Class #5030

Awaken Your Pelvic Floor

35 min - Class


You will nurture and nourish your body with this gentle Mat workout by Claire Sparrow. She invites you to bring attention to your breath, body, and mind to create a deep awareness of what you feel as you move. She uses an Overball and Towel to provide feedback to your body so you can awaken your waist, hips, and pelvis.
What You'll Need: Mat, Towel, Overball

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Hi there, everyone, I'm Claire Sparrow. I'm excited to teach you another class. We are gonna be working with our floppy ball and a little towel or cushion again today. So start off by sitting on your ball with your legs crossed. And sitting as tall as you can, balanced on your ball.

Remember, you can do this on a chair as well if having your feet on the floor is a little easier or more comfortable for you. Go ahead and close your eyes. And we're bringing our attention and our awareness gently towards our breath and our body, and our mind. Taking these first few moments in class to check in with yourself, notice yourself. Maybe in the busyness of your day, you haven't stopped to notice how you feel today, and this is your chance so that you can nurture and nourish yourself in the class today.

Invite your breath towards the ball as you inhale. A bit like when you take the plug out of the sink full of water, it draws the water down. Can you get that sense of flowing down on your inhale towards the ball? And like a fountain as you breathe out, it rises up and out through the crown of your head, allowing you to get taller. And then you're gonna slowly let the light in through your eyelids.

Go ahead and blink them open and criss-cross your legs the other way. Oh, which might feel a little less stable, 'cause we're not used to it and we're gonna rock from side to side. So it's okay, this will hide if you are a bit wobbly. So you're gonna rock from side to side with your head balancing in the middle. So we're not like a weeble rocking side to side.

You stay head centered while your pelvis moves and notice if as you've done it, you started to go into that chair shape or can you be upright and really rock one bottom down then the other bottom. One and then the other. And then we're gonna go ahead and we're doing pelvic clocks, so you circle all the way around like you're tracing the numbers around a clock face underneath you. That's it, breathing all the time. In and out.

And then we'll go the other way. Rolling around the other way. And allow your head to stay focused straight forwards and then balance in the center. Take the ball out. Pop it to one side and then close your eyes again.

These moments in between where we notice and observe ourselves, these are the moments where our nervous system goes, yippee, this is something I want to keep and it will lay that down, it will keep and embed it. Excellent. Feel your pelvic diaphragm gently rising and falling. How cool is that? Right, opening your eyes.

You're gonna lie on your side with the ball underneath your ribs. Not quite on your floaty ribs, so not as low as your waist, a little bit higher and support your head. You can use your towel if you want to underneath your head or you can have your arm or a combination of the two. It's important, I quite like that, it's important you're comfortable so that you can breathe freely and easily here. So bringing your hands interlace behind your head, like we did in the other class, just taking a moment to bring your awareness to your breathing, like a fan in two directions here.

Opening on the inhale, and you can even put your hand on your ribs to feel your fingertips open as you inhale, close as you exhale. Open as you inhale, close as you exhale. Now, bring your arm on your side. We're gonna arc your arm over your head as you inhale and then down by your side as you exhale. Inhale.

And exhale. What I'd like you to do now as you do the movement, is let the breath begin and your arm follow. So the breath moves your arm. Your breath moves your arm. One more.

It's a lovely way to feel just how connected your arm is to your body. So bring the ball now underneath your hip, so you're balancing with the ball underneath your hip, support your head with your arm and or your towel, whatever's most comfortable. We need to find where you feel the ball is right under the center point of your hip. So not forward, not back, but right under the center and then straighten your top leg and you know you're there, it seems like it's gonna be nothing, but when you straighten that top leg, you can feel that opening through here, right at the front of your hip. You might feel it around the side and the back as well and you're just gonna breathe there for a moment.

Your other hand's on the floor for support or it can be on your hip if you prefer. And you're just letting your body go. Like we did in the other ball class, we talked about just arriving and letting your body yield. We need to do that here too. Now, hopefully you have settled into the ball, flex both feet, so that's toes towards your nose and you're gonna slide your top foot away and then back again.

So your leg stays straight and you slide it away and then back again. The underneath leg, your foot's also flexed and it's coming up into the ball. So we're going in two directions through your pelvis. So we're hitching. Now your top leg, I want you to pay most attention to your inner thigh lengthening away.

Inner thigh. And just breathe as it serves you, in and out is fine. Last one. And release. Bend your knee, scoop the ball out.

Feel that awakening of your waist and your hip and right through here. We're gonna do the same set on the other side. Bringing the ball under your ribs first of all, bending your knees, support your head with your towel. Finding that position with the ball under your ribs. Hand on your ribs to start with here will really help you, just lightly on your ribs, will help you to feel the movement of your ribs, so you're breathing in.

