Class #4645

Unwinding Sitting

35 min - Class


Join Christi Idavoy for an active practice within her Restorative Program, Movement is Medicine. This is a functional practice that will undo the patterns in our bodies from sitting at your desk. Christi teaches you to follow your breath to move with more depth. You will love Christi's creative and playful variations of Thigh Stretch towards the end of class.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Oct 13, 2021
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Hi, welcome back. In this class, we're going to explore unwinding the pattern of sitting in our bodies. And not necessarily sitting on the floor or sitting being something that's bad for us but more thinking about the patterns of sitting when we're at a desk, over our computer, watching a movie, taking lots of information in through our eyes and the senses in our head. So we'll get started by lying down. I'm just coming into a comfortable position on your back with your feet in a place on the ground that makes your pelvis feel supported.

And just take a second to close your eyes and sense where your body is in space. And notice the feedback that you receive from the floor. Noticing where your head is in space. Is it centered between your shoulders? And as we observe, feel free to make changes as we go along so that you feel more and more centered.

Noticing that the back of your rib cage is sitting just underneath your shoulders. And as you inhale slowly and fully, notice the expansion through your ribs, your abdomen, and wherever else you might notice. And as we exhale, we'll release around our abdomen, feel the weight through the back of the pelvis. You can have your hands on your hip bones, on the front of your pelvis and just notice that it feels like it's also lined up under your shoulders and under your head. And on the following inhale we'll reach the arms up and over our head.

Exhale to take a long yawning stretch, take the arms as close to the floor as it feels safe in your shoulders. And then we'll interlace our fingers here and bring them behind our head to make a comfortable pillow for the head. Inhaling slowly and fully, allowing everything to fall back into the mat. And as you're exhaling, start to walk your feet a little wider apart. Go as wide as it feels comfortable in your hips.

And just be mindful that once your feet are wide apart, they're an even distance away from the center, an even distance away from that midline that we set up noticing. And again, allowing your head to fall back into your interlaced hands, take a deep inhale. And as we exhale, we'll allow both knees to roll over to the right side. Gently press into the inner edge of the left foot so that it starts to peel us up and off of the mat rolling the top elbow forward and inhale while you're there. Notice that your top leg is dropping down and notice the sensations you might feel around your waist and hip.

As you exhale, keep your legs where they are. The back of the head rolls into the hands. And now notice that your right knee initiates the movement first that guides your pelvis across, picks your left leg up. And now your right knee becomes the knee in the center. Push into the inner edge of the right foot, pull the elbow in and roll onto your side.

And again, just take a breath while you're here, allow the top leg to drop down and feel heavy. And when you feel ready, roll your head back into your hands, opening your heart. Your left knee comes in first. so remind the right leg to hang out, stay heavy and wait for the time to roll to the other side. We're just gonna do these a few more times this way.

Notice how the head rolls back, the chest opens and then the outer leg comes in. Allow the legs to go first, gently push into the inner edge and let it roll your upper body. And now keep your legs heavy and in place as you roll your head back and then the outer leg comes in. Now the next time we do this over to our right side, we're going to stay on the right side, roll the top elbow forward and very gently keeping the left leg dropped and heavy into gravity, slide the left bent knee a little further back so that we feel that we're creating an opposition between left elbow and left knee. Inhale while you're here and as you exhale, your head will roll back into your hands as your left knee rolls forward, slides over the inner edge of your bottom leg and in toward your chest.

The left elbow will come in as you roll onto your side, your left knee lowers down then the left knee rolls back, the left elbow goes forward. We're just gonna keep repeating this pattern for a few moments here. And take your time with it bringing the elbow in. Notice that moment when you're on your side, things are stacked and then when the left knee and the left elbow move in opposition to each other. Keep the right side of the body heavy and falling into the mat.

And just notice where you might feel sensation, where it might feel a little intense if anywhere. Notice if it feels very fluid. Does the top and bottom parts of the body, do the top and bottom parts of the body feel synchronized? Or does it feel like you're managing a bunch of different things? And every time that you roll back, just notice how your knee comes into your chest and it helps your chest and your upper back roll into the mat.

And then as you roll to your side, it starts sending your left knee forward. We'll just do this two more times. Notice your breath. How do your movements and breath synchronize? Or do they synchronize?

