Class #573

Basic Mat Strengthening

50 min - Class


Join Sarah Bertucelli for this basic Mat class at a deliberate pace. The choreography is simple, the intent is to open the shoulders and strengthen the muscles of the legs and hips. Sarah finishes class with some relaxing stretches. Enjoy!
What You'll Need: Mat, Foam Roller, Magic Circle

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So let's go ahead and start sitting today and, and you know, and you've done mostly polities with the edge are right. Is that correct? Okay. So again, and you took the class with me when I was here that first time. So you're, you're, you've heard my style a little bit and, and, and the way I, I'm going to teach exercises might be slightly different than what you're used to. And due to the fact that I'm going to do some different things, hopefully it's some new fun things for you too. So let's go ahead and start with your feet about a little wider than hip width distance, especially since you're, you're dealing with some 70 staff. Hold onto the backs of the legs and kind of bring your bottom forward toward your, uh, toward your heels until you feel comfortable. I mean, as close as you can be.

And then use your arms a bit for me to help you sort of lift up. And I want you to think of opening your chest and lengthening up through the crown of the head and start to feel right here, right now, those upper back muscles, those upper back muscles. We'll, we'll, we'll help you figure out where your shoulders need to be. Inhaling through your nose, exhaling through your mouth. Feel your shoulder blades dripping or slipping into your back pockets while pulling your belly muscles in, sitting nice and tall. Inhale and exhale, drawing those belly muscles in just a little bit more and let's move into a little movement with the next exhale round through the low part of your back.

Don't necessarily think of moving back too much, but just finding that flection in the lumbar spine. Allow the head to react. Take another breath, exhale to round up. Sit Tall, lift the sternum, find the upper back muscles and look up a little exhale to round back drawing those abdominal muscles in. See you're letting your arms support you just a little bit and exhale to round up here. Actually use the arms to draw those shoulder blades down. Elbows wide and exhale to round back again. Feel that stretch through the low back and around, back up, sitting tall, big opening through the chest and on the next one round back and hold.

Beautiful. Try to draw your shoulders down a little bit for me Sandy. Now I like it a lot. So go a little further back. Start letting your arms straighten and then here open your chest a little bit. Shoulders down. Perfect. Draw those abdominals in just a bit more. Gently release your hands if you need to. Hold on, you can, but if you can just kind of ease yourself all the way down. Brilliant.

Draw your heels close to your bottom. Place your arms by your side, your head is down. Be here for a couple of breaths and kind of arrange your pieces if you will. That's one of the things that I like to say. What I mean by that is, is feel that neutral pelvis. So the, the, the tailbone is kinda relaxing down. Really. It's the flat spot above the tailbone. Feel the openness through your chest and try to feel that your, your arm bones are heavy on the mat.

So I'm going to put a little more focused on where your shoulders are and I'll get up and look at you every now and again and make sure doing it right. Inhale here. Exhale. First, draw your abdominals into, flatten your low back and then access the legs and lift those hips up. So you're doing a pelvic curl. Press the hips nice and high. Open through the chest here. So feel the backs of the arms down and then lower down one vertebra at a time, lengthening through your spine until your pelvis is a neutral. Again, inhale, exhale. Draw those abdominals in first. Feel the openness through your chest.

So let the backs of the arms be heavy in the mat, pressing up through the pelvis. Inhale there, and exhale to lower down. So continuing this movement, I'm going to give a few more cues. As you exhale and PLF, start to think about equal weight on both of your feet. Also feel that you've got some good pressure through the ball of the big toe. Inhale there, and as you exhale, try to lengthen your spine a little bit more and lower it down and exhale to peel up. Drawing those abdominals in in the top position. Think of the pubic bone being the highest point. So you want to make sure you're in a little posterior or tucked position with the pelvis and lower down one vertebra at a time.

And just one last time please. Exhale to peel up. So here a little flavor to this. I'd like you to lift your heels just a little bit away from the Mat and then push your heels flat to the mat again. Do that again. Lift your heels. Inhale, exhale. Push the heels down. Now think about where it's coming from. Lift the heels as you push them flat.

