Class #51

Additional Stretching

20 min - Class


This is a 20-minute class you can add to the end of another class if you want a little more stretching out of your workout. Meredith includes held stretches for the hips, hamstrings, spinal rotators, and low back to name just a few.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jan 16, 2010
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Okay. So what we're gonna do, we're gonna just sit up. Um, let's start with the knees bent within the feet flat and we're just going to look for, for some, some good solid stretching. Try to open up our bodies. So let's bring the hands behind the knees. And with that just gently push into the backs of your legs. D there's no forcing, there's not a real pull. It's just a, I'm using my arms to gently lift my spine and then I'm gonna draw my abdominals in and I'm in a curve and a roll away from my thighs with my center, with my chest. As my chest drops down, I'm not talking the shoulders, I'm just letting, um, I'm relaxing into the stretching. Haley, Elongate the spine. So we're going like a wave sitting up tall and XL talking the tailbone under, using some pretty good abdominal contraction. But again, let it be more of a relaxed thing than a forced thing. Inhale, we're coming up and when to go in one more time. Exhale, we come down.

Okay. Hang out here. See if you can just pull the pelvis upwards a little bit more in and what does that do? I, it's probably going to kick in your abs, but can you do it to such an extent that you start to feel a shifting in the muscles in your back? I don't know. I can, I'm not sure mean we're coming up from there. I'm going to ask you to just stretch both legs straight out in front of you. Bring them together for now. Start lifted, and then support yourself from your front. As you just walk yourself forward, you'll end where you end. So there's no judging, no forcing, just relaxing of the body over the length.

If the knees need to be a little bit bent, they will. But, but try to put a little bit of intention into lengthening through the backs of the langues. Having a few deep breaths. Pay attention if there's tension in, Oh, pay attention. If there's tension, okay in the neck, let the neck go, and then hold on somewhere. Maybe it's gonna be your feet. Maybe it's gonna be your shins. And what I want you to do is just start to pull your toes back towards the top of your head, reach through the balls of the foot, and then reach to the heel. So that'll affect the stretch them and then point the foot.

So push to the balls of the finger articulating the foot. So I would just hold my ankles, Joe, and then we go again. Toes pullback, balls of the feet, reach, pull back so that the heels can press forward. And then we go forward pressing to the balls of the feet and then feel it. You're trying to stretch, not grip your toes as they reach forward.

It might take some letting go and those muscles flex again. We're going three more times. Reach out and point. Yeah, two more times as you point your toes forward, can you pull your abdominals in opposition? There was a Bungee cord attached to the toes and the belly button. One more time and then gently start to roll yourself up. Always focusing on supporting from the front. Okay.

It's coming up to a seated position. We're going to bend the right knee, bring their foot. Just up against the knee or maybe a little higher so it's up against the thigh. Again, find a place that feels comfortable. You want to be able to be pretty close to sitting up straight and you're going to just maybe at, let's all put our hands behind us. Push gently into your hands so that you guide your spinal illustrator wherever you are, and then use your hands and use your obliques to turn so that the ribs are facing the knee on that side.

Then we're going to let the hands go and just start to walk forward. Again, no judging you. Just end where you in. You go where you go. Hold on. When you get there, use your arms to help you guide forward and remember when you're stretching, it's it has to be a letting go for holding a lot of tension over forcing, over, pushing or holding back. It's not going to be as beneficial to us. Additionally, the breath will do a lot for you, so let's breathe deeply, so keep the lefthand wherever it's holding, take the right hand and reach past the left hand, wherever it is. It's just going to reach further forward. Start to turn the right chest open so you're going to, your left chest is going to start to move away from the left thigh or right chest is definitely moving away from the left thigh.

The arms going to come up towards your left that I'm just float up there in space. Return backwards so her return back to your starting position and then using your abdominals and maybe even walking back with your hands if that would feel better. Roll yourself up. Straighten the right leg. Bend the left. Yes. MMM. I think either would work. I have my mind's a little bit out. Yeah, I like, I like it a little bit out cause there is a bit of a rotation there and I feel like it allows for a little bit more opening as well and more movement through the spine. Okay. So we started with our hands behind us.

We're going to push up or just use the arms to, to help to lengthen the low back and with that walk forward. All right. I wrote and bringing the chest right towards the knee or aiming in that direction. So we're already turning is my point. And then holding on where you can reach comfortably, dyed yourself a little further. Pull your belly terminals opposite. Leave the right hand, wherever it is, stretch the left arm forward so it passes the right hand.

