Class #5224

Dynamic Flexibility

45 min - Class


You'll explore your range of motion in this Mat class with Sarah Bertucelli. She uses intelligent movement to focus on your hip mobility by first warming up your glutes and hamstrings then progressing into standing all while using your breath. You can expect deep stretching with clear guidance and creative movement at a stimulating pace to challenge you in a whole new way.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome and thanks for joining me. Today we are going to work with some Pilates and also some really beautiful dynamic flexibility exercises. Let's focus on breath range of motion and the pleasure principle. What do I mean? Everything should feel good.

You're gonna do you and I'm gonna guide you. Let's get started. So we'll spin around and I'm going to sit here on the mat with my legs hanging off a little bit so that I have space to roll back eventually. So spend a couple of moments here, allowing your sitz bones to really sink in and settle. So I'm shaking around a little bit, trying to feel that grounding through my sitz bones.

And then I'm gonna sit here at my still point in a diamond shape with my legs and take a breath or two. You're welcome to close your eyes. I'm going to look out at the ocean, lucky me. Breathing in through your nose if you're able to, and hopefully out through your nose if you're not speaking. And then we'll take a nice little roll forward and find that first point of resistance.

So this isn't about finding stretch right now, it's about feeling what you feel. So I hear this morning feel a little tightness in my neck and a little tightness in my lower back. I'm gonna let my belly relax and I'm going to breathe here, relaxing three breaths and exhaling. Find that nice relaxing breath and sense your sitz bones, both sitz bones equally weighted. Maybe you'll sway a little side to side.

And breathe through wherever your restriction is, exploring your movement. And then come to a sitting position once again. And go ahead and bring your knees and feet together. Take your hands on the outside of your knees and push with intention the knees together. Draw your belly back a little bit and reach your forehead in the direction of your knees.

And notice where you are when you first meet resistance. Perhaps the resistance is, it doesn't matter where it is. Feel equal weight on your two sit bones. Maybe you'll sway side to side and breathe. We're going to aim for three full breaths, inhaling and exhaling.

Here draw your belly toward your spine so you're creating opposition as you endeavor to bring your forehead, maybe even closer to your knees but with ease. And then sit upright, separate your legs, tip back with your pelvis and find full flexion of your spine, preparing to roll like a ball. Yes, first thing, rolling like a ball. We're gonna float one leg up, keeping the pelvis still, keeping the core still, decide if you can float the other leg up. If you can do that, then you move on.

If not, keep practicing. Here, tighten up your ball, bringing your legs closer to you. Feel the shape, feel the breath. I'm allowing my shoulders to round here, holding my hands on my shins. I'm breathing into those abdominals, letting the shoulders also stretch on the back body.

Give it a go, roll back. If you can find balance easily. Wonderful, if you need to use something, go for it. Inhale again, rolling back, finding balance, and one more time, and then go back to that first shape, the diamond shape. Sit equally on both sides of your pelvis and fold forward.

What this does for me is it wakes things up and allows my body to bend with ease. It actually really is cathartic for my low back. Notice what you feel. Try to feel both sitz bones equally weighted. Maybe you wiggle around.

Notice if you're a little deeper in the stretch, I know I'm significantly deeper with ease. Use your hands as you breathe. Perhaps pull back with your belly to feel a little more stretch. You do you. And then sit up right again, we make the second shape, that's squeezing those knees together with the hands we push, we pull back with the belly, we round and we try to make a forehead to knee connection.

Breathing in and breathing out. Yes, I'm letting my shoulders round. I'm creating a full rounded shape in my back. Maybe sway a little side to side on your pelvis. Then release that shape, separate your feet.

We make the third shape. We tip the tail back or tip the tailbone under if you will, feeling a little us, equal weight on both sides of your pelvis, supporting with your belly, float one or both legs up. Tighten up your ball. As you get better at this you can do it a little faster. Inhale to roll back and find balance, two more times.

Remember though, faster is not always better. Sometimes taking your time to do something gives you the opportunity to really feel different feels. Pause this shape back to the first shape, the diamond. Notice where the resistance is. Notice where you go.

My forehead is practically on the floor with complete ease. Now I'm feeling a little restriction in my glute area. I'm feeling a little bit in my low back and I'm breathing into it. And you don't have to know really what I'm feeling. I'm just giving you an idea.

You can let your belly relax here, but you can also create a little opposition and pull that belly back to create more stretch. I'm allowing my shoulders to move. Breathing in and breathing out. Come back to a sitting position. Bring those knees and feet together.

