Class #5476

Commit to Your Movements

30 min - Class


You will move, flow, and take up space with this detailed Mat workout by Kristi Cooper. She uses small, basic movements to get you deep into your core so that you can build power from within. She encourages you to stay committed to each movement so that you can strengthen your body and your practice.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Dec 13, 2023
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Hi, everybody. It's Christy Cooper. We're here to move and flow and take up some space. Let's begin by getting on our mat. You do not need a prop However, we will be seated for a while, so you might wanna tell or something to sit on just to elevate you a little bit if needed. Otherwise, let's begin have a seat turning sideways so that you can see all the minutae I'm sitting in a diamond position that meets the soles of the feeder together, knees are splayed outside.

This is one of those opportunities where you might feel like this hard to stay upright, and we do wanna start with a straight spine. So if you need to or want to, you could either just roll up the edge of your mat and sit on the edge there maybe you have a hand towel nearby that often can help and just to have it nearby for for several reasons. But basically, we're sitting right up on those sits bones. You notice I'm rocking, and that's because I wanna find those bones. Sometimes I have to move some flesh out of the way to feel that anchor point because that guides us.

So from there, you rise up. You just allow yourself to be tall. Hands on the shins or knees anywhere that you feel like you can actually use your arms, I have my elbows a little bit bowed out to the side like my knees. And let's just sit tall, feel tall, not working too hard right now. Just inhale.

And as you exhale, let go of whatever you can, that doesn't mean slouch. It just means let the muscles drip off the bones. Inhale. Maybe you feel a sense of the crown of your head floating toward the sky and exhale. The shoulders are heavy or relaxed. Maybe that means the same thing to you in here and exhale. Do all your fidgeting now to get where you wanna be, and here's what we're doing.

We're just gonna start playing with the idea of a tuck of the pelvis and maybe even an arch of a pelvis, but right now, just a tuck. So we're holding on. We're ever it works for you, you can even hold underneath, inhale. And now without collapsing, we're just gonna pull those front hip bones backwards. Don't even worry about where the shoulders go.

It's very subtle. So that was an exhale. Notice the abdominals naturally pull in, then inhale come back to where you started. Right on top of those sit bones. Start the exhale, and you'll feel naturally the abdominals pull in and those front hip bones will roll back. Come back up. Not much to see here, but it is worthy of paying attention to it in your own body and your own mind.

Exhale, take it back. There's a connection from the feet. There's a little even connection with the inner thighs. You can imagine the soles of the feet coming together. The inner thighs will be engaged that kinda just helps everything.

We're making it easy on ourselves today. Inhale lift, exhale roll it back. Okay. Let's make it a little more exciting. Let's go further. Oh my goodness. So we inhaled. We draw those hip bones back.

We can go further. Your hands will have to slide. I slide minor around the back. I'm pushing up on my legs and also down on my legs into my hands and come forward. I'll give you a breath pattern in the middle.

But in the meantime, just breathe. The inhale here at the top. Start the exhale. Roll the pelvis back. Imagine trying to place the sacrum or the low back on the floor.

Support yourself with your hands. There's nothing wrong with that. Take an inhale down here Start that exhale again. Hold the waistline back as you stay curved when your shoulders get over your hips. You stack your spine back to the beginning.

That's it. It's almost like a snake or a wave. Exhale rollback. Can you go for this okay for your feet move? We're not getting too concerned about the detail yet. Inhale. Color bones wide. Start the exhale though.

Imagine pressing down with the abs or holding the waistline back often does enough. Sitting tall again. Inhale. And exhale rounding back. Just kinda warming up the spine. Again, use your arms where you need to. Do your best to keep your shoulders somewhat down, and the collar bones wide, meaning they're pointing to the sides of the room rather than to the ceiling. Inhale.

Start the exhale. That should support system stay curved until shoulders are over hips and straighten up. Can we do just one more like that? Exhale rollback. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Inhale hold. Check out your abs. You can see them here. Start the exhale. They don't have to suck in.