You're trying to send your spine in that direction as well. And then start to the left chest away from the right thigh. Again, don't push it, just relax into it. Reaching up and around. Started to return back towards center. And then just gently bring yourself up.

And from there we're just going to head onto our back. So let's actually just bring the arms out in front and roll yourself there. I might as well do it with control. Once you get there, bring your left knee into your body. Reach your hands around the back of the thigh and we're going to pull us.

I right up next to it, basically as close as you can towards your body without having it move out to the side at all. So more than likely the knee is not going to go straight. Mind probably won't anyway, but I want you to try to keep your thigh bone in place. Press oppositionally through the opposite leg and then inhale. As you exhale, pull your belly button through the floor and try to stretch your toes through the ceiling. Don't let the thigh move away from the body. Go where you go. You want to be inhale bend. You want to be holding onto the thigh, not behind the kneecap. That's important. And then stretch. Keep the thigh close. Don't worry if you go straight in yellow band. Excellent.

Maybe bring it a little closer and then straighten. Don't let the shoulders gather attention. Keep them heavy. Just one more time like that. And heel bend. Exhale, press. Okay. Then that knee, take your right hand, bring it around to the outside of the left thigh.

Left hand is just going to reach out to the side to counterbalance and we're just going to pull around for a twist. So as the left knee goes to the right, turn your head to the left, allowing this rotation to happen all the way through the spine from top to bottom. Can you find it in this place? A gentle relaxing of that left hip towards the right ankle bone or a trying an intention of trying to lengthen the left waist. Both stretches are valuable. They're just a little different. Come back to center. Bend your right knee, put your right leg down on the ground, cross your left knee over your right knee. Okay, so we're all going to have to lift our head and chest and then bring your legs up. So some of us might be able to hold on to our feet. I personally am going to go ankles. Remember this one?

So what you wanna do here is try first to push down a little bit on your ankles and then pull them apart. And then if you can bring them with you as you lie down, if you can't just keep your head lifted and breeze. Hopefully we're all experiencing a pretty significant stretch if this doesn't work for you. And, and for those of you that's working for keep it, you can uncross the legs enough so that you would hold behind one side and have one ankle on one knee. So that's also an option. Okay, when you're ready, let's bring the legs back down. I'm gonna stretch the left leg out on the ground. Bring the right leg up, hold the back of the right side.

And this is the place where we pulled our abs in and brought the leg right up close to the body. Again, doesn't matter if the leg straightened. So no judging, we just lengthen upwards. Can you relax it up? Anchoring the bottom leg. Inhale, bend, maybe pull the leg a little closer to you. Is it, has it been the abdominals? Draw it down the toes. Stretch away. Shoulders are relaxed and neck is relaxed in heel bend.

Okay, go. And two more times here is, he was number one and rebound and number two and read that. And then you can take the left hand, bring it around to the outside of the right side. Start to just guide yourself over to the left. And by yourself, I mean your right thigh and knee, good. Your other hand can go out for opposition. So allow yourself to relax into that stretch for a moment and then put a little thought into, can I create space between the bottom of my right rib cage in the top of my right pelvis might allow you to go even further. Always you want to be supported through the center. So although we're not working the ABS real hard, they're definitely pulled in just to offer some support to a sensitive area and then come back through. When you're ready, you can slide the bottom leg and cross the top like all the way on top so your knees are on top of one another a little, it's all lift up through the head.

Okay. Came up high enough so there's not a lot of neck tension, unfortunately. You'll have to maybe use your apps to get there. Hold onto your ankles, you can go underneath, you can go over the top over the top. Works better for me personally. Um, first things first, push down and then try to pull the feet away from one another. Towards the shoulders and then if you can bring them home, bring them with you and bring your head down. If you can't, you can just leave your head up if that doesn't cause a lot of, or too much tension in your neck. Again, I'm if you're happy where you are, stay, but know that you can also always just cross one ankle on one knee and hold behind that sign and pull in and then go ahead and place your feet down on the ground.

I'm gonna do a modified pelvic curl here, meaning we're not. In fact, let's just do two pelvic curls. I'm taking a breath and arms are long exhale as you flattened through this spine. Now what we're looking for here is a stretch to the friends of the thighs and the way to find that is to kind of hang back with the ribs and hang back with the hip bones as you press up with the pubic bone. So you're just looking for a pretty significant tuck in the pelvis. Inhale at the top and exhale to find your way down and just working bone by bone in healing. At the bottom. Exhale, rolling up.