Push with your arms round through your belly and see where you go. I can touch my knees to my eye sockets with ease now. Breathing in and breathing out. Undo that. We make the rolling like a ball shape here.

So tip back, find your core. Can you float your legs up? One or both at the same time, you choose. Tighten up the ball using your core. Hold on with your arms.

Three times we roll. Inhale and exhale. Now if for any reason the rolling doesn't work for you, just don't do it yet and gently come to rest. Send your legs out in front of you. Sit for a moment and we'll just take a nice little roll back.

Take a breath, exhale, however you wanna go. You can keep your legs straight or you could in fact bend your knees if that's better suited for you. Stretch your arms overhead and give yourself a little good morning stretch. Opening a bit through those underarms, allowing your shoulders and your your body to just feel the earth. Then bend your two knees, take your arms wide to the side, palms facing upward please.

Here, a simple spine twist. We take the legs to one side and then we take the legs to the other side, easing through the back there, breathing and moving my friends, breathing and moving. Adding on, so just a little spine sway first a few times. And now we twist to one side. So I've gone to my left, perhaps you're in the same direction.

And then I'm gonna use my foot that, so it's my right foot that I'm gonna push into to find the glute here and lift the pelvis a bit more. Tucking is my intention, and I might feel a nice little stretch across that right hip, and then undo that. Go to the other side. So now my legs are to the right, my left foot. I'm pressing through my left foot and pushing into a deeper stretch.

So I'm getting a little openness through my peck as well. But I'm really setting the intention at the hip. Repeat on the other side. So we're pushing, using the glute, using the hamstring, feeling a little release in those hips. It should feel nice.

Come back through. And then again breathing and moving, my friends, pleasure principle, it should feel good. Come back through to center. Find your legs together first so you can feel aligned. Separate your heels and toes.

Place your arms down by your side and we prepare to do a pelvic curl. Inhale. Exhale, curl your pelvis up. Find your pelvis, pelvic curl position using the backs of the legs and the abdominals. Feel free to use the arms.

Take a breath and lower down. Let's do a few more lovely pelvic curls. Inhale. Exhale abs first backs of the legs kick in. Do use the glutes without externally rotating.

Inhale. Exhale and lengthen and lower down. So do use the glutes once you see first abdominals, then the glutes and hamstrings come to the party. If your knees are splaying open, there's a good chance you're compensating. So you'll wanna keep those knees slightly angled in and lower down.

Let's do two more please. Inhale. Exhale to peel up perhaps, but you can breathe when it makes sense to you. Feel backs of the legs, inner thighs, abdominals, lower down, ease in your back please. Ooh, that sounds fun.

Ease in your back. One more time. We lift and we hold. Feel the backs of your legs for me. Shift your way to your left leg, feel the glute working.

Pelvis shifts slightly to the left, knee angles slightly towards center. Lift your other leg up, tap it back down. Shift slightly in the other direction, knee slightly towards center. Lift the other leg up and put it down. So we're gonna march again.

Slight shift in your pelvis as you lift. There we go. Now lower your body down, one vertebrae at a time. So we're trying to keep the pelvis from rotating, but in order to use the muscles properly, there is a little shift that needs to happen. So curl up again.

Stay little shift to the left leg. Lift the right this time three times. One, two, I have an flexed ankle, three, stay here. Shift a little to the right. Glute is working in her thigh, abs.

And we lift three and two and one. Put your feet down. Press your pelvis nice and high. Feel free to let your legs open and go into an externally rotated big bridge here using those gluteals. Now can you keep that and bring those knees back toward center.

If you feel restriction in your knees, simply lower your pelvis, lower down one vertebra at a time. Float your legs to tabletop for me. Knees and feet are together. Reach your hands to the ceiling and stretch those arms behind you. Really working to stretch through those shoulders.

Of course, keeping the ribcage grounded to the mat. Inhale here. Use perhaps an exhale to lift your head and chest. And we inhale to lower down, heating up the core a little bit with some traditional abdominal work. Exhaling to lift please.

And then maybe an inhale to lower down or breathe when it makes sense. We hold here. Draw one leg in a little further than you might normally as you send the other leg out for your single leg stretch and let's change and change and change. So look down at your pelvis and try to keep it nice and stable so it's not moving around as you move your legs. We'll do a couple more here breathing, one more time.

Now we're adding rotation. The inside hand pushes to the knee as you rotate, rotate. So think of looking on the diagonal and I'm using my arm with intention, my hand and my leg simultaneously to create a little more power here. Now we're gonna add on here. So up and over with the other arm, now up and over, up and over.

