Class #4822

FUNdamental Program

45 min - Class


You will be pleasantly surprised by this fundamental Mat class by Karen Sanzo. She teaches a subtle workout designed to get your body moving and feeling connected. Even though she is focusing on basic movements, you will still feel a nice challenge in your whole body.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi, I'm happy to be coming to you today from Pilates Unlimited in Dallas. This is my colleague, Roger. We're going to help you be pleasantly surprised with your fundamental workout. I love being pleasantly surprised about a lot of different things. And this subtle workout will get your body moving and feeling connected.

Let's start in our traditional position of lying on our back. Your knees are bent. Your feet are flat. And just give your shoulder blades a little squeeze, and then release them. As the shoulder blade squeeze, the chest rises.

And then, release. Now, just sway your knee side to side, just to let your pelvis rest down to the mat. Knowing that there's not a perfect position to be in the start, there is just the starting position. So, let's start here. Arms are down by your side. Palms are flat. Take an inhale.

As you exhale, feel your belly kind of tone but it's not gripping and you're not pressing your back down. Inhale again, release the belly. You might even see it rise. And then, exhale. Let the belly sink and just let it feel a little bit of tone.

One more time, inhale. And this time when you exhale, gently curl your pubic bone up and invite your low back down. Stay here for just a second. Take an inhale. Maybe curl your trunk up in here and snuggle those ribs down to the mat, and then lie yourself back down.

And then, release your pelvis. Do that a couple more times because sometimes, it's the ribs that need to snuggle down and not just the pelvis that needs to curl. So, we'll continue to curl the pelvis a couple more times. Inviting this pubic bone to curl up. Sometimes if you put your hands on your pelvis, you'll feel your pubic bone curl up.

Now, stop right here. Feel your pubic bone curl up. The buttocks is not gripped. Grab the side of your mat with your hands and pull it towards your heels. And feel how that lifts your back ribs up a smidge, and then you lie them back down.

Now, you start to feel a little bit flatter with your back ribs down. And then, just unwind your pelvis. With your arms down by your side, just start some gentle marching, one leg up and then the other. And truthfully, nothing really takes the place of a good strong, fundamental program. As you lift one leg up, the other leg gently presses down.

You feel a little bit of tone in your abdomen. You feel a little bit of tone in the leg that's pressing down. Let's do one more time each leg, and then lower it down. Now, let's take your right leg, reach it long like you're pressing the sole of your foot away from you. You'll notice when you reach that leg away, that it tends to let go of your back a little bit and that's okay.

Feel the lengthening of your abdomen in front of you, tighten up that right thigh, and then just straight leg it up to the level that your hamstring allows. Inhale, the leg lifts. Exhale, it lowers. We have stable pelvis, stable spine, moving leg. One more time, go up.

Stay up. Pause. Now, flex that foot. Take it out to the side a little bit. And then, come back. Can your belly buttons stay facing the ceiling as the leg goes out and in?

It's just a question, y'all. It's just a query. That's all we do in fundamentals is ask our body to feel things. And then, bend the knee. Put it down. Let's take the left leg out. Pause right there.

Let's check in with the head position. Take your fingers, put it on the bridge of your nose like where glasses would be. And as you push that bridge of the nose backwards, that's the middle of your occiput. That's what you want to stay down. You don't wanna smash your chin into your chest.

So if you actually need to lift your head a little bit with a cushion, that's certainly fine. Right leg pressing down. Straight left leg up and down. See if you lift this left leg up and down if it doesn't disturb your pelvis. There'll be a time when we'll curl the pelvis again.

But for now, we're just feeling our right leg pressing down, toning the right stabilizing leg. The left front of the thigh lifting up. Let's go up and stay up, and pause right here. Left leg comes out to the side. Maybe your left arm presses to help and then you return.

Inhale, it goes out. Exhale, feel the drawing across your torso. It's not a gripping of your belly. It's just a toning. Let's do that twice more.

When you move one extremity away from the center out to the side, it actually puts a little rotation information into your system. That foot comes down. Now, grab the sides of your mat with your hands and pull that mat towards your feet, and feel how it pulls your shoulders back. Now starting here, a little tiny bridge sequence. So, it's up and down.

Pressing the heels. It's not a super high bridge. It's just a little bridge to get your butt kind of connected. Let's do this twice more. (Karen breathing heavily) And then, lower down. Now, let's take the bridge on an articulating journey.

