Class #5365

Thrive Mat

45 min - Class


It's time to thrive in this Mat workout by Erika Quest. Grab your Foam Roller and a Theraband and meet up on the Mat where you'll get a great workout focusing on FUNctional and creative uses of these simple props. You will challenge your balance, add resistance to help sculpt and wake up areas of your body, and enjoy a dynamic mobility cooldown which will help you thrive into the rest of your day.
What You'll Need: Mat, Foam Roller, Theraband

About This Video

Aug 23, 2023
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Oh, hey friends. It's Erika Quest, and guess what? I believe movement should be a celebration of your body and what your body can do, right? So it's time to thrive. And join me on the mat in this session.

All you need is your body. If you have a TheraBand or some tubing around, maybe a towel, maybe nothing at all, you could most certainly use nothing at all for most of this session. And hopefully you got a foam roller or you got something round. We won't be using that until about three quarters of the way into this session. We'll be using the band and the tubing to just help provide a little bit of resistance.

But this session is all about you becoming one with your body thriving in this session, yes, we will be challenging you in all different body positions. We'll get a total body workout and then I promise, after we do a few fun things with the roller, I'll do a little bit of mobility with you, bring you back up to standing and finish you with a nice, easy, cool down and challenge your balance a little bit. So let's get started. Take your TheraBand. You can see I have a pretty long band.

So you want a band or something that's long enough to be able to wrap around your waist. And I'm gonna go high up on my waist here. If your band is not long enough, it's okay. You can do this without a band and or if your band is a little shorter and you're gonna get more tension, that's all that's gonna happen when you reach your arms out nice and wide. So hold onto your band.

And again, you're gonna make adjustments as you go along based upon the tension that your body is craving in this moment. So from here on an inhale, I want you to get nice and big with your arms and your body. Lift that chest, expand, expand, expand. And then exhale. Bring those arms back down.

Just seeing how this feels for that band to start to cinch around your waist a little bit tighter. And for you to really feel your arms reach out nice and why that chest starts to lift, you open your heart center. You notice where your body is at in space. Those feet are about hip distance apart, parallel. They're just kind of hanging out, but you're standing evenly on both of them.

Hold it here. Keep those palms of the hands up for a moment. Lift that heart center and now give me a nice hip hinge and flat back here. And bring yourself back up to standing and draw the arms back in. Yeah, so we're gonna take a nice arm reach here.

Take that hip hinge. Just starting to see where you're at, right? What's your hamstring or the backs of your legs starting to feel like right now? Just starting to get some gentle flexibility back there. Some shoulder mobility should feel really nice.

Stay back on those heels for me if you can, give me one more for me please. And then we're gonna start to add a little bit of side bending and some rotation still with that band wrapped around our waist. So bring it in here and then come all the way back out. And now what I want you to do is draw one arm down to your side. Reach the other arm over.

Yeah, just getting that tension. Feel that band really expanding along that side body. Come back, draw the arms in and then reach them out. Other side please. And reach over.

Feel that openness of that side body on one side and lifting back up nice and tall. And draw the arms in. Every time you reach your arms out, I want you to give me that nice lifted chest that buoyancy through your body and reach over. Good, draw yourself back to center. Draw the arms in one more time and then we'll do a little rotation.

Remember, it's time to thrive in this session. So it wants to feel really good in your body. That's what we're going for here. And bring yourself back home. Now take those arms out and hold them out, right?

Gain that tension in the band or the tubing and just give me some simple rotation. See where you're at in space. Taking that major area of rotation through your middle back, that's your T-spine, your thoracic spine. Not that you need to know that terminology. Lift up tall and then rotate and twist.

But big area of rotation. We need this for life. We need this for driving in our car. We need this for playing sports. If you're a tennis player or you're playing pickleball these days, or maybe you're a golfer, two more, rotate and center.

Good, and last one here. Rotate and center, I love it. Let's go ahead and unwrap your band. Place it into your hands and open up your base of support. So what I'd like for you to do is come into a little bit of lower body warmup here with a nice sumo squat, frog squat if you will.