So I'm no longer pushing into my leg, but I'm trying to create this reach up as I go over. And it actually is almost making me wanna roll over to one side, but I wanna avoid doing that especially on my weaker side. One more time please. And we'll hug your two knees into your chest. Rest your head down.

Just take an easy spine, sway feet on the ground side to side here a couple times. Oh, that should feel good, yeah. Let's go ahead and float those legs to tabletop. Hold the backs of the legs, and here on the floor, rock and roll. So you should feel that it's easy to roll on your back after all that work we've done.

If it doesn't work for you, get up however you'd like and then we'll come all the way up to a sitting position. Put your feet down somewhere, put your arms back and you get to take a little break. Not really. So here we're gonna sway side to side. I have my hands turned out to the side a little bit or slightly behind me.

I'm not weight bearing here, so it's okay on my shoulder. I'm looking for shoulder flexibility. So here, we're gonna press the arms to straight open the heart and feel a stretch through the front of the body. And then we're gonna round, looking down toward the belly, wiggle around a little with your shoulders so you can feel some yummy stretches. Open your heart, breathe, and flexing your spine and perhaps wiggling into stretches.

So I would like you to explore mobility and range in the shoulders here one more time as well as the spine. So now we're gonna come up here, we're gonna lift. I'm gonna lift my left arm. It doesn't matter which way you go, I'm gonna come around and reach. So I've taken my legs to a mermaid shape.

I've got one hand still where it was and the other hand is reaching. We'll come back through, open the heart, round a little and go to the other side. So my legs just tip over and I'm reaching dynamic movement here. We're gonna open and reach and we're gonna open and reach adding on please. We are gonna open and reach and hold.

So I'm on this first side that I was originally on and I'd like you to use the hand that's been pressing. So that happens to be my right hand. I have a hand that's reaching. We're gonna round a little bit up through the body, pushing into the earth to create rounding and then extend and reach a little further. We're gonna round so you're just breathing in this movement and extend and reach and round and extend and reach, undo it.

And we do the other side. Go ahead and reach around, so I've got one hand down still. The other hand is reaching. I'm going to round and reach beautiful range of motion. Beautiful flexibility here.

It feels so great. Oh, in my body, that's for sure. Come back to the original shape here. All right, so now tip forward on into an upright position and just find your balance for a moment. Straightening out your body here.

Tip back. Can you lift one leg? Can you lift the other? You got it. We're doing open leg rocker.

So if you're able to hold on close to your feet, please do. If you need to hold behind your legs, you do you. Inhale, we are gonna roll ourselves back perhaps and exhale to find balance. Go again. Couple of rolls here.

That should feel nice and easy. After all that loosening up we did. Well, I don't know if easy is the right word, but your body should be able to find the position I hope with ease. One more please. Open leg rocker and hold here.

Try to bring your legs together. Feel yourself sitting equally on both of your sitz bones. If you can, if you can use your core and try to hold your legs there without your arms. Take a breath. We're gonna roll ourselves back into rollover shape.

Here we go. Will you roll back, arms come down and we're in our rollover. If the rollover doesn't suit you, find a pelvic curl please, flex your feet. Separate your feet. Tap the floor, feel that beautiful stretch in your back.

And then roll down with ease supporting with the belly. Here we go. Feet are pointed and together we're gonna roll over. You're gonna flex your feet for me. Separate your feet, tap the floor and then roll down with ease.

One more time please. Come to 90 degrees about, rollover. So just a couple of each exercise today is my plan. Fewer repetitions, more exploration. I'm gonna roll down here, and then gently hug those legs deep into your chest.

Go ahead and place your feet on the floor, starting with them together. Separate a little bit. Okay, we're gonna keep the right leg where it is. We're gonna slide that left leg out to straight, feel your pelvis and find neutral pelvis for me. Try to use that left glute and hamstring.

Specifically see if you can wake up the glute, keeping the leg quite relaxed in the pelvis square. And from here, take your arms wide to the side. Palms facing down, just to get used to that. Send your leg up to the ceiling. You can flex your ankle here.

And we do a few legs circles going across center first and breathing and moving. Try to focus on that supporting leg, that left leg, reverse direction, just a handful here. I've done four in each direction. Beautiful. Just two more, that's all.

And now we're gonna play with a really lovely little stretch here. Keep the leg up. Reach with your opposite hand. Can you reach your foot? I can't.

