Class #5262

Introducing ELDOA

55 min - Class


Join Ilaria Cavagna as she "creates" space in the joints using ELDOA postural exercises. ELDOA (Etirements Longitudinaux avec Decoaptition Osteo-Articulaire) helps improve joint mechanics, increase blood flow, and reduce pressure on the discs. It requires precision in the execution to be able to build the correct tension through the fascia. This, in turn, creates a reduction of pain, spinal disc rehydration, better muscle tone, improved posture, and a sense of well-being and awareness.

Note: This practice was designed by French osteopath, Guy VOYER. For more information visit the ELDOA Website or on Ilaria's website.
What You'll Need: Mat


Read Full Transcript

Hi everyone, this is Ilaria and Gia from Pilates Anytime. And I'm super excited because today I'm going to introduce you to ELDOA. ELDOA is something I started in 2008, so quite a long time ago because of my neck issues. So my neck was very, very sore. The nose has bulging disc, a lot of stuff going on, and ELDOA helped me very, very much.

It's good, ELDOA is good for injuries and back pain of course, as you can see from the description I gave you in the beginning. But it is also really, really good for wellness, preventative, and for athletic performances. So doesn't matter if you're injured or not, it's really, really good to improve and increase the awareness of the body. So we'll start standing. You could just release and you relax everything for a second.

For one moment I want you to stand and just to see and feel how your body is. So close your eyes for a second. You kind of scan your body from the feet all the way up to the knees, the hips, the shoulders without fixing, but just listening and figuring out where we feel uneven or off or tire or more tense. And then I want you to open the eyes and just stay relaxed. And with the feet hip-width the part, we start rolling and unrolling the feet.

In the beginning we want to warm up all the joints. It's a osteoarticular warmup, so it's absolutely normal if we hear cracking here and there. If it's the first movement of the day, most importantly. And we warm up the ankles, then the knees and everything, building up the joints. Now we stop the feet parallel and we go and we buckle out and in, right?

A little bit of inversion and eversion, supination and pronation, and allow the knees to move with the ankles, okay? Everything else is relaxed. Then we stop this movement, we go back to the roll and unroll, just to loosen up a little bit more. And then parallel again, out and in. And all the time that we're standing, we try to have a good gravity line.

And I'll show you in a second what I mean with that. Now let's get the feet a little closer together, hands on the knees and we do tiny little circles at the knees. The circular motion helps very, very much to put oil in the joints. And again, this is not a stretch, this is a first little movement. Then we reverse, we go the other way.

And as you go more into the movement, of course you can make it bigger, right? You can fold, you can go down more inflection, make the circle bigger. And now this is usually a little bit complicated from a coordination standpoint. Let's draw an eight. We go front and back, down and up.

And the hands over there on the knees help a lot this coordination, right? If you don't need it, you can come up with the shoulders and just draw the little eight with your knees. And then you can reverse, you can go the other way. But of course it's a little harder. And then skinny eight, you go move.

You allow the ankles to move with the knees. Nothing is with the goal of perfection in this warmup. But to get the body ready to the big tension that we're gonna put it in before. Then we go skiing a little. So we tilt the knees and we bend the knee, we tilt the ankles and we bend the knees.

Always breathe. Everything else is kind of relaxed, the neck, the shoulders. And now we stand up and we start marching. Consider this march, almost like the hundred in Pilates. We want to bring the heart rate up a little bit.

And we do this by picking up the tempo with the legs and with the arms. So with the arms we're gonna stretch front, side, and up. Front, side, and up. When we move the arms above the shoulders, we increase the heart rate, okay? So we don't jump, we don't wanna jump as we prepare an ELDOA class because the goal of the ELDOA, I didn't tell you yet.

But the goal of the ELDOA is to create space in between the joints. So if I jump, I decrease the space in the joint. So I defeat the goal, right? So we want to maintain the spine nice and long, and start from the very beginning, from the warmup to elongate and make the spine longer and longer. Now let's go only up with the arms from the shoulders straight up.

And now we go as quick as we can. Knees and arms, knees and arms. Breathe, perfect. No tension on the neck. Let's open the mouth a couple of times to make sure the jaw is not in tension.

And we go as quick as you can. Knees and arms, knees and arms. Breathe. Beautiful. The last sprint, 10 seconds.

Up, up, up, up, up. Very good. And now we maintain the march, but we release the arms down. We can slow it down, and actually let's exaggerate this twist. This is a natural motion when we walk.

And now we exaggerate. We want to rotate the shoulders in one direction and the hips in the opposite one. Very good. Perfect and now we make it smaller. And we pick the knees up out to the side.

Very good. And you go up and up, up. We prepare and now we are climbing up to the hips, right? So now the hips are getting their little warmup. And then, we kick back.

So we kick straight back for the hamstrings. First, just straight. That's perfect. And then we have three different hamstrings, right? So we need to kick also outside with a little internal rotation.

That's perfect. And now we go across almost like skating, right? We kick the opposite butt cheek, perfect. Release the arms, release everything. Very good.

