Class #5459

Creative Mat Flow

25 min - Class


Celebrate the quadruped position in this creative Mat workout by Mariska Breland. She teaches a majority of the class in this position, allowing you to explore new variations that will have you think outside the box. She also encourages you to do what feels natural to your body so that you feel good instead of focusing on making each movement look perfect.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hey. I'm Marisca, and I'm joined with Julia today, and we're going to do a math class just gonna kind of be a flowing class, and, I'm sort of celebrating quadruped. I love quadruped. We're gonna be doing it in different positions. And then we'll just mix some other stuff in, as well. So, if you could come to a regular quadruped position, so hands and knees hands are underneath your shoulders and knees are underneath your hips.

And we're just gonna start with, like, the tiniest little bit of movement. So she's already she's a beautiful mover. She's already, you know, established herself in this very nice position, but I want you to get a little messy with it. To start. So just kind of like push away, drop down, move things, see what feels weird, what feels normal, Look where you wanna look. I think sometimes we're always trying to correct where people are looking, and we're saying look here, but it's like, why does your body wanna look here?

There might be a good reason it wants to look there. So just look where you wanna look and find a position that you feel is like really comfortable for you. So from there, we're just gonna do a little tilt of your pelvis. Try and beautiful. Just moving your pelvis and then untilt.

So sending your tailbone back. We're just thinking about moving the tail that you don't have kind of tucking under and then extending back. Let's do a couple more like this. Tucking under good and extending back and then tucking under and then finding What feels just neutral? Like, that feels like you're not not really tucked, not really arched, and then we're just gonna do some head movements, so chin towards your throat. And then look up and then let your chin lift up.

Good. And then bringing your chin towards your throat. And look up. So so many times, I think when we're doing cat cow kind of exercises, we like to move from right here. So if I said just do a cat cow, like where do you wanna move? You just wanna move like everything altogether and then everything altogether, but we're gonna try to get a little bit more segmental with that. So let's now try to do tailbone under keep going, keep going, keep going. So think that you're trying to press each one of these beautiful vertebra into something, and then you're dropping down without overstressing, like, your upper traps.

So think about relaxing your shoulders onto your back. Yes. And then let your head lift, and you're basically just uncurling from that and just let it feel really natural. And so sometimes we try to make it too perfect. I think that's like Pilates should be defined as we're trying to make movement look too perfect, and it should just feel nice and natural and you're stuck where you're stuck and our vertebrae are sticky, and we're just gonna try to make it feel good. So go ahead and do that again. So you're tilting your pelvis under Good. Letting your body just respond.

Shake your head a little bit and take those shoulder blades onto your backsum. So we're gonna take this and Yep. Just so that feels like you're really steady there. Keep your shoulder blades where they are. Go ahead and come back to sort of a neutral.

So you're in a more neutral spine position. Take a leg. I don't care which leg and reach it back behind you. And then let that leg lift off the floor. Good. Lower that leg down and up eight times. And it can stay straight.

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Right leg is up. So her right leg is up. You're gonna step that right leg forward between your hands. And then kind of sink forward into that lunge so that your knee contracts a little bit over your toes. And then just go ahead and let your weight shift back some. So we're gonna shift away from being over your toes. So the knee is in line with your heel and then shift forward to be over your toes.

And then go back. So we're just thinking about lubricating joints here coming forward and back. Coming forward, and back. One more like this. Now take your right leg back behind you. So, basically, we're going back to where you started. Have that right leg hovering in the air, and you're gonna shift your weight forward so that your shoulders travel a little bit over your wrists and then just go right back to where you are.

Shoulders travel a little bit over your wrists and go right back to where you were. Let's do 3 more here coming forward. And back coming forward and back coming forward and hold it there. Little baby push up. So bend your elbows nice and push away.

Good bend and push. We'll do 2 more here. Bend. And push and last one, bend and push. Go ahead and bring your right knee underneath your hip. Left knee's gonna come back underneath your hip because we widened our stance a little bit here. Now you're gonna take your opposite leg, so left leg reach it back behind you. And you're gonna lift it up eight times.

Up 1, 2, and pay attention to how it feels when you lift. Does it feel like you're right hand gets a little bit more weight in it probably because you're kind of counterbalancing the weight of that leg. And once you've done 8, then you get to do the step through. So kind of stepping through into the lunge, thinking about stretching out your ankle a little bit, and then move back so that your knee is just right over your heel. So we're just doing a couple like this going forward. And back. I think the squishy mat's kind of actually nice for this one because your foot can kind of sink into the squishy mat. If you have a firmer mat, it's a little bit harder to maneuver yourself sometimes.