They just need filled naturally drop. If you just blow out your air and come back up. Now when you get to the top this time, you've stacked your spine. Let's add a little downward pressure maybe with the hands. And as you go up, it's very subtle. You're gonna just allow your chest to almost push your chin out of your way, to slightly look up.

I'm not trying to lean back if I am. Don't do what I'm doing. Just do what I say. And let's go back to the rant. So, basically, we're just adding a little element there.

We roll to the back, inhale hold, start exhaling to come up, hold the waistline back, When the shoulders are over the hips, you start to restock, realign. When you get to the top, that's where the chest starts to rise a little bit more. It's so subtle, but you just wanna find the upper back. That's what I'm going for. Me inhale. Start the exhale.

Those hip bones roll back. You can let go if it feels easy enough to do that. It's up to you. Inhale. Start the exhale. Come forward. Stay curve.

Stay curve. Stay curved. Handsitions or knees. Stack the spine, rise up looking for that little bit of extension just to feel that upper back. Not a big deal. You're not thrusting your ribs, and down we go, last one.

Sometimes actually using the arms, I think, is this really nice oppositional energy. So don't be shy. Push into your thighs. Exhale as you pull the abs back. Come back over ourselves, lining ourselves up.

Even here, I'm using my arms. I'm pushing down just a little. Why not help myself, right? Why not help yourself? Lift up. Okay. Same idea, but on her back.

So I'm just scooting forward a little bit. My feet are flat. We lie down onto our backs with the knees bent. Arms are right by your side. I mentioned the collar bones earlier, so let's think wide with them if you can get the back of the shoulders down. This is another spot where the towel, if you have one nearby, could help. If you find yourself looking backwards because your shoulders are tide or this is not a great position, it would benefit you a lot to place a small towel folded, not rolled up, just folded a little bit, so that the front of your chest can relax.

With that said, arms are by your side. They're straight. They're long. We're gonna use them a little bit. Inhale. Start exhaling. And same thing it's as if those hip bones press backwards just like before, and we're just gonna roll up a tiny and then release it. Inhale. Start the exhale.

Notice what naturally happens. Those bones will roll backwards as the abdominals kick in. I'm just rolling up maybe to the waist and down. This time, we'll go further. We're gonna go up all the way to the back of the shoulder blades. So inhale, but do it sequentially. Start that exhale. You feel the natural depression of the abs.

You peel the bones off the mat. You're stepping into your feet. And by the way, also your upper arms. Okay. Now here's the deal. I gotta take time on this one because it matters for so many other exercises.

When you're up, meaning hips off the ground, feet are flat. Think about your feet for just a second. Big toe, little toe, evenly weighted. Best you can. Knees are not playing to the side. Imagine that towel is between your inner thighs or at least your knees are straight ahead. Now then, If you see your ribs, but you do not see your knees, you're probably in an arched spine.

So I'm gonna suggest that you come down no matter how low you to do it. Okay. So everybody play with that. Then here's the thing. Retuck the pelvis. It's gonna feel like you're trying to round your back.

It's not gonna look like it, but you're taking the pubic bone closer to the sternum, then step on your feet. Then don't tell me you don't fill your hamstrings and glutes. And if you don't, I'm gonna just play with it until you do. Okay. Let's move on. Christie, inhale. We're at the top here. From your throat, start rolling down.

Sequentially, bone by bone, by bone. I'm finding my middle back I'm finding my low back. I have to almost re tuck or re round the low back to get all the way down. And, again, we inhale. Start that exhale.

Allow the pelvis to just roll up. It's easy. Right? It's easy. You have to be somewhat controlled. But if you get overly tight, it's not so fluid. So enjoy it to the extent that you can in him and exhale. I do like to think sometimes from the throat, a soften here. I leave the hips up as much as possible and roll it down.

Let's do a few more there in here. Starting the exhale. And, you know, I mentioned a breath here because when you start a movement with the exhale, Sometimes it assists us and other exercises. So I'm just trying to practice that as we begin getting class inhale. So here's a great example. Excel, you float it down. It's like you're reaching your knees over your ankles.

It's not something you're gonna see. It's an intention. And down we come last one here, we roll up. We allow the body to do what it does. Take a moment to check out your upper arms.