So, the pelvis curls. We peel our buttocks up a little higher now, maybe to the level of our thighs. Stay here. Your thighs should be working in the front. Take an inhale, Exhale.

Drip the back of your ribs down, trying to touch the back of your ribs before your waistline. Butt comes all the way down. Again, inhale. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale. A tone of the belly, a curl of the pubic bone.

If your feet press down at just the right time, your butt kicks in. And then at the top, hold. Big inhale. Exhale. Lie the ribs down.

Try not to change the position of your neck. One more time. Scooping in the belly, tilting the pelvis, lift up. We're gonna stay up. Now, ask yourself here.

"How hard am I pressing my arms? Do I have to press that hard?" Just ask yourself. Then, ask yourself, "Can I keep my legs pressing down as my arms reach to the ceiling?" And you know what? It's okay if the answer is no. Then, you take them back down by your side and you repress your arms.

You relift your pelvis. You should be firmly into your buttocks right now. And now, lift your arms up to the ceiling again. Hold. And then, the arms come down.

And then, drip your spine all the way down and pause. Last bridge. Tipping the pelvis. Curling it up. Actually, I lied. There's gonna be one more after this.

Hold yourself up here. Now, shift the weight to your right foot and get your right buttocks in check as you bend the left knee in and then put it down. Then, lift the other leg up and put it down. Continue this until you decide which side is more of a challenge for you. It doesn't mean one side is better or worse.

It just means the sides are not even, and that's okay. One more time. And then, roll yourself all the way down. Now, take your hands and put them in your hip crease. Now, separate your legs a little bit wider than your pelvis.

And this time when you lift up into a bridge, don't articulate. Just lift your belly button up and you may not lift as high. It's gonna feel like your butt's kind of sagging down a little bit. But if you check the position of your pubic bone and put your hands in your hip crease, then when you drop down, just drop your hip crease down. Boom.

And then, let's do that again. So, it's not an articulating bridge. It's just an up bridge, hip crease, down bridge. It feels different in your belly and it feels different around your core set, meaning the front and back body. Last time up.

Last time down. Knees together. Pause. Now, we have to go to lift two legs up. So, let's lift the right leg up.

Take your right hand, put it on top of that right knee. Right on top of it. Now, push that right knee a little bit away from you but don't move it. If you have that gives you a little bit of butt activity on the right side. Now, take your other leg and lift it straight to the ceiling.

Point your toe, flex your heel. Point and flex your heel. Now, what your right knee doing? The right knee is still pressing which way? Away.

Now, hold that. Start to lower the left leg down. Gentle point to the toe. Now, hold that leg there. Now, hover your right hand off of that thigh and leave it there.

Count to five, four, three, two one. Hands comes back on the knee. Left leg bends. Right leg down. Left leg comes in. Left hand, top of that knee.

A toning of your belly, not a gripping of your abdomen. It's an awareness we're creating. So, press your left thigh away. Take your right leg out, point the toe. Lift it to the ceiling.

We did it in a different order this time. Okay. Push your right foot to the ceiling, point and flex it. (Karen breathing heavily) Good. Now, start to lower that leg away.

Feel the top of your right thigh working. Feel the left thigh pressing away from you. Hold. And now, take your left hand off of your knee and hold for there for five, and four, and three, and two, and one. Hand on the knee.

Right leg bends down. Left leg lowers. Now if you can't hold that long, that's fine. It gives us a place to go. Right leg comes back in.

Hand on top of the knee. Left leg comes back in. It matches. Flex and points your feet. Circle 'em around a couple times.

Good. Now, pause right here. Two hands are pulling down on your knees. Feet are now flex, like you're pushing against a wall that's away from you. Feel some toning in your belly.

And now, take your arms directly over your shoulders to the ceiling. This is our little dead bug. Hold yourself right here. Inhale. (Karen breathing heavily) Now, relax your toes.

Keep your thighs where they are, but let your shins rest. Hold for five, for four. Tone the belly. Three. And two. And one.

Feet come down. Arms come down. Lift your bottom up. You can articulate up or you can neutral up. Now, here's the deal about the bridge in a fundamental workout is you want the lengthening in front of your thighs to get open because a...

Then, lower back down. Because a lot of the times, the front of the thighs get grippy when we pull in. So, here's the next level of this fundamental session here. Pull the tummy gently. Ask the pubic bone to tilt.

Do you feel how your back is approaching the floor, right? Now, hold the belly because the back is pressing into the floor. Take your right leg in. Hold it with your right hand. Now, your pelvis is in a posterior tilt.