Can you lift your thighs up a little more? Using your glutes and hamstrings. And one last time with flat feet, lower your spine. Ah, hamstrings and glutes should be alive. If you will reach your hands to the ceiling for me. So your palms are facing one another.

Allow your shoulder blades to be heavy on your mat. Feel that your pelvis is neutral and your rib cage is soften down so that your ribs are in alignment as well. Open your arms wide to the side for me, but think about opening outward more than downward. And lift the hands back up again. Inhale, opening the arms wide, stretch out through the fingertips and feel that release through the front of the body and gently come on up. And when I say the front of the body there, I mean the chest muscles, the biceps, maybe an opening through the arm and the chest and press back up all the time. Maintaining your neutral spine. Open the arms wide one last time, and then let the arms rest on the floor. Go ahead and lift. I actually, let's go lift. Let's bring the knees and feet all the way together. Here.

I'm going to, mm, put my arms down here just because I don't have a place to rest them today. So with your knees and feet together, go ahead and your legs to the front of the room. So one leg is gonna Stack on top of the other, and you're taking a nice, lovely spine twist there. And then use your abdominals to pull back to neutral and then go the other way. So let the leg, the top leg is going to lay on top of the bottom leg as you stretch the spine and gently pull back to neutral. So here, think about the back of the arm, staying weighted on the floor, the whole back of the arm, and gently pull back in.

And one last time. So this is a nice relaxed spine twist, still using the abdominals quite a bit. So here, float one leg to tabletop position, using your abdominals to support and then draw the other leg into tabletop as well. So your knees and feet are glued together. And tabletop for me is with your shins, parallel to the ceiling and your, um, your hips at a 90 degree angle. So inhale, go to the front of the room with the legs. You'll come toward me. Um, so bring the knees together for me and both legs are going to go to the front of the room. So you're twisting again. There you go. Yup, you got it, Sandy. And gently pull back to neutral. So now don't go quite so far. I want you to twist again. Really draw those knees together. That's perfect Sandy, and draw those abdominals.

Beautiful in hell. Two twists. Once again, I'm just going to put my arms down here. [inaudible] and inhale to twith. So here we're just getting a little bit more oblique engagement or abdominal engagement because the legs are lifted. And I'd like one more of these spine twists in hell to twist. We're at the rear part of the room. Draw those abdominals in and pull back into neutral.

Now we're going to get those abs going. Reach the hands to the ceiling for me. Stay really connected to your abdominals and then take your arms behind you, Sandy. So you're gonna let your, um, the upper, the back part of your arm if possible. Rest down, but still keep your rib cage down right. Lift your head and chest as you take your arms all the way down by your side. And we're almost in our a hundred position and gently lower down. Take those arms behind you. Again, exhale, lift the head and chest and right here.

Can you open through the chest a little bit more and try to draw your shoulder blades? Yes, I love that correction. And gently lower down arms go back. Keep the rib cage down. One more time. Lift and hold. So just take your hands to your legs and hold for a moment. I want you to kind of feel that openness through your chest. Keeping that. Can you just lift a little higher into the ads? Brilliant.

Now place your arms by your sides. Draw your belly in. Take a breath. Exhale. Straighten your legs toward the ceiling. Let's start there. Pumping the arms. Inhale, annex. Beautiful. Now maintaining the height of this curl and the softness of the pumping today.

See, you can start to lower your legs a little bit. Drying those belly muscles in. I want you to actually pull your legs together using your inner thighs and decide how low your legs want to be. Mine want to be right about where they are here for about three more breaths today. Beautiful. I love that. Can you draw those belly muscles in a little more?

[inaudible] last breath and exhale all the air out and whole. Draw your knees into your chest and lower your head down for a moment. Beautiful. Now I'm just going to, for the sake of flow today, Sandy, give you your a magic circle right here. I probably should've had it right next to you. Go ahead and lift your circle and place it between your thighs so it's actually on your thigh, right around the knee joint, but not actually on the knee joint.