If you feel a lot of tension in your lower back, chances are you're arching it too much. So the way to alleviate pressure there as to maybe just be a little low with your ribs. Don't worry about coming up into a flat line. See about just looking for a stretch there in healing as you hold and excelling as you come down. Good. And then on the way down, we're just maximizing the stretch in the lower back. Now I want to just make that a little bit smaller.

Just separate your feet just a bit. Perfect. Inhale at the bottom. We're just going to move through the lower back, so I want you to press it into the map first and then can you pick up that you've got five bones between your pelvis and your ribs. Can you pick those up one at a time? It takes some focus for sure. I, one, two, three, four. At the end you're at the bottom of your rib cage. Hold there, and then can you just manipulate those five bones? It's going to take some ab work concentration as you do that. Um, monitor your shoulders, monitor your neck two more times. Exhale, tuck presses, fine. Flat, little bit of tension in your Phoebe or in your legs, but you don't need a lot. It's really abdominal work.

I mean your leg will kick in as the, as the pelvis starts to lift because you're not lifting very high. Don't need a lot of support there. And then it'll lower yourself down. Oh one more to go rolling yourself up, relaxing or putting the intention into relaxing the back and then coming back down when you're ready and at your own pace. And then bring the hands behind the knees, lift the head, kind of rock yourself back and forth through that same area. Kind of a small rock, just massaging through the lower spine.

And with that come all the way up. Um, turn and taste me. Is everyone comfortable, uh, with a diamond shape or cross legged able to sit up pretty comfortably? Oh, if you're happier with straight legs, if you're happier Indian style, it's, it's totally up to you. I just want comfort as the name of the game. Basically. Um, bring your elbows just in front of your ribs. Palms are facing upwards, and just for a moment, allow them to be really heavy. That's really all the work that you want in your back, that sense of drawing downwards. From there, we're going to start to turn the arms in. And what you don't want to do is just arch the back.

Let the rotation happen in the shoulder joint. And as that happens, you'll start to feel your upper back muscles working a little bit. Just fine. That place don't go behind you, but it's okay to let your arms leave your body a little bit from there. Keep the upper back active and take your right ear towards your right shoulder without changing anything else in your body. Breathe into the stretch. So this is um, the last place we want to put a lot of force in. So feel the muscles working, but don't shove, let the chin roll towards the chest, all right, down into the chest, and then pick it up and center. And let's just bring the arms back and reestablish that position.

So if you would, no shoving, just a gentle rotation in the shoulders, that'll cause your upper back muscles to work a little. It's not, not a time to to really push the left ear to left shoulder. What you shouldn't see is a lot of leaning to one side. So it's just the neck that's moving a little shoulder blades heavy, both elbows heavy. And from there just going to let the chin roll towards the chest. Nice light movements. Nice easy movements.

Okay. And we're going to pick the head up and center going one more time or one more thing. Really this time your, your elbows are gonna be in the same place. Palms facing one another. We're going to go into that same external rotation as a shoulder from the, I'd like for you to think about your arms being real heavy. Shoulders being real heavy or sorry, your arms being light is what I meant to say.

And your shoulders being heavy so your arms are going to reach out to your sides. Doesn't matter if they straight and what you're, what you're looking for is just having this in the back. From there, let the arms relax back, relax back just a little as you lift your eyes and your chest and then take one hand over the other, one arm over the other. Hold onto your shoulders and just drop your head down as you drop your head down. See if you can do it without rounding your entire spine. Just let the movement happen in the neck. Then let's slide the hands back down. Hands facing one another.

Remember what hand went on top last time or go on the other hand on top, so finding the back and then heaviness in the shoulders. Arms just float lightly at, it's like they're free of tension unless you can't tell the difference between the air and arms and then allow them just to float. Again, reach slightly back. It's not a big push. It's not even a big movement. Really let the chest reach up to even get a sense of pulling up through the whole spine, getting a little taller, maybe cross the opposite arm over the opposite shoulder or arm and drop your head towards your chest. Just the head, not the whole spine. Okay. And with that, let the arms go. I lift the head up and that's all great. You're welcome.


2 people like this.
Lovely! Perfect addition to the end of a class. I just love Meredith's teaching style, great cues, calm and collective. Thank you.
Thanks Karen!!
1 person likes this.
nice class :)
Thanks Heather!
1 person likes this.
This was great after my running workout today! Meredith - love love love all of your classes!
Thank you Abbey!!
1 person likes this.
Just what I needed this morning! Thank you :)
1 person likes this.
Great! I love it!
Thanks Nathalia!
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for this Meredith! Just off a long flight and I was so stiff and now I am stretched and relaxed- bliss. Xo
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