Class #4735

Let it Flow Mat

30 min - Class


Challenge your body to move faster, dynamically, and with flow in this Mat workout by Ilaria Cavagna. She goes through the traditional repertoire, playing with Squats and the ability to stand up and lower down in different ways. This is a great way to prepare your body so that you can do it without thinking twice.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hi, this is Ilaria. And today we'll work on nice and fun combinations of exercises, and also on how to lower ourselves down onto the floor, and how to stand up. I love Saint Joseph Pilates and those archival videos going up and down. And that's very functional. That's also why we do Pilates, right?

Yes, because we love it, but because we need to be more efficient in our everyday life movements. So, let's start warming up the ankles. So, small articulation work, osteoarticular warmup like we did in it's all about the base for the foot and ankle complex. We can not think about squatting down to the floor without having our feet and ankles warmed up. Now, you'll lift up one heel, you curl over.

And we go side to side a little bit to try to warmup and wake up the toes and the feet. And then we change, we go to the other side. Your curl, and again, you move around. This is a great warmup for anything, even to go out for a run, right? And then, back.

Now, into the knees, we can put the hands on the knees. Or if we feel like we can, we can actually put the hands back in the neck pull position, right? We start taking care of our posture as we warmup the knees. Now, reverse. Perfect! And now as we start going a little deeper I want you to stand feet hip width apart.

And just get into a very small little squat. Meaning, I reach forward only until my ankles allow me to go, okay? So, if you have tighter ankles it will be smaller. If you have longer calf muscles and looser ankles you can probably bend down a little bit more. Now, we'll go a little deeper.

So, now we'll shift the hips backwards a little bit so that when the ankle can not handle anymore we can go down and up. Don't go all the way down yet. We are warming up. So, you go reach and lift. Make sure, remember, the wall squat that we do at the end, right?

We want the back flat. We want to be able to apply everything we work on on the mat and on the apparatus lying down and do the standing position. We want to be able to replicate that, perfect! And now not too many people, or not everyone will be able to squat down all the way that way. So we'll also discover another way. We'll work on a different way to lower ourselves down onto the floor, which is kneeling.

But we need to do it properly. So, from here I want you to bring one leg forward, one leg back. The back leg is parallel. I'll show you in a second. And from here I want you to think about going down with the knee to the floor.

Open here, open here, and then up. And, again, you go down, and up. So, the powerhouse is really allowing me to do this movement properly, right? Not bending, but in control of every part of the body. Now, other leg, and I'll show you this view so that you can see that the back leg is straight, okay?

If I turn out the foot, it's a problem. I'll hurt my knee. I want to stay parallel and go down with the knee and up. I can gently touch and come up, two more. And now from here, let's see what we would do if we had to lower ourselves down.

So, we go down on one knee. I can change and come up the other side. And then, again, down with control, change. Of course, you need a soft surface to be able to do that. I wouldn't be able to do it on the wood.

And up, one more time. Down, and switch, powerhouse lifts you up. And again, down, and switch, and lift. Beautiful, now it's time to go to the front of the mat and experience one last way of lowering ourself down. We can cross the legs, the feet.

And then we go down, we change. And we come up and lift. Now, let's try with this, crossing. Usually, we favor one, right? So, we go down, change, and lift up.

Let's do one more set. Down, switch, and lift. And again, lower, change, and up. Now, we have many options. Pick one that you would like to start with.

And we go into our mat. So, cross the arms, go with one knee with the cross legs or feet together. And you lower yourself down. You lengthen, and you lower down. You land somehow on the floor, and then you go.

Knees into the chest, breathe. Let's circle the knees around a little bit. And then reverse, beautiful! Now, reach, lengthen forward, and pump! Inhale, and exhale, reach. And again, in, and exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. One more, and exhale.

And now let's add the beats, crisscross beats. And exhale, reach long. Arms up and down, legs out and in. And last one, now back to normal. And you go in, and exhale.

And again, in, in, in, in, in. And inhale all the air out of the lungs. Pump it out, reach long. Long neck, and release long. Now, roll up, up, and over.