And then your feet will be on the mat as they are. That's beautiful. Toes facing straight forward. So arresting your arms down. Again, I just want you to first connect with your inner thighs here. So we're just going to give a little squeeze to the circle. Feel the inner legs and a slight release. Exhale, a little squeeze, staying connected to your neutral spine and a slight release. And one more time. Take a squeeze and hold. Inhale here.

Exhale, Tuck your pelvis and move through that same pelvic curl. We did a moment to go. So here with inner thighs working, it should feel a little different and lower down one vertebra at a time. Chances are your legs are slightly wider to exhale, to peel up. And with the legs slightly wider, it gives you a little more space to go higher perhaps with the pelvis and lower down. And one more time there. Please exhale to peel up and hold this time. So once again, I want you to think about tucking your pelvis or lifting your pubic bone a little higher than your hip bones.

Here we're going to lift the heels like we did before, just ever so slightly now, just as very small, squeeze to the circle. Five and four little movements, three and two and one. Hold that squeeze. Please. Lower your heels, press your hips higher. Gently lift your heels. Exhale per us those heels down, using those abdominals to support your pelvis and lift. And two more per asking that pelvis a little higher.

And one last time, drawing those abs in. Lower your spine. Ooh, Nice. That looked good. And it felt good to me too. So go ahead and, uh, take your circle in your hands and then lift your feet and put your feet through the circle. It's like we're doing little circus tricks here, right? I'm the circles now on the outside of your legs and then place your feet down again. So now we're going to be able to push outward just a little bit and hopefully feel just little bit of work in the yum. The outer part of the leg.

I'm looking for a little bit of gloop media. So for those of us that know what that is, that's what you're looking for here. So I'm going to ask you to take your feet a little bit wider, Sandy, and then that this way, your legs are just ever so slightly turned inward. Kind of. Okay. Now here, draw your belly muscles in and push those legs just ever so slightly into that circle and see if you can feel something working on the very outside of the hip, if you will. Right? And gently release. So you're going to push into the circle and finally, outer part of the hip and release and two more like that.

And Nice Little Push, staying connected to your core and one last time. Now hold that little push. I want you to draw your belly muscles in and move through that same pelvic curl we did before. As you lift the hips. Think of drawing your heels toward your bottom to help access the backs of the legs a little more. Keeping the push into the circle and gently lower down one vertebra at a time till the pelvis is neutral. Inhale here. Exhale, draw those belly muscles in, tuck the pelvis and gently peel up per asking the hips high, and when I say hips high, I'm looking for pubic bone a little higher than hipbones as opposed to something like this.

We want that nice tucked position and gently lower down and with the next one, let's go ahead and add on. Please exhale to peel up. Sound a little like I'm singing today. I think for us, the pubic bone a little higher than the hits. And here we just gently press into that circle five try to feel the outside of the leg or the outside of the button really is the best way to say it. And I forgot to count. What do you think? One more. Okay, that's the last one. Lower down. Mm. Dry Your legs to you.

You can remove the circle and let's hold it between our hands now. So go ahead and stretch your legs along on the floor. Reach your hands straight toward the ceiling and you're going to just put a little bit of pressure into that circle with your, your straight arms for me. Now here, keeping the rib cage down, dominoes working. Take those arms behind you once again.

So you're trying to keep a nice energy through the arms here. Lift the head and chest, reaching the hands toward the legs and then roll up to sitting. A little push into the circle sorta helps to activate the back of the body. Stay rounded here. Inhale, exhale to peel back one vertebrae at a time. Stretch those arms behind you. At the bottom, keeping a little energy between the hands.

Lift the head and chest and use the exhale to roll up to sitting. Nice. Digging deep into those abdominals. Draw your shoulders away from your ears. Just a little beautiful. Exhale to peel back. Nice. I like this very a controlled pace today with you. It's fun. [inaudible] annex hailing to peel back.

We'll do one more roll up. Ah, go ahead and roll down one last time. Let your arms come up to the ceiling. Bend your knees. Go ahead and place your circle down next to you. Let's do a little bit of a bleak work.

