Class #5396

Light and Spacious Mat

45 min - Class


You will feel light and spacious after this refreshing Mat workout by Kristi Cooper. She uses the concepts of push and pull to deepen the work so you feel the quintessential Pilates effects like improved breathing and supple joints. She includes a yummy shoulder opening and other exercises to lengthen your spine while working on strengthening your core.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

About This Video

Aug 17, 2023
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Welcome to class, I'm Kristi Cooper. We are doing mat class. I'm using over ball today. It's not critical, but sometimes I like to insert a prop such as the over ball to give me feedback, to help me realize what I am doing in the exercises I already know. And it just helps me think more about what I'm doing.

So that's why I'm doing it. You don't have to have it. All the exercises can be done without it. So let's get going. I'm gonna stand with my feet just a little bit apart, parallel.

From here, let's take the ball into one hand. I'm all go this one, take it up, inhale, (inhales) grab the ball with the top, switch hands, and just bring it down, exhale. Take the ball behind you if you can. Opening those collarbones. Inhale, same side, going up again, just circling around, deciding how you want your time to go, how you wanna feel.

One more in this direction. Inhale, rise up. (inhales) Go ahead, lift the ribs, lift the shoulders. Give yourself some space. Exhale, look around.

I'm switching sides, so just to keep the ball in the hand and go up, inhale, switch it at top, exhale, take it down and behind and just kind of start to go, mm-hmm, I'm standing tall, at least I got that far. Inhale, lift up. (inhales) Exhale and around, nothing too serious today. Inhale up, exhale, take it down. We'll keep it down.

And for now, all I'm gonna do is just keep it there and reach it back a little thinking mostly just about are my collarbone wide. Again, no big deal, just deciding where I want to go in the next 30, 40 minutes. Something like that. All right, bring the ball to the front. We're gonna inhale and just roll down.

Top of the head all the way down. Go ahead and place the ball between your ankles or low, low calves. Good time to check out your feet. Are they parallel? Are you turning them in or out?

Let your head hang. Hold yourself up from the middle. Hold yourself up from your core. Your arms are now free and hanging, but guess what? Those collarbones are still wide.

You inhale, exhale, and start to just roll yourself back up to standing. Maybe noticing your feet, knees over ankles, hips over knees. And inhale, exhale, roll down. Inhale, start the breath. Notice how you can just allow the middle of the body to do what it does when it exhales.

It will support you if you let it. Bring it back up. One more inhale, finding space, finding room, exhale down. (exhales) And just kind of, I'm checking myself. I'm like going side to side, but that's sort of what life does to you.

So I'm gonna, for me, I'm focusing right up the middle on this one. In fact, I'm not gonna squeeze the ball. I'm gonna squeeze above the ball, the space. I'm keeping that in mind. Once you get back to the top, take an inhale, we'll just rise up on the toes.

It doesn't have to be high. It's just like, again, a little bit of connection through the midline of the body and down. Hmm, fun or not. Inhale or exhale, doesn't matter, and down. How heavy can your bones be even as you rise up.

I'm only do two more and up. It's like the hardest part of class, isn't it? It's like centering and deciding you're gonna stick to it for a certain amount of time. We add it. Okay, inhale, roll down again.

Head, neck, upper back, middle back, lower back. Try not to lean back. It's super tend... The tendency is to lean back, try not to. Go ahead, take the ball out and come back up, roll back up with the ball in your hands.

Sorry. Walk your feet together. Zip them up. It's all right if your toes come apart. If that's easier.

I mean, again, I'm not trying to make anything really hard. I'm just trying to find that midline of the body. So, I let my toes come up little bit, partaking the arms, straight overhead. From here, shrug the shoulders, let them come down. All right, if this is too hard and kind of can be, rather than bringing your arms way forward, go ahead and bend them and just try to keep them at the place you start.

Otherwise, try for straight. And all we're doing is shifting the hips to one side, just the hips. And bring it back best you can. Try not to rotate them. Go the other way.

The ball's still up straight ahead, right? Even if they're bent, no big deal, and center. Again, push the hips over. Here's the tricky part. Can you stay on both feet, and back, and again.

Oh, it's a little bit of a stretch somewhere, I know. Or a contraction maybe. Let's start that way again. Going to the side, then arching over to the side with that ball. So now the whole body's in a side bend as if you're in between two plates of glass to get back up.

Start with the hips, not the ball. Push the hips back up and the ball just comes up. We're not doing much with it, it's just up there. Take the hips to the side. Once you're there and you didn't roll out on your foot, take the body over.

And it's not a downward thing we're going for so much. It's up and over, something imaginary. Push the hips back and the ball will come to the top again. Just a couple more. Hips go, go ahead and make it flow.

