside knee down. Here and then back up. Also, option to float that top leg.

Here and then back up, right? So do you. Those three. Good. Open it up through the chest. Good.

So you get a little bleak here and also opening up now through the shoulder here at the top. You got two more. Good. Nice. One more. And relax it down, very good.

Switch sides. Very good. So same set up. Same thing you did in the previous side. Line up, elbow and shoulder, top hand comes behind the head, lift it up.

Again, you'll rotate elbow down to that hand, and then open it up. Option to drop that back knee or the bottom knee and then lift it up or float that top leg even for a little more of a challenge with that knee down, right? So do you. You've got about three to four more. Good.

Nice breath. Open it up. Exhale. Well done. Let's do one more. Nice work.

Good. Breathe and exhale, and relax it down. Very good. Okay, come to a seated position here. So now I wanna start with a half roll down. So bend the knees.

This time you're gonna bring your hands behind the head here. You're gonna curl your elbows around. So what you're gonna do is slowly tuck the chin now. Start to lean back. Now, we're gonna get a little more stretch in the back of that neck here, right?

And then exhale, lift up, stack the vertebrae, nice and tall, right? Now, inhale slowly lean it back. Nice stretch here in the back of the neck and upper part of shoulders Exhale, lift it up nice and tall. Good. So the key here is to really get a nice little pull in the upper part or the back part and that upper shoulders traps.

Lift it up. Good. Round it down. Tuck the chin. Now, if that's too much to bring your hands here, you can always bring your hands below the knees. Just keep your chin down the entire time here, and then lift up, chin up to the sky here, right?

Round it down, tuck the chin, and then back up. Otherwise to really get that stretch through the back of the neck, you want that pull right here and lift. Okay, one more time. Inhale, sit it back. Good. Exhale.

Nice. Now straighten out those legs, okay? And start the forward fold here. And now we get a big stretch through the back of that head and neck right here. And then you'll roll it back up nice and tall, stacking the vertebrae here. Good.

Roll it down. Exhale. Tuck the chin to the chest. Really getting the back of the neck, upper part of shoulders along down the spine. So those erector spinae muscles there along the back. There we go.

Drop the chin down. Good. Then you roll it back up. Stacking the vertebrae. Two more times.

Tucking the chin, roll it down. Nice. One more. Looks good. Tucking the chin, roll it down.

Nice stretch. Roll it back up. Now, from this position, you're gonna slowly roll it down. We'll peel, peel, peel. So lower back hits first, mid back, and then upper back.

Relax. Hands above the head, big stretch. Good. Moving to our full roll up here. So begin to set it up.

So hands behind the head, inhale. And then slowly exhale, bring those hands forward, Lengthen up nice and tall. Now we get a full body stretch. Drop the head down, tuck the chin to chest here, peel it down slowly. Keep the hands low.

Vertebrae at a time, inhale. And then exhale and back up. Nice and tall. Lengthen through the spine. Reach forward, stretch, drop the head down.

Roll it down. vertebrae articulating through the spine. Nice and easy. No rush, no rush, no rush. Good.

Two more, inhale. And then exhale. Nice and tall. Reach forward stretch. Looks great.

Roll it down. There you go. Last one, inhale. And then exhale it up. Reach forward.

You're gonna hold here in this forward fold. Come right back up, hands right in front of the chest. Open up the hands and you're just gonna twist to the right, chin up and then twist. Keep that helicopter arms to the left. Good. Now, twist to the right.

Keep those legs straight out. Maybe look behind you here and then back around to the left. And your head turns to the left, look behind. So now getting that neck head movement. This will help open up the throat chakra here by moving the head in unison with the shoulders and arms.

Good. Looks great, inhale. And then exhale, back around. Good. And then slowly come back to the center.

Hands come right to the middle in front of chest. Slowly peel it down. We'll set up for a little 100, okay? So we're gonna start palms down and flip the palms up. So bring feet to tabletop.

Option one, head comes up the C curve, palms down. You'll inhale 2, 3, 4, 5, and out. 2, 3, 4, 5. Other options. Pilates, V your first position with the feet.

So toes point out, heels together. 2, 3, 4, 5, and out. 2, 3, 4, 5, inhale. 2, 3, 4, 5 and out. 2, 3, 4, 5, breathe in.

2, 3, 4, 5 and out. 2, 3, 4, 5, last one. Palms down. Five and out. 2, 3, 4, 5 flip the palms up.

2, 3, 4, 5 and out. 2, 3, 4, 5, inhale. 2, 3, 4, 5, exhale. 2, 3, 4, 5, breathe in. 2, 3, 4, 5, and out.

2, 3, 4, 5. And again, if your neck gets tired, go ahead and drop it down. Four, five and up 2, 3, 4, 5. Two more. 2, 3, 4, 5 and out.

2, 3, 4, 5, last one. 2, 3, 4, 5, and out. 2, 3, 4, 5, relax. Pull the knees out. Well done.

Nice little stretch to the back, rock and roll side to side. Front to back maybe. Feels good. And then come all the way up to the seated position. Coming to mermaid.