And now we can shake the legs out a little bit and we go with the feet parallel, hip-width apart and we start moving the pelvis. So a little retroversion and release. So if you have lower back pain, the retroversion usually feels really nice, you really lengthen. And the anteversion when you bring the tailbone back, sometimes not that nice. So don't get into any discomfort or pain.

Make sure you lengthen over here and do a smaller anterior tilt and you do big retroversion. That's perfect and release. Very good. And now Gia is perfect here. We want to start thinking about the gravity line.

We want the ear, the shoulder, the hip, and the ankle aligned, right? If I'm forward or falling, that's not good, it's not efficient, I waste energy. So that's good. Perfect for the pelvis. Now very awkward, but we want to turn the legs in.

Now I want to fix the pelvis. This is actually very good to force ourself into a good, good gravity line and avoiding the big anterior tilt. So we do retroversion, we turn in a little bit. And only if it's available, you lift the big toe up. We'll learn about that later, but for now, just do it only if it comes easy.

So the pelvis is still is fixed. We reach out with the arms and we, we start moving the rib cage. So we reach all the way to the right and then to the left. Beautiful. Reach, very nice.

So just gliding, don't do it too big in the beginning. Make sure you're translating and not side bending, right? We want to keep the shoulder line and the pelvis, right aligned. And you reach and then only if it comes natural, you can add some rotation at the arms. You'll see how in ELDOA you find a lot of spirals in movement like now, but also in a static position because we put the intention of the movement in different directions.

It sounds really weird, but then it makes sense when you start moving. You reach and you reach. Pelvis is still, shoulders are shifting and moving. Two more. We go to the right and left, and right and left.

And now back to center. Rest your arms down for a second. Lace the fingers and reach and stretch. Now on the palms reaching up and the tailbone and the sit bones reaching down to the floor. From here you lift very much and you side bend to the right without compressing the right side, but reaching up in a long diagonal.

And then back to center. And now to the other side, reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. As I reach left, make sure your right hip is down really anchoring, and center. And again, reach up to the right, the left hip is reaching down to the floor and center. And one more reach up to the left.

Very good, right hip down. Lengthen, lengthen and lengthen. Center and release. Now let's bring shoulders back again, we do a combo, a combination of the two things. So out with the arms we go translation, side bend come up from side bending and back to center.

Other side, reach left, go down, come up, and center. You go reach, down, up, center. And again, out, side bend, up. One more, one more set. Out, down.

Of course, keep breathing. We are moving the rib cage very close to the diaphragm, right? We need to exhale and let it move. Now shake everything off. So finally we get the knees in a good position.

And now here we go into positive torsion. Another thing that we don't do is a pure rotation in the warmup because that shortens and compress. So what are we doing? We do flexion and rotations. So much less tension in those discs when we do this.

So you go and I like to think about, you know, positive torsion and negative torsion when you open. We want to go back and nice, very good, touch and open. And we want to meet elbow and knee right in the middle, right? It's an even action, beautiful. Very nice.

And we can keep the hands where we have them now on the shoulders or make it harder and go almost like in a neck pull position. That makes the movement a lot bigger and more demanding. Let's do one more, one more set. And good. Release everything down.

Now another example of positive torsion rolling down, similar to our roll up in Pilates. We drop the head, head to the right, bend your knees and allow your body to go down and relax. From here the stomach pulls up and you unroll the body back up. Again, head down to the left, reach. Relax the head, relax the shoulders.

And then, you scoop and you unroll the body up. Let's do the last one forward. So you drop down, you release. Keep your knees bent, relax everything. Hug the thighs behind you.

Try to come up, but don't extend your knees. So you give yourself a nice little stretch. Release everything down, shake off your arms. And now from your stomach scoop, unroll, unroll, unroll, and up. And now we continue the very last part of our warmup down onto the floor.

So we can lie down facing each other, perfect. So here, good morning exercise. We're going to try to pick up the big toes already. It's not important right now, but we start putting it out there. The feet are in line with the sit bones.

And then we hold either behind the thighs or in front of the shin. And here I always think about the rollback bar. Basically similar action. We're gonna start at pelvis, we roll back, we find that nice stretch that rollback bar gives us. And then the arms are our springs and we come back up.

And again, you go back, open, and then up. So basically we're not really using the abs a little bit, but we're mostly using the arms to create that articulation. And lift. Perfect. And again, let's go back, back, back nice and open.

And then the arms pull. Let's do two more. You roll back and exhale up. Last one. Down, down, down.

And pull and lift. Now just in case you cannot do this movement because I know sometimes with some types of back pain, this is not a good movement to go into. I want you to do articulation of the spine from the hip extensions position. So the feet are in line with the sit bones, the arms are down and relaxed, the chest is open. If you can, the big toes are still up.

And then you curl the tailbone and you lift, lift, lift without arching. And then you slowly lengthen your spine as you unroll your body down and the tailbone touches. Let's do three more, nice and easy. The goal here is no glutes reinforcement or hip extensions. It's just the spinal articulation.

So enjoy that part of the movement, both when you go up, but of course it feels a lot nicer when you roll back down and you feel all the vertebra touching down onto the mat. Last one, curl and lift. Reach, reach, reach. And now big exhale, meltdown. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, and release.