Lift the second leg. Do not change the posterior tilt. Hold this here. Let your shins drop down to your thighs. Your toes are just rested.

Your hands will come to the ceiling. Now, you feel much more of your abdomen doing the posterior tilt, right? And now, release the posterior tilt but leave your thighs where they are. And then, go back and get the posterior tilt as the thighs come towards your hands. If you need to, put your hands on top of your knees again, tilt a little bit more from the abdomen.

Let the arms go. Release the posterior tilt. Let's do that three more times in the position that you can do it the best. As I do the posterior tilt, I am not pulling my thighs closer to my chest. It's the tilt that's pulling my thighs closer to my chest.

This is how we start short spine and long spine incidentally on the reformer. One more time, curl. And then, hug the knees. And then, put the feet down. Arms down.

Rest. Lift up into a bridge. Reach the thighs long as the pelvis lifts up. And then, lower your bottom down. Now, your hands are on the mat.

Now, we started trunk curl. Okay, this is using our abdominal to curl up but you know we have to use first is the neck. So, we need to get the deep neck flexor. So, first we look down our cheeks and then our chins lifts. Our eyes look over our chest, but we're not going to curl the trunk.

Look towards your knees. Take a big inhale. Your belly may rise and fall. And then, put the back of your throat down first. And then, your eyes look to the ceiling.

And then, the center of your occiput right behind those eye sockets. Again. Eyes look into the cheeks that gives a flexion force of the neck. The chin lifts. The arms are not moving.

The head is lifting. We hold here. Be surprised that lifting the head, guess what muscles it works? Ha-ha, the front of the neck. It's supposed to.

And then, lower the throat down and then the back of the head, and then the occiput. One more time. The head will lift. You'll look towards your abdomen. Now, reach your arms across the room to that person on the other side and try to curl your ribs.

Take an inhale. Take an exhale. Can you curl any bit more? And then, the ribs roll down. The trunk rolls down. The head lowers down.

The occiput comes in. Hoo, that's a tough one. Now, we're gonna do it one more time and add a rotation. So this time you're going to lift the head, press your arms long. Reach them across the room.

Lean your body to the left to get those right ribs out. Lean your body to the right to get those left ribs out. And now, reach long. Pause. Two arms come up. They go to the left side. Two arms come up. They go to the right side.

One more time up. They go to the left. You feel your low left belly. They come up. They go to the right side. You feel your low right belly. And then, they come up and then you lower down, and then you rest.

Curling the trunk up in flexion, rotation, abdominal work. Okay. Now, last thing on our backs here. Two arms to the ceiling. Pause. (Karen breathing heavily) One leg to tabletop.

(Karen breathing heavily) Now in this position here, I'm gonna lift my second leg and not curl my spine. I'm just gonna be in this neutral position. I'm gonna hold this for three counts, two counts, and then one. I'll lower my left leg first, and then my right one. Now, stay with me here.

Now, I'm going to gently firm my belly as I invite my pelvis to a posterior tilt without changing my head. Now, I lift up one leg past 90. I keep the posterior tilt. I lift the other leg past 90. It almost feels like I'm in the down part of rolling like a ball. You actually are gonna feel this more as a flexion of your lower back.

I hope you feel that. And then, right leg comes down, left leg comes down, return to neutral. Arms come down. Okay, we're going to bring yourself up to sitting. Reach your legs out long.

Fix your shirt. Fix your hair. Say hello to the person that's working out with you. Now, this is a fundamental class. So, we're only gonna work a half rollback. So, I'm gonna have Roger do a half rollback with his hands.

I'm gonna hold my thighs and I'm just gonna start to curl down. He's gonna curl down but not all the way. We're gonna hold right here. This is a quivery spot. Well, I'm gonna reach my arms long and then curl up.

Straighten my legs. Have a little spine stretch forward. Stacking. (Karen breathing heavily) His legs will stay straight. Mine will bend.

Because when some people bend their thighs, they have more access to the curl. Now, arms come out in front. They go to the left, look between your hands. And they go to the right, look between the hand. One more time, left.

And then one more time, right. Hands to the thighs. For me, I bring myself up. I round forward. So, we do not want to forget the importance of the rollback, eccentric contraction on the tummy.

Okay, last one. We're gonna go all the way down to the mat. Big inhale. (Karen breathing deeply) Exhale. Soft shoulders.