And then bring it back down. So starting to put a little pressure out into your pinky fingers as you squat down and you bring that band above the head. If you can't take your arms above your head, you can absolutely just bring them to where they can go. This is about what your body can do and not about what your body can't do. So if that's as far as you go with your arms, no judgment.

I'm taking mine up above the head. And now I'm gonna add some lateral flexion. I'm gonna pull the band to my knee, bring it back up and lower. So we're taking a nice sumo squat, yes. And we're taking that lateral flexion or that side bend if you will, and lower it down.

Now as you come through this, I'm gonna start to ask you to start to lift one of your heels after this next repetition. And the band is gonna bend to the side of the heel that lifts, all right? So come with me on this next one. So I'm gonna lift the band up. I'm gonna squat down.

I'm gonna lift a heel and I'm gonna draw the band to my knee, bring it back up and stand it back up. Let's see if we can combo pack that. So squat, lift the heel, draw the band down, yes. So changing that contact pinpoint, meaning just even lifting that heel, is gonna change your balance in your body a little bit. Maybe subtle, but that's okay.

Changing that contact point is gonna increase the challenge. Good, bring it back up and lower. Give me two more. Lifting that heel, lower, up and down. Last one here is you lift that heel, take it down.

Good, bring it back up and lower. Fantastic, so do me a favor. We're gonna narrow our base of support, not super narrow, but step on top of your band. Hopefully you've got a decent length on your band here. If not, you don't need a band at all.

I'm just gonna add some tension to my squats as well as my forward raise. So I'm gonna take that squat, reaching my arms forward, okay? So we're starting at a nice, good thriving pace with this session. 'Cause I want it to feel good in your body. And that's the whole point.

And in this squat, I want you to think about your heels, right? We're going for triple flexion. What does that mean, Erika? So we're going for flexion at your hip, at your knees, and at your ankles. And everyone's squats look different.

So do what feels good for you. Stay down with me and let's add rotation. So rotate out, look, come back center, stand it up. Other side, squat down and rotate. Look, depending on where you're at in your body, maybe you have tighter calves, I know I do.

You may not get down as low. But the biggest thing here, is I want you to really focus on thinking about if you could still wiggle your toes while you're doing this. Two more and rotate. Reach and stand it up. Last one, as you reach forward and look, come back center and stand it up.

Now take one foot off of that band and keep the other one in. And I wanna do just a little bit of single leg balance with you for, with you here. So choke down on your tension and use the tension to help you float that leg in the band up. And notice where you're at in space. We're gonna finish with something similar using the roller.

So I wanna challenge you to notice what's happening right now. And if you're standing on a mat like I am, you're gonna feel a lot more happening through the leg or the foot that's on the floor. And that's okay. It's not as stable of a surface. If you are standing on a firm surface or the ground.

Now, can you leave that leg up a little bit and just give me a little tilt forward? Look, we're headed to a single leg deadlift, but we're not going all the way there. This is just a noticing moment. You're testing the waters. It's not easy, it's definitely challenging.

Balance begins to decline at the age of 30, and it's really important that we challenge it in a variety of different ways. So this is just one of those ways. Woo-hoo! That we can do that. Good, come all the way back and let's try the other side. Again, maybe just maybe, your other side learned something while the other side was trying it out.

So let's see how you're doing on this side. Again, get the tension that you need to help assist that leg up. And we'll start with just the up and the down. So you can start to acclimate to this side. Stand up as tall as you can.

Still feel that activity. It's not serious activity, but active core, right? It's helping you balance. As you're doing this. Now, hover the leg, give me that little tilt forward, yes.

And then come back. We did three of these on the other side. So let's bang out two more here. Good, and you can see, I am resisting my temptation to look towards you right now because, whew! I can feel my leg on the floor really working hard to accomplish this task. Great job.

From here, what I'd like for you to do is keep that one foot on the band and still hold onto it with the outer hand. So I'm gonna switch my feet, so that makes sense to you. So my toes are forward, my heels are back. I'm gonna bring my arm out in front of me and I'm simply gonna step to the side, right? Nothing's changing on my arm right now, we're just acclimating to this little mini side lunge or this lateral lunge position.

