Class #4748

Magic Circle Burn

30 min - Class


Create some internal heat with this quick, effective Magic Circle class with Gia Calhoun. In less than 30 minutes, you will work your whole body. Gia teaches you through playful variations and sequencing, along with challenging core and leg work!
What You'll Need: Mat, Magic Circle

About This Video

Jan 11, 2022
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Hi, I'm Gia. And today we're gonna do a magic circle class. I'm here with Nicole, and we're gonna get started. So you're gonna start with your feet hip distance apart, lying on your back. You're gonna take the one padded part of the circle and put it behind your head, right at the occiput.

And then the other side you're gonna hold with your hands. Elbows are slightly wide, and then your head is heavy into that circle. As you take a deep inhale at the bottom, you're gonna exhale as you curl up, letting your head be heavy on that circle. Inhale as you lower. Exhale as you curl up.

Just keep going and moving. As you're moving through this chest lift, try to keep your pelvis neutral. So you're not curling up. Curling your pelvis up as you're lifting your head. And make sure you're not tugging on your neck too much.

You want to keep the alignment of the spine. You're using your abdominals to lift you up, but try not to get any neck strain. That's what this circle is helping with. And lift. We have two more.

Shoulders are away from the ears. And lift. One more. We're gonna hold this next one up. Curl up a little higher if you can. And you're gonna bring one leg up to tabletop.

And then lower it down. And then other leg up, and lower. Try to maintain that chest lift position. And other leg up. Good. A little higher with that curl.

And lift, so you're trying to get deeper in those abdominals, every time we lift one leg. Last one, good. Take the circle out, lower your head down. And then you're gonna bring the circle between your ankles. We're gonna go into the hundred.

So you have some options. You can keep your legs in tabletop, you can have your leg straight up to the ceiling, or you can come to a 45 degree angle. Choose the variation that works for you. Arms up to the ceiling, take a deep inhale here. Exhale, find your position, curl up, press the arms down.

And then we're gonna pump the arms. Inhale two, three, four, five, exhale. So nice gentle hug on that circle. You don't want to squeeze as hard as you can, because we're still warming up. Inhale and exhale.

Inhale and exhale. We're gonna do one more like this. Inhale and exhale. Keep that chest lift. Now we're gonna squeeze the circle.

Inhale two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhale. Keep that chest lifted. Exhale, two, three, four, five.

You have three more. And exhale. Inhale. Reach those arms long. Exhale. Last set.

Inhale two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. Hug your legs in, rest your head. Take the circle out from between your ankles. And you're gonna put them between your inner thighs.

So you want to find that spot where it feels comfortable for you. There's some nerves in there, so just make sure you're not pushing against there. The feet are a little bit further away from you than you normally would have them. And then arms up to the ceiling. We're gonna do a roll up.

Take a deep inhale with the arms up to the ceiling. Exhale as we roll up, squeeze that circle. If you need to grab onto the backs of your legs, you can. Adjust your feet if you need to. Inhale at the top.

Exhale as you roll down. Once you get all the way to the bottom, you can release the circle. Inhale, exhale, squeeze that circle. Roll up. Try to push into the floor with the feet.

Inhale, exhale, roll down. Keep squeezing that circle. Wait until you get all the way down to release. Three more. Squeeze as we roll up.

Nice. Each one gets a little bit easier as we warm up. Roll down, and release, two more. And lift tall and roll down. Release last one, squeeze.

Roll up and then roll down. Good. Take the circle out. You're gonna hold onto the padded side on one side of the circle. One leg down onto the mat. The other foot is gonna come up into the circle.

You're just gonna flex that foot and stretch your hamstring. Try to keep your hips square, both sides of the pelvis are even, and then you're just gonna gently pull that leg toward you as you flex that foot. Breathe into that stretch. If you need to bend your knee, you can. Especially if you have tight hamstrings.

Just do what you need to. Now the opposite hand of the leg that's up, you're gonna keep that hand in the circle. The other hand is gonna go down by your side. And just crossover slightly. My foot is right in line with the opposite shoulder.

And then flex a little bit deeper. We'll get into the IT band. Think of that hip reaching away from the shoulder. So you have a little bit of length in your waist. Breathe into that stretch.