What are they doing? You can stand on them a little. You can step into your heels. Keep the line long so you almost feel a stretch to the front and definitely work in the back. Let's bring it on down. Right. Bring the feet together.

So I just I did bring him a little closer to, I noticed, to me, feet together, lift up on the toes, and just slide your arms out to either a low v with the palms up or a t position. If you could do the t, go for that. So that you're really stretching them out long. And we okay. Check yourself out. Your knees are exactly side by side as if you have one leg where you're going to tilt toward the window or towards the front.

We inhale rotate. So what that means is both knees stay lined up. You might have to look. You don't want them sliding on each other. So the opposite foot did come up, start the exhale and roll back to center. Just getting some warm up in the spinal rotation other way. Inhale. Imagine reaching both knees nice and long Here's the catch. You have to keep both shoulders down.

So from that place, start exhaling as if your rib cage got heavier before anything else and then the legs float back towards the front inhale rotate. Start the exhale again. It's like your knees are swaying back to center. To the back in here. You could do this with your knees in the air too.

I'm keeping them down for today. And if it feels funky, you could just bring them in closer maybe, but you really wanna get the sense of I'm reaching both legs off to the distance Both shoulders stayed down, heavy ribs to bring it back to center. And, again, other way? Should feel good. Get subtle. Find your space in your spine because we're about to move it a fair about fair bit more.

To the back last time. And from there, we'll come back to center. Go ahead and just keep your feet together. You can adjust them closer further away, slide your hands behind your head, lace the fingers together completely. And and this is a little bit commitment. Right?

We're not just loosely doing anything. We're gonna hold the hands so that we can support our head. Then allow your elbows to float off the floor. So you don't need them fully down. Right? Let them flow it off and gently press the back of your head into your hands. Your hips, your pelvis is gonna stay right where it is. Unless you're tucked already.

Let it go. Just let it be. From here, we inhale. We start the exhale. Just roll your chin toward your chest. You allow your head to come up You start looking toward your thighs.

You're supporting your head. Can you come any higher, not necessarily higher, actually, more forward? Inhale hold, exhale stretch your spine back to the ground, if you like that. Inhale at the bottom. Start the exhale. I can't just let it out.

You'll see what happens. There's ease that comes into this, and it allows you to bend more. If your head's coming out of your hands, check it out. Push it backwards if you need to. Inhale. Hold. Excel stretch yourself out. 2 more like that. Inhale.

I know these small basic moves are so tedious, but I'll tell you what, they're also powerful. And they keep coming up in all the more advanced stuff. So do it now and enjoy it inhale exhale down. One one more, and I'm actually gonna add on, start your exhale. You float up, look towards your thighs.

Okay. Let's grab onto your thighs. So your arms circle around. Grab onto the back of your legs. Start the exhale. Sync the belly. Pull yourself up a little bit more elbows out to the side.

Here's the fun part. Let go. Put your hands behind your head without falling back. And now lay down. We can do 4 of those. Right? We can do 4 of anything. We've inhaled at the bottom. We start the exhale with the hands behind your head.

Exhale curl yourself up inhale reach the arms to the back of the legs. Start the exhale and watch the abdominal sink as you pull yourself closer to your thighs. Here's the trick. Hold your position. You didn't get so high you're gonna fall down.

Let go. Put your hands behind your head. And take it down. Oh, I did say 4. Right? Here's number 3, I think. Exhale. That might have been 2, but we'll call this 3. Inhale reach to the back of the legs.

Exhale elbows. Pull. Sing the belly. Hold yourself there. Be strong. Let go. Arms go up if you're feeling really strong, reach way behind you, refold them, put them behind your heads, and take it down. Last one.

Curling up, dropping your head into your hand, even though you're gonna let go reach to the back of the legs, exhale curl up, up, up, Inhale. Arms go up. Put them behind your head. Stay here. XL rotate toward the front and maybe think shoulder to opposite hip. Knees did not move.

Inhale come through the middle, go to the other side. Inhale through the middle, and rotate. It's kinda shoulder to hip. Inhale through and exhale. Inhale. Through the middle exhale.