And we're taking a step out and in, focusing on the outer part of the legs a little bit more, just changing the angle that we're training the lower body and the hips. It's not big, it's not super bold yet. And if you wanna make it bigger and bolder, we're gonna add in a full arm reach. And we're gonna add in a deeper hip hinge. Now when you're here, try and send your sits bones back towards the wall behind you, and then press off that outer leg to come back up.

So get some propulsion off of that outer leg while you're doing this. So down into that side lunge and bring it back home. Give me three more and then we're gonna stay out there. And two, you got a team and one, stay out there. Now hold it, point these toes out, thread the needle underneath your band, bring it back behind you.

And imagine that you're gonna do a tricep press. But I want you to pretend that you have a hammer in that hand and you're gonna start to hammer that nail into a wall in front of you. Got it? Reach, great. You've got four, you've got three press, you've got two, press and one, press.

Good job. Come all the way around. And we're gonna switch sides. So let that band come down, step on top of it with the other foot. Pick up the tail end with the other hand.

And we begin on the other side. So we're just gonna step out and in, right? We're just getting acclimated to this side, yep. So feeling that sort of, again, that flexion at the hip, knee and ankle on this side, while you're getting more hip opening on the leg that stays straight. And then if you wanna go into that deeper side, lunge in the draw a sword or that reach, now's the time to do it.

Again, you can ascend your tush back towards the wall or whatever's behind you. For me, it's the beautiful Pacific Ocean. And it's real. Don't worry, it exists. And you're here with me now.

Good, two more times and then we're gonna pause out there. Good, last one. And stay out. Now pivot that foot, thread the needle, come up and start to take those tricep presses, right? And hammer that nail.

So here we go. Press, I think we did about 10. So this is five. Give me five more please. And five, great.

Four, three and two. Last one, team. Heck yeah. Now from here we're gonna move down onto the floor into a high kneeling position. So bring your band down onto your mat or the floor.

And I want you to anchor it with your knees. And I'm a pretty honest person if you didn't realize that already. So I'm gonna tell you that, these five stretches are not my favorite exercises, but they're so useful for a variety of things. We're gonna laterally raise the arms. So practice this first with me.

See the tension that you want, right? So we're here, we're taking a nice lateral raise, getting those shoulders nice and working, and those arms working. And then from here, take your lateral raise and give me a hip opener as you come back and hinge at the knees, reach the arms forward, open the arms out and lower back down. So it's that hinging at the knees. That can be really challenging here because you're opening the front of the hips.

It's so important. Many of us sit a lot during the day or maybe you're a runner. We all walk hopefully. And so this is a great exercise to start to open up the front of the hips. Good, I'm gonna throw a curve ball at you.

Can you take one arm forward and one arm out and then bring it back and come back down. (indistinct) little brain body coordination, feels a little wonky. And that's okay, nothing wrong with that. Let's do two more. Asymmetrical, come forward and out and down.

I feel like I'm barely moving in my thigh stretch, but that's okay. I can feel it on the front of my legs and come down. We're moving into everyone's favorite. Planking, you're like, "What Erika?" Come with me, you got it. From here, we're just gonna turn, or I'm gonna turn and face side.

If you wanna stay facing me, that's great. I'm gonna lie my band down in front of me. I need some kind of slack in the center and I'm placing my hands around the areas that's closest to the edges of my mat, if that makes sense. From here, press the floor away. We wanna set you up for a really good high quality plank.

And remember, team, at any time, if you need to come into a semi plank and modify this, please do so. There's no judgment in that, right? So from here, if you're willing and you want to, you're gonna come with me. Extend one leg out, bring the other leg out to join it. Nothing happens in the core right now, right?

So you're in a nice high plank position. And now we're gonna transition. You're gonna place one hand center, rotate, take the band up and you're in a nice side plank and you're gonna take a side bend, reach that band back up to the ceiling, watch your nose and come back down. Let's try the other side. So rotate, find that nice T-stand that side plank.

Lift up and over. Can you get a nice big side bend here? Whoa, that felt good on that side. Great job, come back down. Switch sides if you need a break at any time, you lower down to your knees, you extend the top leg right here and leave the bottom knee down, good.