Ribs opening in two directions. Breathing out and they close. So it's that fan-like action we spoke about before. Can you feel that really widening, expansive feeling through your ribs and all the way up to where your collarbones are? They go up as far as that.

Okay, now bring your arm down by your side. We do the arm arc. So you start with the breath and it carries your arm over. Your inhale begins and it just sends your arm over and as you exhale, it brings your arm back. So your shoulder blade is moving freely around your ribs as you're moving your arm.

Inhale. Begin the breath. You got it. Once more. Begin the breath.

And then as you exhale this last time, bring it all the way down. Brilliant, and then you're gonna take the ball and you're gonna place it under your hip, center of your hip. Find your balance point here and then flex your feet, straighten your top leg. When you're settled in, balanced, you've arrived and breathe. You know you're there, sometimes it takes a wiggle to get into that.

Ah, there we go. The position where you feel that amazing opening right through the inside of your hip bone here is so lovely. Okay, so then we go into the hip pitches. So you slide your leg away and then like an elastic band, it just comes back again. Slide it away and it comes back again and you're underneath leg, 'cause that foot's flexed as well, is also moving in the opposite direction.

So you go towards you with your underneath leg and away from you with your top leg. Brilliant, relaxing your shoulders, breathing all the time. Inner thigh's the focus here. I know sometimes we get so focused on what's happening up here, but actually, like we've said before in our other class, it's important that we create an environment for your body to work responsively, especially your pelvic floor, 'cause other muscles, other areas tend to take over and you're inner thigh is one of those areas. Let's just do one more.

So we're paying a bit of attention to that today. Okey-dokey. So lay on your back now. Take your towel out and put your ball in. Pull the ends out so you make it into a rugby ball and you lay your head over it, bringing your arms by your sides.

Feel how just by putting the ball there, we've created a little bit of traction, lovely lengthening through your neck, which we all need from looking at computers and phones all the time. Okay and then you're gonna start rolling your head from side to side. Then when your head rolls to the right, turn your left palm up and stretch your hand out and then relax it as you come to the center. Turn your head left, stretch your right palm out and relax it. Keep going.

Not only is your palm opening and spreading, you're also turning your armpit towards the ceiling as well. So your whole arm is opening and rolling outwards. So we're going thumb towards the floor, little finger lifting. Thumb towards the floor, little finger lifting. Once more, either side.

And then resting. Scoop the ball out, place it at the back of your diaphragm now, about bra strap height, a little bit high, a little bit lower. For your comfort today, you might also want to bring your towel in depending on how you feel today. I'm gonna go without mine today. Arms down by your sides.

Palms facing up. And just settling in and breathing here. Adjusting anything you need to. Extend your left leg along the mat. You're gonna rock on your heel from side to side.

So we did this in our first ball class, but we did it with the ball underneath our pelvis. Now we're gonna do it with the ball here at the back of your diaphragm, rocking floppy, rocking on your heel and then start to twist and circle. And now I want you to get a sense that your leg is moving all the way up to where the ball is at the back of your body. So we know the boney jointy bit is at your hip socket. We also know that there's lots of stretchy connective stuff that brings your leg all the way into the back of your diaphragm.

So as we do this, you're just gently tugging on your diaphragm from there. And I think when the ball is there, we can get a really good sense of that. Change direction. And there is so much unwinding that we need to do so that our pelvic diaphragm will function, will step up, will be there for us when we need it. Remember, your knee's bending here.

And you're not talking so you can be breathing nice and gently and steady in and out. And then let that one go. Straighten your right leg out to join it. And in that comparison, like we've said before, it's amazing. Your brain goes, whoop-whoop, we like this.

We'll bed that in. Feel how your knee is closer to the floor and your leg is longer. It's amazing. All that tension you didn't know you had. Rock side to side on the right now.

Get it all loose and floppy, liberate your leg and then we're gonna start the twisting. This is unwinding the layers from your foot all the way up to the back of your diaphragm, keep breathing. And you may even feel like your head is being gently pulled by the movement of your foot and that's absolutely fine too. Okay, change direction. Twist your foot as much as you can, so you get a little bit of spiraling movement of your lower leg bones, 'cause we've got two down there and one above.

We want them all to get their movement, so all of the surrounding tissue will also get movement. Last couple to make sure we're even and balanced. And then straighten out both legs. Hopefully, yeah, that feels good. Knees are closer on both sides.

Nice long legs. I'm only five foot one and a half and the half is important, so I'm always looking for longer legs. Bending your knees with the ball out. (breathes deeply) Feel the depth of your breath that's there now. It's phenomenal how much more breath you have.