I'm gonna allow my knees to bend because it allows me to articulate my spine back. Roger is sufficiently quivering. We're gonna come down to the mat. Now, our fundamental takes us in, right knee in, right leg up, to a single leg circle. Flex your left foot back like you're pushing your heel away.

Inhale here, prepare. Exhale. Small circle across your body. It comes around and it stops at the top. Around. Stops at the top.

Oh, we didn't think that was gonna happen. I'm gonna bend my knee. He's gonna keep his straight. Around and come back up. Because the interesting thing here is the modification for single leg circle is the bent moving leg.

It's not the straight leg. Let's reverse the circle. Out down. Guess what? It is still working across my torso. Circling the leg.

And then, we'll do one more time. Is your left long leg still active? Right knee into the chest. Give it a hug. Remember when you pull that right knee in, it will actually start to posterior tilt your spine. Your left thigh flexes a little bit up.

Lift your head and curl your trunk. Look across the room. Wiggle your body side to side if you need you to get the ribs down. Curl up any a bit more. Hover your left leg up off the ground and pause.

Reach your arms long by your side. Take three breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Can you pull that right thigh in anymore? Inhale. Exhale. Can you pull that thigh in any bit more?

It's okay if the answer is no. One more time, inhale. And then, hug the knee. Lower yourself down. You should be feeling pleasantly surprised that this fundamental setup is certainly enough.

Left knee comes in. Flex your right leg long. You get lengthened in the front of your right thigh. Left leg goes up. I'm gonna go ahead and keep that knee bent again.

And then, we circle around and come on up. Again, this is a pleasant surprise even to me. Every time I bend the moving leg, I actually am able to keep my right thigh all long. We'll do one more time in this direction. And then, we'll reverse it.

Where's the bridge of your nose? Where's the back of your skull? And we'll do this one more time. And then, you'll hug that knee into your chest. Lifting your head.

Curling your neck, Curling your trunk, looking across the room. Hover that right leg up off the ground. And then, reach your arms long by your side. Inhale big. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale, reach longer.

Pull the left thigh in. Inhale again. Exhale, reach longer. One more time. And then, everything comes down.

Two feet come down. Guess what? Lift up into a bridge. This time in your bridge, wiggle yourself side to side. I call this like you're sticking your sheets in, like your shoulder blades come underneath your back. Your palm can still be flat.

Now, this time you're gonna dip your right pelvis down like water's dumping out the right side of your belly. And then, press equally on both of your feet to lift that right pelvis back up. Then, the left pelvis comes down. And then, it comes back up. One more time, the right pelvis down.

And then, it comes up. One more time. Left pelvis down. Comes back up. You pause right there.

Inhale big. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale. Lowering your spine all the way down, all the way down. Bring your knees firmly into your chest. Lift your head.

I'm gonna put my hands behind my thighs. I'm going to roll myself up to sitting. And I'm gonna balance like a ball. So balancing like a ball invites your spine into flexion. And as my hands are behind my thighs, I'm gonna feel my belly pull back.

And then, my hands are going to come in front and I'm gonna open and close five times. One. Yes, your hip flexors are working. Yes, the front of your neck is working. Yes, your abdominals are working.

One more time. Hands on the thighs. Bring yourself all the way down. All right, we're gonna turn to the side now. You're gonna sit with both of your knees. This is a fundamental action of a side plank.

And what we're going to do here because we typically don't teach anything on the side until later, I'm not gonna turn this into a lecture. Come down to your forearm, please. Two knees are bent. They're a little bit in front of you. There's a little bit of flexion in your pelvis.

The right hand's going to go to the ceiling. Now, the two knees press down to the ground to lift your pelvis up. Now, be surprised that you must press down to the floor with that bottom knee. Hold that right there. Now, can you kick your right leg away from you?

And can you hold that there and lift it up off the ground? Remember, it's okay if the answer is no. And then, it comes back in. It lowers down and then you drop. Did you feel underside of your side plank?

Did you feel the side of your left butt, Roger? Yes. Okay. Arms up, here we go again. Two knees press down. Tone up that belly and lift up.

Feel the side of the left butt. Kick the right leg out long. Don't do anything fancy with that right leg because you're working on the bottom left leg, left butt, left ribs, left armpit. Everything comes in. All lower down and rest.

(Karen breathing heavily) One more time. Two knees press down and then lift up. Hold right there. We're making sounds in here. And then, the right leg reaches long.

Flex those toes. Reach that right heel very long for five, for four, for three, two, one. Everything comes in. Lower yourself down. Bring yourself up. Other side. So, we have to start introducing side plank, I think, a little bit sooner.

