Class #5163

Calm & Centered Daily Dose 2

10 min - Class


Sally Anderson teaches a quick and effective Mat class using a variety of breathing strategies to calm and restore your entire mind and body. These include calm breathing aimed at relaxing the nervous system, flowing breathing aimed at creating a meditative movement experience and directed breathing that focuses on a specific release and/or stimulation of a desired part of the body, system, or movement.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jan 19, 2023
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Hello, I'm Sally Anderson, and we are going to do a daily dose of calm and centered movement. Andrew will be demonstrating for us, we only need the mat. To get into our starting position, I'll ask for arms to come up into a diagonal position, so directly out from shoulders resting on the floor. Legs will mirror that, so the legs will come out to a diagonal position. So, you could think about going to the corners of your mat, and then just allowing that long line, open line to be very passive, very relaxed.

Feel yourself melt into the mat, and let's go through our calm breathing for three cycles. So, breathing in, two, three, four, five, hold, two, exhale, two, three, four, five, hold. Two, two more cycles. Three, four, five, hold, two, exhale, two, three, four, five, really get the expansion of the torso, fill up with air on that, inhale. (Sally inhales deeply) Hold it for two.

Really let the air go on the exhale. Hold it for two. Now, we're taking that calm breathing into a starfish roll. Let's look to the right hand first. It's Andrew's left.

And then, follow that hand over as the hand drags the body over into a long line between fingers still on the floor, foot still on the floor. Hot for that hold two. Follow the hand back, the hand drags the body, all the way back to your starfish position where you'll hold two. Now, let's put that together, look to the other hand, take that across, dragging the body with it on your inhale for five seconds. Hold for your two seconds.

Use the five seconds to take it back. Hold for the two seconds. Now, try and make that match the timing, so inhale, two, three, four, five, hold. Two, exhale, two, three, four, five, hold, two, inhale, two, three, four, five, hold, let it sink into the floor, exhale, two, three, four, five, hold, one more cycle. Really stay connected to the floor, get the length.

Let the air go as you come back, find your starfish, one last repetition. Hand comes across. It sinks into the floor as you hold, let the air go as you come back. Pause, so that's very calming, now we're bringing the arms and legs together overhead with the arms together on the mount with the legs. For our hollow rock, I want you to think about going so far away from each other with the arms and legs, that you float up into a very gentle lifted position, even hands and feet, and then let that fold down.

So, now we're just flowing breathing. You can choose inhale or exhale as you lengthen, lengthen, and lengthen, and we get a hollow rock. And then, lengthen as you come down, we'll do two more, so this is very centering, we're taking this now into really drawing the center in reaching the arms and legs long, and then lengthen that back down, we have one more. And really nice, deep length and core work, stay there, bring the arms around beside you, bend the feet into your preparation for the pelvic curl. So from here, I just want four pelvic curls, just exhale using the flowing breathing to come up, and to come down.

Good. You can choose, inhale or exhale up, whichever feels better for you. Inhale fills up the body, sends it long, exhale uncurls it back down. And two more for me. Now, once you get to the top here, just make sure you're on the shoulder girdle as you come down between the shoulder blades, have one more, (breathes deeply) still flowing with that breath.

Knees over toes, shoulders relaxed into the mat, throat open as you uncurl back down. From here, just use the arms to help bring you up into a seated position. And we're going into a stretch, I call it the calm and centered signature stretch. So, elongate both legs out in front of you. And then, let's take the right leg, and bend it in so that the heel is in the knee joint or just below, and the in step wraps around your calf muscle.

Then, you'll take both hands to the outside of the front foot, and let the head relax, let the body relax, and if flexion isn't your thing, then this is not your thing. However, if you can just pause and allow the bent knee to drop into the floor, the leg to be lengthened, you'll get stretch where stretch is needed. The hands support you as you stay in this position, and I want some directed breathing, you're going to direct the breath into the lumbar spine, then exhale, let it go. We're gonna slow the breath with this too, so particularly around thoracolumbar junction area, I wanna find, inhale, nice, long, long, long, spreading the tissue, exhale, let the breath go, one more. Inhale into that, mmm.

Thoracolumbar junction, just underneath that upper lumbus, down into the sacrum. And the last breath on this side is wherever you want to send it. Wherever it feels tight, hips could be certainly where you might send it, and pause. Stacking the spine back up, we'll change sides. So legs long, then tuck that heel into the knee groove.

Wrap your foot around the calf, use the arms to take you forward over that leg. Good. And use the arms to support your little. Start with the breath into lumbar. So, you're directing the breath back here, focusing that release, allowing the shoulders to relax, allowing the bent knee to drop.

Good. Sending the breath up into the junction here, that tends to load up. Good, and this should just be softening off thoracolumbar fascia, as well as musculoskeletally, now one more breath anywhere you want it. Good. And on that last exhale, just stack the spine, coming up right, extend both legs out, and you have completed your daily dose of calm and centered.


1 person likes this.
Thank you 🙏 
Lina S
2 people like this.
Nice to include movement (starfish "rolling") with the calming breath. Thank you.
Sally Anderson
Lina S So glad you like the combination, thank you 😊 
Sally Anderson
Sharon C I'm so glad you enjoyed it, thank you 😊 
Julie Lloyd
1 person likes this.
I love your classes Sally. Thank you! 
1 person likes this.
Such a beautiful practice!! Thank you Sally and Andrew. Exactly what I needed!
Sally Anderson
Olya K Yay - thanks for doing it Olya 😊 Happy that it made you feel good and see you soon I hope.
Angela T
1 person likes this.
wonderful calming and mindful class. Thank you!
@pilatesposttransplant - thank you for a lovely mini class of stretching and breathing. I'm hypermobile so it was lovely to learn about that Starfish roll and stretch. One thing I would say though is that the bit where you have your demonstrator lifting arms and head simultaneously doesn't really feel like a beginner move to me? Maybe my idea of beginner class work is even lower than this? Perhaps? I don't know - but for someone recovering from abdominal surgery that is also a move I would be careful with I think. Does that make sense to you? I'm only at the beginning of my instructor journey so I'm very interested in your thoughts on this. 
Sally Anderson
PilatesPostTransplant Thank you for your message and for taking this mini-class. It's perfect that you identify that exercise as not for every beginner and definitely not applicable for recovery from abdominal surgery. In a studio or client centre environment I would expect this would be identified through a screening process and not prescribed in a post surgery circumstance. As an open beginner class it can also be modified easily using an assist, for example a Theraband, so that the sequencing can be progressed. I'm really pleased you recognise what is appropriate and not appropriate for different needs. At the beginning of your instructor journey or anywhere along the way, this is excellent thinking! 👏 
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