Grab your ball, place it between your thighs and I want it to go right up, so it's really touching your pelvis today. Your feet are gonna be slightly wider, so they're more like shoulder width apart and lay your hands on your pelvis. So we're doing our abductor hugs again. It's such an important movement and it takes a little bit. So before we do the hug, I want you just to very gently, very softly, just press here, just in from where your hip bones are.

Feel, it is bit squidgy. And then as you gently hug, hug it towards you, just feel the firming that takes place. It's very light. Don't be looking for some big, you know, muscle mania. It's just a light firming.

Exhale as you gently hug. So it's a continuation movement, remember, we're just noticing how your leg is connected much further up than we think. So here it's a continuation movement rather than a squeezing, clenching or muscular type movement. Let's do our pulses. So rapid hugging, hugging, hugging, hugging, hugging.

Remember, it's not your glutes. They can be a bit cheeky, if you pardon in the pun. They are sometimes trying to take over for our pelvic diaphragm and rest there. Let that go. Keep the ball there, but bring your feet so that their hip socket width apart, arms down by your side.

So we're hugging the ball like before and we're bridging tailbone, sacrum, feet. We're really using the support of the back of your body and then melt down. Let your bottom go so that the weight of it brings you down. And again, you've got all 10 toes on the mat. Meet your tailbone, it's coming into you and then the inside layer of your sacrum, the one closest to your organs, lift you up.

So your bottom doesn't need to clench and then slowly melting down. Let's go up and stay up on this one and we'll do our pulses. Sacrum leads and we stay there. Just check, tap your bottom, are you clenching? Let go what's unnecessary and feel the sacrum holding you up and then pulses.

So it's a little bit different this time, because our feet are closer together. You can check by tapping, have you gone into clenching? Maybe your hugs need to be slower. This pulse can be whatever pace you can do it well, 'cause it's your class. Last one, and then this time we do come all the way down.

Okay, great job. Roll over onto your side. Support your head with your underneath arm, straighten your underneath leg. Drop the ball and put your knee on top. Yeah, now your knee is on top.

Your knee is on the top. Your top hand is on the mat for extra support and you are literally rolling towards the front of your body and rolling back again. Rolling on the ball, going as far as you possibly can and rolling back. When you roll forwards, open and yawn through the front of your hips and your pelvis and then use that top leg to roll the ball back. So it's active in your leg to roll it back.

As you roll it back, your leg comes deep into the hip socket, which means we have to open up, inflate your bottom. Last one. Inflate your bottom and pause there. Let's go over to the other side now. Okay, so you support your head with your underneath arm.

Bottom leg straight, top knee on the ball. Your top hand just comes into the mat, because you can use that for extra purchase and you are rolling, yawning open the front of your hips and then rolling it back. Use the leg on top of the ball to roll it back. Sometimes it goes rogue and you have to catch it and that's absolutely fine. It just shows that you are going further and further each time.

Rolling and pulling back. It's active on the pull back. So we're rolling. We actively pull back, opening into the back of your pelvis. We talked before about inflating a balloon.

Do that, inflate that balloon to bring your thigh back into the socket. Last one. Okay, well done. Lying on your front now with the ball under your pelvis. Resting your head on your hands.

And let your pelvis yield. So we're gonna do some leg movement here. Take your legs wide so that they're in a V position. You're gonna be bending your knees with the goal of keeping your feet as low to the floor as possible. So you clap your feet together and then open.

You bend your knees, your knees stay where they are and you're like making a frog. Bringing the soles of your feet together and then open. Bring them together and open. Each time you are bringing your feet together, you can imagine that you're wearing very heavy shoes. So it keeps them closer to the floor.

And you bring them, notice if you bring one foot higher than the other, it's just telling you more information about you. You're learning more about yourself and isn't that a joy? And we'll do one last one in the V. And then bring your legs together. So you're hen-toed.

Knees together, toes together, so you're turned in and then we do the same thing, scooping your feet out to the side. Same thing. Your knees stay where they are. So they're kissing and your feet go out to the side. Again, they stay as low as you can.

Knees stay together and keep breathing all the time. And this is one of those ones where your shoulders want to try and take over, so let's just let your shoulders go. Let's go one more time. Well done. Then take the ball out, rest down.

Feel how open your lower back is, such a joy to do that one. Put the ball underneath your sternum now and bring your hands either side of your armpits. Again, spread your hands, I like spread hands, so you've got really good purchase on the mat. And the thing is, when the ball is there, it's holding you up, so you're halfway into your little baby swan anyway. We're gonna start, instead of baby swan, we're just gonna start with a little baby look over your shoulder.

So as you're breathing out, your spine's getting a bit longer and you're gonna use that to look over your shoulder and when you're looking over your shoulder, your shoulders are moving and we already did some movement with the shoulders already so they're pliable as you look over your shoulder and we go over your shoulder. Once more, look all the way over your shoulder and then back to the center. Look straight down at the mat. The ball is holding your chest up. Your hands are spreading.