Have my one favorite exercise I'd like to work with you. So I'm going to ask you to clasp your fingers together and rest the weight of your head in your hands. So you're going to put your head back behind your or your hands back behind your head. Rather exhale to lift your head and chest first. So we're going to find a chest lift. I keep wiggling around cause I keep getting stuck on the pad down here.

Float your right leg to tabletop position for me. Take one I both hands to your leg and just lift your body up a little higher. So think about your shoulders here so they stay kind of open and relaxed. Void of tension in the neck. Bring your inside hand to the outside of the leg and bring yourself into a twist. So stay there for a moment.

I just want to have my eyes on you for a moment. If I can. Beautiful. Drop your tailbone a little bit down. Brilliant. But keep your leg in. Nice. So now I want you to use this arm just a little bit more to twist and simultaneously lift in this direction if you are looking. Yes, brilliant. Good. Now stay there. Draw your belly in. Place one hand behind your head, but hold this position brilliantly. Now see if you can hold that perfectly as you place your other hand behind your head. If not, you would hold on a little. Now that I love that.

I love that choice. Now can you dig deeper into your ads? Try One more time. Brilliant. So you want to think of really stabilizing through here simultaneously. Rest good. I bet that felt hard. So let me just stay on you for the the, the other one to the other side. Um, exhale to lift your head and chest first. Lift this leg to tabletop.

Perfect. Bring your hands to your leg and lift up a little bit. Take the inside hand to the outside to find the twist. Beautiful. So you're using this arm to help you lift diagonally toward me. I want you to lift a little bit more and twist a little more. Now I like it a lot.

Now go ahead and place this hand behind your head and hold it. Perfect. Perfect. Breathe, breathe. And I'll thank you for the elbows. That was my next Q. Beautiful. You may rest. I'm with you for the next two. Okay, here we go. You've felt that right? Lift your head and chest, giving me nice ab curl here.

Float your right leg again to tabletop. Bring your hands to your leg and lift that body up a more. So you're getting a stretch through the back. Your pelvis is neutral from the inside hand to the outside, and you're going to find the twist. I call this the vortex because I want both of your ribs to create a vortex to the one hit. So I'm bore texting to my right hip right now.

Place one hand behind your head and hold and then place the other hand behind your head and hold [inaudible] an rest. Ah, yummy. Exhale to lift your head and chest. Float your left leg to tabletop. Lift your body up a little higher. So you're using those arms to help you bring the inside hand to the outside and find that twist. So now if you happen to have a hard time holding on, then you just placed one hand behind the head and hold on with the other. This is my hard side, so I'm going to take a moment to figure it out.

And here we go. [inaudible] [inaudible] good. So those obliques should definitely be happy right now. And we hope stretch your arms behind you. Stretch your legs to straight. Let's go ahead and roll up to sitting.

So first lift the head and chest and then use an exhale to roll the rest of the way up. And I knew I was going to get stuck on that one. Here's your teacher. Oh, okay. A little moaning and groaning. Maybe. Maybe we want to hear that. Maybe we don't. All right, let's take your feet wide on your mat and we'll use the circle for the spine stretch today. So I first want you all to think about really sitting up tall and oftentimes we want to scoop the flesh out from underneath in order to get that high sitting position. Draw the belly muscles in on the arms can stretch out here, elbows are straight.

And then here I like to think about pushing a kind of drawing in from the Pinky side of my hand so that I promote a little bit of external rotation. So that's sort of where the energy of holding the circles coming from for me, which is really good for you, Sandy, with shoulders. Exhale to peel down one vertebra at a time as if you're peeling away from an imaginary wall. And I'd like you to go to the place if possible, where the circle kind of grazes the mat. Inhale here and exhale to stack your spine, one vertebrae at a time, sitting nice and tall. I'm gonna move back so I have a space to put my circle. Inhale here and exhale to peel forward, keeping those arms energized, drawing the shoulders away from the ears and going a little deeper.

