Class #5390

Grounding and Balance

40 min - Class


You will work from the ground up to develop better balance and strength in this standing movement class by Tom McCook. He uses small props to help you find your optimal movement potential so you aren't fighting against gravity. By the end of the class, you will feel that your body moves more efficiently and freely.
What You'll Need: Mat, Tennis Ball, Table Chair

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I'm Tom McCook, and it's great to be back at Pilates Anytime. In this standing movement class, we will work from the ground up to develop better balance and strength and move more efficiently in gravity. You'll need a tennis ball, or similar shape or size ball, and a stable chair without arms. Okay, so we're gonna start standing today, everybody. And because it's a standing class that works on balance, your feet are really vital to that equation.

So let's just take our feet about six inches apart, and look down at your feet for a moment, and I want you to lift all 10 toes off the floor, and looking at your feet, notice you have three key weightbearing points on your feet. The ball behind your big toe, the ball behind your little toe and your heel. You have a triangle on each foot. Then just lay your toes down, and do it a few times. And notice when you lift your toes, if your ankle changes shape to get the three foot points down.

The tendency can be for the ankles to be a little more caved in in the middle. So you can just start by aligning your ankles so you can feel the three foot points a little bit better. And we'll work through this throughout the class. So as you feel the foot points, center you head over your spine. Now we're gonna just do an opening movement where we move from the pelvis.

So moving from your pelvis, just let your arm swing, (Tom exhaling) Let your heel lift on the side you're turning away from, keeping your head right up over your pelvis and feet, and lets your arms just go for the ride, that you're generating the movement from your pelvis instead of from your arms. You're not aggressive with your arms. Then add your exhales to the movement of the body and the arms help to wring out your lungs. (Tom exhaling) Feel the breeze on your skin, your coming into your feeling body, letting go of the rest of the day. (Tom exhaling) Just get your energy moving.

It's whatever you were doing before you're gonna do after class, just let all that go and just come into this moment of feeling yourself. (Tom exhaling) Now the next time as you turn, take that arm up overhead, now imagine with the heel that's lifted side, push the ground to the back so you can open the front of your hip, then just open your chest to look up. Then lower and turn to your second side, push the ground to the back, slide the heart forwards, so you're opening your hip and your back, which is also nice after, if you've been sitting. And then side one, (exhales) Lift the heart, push the ground to the back. Side two.

(Tom exhaling) Come back, shake out your limbs. Now we're gonna roll out your feet, so grab your ball. The feet are an adaptive mobile, mobile adapter, but also a rigid lever, those are your key main functions of your foot. So the first thing, put the ball under the ball your foot with your heel on the floor, and have the knee a little bent. Now start by twisting the forefoot back and forth over the ball, getting the foot to twist.

So we're getting the foot to be better at being a mobile adapter, so you can keep your three foot points on the floor better, whether you're bending or straightening your legs, we wanna get all that tissue to glide better and have better contact with the ground. There we go, about 6 to 10. Now from there, from the ball of your foot to your heel, reach into the ball and get the tissue. I'm gonna come back onto my mat here, 'cause my ball's not cooperating as well as I would like it to. So, I'm gonna reach into the ball to let the ball roll.

(Tom exhaling) And you get to decide how much pressure you wanna apply, if it's really painful, make it a little less. Use your exhale, (exhales) relax your upper body, (Tom exhaling) so you're rolling from the, right behind the ball of your foot to the front of your heel. That plantar fascia. That muscle, tendon, tension points between the feet that make the foot more springy and resilient. Now with the heel on the floor again, knee bent with the forefoot, grab the ball with the forefoot, then lift and spread the toes.

Feel you're getting those joints in the forefoot to move, but also all the small muscles in the foot. Nice and fluid. There you go, now we're gonna do something a little different. So put the ball under the point number one, the ball under the big toe side of the foot. And as you just keep the knee bent, press that point number one into the ball.

So you're activating that foot point, one of those triangle points, so you can feel it, and think of you're not grabbing with your toes, you're just pushing the metatarsal head into the ball. Small weight shift. Easy up top, one more. Now put it under the fifth metatarsal head on the, right behind the little toe. Now press that point into the ball.