So, I love it in a fundamental. Very safe exercise on your form. Now as your hips are a little bit flexion, two knees pressing. Left arm to the ceiling. It's important when you lift up, you press down.

Head is in line with the spine, like you're in the toaster. Front and back body, frontal plane. Hold right here. Press the right knee down firmly. Kick your left leg out.

Hold. And hold. Bend the knee back in. Lower yourself down. Don't be surprised if one side is different than the other.

It's important here that you don't lift up into a plank by pushing down with your hand and lifting up, because then that wouldn't be the underside of your body. Left arm up. Firm up that up arm. Two knees press down to the floor. Lift the pelvis.

Hold for five. Hold for four. Head in line with the spine. Three. Where's the bridge of that nose? Two.

And one and lower down. I forgot to lift the leg. Let's do that one more time. Arm up. Pelvis up.

Left leg out long. Flex that heel. Press the right knee, the bottom knee down. You should feel the bottom of your right buttocks. And then, that leg comes in and then lower yourself down.

And then, turn to your hands and knees. (Karen breathing heavily) Okay, in our hands and knees now. Palms are flat. If at any time you don't like your hands and knees, you can come always down to your forearms. Let's start first with the toes curled under and we just rock forward and back.

Now in this position here, I am always surprised that I feel like my bottom is sticking out a mile, but it's really not. I want the flatness of my sacrum to be flat and I'm gonna go back and then come forward. Back and then come forward. Now, come forward. Stay forward. Let your toes go down.

Now from this position here, go back and forward. What you're looking for here is to close any space between your ankle. Right there where I'm pointing. Can you point to that side, too? In case they can't see.

You wanna close that space. Good. Now, bring yourself back. Now, curl the toes under again. You're holding yourself in neutral. It's a fundamental lift.

Arms press. Knees lift. It's a hover. It's a hover for five. Maybe you come down.

Four. Maybe you stay up. Three, two, one. Rest. Inhale again.

(Karen breathing heavily) Exhale, pause. (Karen breathing heavily) Inhale again. Head in line with the spine, and then hover the knees up. Now, where's that head position? Where's the bridge of your nose?

As if there were aboard behind your head, down your back, to the top of your sacrum, and then lower down. One more time. Keep that neutral spine. Inhale big (Karen breathing heavily) And exhale. Up comes the belly.

It's just a gentle toning. You can't grip your belly in this position. Right now, it's your arms working. Your thigh is working. Yes, yes, yes.

And then, the knees come down. The shins come down. You sit your bottom back. Now, two arms go to the left. You sit your buttocks to the right.

And then two arms go to the right, you sit your buttocks to the left. Now, bring yourself up to what we call high kneeling here. Take a moment. Fix your hair. Fix your shirt. Hands come by your side just for a second.

Now, make sure you're in a happy place on your knees. So, they're not too far apart nor are they together. Now in this position here, we're gonna keep your belly have some tone. You can even put one hand on your belly. And one hand behind your back.

And then, you're gonna take your left leg and lift it out in front of you. And then, you're gonna put it down. And guess what? If this is your first time to do this, you're gonna feel wobbly. Again, we're not worried about not moving.

We're worried about moving this hip forward and back. We're gonna end with the left leg forward and pause. Now, we're gonna keep our hand. I call this a spine sandwich here. And then, we're just gonna go forward and back.

So as I go forward and back, I'm pressing my bottom shin down. I'm pressing my front heel down. Now, I'm gonna go forward, stay forward. What do you feel? You should feel a nice load in the front of this left leg.

Got that? Arms come out in front. Now, I'm not arching my back but I'm just pitched forward. Arms up and down. I'm pressing down like mad onto my left leg.

This is like going up front on the chair. Two more. Last one. And then, bring myself back. Switch legs. And if you did fall, it wouldn't be very far because the floor's right there.

So, sandwich here. And here we go forward and back. So, it's always fun. Be careful. I sometimes wanna arch my back here, but I don't wanna arch my back.

Good. Now, I'm gonna go forward and stay forward. I'm pushing the right leg down. Arms come out in front. And then, it's gonna go up and down.

(Karen breathing heavily) Two more. Good. And then, last one. And then, bring it down. Now, we're gonna to turn sideways or we're gonna face front ways.