So we are looking for a hamstring stretch as well as the spine stretch and stack your spine. And we'll do two more. Inhale, exhale to pure forward. Inhale in that forward position and exhale to stack your spine sitting nice and tall. Here we add on and exhale to peel forward and hold. So I'd like you to find that forward position and put your circle down and then just walk your hands so that they're now on top of the circle. Hopefully you can have both elbows straight. Perfect. Now here, draw your belly muscles in.

As you start to extend your back or flat in your backout opening through your chest a little bit, you're going to draw your circle toward you a little bit. Really finding that nice flat back. Hopefully your rib cage in like fine is. And then here we're going to round down again. Okay. So we extend the back opening through the chest, lifting good, dry your shoulders back and down, a little more beautiful. And around.

Now we're going to hold this round position and I don't want you to think of moving with your arms. I want you to think of moving with your abs. So I'm going to stabilize with my shoulders and I'm going to push into the circle using my abs, pulling back with my, um, pulling in with my abdominals, sort of back with my lumbar spine to push into the circle. And let's do four and three and two and one last time. Hook your fingers around the circle and gently stack your spine sitting nice and tall. Cool. Let's add on. Inhale, exhale to peel forward one vertebrae at a time. Going into that nice forward position. And then you'll place your circle down.

So we're going to inhale, extend the spine, lifting the chest and hold there. So I'm going to go ahead and put my left hand right at the middle of the circle. Okay. I'm going to lift my right arm up toward the ceiling first. Really lengthening out through my back. Good. That's nice. And then I want to open as if we're moving, looking underneath my right arm here. I'm gonna open, I'm looking at the beach and you're looking just the opposite, right?

This is probably a nice little photo there. And I want you to really think of opening more and more and more. And then you're going to use the arm, the left arm. You're holding the circle with pushing a little more with your abs to rotate more. Five and four and three.

Oh, not bad. And two and on. And we unwind. So switch hands, we can stay in that straight back position. The left arm is gonna come up in alignment with your body and rotate around. Beautiful. I've just like two cues that I'd like to give you tactile here. So I want you to, yes, you knew that was coming, so I prefer you to be more up.

Beautiful. And then when you push just a little bit into the circle, think of going. Yep. And again, push and push and push. I like that much better. A little bit more abdominals and I think that was five and you may go ahead and rest that gorgeous. So we'll unwind. We'll place the circle down. We'll scoot forward on our mat, preparing to roll like a ball. So dry your legs kind of close to you. Round through the low part of your back here.

And reach your hands Kinda close to your, uh, close to your feet here. Rounding through the low part of your spine, dry your shoulders also away from your ears. And then gently hover those feet away from the floor and see if you can just balance here first. Like to balance like a ball before rolling like a ball for a little while. With the inhale, you're going to roll back with the exhale.

You're going to find balance. Oh, teacher bottoms out today. Let's try again. Inhale to roll back an exhaled fine balance. And again, AH, couple more. So what I'm looking for is this idea of being able to soften out your spine, soften your ball, roll if you will. It sounds weird to stay that, say that because you have to hold very still to do it, but I want the role to be as slow and soft as possible, as if you're being blown off. Balance in how to roll back.

Oh, starting to like it. Exhale to find your balance. And two more. One last, one, balanced on your tail and Ho bring your shins parallel to the ceiling. Hands to the back of your legs and open up a little bit here. Take a breath. Use An exhale to peel back one vertebrae at a time, maximizing the flection in the low spine. Dry your legs into tabletop position. Let's do our single leg stretch today, so hold your left leg.

Stretch the other leg out. We're going to put both hands on top of the Shin there and use your arms to lift just a little more gently. Switch legs. Use An exhale. Exhale, ah, beautiful chest open. Dry your belly in. Just try to be aware of where your legs are the whole time. Let them float straight out. Men [inaudible] chest open.

Beautiful. And four and three and two. One more to each side and we'll move to Chris Cross. So with hands behind your head, we twist and lift. Try to actually rest the head in the hands if possible, rather than thinking about lifting the head with the arms. Instead you're lifting the whole weight of the upper body with the AH, oops.