Or you stay with me and we just move in and out of rotation. One arm, basically shoulder stands and plank positions. Two more, rotate, come on up and side bend, push the floor away and come back and down. Last one, here you got it. And lift, side bend up and over and lift and lower down with those knees.

Fantastic job. We are gonna now take a moment and do an arts and crafts projects together. Are you ready? I would like for you to tie a knot in your band, right? So don't worry, we'll be able to untie it in a little bit.

But we're gonna do a whole series with your band tied in a knot. Now as we're doing our arts and craft project, just note that if you have a loop band handy, handy or laying around, you could absolutely use a loop band as well. I need you to make a hole that's about so big, right? It's not your scarf, don't worry, it's not your neck tie, don't worry. But what we're gonna do is, we're gonna bring this up and over our knees or around our knee area, okay?

So we've created our own loop band. But again, as I mentioned, if you have a loop band, just grab it, you could use that. Starting on your side body, you have options here. You can be down all the way onto your side or your head resting on your arm. You can also be up on your forearm.

You can also be supporting your head with your hand. So choose what works for you and maybe try and variate it a little bit so that you can see what the best position is for your upper body. I'm pushing into my forearm and I'm gonna start some butterfly here, right? So we're just getting some a little bit of hip mobility now, starting to work through this glute, the glute mead and the side of the leg, right? And just into a little bit of external rotation on this hip.

Yes, good. Give me three and give me two and give me one. Now I'm gonna take liberty and come all the way down onto my arm with my head. And I'm gonna extend both legs out. From here, I'm keeping my top leg lifted.

I'm gonna lift it a little higher, flex my foot, getting some ankle mobility happening. Drop it and point it. So you're making little circles now with your ankle as you lift, flex, drop and point. Lift, flex, drop and point. And these are sneaky.

As much of our side work is. 'Cause you're like, "Oh Erika, I'm doing so good right now. I feel a little bit, but I don't think, I don't think I feel anything major." But it will start to creep in. 'Cause this is an endurance series and we're gonna stay here for the next 25 minutes. I'm kidding.

But we've got a few more things to do on this side series, good. Let's reverse that ankle circle. So you're gonna lower, flex, lift and point. Lower, flex, lift and point. Fun fact, ankle mobility is super, super important as we age.

And in general for fall prevention and reaction time. We need good ankle mobility. And this is a great way to sneak it in while we are working out together. Last one here, and I want you to stay lifted. I want you to point your toe here.

Imagine a stream of water coming out of those big toes or all of your toes and start some circles. You should be feeling it now. (Erika chuckles) I know you are. If I am, you definitely are. Three, two, and one, reverse it up and over, up and over.

You got it. It's burning. Is it burning for you? It's burning for me. Five, four, three, two, one.

Keep that leg lifted. Flex your foot, reach through your heel. Lift higher. Eight, seven, what? Six, five, four, three, two.

Fantastic job. We've got our other side to do. So come with me. Turn right on around. Set yourself up.

Remember, I started on my forearm for butterfly. So I want you to stay in the same position that you started in. Push that floor away with your forearm or whatever you're lying on down there, right? Or just make sure that you're not sinking into that shoulder is a better coaching cue for you right now. Getting a little warm in here.

And four more, nice. And three, you've got it. Two more. I get to lie down on my side after this last one here. And then here we go.

Coming all the way down onto my side, my top leg gains tension, it gains more tension. And then I flex, drop and point. Lift, flex, drop, point. Lift, flex drop, point. Up, flex drop, point.

Up, flex drop, point, four more. Drop point. Remember we gotta go in the reverse in just a second. Last two. Again, notice how this leg feels different than the other leg.

Don't judge it, just notice it. Reverse it. Down, flex, lift, point. Down, flex lift, point. Down flex.

We got to eight to 10 on the other side. So let's do about the same here. Give me four more please. Up, point, down, flex, up, point, down, flex, up, point, last one. Then we got our circles and circle up and over.

So maybe your circle is the size of a tennis ball today. And that tennis ball, maybe that tennis ball is coated in honey. Three and two. Notice how that textural cue, might make you work a little harder, right? So really scrape around that tennis ball with your big toe.

Seven, six. I think that's gonna be a bonus repetition. Congratulations and I'm sorry, all at the same time. Three, two, one. Flex your foot, reach through the heel.