Let the side body go. Hips come back, body comes up, hips to the side, then add the arc, nice and long. We're gonna do one more each way. So what do you want out of it? A little more stretch, a little higher, a little longer, a little more direct to the side, you decide.

Last one. Hips up and over. Oh, and back to center. Just let the ball come down and behind you again. And allow the shoulder...

The shoulder, yeah, the shoulders. Upper arm bones to roll back. If you can, go ahead, squeeze your shoulder blades, do it. Reach down and squeeze your shoulder blades. Ribs didn't move though.

And then just lift the arms and down, and lift and down, and lift and that's good enough, right? Let's go to the ground. All right, so have a seat. Take your ball with you, of course, and place it between your knees. Okay, so here we are, we've got the ball between our knees.

Let's just roll down. We're gonna do some pelvic curls just for a few. So make it so that you can have your feet flat. The ball, again, it's not to squeeze, it's not the tool for resistance so much today as it is to go, oh, right there it is, I'm in alignment. In fact, as we go into our first pelvic curl, I'm gonna be thinking about squeezing maybe a little bit more, it's not even squeezing, above the ball where the space is.

Just a little awareness. Here we go, arms are down by our sides, feet flat, we inhale, start the exhale, and just roll your spine into the mat, then the pelvis up all the way up to the shoulder blade. Stepping on your feet, finding those nice long wide collarbone. Inhale and melt your way back down. Release the tailbone, release everything, inhale at the bottom, start the exhale.

It's one of the greatest things I ever learned is like if I could just start exhaling more often before I try to do something hard, it's much easier, it's more efficient. Almost always. Stay up at the top since we're only on number two. Retuck or draw your pubic bone toward your sternum a little bit more, so you really know you're long in the front of your hip. Step on your feet more.

And now we'll flow through them. We inhale from the top of your back, we roll down. Make it easier than you think you need to. And then you're at the bottom, inhale, start that exhale, and roll up. Sometimes we work harder than we need to because why?

I have no idea. I'm very good at it though. Exhale, roll down when it's time. Find more room, find more space. We'll do several more exhaling up.

And you might notice that your knees wanna splay or that you really wanna squeeze the ball. And just try to find an evenness to it and come on down. Taking my time, get myself ready. I'll get you moving, don't you worry. Exhale up, (deep breathing) and it's just such a good time to see where you're at today.

You've probably done a million pelvic curls in your life. I inhale the top, exhale down. But where are you today? Are you gripping? Are you wanting me to go faster?

Just notice it. Inhale at the bottom, start that exhale. Can you find more room? Can you use less muscle, but still get the same effect? Stay up at the top when you get there, do that thing we talked about.

Retuck if you need to, so you'd really feel the back of your body. Now, without it being the emphasis on the knees, squeeze that entire inner, the thigh for 10. 1, 2, not gonna see much, 3, 4, feet aren't around, 6, 7, 8, and 9 and 10. Where are your shoulders? They're probably just where you want them, but if not, fix it.

Roll down, exhale. (exhales) Awesome, bring both knees up. Ball's still there. You can leave your hands there, but I'm gonna encourage you to take them wide, palms up, meaning, wide, either in a T position or a low V's fine too, to the front, towards me. Inhale, rotate, check out your ball.

If you don't have one, knee higher than the other, right there, it's equal. Exhale, center. Other side, inhale over. Now, sometimes what I do is I press the lower leg into the ball just a little so I could connect to the ribs as I come back to the center. Inhales, kind of a swaying motion.

You can go as far as you want so long as that opposite shoulder doesn't come up. And inhale. Might as well stretch the fingers 'cause I know you're on the computer. (exhales) And I take the next four. And just check out your upper body as you do this.

Find ease in it. Even if it means your movements are slower. Or not slower, not as far. (exhales) One more each way. Longer arms if you can in whatever position you're in.

(exhales) Of course, remember we're exhaling just before we move. That was sort of a little bit of a thing at the beginning, right? (exhales) Oh, I wanna do two more. Let's just do one more each way. It just feels kind of good, right?

(exhales) It's like the more you get warm up, the more efficient you move on the harder stuff. This is it. All right, just put the ball behind your legs for a second. You can hold onto your knees or anything and just start rocking head up. Rock, rock, rock and come up.

All right, take the ball, and for now, just put it, I wanna say wedge it into your low back, but it's a little bit further back than that. If your balls moves around more, you'll figure it out. How's that for a cue? And again, you don't have to have a ball at all. So I'm gonna put it maybe slightly away from the lowest part of my low back.