It's not the most comfortable, but it's good for you. Switch hands. You can bring that other hand onto that hip and then open out to the side. Try to keep the hip square. Just go where you can.

Try not to overdo it, though, so that hip doesn't roll off. You want to stay as square as you can in your pelvis. Now bring your leg back up to the ceiling. You're gonna hold the circle in both hands. Squeeze it just slightly.

Point that top foot, but flex the bottom foot. And then you're gonna slightly turn out the top leg. We're gonna go into a leg circle. So you're gonna cross it over, around, and up to the ceiling. Cross over, around, and up.

So I'm keeping that bottom leg still, the hips are nice and stable as well. One more in this direction, and then reverse. Open, around, and up. So I'm going as wide as I can. Control it, up.

Around and up. Two more. And up, last one. And then reach that leg long down to the mat. And then the other leg is gonna come up.

So again, you have one padded part on your foot. The other part in your hand, flex that foot and then stretch that hamstring. Again, bend your knee if you need to. And just breathe into that stretch. This is for you.

You'll notice one side's a little bit tighter, and that's normal. Opposite hand stays in the circle. The other hand goes down by your side. And then just cross over to your opposite shoulder. I'm trying to keep this hip down, the leg that's up.

I'm trying to keep that hip down so that I'm not going into a full twist. I'm just trying to get the side of my leg. Flex a little bit deeper, because as this stretch tends to get more intense, most people start to lose that flex of the foot. One more deep breath here, and then switch hands. Open that leg out to the side.

You can place that other hand on your hip, and stretch. One more deep breath here. And then bring the leg back up. So we're gonna take your foot out the circle, hold it in your hands, squeeze it gently. You're gonna point that top foot, turn it out slightly, and then flex your bottom foot.

Really push that heel into the mat. And then we're gonna cross it over, around, and up. Cross, over, and up. So you want to play with the size of the circle, trying to make it as big as you can without the hips wobbling. One more in this direction, and reverse.

Around, and up. Also pay attention to the shoulders. Make sure they're not coming up off the mat. Maintaining that control. You're moving from your core.

One more. And then lower that leg down as long as you can. Flex both feet, glue your legs together. You still have the hands between the circle, circle between your hands. You're gonna roll up one bone at a time.

And then we're gonna bring yourself forward onto your mat. So you're gonna hold onto the circle. You're gonna lift your feet up. Arms are straight. You're gonna try to maintain this position as you roll back into your ball.

So you're gonna roll back to your shoulders, and then come up, find your balance. Good, and roll back. And up, stay in that little ball. Roll back, really squeeze that circle to help you up. Finding that control on the way up.

Use your breath to help you. Two more. Last one. Hold it here. Scoot back on the mat, just so we don't hit each other.

Find that balance again. Keep one leg into your chest. The other leg is gonna stretch out long. And then keep the legs there as you roll down one bone at a time. Up to your shoulder blades.

Shoulders down, away from the ears. I'm gonna switch legs. And switch and switch. Just keep alternating the legs, hugging that circle so gently. But keeping those arms active.

Reaching them along. We have four. Four and three. Three, two. Two, last set.

One, one. Hug your knees in. You can just rest your circle on your legs. Turn your head side to side, keep your neck loose. So we're gonna go into scissors.

So you're gonna bring the arms up to the ceiling. Gently hug this circle again, legs up to the ceiling. You want to try to get your legs to the circle. If they don't touch, that's okay. Curl your head and chest up.

Keep your legs touching the circle. Lower one leg down and then switch. So you're trying to reach for that circle every time with that leg. And switch, keep curling the chest up. Gently hugging that circle with the arms.

Not just the hands, it's the whole arm working. So we're really working the whole body. We have four, four. If you need to bend the legs, that's always an option. Three, three, especially if your hamstrings are tight.

Two, two. Last set. We got it. And then bend your legs in, rest your head. Turn your head side to side. Now for our double lower lift option, you're gonna put the circle between your ankles.

Legs up to the ceiling or bent in tabletop. You're gonna have one hand behind the other, behind your head. Elbows are wide, and you're gonna curl your head and chest up. Keep your chest lifted as you lower the legs down. And then lift back up.

And you lower and lift. Think of scooping those low abs in and up. Exhale, lift. Inhale and lift. Last one, you got it.