You can always pause, wait for the breath. And then as you feel the phase of your breath change, you start moving again. (inhales deeply) And now the next time that we're on our right side, we're going to bring the left leg onto the right leg. Keep the hands interlaced behind your head. And this time the legs will stay where they are and you'll only roll your head back into your interlaced hands, your left elbow is the last piece that opens and we're just going to take a few breaths here.

Now, if it's very intense in between your ribs, you'll bring your left arm a little bit closer to your head so that you can still stay, feel the movement of your breath between your ribs but yet not feel like you're hanging out in this very intense sensation for too long. Allow your abdomen to release. Notice how your head and your shoulders are falling back. (exhales) With every exhale, allow yourself to fall back a little further. When you feel that it's time, you'll bring your left elbow back in next to your head, roll back onto the right side and send the left elbow forward and hold it here as well for a couple of breaths.

(inhales deeply) Release around your hips, release around your thighs and your abdomen. And we'll just roll back one more time and feel free to move in and out of it as you feel you need to. Sometimes if we have a lot of stuff that starts to show up, we're better off just continuing to gently and slowly move in and out on those days that there's a lot of things to feel and notice. And now the next time that your left elbow is reaching forward, you'll go ahead and slide your left bent leg back just the way we had a moment ago. Keep the left leg back there as it was before and just let your upper body starts to roll back.

Again, your head falls into your interlaced hands, the right knee will come in and we'll just take a pause to center ourselves on our back again. And just take a moment and notice what's changed, what feels different. If your shoulders are tired, you feel like you need to give your arms a break, you can take your arms out from behind your head and just pause for a second. (inhales deeply) And then when you're ready, you'll bring your hands back behind your head, if they're not there, walk your feet wide apart if they're not still wide apart. And again, exhale, look up between your legs for a moment, just make sure that there's an even distance between them.

And now again, we'll bring the head back down, inhale into our center. And as we exhale, take both legs now over to the left side, gently press the inner edge of the right foot into the mat so it peels the right shoulder up. The right elbow comes in next to the head and now we'll roll that elbow forward. Inhale while we're here. Notice that the right leg is already behind us from having the feet wide apart.

And now as we exhale, the head will roll back into the hands, the right knee traveling up towards the chest. The heart opening towards the sky and we inhale. As we exhale, the right elbow comes in, we come back onto our side and the right knee rolls back. keep the right knee bent. We're just going to continue this pattern, appreciating the opposition in movement between the right elbow and the right knee yet noticing when we come through the side that moment where everything is balanced in parallel so that the opposite feels as much like a reciprocal equation as possible so that it's even and opposite.

At least that's our intention in the way that we move through the sequence. It might feel like your top body, the upper part of your body, can roll a lot easier than pressing your leg behind you. The opposite might be true as well where you feel like your hip rolls really well but yet it's a little sticky. Maybe it's not sticky at all, right? So again, just notice what do you feel in this moment.

(inhales deeply) And keep asking your body to wait for your breath. (inhales deeply) And we'll just do this one more time. And the next time that you come to lie on your left side, go ahead and stay there. Again, stack the legs on top of each other, keep the hands interlaced behind the head, the head resting heavily on the left shoulder and the left side of the body falling into the mat. As you inhale, roll your head back into your interlaced hands, let the elbow be the last thing that opens and just breathe.

And if it's sharp and very intense anywhere, bring the elbow close to the head so that we don't have as much weight pulling through our center. (exhaling slowly) And you can move in and out of the elbow opening and explore what differences you notice. Do pulling sensations move? Do they stay the same? Relax your jaw, relax your head.

And when you feel ready, you'll pull the elbow in to roll you onto your side and then send the top elbow forward and breathe there. Notice how the upper back expands as we inhale. And as we exhale, how we're able to release on to the left side of the body. Doing that just one last time. (breathes deeply) And now again, the next time that your right elbow is rolling forward, you'll stay there.

Slide your top leg, your top right leg behind you, keeping the knee bent just the same way we got into this. And then again, our head will roll back into our interlaced hands, the right knee opens towards the sky, it follows the pace of the upper body and then we're back on our mat where we started. We'll bring our arms down at our sides now and walk our feet a little closer together. On the exhale, hug the knees into the chest just give them a squeeze and gently rock from side to side. Relax your feet, separate your legs and really let the arms rest on the legs.