Arms are forward, feet are flat, parallel still, here we go. Exhale, and I'm gonna try to pop this ball. That's it, it's just, meaning I'm with my spine, that's all. So, I did lean back, I pushed my waist into it. That's as far as I can go on this inflated ball.

Inhale, I'm gonna try to pop it even more before I come back up. (exhales) Stay curved, stay curved, stay curved. If you can without your ball going away, we'll find out. Sit up straight, inhale, find the ball with your spine. That middle part of your back.

Where'd it go, where'd it go? Okay, I'll bring it back and press into it. Not with your feet, with the middle. (exhales) Relax wherever else you can. Inhale, start the exhale, push back into the ball, let it propel you forward.

If it's too awkward for the ball, you don't have to come all the way to straight, but give it a shot. Exhale, roll back, find the ball, make the contact. If it's a little higher, it's no big deal. It's actually kind of nice. Inhale, just don't flatten your back.

Exhale, push into the ball to come forward. It's like this opposition thing we always talk about. That's why I'm using the ball today. Inhale, exhale. (exhales) Take inhale, exhale, you know the deal.

Push back to go forward. Weird but true. Down to go up sometimes. We're gonna go back one more time. Stay back there.

As long as you're semi comfortable, we're cool. If you feel like the ball's really far back, bring your feet closer. It's easier than moving the ball sometimes. Now, push into the ball. I am curved in the spine and we're just gonna act like we're getting up.

1, little pulses. 2 of 10. But I'm not going forward so much as I'm pushing back and that's just making me go forward. Three-ish, 4, it's tiny, 5. If that's too easy for you already, put your hands behind your head.

7, 8, 9, 10. If your hands are behind you, take them forward. Again, push backwards to go forwards, meaning try to pop the ball, then come off it, move it back till it's about at your shoulder blades and you'll know if you have to adjust it. Roll back onto it, hands behind your head if you can, and arch back to put your head on the ground. It's okay if your head doesn't touch to support it with your hands.

Oh, I wanna stay here, but no. Now in this position, your pelvis is not tucked anymore, so just kind of level out. Your lower back should feel, hopefully, pretty comfortable. I'm not arching. And then, again, press your shoulder blades maybe or press your chest into the ball, whichever way you look at it to curl just that part.

Here's your chest lift. Try to pop the ball with your shoulder blades. One, take it back. Exhale, come up. Two, I'm not lifting off the ball at all.

Three, it's your basic chest lift just with some feedback, right? Push back into the ball. (deep breathing) Stay up on this one, stay up on this. Can you fold more just under your nipple line I guess, or bra line, whichever. Just can you press more there?

Not by using your legs to do it though. Can you actually fold more there? So you are looking more directly straight ahead just because you bent your spine. Try for that for three more. Go back over the ball, enjoy, press into that spot you just felt.

(exhales) it's a little slower 'cause I'm talking a lot, but here's 2, (exhales) here's 3. Ah, okay, stay up on this one. Rotate, try not to rotate the ball though. It might a little, but try not to rotate it much. So toward the front of the opposite arm goes outside that leg.

Opposite arm to leg, and reach forward, just pull. Same thing, I'm pushing back into the ball. Press just a little presses. Support your head though. (deep breathing) Last one, put the hand back behind your head.

Come to the center if you need to arch back. Let's just start back so we kind of know we're back in the semi center of the ball. Come straight up in the middle again. Rotate to the other side. Try not to...

Oh, that's different. Try not to roll off the ball or over to one side. Opposite hand to outside of the thigh. And let's go 6. 1, press back, 2.

I'm really thinking and pressing back even though I know I am actually going forward, three more. 1, 2, answer. Your hand goes back, arch back, (exhales) hang out, enjoy, stretch your neck even though it's arched backwards. Then, pick your head up, look forward, press into the ball, arms forward. You can hold onto your legs.

Pull yourself up. Ball goes behind your legs first. And I'm gonna keep my legs just a little bit apart for now. So there's a bit of an inner thigh and hamstring thing happening. Get just behind the tailbone.

Pick up the ball, squeeze the ball slightly. Rolling like a ball, we roll back, exhale, up, hold. Try to keep the shape that you start in. Roll back, roll up. Feeling easy 'cause you're warmed up.

Grab lower, hug it tighter, backing up, feeling easy. Take the ball under your ankles. Squeeze your bum, same position otherwise. Oh, God, what did you thought? Here we go.

(exhales) Ooh, yay, keep it there, and up. (exhales) Mind to your neck. Let's do one more for fun. Voila, take the ball out. Sit back into the center of your mat.