And then go ahead, and we're gonna come out of that. So you're gonna take that left leg back behind you. And then it's hovering, and then we'll shift your weight forward and back. So hover your left leg. Good. Shift forward. And back, shift forward, and back, shift forward, and do a couple of push ups, beautiful, down up, down up and down up. Come back to your quadruped position for a second.

Hands are underneath your shoulders, knees are underneath your hips. Tuck your toes under. Hover your knees off the floor. And then you're gonna round your spine to a little tuck of your pelvis and then reverse that. So basically kind of how we started things.

That tuck of your pelvis, but with hovering knees and extend. Tuck of your pelvis, and extend. Let's do 2 more like this. Little tuck and extend little tuck and extend. Now your knees are kind of hovering like 2 inches off the ground. You're gonna begin to move your knees away from the floor while you lift your hips back. So you're straightening your legs essentially, but you're trying to get your knees to basically travel instead of thinking back think up So your knees are lifting up, up, up. Good.

And then you're gonna lower them down so that they're kind of traveling as much of a straight line down and up as you can. Really good. And you might not go all the way straight, and that's perfect. So you're lowering back down and lifting up. Good couple more, lowering down and lifting up and lowering down and lifting up. Next time you lower down all the way, quick child's pose, so go ahead and press your hips back to your heels. And then when you come forward, you're gonna come back into a quadruped, but as you come forward, you're gonna take your left arm.

You begin to lift it up and around and look at your left hip. So start in a child's pose and then begin to lift forward. So as you begin to lift, that left arm lifts up. Good. Keep going with the arm. Travel it around.

Follow it with your eyes. Beautiful. And then you can lift it up and around gorgeous and bring it back to where it was. Press yourself back into a child's pose. Your right hand hovers as you begin to lift up. And then it goes up and around and then up and around and back. Let's do one more of those each side.

So we're coming forward. Nice. Following your hand and following your hand. And then take your child's pose. And then last one, we're going up, rotating around, rotating around and then going back. Beautiful. Let's go ahead and come to supine.

We're gonna take our quadru pet, and we're gonna flip it. So you're gonna be laying down on your back, but the quadru pet is still gonna be a quadru pet. So hands are up. Imagine there's a floor. These are on our imaginary floor, which is actually the seal.

So we're gonna start with just your right leg. Keep it bent. Lower your right leg down. Tap your toes and exhale to lift back up. Switch to the left, lower your left leg down, and left. Right leg down.

And lift. And if this feels like it's a little bit too much on your abs, you can always bring your arms down by your side. We have taken some of stability away by having your arms reach up towards the ceiling. So if you at home feel like you need more stability, then just put your hands down by your side. I don't know what you're doing. You can do whatever you want.

It's your own workout. Go ahead and lower your right leg down and up and then left leg down. And up. Now take your right arm, travel your right arm to the right, and lift it back up. Travel your left arm to the left and lift it back up. Now we're gonna add your opposite leg doing a similar movement, but not so much that you feel like you're gonna tip over.

So your right arm goes to the right. Your left leg goes to the left a little bit on an inhale. Exhale everything pulls back together, going in the opposite direction and pulling back together. So if you feel like at your sacrum, you're really feeling like, oh, the pressure is getting really heavy on one side, that's probably too much. She's got a lot of flexibility, so her hips are really open.

My hips are not open like this, so my range of motion would be a lot smaller. We're gonna do a couple more here. Last one like this. Now take your right leg, stretch it out all the way long in your left arm overhead. Overhead, like Okay.

And then pull to come back in so that you're pulling everything together and then reach everything away. And pull to come back in. This is very hard on your abs to keep your head down. So if you wanna have your head lifted up, it can bring you into flexion and it can take a little bit of the pressure off your low back if you're not as strong as her, not as strong as her. So my head would be up.

Reaching away. And back, reaching away, and back. Let's do one more each side or whatever evens you out. And then from here, The high mat is the challenge. We're not gonna fall off the high mat. That's the number 1, the number one goal.

This entire situation that you're by is in right now, this sort of quadruped shape, we're going to drift it towards the Pacific Ocean. If you don't know where the Pacific Ocean is, where you are in at your home watching this, we're going this way and then come back to center and then drift it the other way. So keep you very honest by being on the high mat. When you drift it to the side, you're trying to take everything together and then drift it to the other side. Good. And coming back one more.

And so she's gonna have to make micro adjustments, and you're probably having to make micro adjustments where you might not keep the shape completely the same. Because one leg went too far, and then you have to, like, your body will make adjustments. The body likes to save itself, I find. Now go ahead and we're gonna roll onto your side facing towards the camera. But don't fall off.