Sometimes I have to think about actually lifting as I go through the middle so I don't fall back. Can we do one more each way? I know these small ones are so nasty sometimes, but we're solid. To the back. Come back to the center, reach to the back of the legs, exhale sink the belly.

Hold yourself up there, but know you're gonna stay there now. Let go arms are straight up. Keep them straight as you reach back behind you. Arms are floating just off the floor. This is basically, another chest lift, but it's a 100 prep.

It goes like this. Inhale. As you exhale, curl head, neck, and shoulders up, taking your arms with you, reach forward. Arms right alongside your hips. Hold it there. Inhale. Go back down. Just two more like that, and then we'll add to the fun.

Exhale. Sing the rib cage. Looking forward, you're just sort of following your hands. Look at them, look forward. Look forward collar bones are still wide inhail back. I told I promised you more fun, didn't I? Here it comes, except curl it up.

Now we're gonna stay here. If you want to, you could pull yourself a little higher, but arms are straight. We're gonna raise the arms a little inhaling up for two counts. Now press down two counts. Inhale up and down, you're not raising the shoulders just the hands like you're pushing against solid and down, emailing up and down. Can we do 2 more? Yes, we can.

And down. One more, and you can just let the arms come down and the head go back. Take one leg. I've got my right leg up. Knee bent and then extend it straight leg. Alright. I'm gonna move the left leg or the down leg just a tiny bit further away from me.

Arms are down as an anchor. This leg circle have a subtle turnout of the leg that's in the air. We're gonna cross the body. That's an inhale. We circle around and stop at the middle.

It's not very big. What I am trying to do is keep my pelvis still, inhale across, Exale down around up, inhale across, down around up. If you're feeling super flexible, you can straighten the bottom leg and do it that way. Down around. Up one more. Of course, we're gonna go the other way. Right? So, again, take it out to the side, but you're not leaning with it. Circle rounding up. It's like you're drawing a circle with your toe. Inhale.

Exhale down around, 3 more. Email out, exhale down, around, up, holding from the middle. So the leg is almost soft. Last one, and then you can just grab onto that leg, pull it closer for a little stretch, maybe flex in point, la la, la, la, and switch legs. Other knee comes up, bend it, hug it in. If you need to, then straighten it, and we cross over the body, down around, up one.

Cross over, doing your best to let the leg itself be free and anchor with everything else, 2 to go. One more. Other way, there's gonna be little adjustments, but you minimize it, and you let the leg free float by holding through the middle. Here's 3. I'm doing one more just for good measure.

There it is. Hug it in. Hug it in. I and I have it straight. If you want that stretch, anchor the tailbone. Whoo. Alright. Both knees are bent.

I have mine a little bit of part holding on underneath the thighs. It's not quite behind the knees, but pretty close. And here's some fun things to play with with lots of exercises. It's creating this oppositional energy. So what I'm gonna do is I'm holding on behind the thighs. They're a little apart.

I'm pushing the thighs away. I curl my head neck and shoulders up until I'm in a bit of a boat shape. And now I'm gonna keep this shape as best I can get a little rocking action, which is seems easier than it is sometimes, but the idea is, like, can you get a fluid rocking back and forth? My elbows are out to the side. My back is definitely rounded. I'm up and I'm down.

Play with the inhale hips up. Exhale hips down. And you start to get this momentum and even an ability to pause, maybe. Play with that. You can stay with that, actually, or come all the way up.

Notice how the breath kinda helps. Right? I'm just backing up some back in the center. Now you can either stick with that or hold on to your, shins and bring the legs even closer. Today, I have my feet just a little bit apart, you could do it completely tight together. It's a little tougher that way. Alright. So remember how we drew the hip bones back, and we're going to email back exhale up, hold, see if you can do it without touching the ground. Play with that.

Inhale roll back. The breath does help. I think of filling out my back. Oh, it's fun. It's sort of fun. Kind of annoying because it should be easier, but think about the control.