Place the ball on... Legs are together and straight. Place the ball on top of your ankles and roll the ball over your feet. See if you can actually, you can move your hands as much, however you want. See if you can actually bend those toes down.

Ooh, sorry. Ankles still together. Now, pull your waist away from it. I'm not really concerned about where your shoulders are at the moment. I wanna get that stretch to the top of the feet.

All right, that's about it. Then let the ball come back. Hold onto the sides of the ball. You can flex or point your feet. I'm gonna point and we put the shoulders back on our back and we roll down.

You can bend your knees as you go. And then reach the arms overhead. We inhale, look at the ball, look forward, start to come up, exhale. Straighten those legs. This time don't touch your feet.

Just keep yourself nice and tall but curved. Inhale, hold, or start rolling back as you start to exhale. Bending the knees, placing the spine in the mat. Arms go overhead, inhale, follow the ball. As you exhale, start to straighten your legs and you make this nice sort of sideways, hair pin turns sort of the looking shape.

Inhale, start rolling back. Bend the knees or don't, you don't have to bend the knees. Just a nice way to roll down sometimes, and up. (deep breathing) Number one thing to help you roll up is to start that exhale before you try to lift up. I'll tell you where I mean.

I think you probably know. Here it is, we inhale, look forward, start the exhale now. The ball's just here, right? I'm not doing anything with it, it's just something to remind me where are my hands in space? Last one.

(exhales) And back, we come up. (deep breathing) Ooh, fun. All right, let's take the ball into the left ankle-ish calf. We're doing leg circles in a minute, so you can accidentally lose your ball if you want, but I actually think it really helps. So you don't want it really on your heel 'cause it'll be super wobbly.

So it's just, I guess, Achilles tendon. Roll down again, let your hands go by your side. Bend that right knee if you put the ball under the left leg, hug it in, stretch it straight up if you can. Now, if this, the leg in the air doesn't go straight, I'd rather you put your foot on the ball and bend it. It's not gonna be any easier, but rather than bending the top leg.

All right, do you have an awareness of the backside of the lower leg? Here we go, we cross the leg over, down, around, and up. You can make a T with your arms too. Inhale, cross over. Exhale to the top.

Inhale over, down, around and up. What's that lower ball doing? Inhale, exhale, round it up. Inhale, I'm gonna do one more, across, down, around and up. Same leg but switch directions.

Take it out or round it up. One, out, around and up, two. Trying to keep the pelvis still. Try not to over grip the leg. I know that's kind of a, either one, by the way.

I'm doing one more. Voila, bend the knee, hug it in, hold on behind that knee that was in the air and you were gonna rock ourselves up and switch legs. This ball under the right leg for me. Roll yourself down, hugging the left knee in. Oh, I got it close to my foot.

This one's gonna be harder. Hips are pretty squared. Arms neither by your side or in that low V your T. Here we go, cross the midline, down, around and up, one. Cross, down, around and up, two.

Inhale over, down, around and up, three. (deep breathing) I'm gonna go for six. Here, that is, was, switch. Take it down, around and up, one. Down, around and up, two.

Trying our best to let the leg of the air be free. Number four. (exhales) And voila, hug that knee in. Rock yourself up, grab the ball, and let's just roll back with the ball on top of our knees. Staying up.

If you rolled all the way down, my fault, curl up to a chest, lift, holding the ball. Not much going on there right now. We do double leg stretch. Reach the legs out and the arms out, one, come back. And you can push the ball on the shins to help you there.

Elbows are wide, here's two, and back. Don't move your body though your trunk, three. If you want more, take that ball in the right hand, reach it around, grab it with the left, there's your inhale, switch the ball to the left and come back. Same side for three. Inhale around, two.

Oh, that was three, but anyway, whatever. Switch it, go the other way for three for real. One, trying not to drop the body back, two, three's good enough, yeah? And now hug the ball to your knees. Your head goes down.

Rock yourself side to side. Right on, ball behind the legs, hands on the knees, rock yourself up, switch it so that the ball is behind only the right knee. Pulled it, stretch the left leg out. Be strong about your posture. I really mean that in the sense of I'm holding my, a little bit on my knee.

Not so low, not a normal stance. I'm holding the knee and I'm pulling apart for what it's worth. It's kind of just a nice feeling for what we're about to do. Then, we tilt back behind the pelvis. We are thinking that straight leg is about to shoot out and up because it is.

And we'll just rock for four. Hold that ball, one. Try not to land the foot on the ground if you can, two. Aim something in the air, maybe, three. No stress, here's four.

Hold it, you can set the foot down, switch sides, fall under the other knee. Do the oppositional pull. Send the energy out the leg. That's what's gonna help you balance when you need to. Shoulders down, I am rounded.