Lower and lift. Bend your legs. Take the circle out, hug your knees into your chest. Last one is crisscross. So we have some options here.

So you're gonna take one side of the padded part of the circle. Put it against one knee, and then the opposite elbow. And then you'll bring your hands behind your head. So you can have just the leg that's against the circle up. So then the other foot's on the mat.

You can have that leg up, other leg up in tabletop. Or you can stretch it out to a 45-degree angle. Find a position that works for you. Really go into that twist. And then you're gonna squeeze the circle in.

And release. So make sure you're not just using your arm to push a circle. Think of pulling that knee into your chest as well. Pull. We got four more. Squeeze and release, squeeze, release.

Two more. Squeeze, release. Last one. Good, lower it down. And then we get to do the other side.

So you have one side of the circle against your knee, opposite elbow against the circle. Find the position for the free leg that works for you. Come into that twist. And then you're gonna squeeze and release. Make sure you're really using your breath.

Good, pulling the navel into the spine. And four, you have four more. And three, two. Last one. Good, hug your legs in, rock side to side.

And we'll give your abs a little bit of a break. And you're gonna rock up to seated position. So we're gonna go into spine stretch. So you're gonna have your legs just about as wide as the mat. A little bit wider than your shoulders.

You can go a little wider if you need to. You're gonna bring the circle just in front of you. You're gonna have one hand on top of the other or hands just side by side. Inhale as you sit up nice and tall. Exhale, you're just gonna push the circle down and round forward.

Inhale, lengthen your spine. Keep pulling the toes back. I always catch myself letting my flex slide. And then round forward. And inhale, lift.

Exhale, pull abs in and up as you round. Relax the shoulders and then round forward, one more. And then round, pulling the abs back. Sit up tall, grab the circle in your hands. Again, nice gentle squeeze.

You're gonna twist to one side, and then you're gonna reach your head through the circle as you reach for the foot for saw. And then come back up and center. Twist to the other side, round forward. And then roll up and center. So the goal is to keep the hips stable.

So just twisting from the waist up and center. And twist, and reach. Up, center. One more each side. Twist, reach, up, center.

And twist, reach, up. Stay lifted tall in the center. You're gonna squeeze the circle and release. Squeeze, again, not just from the hands. We're using the whole arm.

Trying to lift a little taller. If you need to bend your knees, that's also an option. We have four more. And three, two, last one. Good, place the circle between your ankles as we lie down.

We're gonna do corkscrew. So if you need to keep your hands in a triangle, but underneath your sacrum, that's an option. Or you can have your hands by your side. Squeeze that circle slightly. Make sure it's in a good position for you.

And you're gonna circle your legs. You're gonna go to the right, down, left, and then back center and then the other way. Around. Just make sure you're pulling into your abdominals every time. Around and up, other way.

One more each side. Around. Trying to keep the shoulders still. Just moving the lower body. Take the circle out, hug your legs into your chest.

And we're gonna go into swan. So let's face each other, Nicole. And then you're gonna keep the circle with you. So you're gonna lie on your stomach. The circle is gonna go out in front of you.

And then your hands are gonna go on top of the circle. You can have your hands one beside the other. If you need a little bit less stretch on your shoulders, you can bring your hands to the side as well. So just let your head fall. Should feel a nice stretch in your shoulders while you're here.

Try to keep the spine long. Legs can be together or apart. You're gonna push the circle down just slightly. Lift your chest up. Find that extension, that nice swan.

And then as you lower your chest, once you get to the bottom, you're gonna let the arms come up. Release the circle, and then push down. Lift the chest, try not to go into your low back. And then lower the chest. As you lift the arms up, release the circle.

Two more like this. Push down. Think of using your lats to kind of keep the shoulders down away from the ears. Lower your chest. Arms come up.

One more. Push the hands down. Wrap around those shoulders. And lift. Nice. And lower down. Good.

And put the circle down, push back into child's pose. You can have your arms straight ahead. Or you can have your arms by your side. Whatever feels better to you. I'm gonna bring my arms by my side today.

And just let your back release. So come on up. We're gonna go into sidekick. Say gonna lie on one side, you're gonna put the circle down. You're gonna have the bottom leg on top of the, or inside the circle on that padded part.