The legs rest into the body. Back of the head is heavy, notice if it pulls on your neck at all. Just be mindful that you keep reminding your body it's safe, it's lying on the floor, you can let go here. And now keeping right hand on right knee and left hand on left knee, we'll start to draw a small circle around our sacrum. Feel the weight through the back of your head and you might notice that there's some tugging, moving that goes on in the back of the head, shoulders, ribs, and low back.

Yeah, we keep reminding ourselves to weight down, to stay heavy and weighted, and then we'll reverse the direction of our circle. Notice, where does energy start to build up? So do we feel the front of the thighs? Do we feel the groin at all or not? What do we feel?

And then when we're ready, we'll hug knees back into center, place the feet back down on the mat and bring your ankles together in line with one another. And for a second, notice that your ankles and feet come together in line with your pubic bone, your navel center, your breastbone, chin, nose, third eye, and crown. And just take a second as you inhale to really again tune into that central channel through the body. (breathes deeply) And as we exhale, just allow the feet, the pelvis, and the body to fall into that posture. We'll separate our feet, our heels first, and then our toes.

So there's just a couple of inches between the feet. And as we inhale, we'll notice where we expand. And as we exhale, we'll start pressing our feet firmly into the ground so that it rolls the pelvis back. We start to peel the tailbone up but really focusing on the segments that are rolling down into the mat, noticing that as we are moving, we're pressing down into the feet. Notice that you can swallow, that you can sing, and say ah when you're at the top, back of your head is heavy.

And as you exhale, curl your tailbone up towards the sky a bit more and allow your neck and collarbones to come down first. Your breastbone and ribs, the lower and floating ribs, waist area, sacrum, and pelvis. Inhale, allow your abdomen to expand, stay heavy on the mat. Exhale, press through the feet. It's as if the feet were gonna slide away from the head almost to help roll the pelvis back.

And then imagine your sitting bones in the back line of your body traveling out through your knees. Like your knees wanna reach away from you and then the front line of your body iS falling back into the weight in your head. Relax your eyes, relax your jaw. Be mindful that there's weight on the inner edges of the feet as well as the outer edges. And again as you're ready, curl the tailbone up and under the back of the thighs as you initiate rolling down through the back of your collarbones all the way down to inhale.

Release the effort, we'll do that one more time. Exhale first, press down through the feet as you curl back and see the pull of energy reaching through your knees. And also the pull of energy rolling back into the back of your head behind your eyes and into the space between your collarbones through the top of your shoulders. Hold it here and breathe. And as we exhale, again, that feeling of rolling the tailbone through the sky which in turns brings your heart down a little heavier.

We'll bring our knees a little closer together, maybe they touch and then they separate. Exhale together and then they open. Be mindful that the pelvis keeps that orientation. Be mindful that we tend to lose it, right? Which is why we wanna keep checking in with ourselves and noticing that the energy builds up through the backside of the body, which does not exclude the front of the body.

And so do we feel the pull across the front of the thighs? What do we notice? Last three, last two, and last one. Squeeze the knees together, rolling all the way down through the spine. Once the pelvis is on the mat, hug the knees back into the chest, give them a gentle squeeze and just rock from side to side.

Notice how your back feels, we'll turn this into a couple of circles in one direction. Circles in the opposite direction and then coming back to our center bringing the hands behind the knees, elevating the feet just where we can see them. And we're not gonna try and curl up, okay? So again, stay heavy, stay grounded into the earth. Inhale while you're here.

Notice the weight through the back of your pelvis. As you exhale, start pushing your thighs away from you. Notice what changes, if anything, through the back of your pelvis. Inhale while you're here. You want your thighs to push into your arms so that it brings your arms to straight.

And as we exhale, we're gonna use the arms. Think of your head reaching away from your tailbone. And as you're exhaling, your low ribs are pushing down. And it's that combination of the head reaching away and the ribs pulling down that starts to bring us up. Inhale while we're here.

Exhale, bring the knees in as we curl down and the head is the last piece. Inhale while we're here. Exhale first, then the legs push, the ribs press back, the head curls up. Inhale, curl back down. (inahles deeply) Exhale.

(exhales slowly) (inhales deeply) Repeat three more times. (exhales slowly) Squeeze all the air out, push the legs away. Inhale, squeeze it in. Compress yourself as you fill your lungs. (breathes deeply) Last one.