Finish strong. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and one, great job. We are turning over onto our back. Keep that band around your knees. We will untie it to momentarily, I promise.

If you need to make a little adjustment with it right now, now's the time to do it, okay? A little bit of bridging work here with abductors, right? So we're gonna work the backs of the legs and the outer thighs here. So what I'd like for you to do is, make sure your legs are wide enough so you have tension in your band. And go ahead and let's roll the spine up.

So you're gonna roll your pelvis under and start to get some spine mobility here. Using the floor as feedback should feel delightful. And then exhale as you roll all the way down and through. So just bringing ourself into our spine now, really focusing on the first time that we've lied. Is that a word?

Down on our back. And feeling the feedback of the floor behind us to really gauge how much mobility we have in our spine at this given time. And maybe you wanna slow down through some areas, I don't know. And take your time to see if you can kind of get a little bit mobility. Mobility, like for me, I love to slow down through my lower back.

It feels so good. Great job, now on this next one, stay lifted for me. Please keep that little bit of tension out with the legs. And then we're gonna hold in your bridge position. Keep the glutes in the backs of the legs turned on and then open and close the legs here a little bit.

Open and close. Open and close. Yes, we're intensifying that work through our glutes, lower body strength and power. Super, super important. These are the muscles that help us get up and get down in life.

And we're training for life team, right? If we are thriving in life, we are training our bodies and moving them to move well in life. Good, five more. Five and four and three. Last two and one, do me a favor.

Lift your pelvis a little higher and then roll yourself all the way down and out of that bridge. Give yourself a hug of your knees. Great job. From here, send your legs back out. But don't put your feet down on the floor.

Bring your fingers behind your head. Inhale, exhale. Keep some pressure out into the band and lift the head, neck, and shoulders into a forward fold. Inhale as you lower back down, don't think of it as a crunch. I want you to really feel your upper abs starting to lift you here.

And doing that on an exhale can really help you. So exhale, we're just starting to set you up for some brain body connection with the abdominals. And exhaling as you lift. And now can you stay lifted? If you need to lower your head at any time you can, but if you can stay with me, come with me.

Lift your arms up, extend them out. Uh oh, what does it look like? It just might be a little bit of a pumping of the arms like the hundreds, right? So what I'm gonna ask you to do is, start to pump your arms, right? In two, three, four, five, if that feels good for you and two, three, four, five.

So exhale, long exhalations. You can do it percussively if you'd like to, but it's up to you. But I'm gonna throw you a few curve balls here. So what I want you to do is, rub your tummy and pat your head with me. You're gonna open the legs out as you pump the arms up and down.

Whoa, this is so challenging on the brain body connection. If this does not feel correct or good for you, you just come back and you do it with the knees in the tabletop position. But keep trying to pump your arms. See, you can even see how it's confusing for my brain up and down as you open your legs out and in. Good, so out and in with the legs, up and down with the arms.

Good, 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one. Hug the knees into the chest, lower the head down and give yourself a mini break. Great job. So roll yourself up to the seated position. We're moving into some single leg bridging, but now we're done with our art project.

So we need to undo our knot. Or if you were using a loop band, just take it on off and grab your TheraBand or your tubing again. What I'm gonna do here is, I'm gonna wrap my foot around with the band. All the way around, so I have a good secure loop on that foot. And I'm gonna lie back down onto my back.

I have my one side of my band under my leg because yes, I'm going to free. I need a free leg here and I don't want that band to run into it. From here what I'd like to do is some single leg bridging. So what you're gonna do is you're gonna extend the free leg up and you're going to drive up through the floor leg and you're gonna reach your band long. Can you see my arm that's overhead is the one that is associated with the opposite leg that's lifted?

Good, come back down and do that again. Good and reach. Whoops, I forgot to lower this leg in-between. So you can lower that leg in-between and then come with me. Good, so we're adding tension to the arms for sure.

We're adding a little bit of brain body coordination using that band and some asymmetrical arms here in this unilateral bridge position while we're working that leg that's driving through the floor into the bridge. Last one here. I think this is about five or six. And that's all we have for this side. So you wanna bring yourself back up to the seated position, unwrap that foot, wrap up the other one and again, I talk about this all the time, especially when we're doing unilateral work, meaning individual sides of things.