Bend the knee, see where you can hold on. Maybe you're gonna hold the outside of the leg, maybe you're gonna hold the thigh. If you can hold the foot, you're going to use your hand to try to help you flex the ankle as you stretch in the direction of straight. No need for straight in the direction of straight. Bend the knee a little, exhale to stretch and bend the knee a little and exhale to stretch.

Now bend the knee to about 90 degrees. Holding in a place that feels good for your body. That's a little more glute, straighten, a little more hamstring, IT band area too. Go ahead and stretch here. Really, you can't stretch your IT band, you're stretching the tissue around it.

Now we're gonna bend to 90 degrees and we're gonna play with 90 degrees and more bend. So we're gonna bend deeper so the foot comes closer now to my leg and then it comes to about 90 degrees and it pulls in and closer to my leg. Nice release here through my glute. It feels so delicious. We need that flexibility and strength in those areas.

One more time. Bend the knee. Foot is gonna rest somewhere on your leg close to your body if possible. Take the knee away as far as you're able to. So I'm holding my foot, I'm pushing my knee away from me and I'm getting a really beautiful hip opener.

Breathing my friends. It's my goal to stay in each of these stretches for at least three breaths, maybe a little longer, maybe a little less. Getting a nice little stretch through the front of my hip here, and then rest that please. Place your two feet down, palms down just for changing it up and really reaching and stretching east west with those shoulders. So you're stretching with your fingers to feel something in your shoulders.

Keep the left foot down where it is. Slide the other leg to straight. Spend a moment here, and make sure you can without using your quads so much. Wake up your hip extensors. So hamstrings and glute to stabilize, that helps you really stabilize your pelvis.

Forced couple hip extensors and abs. Super important. Lift the other leg up, flex the ankle and we make a few circles, easy circles. So I'm not focusing as much on the circle, I'm focusing more on the support of my standing leg pause, reverse circles. So four in each direction.

My other leg is the one I'm putting my attention on. And then my up leg just moves, stay here. Reach up with the opposite arm. Hold onto the foot somewhere. Maybe you're holding onto the leg.

Maybe you're holding onto the thigh, it doesn't matter. I like to hold the outer pinky toe side of my foot. I'm gonna bend my knee a little bit and then I'm gonna straighten and I'm letting my body respond to this. My shoulder is up. Imagine that in Pilates, my shoulder is where it wants to be.

It doesn't matter where it is, as long as you don't feel tension right now. Bend the knee just a little bit. I'm making a less pretty position, but boy does it feel pretty in my body. Here we go. The leg is straight now and we're gonna just feel that beautiful stretch and now bend the knee at to about 90 degrees and straight in and bend it to 90 degrees and straighten, and now 90 degrees and then more.

So we're kind of taking it down toward the body. The foot is down toward the body. It is always something I don't like to use very much. So now my foot is down toward my body. I've done my good stretches for my hip there.

And I'm gonna take my knee away. So now this is the front of the hip. The first part was really addressing the outside body. So a little glued, a little lateral hamstring, a little glute need. This is more of a hip opener across the front here.

Breathing in and breathing out please, and then let's go ahead and release that. Bring your feet into pelvic curl position. Take a breath, use your abdominals. Use the backs of your legs to curl up nice and high. Feel those glutes and hamstrings lower down.

Let's do that again. And we add on shoulder bridges coming now. So we're gonna lift up and stay, nice and warm through the back body. Take your right leg up to the ceiling, flex the ankle. Reach down and lift up.

Reach down and up. Breathing and moving my friends, it doesn't matter to me when you're breathing, it just matters that you are breathing. Will do just two more here. One more please. Hold that shape.

Change sides. Here we go. Left leg goes up. Flex the ankle. We reach down and up and down and up.

Again find the breath that works for you, making sure you feel comfortable with this movement. Last one, place the foot down, lift your hips up nice and high. Walk the feet a little wider, borrowing from yoga. We're gonna really push the pelvis up nice and high. We're gonna pull those arms if we can together underneath us rolling the shoulders together and really expanding through the chest, expanding through the hips.

Now if you've pressed so high that you don't have wiggle room here, don't press as high. You should have wiggle room and ease in any stretch that you're in, breathing in and breathing out. Release your arms, lower your body down. Take a spine sway, side to side here. And here we lift those legs up nice and high.

We take those arms wide to the side and we roll side to side. So first, just an easy little spine twist if you will. So if this is all you wanna do today, this is all you can do. Well let me say that differently. If this is all you wanna do, then just do this.

Feel free to move on if you're ready. So I'm reaching with my top leg as far as I can go now. Reaching into space, trying to touch and reach a little further. Keeping my other, my upper body down at first and then letting my shoulder blades start to lift. Reaching again one more time for me.