Push down so you're getting those points activated, you're getting any tension around those areas to release a little better, bring in more awareness to your foot. And just two more, and one, now for your ankle joints, straighten the knee joint, touch the floor to the front and the heel to the back and feel the glide in your ankle now, critical function is to keep our ankles mobile for life, and we tend to lose this if we don't work on it. But you can regain it. And just three more. And one, now roll the ball closer to you.

Put it under your heel, those two front foot points stay on the ground, and as you squash the ball, stand on the ball, opening the front of your hip. Now we're stepping into balance with gravity. (Tom exhaling) Easy shoulders, (Tom exhaling) exhale into alignment. (Tom exhaling) If you feel like you can take it a step further, let that back foot float. (Tom exhaling) And just three more.

(Tom exhaling) Each time you're stepping into balance. And one more. (Tom exhaling) Very nice, take a moment. Better already? Let's go right into side two.

So heel on the floor, knee a little bit bent, heel stays on the floor. The ball is right behind the ball of your foot, now twist the forefoot back and forth over the ball. (Tom exhaling) You're wringing out the foot. It's what it's designed to do to a smaller scale, when your foot is even on the ground, this mobile adapter is twisting and untwisting when you bend and straighten your leg. There we go, now from the ball, your foot to your heel, slowly reach into the tissue, to get the tissue a little more mobile, and again, when you find a sore spot, maybe go a little slower.

Manage the pressure so you don't have to hold your breath or tense your neck and shoulders. (Tom exhaling) You can still maintain a little bit of a smile, and hey, this kind of feels good. (Tom exhaling) Three or four more. (Tom exhaling) That's it. And one more.

Now put the ball under that first metatarsal head, the point behind the big toe, knee bent, now press that first met head into the ball. Feel how you're doing that, but you're not necessarily grabbing with your toes, you're getting the met heads, which you want to keep on the floor, you wanna practice keeping on the floor when we're weight-bearing so you feel more stable and your leg muscles will fire better. (Tom exhaling) And one more. Now put it under that fifth metatarsal head, knee bent again, ankles aligned, now pressed down again. (Tom exhaling) Knee stays bent, heel stays on the ground.

Easy shoulders and neck. And notice that you don't have to look at the ball. So you don't wanna do these exercises like this. You can keep your head up because you have all the feedback from your foot. Your foot's a sense organ.

Two more, (exhales) and one, now straighten the knee joint, the focus now is your, actually we have one, couple more. So now grab the ball, lift and spread the toes, feel the motion in those joints in the forefoot. Getting all those muscles to move. Two more, and one, now straighten the knee joint. Now touch the ground to the front, the heel to the back.

Feel the glide in your ankle joint. Nice and upright on your standing leg, if you needed to use your chair or the wall for standing, that would be fine. And two more, (Tom exhaling) and one, now roll the ball close to you, put it under your heel, ball of your foot on the floor. Those two front foot points stay on the ground, and as you squash it, shift your weight onto the top of that standing leg. So picture your body's designed to be really efficient in gravity, and for it to be efficient, it needs to be aligned.

So you're stacking your bones in a skillful way. (Tom exhaling) So you have optimal movement potential where you're not fighting gravity, exhale the step. (Tom exhaling) You are not overly bracing, you're having an amazingly good time, you're saying, "Wow, I kind of like this." One more. (Tom exhaling) Very nice, now from there, we'll take that out of the way, and I'm gonna come back onto the floor. So now with your feet about six inches apart or a foot apart, we're gonna tap the hips.

I'll turn sideways for this. So as you tap around the front and back of your hips, hinge your pelvis over the top of your legs, let your knees soften, so you just bring in awareness to all those big muscle groups, quads, hamstrings, glutes. Then as you tap, just draw a little figure eight with your hips, getting all the muscles around your pelvis to glide on each other better. There we go. Now we're gonna step in, we're gonna lubricate the joint and get the muscles in the back of the hips to move better.

So have your left foot just a few inches forward. Now step and form a T with that left foot, with the right foot, now as you look down, you want your left toes lined up with your right arch, and your foot points are on the floor. Then unlock your knees. Now hinge the pelvis over the top of your standing leg. Hinge back up, now step back and form a T the other way.

And then step forward again, small hinge, come back up and step back, and go nice and slow. Get the feeling that you're keeping your foot points on the floor, and that left foot is not sliding around on the floor. You're rotating your pelvis around the top of your fixed standing leg. This is getting your deep hip muscles to glide better, your pelvic muscles to glide and your your glutes. And then we'll come up, and we're gonna go right into side two.