Now, I'm gonna go to the left side of my mat just a little bit. We're still in a fundamental workout. And you're saying, "Wow, these are really hard." But you know what? Fundamentals have to do with the position of the hips, the knees, the pelvis, et cetera, et cetera. Now, the right leg comes out to the side.

The sole of the foot goes down. Look at it. Yeah. Be sure it's coming out of your hip. Take your right hand. Put it on your belly.

Take your left hand. Put it behind your back. Good. Yeah. It's almost like a Mother, May I, right? Yeah. Okay. So, hold yourself here now.

Can you firm up your left thigh? And then as you do that, do you feel that pillar of that left leg pressing down? You with me there? Now, we're gonna take that left arm to the ceiling. And then, we're gonna side bend way over to the right side, trying to stay in what plane of motion?

This is your frontal plane. (Karen breathing heavily) And then, I'm gonna reach up to the ceiling. We'll do that three times. Inhale, go over. Feel something in your right foot, pressing down.

Feel something in your left knee, pressing down. And then, come up. One more time, go over up. And over, pause yourself right there. Feel the strength of your left pillar.

And then, bring yourself up and then put right knee down. Now, bring yourself to the right. Just walk on your knees. It's actually an exercise. Even if we put a band around the thighs, right? On purpose, this fundamental workout here is doesn't have a prop.

Take your left leg out. The only prop you might need is if you need something underneath your head. So, left hand now come is on the belly. Right hand behind your back. If you have a mirror, you can look side to side.

You can check yourself. You can see oh, I wonder if I am in my frontal plane. Because sometimes on our knees, we actually tend to arch, especially if the front of that hip is tight, the down pillar one. Now, right arm comes all the way up and then we're gonna side bend over to the left. Is that left foot still pressing down?

And then, come up. Three times. That's one. And then, up and over. Right knee presses down. And then, come up. That's two.

Last time, up and over. Pause. Big inhale. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale. Bring yourself all the way back. And take yourself down, two knees come down.

Coming now back into the quadruped position. So in this quadruped position now, we're gonna do opposite arm and leg reach. But listen to the cue. Take your right leg out. Leave your foot on the ground.

Take your left arm out. Leave your fingers on the ground. So now these two extremities, the left arm and the right leg, they're gonna lift up a lot less than you want to. Five times, go. (both breathing heavily) Rest. Stay there.

The right leg is gonna go out a couple inches to the right. The left arm is gonna come out a couple inches to the left. So now, it's like at what like 10 o'clock and four o'clock or something like that. Now, they're gonna lift out at that angle. But what is your right arm doing is pressing down.

Left shin pressing down or left toes. And here we go. Five, four, three, two, one. Everything comes back to center. Left leg comes out. Toe stays down.

Right arm comes out. Arm stays down. This is one of those exercises that you know is one of those bitchy exercises. But it's really important that you lift less than you want to because you wanna feel that connection between your left arm and your right knee. Actually, if you think, pull your left arm towards your right knee and pull your right knee up towards your left hand, it's very interesting. And then, they rest down.

Right arm comes out a tad. Left leg comes over a tad. Did you move your pelvis? It's just a question. And here we go. Five times. One and two and three.

Where's the bridge of your nose? Four. Where's the back of your skull? Five. And then, everything comes down and rest right here. Now just because it's one of my favorite exercises and it really helps people feel strong. Curl your toes underneath you.

We're gonna do two more hovers, counting to eight. Here we go. Do not round your spine. Push the floor. Five, four. I will not know if you're doing it but you will know if you're doing it.

And then, rest. Inhale. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale. (Karen breathing heavily) Lift. Hold. And hold and hold.

And now finally, with your toes down and your shins down, give yourself a cat cow. Give yourself your version of your rounding and arching. If you love to be an archer then you do a big arch. If you love to round, then you do a big round. If you're starting to get yourself in a little bit of a sequence, then maybe you do your head first, and then your ribs and then your bottom.

And you take turns which you start with. And then, come and end in this neutral position. (Karen breathing heavily) Knees and feet come together. If I had a stick on your back, would it be at the back of your occiput and roughly the bottom part of your ribs, and roughly the top of your sacrum. Roughly, right?

Now, two shins, they're gonna swing to the left, like a little mermaid tail. And then, you're gonna look over your left shoulder until you see some part of your left foot. (Karen breathing heavily) Breathe into your right ribs. (Karen breathing heavily) And then, take those legs back to center and then spin the shins to the right. And then, look over your right shoulder until you see some part of your left leg or your right leg.

Good. And then do that again. Inhale one side. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale, other side. (Karen breathing heavily) Inhale left. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale right.

