Class #5643

Traditional Mat with Maria

30 min - Class


Join Maria Leone for a Pilates class that stays true to the traditional Mat formatting created by Joe Pilates himself. This full-body workout is designed to open up your body and establish a strong connection through the abdominals. It's a journey towards being perfectly imperfect, accepting where you are in your practice and striving for growth.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi. I'm Maria, and welcome to my math class. We're gonna stay pretty close to what Joe did. But first, let's start on your hands and knees. The hands go under your shoulders. The knees go under your hips.

Find that nice straight line from the crown of the head to the tailbone. Inhale here, exhale, round your back into a beautiful cat shape, pushing through the shin bones. Head is dropped. Inhale, open the chest. There's a feeling of dragging the mat back towards your knees. Exhale around the back, drop the head really feel the stretch here in the lumbar spine and inhale open the chest.

Exhale round the back one more time and come neutral and pause. That starts circling your trunk. So kinda going you know, not so squeaky clean and perfect, taking your body forward, bringing it backwards. And I want you to focus on the rotation here in your shoulders and your hips. So simple shoulder and hip warm up and reverse it.

If you wanna do something to your spine that feels good go ahead and do it. So you have a little freedom here. We focus so much on being perfect. It's sometimes nice just to be a little messy. You know?

Take a quick child's pose. I like the arms wide. Arms straight. I'm pressing and pulling my shoulder blades apart. Take one deep breath into the back of the rib cage, also known as posterior lateral breathing, and come back to all force. From here, without shifting, reach one leg straight back behind you, creating a straight line from your heel to your sit bone, possibly lifting the opposite hand up in front of you.

Stay here and continue to lengthen the spine energy going out through the crown of the head, out through the tail, and lower everything down. The other leg slides straight back. The abdominal support the spine opposite hand reaches out. Some nice, steady breath here. Feeling the lift of the abdominals.

The spine doesn't change, but the abdominals lift. And lower it down one more time. One leg out. The opposite hand reaches. Additional circling of the leg here, if that works for you. 2 more.

Back to all fours. The other leg extends out. Opposite hand reaches out. Begin to circle the back leg. Really keeping your focus on the stability of the trunk.

Your gaze is straight down. Last time and come on in and take another little child's pose. Compressing the sit bones down to the heels. The knees can be together or open and flip onto your back. Bring your legs to tabletop, take your hands to the ceiling, inhale here, exhale into your very best hundred position, 100 and hold it here.

Slowly lower down. Inhale here. Exhale. Into your 100. And lower down. And this time, let's add the breath into your 100.

Squeeze the leg so tight together, begin pumping the arms in for 5 and out for 5. The legs are gluing together. The shoulder blades are wide. And there's no tension in the neck. The head is not bobbing up and down.

Continue here. Maybe giving a little bit more emphasis on that exhale. 2 more. From here, pull your knees in, lift yourself up a little higher into a ball shape, rock yourself up, come to the top of a roll up. I like the feet flexed.

The hands are out at the height of the shoulder. Send the lower back back behind you as you bend forward. Arms in line with ears. Arms parallel to your legs. Begin at the base of the spine.

Tuck that tailbone under. Notice my head begins to come up right. Turn the palms into each other, stay right here and hold it, deepen that contraction, and come back forward. Notice I'm not moving from my hip socket until the very last moment. Your hip points are pulling away from your thigh bones here. Your active, tuck and rule yourself back.

The head travels with you. Hold it here. Take one arm to the ceiling. Notice that it adds a little feeling of length to the body and lower down. The other arm floats up. It comes down deep in that curve as you come out and back forward.

Looking for a feeling of a spine stretch, not a hamstring stretch, Now if you're able, you'll roll all the way back. The chin stays away from the sternum, tuck that tail under you, And as the arms reach back behind you, lengthen them to the wall behind you. So be active here. Press the lower back into the mat. Inhale. The hands come forward.