I sink back. Not sink, whatever I do. Tilt back, the leg floats up easily. This angle from the legs shouldn't change much if at all. We go four, 1, 2.

You're in charge. Ooh, one more. Voila, and set it down. Right on. Ball is in both hands, you roll down, bring up your right leg with it.

The left leg floats off the ground. Look toward the ankle, push into the ball. Push, push, switch. Keep the hands where they are, push, push. I'm switching legs, straight legs.

(deep breathing) Maybe you look forward and maybe not at the ball. Save your neck, would stay curled up. Press, press, press, press, press, press. Go quicker, go one. One, I'm switching, I'm switching, I'm right, I'm left, I'm kicking it and I'm wanting to stop, so I am.

Put the ball between both ankles. Bend your knees, put your head down and breathe. Hmm, right. Arms down by your side before we are gonna do a rollover. So before we go there, spread out your upper back, or maybe it's a chest that you think of.

So, for some that's gonna mean in order for the shoulders not to pop forward, you have to move your hands a little bit to the side. That's cool. Take care of yourself. Leg straight up if you can, you can back them away from 90. I'm gonna start at about 90.

Exhale up and over we go. It's the rollover in reverse. Flex your feet, squeeze the ball from above the ball, not at the ankle so much, and roll down. Now if you want more challenge, you can point the toes, reach the legs as far as you want. Inhale back to 90 or a little more.

Exhale up over. Flex your feet. You can also lower the legs. For now, I'm not going to. I'm starting at the top of my back, middle back, lower back, point, and inhale to 90, exhale over.

Try to get those wrists flat. If you really can't widen your arms a little, if you go too wide, that kind of is counter two. We'll do just two more and inhale, exhale over, flex, and down for the last one, or if you haven't been doing that already, let's take a big stretch on the last one. Inhale, exhale over. When you get there, flex your feet.

If it's available to you without crunching your neck or something else weird, lower the feet, push through those heels. Keep lowering those thighs as you roll down. Keep lowering those thighs. Keep those legs straight. Keep lowering those thighs.

And when you get to the bottom, bend your knees, hold on behind the thighs, start rocking yourself a little bit. Head is up, rocking the spine, and come up. Oh, you know what I'm about to do. And I'm talking myself out of it even as I'm thinking it. Open leg rocker from here.

If that's just really nuts... Actually let's do it like this. Let's start with the feet parallel and then we'll go straight leg after that. So what this means to me is we're gonna find a flat back. That doesn't mean a neutral back.

So I am still a little behind the tailbone. I'm looking for a long line in my spine or at least feeling for it. Let's roll back, inhale. Come up to that same position, hold. Okay, good, use up ball.

Inhale, roll back, exhale. There's a little bit of growing up out of the spine, but not tilting over the top of the tailbone. So there's not a whole lot of wobble there or shouldn't be anyway. Wow, I almost turned left on that one. You inhale back and remember that oppositional pull we did in the single leg stretch?

You can do that here. Pull your legs apart but squeeze them together at the same time. If you're up for it, and you don't mind it not being pretty, straighten your legs. Here we go. We go back, so I'm holding closer to the ankles.

Oh, there she is. Inhale, tip, and up, and lengthen. You just trust yourself sometimes, right? And know that if not now, soon. Last one.

(deep breathing) Right, bend your knees. You can separate your legs. Of course, here I'm gonna move the ball. And for here, you don't really need the ball, but I'm gonna use it anyway 'cause it's in my, I'll say, backhand, hand furthest away from the screen, or this window up here. And feet are flexed, legs are straight, rotate to the window to the front.

Start to reach forward. If you can place the ball on the outside, push the ball away. Oh, but you can't come off that heel, so you can put the ball on your leg if you want. And really reach that back hand. Then we sit up and center.

Same side. I know, strange, do it again. This time let's just go for the leg. It's gonna make it better. Reach the ball down the leg.

Keep the foot flex though, so that you can actually press down on that ball. Get the ribs to rotate. Open more to reap that back arm and come back up to center. One more that direction, let's go. Oh, it's gonna feel strange if we don't do that other side.

Roll the ball, keep the foot flex, so that when you hit your feet you can press down on the wrist, lift the rib cage, press that back on, rotate the ribs, sit up in rotation, come to the center, switch the ball to the other hand, here we go. Rotate, find your leg. If you wanna do outside, go for it. Some of you will prefer that. Not me, not today.

Feet stay flexed. And here's the part where I get that chance to push down on the ankle. That's where I get the feedback where I can lift the ribs and rotate it. I'm not so concerned where you look, but make it feel natural. Sit up and center.