2 more. One more time. And with that, we'll stay up. Okay. Come to a diamond position just like we started. Right? This is called the spine stretch is a tricky one with a lot of words, but it's really, really great over time.

So I'm gonna invite you to really investigate. Starting with the hands once again behind your head is if you were lying on the floor, we inhale. We're gonna exhale to round forward as if we're going up and over a ball. Right? We're not falling back. We're just rounding forward, blowing out all that air. Like, really exhale so that now when we inhale, we lengthen the spine, but it's gonna be on a diagonal. Bear with me on this.

A lot of words. Lengthen the spine on a diagonal. So you're leaning forward. You might have to be upright a little bit more than I am, or you might be lower, but your back is long. So that was an inhale.

We exhale extend the arms, thumbs toward the back of the room, or the ceiling. Just extended your spine, essentially. Refold the arms so that your hands are behind your head again. Exhale round forward, and we roll right back up to the starting position. I know. It's a lot.

You'll come to love it. I promise someday, maybe, inhale, exhale round forward. So it's as if we're peeling our spine off a wall, the elbows can be a little bit forward. Now from the tailbone start to elongate your spine on the diagonal to you, the extent that you can looking for straight extend the arms, inhale refold the arms behind your head, exhale round forward, and just roll back up. You can kinda almost let go on that last part.

Enjoy that. Inhale. Exhale. Peel yourself off the spine rounding over, over deepening the belly, but really the emphasis on getting the air out, inhale, elongate on the diagonal. See what you can do. Lean into it. Extend the arms.

Inhale refilled the arms. It's like this shoulder blades of pulling your arms back into place, exhale round forward, way forward, and then roll back up that imaginary wall. I'll go a little faster. Inhale. Excel round forward. Get that air out so that when you inhale in the diagonal, It almost feels natural.

Extend the arms, exhale. Get long. Get long wick. Someone's pulling those arms, inhale. Refold them behind your head. Exale round and come back up that imaginary wall behind you. Can we do 2 more? Yes, Christy, of course. Exale round.

Get the air out. Inhale. Fill up the space, elongate. Extend the arms on that diagonal. Do your best to get your upper arms by your ears. So if you looked sideways, you'd be looking under your arms.

Inhale refold the hands behind the head, exhale round forward, and just when you thought it was gonna be fun. It's gonna get more fun. Excel around. Inhale on the diagonal. Come on. Get in there.

Get in there. Extend the arms. Again, the thumbs are faced backwards, so palms face each other. Can you, from the shoulder blades, pull the arms back just a little from there? 1, stay on that diagonal link. 2. 3. How many do you wanna do? 4. I'm calling for 10.

5. Oh, come on, lean into it. 6. How's that for an upper back exercise? 8, 9, relax your neck where you can. Oh my goodness. Refold the arms.

Exhale round forward and roll yourself up. Are we still friends? I'm facing you just so I can be more clear about this still in a diamond position. You can cross the legs if you'd want. Yeah. Arm over arm, forearm over forearm.

I use that somehow as a help. As I push the top arm into the bottom arm and the bottom arm into the top, I'm lifting up. We're gonna rotate to the right. So it's it's just fine. It's got nothing to do with the arms, actually, but they do help.

From there, extend the arms opposite each other. So one arm's going the other way and the direct straight line the other way. Take an inhale. Get longer and exhale refold the arms. Let's go the other way. So you keep the chest lifted.

Your forearms are right there in the center of the chest. It's a spine that rotates. Extend the arms. You might have to look. Don't want the one get in front of you. Inhale.

Grow a little taller twist a little more. Exhale. Come back to center just a couple more. Inhale rotate. It's from the waist up, basically. Exhale extend. I like to look back because I tend to twist a tiny bit more inhale, grow taller, Exhale come back to center. And again, roti.

Exhale extend. How long can your wingspan be? Inhale twist a little more and exhale to the center. Let's teach you just a few with the arms directly opposite us. Turnover. Oh, double exhales going to the right.

We go. Center. And last one. Easy peasy. Voila. Let that go. Let's get down to the legs a little bit.