So scoot yourself back some. So you can't do a perfect quadrupet here and have her head supported. So what we're gonna do is support your head, but otherwise quadrupet. So arm forward and legs in this sort of ninety degree position and that separation, which is gonna be, like, obviously challenging on this hip. We'll start with your arm reaching overhead and your leg reaching towards me and then bring everything back to where you started. Good reaching arm and leg away, and then bringing it towards me.

So what I want you to think about while doing this sort of clam position where we do 10,000,000 clams in the world of platys is I want you to think about your lower leg. We think about our upper leg all the time, but that lower leg is doing a lot of work to stabilize you. So I want you to think about the lower leg and give the lower leg some love, and we're gonna be actually doing some exercises focusing on that lower leg as well. Let's do a couple more like this. So reaching away. And pulling back in and reaching away and pulling back in.

So pause where you are. You're gonna take your top leg, lift it open more, and down. Now that movement came from her top hip. Now I want you to move the whole situation by pressing into your lower leg. So we're gonna have the upper arm, upper leg, moving, but the pressure is coming at the lower leg. And then you let it kind of fall back into place.

So we're pushing into that lower leg to open out. And that should roll you. Right? So it's like, yes. It should take everything with it and then bring it back. So it would be like if I was taking this leg and I'm, like, right here on the mat and I'm asymmetrical pushing into this mat, and I feel like my outer hip, where I want you to feel is the outer hip of the bottom leg instead of the top leg. Is that working?

We'll do a couple more like this. So we're opening out. Good. And pull to come back in. And opening out and pull to come back in. Now extend this leg out long towards me.

And we're gonna do little circles, like basketball, pick your favorite, sport that uses a ball and make the ball that size. We'll do about 8 each direction. And then we'll see if I can remember all this when we go to the other side We're gonna do a little intermission. So go ahead and bend your knees and then let your arm come down. You're just gonna roll onto your back, and we're gonna do a little bit of a a little ab thing in the middle. So go ahead and have your legs be all the way long on the mat.

Reach your arms up towards the ceiling. Let your arms lead head follows and just come into flexion. So head and chest lift, look at something, and then move towards the thing that you're looking at. Good. And then keep looking at the thing and then move away from the thing that you're looking at. And you might find that you can move under it. Right? So if you're looking right here, like, if you were looking at my hand, move under my hand as you lay yourself all the way back down.

So really think about finding that length as you lower really good. Good. Now when you come up, I'm gonna leave my hand here. You're gonna roll up and try to stay under my hand. And then one more time lowering down. Staying underneath my hand.

And then at the bottom, bring your hands behind your head, bring your right leg into tabletop, bring your left leg into tabletop, lift your head and chest up, and then extend your legs out long. Twist towards the right as you bend your left knee. And then come back to center. So think about you're touching elbow to knee. Yep. And then towards the other side.

So it's a backwards crisscross. I'm gonna say that's the name of it and then come back to center and then twist. Try to touch elbow to knee. Try to elbow to knee. Touching elbow to knee and elbow to knee, and then we'll come back to center, and we're gonna do regular crisscross. Start with your knees bent.

Cross towards the right extending your opposite leg and then back to center. And twist. And she can touch elbow to knee, and that is not everyone. So if you can't touch elbow to knee, then you're just aiming in that general direction. And it's still basically the same exercise. Let's do one more each side.

However, you wanna rock yourself up to seated. We'll go ahead and rock yourself up to seated, and then we're gonna make your way onto your opposite side. We're gonna repeat the stuff. So it's face that way. And then, I will come over here. And so we're recreating our quadruped on sideline. So we're here. And then you have your top arm, top leg lifts.

We're gonna start with arm and leg reaching away from each other, and then we pull to come in. Good. An arm and leg reach away. And pull to come back in. Good reach away. And in And, again, think about the lower leg more than the upper leg.

And honestly, sometimes if you think about the lower leg, then if it's feeling crampy in the upper leg, you'll forget about it because you're not thinking about it. So we're gonna think about what the lower leg is doing, and the lower leg is working really hard here to help her stabilize. Reach away and back reach away and back. Now we'll stay there with your top leg doing the work, lift your leg up, and then lower it down. But again, it's the top leg on this one. We will switch to the bottom leg.

Lift up. And back down. Good lift up and down. Lift up. And down. We'll do 2 more like this.

Lift and lower and lift and lower. This whole shape is going to move because the bottom leg is pushing into the mat. So bottom leg pushes open out Good. And then close. Really, really good. Open out. And close.