Same side, do it again. Keep your sits bones down. Rotate, press, press, press, and up, and center, again. Come on, it kind of feels good, doesn't it? I'm feeling like I wanna stretch further this time, but I'm gonna stick to it and go more for the ribcage.

Rotation, up, and center. Take the ball behind you. Put your feet together, please. No, I'm sorry, put, it's not all. Put your feet together but your ankles on the ball and you'll know kind of where you want this.

I wouldn't put them too close to the heels 'cause you're gonna roll towards them a little bit. It's your hands that go behind you. If you can, fingers face your heels. If that's too much, turn them sideways. You could turn them back too, but challenge yourself.

All right, this is for the hyperextenders of the world. Kristi, we're not gonna do it. We're gonna activate our hamstrings right now. We're gonna lift up is also what we're gonna do. But we activate the hamstrings first.

We straighten those arms first. And open the collarbone first, and then we just lift into a, whatever, reverse plank. Ah, enjoy. And then just hinge down, and up again, lift, and down, and lift, and down. Two more, adjust where you need to.

Try for those straight elbows. Again, don't hyper extend them either if you can help it. I like the ball so much because it's easier to feel when I'm hyperextending, which if given the chance every time 30 years into this, that's what I'm gonna do 'cause my body's smart and it's easier that way. Okay, just come to what I'll call a diamond position. The ball gets to just hang out next to you or in the middle where it doesn't roll away.

And we are crossing arm over arm, forearm over forearm. Doesn't matter which sit tall. Kind of push them into each other though. And let's rotate towards the window or to the front, rotate. From here, extend the arms in direct opposition, it's a T.

Inhale, rotate even further. That means from your spine, and exhale, come back to center. If you have the presence of mind to switch, switch arms on top, do that. Push them into each other. Let it lift you, go the other way.

Inhale, rotate, extend the arms. Are you leaning back? Am I leaning back? Don't lean back. Exhale further or inhale further and exhale back to center.

If again, it's not critical if you don't switch arms. It just sort of makes me feel good when I remember. Inhale, rotate, it's the spine, it's the spine, it's the spine. Then you just expand yourself. Inhale, maybe you can twist the spine further.

Exhale back to center, and one more, that's all. Extend the arms, inhale. Can you be taller on the rotation? It's worth a shot. And exhale center.

All right, stretch your legs out. Adjust the ball, so it's either between your ankles or feet. Arms are straight out in that same T you were just in, but this time from the shoulder joint. Flip that whole baby over on both sides. So the whole arm just went back.

Not just the wrist, right, whole arm. Squeeze the ball a little bit. You can bend your knees as no big deal. Okay, so don't hurt yourself in the hip joint. Here we go, to the front, it's an exhale, double exhale, two pulses.

One, one, inhale center. Exhale, two, two. Oh, don't lean back. (deep breathing) Lightly squeeze the ball whether your knees are bent or straight. Not critical but reach those arms.

Exhale, exhale, it's the spine, twist, twist, twist. Taller, twist, twist. One more each way. Ta, ta, and ta, ta. Center, take the arms up.

Do whatever you want with your legs. I'm bending mine to that diamond again and rounding over for I think a well-deserved exhale. And a release of the hips. Yes, it's time. We'll go to sides before back today.

So let's just come facing front. The ball is gonna be under the rib cage again just for feedback. This time we are not trying to pop the ball. If anything, we're trying to not be on the ball. If the ball's big, you'll be on the ball, but you're just not hanging out, right?

Bottom leg is at about 90 degrees out of the hip. Let's bring your foot out there too. Elbow right below your shoulder and you're just lifting. You're just cool. Take the top leg, stretch it a little bit.

That'll take some weight off the ball. It hovers naturally. Hand up or down, no big deal. Kick forward is kick, kick. Sweep it back, keep it at the same height as your hip.

(exhales) Kick, kick, and back. I tend to inhale forward. I think that's a number. Keep going. Can you go further?

Go, kick, further, and way back, hold. Kick, boom, boom, way back, hold. Keep the body still for this one. You're not rolling on that ball. One more, we'll be happy with that, I know it.

Take the leg back. Is it, has it drop down? No, lift it up. Put your hand on your leg or your butt if you have to. Push it further back.

Now, enjoy rolling forward on the ball and reaching the opposite arm forward, but keep pushing that leg back. I think you'll call me your friend if you do. Keep going, keep going. Look wherever you want. (exhales) And then come back in, just sit up, take your hand on the ball.

So what I did by sitting up was my lower leg basically stayed the same. I'm in a figure four position. If that doesn't work for you, you can stack the legs. You could even just stretch them out a little. Make yourself comfortable, but I am trying four, figure four ultimately on this mermaid version.