(Karen breathing heavily) Stay here. Inhale. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale, left because it makes a difference. Inhale, right. (Karen breathing heavily) Very good.

And then, bring yourself all the way back to center. Come to lie on your belly. On your belly, we start with spinal extension. The arms will start a little bit wider than usual. Reach your legs are very long.

I said that kind of like an Italian. Reach your legs are very long. Okay, so arms press down. And then inhale, lift. I am Italian.

And then exhale, lower. Notice that I'm not lifting my head to the sky, but pause right here. If you can indeed lift higher and arch your chest more, then you go that. Try to keep your legs down. I mean, you go there to that point.

And then, try to lie your belly down and then your pubic bone, and then your front ribs, and then your chest, and then your forehead. Good. Now, take your arms by your side. Make a soldier outta your arms. And then, push your arms to your ankles and lift your chest up.

Five times. One. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale. Here's a third one. Now, the butt will tighten on its own because you're lifting your chest.

I lost count. Let's do one more. And then, rest. And now, the hands will come under your forehead. Now if this next one is too hard for you, then you go back to the one before with your arms down your side.

So now, we lift the head, the chest, and we hold here. Exhale, lower. Just five times. Inhale, lift. As you lift your head, almost press your forehead into your hands. And then, it makes you not shorten the back of your neck but allows you to lift higher.

Last two. Last one. (Karen breathing heavily) And then, rest. Take your two arms out in front of you. Your forehead is down.

Your left arm presses down on the mat. Your right arm reaches up. It turns your torso a little bit to the right and then down. And then, you press on your right. You lift left.

Turn your torso a little bit to the left and then down. And then, one more time. Lift the right and then down. Lift your head with you this time. Lift up and then come down, and then rest.

Now, prop up on your forearms. Bend your knees. Flatten your feet. Remember, we're still in a fundamental workout. We haven't done anything super fancy. We're just making good connections.

Now, we're come from a position of extension to neutral for a forearm plank on our knee. So, the belly button lifts up. The Hoyer lift is lifting our back spine. Our shoulders come back. Our head comes back. You hold the plank here.

Your arms are a little bit in front of your shoulders. Hold. Hold. And then, you start to lie your thighs down first. You lift your chest.

And then, you come all the way down and you're an extension. Inhale. (Karen breathing heavily) Exhale, forearms push. Belly button lifts. Knees press down.

Be surprised that pressing your knees down turns the front of your belly on. And then, keep the knees pressing down as you lower the thighs. And then, the chest lifts. And then, one more time. Pressing down. Lifting up.

Hold. Hold. (Karen breathing heavily) Pressing the knees. Pressing the knees. Gotta get that front body connection good.

And then, lower yourself down and then rest. Hoo, it's really good. Move you bottom side to side. Okay, turn to your side. Let's lie on our left side.

Just so, we're all in the same position here. Now for the sidekick series to start with, you're gonna bend both your knees to 90 degrees. We've already been here once with a side plank, right? So now, take your top hand to the ceiling and then pat your bottom. (hand smacking) And then, reach your leg long but keep your hand there.

Lift your leg up off the ground. If the leg drops to the ground past midline, it's gonna put the side of your hip on too much stretch. So from here, press your bottom heel down. You're gonna feel the bottom of your left hip. Now right here, up and down.

Sometimes it feels like I'm talking so fast. But really what I'm doing is I'm really excited because we have to have a revisit to the fundamentals. Let's get five more. Lift that heel. Four. Side of your butt should be working right underneath that hand.

Three. And two. And one. And then, let that knee come in. Pause.

(Karen breathing heavily) Reach it out again. We do five kicks front and back. So, we flex the heel forward. We point the toe back. We don't need to bounce today. Just flex and point.

If you smile, it actually makes feel a little bit better. If that right hand needs to press on the ground in front of you, it certainly can but try not to roll forward. Let's do last one. And then, it comes back and then you rest. Good. Bring yourself up.

Sit sideways for just a second. Put your right hand on your right shin. Left arm comes all the way up to the ceiling. Take a big side bend to your right, staying in that frontal plane. Pull your right arm but don't round your right shoulder.

Can you make your left elbow straight? And then, reach it back up. And then, do that again. Side bend to the right. This time, twist your torso towards the right, touching your left hand somewhere near your right one.

Twist that thorax. Look over that right shoulder. And then, bring yourself back to center and then switch sides. Come to lie on your right side. (Karen breathing heavily) Okay.