So we'll take the left foot a little bit forward, or your right foot, I mean. Bow step and form a T, pause, all six foot points are on the floor, now, if you have to make it smaller because that feels like it's too far for you, make the range work for you. Bend your knees slightly, now hinge, hinge back up and step back the other way. Great to do just even this exercise if you've been sitting a lot, it helps to align your legs in the joint better and lubricate the joint. Also moving the muscles in the back of the hip where your sciatic nerve runs through.

Makes your lower back feel better. Two more, (Tom exhaling) and one. Now for better balance, we're gonna do something called single leg abduction. So I'm gonna put my left, you're gonna put your left heel on your right in step. Now imagine right now my pelvis is level, I'm gonna drop my hip out so my pelvis becomes un-level like I'm waiting for the bus.

So this muscle is just lengthened. I'm gonna leave the bent leg passive, I'm gonna press my leg towards the midline to level my pelvis. Drop it out, press and level. So now I'm strengthening my lateral hip, and I'm pressing into my foot points. So you're creating that sense of stability and balance on your foot and your hip.

Now lift and hold. Just notice that you can lift the knee and get a sense so that I can keep my pelvis level. You can even put the foot down every time. Just feel that, just feel that before we do side two, how that affects your balance. Now let's go right into side two.

Put your right foot on your in step. Now drop your left hip out. Pelvis is un-level, then level it. Now I'm not using this leg to level, this leg is passive. Press into your foot points, and re-level.

Shoulders and arms are relaxed. Lift and hold, and then just notice you can lift your leg. You can get a sense of a little better balance, you can put the foot down every time. So now you're feeling the sense of stability with movement. Now we bring that right into what we're doing with our hips now.

So feet right under your sit bones, get that feeling of being right up on top of your standing leg and bring the opposite hand to the knee as you lift. (Tom exhaling) Now if you can take it further, lift and pull the knee up slightly. (Tom exhaling) If that's too much, stay with the first version of just touching the inner thigh. (Tom exhaling) Reach into your standing leg. (Tom exhaling) One more each side.

(Tom exhaling) Now with your arms, just start to bring your hands in front of you, and trace a little figure eight. Now let your waistline move with the figure eight. Now we're gonna add, so what you're doing when you add the figure eight, you're adding a little more action in your torso muscles. Now with that figure eight, we're gonna add a knee lift. (Tom exhaling) Go into your standing leg, (Tom exhaling) to lift the other knee.

(Tom exhaling) Two more each side. (Tom exhaling) Very nice, now from there, we're gonna go right into a lunge tilt. So with a lunge tilt, step one leg back, about two feet behind the front heel, and have your feet about six inches apart. Standing vertical, imagine you're gonna tilt your body over your front leg, but the body line from your back leg to your head stays the same. So just lean and lift.

Lean and lift. Feel your three foot points, feel your body line. Now let's add the arms, as you lean, reach the arms to the back, and then come back up. Shoulders pull back, as you pour the weight into the front leg, reach into your back leg. (Tom exhaling) Just two more, (Tom exhaling) and one, step up and switch.

Again, feel that six inches left or right, parallel legs, as you reach into the back leg, tip the pelvis over the front leg. Feel your three foot points. Feel the spring in your legs. (Tom exhaling) Lean onto it. (Tom exhaling) Now reach the arms to the back as you tilt.

(Tom exhaling) Full body, you're reaching into the back leg as you pour the weight into the front leg, two more. (Tom exhaling) and one. (Tom exhaling) Very nice, now as we come up, we're gonna grab our chair, and do something for the feet and the legs. So put your chair, so the back of the chair is facing you, so you have it for your hands. And have your feet right under your sit bones, this is like a a vertical knee bend, but we're including the ankles, it's called roll-throughs.

So with your feet, lift your 10 toes for a moment, feel your foot points, and then lay them down. Do that three times. And just sense you can start to feel them a little more clearly. Now lower the toes, press into the front two foot points, and lift your heels halfway. Now with the knees, with the heels lifted, slide your body down an imaginary wall.