Maybe this side learns something from the other side so it could feel a little better and it might understand what it's gonna do a bit more. So I'm back down on my back. I'm going to extend my free leg up just so I know which arm is going towards the ceiling, which is this one. And from here, as I drive down into the floor with my banded up foot leg, I'm gonna lift that arm up and I'm gonna reach my other arm out. Good, you can do this on an exhale.

Should feel nice to really feel the back of that leg come up as you lift and elevate your body off the floor. Unilateral bridging is one of the best ways that you can work on the backs of those hamstrings and the glutes without squatting or lunging. One more time, please. And lift that leg and reach with the arms. Fantastic, lower down and out of that.

Fantastic job you guys. So here's the deal. We are almost done with the band, I promise. We've got one more exercise in on our belly. So not the most comfortable position for everyone, but if you can do it, that's great.

I want you to imagine that your band is now a cape. So pa, pa, pa. Put your cape on. You're probably gonna wanna do this while you're seated. It's easier grab so that you have kind of like an underhand grab on the band.

And then place yourself down on your mat in a prone position, which is just a fancy term for on your belly. My back, my low back specifically likes to have my legs a little wider. So if that feels better for you, great. If you can handle a more narrow stance, that's fine too. It's totally up to you.

Do me a favor. Bring your band down towards your hips, lower your forehead to the floor. Visualize yourself as the most amazing super person out there. And as you lift up, you're going to spread your cape wide, yes. And feel your upper middle back.

Your postural muscles really activate here. You might not lift that high and that's okay 'cause I know that you're feeling it. I don't have that big of a lift on my body, right? And that's fine. The task that I'm asking you and me to do is working.

We're opening our cape wide and we're bringing it back down to our hips and getting really deeply connected with our whole back line of our body. Your leg should feel nice and strong right now. They shouldn't just be hanging out on the floor. They should be as straight as you can keep them comfortably and you should really feel that energy of them reaching back behind you as the crown of the head reaches forward. Two more and open that cape.

Expand your wings, learn how to fly, right? Last one here, and open your wingspan. Beautiful job. Bring your wings back down. You can let go of that band, place it off to the side, press yourself up and over for a moment and take a nice child's pose.

If your knees can handle it, open your base of support if that's okay for you. And if not, you could absolutely just be up here doing a few cat stretches. It's all about just like wiggling and getting any tension out of that spine right now. And it's time for you to grab your roller. So come with me, grab your roller or find a roller, something like this or nothing at all.

And we're gonna use this roller for some rolling variations. So there's a traditional exercise in Pilates called Rolling Like a Ball. Another one, another favorite of mine is called Open Leg Rocker. We're just gonna do a combo pack of that using this roller in a vertical position. So I'm hooking this roller in between my feet.

I'm grabbing onto the top of it and I'm gonna test the water by coming back and finding my balance. I think I'm there, good. Good job, Erika, right? We need self affirmations. Way to go, here we go.

So you're gonna come back, find your balance, and then if you're willing and you wan to come with me, let's roll. Whoa, and let's roll back forward. Can you find your balance on the way up? (indistinct) tricky. I made it happen on that one.

Yeah, try and roll back so far that you go towards your shoulders and not necessarily onto your neck. So you're really resisting that temptation to use momentum in your favor and allow this to come from your pelvis. So start to curl under, roll back, and then come back forward. Yes, you've got three more and roll back, come forward. And last two.

And remember, if you have to touch the floor with the roller on the way up and take a break in between because it's just not working for you. That's totally fine. Last one here. Excellent job. I've got one more prone exercise and I'm putting this in here with the roller because I want you to feel how it is to bring yourself a little bit higher off the floor.

This could work to your advantage. So we're gonna do a little bit of a swan back extension, but also rolling out your quads a little bit, right? So 'cause it is, this is a session for thriving. Find a spot on your roller where you can rest your hips and it's relatively comfortable. Your forearms are down, your toes are for now tucked on the floor and press into the palms of your hands and gaze forward with your chest.