Right knee forward, left leg back, okay? So what we're gonna do here, left-hand is gonna come to my right knee, and we're gonna pivot and twist to the right side, keeping my shoulders back here nice and tall and get a nice twist stretch through that back. And now I can turn my head. If you have that option, look almost to the right or behind you, right? To that right shoulder.

So that again, these neck stretches and movements are gonna really help with our throat chakra and our breath. Good. And then come back to the center. Lengthen out the arms. Forearm comes down, mermaid stretch side to side.

Nice and easy. And reach. Open up through that rib cage. Good. And back.

Inhale And exhale. Nice. Inhale. And exhale. Breathing in, and out. Last one to the left here.

Nice stretch. And relax. Switch legs, very good. Left knee comes around, right leg back. Right hand comes to my left knee, pull and twist.

Good. Open up through the shoulders here. Good. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Now, maybe turning your head to that left shoulder or behind you. Good.

Breathe. (breathes slowly) One more deep breath. (breathes slowly) And now opening up through the arms. Left forearm down, right-hand overhead. The top hanging overhead here and then exhale.

Bring it on back through. Nice stretch through that rib cage and the hips. Inhale, and exhale. Good. Inhale. And exhale.

Good. Two more times. Inhale. Reaching over top. Again, I love doing these, combining these movements with meditation and Reiki, because again, all these practices have these principles, right? They're in unison or in one.

And relaxed breath. Focus, concentration, centering, right? So now bringing your legs around, folding here and then get nice and comfortable. So to kind of calm down or wind down, you're gonna take your index finger and your middle finger. Place them right to the side of your jaw here, right?

Where you're kind of like right below by the ear, and give yourself a nice, easy massage. So let your jaw hang. And I'm just drawing small circles here, massaging my jaw. Good. You can close your eyes here to get a nice little...

Really feel around, palpate around to where you might be a little tight in your jaw. So again, you don't have to stay in that spot. You can move down the chin or back up. Maybe it's up here closer to the ears. So this massage in the jaw relaxing your face.

So as we relax our jaw, it'll help relax our neck. And I'm just massaging little small circles. Again, apply as much pressure as you need. And maybe if you find a spot, stay there for a second. Good.

And now taking those hands and moving them up to the temples. Nice, easy massage here. Okay, in small circles. Right along the side of the head here, maybe by the ears, got a little more tension there making you feel some of the knots, all right? So again, all these, we forget about the muscles in our face, in our head, and they get tight and that can make our jaw clench and it goes down to our neck.

Good. Again, you're always just palpating around. You can even go back to the jaw. Feel free to move around. Good.

And now bring those hands to heart center and then create that little space in between the palms of your hands. Close the eyes. Bring your awareness to that space in between the palms of our hands. Take a nice, easy breath in, and out. And begin now to rub those hands together.

Create a little bit of heat. And now return to that same position, fingertips touching palms with a little space in between, feeling a little bit, maybe that energy and that heat, and you can play with that a little bit. All right. So it'll feel a little bit more than just warm. It might feel like a little bit of static electricity, maybe feel hot.

You can always look at me if you can, see what I'm doing here. I'm just kind of moving in and out the palms. And again, if you don't feel the heat and energy right away, that's okay. Just know that it's working. And what you'll do from here, just take one hand.

You're gonna place that right below the chin here, right in front of the neck. Good. Another hand can just drop down. Again, I'm not actually gripping my neck, but it's just kind of in front here. Again, eyes are closed now.

And this feel maybe focusing on the color blue, which is the color of the throat chakra. Again, this is our self-expression, right? Where we communicate, or not communicate. This is our voice. Sometimes we don't always speak our truths or it's hard to, so we have to do these exercises to maybe help unlock so we can speak what needs to be said and not hold on.

And now bringing that hand down to your lap. Now, notice your breath. Notice if it's easy, if it's light. Maybe it feels nice and fluid now. Maybe your head feels lighter.

Less restriction in your breathing. Take one more nice inhale through your nose. A nice long inhale for five seconds. So inhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Big long exhale for five seconds.

5, 4, 3, 2 and 1. We'll repeat that two more times, no worries if you didn't get the first one. Inhale for five seconds. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Exhale.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Good. One more time. Prepare. Inhale, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Exhale, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Good. Release that breath. (exhales) And just feel your body. Notice your mind.

And as I count down from 10 you'll slowly open your eyes. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two. And welcome back. Thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoyed the class.

Vital Restoration - Playlist 1: with Jason Williams

Comments

3 people like this.
the whole series are wonderful and  i feel totally stretched and relaxed! thanks
1 person likes this.
thank you!  this was a great change of pace for me!
1 person likes this.
Such a beautiful class - one I will return to many times. Thank-you 🙏
2 people like this.
Adored this gorgeous class. Thank you 
mimito glad you're enjoying this series!  Thank you for your comment. :)
Carmen K glad you like the classes. :)
Alexa B Yes! I'm glad you'll continue to take this class.  :)
Sharon C You're welcome!  Take care :)
1 person likes this.
Jason, I have two of your classes so far, and absolutely love them! What a beautiful mix of mediation, yoga and Pilates, with Reiki to top it off.  Gold star. Thank you!
Julie L So glad you're enjoying the classes.  You're welcome, looking forward to taking the others. :)
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