And then the other leg is also gonna come inside. So find that position that works for you. I like to be on my forearm for this, but you can lie all the way down if that feels better for you. Lift up on your bottom waist. Let's flex the feet.

And then this top hand is just here for balance. You're gonna push that circle up for three, two, one. And then release. And then push up for three, two, one, and release. Try to keep that top leg parallel.

I always catch myself trying to turn out. So you want to keep a true parallel. Lift, two, three, and release. We have two more. Lift, you should feel that outer hip working.

And lower, last one. Lift, make sure you're not sinking into that shoulder that's down. We're gonna move the top leg. You're gonna put it on top of the circle now. Still flex the foot, and now we're gonna push down.

So lift up on your bottom waist. You're gonna push down. Two, three and release. And push. Two, three.

And we want to try to avoid that bounce that sometimes happens. I know it does for me. You want to try to keep a nice, solid squeeze with that circle. Really work that inner thigh. We have two more, and lift, last one.

Good, and keep pushing down with that bottom leg to hold a circle still. You're gonna point that top foot, lift it up, and now you're gonna tap it down on the floor in front of the circle. And then lift it up and tap it behind the circle. It's a little arc. So we top front, lift, and back.

So as you're moving that leg, make sure you're not sinking into your waist. You're staying lifted, staying out of that shoulder. And back again. You should feel that side hip. Lower, up, back, one more.

And to the back. Now we're gonna lift that leg up. We're gonna bend your knee. Bring it through the circle, and then bend your knee. Bring it on top of the circle.

Bend, bring it through, bend, bring it over. We have three more. Through. My hip is burning. I don't know about you. Bend, through.

And up, last one. Bend, through. Bend, stretch. Bend, bring the foot down. Let's stretch your hip before we go to the other side.

So let's put the circle down. Lie on your back. The leg you just worked, you're gonna cross that foot over the other knee, and then pull in for a figure four stretch. Ah, these are always the hardest for me. Side lying.

Take one more deep breath. Let that hip release. And then come on up. We'll switch sides. So you can just roll over.

We're gonna flip around so we can face you. So the bottom leg is gonna be inside the circle, pushing down. Top leg is also gonna be inside the circle. Make sure your bottom waist is lifted. Your shoulder is away from the ears.

You're really lifted. Flex both feet. You're gonna push the leg up. Two, three, and release. And push up, two, three, and release.

And push and release. Again, we're trying not to get that bounce that sometimes happens. Really make it nice and stable. We have four more. Push and release.

Really reach out through the heels on both feet. Try not to forget that bottom foot. I just caught myself doing that. Last one. Good. Now we're gonna bring the top leg out, put it on top of the circle.

Keep that foot flexed. And now we're gonna push down, two, three, and up. So working the inner thigh a little bit more. You want to use a little opposition. So as you push that leg down, you're lifting your torso up.

So you get nice length in the whole body. And lift. Four more. And three, two. Last one. Good.

Now we're gonna point the top foot, lift it up slightly, and you're gonna bring it over to the front. And then back up and back. So as you're moving this leg, try not to let your torso compensate. Oops, lost my balance. So you're gonna stay nice and stable in that torso.

Don't do what I just did and fall. And forward, up, and back. Forward, up, back. We have three more, and lift. Back. Nice, Nicole.

Two and back, last set. Now we're gonna bring the leg up. You're gonna bend your knee, put it through the circle. Bend, and reach over. Bend, press, bend and reach over.

Three more, inside, in, and out. Good. And bend, stretch, one more. Bend, reach it through, bend, reach it over. Take the circle out, put it on the floor.

And then we'll go into your figure four stretch on your other side. So cross your foot over your knee. Pull the leg into your chest. And just breathe into that stretch, let that hip open up. Make sure your circle is still near you 'cause we're gonna use it again in a second.

One more breath. And then we're gonna place the feet down on the mat. You want your feet fairly close to your sit bones, and then you're gonna put the circle between your thighs again. Again, watch out for the nerves that are there. Make sure you're not hitting any of them.

You'll know when you are because it's very uncomfortable. So feet are parallel, about hip distance apart. You're already squeezing that circle. Arms are reaching long. Take a deep inhale here at the bottom.