Now bring both knees into your chest for a second, one at a time if you can, not to bother the lower back. And just rock side to side a little bit to massage the spine, the low back. Then you stop in the center, you pull the knees open and you circle, you do little circles with the knees as you, as if to massage the SI joint a little bit more. Then you reverse, you go the other way. Just two more.

Very good. And now we come up sitting. And we get a little more into the ELDOA preparation. Still a preparation because we'll be working on factors of progression. So first of all, we have a lot of position where we will be sitting on the floor.

So what's our base when we sit on the floor, the pelvis. So we need to work on our sit bones, exactly like we did work on the feet before. So let's go a little bit from one seat bone to the other. Okay, to feel. Maybe we don't realize, but we are used to put more weight on one and we need to fix that.

We need to have a good and even base. And then for who comes from dance and you know, is more flexible also the front and back sometimes is an issue, right? So we want to fall back behind the sit bone and then in front of the sit bone. Let's feel it. Because once we feel, then we can fix it when it's wrong.

Perfect. So now we try to stop right in the center. No front, no back, no left, no right. And we try to feel it nice and even throughout the whole class when we are sitting. Now let's start with the straight, with the legs.

We have some rules. What we do in ELDOA, we put the fascia in tension, to be able to create space in a specific joint. In this case, in the spine we're gonna do four, the four most important ELDOA postures. So when we have a long leg, let's start only with the left for you guys. We're gonna go and I will, I'm gonna walk you through all the different rules, right?

When the leg is straight, so first of all, we can put the fist down and help ourselves up. Somebody can stay sitting up with no problem. But if you feel you're falling back or you're struggling, give yourself a little help because we're gonna stay in this position for quite a long time. So get comfortable, get some help now. And here I want you to lengthen the knee and we start with flex and point.

Perfect, flex and point. Now it's easy, but I want everyone, doesn't matter the level, doesn't matter the range of motion that you have, I want you to get to that very last 5% where you can really move farther and then point the same thing. And the toes are not that important right now, it's more the ankle, right? I want full dorsiflexion, full plantar flexion. One more time, full and full.

Now let's keep the flex position, and I want you to anchor the sit bone and reach away with that heel. If it comes up a little bit, that's okay. But I want you to do with a lengthening energy as opposed with a smashing energy down from the knee, okay? Let's do it again, release everything. So my leg is long, I lengthen out, I reach and I do dorsiflexion.

I feel my heel getting farther away from me. Now from this position, I reach, reach, reach, reach. I keep the foot in this place, I don't move the ankle anymore. Now from here I go full internal rotation, full external rotation. And again, in, in, in, in, in, and out.

And we're all good at what we are used to, right? So usually if you come from dance, external rotation is really good but you're not as good in internal rotation, which as needed as the other motion. And you go all the way and all the way out. One more time and then we change the leg. All the way in and all the way out and slowly release.

Let's do everything on the other side. So now your right leg goes long, my sit bones are anchored, mostly the right one. And here I reach and I lengthen and I go flex and point. And flex and point. And you see how, already now that we moved very little, when we were holding that position, you are feeling the tension building up, right?

Because it looks simple, but when you put 100% energy in what you're doing, it becomes really hard and more challenging that it usually is. Now let's stay with the flex. And you reach away with a heel, you anchor the sit bone. You reach away with a heel, you anchor the sit bone. More, more, more, more, more.

And then release. I think we did it a second time, so we're gonna repeat that. So one more time, sit bone down, lengthen away. Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. The heel is getting farther away from us.

The toes are pulling back. Maintain, maintain, maintain. Now don't move your toes or your ankle, it moves in one place, but from the hip going maximum internal rotation, external rotation. Internal and external. And really picture your hip and the femur inside really going in this motion, as if it was a cork screw, right?

And as you do this action, the get leg is getting longer and longer and longer. Beautiful, and then slowly release the tension. Now let's go to two legs at the same time. So we are have to recheck the sit bones, we are aligned. We don't need to be too wide with this stance.

It is usually go from 45 to 90, no more than that. And here we are gonna repeat exactly what we did. And then we had the last part that we need to have a full tension at the lower limbs. So the sit bones are staying, the heels are reaching away, the toes come back to us. Now we don't do internal rotation, start the rotation right away.

We actually stop the legs from doing that. We can put our hands on the kneecaps if we don't need to hold, otherwise you hold. And here I want you to move only the ankles. So what I always think is to have two little cameras over here on my feet. And now without moving my knees, I turn the cameras facing each other, perfect.

And then I turn the cameras facing away from each other. And again they turn in, in, in, beautiful. And out, out, out. Now make sure the toes are all coming to you all the time. So that's the toes back, that's really tricky.

And the toes are still coming back when the cameras, perfect, yeah, are facing in. And then facing out. Let's do one more like this. In, in, in, in. Heels reaching long, all the toes, that's perfect.

And then out, out, out, out. Now let's do one more in and we stay there. Feet are in, cameras facing each other, heels reaching away. Now the movement comes back to my hips. And from this position I only go on internal rotation and I reach.

