Class #5139

Pilates for Posture

25 min - Class
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The focus of this class is Pilates for posture. Building off Kira Lamb's previous class, you will learn how to use your core to support yourself better in both seated and standing positions. With Kira's detailed and visual cueing, she will set you up for success during each exercise!
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi, I'm Kira Lamb. The focus of this class is Pilates for Posture. So, we're gonna build on what we did in the first class and practice using our core to support ourselves better in seated and standing positions. So, let's start at the base of our mat for centering. So, just like we did in the first class, start off with your feet paralleling together and then pivot on your heels and find your Pilates stance, which is a V shape.

There's a fist distance between my big toe joints and then you want equal pressure on the ball of your big toe, small toe and the center of your heels. Now, we're working on posture, so even as you're rooting down through the floor, can you grow taller through your spine and then place one hand on your lower back. Take a big breath in and try to send the air all the way into your hand. Exhale, pull your lower abdominals into your lower back and grow taller. Take an inhale, breathe all the way into your hand.

Exhale, pull your lower abdominals in. One more, take a big breath, sliding the air down the back of your spine and into your hand. Exhale, pull your lower abdominals in and then reach your arms up, stack your hands behind your head. Take an inhale all the way into your lower back. Exhale, pull your abs back and then lift them up into your hands.

Two more. Inhale, breathe into your lower back. Exhale as your tailbone drops, can you lift your spine up? One more, take an inhale all the way into your lower back. Exhale, pull your lower abdominals into your hand.

Release your arms for arm circles. Inhale, breathe into your lower back as your arms float up. Exhale, lift your naval to the base of your skull to circle. Two more. Inhale, breathe into your lower back as you reach up.

Exhale, abs go in and up. Find that internal lift. One more, inhale, breathe into your lower back and then exhale, find that internal lift. By the way, we also call that scooping your powerhouse in and up. Now, reach your arms in front of you.

Stack your forearms, one on top of the other. As I press my arms into one another, I lift my collarbone and grow taller. Remember the knee bends that we did in the first class? You can do three of those knee bends or follow along with me for the deep knee bends. Resisting gravity, I bend my knees and I send my chin, elbows and chest forward and I'm trying to sit on my heels, which means I have to pull my lower abdominals in a lot.

Push your heels down and lift. Find that internal lift to come all the way up to stand. Two more, press your head through the ceiling even as you bend your knees. I said my elbows, chin and chest forward, hips back. I'm trying to get my elbows, knees and hips on the same plane.

Push through your heels. Lift through your powerhouse or your center to come up. One more, press your head through the ceiling. So, I'm still trying to grow tall, even as I descend towards the floor. Feel the three corners of your feet.

Push through your heels. Find that internal lift. Switch the cross of your arms and you can take this down to the mat or just meet me on the floor. Find that internal lift pressure, head through the ceiling and then start to bend your knees. Keep reaching your elbows, chin and chest forward.

My heels are trying to stay on the mat. If you need your hands, go ahead and use your hands. Take a seat, slide back so your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and you're ready for the half rollback just to warm up our spines. All right, so make sure you press to the three corners of your feet. Sit up as tall as you can on your sitting bones by lifting the bones in your lower back and your lower abdominals.

Press your head through the ceiling. Take an inhale into your lower back. Exhale, pelvic tilt rolls you back one bone at a time. Stay here in this round position for an inhale. Big exhale, bend your elbows round forward.

Inhale, find that internal lift. Exhale, curl your tailbone under and round back. Stay here for an inhale. Exhale, keep curling your tailbone under as your head goes forward. Inhale to roll all the way up.

One more, exhale, curl your tailbone under. Pull your navel way back, tailbone forward. Exhale round forward and then roll all the way up. Reach your arms in front of you. Can you sit up even taller?

Curl your tailbone under and roll back. As I roll back, my arms are reaching forward, my waist is pulling back and I rest my head and shoulder blades all the way down onto the mat. You're ready for the 100. Bend your knees into your chest and find your frog position. Heels together, toes apart.

I am pressing my heels together. Knees are the same distance as my armpits. Arms reach up so my shoulder blades are off the mat. Take an inhale into your lower back. Exhale as you curl up, press your arms down and forward.

Legs go up and you start pumping. Inhale, two, three, four, five. And exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhale into your lower back. Exhale, pull your lower abdominals to the base of your skull.