Find a beautiful swan back extension. Now lower those elbows down and see how it feels to lift your toes and lower your forehead. Good, come back up. Try that again. And come into swan.

Yes, so nice keeping that abdominal wall engaged here so that you're being safe through your lower back. Now come halfway up and pull yourself forward and roll out your quads. Come back and do that again. And roll into your swan. Yes, so it's not a true swan rocking.

It's kind of a true swan rolling. If you wanna be honest (indistinct). You got two more of these and roll through those quads. And last one here and roll. Super, super job.

Now it's time for a little bit of mobility. So turn your roller. And what I would like for you to do is, if you can, if it's available to you, lie down on your back vertically on that roller. So, your tailbone should be at the very, very end, okay? Almost like you feel like you're gonna fall down on the floor.

And by the way, team, you can do this on your back as well. But the roller gives just a little bit of a balance challenge. It also brings the floor or brings you off the floor and gives you more space to move. So reach your arms up and let's just start with some simple telescoping of the arms as you come up to the ceiling. And then draw the shoulders back down.

This should feel good. You might get a little bit of a self massage in between those shoulder blades, which is just lovely. Give me two more and then we'll start some alternating arm reaches. And last one. Great, then take one arm up to the ceiling for me please.

And try and grab onto something like there's an imaginary diamond or something you really wanted. Maybe for me it's dark chocolate on the ceiling. And you're gonna pull it back down into you, take the other arm up, grab onto that dark chocolate, pull it back into you, reach up, grab it and pull it. Reach up, grab it and pull it. Now I want you to take your arms out to basically a little bit of a diagonal angle and do the same thing.

So you're gonna reach out and maybe over there it's, I don't know what it is, maybe it's your drink of choice and you pull it in. Whether that's iced tea, whether that's kombucha, whether that's a glass of wine. We're just creating a different angle of those shoulders for mobility. And reach out, grab it, pull it in, reach out, grab it, pull it in. Last one on this side.

Reach out, grab it, pull it in. You got one more. So let's ratchet it out just a little bit more. And what are we gonna reach for now? I don't know, maybe it's your favorite meal, right?

You're gonna reach out, you're gonna grab it. Can you tell I might be a little hungry during this session? Reach out, grab it, pull it back in, reach out, grab it, pull it back in. One more. Reach out, grab it, pull it back in.

Now relax your hands, shake them out and let your arms come out and open your heart to the ceiling and close your eyes for a moment if that feels okay for you. If it doesn't, you can leave them slightly dim and breathe. And you may feel like I just did where I needed to adjust my neck a little bit. And that's very normal. You could even push through your feet and feel like your pelvis move a little bit.

But more than anything, just take some breath. (Ericka breathes) Breathing is the first thing that we do when we're born and it's a part of our daily life and it's really, really important to tap into it to help regulate our nervous system throughout the day. So take a nice deep drink of air in. (Ericka breathes in) At the top, hold that exhale and can you sniff up just a tiny bit more air and then let all of that air out of your lungs. (Erica breathes out) Let's do one more of those.

Drink all that air in. (Erica breathes in) One extra little sip at the top and then all the air comes all the way out. (Erica breathes out) Before we move back into the standing position, I've got one more thing here on the floor. So we're gonna change your roller position to behind your head. There's a little notch on the back of our head called our occiput.

And I want you to place your roller in a really nice position to where your head can rest there. So it's not super deep on your neck. And it's not super high up here, it's kind of halfway in between and you'll find it, when you found it, just rest there for a moment and just enjoy that. Again, dim your eyes or close your eyes because it's time to thrive. And I want you to think about something that you've been doing a lot of lately that you might need to eliminate from your life, right?

And whatever that is for you, is totally fine. Again, there's no judgment, just put that in your mind right now. And I want you to start to turn your head from side to side. And I want you to start to say no. And as you say no, you're just gonna thoughtfully eliminate that from your mind and from your life as you just simply rotate your neck, right?

Sometimes life is about saying yes. And sometimes we say too much yes and too little no. So now is your turn to say no to whatever that is, good. One more turn to the side and then quiet that no and pause for a moment. And now I want you to think about something that you wanna invite into your life.