So this is how I put tension in my lower limbs when the legs are straight. So I want to put that superficial fascia like it's like candy cane, like in the sugar cane. And I want to wrap the muscles and the fascia around. And then slowly release the toes, release the ankles, release the knees, and shake it off a little bit, okay? Always the release is slow.

We are just at the beginning. When we are in full tension, we cannot jump out of that position otherwise it's like an elastic that flips back in. So we always need to make sure we gradually get in and we gradually get out. So here again you reach, you flex, we do it one more time and then I'll have you, I'll let some stuff. So from here, toes back, you reach, reach, reach.

The knees don't move. The soles of the feet face each other. Then I go in internal rotation from the hips. Perfect. Now I leave my legs like this, I bring my arms out, and I repeat my translations that we did before.

So we reach out and out. So what we have here, now we have the sit bones helping us to not to cheat basically, because we feel the opposite sit bone coming out, coming up if we do it wrong. So we maintain that fascia tension at the legs. We transition side to side, you breathe. Now come back to center.

Release the arms down. And let's scan our spine quickly. We're gonna look at the spine later, but let's make sure the naval is not coming forward too much. Remember we need to be on top of the sit bone. The sternum, if you feel you're falling back, think about your sternum lifting forward and up.

And then a little bit of a chin in because we want to grow from back here and really lengthen and get the top of the head as close to the ceiling as possible. Beautiful. And now slowly keep the axle extension, keep the spine super long, release the toes, release the feet, release the knees, and then relax the spine also for a second, right? Now let's change it up. We cross the legs and we go up higher to the arms, okay?

So let's keep a good axle extension. We'll reach the arms long and here you go fingers up and down, and up and down. Flip them up, down. Two more. And now you keep them up.

From here, spread your fingers and close them. Spread, the tension increases, and release. And again, open, open, open, and release. Now keep them open going external rotation. So you open, open, open, open as much as you can, see if you can go anymore, and then you bring them back.

And again, reach. I always think about opening the water, right? Because when you're upside down, not upside down but lying down, sometimes it's difficult to figure out where you need to turn these hands. So I think about opening the water of the sink. You go, you move more, more, more, more, more, and release, and again tension.

And you go open, open, open, open. And now we add something, we push the palms forward. We lengthened forward the palms, the fingers are back, maximum external rotation. Again the fascia is wrapping around the arms. We have full tension.

It's totally normal to feel sometimes some little tingling at the forearms because we put this fascia that sometimes is a little tight in tension. But you reach, reach, reach, maintain, maintain, maintain. I also call this position like Spider-Man arms because that gives the idea without descriptive, being too descriptive. And then again, slowly, fingers, wrist, elbows, and relax. Let's let the arms really relax for a second.

We go a little round and lift. And again round, we pump the spine a little bit before we get it long again. And then you stop right in the center. And then a little translation side to side just easy. And sometimes it's nice to play with the translation to different levels of the spine, right?

I can start lower, I can build up higher. Anywhere I feel I'm a little more stuck or I need more release. Perfect. Now one more thing for the shoulder blades, you can stay facing that way. We are gonna do the same tension for the arms.

You push, push, push. You grow tall, you try to maintain the alignment of the spine. And now from this position you pull the shoulder blades back a lot. Yes. And push forward a lot.

And again, back, back, back, very nice, and forward. So grow tall, very much, beautiful. Very nice. The head doesn't move, the chest doesn't move. Back into the lumbar spine a little more, there it is.

And now push forward more, more, more, more. Don't let them come up. Stay down, forward, forward, forward, yes. And now all the way back. Very good.

And again, relax, reach, reach, reach taller from here and pull back. Beautiful, one more time. Forward, push, push, push, push. And then slowly release the tension. Okay, very important this because we're gonna bring the arms all the way up.

So it is really good to mobilize the shoulder blades before we do that. We are going to bring the arms up soon, just watch out not to, make sure your neck is okay with it. This ELDOA that we're gonna do now is for T6, T7. So it's not a cervical ELDOA, it's in the thoracic area. But we are going to hold the arms up a lot.

So if you feel that that doesn't, your neck doesn't like that, just release slowly and follow us. So get back to us later on after you rest. It's more a precaution than anything else. But because it's the first time maybe, if you put too much tension up here, that could be too much for the neck. So here, we keep the legs like this.

Actually the legs are not important for this ELDOA, you just keep them relaxed. We find our sit bones again. Perfect. And then we make sure that let's do a little bit of awareness of the spine. We want to push the sacrum forward, the navel back.

Yes, now keep the navel here. The sternum forward a little bit without moving the navel. That's beautiful. And now our chin back a little bit. And I always picture having two hooks here that pull me up to the ceiling.

I'm hanging, I'm not sitting on the floor. I'm floating up. Beautiful. Now let's stretch the arms down low with a big external rotation. Perfect, there.

Now if that's too painful for the elbows, release the tension a little bit. Otherwise think about externally rotating the shoulder, externally rotating the wrist. And it's very subtle, but think about an internal rotation over here. That's it, that puts a different tension in the arms that's super safe. And actually you make the ELDOA even more efficient and more advanced.

Now keep growing tall, beautiful. The two hooks are here. She's in a perfect position. Just back here, that's good. Now from here, bring your arms to a T position.