Inhale, two, three, four, five. And exhale, two, three, four, five. Notice how big the pumps are? I'm pumping above my torso. One more set like this.

And then exhale, two, three, four, five. Option, you can lower your legs to 45 degrees, which means you have to pull your abs in even deeper. Inhale, two, three, four, five. And exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhale, two, three, four, five.

I'm reaching my legs through the wall in front of me and pulling my waist back. Two, three, four, five. I think one more set and exhale, two, three, four, five. Pause, pull your abs in. Bend your knees into your chest.

Rest your head and shoulder blades down. We're gonna do a modified version of the roll up. Lower your feet down one at a time. Press your legs together so you feel like you have one leg and feel the three corners of your feet anchored into the mat. Reach your arms up towards the ceiling but reach up even higher so your chest bone sinks into the floor.

Do your cervical nod and then inhale. Roll up. Slide your waist off the back edge of the mat. Round forward forehead over your knees. Inhale, rolls the backs of your hips.

Exhale, roll through your spine. Keep pressing your legs together and grounding your feet. Two more. Arms go up. Inhale, roll up.

Pull your waist back, exhale your head forward. Inhale, press your legs together. Exhale, roll through your spine. You have one more like this. Inhale, curl up.

Pull your waist off the back edge of the mat to round forward. Now, you can keep doing it that way or increase the challenge, straighten your legs. Now, notice my feet are flexed. It's like I'm standing on the wall in front of me. I'm reaching the three corners of my feet towards the wall and rounding my spine.

Squeeze your legs together and then roll down one bone at a time. You're standing on that wall. Rest your head, arms go up. Three roll ups here. Curl your head and shoulder blades up.

Push your feet through the wall. Roll up, round forward. Inhale, roll back to the backs of your hips. Press your heels into the mat. Pull your waist back.

Roll all the way down. Two more. Curl up and reach. Push your feet through the wall. Pull your waist back and round forward.

Lift your lower abdominals and roll backwards. Arms stop up towards the ceiling. One more. Curl your head and shoulder blades up. Reach through your heels.

Roll up and round forward. Now, find that internal lift even here and then roll down one bone at a time. Rest your head. Lower your arms by your side. We're gonna do that fundamental we did in the first class.

Bend your right knee, anchor your left leg in your arms into the floor without moving your hips. Inhale into your lower back to open your knee. Exhale all the air out to return. Just two more. Inhale, are you standing on that left foot?

Exhale, pull your abdominals back. One more. Push your left heel through the wall and the crown of your head through the wall behind you and then lift. Let's take it up a notch. Grab the back of your thigh and pull your knee into your chest.

Press your leg forward into a tabletop. Straighten your leg. If it's hard to have both legs straight, bend your left foot enough in order to press through the three corners of your foot. If not, press your arms into the mat. Line your toes up right in front of your nose.

Inhale, cross your leg over to the left side of your body. Exhale, circled around to the right side, stop center. You're stirring the inside of your hip socket with your thigh bone and lift. Inhale across. Exhale, pull your lower abdominals in and up.

Two more, cross. Exhale around and lift. Final one, cross. Exhale and now reverse. Open only as wide as your right shoulder.

Pull your lower abdominals way back as you circle. Open, push your heel forward, lower abdominals back. Open, exhale around and lift. Two more, open abs back, leg forward. Last one.

Open, exhale and then hug your knee into your chest. Lower that foot down and that leg goes straight. Bend your left knee, find your anchors. Reach your right leg forward through the wall. Pull your spine towards the wall behind you.

Inhale, open your knee without rotating your hips. Exhale, pull your abs in and up to return. Inhale, open. Exhale. Remember, this is your standing leg.

Return. One more. Inhale, open. Exhale, pull your abs in and then hug your knee into your chest. Pull it back, reach this heel forward.

Press your leg into a tabletop. Leg goes up towards the ceiling and turn it out. Toes are right in front of my nose. Arms pressed into the mat. Cross.

Exhale around and lift. Inhale into your lower back. Pull your lower abdominals in and up and lift. Inhale, cross. Exhale around and lift.

Two more. Make sure you're standing tall on your right leg and then reverse. You open, pull your abdominals back and lift. Open, pull your abs back around and lift. Open, pull your abs in and lift.

Final one. Open, cross and lift. Hug your knee into your chest. Slide your leg all the way down to the bottom edge of the mat. Simulate that same standing position.