So you wanna feel that that bottom leg is almost like you're opening the bottom leg like a book that's making everything else move. We're just thinking about how that bottom leg has to work as a stabilizer and not forget all the work that it's doing in this exercise. Let's do 2 more. And last one. And then we're back.

Go ahead and extend your leg straight. And then we have our ball of choice circles 8 each direction. And then switch. And then go ahead and bend your knees, and then you'll make your way onto your back. Reach your legs out long, reach your arms up towards the ceiling, and then roll yourself all the way up to a seated position and then just cross your legs and then kind of roll over your legs to come back to a quadrupet. So we're coming into a quadrupet position.

So just bend your knees and go over your legs. There you go. So we're back in our quadruped. From here, tuck your toes under. Hover your knees.

And then I want you to take a tiny step forward, so right hand left leg at the same time. And then step yourself back. Good. And then switch and step yourself back. Now can you do that without a big shift in your whole body weight from one side to the other. If that makes sense.

There you go. So trying to keep your pelvis a little bit more level. There will be some movement or trying not to have it be a twist. We're trying to have it be like hip flexion, arm, flexion. Good. Last one. And then go ahead and lower your knees down. Press yourself back to a child's pose, bring your left hand behind your head.

Bend your right elbow so your right elbow is touching your right knee. Wide elbow on the left, and you're just gonna open yourself up looking at the camera, try to keep your hips down on your heels, and then bring yourself back to where you are. Good inhale to open yourself up, Good. And exhale to come down. So it should feel good. It should feel like a nice kind of twist.

Opening out and down. We'll do two more of the sides. So inhale and exhale. And inhale and exhale. Go ahead and switch arms. So elbow to knee on one side, hand behind your head on the other side, big thoracic rotation, and then return to where you were. Opening and back 3 more like this.

1, and 2. And 3, and then go ahead and come back to a quadruped, tuck your toes under, hover your knees, And we're just going to instead of where we were, like, trying to lift your knees straight up, this time, send your hips back so your legs will come in. They will Perfect. And then go ahead and extend your legs straight from there. So you're kind of pushing back into a down dog, but you're staying back that way. And then bend your knees so they're hovering and then extend your leg strict. Good. And then bend your knees so they're hovering. And extend your leg straight.

Let's do 4 more here. 1 and 2 and 3, and 4. Go ahead and come into a quadruped. Reach your right arm forward your left leg back. Find a lot of length there.

You're just gonna let your right arm drift a little bit away from your left leg, and your left leg drift a little bit away from the center. So everything's kinda moving away a little bit. And then come back in, just do four of these. 2, 3, and 4 and then go ahead and lower it down and then switch to opposite arm and leg. And then we do 4 little drift away and come back drift away and come back, drift away, and come back, drift away, and come back back to just regular hands and knees. Press yourself back into a child's pose.

Go really wide with your knees here. And just what feels good. So for me, I like I like a wiggle. Like, I like the same thing. Just, like, when I'm here, I just wanna wiggle my hips a little bit from side to side. You might wanna cross. I like sometimes to cross right arm over left hand. So we're taking it into a little bit of a twist.

So more to one side. And then you can always walk it around to the other side. Spend as much time as you want there. So any stretches that you feel like would feel good, go ahead and take those. And, hopefully, I will see you back here at Pilates anytime for another class soon.


1 person likes this.
Great class Mariska—simple, creative and strengthening Thanks you🙏
I agree, great class Mariska.  You've unleashed my inner quadruped.
Loved the class, thank you for the flow
1 person likes this.
Wonderful class! Enjoyed the quadruped play so much, and appreciated the cue to "stay below your atm" in our rollup. Thanks, Mariska!
Waller M
1 person likes this.
Great class. Very deep and mobilizing, especially for the hips and shoulders. Thanks! 
2 people like this.
Thanks Mariska! Glad to see some new mat classes with you. Always love your creativity! Ps- great camo top!!
Marissa Thank you! It was my favorite top that I brought for filming this year. ;) 
Denise  F
Do you offer workshops virtual?
Denise F hi!! My main workshop is only offered virtually at this point - Pilates for neurological conditions - which really is my life’s work (not to overstate it). You can learn more at the I have three workshops here at Pilates Anytime that are compliments to that one. The only other ones I have currently are for Fuse Ladder (live or zoom) and I’ll probably do some short live via zoom workshops this year on neuro topics, but nothing scheduled yet. 💕
Julie Lloyd
Such a beautiful class, thank you Mariska.
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