So just here, that's it. Remember that movement of the shoulder blades, pull them out more, more, more, more. That's beautiful. Now let's bring the arms up to a Y position. Good.

Now it's already really good, but think about externally rotating more. Wow, that's beautiful. The shoulders drop down, everything is nice, this is lifted. Stay back here, don't let go. Beautiful.

Breathe, very good. Now keep the elbows where they are. Just bend your elbows and touch the fingertips together. Good, just the fingertips. In this position, bring your hands back on top of the head a little bit more.

There it is, very good. Even more back, more back, yes. And not push the elbows back. Beautiful, very good. Very nice.

Beautiful. Now, breathe. Bring the arms up a little bit more. Up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up. Stop there, maintain.

Breathe with the diaphragm, relax the tension and go up a little more. Reach, reach, reach, reach. Beautiful. She doesn't need, but I can give her a little help from back here. And now let's go all the way up if you can.

Don't worry, the shoulders come up a little. That's really beautiful, very nice. Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. Now like a little flame, keep reaching up. Keep reaching up to the ceiling.

Maintain, maintain, maintain. Grow tall, chin in, relax the jaw. Beautiful. The gaze is down there to my shadow on the floor. Keep lifting, lifting, lifting, lifting.

Now keep pushing the arms up, pull the navel back. Yes, breathe, breath. When you exhale you reach a little more. When you inhale, you maintain, very good. Exhale, reach more, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen.

Inhale, maintain. Send your hands back a little bit more if you can. Breathe. Push, push, push, push, push. Very nice.

Maintain, maintain, maintain. Keep lifting, don't release the lumbar spine, keep it back. Yes, reach, reach, reach, reach. Give me five, four, three, two, one. And super slowly you release and you flow down and it'll actually feels like flying when you're finished with this, because all attention that you created here in the middle of this spine, it usually feels like a fire, right?

Like a knife that is stabbing you in the back over here because it's where we are opening up and we are creating more space. So here is really good when we have a forward neck, when we are rounding over a little bit, when you're sitting too much, this is a really good, nice opening. And because we don't require specific position at the legs, we can even do it sitting on the chair or it's very, very accessible to do it pretty much everywhere. Now let's release, let's do some circles to release the T spine there. So you just go into a few circle, like three one way.

Perfect. And then you reverse, and you circle the other way. Just to breathe, just to release the tension a little bit. Perfect. And release.

Cool, now let's go to another thoracic ELDOA, which is very important. You can face me for now and then we'll turn around. But for now we set up, it's good to look at each other. So the heels are in line with the sit bones and the legs are pretty much 90 degrees. Now some of you then might need to pull them closer later and some of you might need to keep them farther away.

But for now, we start like by the book, it's 90 degrees. And here we start putting this tension in the fascia, right? So we bring the big toes up, perfect. And to make it simple today, look at Gia from the side and I want you to see what I'm creating in and out. So the big toes are up.

Then I want you to put the hands outside the shins. And without really moving, I want you to push out into your hands with the shins as if you are kind of externally rotating that leg. And you keep that tension and you leave it there. And then I put my hands inside the thighs and I create the opposite tension coming in, in internal rotation at the thighs. So the big toes are up, this is turning out, this is turning in.

Feels different, right? And now let's get back at it. Let's release everything, okay? Let's build it up again. Big toes up, out with the shins, in with the thighs and we maintain.

This is our base. Sit bones are on the floor. Let's grab the shins and we start lifting up the spine. And also for you, this is a little harder than before, right? There is less risk of come going forward because we have the legs right in front of us.

For many, for almost pretty much everyone, this is a lot for the hip flexors. It's what we have to do then we stretch them at the end. But it's okay, it's not, it doesn't damage anything. So you lift, you grow tall, we find that axle extension, always up and growing from the back of the head. Jaw relaxed, never tension at the jaw, you just lift, lift, lift.

Let's back, let's get back to our Spider-Man position with the arms. So push, push, push. You grow, you lengthen. Drop the shoulders, push them forward. Let's play a little bit with this position.

We go open, grow tall, and then close. Stay tall and again, open, open, open. Grow, push the arms away, grow super tall. And then close. And again, open, open, open.

Lengthen, beautiful. Reach away, grow tall. Maintain, maintain, maintain. And then close. Keep the tension everywhere.

Just release your arms slowly, go back to your shins and knees, stay lifted. And then release the tension for a second. We do something slightly different with the arms, but same idea, we challenge and we progress to the other thoracic position is gonna be T8, T9. So a little bit below where we were before. So same thing with tense, the legs out at the shins, in at the thighs.

We help ourself by lifting our bodies up, ourself up by holding at the knees. And then we stretch forward again. You lengthen. And now we, instead of opening, we go up to the ceiling. Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach, and bring it down.

And again, up, reach. We hold it for three, two, one. And stay tall with the top of the head and lower the arms. One more time, reach up really good. Push, push.

We are holding the ceiling, we can't let go. You are pushing, you're dropping the fingers down, you're lifting, you're externally rotating more. You'll lift, lift, lift, lift, lift. Now top of the head stays up, lower the arms in front of you. Release the arms, hold onto the shins, and relax.