Now, your hands are gonna pull the mat towards your feet and your chest is gonna push the ball forwards. And then you come back down, look at the mat. Your hands pull the mat towards your feet, your sternum or your chest is pushing the ball forwards and you just gaze gently forward. Let's use your out breath to find that initial lengthening, pull through your hands, push through your chest and then inhale to finish with your gaze and come back down. So use your hands, pull, lengthen forwards, a little inhale and then come back down.

Let's go one more time. As you practice, you'll find the breath pattern that works for you. Just make sure you are breathing, that's what's most important. Okay, coming on to all fours with your trustee ball between your thighs and we're gonna have ourselves in a cat stretch. Take your hands underneath your armpits, knees underneath your hip sockets as much as is possible with the ball there.

Come into the length of yourself. Imagine the crown of your head is being pulled forward and the tailbone is being pulled back, so you feel long in the center of your body. Remember how we did bridging when we found our tailbone on the inside, that kind of invisible movement? And then the inside surface of your sacrum and then into your lower back and then the rest of your spine follows and you gently hug the ball. Then we come out of it tailbone leading.

Imagine that you are fanning out your tail feathers as you lengthen out. You really need to find that opening and fanning out. And then we go again. So your tailbone and then your sacrum, from that inside surface is going around your organs, bringing your spine along, gently hugging the ball and then we come out of it. Such a good movement to waken up your pelvic diaphragm, waken up your spine.

One more. Using whatever breath feels like it serves you. The most important thing is that you do consistently breathe. I know it sounds obvious, but we do hold our breath, even me. We're gonna go there and we're gonna stay there and we're gonna do our rocking cat.

So you make your cat first, so we get quality movement. Tailbone. Sacrum, spine follows. Gaze follows and we stay there. We're hugging the ball and we're rocking.

As you're rocking, your goal is to go as fast as you can whilst maintaining that cat stretch. So really, you're thinking about your tailbone and your sacrum, keeping in, curling in and staying in and then go as rapidly as you can. Quick as you possibly can. Keep breathing. And then pause.

Uncurl your cat. Lengthen out and resting there. Wow, that was warming. We're coming up to standing now. With your ball, you are going to start off with your heels on it for a little bit of the squat in the way that we did in our first ball class.

You find your balance point, but now we're gonna reach our arms out in front and you're gonna see how low can you go. And then come back up. So you can only go as low as you can then get back up again, okay? So how low can you go and come back up. Breathe in as you go down and breathe out as you come up.

Breathe in as you go down, out as you come up. One more time like this. Excellent. Then you're gonna bring the ball and place it between your ankle bones. Ideally, it's not touching the floor.

It's just just off the floor. Mine is just just off the floor. Hands on the front of your hips and you're gonna use your ankle bones to lift the ball up and lower the ball down. Lift it up, up, up and think of it coming out of the crown of your head and then down. Lifting it up, up, up and down.

One more time. Up, up, up and down. Great job. Pop the ball to one side. Let your arms hang free.

Close your eyes. And just have a moment noticing how you are in mind, body and breath. What did you learn about yourself? What are you looking forward to practicing again? And then slowly open your eyes.

And thank you again for joining me in class. I hope you had fun and you will do it again.


4 people like this.
Brilliant class! You create movements that help people understand how everything in the body is connected. Can't wait to try it with my class. Thank you!
Cynthia G
1 person likes this.
A wonderful and thoughtful class.  Thanks
2 people like this.
Great class. Will def do it again(and again:)
Cynthia G
1 person likes this.
Second time through. Love the rocking cat! Thanks
1 person likes this.
Loved this, and will definitely get back to it! Thank you Claire :)) 
I wish I learned and practiced this information earlier in my journey as a dancer, I think that my movement would be so different by now and a lot of hip/psoas issues would not be as much of a large problem for my body. The cues ballet teachers I’ve had in the past were intended for me to engage my pelvic floor and inner thighs, but they had only made me engage the opposite muscles! No wonder ballet was so so hard and painful!
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for these classes. They really help me to relax my pelvic floor.
Eveline D
1 person likes this.
Savannah Jade Dobbs Savannah Jade Dobbs 
Totally agree with you!
Eveline D
2 people like this.
I've been a Pro ballerina for 20 years and had 2 severe hip surgeries. Wish I had all this knowledge before so my life would have been a lot easier! Fantastic class and it is never too late to still learn so much
3 people like this.
Amazing…been trying EVERYTHING for over two decades to rehab a cheer injury where I was dropped on my pelvis. Have made so much progress through Pilates. But THIS class gave me what was missing. I’m feeling stable and aligned and so hopefull this knowledge will get me back to full health and pain free. I am so appreciative! Thank you for sharing. Will come back over and over!
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