Whether that's more movement, whether that's more joy through movement, whether that's more joy in general. And I want you to invite that into your life by saying yes. Sometimes life is about that inner journey and that inner fitness just as much as it's about that outer fitness. And so invitation right now to say yes to your inner fitness and to thrive not only on your exterior but to thrive on your interior. Pause that yes, remember your no, Remember your yes, gently open your eyes, and slowly bring yourself back into gravity.

And we're gonna finish with two things in the standing position. Now you've been on your back for a little bit, so I want you to take your time to come up to standing. However, you should choose to do so is fine by me. You don't need to do a lunge, but if that works for you, great. If you want to come on to all fours and then take a step in, totally fine as well.

So from here we're gonna do just that balance challenge that we did with the band at the very beginning of this class. I'd like for you to take your foam roller and put one end on the top of your foot and the other end your hand. The same side hand is gonna press onto the top of the roller. And from here, you can take your other arm out to the side if that helps you. And we're just gonna challenge a little bit of what we did in the beginning, but it was the band where we were bending the knee.

Now I just want you to kick that leg forward and I want you to kick it back. Different side, right? No judgment. There's no perfect in these classes. I'm not perfect, you're not perfect.

And thank goodness we are all snowflakes. That's a super important thing to remember and especially after we did that beautiful kind of like breathing practice for a few minutes on the floor. Good, we're just checking in. Last one here, switch that roller to the other foot. I'm gonna take my other hand and bring it out.

We just did two. Let's test the waters on this side. Did we transfer the learning? Oh wow. I may have, you may have as well.

It's not big, you don't need to make it bold right now, we're just testing the waters. And remember, if you're standing on a mat like me, there's gonna be a lot more shimming and a lot more things happening on that foot on the floor and that leg in general. Great job. Last thing to do, a little bit of spine mobility with cat-cow. So upend that roller, what I'd like for you to do is send it forward, hip hinge back, shine your tailbones back behind you.

You can open up your base of support and as you come back up, just round your spine and brewing it back up to standing. Yes, let's think of your spine as a wave. Just like the waves behind me right now. They're real, they do exist, right? So be with me now as you lead with your heart center and you bring yourself back up to standing.

Give me two more. and round and roll back up. Last one team and shine those sits bones back, lead with your chest and round and roll back up. Thank you so much for joining me for this Thrive session using the roller in the band. I hope you enjoy this whole entire series and this whole entire playlist, which is truly focused on flow.

Come back to whatever section makes you feel good or for whatever you need for that day. And always remind yourself that there is joy in movement. Celebrate your body and it is always time to thrive.


Lina S
1 person likes this.
A great class... right on the day of my birthday!  I've really enjoyed the creative use of the foam roller and flex band. Thank you!
Sue S
1 person likes this.
As more of a beginner rather than true intermediate, I found it tough but survived most things. The hardest bit was really just that my theraband is so much shorter. I had to do some movements without it. All in all I enjoyed the challenge and variety, thank you Erika Quest , I will look out for more of your classes.
Erika Quest
Lina S Awesome, Lina! Thanks for taking THRIVE with me and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Much love, Erika
Erika Quest
Sue S I'm SO glad Sue. Yes, my theraband is nice and long in this one and they are such a great tool for so many things. I'm so glad you took class with me and appreciate you THRIVing along the journey with me. Much love, Erika
1 person likes this.
great class, love your energy
Erika Quest
Silvia F YAHOO, thanks for the love, Silvia! Glad you enjoyed THRIVE with me! xo, Erika
Anna B
1 person likes this.
Thanks, Erika, for another great class. I appreciate your enthusiasm and positivity so much! Such a joyful class; I feel great!
Erika Quest
Anna B You bet, Anna! Thanks for taking class with me. xo, Erika
Martine Q
1 person likes this.
Thank you Erika! So creative, loved the functional movement and creative foam roller exercises, I love teaching pilates abs on the roller but loved your rolling like a ball and appreciated your energy and enthusiasm it kept me engaged!
1 person likes this.
I loved this class, thank you. I really enjoyed the pause...breathing and letting go, letting in. Oh how I wish there was more creative videos like this ! 
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