Perfect. So let's leave this exercise here for a second. We take a little, because it's a lot when we push for one minute there. I want you to turn around and we start working on some cervical ELDOA. So you lie down with the head on the floor, and I'm gonna be here guiding her.

It's pretty simple, I'll give you indication, but again now we're getting to the cervical spine, which as safe as ELDOA is, is still the most delicate part of our spine. So go slowly and do only what feels good to your body today. So Gia is relaxed, the feet are on the floor for now, just really, you know, I only check the alignment, that's the only thing I want at this point. And what we're going to do is to get a little proprioception going at the neck. And we start from the eyes.

You will see how in the, this ELDOA we're gonna do now and the last one I will do at the wall, the eyes are very important. The white part of the eyes put tension in the fascia of the spinal cord, the dura mater. So I want you to look down and the chin comes in. And you see how I lengthen my neck when I do so. And now Gia, look back to me.

And then you release the chin and you do a little arch at the neck. And again, eyes and the chin comes in. So the eyes lead the movement. Eyes back to me and the chin comes up. Perfect.

And again, eyes down, chin in. Good. And eyes back, chin up. Good. Last one, eyes down, chin in.

And you grow tall, tall, tall, tall, tall. Very good. Now let's see if you can reach more on the left side. That's beautiful, get the chin in. So you see how at some point there is some tension when she goes in maximum tension.

This one side is a little more in tension than the other. That's okay. We try to put the neck and the body even as best as we can and we maintain. Now from this position, I want you to push the arms up towards the ceiling. We go into this Spider-Man arm position again, you lengthen, the fingers are heavy, big external rotation.

And now just as a factor of progression, I want her to move the arms around a little bit. So from here, instead of we stay here for like 10 seconds perpendicular. Keep looking down, keep gazing down. Now the eyes look down, the arms come back to me 45 degrees. And you push, push, push, push, push.

Very good. And now we continue. The eyes are down, but you bring the arms back. If you can lower them down a little more, more, more, more. If you, there it is, that's perfect.

If I feel a limitation, I just stop with both arms whatever that limitation is. Push back, eyes down. Push back, eyes down. It's really good. Just don't tense with the rib cage.

Just relax, beautiful. Push, push, push, push, push. Now keep lengthening the arms away. Open the arms in a wide position. Beautiful.

And now here, give me more rotation, external rotation and lengthen out. That's really good. Make sure the jaw is relaxed all the time. Beautiful. Push, push, push.

Now slowly keep moving the arms down until they get to your hips. Reach, reach, reach, very good. You find and you feel different tension of the fascia in the forearms and the arms, but that's okay. And you go, there it is. Lift up the arms a tiny bit, just a little.

And push away, just to give room to the fingers to rotate. Now think about unshrugging your shoulders away. Yes, beautiful. And the head pulls back even more. The occiput comes back to me.

Beautiful, very nice. Breathe, it's okay. Not too much tension and pain, right? Mm-hmm. Perfect.

Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. And slowly, super slowly at the count of five, you'll release the tension. Fingers, arms, trunk, face. Move the head around a little bit slowly. The eyes, the eyes is another thing.

Sometimes there is, the very first time you might feel a little dizzy or a little nauseous to look down all the time. If that's the case, don't force it. Just try to do a little bit more every single time, but don't get yourself sick just further looking down. It's a lot of tension that we are heading, so go really progressively and slowly. Now that we did this first run, I want you to bring one knee at a time into your chest.

And this is how we do the cervical ELDOA because we can't flatten the spine the best. And it's easier because it's just the weight of the legs that is taking care of it. Now we flex the feet. There is another rule that we haven't seen before. A little bit apart, just a tiny bit.

And when the legs are bent, we want to peel the little toe up to the outside of the knee. That's perfect, very good. So beside this, everything is relaxed, the knees are heavy, And we are now holding for about 60 seconds, which is pretty much how long you're holding an ELDOA posture with the arms up perpendicular. So this is the middle of the cervical spine is C4, C5. We're keeping the head down.

We just try to keep a maximum tension by gazing down. So the palms are up, the fingers are spread, maximum external rotation. That's beautiful. And now here you keep lengthening, lengthening, lengthening. That's it, that's it.

That's beautiful, very good. So even if I'm asking you a lot of things, try to relax the chest, calm the, have the wrapping come from underneath. You push and you reach and you lengthen, and you lengthen, beautiful. And it's totally normal that as we go on for the 60 seconds, there are certain things that maybe are not as the tension we put them in the beginning. So we, it's a continuous scan of the body, the eyes, the arms, the fingers, the push, the feet.

The breathing is relaxed, the jaw is relaxed. When you work at the cervical spine, we cannot put tensional in the TMJ. And as you do this, even if I ask her not to lift the head, the head already is becoming lighter. It means that she's really close to be able to lift. But for today we keep it down.

Eyes down, you push, you lengthen, your reach. Almost there, almost there. Give me as much as you can. See if you can get me back here with the top of the head. That's it.

No rotation, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, beautiful. Very good. Nice, nice, nice. Give me five, four, three, two, one. Slowly release the fingers, release the elbows.