(breathes deeply) And then we'll come all the way back down. Hug the knees, take the feet back down to the mat, stretch the legs all the way out. Inhale, reach your arms up and over your head. Exhale, take a long reaching stretch through your fingertips and your toes. And then we'll have the option here to either roll up to sitting, reaching the arms up towards the sky.

If you feel like you're gonna get stuck, grab your legs, push through, inhale, and sit up tall. And so now as we're up here sitting tall, just again, notice how you feel in your pelvis. And as you exhale, relax your shoulders, curl back through your pelvis and allow your forehead to roll forward as your sacrum is rolling back. And we're just gonna drag the heavy legs with us. Inhale as you come down, exhale, push through the legs, lift the head, send the forehead forward all the way up to sitting.

And even though we're coming all the way up to sitting, we wanna keep thinking about where we're rolling back. How we roll back into the ground, how we push the thighs away. Last time, curling all the way up, just to sit up tall, cross the legs and flip over onto your hands and knees. Let's spread our fingertips wide apart now and make sure that they're under your shoulders but really under your chest more than your shoulders. So if you start to notice that you're getting tired in your shoulder and in your neck, that means that your hands could probably come under your trunk a little bit better, a little bit more.

So we've got about one inch between our thumbs. Bring the knees pretty close together as well and notice that they feel like they're basically underneath your sacrum. Inhale while we're here, roll the shoulders back, reach the breastbone forward and up. We'll just explore for a moment in our cow stretch. And now as we exhale, curl the tailbone under first, round through the low back, the mid back, and the head.

Squeeze all the air out. One last time. Inhale, roll the shoulders forward, roll the shoulders back rather, your chest is going forward. As the shoulders pull away from the ears, lift the tailbone up. Now keep your shoulders where they are that feeling of looking forward and then curl the pelvis under first.

Feel the delay. Now this time we stay in the cat stretch, coming up onto the fingertips, walk them back towards the knees, exhale, ground down through the tailbone. Keep that feeling of the pelvis pushing forward, coming all the way up to kneeling. Inhale while you're here. And as you exhale, place your hands on the front of your pelvis, curl the tailbone down and notice how that creates energy behind your thighs and your glutes.

You'll squeeze your heels together just enough to like make that message a little more obvious. And as we exhale, we're going to hinge back into thigh stretch, keeping that feeling of the pelvis pushing forward, and now press down into the feet to come back up. We'll just do two more just to kind of tune in. Make sure that we find that spot, exhaling back. (exhales slowly) Right, when we feel those tremors, when we feel that increase of energy up the front line we know that we're maintaining that central line from the crown of the head to the tail.

Inhale, open the arms up. This time, interlace the hands back against the head, elbows slightly forward, shoulders wide. Exhale, press the pelvis forward, hinge back and notice if that changes things. Exhaling back, inhaling forward. Two more and we're gonna add on.

(breathing deeply) Remember what we did lying on the mat a second ago where we were rotating in our upper body. As we inhale now, this time, we're going to exhale, hinge back just halfway and really think of your pelvis moving forward especially your right hip as your right shoulder starts to turn back. Exhale while you're here, inhale up through center. Exhale hinge first, anchor it in and then what we've got left, we give it to our thoracic spine. Inhale forward, unwinds the top.

Exhale, hinge back, and twist. Inhale forward, untwist. Exhale back, and twist. Inhale forward, untwist. Two more.

(exhales slowly) Play with how far we can explore as long as it feels good. (exhales slowly) What is the feeling of the head like when we're out there? Last one. (exhales slowly) Twist and now stay here. So make sure you're at an angle where you can stay, release your right hand down towards your right heel now.

Reach your left arm up. Push your pelvis forward, anchor down into your right heel. Inhale, lift your left arm all the way over. Be mindful it feels clear in your neck. One more breath.

Reach up with your left arm coming back out and around. Find center, interlace the hands, elbows forward. Exhale, pubic bone forward, hinge back, twist. Release the left arm down for the left heel, inhale, reach up. Push down into your left heel to reach up through your right arm and then bring it up and over your head.

Breathe (exhales slowly). Inhale, reach up, unwind. Exhale, again. Hinge back at the knee, twist in your upper back, pelvis pressing forward, as the right arm releases, left arm up and reaching over. Inhale up.