Lower your heels and straighten, rise up, bend, lower, straighten, and again. Imagine the hands are just there for a little balance, you can even use one finger. so you're not gripping if possible with the arms too much. You're just using that for just a little bit of support. And now we're gonna reverse, bend, keeping the heels down, roll onto the balls of the feet.

Lengthen, lower the heels. Bend, roll onto the ball of the feet. Lengthen, lower the heels. Two more. Lift, and one more.

There we go. Now take your feet a little wider, like shoulder width, and a small turnout like 10 and two o'clock. Like if you're a dancer and you have tremendous turnout, go a little less than what you got, because then you can work on good alignment and muscle activation. So when you're here, just practice, same action, but before you go up, feel like you're starting to squeeze your inner thighs, you start to feel the inner line of your leg is activating, then let that float your heels halfway. Now plie your knees, go out over your toes, lower the heels and straighten.

Float up, bend, lower, straighten, feel that you're using more of the muscles in the back of your hips along with your inseams and your quads. (Tom exhaling) One more in that direction. And now reverse, bend, keeping the heels down. Roll up under the balls of the feet. Lengthen and lower.

Bend, lift, lengthen, and lower. And one more. Bend, lift, lengthen, and lower. Now we're gonna add something to it. So bend, lift the heels halfway and hold.

Now reach one arm out to the side right off your shoulder, keeping your pelvis still just from your ribcage up. Turn, back to center. Hand to the chair, lower your heels, lengthen, bend, lift the heels, reach the second arm out to the side. Turn from the ribcage up. Center, back to the chair.

Straighten, one more each side, bend, lift, reach, turn, center, lower, lengthen. One more, bend, lift, reach, turn, center, lower, straighten. That's a party. Now we're gonna take the chair off, move it out of the way, And we'll come back onto the floor for some squats. So in squatting, I want you to get the feeling that you're, the weight stays balanced on the front and the back of your feet, and you're descending slowly.

So first thing, right as you bend your knees, bend them and hold them there for a moment. It's a small bend, feel like you're right on top of your legs. And with your feet, imagine you're swiping the floor out, even though they're not rocking in or out, you're just wiping the floor out like windshield wipers, so you can feel the back of your hips turn on, your inseams, Now slowly as you lower, reach the arms to the front, go as low as you can without the heels lifting. And as you straighten, press the arms to the back, we'll gradually build our range, but listen to your own body. (Tom exhaling) Inhale on the down, exhale to press.

Now a lot of times when we squat, we'll end up doing this with the shoulders, see if you keep your shoulders dropped and the top of your chest open as you descend. And then press up from right where the legs meet your body, fluid. (Tom breathing deeply) Breathe all the way through it. Now if you feel like it's possible if you go a little deeper, go a little deeper. (Tom exhaling) Let's do five more.

(Tom breathing deeply) Three more now, (Tom breathing deeply) and two, (Tom breathing deeply) and one. (Tom breathing deeply) Now we're gonna do a little strengthening work for the back chain of our body, our glutes, our inner thighs, and our spinal muscles. So we're gonna take our feet a little wider than the shoulders, and turn the outside edges of your feet parallel with each other. So your toes are slightly turned in, that'll allow you to activate your inseams a little bit better. So this is an exercise from another system called foundation work, really to strengthen the body and decompress the spine.

So in this position, with your legs a little bit bent, draw your pelvis slightly back, just a little bit back. Now put your pinky on the front of your hips and your thumb on your low ribs. Broaden across your chest and draw your head slightly back and up. Now just start to breathe in like you're creating more length and lift between your ribcage and your pelvis. Breathe into your width, and all the way up into your armpits.

Now on the exhale, keep that length, but follow the belly wall in to feel the tone. (Tom exhaling) One more breath like that, (Tom breathing deeply) stay in that shape, bend the elbows back slightly, palms forward, broaden across your chest and pull your shoulder blades just a little bit back so you feel your middle upper back muscles becoming alive and active. Breathing in into your width and length. (Tom inhaling deeply) Exhale as the belly wall draws in, squeeze your legs towards each other. (Tom exhaling) One more breath.

(Tom breathing deeply) Now it gets more interesting. Pull your hips back as you scoop your arms forward. Bring your 10 fingers to touch. Now, keep pulling the hips back, squeeze your inseams, you're gonna take five breaths, now the tug of war is between your hips pulling back, your arms pulling forward. (Tom exhaling) Exhale, belly wall draws in.