Pull back, and roll down. Now, in the next one we'll combine that with the rollover. So, from here, pull back. Bring the legs with you back overhead. You touch, you open, circle around, and up to stretch.

And again, back, and you'll go reach. Open, circle around, and stretch. One more time, back, behind the head, separate your legs, Roll down, and reverse. Open the legs as you go back. Go shoulder width apart, behind the head.

Roll down, and over. And again, open back. Stretch, stretch, lengthen, and go over. Last one, you go back, touch shoulder width. Behind the head, roll down.

Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. One leg goes down. And now here, pull the leg to you, the right leg I kept up. So you can stretch the right leg to you. And let's open the arms as if we were holding the rungs of the Pilates mat.

Flex the bottom foot. Three circles without lifting the hip. And, again, two and three. Now, two bigger, bigger around. Up, circle around, and up.

Now, let's go back to the small one. Control your hip, one. Control it, two, control it, three. Now, big to the side, all the way around and up. Open all the way around, and hold.

Let's give ourself another little stretch. And then you switch. You stretch it first, arms open. Let's pretend we're holding those rungs. And then you go, one.

Circle, two, circle three, Ready for the big one? Go all the way across, open it up. All the way across, open it up. Reverse, control, control, control. And now you open floor, swipe across, and hold.

And again, open around. And little stretch up, rolling like a ball. Let's do three normal, then we'll start having fun. From here, pull back. You go back, and up.

And again, roll, and up. Keep that tiny little shape, back, and up. Now, we try to stand up. Roll back, and up to standing. Lower yourself down, thighs parallel.

Grab your ankles, roll back, and up to standing. And now we try to jump. Back, and jump, and back, and jump. Single leg bend, pull, pull, pull, pull. Reach, reach, last one.

Now, hold one knee to you. From here, rock forward, and up a little, and rock it back. Up, freeze, doesn't matter how far up you go. Just hold for a second. Change, three on the other side.

And you go hold, and back, and freeze, and up. Picture, hold, and back down. Now, double leg stretch, regular. I just want you to flex the feet and pretend you're standing. So, from here you're standing up.

And now you squat down, squat down. And you go, and you're ready to sit on the floor. And again, stand up, circle. Pull, pull, pull. And again, reach, circle, and pull.

We'll do just two more. lengthen out, pull in, drag them in. Last one, hold, you're standing, now you're squatting. Thighs parallel to the floor. And all the way behind the heels to sit.

Head down for a second and breathe, relax. Single straight, you go, pull, pull, pull. And switch, pull, pull, pull. Switch, and one kick only, no double bouncing. And legs up, double legs straight.

Reach, reach, reach, scoop it up. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, and lift. Reach away, and up, lengthen long. And lift, two, scoop. Last one, reach, reach, reach, reach, reach.

And crisscross, legs bend first And now straight. And spine stretch forward. Lift the head down, curl. And then you'll roll that cup, scoop, lift, Let's rock, back, hold it. And then you float down.

And you're ready again. Head down, curl. Reach, reach, reach, scoop. Your stomach is leading. Your stomach is telling you what to do with the limbs.

You come up and grab. Now, pull into your stomach, rock and balance. Now, after the balance one more time, float down, long arms. Head down, curl. Reach all the way up.

You lift, and you go pull, pull, pull, up easy. Rock and hold, too much. Now, lift it up slow. Lift, twist, and reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. Come up, open, nice release after the hard work.

Lengthen, twist, and you go exhale. Enjoy the stretch, enjoy the reaching. Lift, find more room in that rotation. So, we can breathe better, we can move better. We can even squat better.

Come up, look back, hold, and center. And last one here, you twist. And you go reach, reach, reach. Come up, look back, open, open, open, and release. Now, let's turn around for neck pull, neck roll, sorry.

From here, reach, open, open, open. Now, look down, circle around, and center. And now you look the other way, down with the chin, circle around, and center. Now, here, hold your hands, keep them there. You just dive, and up.

You fold forward, and you press up with your hands and pull up with your stomach. And again, dive, and lift. And now we go for the swan dive. You go, and sit back, and stretch. One breath over here, relax for a second.