Exhale when you need to. Inhale back into your center, exhale back and twist. Left hand comes down, right arm is up. Reach, lifting up and over, press the pelvis forward. (breathes deeply) Keep coming up.

Last one, hands behind the head. Exhale, pelvis forward, hinge back. Twist, reach down, press up. Push the pubic bone forward, lift the heart, reach the left arm up and over. Exhale up or inhale up.

Wait for your breath, follow your breath. (exhales slowly) (inhales deeply) (exhales slowly) Come back to the center, reach both arms up. Exhale, curl back down like a cat. Plant your palms open and wide on the floor, bring your knees close together again. And now this time we're going to bring the head up, make sure that you're not looking at the front of your thighs.

And as you exhale, take both feet to the right side, look up and over the right shoulder, inhale, exhale back through center. (exhales slowly) Inhale while you're here, exhale over to the other side. Inhale back through center, exhale to the other side. Notice that your shoulders are staying over your wrist and that your hips are staying over your knees. Squeeze the air out when you go to the side or pull the air in when you go to the side.

How does your breath change as you keep moving? In a fluid way that follows the breath. (inhales deeply) (exhales slowly) One more. (inhales deeply) (exhales slowly) (inhales deeply) (exhales slowly) And then we'll inhale, come back through our center, bring our hands yet a little bit closer. Exhale, bring the right knee up and the right foot to the outside of the right hand.

Curl the tailbone down again coming all the way up to this kneeling lunge now. Hands on the hips and just be mindful of where the right hip is. Allow it to feel heavy and anchored down. As we exhale, we're gonna lean forward noticing that the heel of the front foot stay down on the mat and we allow the knee to travel over the toes. Push down into the right foot and come back up.

Exhale, glide forward. And if you feel any stuff in your low back, lean your body forward into it especially after that last bit that we did. Inhale, come up, exhale, glide forward. If your low back feels free, keep anchoring your tailbone down, think of your pubic bone rising up and notice what that does to the front of the back leg. Last one.

(inhales deeply) (exhales slowly) We'll come back balancing on the left knee. Exhale, take the right foot back next to the left. Both knees on the ground, shift your weight into your right knee, exhale, your left foot comes up. And again, we glide forward, based on what we feel, we decide where we wanna keep the trunk. Push down into the front leg and come back.

Is the left tip dropping down? Exhale. If my low back feels good, I think about anchoring tailbone down, pubic bone pulling up through my nose out through the crown of my head. And I know that I honor it when I start feeling changes at the base. (exhales slowly) (inhales deeply) (exhales slowly) Allow the left knee to travel over the toes, we wanna get in to the left ankle and the front foot here, the front ankle.

Last time. And then again find your balance over your right knee. We're going to exhale and sweep the left leg back under. (exhales slowly) Shift your weight into your left knee, exhale, bring your right foot forward. Exhale, shift your leg back under you.

Kneeling dead bugs basically. Weight shift, anchor down first, then slide the leg forward. Keep the weight there, press down, make space for the leg to come under. Weight shift and step. (exhales sharply) Exhale forward, exhale back.

Keep going. Hands can be out to help with balance, eyes focused on a point that's not moving is very helpful. Hands can come behind the head to add a little more challenge. (exhaling sharply) Last four, and three, step down gently. Last one.

Step forward, hold. Lean forward, tuck the back toes. Reach the hands down, lift the back knee to step the foot forward. Stepping with both feet together now, we're just gonna inhale, reach up. (inhales deeply) Exhale, take a long stretch, gently press your pelvis forward, pull your shoulders back.

Look up, open your eyes, smile with your eyes, smile with your mouth and let it all go. We'll shake it out and drink lots of water. Thank you for being here.

Mindful Movement: Movement is Medicine


Cynthia G
1 person likes this.
Wow. That woke up a lot of spaces. Thanks so much :)
Great stretches! Thank you for this lesson!
Sue S
Christi Idavoy lovely class, many thanks.
Beautiful queuing . You are a present
Leanne R
Love the somatic nature of this!! Thank you!
Thanks Christi!
Perfect before a 3 hour train ride.  And surely it will be appreciated again after.  ;)
Great flow and cueing; thank you
Beautiful - bravo
Simply wonderful.
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