Keep the top of the chest open. (Tom exhaling) You're working a lot of muscles right now. (Tom exhaling) Two more breaths, (Tom exhaling) and one more. (Tom exhaling) Bring your hands to your legs, now with a flat back, come back up. Shake it out for a moment.

Now we're gonna do one more round, we're gonna go even a little wider. So you're not just working on flexibility, you're working on range of motion with strength. So again, outer edges of the feet parallel, knees a little bit bent, hips pulled back a little bit. Pinky on the front of your hips, thumb on your lower ribs, shoulders back, long through your neck. Now breathe in to your length and width.

(Tom inhaling deeply) Keep the length, draw the belly wall in. As you squeeze your inseams, (Tom exhaling) rotate your elbows slightly back, palms forward. Pull your shoulders back, now breathe in to that length and width. Exhale, belly wall, squeeze your in seams. (Tom exhaling) Now start to pull the pelvis back without rounding your back.

You're hinging at the hips. Scoop your arms forward, 10 fingers touching like you're holding a small globe, pressing together, pull the hips back more. (Tom exhaling) Five breaths now, breathe in to your length and width. Exhale as you squeeze your legs, draw your belly wall away from the ground. (Tom breathing deeply) Stay long right out the crown of your head.

(Tom exhaling) Two more breaths, (Tom breathing deeply) and one more. (Tom breathing deeply) Release the arms, with a flat back, come up, walk your feet in. Now after that, we're gonna do some stretching for your spine that will feel really good 'cause you just worked your spinal muscles, I'm sure you felt some work in your lower back. And these stretches will be active. So you're gonna bring your feet about three or four inches apart.

Bend your knees slightly, interlace your fingers, now I'm gonna turn, I'm gonna do it both front and side so you can see me. From the side, just practice with your knees bent. Press the palms forward, shoulders stay low. Now pull your waistline back to round your back. (Tom exhaling) Hold for two breaths.

(Tom breathing deeply) Now release your arms, tip your pelvis a little forward. Pull your shoulders back. Now slide your heart forward and up, extending your back, and hold that for two breaths. On the exhale phase, follow the belly wall in, squeeze your inseams like you did in the previous exercise. (Tom breathing deeply) Lengthen up, interlace again, bend, press forward, pull the waistline back.

Hold for two breaths. (Tom breathing deeply) Release, roll the pelvis forward, shoulders back. If you feel like you can take it further, you can interlace your fingers, but you're not trying to let your shoulders come forward, so if that feels like too much, just to have your arms open. Now pull your shoulder blades back, slide your heart forward and up. Two big breaths, Feel like opening your chest, but you're activating your spinal muscles.

(Tom breathing deeply) Release, interlace your fingers again. Now press your palms forward, with long legs, let the arms come up overhead. Shift your pelvis a little bit to your right, look down to your left, now side bend as you press through the heel of your hands. (Tom exhaling) One more big breath, (Tom breathing deeply) lengthen back up. Side bend, press to the second side.

(Tom breathing deeply) Inhale back up. First side one more time. (Tom breathing deeply) Inhale back up, second side. (Tom exhaling) lengthen up, lower the arms just for a moment. Last one is rotation.

We'll do two versions. Bring your arms into genie arms, retract your shoulders, now keep your hips straight ahead. Keeping your shoulders retracted, turn without turning your pelvis, then look back. Press into your foot points. Now turn again to the second side, and look back.

Now take your arms and press them forward, go up overhead. Set the shoulders low. Now if you need to, have the arms a little bit in front of you if it's uncomfortable for your shoulders. Now slowly, without turning your pelvis, turn, from the ribcage up and look back past your arm. Spiral back to center, turn to the second side like you're wringing out a towel.

Back to center. Lower the arms. Now grab your chair one more time. This time, you'll have the chair itself facing you instead of the back of the chair. And we're gonna do a plank on the chair.

I hope you're excited. So here we go. So in this position, hold either the front or the side of the chair, and as you step into a plank, feel your body line like a straight line from the your ears to your ankles. (Tom exhaling) Take three breaths while you're here. Make sure you're not in butt asana, your hips are under you, you're reaching through your heels.