Nod your chin and peel all the way up. Okay. Wasn't sure I was gonna be able to do that. Tuck and roll back, lengthen the arms to the back wall, inhale the hands come forward, exhale peel in and all the way forward. Last time here, keep flowing, keep building your energy, the hands come forward, exhale peel in, And all the way up, this time, arrive on your back with your hands by your side. Pull one knee into your chest.

Use your hands to compress the knee to the chest and then pull that knee across your body. The opposite hand is down. So a little feeling here of oppositional energy. Check-in with your pelvis. And come back center.

Pull the other leg into your chest, compress it in. Let the lower back be flat right now. And then pull that leg across the body, feeling an oppositional pull through the other side. Abdomos, of course, are always engaged. And come back center, we're gonna go to leg circle, but we're gonna do it a little bit more traditionally. So take one leg to the ceiling.

From here, the action comes from the twisting of the hip. So we lift that hip up off the mat. The leg moves because of it. We circle the leg around and center. And, again, we rotate and we circle around and center. Again, the hip lifts around in center last time, reach, around in center, hug that knee into your chest, and change legs. The other leg comes in and up.

Make sure you haven't lifted that hip. From here, the action comes from the pelvis. We rotate we circle around and up. The hip lifts around and center. Lift around in center last time, rotate the pelvis, around in center, pull that knee into your chest, give it a little squeeze.

Pull your two legs in and rock yourself up. Come to the front edge of your mat just so you don't hit anything behind you. Grab holes of your ankles, maybe shins, maybe you need to grab behind your thighs. The chin has a gentle nod, Now you're fused into one piece. The belly button pulls in, and you just rock back and up to a balance point.

Again, roll back and up. I don't want your head to touch the mat. Roll back and up. So focus more on rolling through the lower back. Again, just lower back and up. Last time, roll back and up. The 2 feet go down. Come onto your back. We're moving to traditional single leg stretch opposite hand to knee outside hand on the ankle or anything else you wanna do is fine.

The head and shoulders are up, float the bottom leg up 1 inch, inhale change, exhale change. Now we're really pressing the knee in right now, which is what Joe did. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale quicken the pace, 5, 4, 3, 2, one knees, and head goes down. Let's do this with a different approach. Bring your right leg to tabletop knee in line with your hip.

Place your two hands on top of that thigh bone. Lift the head and shoulders up and extend the other leg 1 inch off the mat. So it looks similar, but now squeeze your hands and your knee together and change. And crush the hands and the knees and change. Keep lifting into that ab curl and change. And change 2 more and change and change knees in, lower the head down. Release the head from side to side.

I kinda always need that. From here, lift into your ab curl, hold it here. We're gonna do traditional double leg stretch. Inhale. Everything shoots out. XL, circle the arms and recoiling. Inhale out hold it, exhale and pull in, inhale out for 3, exhale in and keep lifting that chest for and in last time and in lower the head down.

Release the head from side to side. Single straight leg stretch. Take one leg all the way up to the ceiling. Reach up as high as you can on that leg. Lift ahead and shoulders up.

Extend the other leg very low. I don't like this set up for obvious reasons. Drop those elbows. Now let's change legs, and let's take that little pulse. So we scissor and we pulse.

Let's do a sniffing breath, please. You have your hands, so use them to lift a little higher and also bring that leg a little closer to you for 3 and 2 and one knees in lower down. A little contemporary take on that. Hands behind the head. Lift the head and shoulders up.

Take the legs up. No pulse, and we scissor the legs. Scissor. For 2, for 3, for 4. Keep lifting 5, and 6, 7, and 8 knees in lower down. Moving into double straight leg stretch. Hands come behind the head to support the head.