And then we're gonna reach around and we're gonna stay there. We're gonna continue to roll around. So you're compressing your straight arm fully, leaning toward the floor, enjoying that stretch. Now my leg that I reached with, I've got the ball of the foot down so I can push into that leg while I'm also pushing into my arm that's on the floor. And then we're gonna undo that, go to the other side.

Reach, reach, reach, come all the way around. We're compressing that shoulder, pushing down through one foot, finding a beautiful stretch. It doesn't matter what the other arm is doing, I'm mostly focusing on the arm that I'm laying on top of right now. Getting a really wonderful stretch through my back body. Breathe.

Getting ready to add on. We come back to our backs, we go to the other side, we come around and we reach and we look up, we unwind it, we go around, we come around and we reach and we look up. And let's do that two more times please, around and we reach and maybe we extend slightly and again, around maybe we extend slightly. And one more time on each side, just feeling what feels good to you. And at any point, if you just wanted to hold a position, I highly recommend doing that.

Unwind here, hug your knees into your chest. Go ahead and rock and roll yourself up to a sitting position. Okay, so now let's just play a little bit with the idea of rocking and rolling back. So if this is comfortable for you, try just crossing your legs in front of you each time. If this is still comfortable, we're gonna try rolling side to side.

So now at any point, you can just stay with a movement that suits you. If you need to use your hands behind you for support, feel free to. But the goal here is that we can maneuver our bodies around without using the hands, just using our own bodies. So we'll come to the side one more time and then we're viewing to stay. We're going to stay for your viewing pleasure.

I'll be over here, so you can see. I've kind of hugged my leg that's out in front and I'm pushing down a little bit with my arm on my other leg just to feel where my stickiness is. So if you feel tightness, find it and breathe through it. Perhaps you'll tighten up this shape a little bit and just kind of see what you can breathe into. Let's change sides the same way if possible, going to the other side.

Once again, I'm just kind of using my body to explore where I'm tight, what I might need to loosen into, what I might wanna work on over time. Now you got it my friends. We are going to do this and come all the way up to standing. Are you ready? Are you sure?

Go back first, make the shape on the other side. Bring your weight to that front foot. Scoop all the energy you have to stand yourself upright. Come all the way back down and go to the other side. Can you do that?

If you're not able to do it yet, all the way upright, feel free to stop somewhere and just breathe into where you feel sticky. Also know as you stand up, you really need that glute to be working so use the glute. We're gonna stay on this side, bend all the way down. Come right back up again. One more time.

Come up and stay for a moment. So I'm standing on my left foot, you're seeing all my wobbles. It's great. Reaching up through the one arm and side, bending a little bit, getting a nice little stretch through my side and front body. Let's fold back to the earth to the other side.

And we'll do that same thing. Try to recruit that glute reaching up and down and again up. And I'm not really using my back leg, it's just there. A little bit of balance hold. And then I'm using it here as a really wonderful opportunity to stretch my side body, to feel opening through my front body as well.

Breathing and breathing and gently fold all the way back to the earth and have a seat. Now this whole series is really great for creating the flexibility and comfort to work toward that advanced exercise. The crab. So this is something that if you practice what we just did, perhaps that becomes a little easier to do. So here.

If you're comfortable, roll over your legs and come to a quadruped position. If you're not comfortable doing it that way. Get there however you need. Your hands are underneath your shoulders, your knees are underneath your hips. Round your back.

Let your shoulders be free, go where you wanna go, and then arch through your back. Support a bit from your belly. But how much can you bring your heart forward and look around. Yeah, around again. Belly is in stretching, moving.

And then come back to that arch position and see where you can go, where do you wanna go? Where can you work some pieces out if you will. Some sticky spots. Find center, find neutral. Tuck the toes.

So we're pushing into those toes to stretch the feet. Use your hands to push your body back toward your feet and take a few moments of stretch here. Breathing in and breathing out. Maybe you'll lift your knees off. Maybe you'll roll side to side.

Maybe you'll sit up on your feet for a moment if that suits your flexibility and suits your knees and your body. I kind of like it 'cause I get to look out at the ocean. There's a big cruise ship out there today. Come back to the original shape with the hands out in front of you. Come back to your quadruped.

Go ahead and untuck your toes for me. Slide one leg out to straight, slide the other leg out to straight and we're in plank. Suddenly we're in plank. Good. Nice power here.