Now we're gonna keep the pelvis still and we're gonna do a leg movement. On the exhale, pull one knee in, (Tom exhaling) now reach it back off the ground, now keeping your pelvis still, draw the heel to your butt. And then down, we're gonna do three each side, knee to chest, back, heel to butt. Practice keeping the lower back the same, hold onto your body line. (Tom exhaling) You're working on pelvic stability, whole body stability with mobility in your hips and legs.

One more each side. (Tom breathing deeply) Walk it back in for a second. Bend the knees, come back up, and rest for a moment. Now we're gonna do a pushup, but we're gonna do a bent-leg version of the pushup so you can focus on good form with your upper body. So this time when you put your hands on the chair, step back a little less, so about you're, say you're gonna do a standing cat stretch.

Make sure your chair is stable, might need to be against a wall, and as you lift your heels a little bit, bend your knees slightly, and come into a flat back. Now as you start to transfer forward, slightly bend your elbows towards your hips, and then straighten. You don't have to bend very far 'cause you really wanna work on good shoulder connection. And then draw the belly all in as you press away. (Tom breathing deeply) Transfer a little bit forward, and then press back.

(Tom exhaling) Four more, (Tom breathing deeply) two more. (Tom exhaling) And one, (Tom exhaling) walk it in. Bend your knees, drop your head and arms, and roll back up to standing. Now we'll remove the chair and we'll go into the final pieces. Now we're gonna come back onto the floor.

Now, this whole lunge series we're about to do, relates to what happens when we're walking. So it's a little different way of lunging. So you're only gonna have a small gap between your back big toe and your front heel. 'Cause we don't wanna lean forward as much, we're gonna load onto our leg where we let the shin go forward and the pelvis go over the foot opposed to keeping our knee back. And what you want to practice doing when you do this exercise, when we're walking, we don't just go forward, we diagonally move over our leg that's going in front of us, even though it seems subtle, it's happening, we want to amplify that.

So with your hands on your pelvis, small gap front to back, shift your pelvis like you're literally taking your pelvis over your front foot. Let the back heel lift a little bit, and keep it straight, reach into it, so you might feel a little stretch in the front of your hip. And just shift back, do that a few times, stay vertical. Feel like you're pouring the weight into your front three foot points. So you start to feel all of your leg muscles on that front foot.

Now we're gonna add, so go forward on the backside, take that arm up, reach down with the other arm, now from your pelvis, just go a little more forward as you reach, and picture that your head tilts slightly towards your reaching arm as you reach overhead. (Tom exhaling) One more on this side, (Tom exhaling) same lunge, but switch your arms. Now go forward, now as you go forward, go forward, now let your pelvis, keeping your eyes level, glide out a little bit on that side. So you're loading your lateral hip as you reach into your back leg, and you'll feel more of an opening in your inner thigh on that back leg, one more. (Tom exhaling) Now same arm, take that arm forward, we're gonna rotate, but not the pelvis.

So you're gonna go forward, now turn towards that side, but keep reaching into your back leg. So I'm not letting everything go, I'm loading my legs and feet, but I'm adding this dynamic to add more awareness to the options I have in gravity. (Tom exhaling) Now take the other arm forward, palm down, same rotation. Go forward now, as you turn into the front knee, again, keep reaching into your back leg, (Tom exhaling) staying as vertical as you can. (Tom exhaling) One more.

(Tom exhaling) Now the last one, as we go forward, you're gonna go forward, load, reach, and now right below the breastbone, you're gonna round your back but keep your shoulders dropped, (Tom exhaling) and then come back. So I load, reach, use my abdomen to round. (Tom exhaling) You'll feel how your legs are working a lot to do that. (Tom exhaling) One more. Forward, reach, round.

And we'll switch legs. So again, front to back about a foot. Six inches to a foot, left to right. Now just with your hands on the back of your pelvis, move towards your bending leg. Load those three foot points.

Make sure, see if you can avoid grabbing with your toes on that front foot. If that's the tendency, you wanna really work yourself out of that a little bit. Your feet will have better balance and stability. Now with that backside, let the arm go up, load, let your head tilt towards the reaching arm as you reach into the back leg. (Tom exhaling) One more.

(Tom exhaling) Now take the front side arm up. Go forward first, then shift out slightly. Keeping your hips level. Feel the load before you shift. Keep reaching into that back leg, two more.