And then I want you to go out in a plank. So, you tuck your toes, you lengthen. And now, slowly, lower yourself down. Down slow, down slow, down slow. The eccentric work is so powerful to get stronger.

And now once you land you slide your forearms forward. And you open the collarbones for the single leg kick. Now, you lift, and you go kick, kick, reach, down. Lift, kick, kick, lengthen, and down. Now, pull the stomach, pull the leg up.

And then you kick, reach, lower, and lift. Kick, kick, reach, and down. Now, double, cup the hands. Lengthen your legs away. And you go three, two, one, and open.

Reach, reach, reach, other side, three, two, one. And lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. And again, kick two, and reach. This time you can keep your feet off the floor if you want up higher, higher, higher. And the very last one on the second side.

Fit up, reaching long away from you. Pull the stomach up at the same time. And sit back, release. Now, before we turn around for neck roll, let's go on the plank we used to do before. And from here I want you to lower yourself down one time.

And if you can, scoop, lift up. Pretend around the reformer right now. You go back with one leg. You lift, you kick your head, lower down in the down stretch. Lift it up again, reach, and plank, other side.

Lift, back into a split. Kick your head, reach down, open the chest. You're doing a down stretch here. Lift, scoop all the way up, and release. Now, let's get to kneeling.

And we exercise actually another way to stand up off the floor. We start with a thigh stretch. Your call, you can keep your feet long. Or you can tuck them under. Now, from here, lift.

I want you to think about squeezing the floor underneath you. We use the magic circle right, a few weeks ago. Now, remember that feeling? Pull and squeeze the mat, squeeze the floor. Get some connection going on there.

Now, from here, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, and up. And now tuck the toes if you don't have them tucked already. And here you go, ooh, and we stand up. And now we'll repeat, down you bend, and lift. Now, thigh stretch again.

Lift, back, back, back, back, back, and lift. And now here, we go up again, and hold, one more time. Down, we relieve, lift. Now, back, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, up you lift. And you go reach and up, beautiful! Now, back to the front of the mat.

And before we go all the way down to the floor for neck roll, let's experience that double leg stretch that we were doing on the floor. So, here, we are stretching up, circle the arms around. And try to get to that little nice and tiny shape. And then you go, up again, circle around, and hug them in. And again, up, doesn't matter.

You don't have to go all the way down. Just go wherever you can go. And again, lift, and then circle, and pull. Last one, up, circle around, and pull. Lower yourself down, move back if you need.

And then you flex the feet. And we're ready for a neck roll. Let's keep the arms by the sides. For the first one here I want you to slow down a little bit. Pull the toes back.

Make sure the feet are not twisted. If you have the strap you can use the strap. Otherwise, challenge yourself in reaching forward. And let's just go over, let's find that articulation we worked on already. You curl up, and then you go over to find space in the back of the spine.

Then, you lift. As you lengthen the spine you start curling at the pelvis. And then you start curling at the lumbar spine, and then higher, then you release. Arms by your sides, again, reach, scoop. Pull the navel back as you come up.

And then you go over. You can add your arms, lift, and now press. And you'll go deep, deep, reach forward with your feet. Articulate down, control, control, control, and release. And now one more, up, over, and lift.

And now your hand, you reach long, long, long. And everything down. Now, lift up the candlestick, you hold. And we get into Caesar. We go split and split.

And two and two. And three and three. And now bicycle, reach, lengthen as big as you can. And then reverse, pretend you're on a very tall bicycle. Reach, reach, and reach.

Now, let's try to get the feet down to the floor together. And with the smallest jump possible, scoop, scoop, scoop, scoop, and land. Now, we lengthen the arms. We activate right away the right muscles to be able to support. And here we go.

You go kick, and reach, kick, and reach. Up, and all the way in. Remember to dome the feet if you can. And now here you go, kick, flex, and up. Reach, get that leg longer, and all the way in.

Now, big exhale, actually, let's bring the arms back. Pretend you're doing the semicircle. So, the arms are reaching. And then as you exhale you melt, you melt. You lengthen your spine.

Your hips, your pelvis is getting closer to the heels, and reach. I cracked my spine right now. Curl, articulate down, and the sacrum and the tailbone land on the mat. Beautiful, now let's come up. And today we do kneeling side kicks.