Abdominals pull in and up, lifting to your ab curl, the legs go to the ceiling. Let's start with a little modification, inhale, lower one leg down, exhale up. And inhale the other leg reaches out away from you and exhale up. Let's try 2 legs, lower down, and exhale up. Now you choose either a single leg or a double leg. Big exhale up. Back doesn't change. And exhale all the way up, knees in, lift a little bit higher, lower everything down, a little counter stretch now, I think.

That the knees drop one way. Kinda enjoy that stretch there. My quad could use the stretch. My hip flexors could use a little opening right now. And up and over, but stay tuned in, guys.

Don't use these moments to, like, think about what you're doing later on. Feel where you are in your body. Feel what the counter stretch is doing. It has a purpose. Come back center.

Bring your legs to tabletop. Hands are behind the head. Take a breath in. We're going to crisscross. Lift into your ab curl.

Rotate one direction and stay here. And now in this shape, I want you to continue to connect and lift. So notice the tendency to kinda rest in the shape Keep your focus. Keep your intensity. Lift higher as you change sides.

Go to the other side. Stay here. Reach that back arm. Back. Back. Back. Back. Still rotate, even though you're not moving. Your intention is rotation, rotation, rotation, rotation, knees in, lift a little higher, lower down, 2 feet down. Okay. Let's flow that.

So legs back to tabletop. Same intensity, but quicker. Lift into your ab curl. Opposite elbow to knee. You choose the side.

Here we go. Inhale. For 2 exhale. 1 2 inhale 1. 2 exhale 1. 2. Feel how you're tracking those legs. 1.

To stay up the whole time. 2. 1. Let's go quicker. So we go 1. 2. 1. 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, knees in. Rock yourself all the way up.

Flex the feet. When we're ready for spine stretch, sit beautifully vertical on the back of your don't be too far back or too far forward. Inhale here. First action, is you turn the head. You don't drop the head. We turn the head. Your ponytail goes up, and now you're gonna peel off an imaginary wall. And, actually, your bones are pushed back into the wall.

Let's keep the arm pattern the same as what we did in roll up. And now roll yourself up The head floats up, blast, inhale here, exhale, turn the head and peel yourself forward, sending the waistline back, I like to keep the shoulders on the back. Not here. You could do that, but I just prefer it here and roll all the way up so it beautifully tall. Inhale here, exhale nod your chin, and peel yourself down. Keep them lengthening forward.

Keep the back of the sit bones grounded to the mat so you can get that stretch in the lumbar spine, come all the way up, Open the arms. Make sure you see your fingers and your peripheral. We're moving to saw twist one direction. And now you reach forward you saw off the pinky, the opposite hip stays glued. You come all the way up. Rotate.

And be active here. Activate pull back through the center of the body and come all the way up. I want you to feel your obliques working. Churn and reach, because you could just slump and, like, fall over. That's not what I want. Be actively pulling.

Come all the way up. Notice my heels have not changed. Check that out. Take a look at your feet. Make sure they don't shift as you twist. Come all the way up.

Lower the arms, bend your knees in. Find a balance here. We're not rolling, but we're gonna do that open leg rocker balance from here. Hard is lifted. Extend the legs out.

The legs are the distance of the mat. And maybe you need to be here. Maybe you need to be here. I don't care. I want you to find your balance. I want you to lift yourself up.

Keep lifting, lifting, lifting. Wherever you're at, draw your legs together, maybe they're straight, maybe they're bent, release your hands. You're like in a little tease or balance, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, cross your legs, and stretch forward. So this is my transition. From here, lift yourself up, put your weight on your hands, maybe you'll step back to plank, or you'll just pop up into your plank and lower yourself slowly down to the mat.

Release your feet. Let's take the forehead to the mat. Let's reach the fingers back behind you. The legs are tight together. Abdominals are lifted.

Inhale. Lift the thoracic's mind. Keep pulling yourself out and forward and lower down. All ten toes on the mat and knees are off. And, again, inhale lengthen out and up. Keep your feet down so we're biasing this towards the thoracic spine, please. And lower down.