Can you try doing a pre-pushup where you keep your body where it is and you just bend and straighten a little bit your elbows, you can bend them back a little and you can bend them out a little bit. The idea is that you can still keep your body where it is. Here, let's do a little marching with our arms. So one hand comes, let's go fist to heart, fist to heart, fist to heart, and fist to heart. Now fist to heart, how much can you open?

Fist to heart, how much can you open? I'm letting my pelvis organically move a little bit, but I'm trying to keep it somewhat stable so I'm not fully rotating. Now fist to heart, take the arm all the way up and right back down. Fist through heart all the way up. So we wanna get that beautiful thoracic rotation.

One more time please. Bam, I love it. All right, we're gonna shift forward and lower ourselves nice and slowly, down, use your arms, use your arms, use your arms. I'm still hovering, are you? And rest on your belly.

So take your hands just outside of your shoulders. My elbows are bent. Here, if you have a towel, you might wanna rest your forehead on it. I'm keeping my head hovering right now just for the sake of the microphone, so you'll still be able to hear me. So you could also rest your head down.

My head is actually comfortable hovering though, so it's really up to you. Relaxing my pelvis into the mat. I'm shaking around a little bit. Start with the hands on the floor or the mat. Open the heart and just pull forward a little bit.

So I'm not even thinking of lifting up, I'm just pulling my body forward. With that forward pull, tuck the toes, push down through the feet. So the legs are nice and powerful back there. So my feet are grounded, but my legs are not. My pelvis is grounded, my belly is somewhat light here, stretch your arms out in front of you as far as you can.

Walk your fingers as far forward as you can here. And then try to lengthen your neck without pulling your shoulders down. We're lengthening the neck here for ease. Now if you feel comfortable in this position, try floating your arms and then floating them down toward your body and around. So just try that a couple times.

It's like a big angels in the snow, but face down, right? Hold your arms over head. Keep one arm grounded, one hand grounded. I've got a little tenting of my fingers, I'm making like little spiders and I'm gonna lift one arm up. Look at the arm as I go up toward the ceiling all the way around to touch my leg.

Come up and around back to where I came from. Other side, up with breath. So we're working on some nice thoracic mobility I hope, alternate. So a different type of swimming exercise than we would sometimes do in Pilates. And again, let's just do one more each side please.

So I'm keeping my other arm there for support. Certainly if you know your body does not need the support, you could just try hovering your arm, but I like the little bit of support there. Bring your arms back to the original position. Untuck your toes. Inhale to a full swan position, a full back extension if it suits you.

Enjoy full extension of the spine and lower down. Let's do that one more time 'cause that felt too good. The point here is to stretch. Work, support, and enjoy, and lower all the way down. Let's go ahead and bend one knee.

Hold on to the top of the foot and take a few moments to stretch your quadricep here. So just bending the knee can be tricky for some. So if you need to use a prop, feel free to do that. But if you've got a hold of the the leg here, play a little bit with the other ideas. Pressing the pelvis really actively into the mat is gonna help you feel more in the front of the leg, the front of the hip usually.

And then seeing if you can play a little bit with rolling the foot out to one side or rolling the foot across the body, and notice that it changes your stretch a little bit. Furthermore, you can take your hand out to the side, the one that was underneath your forehead, and roll yourself around a little bit. And you might be able to just iron out some kinky, kinky, you might be able to iron out some kinks, if you will, or some sticky stuff by moving your body into the mat. So I invite you to try that on. Go ahead and change sides now.

So I'll start with my forehead on my hand. Reach around and hold on to my other leg. And then just hang for a moment. So feeling that first bit of resistance or feeling where your body wants to modify for you. So for me, my pelvis wants to pop off the floor.

So consciously I'm pushing my hip bone and my pubic bone, specifically my hip crease of the side I'm stretching on. So it's the ASIS, and the pubic synthesis are grounding into the mat, hip bone, and pubic bone for most of us, right? So feel the stretch here. Enjoy it. Play with rolling a little bit the foot in and rolling the foot out, which is gonna change where the leg is in the socket.

And notice what you need, what you feel. And then you can continue to modify this by taking the hand that was underneath your head out to the side and sort of push yourself in the direction of the leg that you're stretching. So that's gonna bring you a little bit into that lateral tissue. And play a little bit with your pelvis position, tucking, pressing, whatever feels right. So I've just found something that feels really nice and I'm gonna stay here for one more moment.

Please breathe. And then we're gonna come back through. One final thing here before we move on. So we take those hands in that wide position. It's like you're in a pushup.