As you exhale, you're gonna roll up to a bridge. Squeeze even more with the circle. Inhale at the top. Exhale as you roll down one bone at a time. Inhale at the bottom.

Exhale, squeeze. So we're constantly squeezing that circle. We just squeeze it a little bit more as we're moving through the bridge. Inhale, exhale as you roll down. And then rolling up again.

Keeping the shoulders down away from the ears. Really pushing down on those arms. And then rolling back down. We're gonna hold the next one up. Find that long line from your shoulders all the way to the knees.

Reach the knees over the toes. And we're gonna squeeze even more with the circle. And release. Trying to make that circle as much of an oval as you can. And squeeze, keep those hips high, squeeze, release.

We have four, three, two. Keep squeezing, hold. Now you're gonna lower your hips an inch. And then lift back up. And lower and lift.

Three, four. We have four more. Keep squeezing that circle. Try not to let it go. Three, two, last one.

Squeeze a little bit harder, hold. And then roll down one bone at a time. Release the circle, take it between your hands. Now we're gonna go into our teaser. Again for our teaser, we have some options.

You can keep your feet on the floor with your legs together. You can have your legs in tabletop, or you can have your legs out at a 45-degree angle. Find the position that works for you. Squeeze the circle between your arms. You're gonna roll up.

Reach your hands to your feet. Find that teaser, and then roll down. And again, roll it up. Nice, keep the chest open as you're squeezing that circle. One more.

I know that sounds like those are opposite actions. And then roll down. You just don't wanna squeeze so hard that your shoulders are rolling forward. Now we're gonna do another set of teasers. This time, we're gonna put the circle between your ankles, or if your feet are down, you can put it between your legs.

Legs out to that position that you like again. Arms up to the ceiling. We're gonna roll up to your feet again. Oops, lost my balance. And then roll back.

It's a great teaser, Nicole. Again, roll up. Nice. And then roll back. You can bring your feet away from you a little more. Yeah.

One more. Roll up. That'll make it a little easier. Yeah. And then roll back. Nice. Hug your legs in.

Take your circle out. We have one more exercise. So we'll rock on up to a seated position. We're gonna do a pushup. So let's come on to all fours for a second.

And we'll set up the circle. So it's gonna feel different for everyone depending on the size of your chest, especially. And just your body proportions. So you're gonna find where the circle feels comfortable for you, usually around the sternum, and just have that padded part on the sternum. And then from here, you can find your plank.

So you can be in a plank on your knees, or you can come to a full plank. Whatever feels good to you. Shoulders are right under you, or right over your wrists. Find that long line from your head to your heels. And then you're just gonna bend your arms and then back up.

So let the circle support you as we come down into your pushup. Still keep the abdominals engaged. The legs are active. We have four more. And three.

Two. Last one. Good. Come on down to your knees. Move the circle and then come into child's pose one last time. Just take a breath. And then when you're ready, roll on up.

Roll your shoulders back. And you're all finished. Thank you for class. I hope you come back next time.


Anna E
5 people like this.
Lovely class! Thank you, Gia! Brilliant way to start the day in your calm and precise company!
2 people like this.
Love this quick full body magic circle workout, thanks Gia!
2 people like this.
Beautiful class Gia. I really appreciate the clarity of your cueing. I barely need to look at my screen when I take class with you. Thank you.
2 people like this.
Thanks, Gia! That felt great after a long day at my desk in front of the computer!
Lina S
1 person likes this.
I've enjoyed this lovely class and particularly the criss cross variation as well as the sideline section. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Lovely class and very good for the abs! 
1 person likes this.
I loved that one. It will go into my regular rotation. Thanks, Gia!
Margaret C
4 people like this.
A beautiful progression, somehow in only 30 min I felt safely progressed into deeply working my body and by the end, my body feels connected, alive and strong. Thank you. Only thing is my (I guess) really long arms take me too high over the circle for those push ups and the circle falls over. Will experiment how I can modify next time through or just do regular pushups without the assistance. This is such a terrific shorter full body workout. For days I only have 30 min or need to get connected and stretched and strengthened. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
What a great class, Gia! Love these 30 minute sessions - they are just the right time when you are in a hurry but still want to get a workout in. 
Jenny H
1 person likes this.
Great class! Thank you for the wonderful cues and modifications 
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