(Tom exhaling) And one. (Tom exhaling) Now same arm forward, palm up, load forward, then turn, let your eyes look, and come back. Keep reaching into that back leg so you feel stable. And one more. (Tom exhaling) Now the other arm forward, palm down.

Same rotation towards the front knee side, but you're reaching into your back leg, you'll feel a lot of muscles in your torso and hips getting activated as you do that. Two more. (Tom exhaling) and one, (Tom exhaling) very nice, now we're gonna go into stretching the back chain of your body. So I'm gonna come onto the mat, now just take your, one of your legs in front of you, just a few inches, and rock back onto your heel, lift the forefoot and stand nice and tall. Now we'll go really slow.

Take a breath, now as you shift your pelvis back, let the back knee bend, reach the arms forward, now just use your abdomen to round a little bit. (Tom exhaling) Come back up, let your foot come back to the floor. Lift, shift, reach, and round. (Tom exhaling) Feel it like a pulse. (Tom exhaling) Now start to press the front heel into the ground (Tom exhaling) as you go into the stretch, so the muscles that are lengthening are active, they're like little catapults.

They lengthen, then they rebound you back up. (Tom exhaling) Now take the opposite hand of the foot, (Tom exhaling) same side hand to the back. Every time at the top, have that moment of relaxation before you do your next one. Now same side, hand to the foot. (Tom exhaling) Opposite hand to the back.

(Tom exhaling) One more. (Tom exhaling) And we'll switch legs. So second foot a little bit forward. Lift the forefoot, take a breath, shift your pelvis back, let the back knee bend, now reach, forward hinge, and then let yourself reach down, and let yourself round. Use your abs.

(Tom exhaling) Come right back up and again, shift. (Tom exhaling) Exhale through the stretch phase. (Tom exhaling) Start to press the front heel into the ground as you move into it, keep the top of your shoulders relax. (Tom exhaling) Now, opposite hand of the foot, same side hand to the back. (Tom breathing deeply) It's not about extreme, it's about feeling your body in space, being efficient.

(Tom exhaling) Now same side hand of the foot, (Tom exhaling) opposite hand of the back. Feel it hits your hamstrings in the back of your hips differently. (Tom exhaling) One more. (Tom exhaling) Now we're gonna take, then we're gonna finish with a clock step. Great for your balance.

Imagine you're standing inside of a clock and you have 12 in front of you, three and nine on each side, six to the back. So with your hands on your hips, the standing leg stays flat, standing foot stays flat the whole time. So as you slide one foot out in front of you, slide it forward to 12. Come right back up. Slide it to one or 11, slide it back up.

Slide it to two, back up. Slide it to three, back up. Now as you slide it to four, let the pelvis turn, but keep your three foot points on the floor. Come back up, to five or seven, to six, now as you go behind you, the leg that's moving side, take that arm forward, go across your body to the back, come back up, and one more time across to the back. Go slow, and back up.

We'll go right into side two. Small bend, slide forward, slide it up, back to center. 10 or two, (Tom exhaling) three or nine. (Tom exhaling) Turn the pelvis but keep your head straight ahead. (Tom exhaling) Keep most of the weight on the standing leg the entire time.

(Tom exhaling) Across the back, same side arm forward, and last time. (Tom exhaling) Now as you arrive in the middle, take a moment to stand on your legs evenly. Sense your alignment, your ease, take a big breath, (Tom breathing deeply) acknowledge yourself for your focus and hard work. And thank you so much for joining me today.


fabulous. seemingly simple but so deep. the flow is amazing
memareย , Thank you so much! Iโ€™m happy to hear you feel the beneficial effects of this sequence! Enjoy and all the best!!๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™
Daphne S
great session! thank you
Daphne S, youโ€™re very welcome!! Thank you for your feedback and enjoy!๐Ÿ™
Lina S
I've really enjoyed this class. Your explanations are clear and I appreciate knowing the "why" of an exercise. I knew many of the exercises but linking them in a flowing class is a creative way to work on mobility.ย 
Lina S, thank you for your message! Iโ€™m happy to hear the clarity ย of intent and flow worked well for you! Enjoy and all the best!!๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™
I've never taken a class quite like this!ย  So practical and so good.ย  Thank you, Tom!
Kay Lย , Thank you!! Iโ€™m happy to hear you appreciated the flow and experience!! All the best to you!๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค—

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