So turn to one side. The lower knee is bent, and you're right up on that hip. So the shape matters here. I've got my elbow just below the shoulder. The top leg is stretching. I lift it up.

Supporting myself with both hands. We kick forward. We kick back too, and back. A little sidekick. We got about 5 to go. Right? So it's it's like keeping your center of your body still while the leg free freely kicks. It's kinda hard to get used to, but It's really nice when you do.

Last one here, take it to the back, way back, way back, maybe take this top hip and roll it forward. You can reach out, take it a long stretch. So meaning that top arm is reaching, turning toward the mat a little as I push the leg back, come up and over other side. So again, right on the hip, you're looking for sort of these angles for this to get you nice and tall, and you kick forward and back and forward. Sometimes you flex the foot forward and point back. I'm not too worried about the foot today.

Let's do five more starting now. Do get the leg behind you. Here's two 3, 4, and 5. Hold it to the back. Let's check it out because you might wanna lean back. You're not gonna lean back.

Hip us forward. Clegg is back. Reach that opposite arm. Okay. We're getting close. Hang on. Turn on to your bellies, your tummies, your prone.

We're gonna do a basic backache extension. So what that means, I'm gonna keep my head floating. You can let your forehead go to the ground. Take your arms down by your side. Feed her together if you can.

And we're just going to if you can press the arms into your body, it's okay if your hands don't fully touch. Head is down. We inhale. Start the exhale. Draw the belly up away from the floor as if someone was pulling on your feet. You start to float the upper body, and they do mean float.

It's not very big. The arms are reaching down. Inhale. Hold? Excel go back to the beginning all the way down and inhale. Start the Excel I think of shoulder blades reaching down, abdominals coming in.

I'm just trying to make like a dart. I do keep my tops and my feet on the ground. Hold inhale. And let's do two more like that, and you can stay with this, or we'll add on Start with the breath. Remember that, right? You draw the belly in. The tops of the feet are down.

Legs are long. You're reaching for your ankles. And down. One more like that. If you're cool with it, you're gonna stay here Again, it's not as high as you can. You inhale. As you start to exhale, just turn your palms down and reach out to that tee position again.

Nice and long. Really long. Don't tighten up on yourself. Let it spread your wings, then inhaled, bring your arms back to your side, exhale down. We could do 2 more. We'll call it a day. Inhale. Start with that breath.

Support yourself long legs. Tops with feet down. Take an inhale this time. Take those out to a tee if you're doing that version. And exhale them.

Last one coming up. Got covering all sides of the body inhale, exhale collar bones wide. Abs. Float those arms out to a tee. Oh, I said last one, didn't I rotate those thumbs the entire arm to the ceiling and just lift for 5?

For 4, the arms. I mean, 3, 2, and 1, take the arms back to your side. Fold your hands so they end up by your shoulders, settle your back. It can shimmy side to side. Push yourself up into a rest position, meaning hips over heels. And in case that's not good for you, I'm gonna actually end us the way we started. Come round to that diamond position again, taken in here, nice and tall, and exhale. If you want to round forward by all means. Enjoy that stretch. Inhale.

And exhale. Last one altogether. Hope you carry this throughout your day. Inhale. And exhale. Let it go. Thank you so much for joining me today.


Julie Lloyd
1 person likes this.
Great class Kristi. Just the right amount of everything. I always feel strong and spacious after your class.  Thank you x
Rachel B
Ends weirdly abruptly, at what seems like the start of a lower body sequence. Is there meant to be a longer version or a part 2?
1 person likes this.
Nice stretch in this class! I paired it with Meredith's #2908.  Thanks for a good start to the week!
Marchel A
1 person likes this.
Rachel B The ending looks good, I think you may have run into some technical issues. Please try again and let us know at if you need further assistance. 
Annie R
Always attracts to any  Kristi Class.  Good basic reminders of great form.  And know will feel the slowness in my abs tomorrow.  
Wow, that was just what I needed after the day I had. Straight to my favourites playlist. Thank you!
Thank you!
Sue S
Super, thank you!
Great ab and upper back work. Thank you! 
I only have 1 word for this workout - PERFECTION. 
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