Hands are grounded. You're gonna press open east, west and just feel what that does for your pecs and your shoulders. You're getting a nice act of stretch there, I hope. Again, you could rest on a towel or you can keep your head mobile and organic like I'm doing. Find your right leg, lift that right leg up.

Externally rotate to lift as much as you can. Bend the knee, reach around and see if you can tap the floor behind you. Undo it. Other side. We're gonna lift externally, rotate, keep lifting, and go behind.

And let's do that again. Up and tap and up and tap. Breathing and moving my friends. Up. So using those hands to create a little bit more stretch perhaps in the body, a little bit of work also in the upper body.

We're gonna do this just one more time. And then from here, please push yourself to a child's pose. Get there however it best suits you. You're gonna sit on your feet and rest your forehead toward the mat. Breathing in and breathing out.

Breathing in and breathing out. Perhaps walk those fingers a little more forward, allowing those shoulders to go up by your ears and perhaps swaying a little bit side to side. I've just decided to move my knees open, that feels good. Whatever feels right to you. I want this to be a living posture, a living position.

So I'm off center on purpose 'cause I feel really great stretch here today. Tomorrow it might look different. That's what I'm asking you to think about today. So go ahead and come up right now and let's go ahead and come to a sideline position, whichever way you're facing is fine. We're gonna lean on the elbow here.

The bottom knee is bent at 90 degrees and hip at about 90 degrees. Support from your belly. So we're gonna do a kind of mermaid sidekick version. The other leg is long. We're gonna reach the arm up to the ceiling and just be here.

Rotate around like you're hugging something big. Come all the way around and see if you can match your forearm with your other arm. And then open and look behind you. And again, we're gonna come all the way around and see if we can match our forearm with our other arm. Nice little stretch.

And open around. One more time please. Come around and then come up to the ceiling with your hand behind your head. Float your leg up. And we in our sidekicks, we're gonna flex the ankle.

Do a little pulse forward and a little point back. Good. A little pulse forward and a little pulse back. So here, just enjoy the movement as we know it here. Supporting with the belly and using the leg.

Now let's change it, are you ready? Are you sure? So with the leg behind you, you're gonna rotate on purpose, your body to look down toward your forearm. With the leg in front, you're gonna rotate your torso to the ceiling. Let's do that again.

Pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse. So I'm consciously trying to rotate my thoracic spine while keeping my pelvis somewhat stable. One more time, please. Good. Hug that knee into your chest for a moment.

Bring yourself to a seat. Perhaps stretching that glute for a second. A second, maybe more than a second. I'll give you more than a second. So I'm hugging the leg I was just working and I'm doing just a nice little swirling around to feel a nice little stretch in my gluteal region.

Let's flip to the other side, please. So here, we are on the elbow, bottom knee bent to 90 degrees, 90 degrees, hip and knee. Other leg is long and straight and comfortable. And just be here. We're gonna take the arm up to the ceiling.

I like to spread my fingers these days, it feels good. Certainly you can bring yours together if you prefer. We're gonna rotate around and see if we can match those forearms up. And boy, it's a little harder on this side. Maybe you feel it's harder on one side than the other.

Then you're gonna reach up to the ceiling and open your heart. And again, three times for me, come around and see if you can match those forearms up. And we're getting a nice stretch, hopefully. And the intention is thoracic mobility here. Breath.

And we open. Find yourself square if you will, or stacked. Lift that leg up. Hand is behind your head. And we do our classic forward and point back. Forward little pulse and point back.

Do try to use your gluteals here. Do try to use your abdominals and your back muscles to support as well, but have fun. Take the leg behind you, rotate the torso. And in front we look up, so try that with the pulsing. If the rotation doesn't feel right in your body, then just stay square, stay centered.

It's okay. This is meant to provoke a little bit more thoracic mobility, we're just gonna do one more here. And hug that knee into your chest. Have a little seat, cross the leg over. I'm stretching my glute here.

So just enjoy swirling around a little bit. Find the tissue that needs to be stretched for you and just enjoy your breath. And what feels good here. All right, so we're gonna go back to a little bit more of that rolling stuff. Slightly different though this time.

So just facing center here, lean back onto your pelvis. And once again, maybe your hands are gonna be behind you. Just kind of roll side to side on the glutes, right? Ooh. Ooh.

More of a side roll here. And then see if you can return to that shape we did earlier where we roll and we fold the legs. Now if it's not feasible for you to get up like this, you'll find another way. But for those of us that it is, choose the harder side to roll to and come to standing. The harder side.