(exhales) Have your hand on the ball. I can't really tell you where. I'm on the fingertip version 'cause I know I'm gonna want a little pressure on my either palm of my hand or my wrist. We're tall, I'm trying from a hip down, roll out. Doesn't have to be far.

Oh, look, I have to keep rolling my ball out. (exhales) Rotate the spine, aiming that arm that was in the air toward the ball. Reopen, same direction you just came from and come on up. So I guess I'm really kind of low on the fingertips as I think about it, and you know, reach out, rotate the rib cage. Think of reaching back into that, the legs a little bit and then reopen and come back up.

If you get too far away with the ball, it just becomes weird, so don't... Make it feel good. Just find your feedback. If you need to be on the wrist, like, that's nice 'cause then I can lift off it. That's actually better, try that.

Rotate, open, and one more. Last one. Take it out, yeah, that's nice. Rotate, reopen, Come on up, take the ball with you. I'm gonna hold onto one of my shins.

Take the ball up, see if I can get my hip down a little more and reach in the opposite direction. You can even fold your arm over your head and look down at your hand that's holding that shin. And change sides. Sidekick the other way. So, you're on your hip, lower leg bent.

Ball is under the ribs, you're on your elbow, you're proud looking. Top leg reaches so far it just has to lift. Try to keep it at that level. Forward and back, six or seven, eight-ish times, let's go. Kick, kick, sweep it back.

It's sort of one, two, if you can get it as far as you can on the first one, great. Three, three, back, and four, four. (exhales) Otherwise, basically still. I'm gonna do two more. And, ooh, I just caught myself hyperextending.

I don't have to work that hard on this one. I just swing it, hold it back, hold it back, look back. Come on, use it, feel your backside, not just the top backside, yeah? Then the fun part we rotate, keep pushing the leg back, you do this. Rotate and then for extra fun, reach that arm.

Ah, keep pushing that leg, keep pushing... Oh, did you lower it? Don't lower it. Try not to anyway. And then come on in.

Sit up into the figure four, hand on the ball. Little mermaid action. We go lean into it. I think we now know we like the a wrist a little bit better, but it's up to you. Rotate the rib cage toward the ball.

You don't have to touch the ball. You put your hand on the ground. Make it so you can do it. Open and just slide yourself up. Aiming to get the hip down.

I'm not sure it's totally possible or even realistic, but that's a cue. Let's go. And then rotate. So the arm is only moving because the ribs are moving. Reopen and come back up, right?

You could easily fake this one. Why would we do that to ourselves? And rotate, (exhales) and open to come up again. Two more. Find some ease in it if you can.

This one's a little tricky. Well, at least for me. I get kind of caught on the, ball by the way. Of course, you don't need the ball. Everyone knows that, right?

Last one, take it lower, rotate that whole spinal column. Bring it back. Sit yourself up, bring the ball with you. Hold onto something to raise the ball into the air. Way up there.

Don't worry about where your shoulder is so much. And side bend. Again, if you want to hug your head and look down, bring the ball back up, and voila. Okay, almost there. I'm gonna be on our bellies with a ball.

This one's gonna depend on a lot of things. If you're well endowed, which I'll leave it at that. Or if your ball's really inflated, you're gonna have to adjust where it's comfortable. This should not take your breath away. So what we're doing is basically just back extension.

But why I love this one. I'm putting it for me, it just, I think sternum. I'm on my forearms. For now, my hands are down, my elbows are maybe a little bit in front of me, but actually this is, my ball's pretty inflated. They're about right underneath me.

Legs parallel, they can be together too. I'm keeping mine slightly apart. So for a moment, just relax on it. Like shrug, get lazy. Yeah, don't stay there now.

So now you're gonna lift off, just off... Just you lift, don't use your arms, lift off the ball with whatever it takes to do that. Then when you need to, you press into those forearms and you commit to where they are and you draw those shoulders down your back. And because we're in this arc, we're gonna look forward a little. That's our starting position.

Now, the exercise is to, it might be theoretical, but I don't think so. Push the ball forward with your chest as you continue to look forward up the wall in front of you. I'm not saying lift off the ball, I'm saying try to roll the ball forward and release it a little bit. So, another thing I just noticed as I was doing it was that I'm kind of, I'm like sliding the mat backwards too with my forearms. So, you're gonna roll the ball forward as you stay out of your shoulders.

I do fill my forearms in the ground significantly and then we release it. So essentially it's a reverse chest lift like we did in the beginning when we laid over the ball. We're doing the exact opposite. Now, do it again. Not as big or glamorous or fun, but anyway, it's so important.