So, I'm reaching the three corners of my feet through the wall and I'm lengthening my spine backwards. Reach your arms up towards the ceiling. Reach up so much so your shoulder blades come up and your chest bone sinks. Let's do another roll up. Curl your head and shoulder blades up off the mat.

As my arms go forward, my lower abdominals slide off the back edge of the mat and I round forward into a lifted C-curve. And then lift your lowest abdominals. Come up to seated for rolling back. Hands go next to your hips, bend your knees and place your feet flat in Pilates stance. Lift up and sit behind your heels.

Find a pelvic tilt. So, this is a little bit different from the previous class. Lift your waist and grab your ankles and then pull your lower abdominals in. Find your pelvic tilt and then lift your feet up and find a balance. If this does not feel comfortable, remember you can always grab the backs of your thighs and make a bigger ball.

So, you can hold on here. Now, just tuck your tailbone under and try to roll back a little bit. And again, pull your lower abdominals back. Try to find your balance. We're gonna do five rolls.

Inhale, roll back. Exhale, come back up. Inhale, pull your lower abdominals into your lower back and come back up. Three more. Roll back.

Exhale, come up. Last two. Roll back, exhale, come up. Final one, roll back. See if you can balance the last one.

That means you have to find your pelvic tilt and then place your feet down. Hands go behind you. Slide back until your legs are straight. Press your legs together. Find your internal lift, round forward and then press your legs together and roll down.

As my spine goes back, I reach my legs forward. Spine back, legs forward, rest all the way down. Bend your knees and place your feet flat. Single leg stretch. Bend your right knee into your chest.

Today, you could either stack your hands one on top of the other or your right hand goes on your right ankle. Left hand goes below your knee. Press your inner thighs together. Take an inhale into your lower back with a cervical nod. Lift your head and shoulder blades up.

Float your left leg up. Pull your lower abdominals in. Switch, left hand goes to your left ankle. Pull your lower abdominals in. Right hand to your right ankle.

Lift and switch. Lift and switch. That lift is the internal lift I talked about or scooping your powerhouse in and up. Your legs move because your powerhouse or your core controls them. And switch and switch and switch.

As much as your legs reach through the wall in front of you, your lower abdominal slide off the back edge of the mat. You have one more set. From here, hug both knees into your chest. Rest your head and shoulder blades. Double leg stretch.

Keep pressing your heels together. Take an inhale. As you exhale, pull your lower abdominals in and up. Inhale, reach your arms and legs up. Open your arms out to the side.

Exhale, hug your knees in. Inhale, arms and legs go up. Open. Exhale, hug. Inhale, pull your lower abdominals into the mat.

Open, hug. If you wanna increase the challenge, reach your legs forward like you're standing on the wall. Open your arms, hug in. Inhale, make sure your shoulder blades don't drop down. Keep that curl.

Open, exhale. One more. Inhale, reach your legs through the wall, open. Exhale, rest your head and shoulder blades down. We're gonna rock up for the spine stretch.

Grab the backs of your thigh. Come up to seated. And remember from the last class, you know that you can sit on a yoga block or a book if you need help in lengthen in your spine. The goal is posture. So, once you separate your legs a little bit wider than your hips, ground your sit bones.

Place one hand on your lower back. Take an inhale all the way into your hand. Exhale, pull your lower abdominals back. One more. Inhale, breathe into your hand.

Exhale, pull your lower abdominals back. Reach your arms in front of you for the spine stretch. Inhale, curl your chin into your chest. Now, peel away from an imaginary wall. As I round forward, I'm pulling my lower abdominals back.

Find your internal lift to roll all the way up. At the top, you exhale. Grow taller. Press your head through the ceiling, curl your chin downwards. Empty your lungs as you peel away from an imaginary wall.

Your lower back is parallel to the wall behind you. Now, push your heels into the floor. Roll all the way up and exhale. We're gonna do two more. Check out your feet.

Remember the three corners of your feet are reaching through the wall. Inhale, how curl your chin down. Exhale, round forward. Keep pushing your feet forward and pulling your waist back. Push your feet through the wall to roll all the way up and exhale.

Let's do one more, I can't remember. (chuckles) Lift your spine up, lower your chin. Exhale, round forward. Keep lifting your lower back. Push your feet forward. Now, inhale to roll all the way up to a tall seated position.