Whoa, that's my harder side. Stand with your feet underneath your hips please and take a big breath up to the ceiling. Hmm. Roll those arms down, that's not a roll, that's a reach the arms down. Let's reach up again.

Now I'm gonna keep my left arm up and I'm gonna reach even more. I'm gonna bend the elbow and I'm gonna take it behind my body a little bit. I'm gonna put my other hand on my elbow. And I wanna keep the arm kind of braced to my neck, right? And I'm just going to explore where I can go with that shape.

So I might fold over a little to the side. I might flex a little bit forward. I might open a little bit. But ultimately, I'm just looking for some nice stretches in that side body. So breathe and enjoy that position.

Let's go ahead and take the arms down and do the other side. So we're gonna go up, reach, reach, reach. We're gonna bend the other elbow and take it kind of behind the head, wherever it suits you, wherever you can. And then I'm gonna hold my elbow, my arm. And I'm pulling, I'm bracing that arm into my head and neck.

So now I'm moving as one piece, as I stretch first up and over. And then maybe I'm gonna go a little bit down. Those of you that have equipment, this is kind of like the stretches we would get on the step barrel or one of the barrels. But you can kind of create this, own your own arc here and find some beautiful stretches without the equipment, which is really nice, isn't it? So take one more little moment here and then release that and come down.

So I'd like, I'm gonna turn around so you can see me. I'd like you to take your hands together at the small or your behind you. And if you're able to, will you please first draw your shoulders a little together. Second, you're going to try to straighten your arms. You're gonna draw your shoulders together again.

And then if you're able to keep both of those pieces stable, all of that stable, you lift your arms up a little bit, okay? With that little lift, we're getting a really wonderful heart opener. And now with ease, go ahead and just look up. Just this position helps to put your head and upper back into place to keep your head on your shoulders. Let that go, shake it out.

We're gonna do that two more times and I'll stay facing you for the next few 'cause you know what to do now. So hands behind you, shoulders together. And then you're going to try to straighten your arms without rolling forward though, right? So shoulders are together still. And then you're straight arms and you're gonna lift those arms up as high as you can, and look up.

I like to move my chin around, which makes me talk funny. You get a little bit of a stretch through my neck. And release that. One more time like I promised. Here we go.

Grab, squeeze, stretch, lift, look up. Just feel comfortable. I'm purposefully letting my ribs in my body move where it wants to go and release that. One more breath up. Hmm.

And let's finish with a roll down here. Two feet underneath you roll your fat body, roll your head forward one vertebra at a time. Relax your head, neck, and shoulders. Just notice how you feel here. I know, I feel really good here.

Bend your knees. Hands straighten. Bend your knees. Hands straighten. One more time.

And this time, we'll roll all the way up to a standing position. And when you find yourself standing, go ahead and soften your eyes for a couple of moments, turn your palms to face forward and be still in a standing meditation for three breaths. Together will inhale through the nose and as you exhale, will you grow even a little taller, nice and light. Inhale through your nose and with an exhale, hopefully through your nose, grow even a little taller. Feel your body floating in space, fluid and floating.

And one final breath together please. When you're ready, please awaken your eyes. And I thank you so much for playing with me. I'll see you again soon.


1 person likes this.
Wow, you have already given me many ways to work on some problem areas!  Looking forward to the other classes as well. Thanks!
Mim S
1 person likes this.
first class with you Sarah, really enjoyed the cue-ing and breathing - was less Pilates-y than I expected, but the focus on conscious movement and stretching was just what I needed :) look forward to checking out your other classes!
1 person likes this.
So excited to find a new class from Sarah...I felt great after this and love the "permission" to move around in the various positions!
1 person likes this.
Wow - this was SO needed. I haven't felt this good and open in a long while. Thank you for the wonderful class Sarah. You are always a wonderful energy for my day :)
1 person likes this.
Wonderful class!
Kaisa L
1 person likes this.
What a start for a day, THANKS! Could you come to my home every morning?
Hi Lori,  Thank you!  What a treat to know that this class may help you move beyond your current challenges.  More classes coming soon.  Take care!! 
Hi Mim S,  I am so pleased you took this  class and it delivered something your body needed(even though it was not very Pilates-y:). The next 2 classes in this mat series will be a bit more Pilates-ish!! Look forward to "seeing" you again soon.  Take care:) 
Hi Wendy B, Yippee!  letting our bodies move as needed on any given day is so very important.  Thanks for "playing" with me AND there a a few more classes in this series coming soon.  Take care:) 
HI Laura M,  Thank you Thank you!  Revisiting his class felt so good for me too!  "See" you soon and take good care.
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