Keep it low, feel kind of comfortable, like you could almost lift your hands or can you try? Of course, you can. You didn't put more pressure on the ball though, right? Put your hands down, relax, try it again. Roll the ball or think about pushing the ball.

This is another one of those times you almost try to pop the ball. My abs are doing what only they need to. Lift the hands, but don't put more pressure on the ball. Okay, put your hands down for a moment. Try to roll the ball more.

Forward, lift the elbows, and go ahead and see if you can straighten your arms. Not a big deal if you can't. Then we drag those... Keep the hands where they are. Drag those elbows backwards as we come down on the ball and we lower it just a bit.

Can we do one more of those? We start by rolling the ball forward, looking forward like we're following the ball up the wall. And if you feel for it or up for it, straighten the arms. And then bring yourself back down the same direction. Okay, lift up enough to take the ball forward.

This one may not be available to everyone, but I'm gonna give it a shot anyway. If it's not available to you, all you're gonna do is just let the ball be nearby, like under your mat or something like that. But if you can hand side by side, I am going as far apart as I can with my hands and head is down trying for arms straight. If not, your arms are just beside on the ground. And we go like this, we start, it's the same exercise.

We lift our heads, we draw the ball towards us or your hands towards you just a little bit. I'm not going for height here. Can you lift one arm up and put it back on the ball? Can you lift the other arm up and put it back on the ball and then come down with your chest? Isn't that fun?

Do it again. We start to lift ahead, look over the ball, allow the hands the ball to come toward you. Let's go right hand, left leg, put both back down. Other side. Everything's straight as you can get it and down and roll down.

And again, lifting up, looking forward, you decide which version. Does not have to be high in your chest. Probably won't be left arm, right leg, and down. Switch and down and lower yourself down. Shimmy yourself out.

Help yourself up to a kneeling position for the grand finale. The ball goes right behind your legs. I'm gonna turn the other way. I don't really know why. I think it's 'cause this is how I always do this one.

So that's why I'm doing that. Ball is just behind my legs. My knees are a little bit apart. The ball could actually be between the thighs. It's not critical, but we're gonna wanna use it at the very, very end.

So, wherever, I'll just keep it between my calves. We are doing a back bend sort of. Let's take both arms up. Inhale, you're in kneeling position. I'm gonna say your right arm.

Look at your hand, reach your right hand back towards your heel. If you can, reach the left arm higher up, arch your spine. Don't lean back for now. You could, but let's leave the hips where they are and see if you can look down at that lower arm. Use the hand in the air to help you up.

Like someone pulling you back. The bottom hand comes back up. And just let both arms come down. I'm gonna cue left and right so I can stay together. Both arms come up, rotate to the left, don't lean back, just rotate.

Left arm goes down towards the left foot. The right arm reaches up. And now, if you want to do sort of a thigh hinge or more of a back bend, now's your shot. Right arm reaches to the sky to help the left hand get light. Both arms come up and down we go.

Just two more, here we go. Both arms up, right arm or twist, right arm down. Let the left arm take you off. I promise it helps. This is gonna teach you the high bridge on the reformer.

I have super long arms, I'm kind of, like, I could bend. I don't wanna lean back though. I'm more for the spine here, then help myself up. If you got short arms, you might want the ball on your... Sorry, both arms up, twist left.

You might want the ball on your shin and use that for help. It's a little squirrely, but it's an option. Oh, my goodness. And back up, both arms up, inhale, exhale. Go ahead and sit on the ball.

Take a deep breath in and exhale. Remind yourself how you felt in the beginning, how you wanted to feel at the end. Know that you still have options for the rest of your day or night. One more time, inhale, exhale. Thank you for being here, hope to see you again.


Katie M
1 person likes this.
great class!! just what I needed today!
Such a nice class with great visual/cues ! Thanks Kristi🙏
Such a nice class with great visual/cues ! Thanks Kristi🙏
Amy K
2 people like this.
I really appreciate your informal teaching style. It makes Pilates seem much more accessible to the general population than a style more focused on perfection in each movement. It is something I am trying to emulate in my own teaching!
1 person likes this.
A big thank you from Dublin. That has set my week up nicely xx
1 person likes this.
Thanks Kristi- that was a lot of fun- always love the overball!
Theresa H
2 people like this.
love your freedom in teaching nothing too strict or heavy but giving nice easy cues to follow and help find where the movement should be thanks
2 people like this.
I don't always like classes with props but I thought you used the overball brilliantly in this class!  thank you!
1 person likes this.
Great class Kristi - love the creative use of the overball, thank you!
Anne M
1 person likes this.
Loved this class, Kristi! Thank you so much.
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