And, again, slide the shoulder blades down, lift the chest out and up. The pubic bone is heavy to the mat, and lower down. Last time, lengthen out and up, stay here, float the legs up. And this starts swimming the legs. And we're breathing in for 5 and we're breathing out for 5. I always like to start this with the arms behind the client.

Now let's open the arms to a tee. And the shoulder blades are wide on the body, and you're doing that beautiful breath. Nothing changes. The arms come forward. Hold those arms steady for 3, for 2, for 1, lower everything down.

Take yourself back into a child's pose, really compressing the sit bones back to the heel. So this is active. Push the hands into the mat. Pull your shoulder blades apart. The arms are straight.

Knees could be together or slightly open. And that's set up for sidekick. So line yourself up right along the back edge of your mat, I prefer the head down. And now keep your lower back where it is and fold your two legs forward just off the front corner of your mat. The hips are stacked, the shoulders are stacked, and there should be this little lift in your waist. This hand here may be here. Lift the leg up to the height of the hips.

Stay here. Point the toe and let's circle. 2. 3, make sure you hit the back of the circle. Be mindful of this little lift here.

Let's reverse it and back. 2, 3. Leg is straight. The hips are not changing. Hold that leg in the air. Flex the foot. Kick the leg forward.

And a little pulse. Take it back and a little pulse. Let's add the sniffing breaths. Breathe in. And out. 1, 2.

Inhale and exhale. Be mindful of the head and shoulders staying still and that bottom waste. And, hey, you know, we're not robots. I can feel my waist lowering a little bit, you know, That's I'm human. 2 and 1. 2 and back.

2 inhale 1. To exhale back. Last one. Inhale. Take it back. Keep the leg back. Reach around. Catch the foot.

Another little quad stretch, which I kinda feel like I need. Roll onto your belly, forehead to your hands, lift the legs up, stretch them straight, and beat them in, in, in, in, in, and then we would roll to the other side, but you're gonna stay facing me I don't have a pretty transition right now. Please forgive me. Come to the back edge of your mat. You know, life is all about transitions.

Bring the legs forward. Belly is in. Waste is lifted. Lift the leg point the toe. Here we go. And circle and 2. And 34.

Nice and still check-in with your face. Check-in with your breath. Reverse it effortless effort, please. And 45and6and7. And it keep the leg up.

We go to side kick forward for 2 back 1. Notice the path of my leg. Straight line. Right? The foot is never moving up or down. I hope he inhale for 2. The sniffing breath helps helps that rhythm. It helps that flow. 2. 1. 2. 1. 2.

In l and x l. 1212 last time. Keep the leg behind you. Catch the leg. Grab the foot.

Draw the heel to the sit bone. Find a place where you experience a nice quad stretch. Keep breathing, breathing, breathing, And sit yourself up. And let's work on some hip twist. That was a surprise. Who knew I was going there? Not me.

Come down to your elbows and place yourself on your sacrum. K. So this is modified. Joe did it from the hands. It's just a beast like that, though. Bring your legs up to tabletop.

Push the ground away, be pushing your chest towards your thighs, and then start by twisting over to one side. And exhale come back center inhale over. Don't you sink exhale come back center inhale. Exhale back center and inhale. Exhale back center. Stay here. Take those leg straight.

We're gonna go into a hip circle. So we twist the hip. We come through center. The pelvis squares off. You rotate to the other side and you come back center.

Main teen your height. Reverse it over. Check out your leg lengths. Circle around. Come to the other side and up and over. Reach away. Other hip. Keep pushing the ground away. Inhale. Exhale.

Round and up. Again, inhale. Exhale. Around and you get taller. Last time, inhale, exhale, rounding up. Bend your knees in. Rock yourself up.

The hands come in front of you. Here comes that. Fun transition, pop back. Hold it there. Slowly lower yourself down to the mat. So I'm going out of order breaking rules.