All right, so the next series of exercises that we're doing will focus on our back bodies, the muscles from the back of our head to our heels that help us remain upright. So, bring your legs together and flip onto your stomach. Stack your hands one on top of the other and rest your forehead on your hands. Can you find your internal lift here? You can even place one hand on your lower back.

Take an inhale into your hand. Exhale, pull your lower abdominals into your hand and pull your naval towards the hand that's on the mat. Take an inhale into your low hand. Exhale, pull your abdominals to your top hand and now stack your hands. Keep that internal lift inside your shoulder blades down your back.

Now, as you inhale, breathe into your lower back and send your chest forward, shoulder blades back. And then reach your tailbone back and lower all the way down. Two more. Inhale into your lower back. Pull your lower abdominals towards your thumbs.

Send your chest towards the wall in front of you. Notice I'm not pushing into my arms, I'm just using my upper back strength. And then lower all the way down. One more. Inhale into your lower back.

And as your tailbone and sit bones reach back for your feet, pull your chest forward and then lower all the way down. We will come back to that but let's do a modified single leg kick. The goal is to keep your hips completely stable. Rest your forehead on your hands. Keep reaching your tailbone back.

Pull your naval forward. Pull your right heel to your right sit bone and pause. Make sure you're not rocking from one hip to the other. Pull it in even closer and then reach it back and pull your lower abdominals forward. Pull your other heel to your seat.

Pull it in even closer and then reach it back. As you bend your knee, make sure you don't lose the connection to your core. Keep reaching your pubic bone into the floor, pull it in closer and then lower it down. Other side, pull it in. Pull it in closer.

Lower it down. Pull it in. Pull it in closer. Lower it down. Pull, pull, switch, pull, pull.

Start with the scooping your powerhouse. Pull your lower abdominals forward. One more set. Pull, pull it closer. Final one.

You should feel the backs of your legs working. Pause. We're gonna do a modified double leg kick. This time, you're gonna bring both heels to your seat with your heels together. The tendency is to let your hips pop up.

So, keep pressing your hips into the mat. Pull your heels in. Pull them in a little bit closer. Pull them in closer. Now, reach your tailbone and legs back.

Inhale, find four same swan prep and lift. Lower it all the way down. Pull your heels to your seat for three. Pull them in closer for two. Closer for one, reach your tailbone and legs back.

Pull your lower abdominals forward and lift your chest. We'll go a little bit faster. Ready and kick for three, two, one. Legs back, chest forward. Two more.

Kick for three, two, one. Legs back. Pull your lower abdominals and chest forward. Final one. Kick for three, two, one.

Reach and then pull your chest forward. Hold here. Reach your legs through the wall behind you. Tailbone is reaching for your heels. Lift your lower abdominals and try to lift your hands up to your forehead.

Press your forehead into your hands. Hands into your forehead. Lower everything down. Sit back in a child's pose, round your spine. All right, let's go onto our backs for shoulder bridge.

Once you lie down, bend your knees so your ankles are underneath your knee joints. Find the three corners of your feet. Press on your arms and your hands. Start off with the pelvic tilt. Feel your lower back press into the mat.

Drive your heels into the floor and then peel one bone at a time off the mat. Your ribs reluctantly leave the mat. You're trying to curl your sit bones up towards your knee creases. Press your arms down to open up your chest and then roll down, starting with your chest bones sinking between your shoulder blades and then one bone at a time until your tailbone returns. And again, pelvic tilt.

Press your heels down. Now, as your tailbone and lower back come up, can you push your waist deeper into the floor? Keep pushing through the three corners of your feet, your arms and your hands. Find your bridge. Ideally, it should be a diagonal line from your knees to your hips to your shoulders and then roll down one bone at a time.

One more like that. Find your pelvic tilt. Now, you press through the three corners of your feet so that your knees don't bow out or collapse. Keep your thighs parallel to one another and hold here. Can you press through your feet and arms and lift your hips up higher but keep sinking your front ribs into your back ribs.

And then roll down one bone at a time. My tailbone is lifting up between my knees and then I let my tailbone melt into the mat. Bend your knees into your chest one at a time. Pull them in. Rock yourself up to seated.

Let's practice rolling like a ball one last time before we come up to standing. So, your feet are in Pilates stance. Lift your hips. Find that same pelvic tilt you used for the bridge. Sit directly behind your heels, round your spine.

And if you can, in one motion, let go and grab your ankles. Lift your lowest abdominals up, lift your feet up and find your balance. Keep pulling your heels to your tailbone. And then as you inhale, find your internal lift to roll back, that internal lift to balance. Internal lift to roll back.