Hug your knees for a second. Release the tension here. Of course the feet, you can relax them completely. Relax the neck and the face. And then let's do some circles with the knees just to release the whole body for a second.

That's perfect. And you can reverse go the other way. Good. Good and now before we go to the wall for the last one, we go back to our killer, the T8, T9. That's the tough one.

We prepared it a little bit but we're gonna go fully into it right now. So Gia, you can come up and you turn around facing me. Actually face the other way. So I can, you can look at that. Yeah.

And we go to the 90-degree position. So the feet are there. Perfect, in line with the sit bones, exactly like we prepare them before. I think you can come in a little bit more. Yes, there it is.

Now from here, the big toes come up. Perfect, there it is. Don't worry too much about the big toe because that's not the most important thing. If we have it, we do it otherwise we'll include it later. So here the shins are pulling out, it's like wrapping outside.

The thighs are pulling in, that's perfect. And then hold the shins a little bit, perfect. Close your knees a tiny bit more here. That's even more. Good, good, good.

Now grabbing, lift up the sternum up a little. That's beautiful. Lift, lift, lift, lift, lift. The sit bones are our base, the support, even right and left and grow tall. Sometimes I just place myself in the back.

So there is a feedback for the person doing and you have, you're more aware of where you should be. She's really good. Maybe try to get the fill my calf a little bit more. A little lower down. Beautiful, that was perfect.

Very nice. Push, push, push, push, push, good. I'm gonna stay here for a little bit. I want you to do external rotation with the arms, you reach forward, nice. Push the forehead back, the chin back, very good.

Use me because I'm gonna get away at some point. From here, close your knees a little bit. Keep everything in line now, exhale. Bring the arms up over head and push. Push, push, push, push, push.

Very nice. Lift, lift, lift, lift, lift. Big external rotation. Maintain, maintain, maintain. Keep pushing, keep reaching and breathing.

The breathing is our friend. We need to use the diaphragm and make it as less stressful as possible. We start growing here, we build up, we build up. There is here this specific link we are opening up, but we go and we push, we push, we push, we push. Beautiful.

It's already really good. If you can bring your arms to the ears back a little. Yes, beautiful. Push, push, push. Breathe.

More external rotation, more lift, very nice. Push, beautiful. Lift, lift, lift, lift, lift. Very good, very good. Give me a little bit more.

This is a self-traction, right? So we are hanging from the ceiling, we are reaching up, we are creating that space. We are also strengthening the muscle. It's not a stretch. We are working those muscles in a very, very extreme range.

You push now. We are towards the end. But instead of relaxing everything together, I want you to keep pushing up to the ceiling like crazy all the time. I want you to extend your right leg forward and maintain everything else. Beautiful.

Push, push, push, push, push. Very nice. Maintain, maintain, maintain. Keep pushing up, keep the external rotation. Very good, now keep the elbow over here.

Extend your left leg. Maintain, maintain, maintain. Reach, hold, don't arch. Stay back here. Push, push, push, push, push.

Three, two, one, and melt slowly. Fingers, arms, everything else releases. Really good. This is not easy, right? Perfect.

So now we can transition to the wall for the last ELDOA, L5-S1. So it's not an option to do it with the wall, it's a must. We don't want to hold the legs up, otherwise we shorten the lumbar spine with flexors and abs. We need the support of the wall to execute this last ELDOA we're gonna see today. So we're now here at the wall for the last ELDOA.

Before we get there, I want to tell you a couple of important things. One in general, as we said in the beginning, ELDOA creates space. So if you have a fusion or either a surgery or a natural fusion in your spine, don't do ELDOA at that link. Go around that link but don't do that specific link. And then the other important information is for the exercise we're going to do now is L5-S1.

As we know, L5-S1 is sometimes, where the sciatic nerve gets pinched or in with that part of the sciatic nerve. So it can be a very good exercise for sciatic. But if you have an active sciatic and you feel that nerve sensation or tingling when you bring the legs up at 90 degrees like I'm showing now, please don't do it. In that case, you need to pull away from the wall and do it at the level where you have no nerve pain or no sensation down your leg. That way it's safe, okay?

You have no sciatic, right? So we can go all the way up into the wall. I'm asking Gia to go and place the sit bones very, very close to the wall even more. So you tilt to the side. Yeah, that's perfect.

So the sit bones are already there. And then she can roll on their back. And usually you're pretty much in the right position there. Otherwise you need to try to scooch forward so that the sit bones are even and over there on the wall. When I'm in person sometimes, yeah, you're already good so you can do that there.

We go with actually bend your legs first. This is something I always recommend to do as a decompression at the end of the day. So we're gonna go through the whole thing, but this is almost like a TV version or email version that you can do. So it's actually the perfect position for the neck as well to do emails because if you pretend to have the phone in your hands. Yeah, you're looking down, the neck is straight, the back is melting down.

So that area of the lumbar spine, in L5-S1 is just decompressing and getting heavier and heavier on the floor. So that's great. Stay in this position for five minutes if you can. And then once you have decompress a little bit, you lengthen up the legs, perfect, hip-width apart. We already saw before all the rules for the straight legs and for the arms.