With both of your knees bent, pressing your feet down, we're just gonna take the top leg and reach it long. And get the connection, that little subtle feeling in your tummy. It's not a big grab. And your leg is not resting down to the floor, it's resting level. Take your left hand to the ceiling.

Give it a little wave. Tap the back of your booty. Good. That just remind you that you're really supposed to be feeling the side and the back. Let's start lifting that leg up and down lots of times. Now the bottom leg, that's also important.

Press the right heel down because it's gonna get the bottom right leg in the position or in the area, if you will, that the top leg is working. Tone your belly just a little bit. Relax your shoulders. Make sure the bridge of your nose is back. Your head is in line with your spine.

Let's get three more. Reach that leg any longer. Two more. And then, last one and let the leg rest down. (Karen breathing heavily) And then, take it out again.

And then, we'll do five fronts and back. So, flex your heel forward. Point your toe back. Flex the foot forward. Point the toe back.

If you need to make a kickstand with your left hand, you of course can. It's a little more challenging for stability. If you don't, it doesn't matter. It's your choice. And let's get one more forward, one more back, and then rest the knee.

Good. Push yourself up to your side, lying on this position now. Take your left hand, put it on that left shin. (Karen breathing heavily) And then, take your right arm all the way to the ceiling now. Make sure where's that bridge of the nose.

We tend to lurch forward in this position, even when we do like mermaid on the reformers. We're gonna side bend to the left. Pulling with that left arm but not rounding the left shoulder. Can you make that right arm any straighter? And then, come up.

And we'll do that again. Side bend left. Now, start to twist your torso towards that left shin. Take your right hand. Touch it somewhere near your left.

And then, where are you today? It doesn't matter. It's just where you are in this present moment. Hold yourself right there. Big inhale.

Exhale. Face your torso back to the front and then lower that arm down. All right. Come to your knees. So in this position here now, from a kneeling position, we've already done the opposite knee lift. Now, we're going to do a launch series where we're gonna come to standing.

Now if you have a chair, you need to wash yourself and balance. Or what we're gonna do, we're gonna touch hands. I'm gonna come a little bit forward. This is fun to do with your friends. So, left leg up.

And then we're gonna push into the hands, bring ourself to standing. Same leg goes back, come down. Five times. That's one. Push and up together, the leg comes. And then, back and down.

And forward and back. So, it just adds a little bit of support, gets the heart rate going, works that front leg. Last one. And then, come up and then rest. And then, we're gonna do the other one without helping each other.

So, that means that the left leg is gonna go back first. Here we go. So, it's gonna come down and then up. If you need to push on your leg, you can certainly do that. (Karen breathing heavily) This is a place where you're gonna feel that you get the biggest accomplishment when you're able to do it.

Let's do one more. And then, bring yourself up. And then, rest. Accomplishments. Accomplishments are more important than a compliment.

A compliment is something someone tells you. It's short-lived. You feel good about it. An accomplishment is something that you do that you feel good about, that you measure in yourself that tells you you're getting stronger. Thanks.

And thank you. (hands clapping)

Key Connections: Find your 'A-Ha' Moment


2 people like this.
What A Lovely Session This Is! Thank you Karen
1 person likes this.
Great fundamental workout 👍🇩🇰 Very enjoyable … 
Always love revisiting the fundamentals with you, Karen! Your studio looks fabulous!!
Julie Lloyd
Karen, this is an absolutely brilliant class, thank you. My body feels very well balanced after this. I feel strong and refreshed. I love the style of your routine, and the combination of moves that you followed. Just perfect.
So helpful to touch the basics once again! Perfect workout this morning. Thank you Karen
1 person likes this.
I loved this class you are my new best teacher. I love the bridge of the nose cue. So simple but effective. Just brilliant and an accomplishment thank you.
1 person likes this.
I loved this class you are my new best teacher. I love the bridge of the nose cue. So simple but effective. Just brilliant and an accomplishment thank you.
1 person likes this.
Thank you for the ending statement, compliment vs accomplishment.  Beautifully said.  Fun class!  I enjoyed my accomplishments!
1 person likes this.
Perfect! Thank you! 
1 person likes this.
This class is full of discoveries for even the longtime practitioner:  bent knee hip circles, uses of the hands to differentiate between a hinging and articulating bridge, and initiation of a side plank from hip abductors.  Enjoy the physics of your body in this class.  Bonus!  Frontal plane gets a shout-out.
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