Exhale and return. Three more. Inhale, lift through your powerhouse. Exhale, return. Inhale, roll back.

Exhale to come up. Inhale into your lower back. Exhale up. Final one, roll back and then this time balance. Keep finding that lifted C-curve and then we'll come up to standing with control.

We'll finished with a traditional wall ending. So, go find your nearest wall. So, stand with your entire body against the wall, from your heels to your hips, to your ribs and then take one foot in front of the other. Step your back foot forward to meet your front foot and find that same Pilates stance. Heels together, toes apart and really press down through the ball of your big toe, small toe and the center of your heel.

Make sure you're not locking or hyperextending your knees, they can be soft. Now, just stay here for a couple of breaths. Take an inhale, breathe all the way down into your lower back. As you exhale, pull your lower abdominals into the wall and feel like you're sliding your lower abdominals to the top of the wall. Two more.

Inhale, breathe into your lower back. Relax your shoulders. Exhale, pull your abs all the way up to the top of the wall. You have one more. Inhale, breathe into your lower back.

Exhale, pull your abs up. We're gonna add the arm circles that we started with. So, as you inhale, float your arms up as high as you can keep your lowest rib on the wall. Exhale, lift your lower abdominals up to the top of the wall as you circle your arms in your periphery. Two more.

Inhale, breathe all the way into your lower back. Exhale, lift your lower abdominals up to the top of the wall. One more. Inhale, maybe try to go up a little bit higher but keep your lowest rib on the wall. Exhale, lift your spine up the wall to circle your arms.

Reverse. Inhale, breathe all the way down to your lower back as your arms float up. Exhale, pull your lower abdominals into the wall, lift your naval to the top of the wall. Two more. Inhale, breathe into your lower back.

Exhale, lift your powerhouse and ground the three corners of your feet. Final one. Inhale, reach up, lowest rib stays on the wall. Exhale, reach your arms forward and then let your arms just relax. Just like the roll up, we're gonna do the roll down.

So, let the weight of your head peel away from the wall. The weight of your head rolls you down one bone at a time. Keep pressing each bone into the wall while lifting your navel to the top of the wall. You can stop when your fingertips are just below your kneecaps. Relax your neck.

Relax your arms. Let your shoulder blades slide off your ribs. And then you'll make heavy floppy circles with your arms. They circle away from one another while lifting your naval up. Let gravity and momentum take over.

Then reverse the circles, you focus on the lift of your center. Let your shoulder blades slide off your ribs and then stop the movement of your arms. Press through the three corners of your feet. Press your legs together. Lift your lowest abdominals and roll all the way up one bone at a time.

Find your lowest rib and the bottom tips of your shoulder blades, come up to standing. Turn your feet into parallel. You'll slide down the wall a little bit to take another foot length away from the wall. Press through the three corners of your feet. We're gonna do deep knee bends.

Inhale, breathe into your lower back and slide down the wall. Reach your arms in front of you. Press through the three corners of your feet. Now, you really have to pull your abdominals in and up. Pull your body all the way up towards the ceiling.

Two more. Bend your knees but feel your lower abdominals slide all the way up to the top of the wall. You stop when your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Push through your heels and the mounds of your big toe and small toe. Now, push and lift your powerhouse to come all the way up to standing.

One more. Bend your knees but press your head up. Once I'm here, my legs are at 90 degrees. Push through your heels. Pull your lower abdominals up to the top of the wall.

That's what brings you to standing. Lower your arms. Step your feet back to the wall. Find parallel. Root down to the three corners of your feet.

Pull your lower abdominals back and up towards the ceiling and then push your arms into the wall and step away.

Comments

Kat
2 people like this.
This class was wonderful!  Great cues for bridge and I loved the part where we did the spinal articulation off the wall, that really made me focus on how I'm working my spine.
1 person likes this.
Living your classes Kira, very clear instructions, easy to understand and follow. Pure gold, thank you.
Kat Fantastic! Thank you. I love the traditional wall ending too. 
Aine B YAY! Thank you. 
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much Kira, great mat and wall work, really well done!
Patti S Thank you!
Love your cues so much , it made me feel the exercises in a new way. Especially using the hand to breathe into the lower back. Thank you Kira .
Thank you Kira for this excellent class focusing on posture. Good posture awareness is an essential part of functioning well. 

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