Make sure it's soft enough. Don't suffer just because the floor is hard. You can pet it. You can put a little pillow if needed. And now hand down onto the floor.

And the thing that we want to really fight for and try to focus on, which is the hardest for me as well is to push the hips forward and to keep it open as we work the leg, okay? The work the leg is almost less important than the standing one. So, from here, long neck pull. And we go up, and down, kick, down, up, two more. Lift to the highest, and hold.

And now here you go. Kick front, reach back. And again, kick, and reach. And kick, and reach, lift for two. And back, back, back, push the hips forward, push them away from you, and long.

Now, let's stop it like in the start position. We try to be in the best frontal plane possible. And here you'll circle. Five, four, three, two, one, reverse. Lengthen, two, three, four, five.

All the way up, now let's get a little stretch before we go to the other side. Nice and easy, breathe. The more you push the hips forward, the better stretch you get. And then you lengthen up, relax the shoulders, and we change. Other side, hand down, find the next pull first.

Find the length in the spine, hips forward and away. Now, when you have that we go up, two, three, four. And freeze it. And then you go front and back. Kick, push the head into your hand and bicep as you move the leg.

Three, two more, reach, reach, reach, and back. Stop at the center. Circle five, four, three, two, one. Reverse, one, two, three, four, five. All the way up, and side stretch.

Breathe, reach, and lengthen, very good. Now, let's do a little teaser and seal. And then we'll finish standing up. So, from here lengthen the legs. And we go once again, roll, and lift.

And reach, reach, reach down, and lift up. And again, deep, deep, deep, deep, and lift. Next, down, and up, and down, and up, and down, and up. Unfold, come up, unfold, come up, unfold, come up, and grab. Now, you're gonna stretch the feet up to open the lumbar spine.

And then you roll back. And you push them away to do the same. And again, come up, stretch, stretch, stretch, and back. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. One more, reach.

After this you pick the way you like better. And we're going to stand up. You go back, you stretch. And we squat all the way up to standing. Now, let's finish with one exercise that I think it's really, really beautiful and complete to be ready to go and get started with the day.

So, from here, two-by-four, you can pick, you can have the feet parallel. You can have a Pilates stance, anything you like better. Feel that connection from the heels, all the way up to the pelvic floor, the abs, and everything else. You can put your hands here if you like or back here. And here we go.

You bend, you lift, lengthen up. And now squeeze the heels together. And press them down as you stay tall. Press your heels down and stay tall, tall, tall, tall, tall, and land. And again, you bend, you lift, you stretch.

And pretend you have a foot corrector underneath. And you're pushing those big springs. You're pushing, you're resisting. You're pushing, you're pushing, you're pushing is not easy. And, again, down, lift it up, stretch.

Find the midline. And then you go down, down, down, and we reverse. Lift, bend, of course, if you have a two-by-four you can even use the lift. Heels down, find that stretch that we need to swap, right? Find that ankle range of motion, and then you lift.

And you go up on the toes, bend your knees, whoa! Heels down, and zip it up, last one. Lift tall, bend, lower, lower, lower, lower, and slowly lift. And we did it, very, very nice!

Pilates at Home: Around the Body in 8 Workouts


Eva F
1 person likes this.
This was also a great class Ilaria. Thank you!
Jennifer E
1 person likes this.
All your classes are such fun, Ilaria! Thank you thank you!
Brian P
1 person likes this.
I almost feel like I needed a 30 minute warm-up before taking this class. As usual, you awaken muscles I didn't know were asleep before!  Thanks!
Janet H
1 person likes this.
Great class! I will definitely repeat this one many times. I need to work on my standing up skills! Great challenge! Ty!♥️ good flow too!💚
Liz L
1 person likes this.
Wow . Bravissima
1 person likes this.
Excellent 👍🇩🇰
Lina S
1 person likes this.
Nice combinations. I've particularly enjoyed the spine stretch forward with open leg rocker! Thank you.
Eva F Thank you 🙏🏼 happy you like it!
Jennifer E Aww! Thank you 🙏🏼 
Brian P You are welcome! I feel the same... new workouts, new muscles 😉
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