We're going to swan dive. Don't flip out. Release the feet. Inhale. Lift yourself up into your swan. Right? So my pubic bone is on. My legs are straight.

I haven't locked my arms. Elbows are bent. From here, the power is in the legs. Release the hands, rock forward, and catch yourself. Let's try that again.

Rock and catch. Don't let the feet open. Hug them in. Die and catch. Again, dive and catch 2 more.

Dive. Everyone can do this. Everyone can do it like this. Last one. Come all the way back. Come into child's pose again.

We've talked about how we're gonna make that active. Here's another interesting transition. Look up. Elbows open. Skim your chin across the mat. Skim your chest across the mat.

You have a big arch in the body. Now push all the way through Lyft yourself up into Swan, round your back into child's pose. Okay. From here, curl your toes under. Lift your hips up a feeling of down dog. So really pushing the mat away from you pressing the sit bones up and behind you, we want there to be width between the shoulder blades.

So Take a moment. Ask yourself what your upper traps are doing. You don't need them here right now. We're gonna take three steps into your feet because we're gonna move into push up now. So walk one hand back. That's one 2, the third hand arrives in, arrives you in, drop the head, soften the knee, shake them out, make sure you feel your weight towards the front of your foot.

Now like you have an anchor on your tailbone, begin peeling up. Right? Think about all that articulation we do in Pilates. So really show it off here. Bring the hips in line that the arms just hang. All you need to do here at the top is think about bringing your sternum up.

The shoulder blades will open naturally on their own. From here. The head turns doesn't drop. We peel down through the spine. Maybe we soften the knees. Allow the weight of the head to take you forward three steps out to that push up ideally.

So we step 1 2, and now you're there, 3. Find that nice, long position crown of the head to the heels. My heels are lengthening back. Push up, but fitness blend. Inhale down. Pause at the bottom.

You didn't know that was coming. Did you? Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Excel up. Now find a position you can really hold. Inhale down. It might look like this guys and exhale up.

Inhale down and hold. And exhale up. Inhale down. Hold. If you can't hold it, you don't have the strength to go that low. Exhale up.

Last time inhale down hold, exhale up three steps in, 1 2, you're all the way in 3, drop that head, heavy tailbone, the tailbone drops, and we slowly roll up through our spine. Looking for that perfect alignment, you know, perfect with a grain of salt. Inhale here. Last one, not the chin. Roll through the spine. Like, you're rolling off an imaginary wall.

Go ahead and soften the knees, guys. I'm not interested here. And the hamstring stretch. I am interested in this feeling of traction of the spine. So bend the knees enough So you can really feel like the sit bones are lengthening up almost like you could just tuck your head into a forward roll, but don't do that.

But funny if you did walk forward to blank. 1, 2, 3, hold it here. And in account of 8, we're gonna go all the way down to the mat, lowering down for 87, 6 Perfect alignment head to tail. I lost my count, but keep going. Going, going all the way down, release the feet. In hell, one final swan inhale up a big breath in here, filling the front of the lungs, exhale lower all the way down, Push yourself all the way back to child's pose.

Taking 2 deep breaths here into that posture lateral rib cage breathing. Just means you're breathing into the back of your ribs guys, and this is the best place to find that experience because of the shape we're in. So really think about that Roll yourself in. Roll yourself all the way up. The head comes up last.

Just take a moment to settle. We are done for today. That was super fun. Thanks for joining me. See you later.


EXCELLENT instructor with a great class!

great class, Maria. Love your beautiful voice an clair queue  
Sheree S
Fantastic class. Absolutely love the pace and your creative transitions. 
So excited to see a new class from you! 
Marian Lunah
I don't know what the reference to  someone called Jo is, but I enjoyed this class. Thank you :)
Samantha H
1 person likes this.
I love this class, very good cues.
Thanks for this great class. I appreciated the reminders to lift and not get "weak" in certain poses.
Nice one. Very strong class.
Fun one! Thanks Maria!!!

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