So we already know exactly what we need to do. We keep the legs just a little wider than the hips. And legs straight, so we go big dorsiflexion. And as you do the dorsiflexion, I want the tailbone to push down into the floor. Okay, relax the abs, relax the hip flexor, push down and reach up.

All the toes are falling down. Now like we did before, no rotation at first. Just tilt your feet. The two cameras are facing each other. That's beautiful.

Very nice, very good. And now we internally rotated the hips, but I don't want you to touch over here with the toes. I want you to lift, don't open too much, but let's get into more rotation. So you are pretty flexible. So think about pushing out with the knees a little more.

We create a different tension. If we add a tension, we don't need to fully internally rotate and close the chain. That's why we don't want the big toes to touch. We want to keep an open chain. Now the heels are reaching up, the big toes are falling down towards the naval, the sit bones are still up against the wall, and the tailbone is down.

And give me a couple of breath and just like make this position almost heavier, but in a good way, not in a bad way. Just ground it more and deepening in more. Perfect. Now we maintain this and we add the arms. We can go from the side or from up like we did before.

So it can reach up to the ceiling. Big rotation. And now bring them all the way back of our head and gaze down with your eyes. Beautiful, very nice. So stretch, stretch, stretch.

Do you feel more tension, right, when you had the arms? Very good. Push, push, push. Heels up, rotation, lengthen, breathe, eyes down. The eyes down here are perfect because she needs to do this as a homework, right?

It's not enough once everyone say in a while. When you do it, you need to gaze down, and check on your knees, on your feet, on everything. Beautiful. You reach, reach, reach. Big spreading of the fingers, you lengthen.

Gaze down, jaw relaxed, And maintain, maintain, maintain, maintain. Go deeper here, keep lifting. I like to move around to see if everything is in the right alignment. She's perfect. Very good even with the knees, with the heels.

Now reach a little more here and here. And the other side as well. Push, lengthen, beautiful. As you lengthen arms and sit bones, eyes down. Perfect.

Now a heavy tailbone, heels up, big toes down. Beautiful. Maintain, maintain, maintain. I know you're already 100%, but try to get to 110, 115. Reach, reach.

Beautiful. Very, very nice. Now try to drop down here, not with the hips, just drop it. Lift the arms a little bit for you. Yes and drop it here.

Push, push, push. Beautiful. Now maintain, keep the tension at the arms. Here, heavier, heavier, heavier. That's it, very nice.

Now maintain the tension at the arms. Release your feet, toes and feet only. Very good. Then you release your ankles, your knees, beautiful. Keep pushing, eyes down.

Maintain, maintain, maintain. Slowly release the arms, slowly release the elbows, and bring the arms back in. And you can also bend the knees a little bit. It's usually really nice to maintain this position a little bit when you're done. Because after that big tension, it's good to let it settle a little bit instead of jumping up right away.

So if you have a couple of seconds, stay here. And then we did this amazing job to deep rack L5-S1 and to find more space. Please don't twist your way out of it, okay? So the way we get off this position is to bring the knees even more in. Yes, and then we roll to that side, to the left side together.

Shoulders as well, shoulders go. Perfect fetal position. And then it's safe to come up and to come up to the sitting position. How do you feel? Great.

Great? Yeah. So it's a different type of work. If it's the first time trying it, it's very intense, right? So it was a little bit of a slow class to getting started with it, but if you really push and work in all those position, it's a full body workout.

You get better range of motion, more awareness, and you strengthen the spine, the deep muscles of the spine as you're holding those positions. So play it safe, listen to your body, and enjoy your ELDOA class. Thank you, Gia. Thank you.


Hilde H
3 people like this.
My body needed this class! Such hard work for me, but it feels amazing. Thank you.
I would love to see PA do a course/playlist for ELDOA. This was amazing but intense!
2 people like this.
Thank you so much to bringing ELDOA to this platform! Also thank you for your nice presentation!
1 person likes this.
A question about the workout: you finish with legs on the wall. How about hand on the wall?
I tried standing sideways to the wall one arm stretched sideways hand on the wall flexed fingers facing up other arm hanging on side  and found that position very effective on balancing my shoulder.
Would these exercises be safe for someone with osteoporosis ? Thanks
Hilde H Yes Hilde! The work is very hard (for everyone) but so rewarding and amazing for the body! Keep practicing and you'll feel even better!
Savannah Jade Dobbs Thank you Savannah! Glad you like it! ELDOA is a great complement to Pilates! 🙌🏻
Copycat Thank you! And thank you @pilatesanytime 🙏🏼
Copycat hi! I messaged you privately because I have a hard time picturing your pose. I'll be more specific if you can send me a picture but when I can share is that those posture are very specific to the joint that we are working on and the one with the legs at the wall is for L5-S1. Having said that we work a lot with factors of progressions that prepare these poses and from what I grasp the position that you are describing could be a great factor of progression for it and great to improve the awareness as well. Love receiving these feedback! Let me know how you feel as you repeat this class!
Diane S Hi Diane! Yes! These are safe and actually beneficial for osteoporosis ! 🙌🏻
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