Keep the elbows. Why lift a more? Find your breath and we'll take one more to each side. Please drop both knees first into your chest and lower your head down. So take your hands to the backs of your legs. Lift your head and chest first for me. And then I want you to Tuck your pelvis and try to round your back as much as you can. So here staying open through the chest and soft through the neck.

We're going to try not to walk, wobble the legs around, but to just see if we can just get the rock going from the inside out. [inaudible] chest open and good. You made it up nice. And we can rest that good. So I'd like us to move into a little bit of, um, work on our hands and knees. And to make it comfortable for you to transition. Let's take your legs sort of just around to the side if you can comfortably and onto the hands in a nice, perfect. So here with your hands right underneath your shoulders and then your knees right underneath your hips.

I want you to think about a couple things before we do anything else. Uh, the first is that I want you to actually try to wait the front of your shins as must as, as much as possible. Let the tops of your feet rest in the mat or the floor. It's not like I'm looking for a pushing as much as a weighted feeling, right? And then here, feel this idea of opening through the chest a little bit, but still being supported through the upper body. And then watch your head position.

We want to make sure it's in alignment with the spine. Gently slide, just one leg out to the side, placing the ball of the foot down and just be there. I set out to the side and meant to say straight back, we are going to go out to the side. So one leg and we both did right leg, which is probably the way I should have cued it. So we've got our right leg straight back, which is nice. Draw the belly muscles in here and then do me a favor and just point that toe.

Okay, so my big toe is going to touch the mat. I'd like you to just take that same right leg as far out to the side as you can grazing the floor. Now because I'm on a raised mat, I'm really lucky if I graze the floor it's a lot easier. And then bring the leg back where it came from. And again, go all the way out to the side for me. Grazing the floor. Beautiful. And come back to where you came from and one last time, all the way out to the side and hold here. Now I want you to really think about lengthening out through that right leg.

Draw the belly muscles in and then without do moving the leg right, you're just going to flex the foot so that the leg is now hovering off the floor. Good work. That is hard point the toe. Try again. I like what I see. Flex the foot so the leg is hovering. Draw the belly in, point the toe one last time. Flex the foot. Now we lift the leg up, five and four and three and two points your foot. Bring it back to where it came from originally in the bent knee position.

Just take a quick break sitting back on the feet. As long as that's comfortable through your knees there, you can let your head rest forward. Give your wrist a little break if they need it. And then we'll draw back to our hands and knees position and go ahead and try the other side. So slide the left leg back for me. You mindful of where your head is. Be Mindful that your abdominal stay active.

Hold her for a moment. So you're just going to point the toe and keep the leg where it is. Hopefully you have the backside of your leg active. That's the idea. And then take the leg out to the side. And if I had a floor, that's what it would look like. But I'd like the idea of you grazing the floor. So if you're not on a raised mat, that's what you want to do.

Go out to the side again, can use an XL for that and come back to where you came from and again, exhaling out to the side. Good. We have one more before we get to do the work out to the side and hold here. Go ahead and full. Flex your foot and point your toe for the Lex, that ankle. Keep the legs still. Lots of work in the hip there. And one last time we flex and we hold and we lift five times. Here we go, one and two and three and four and five. Take the leg back where it came from. Your go ahead and be on your knees for just a moment.

I'd ultimately like you to come to your belly so we can do some mom, some back extension work. My favorite transition is to slide both legs back to plank, then the elbows and lower down through. Push up. As long as that's comfortable, you can always come down a different way if needed. Right? So go ahead and class, not class, but put one hand on top of the other and then put your forehead on your, on your hands. So lengthening out through your legs. I want you to feel the fronts of your hips long.

Draw your belly muscles in and try to weight the pelvis pretty heavy on the mat and then feel this idea of really lengthening through the legs first without stressing the low back at all. So if you can go ahead and hover those legs away from the floor if it's comfortable for you. Draw the legs together so you've got inner thigh connection as well. So I'm working adductors, glutes, hamstrings, all my hip extensors as well as my add adductors to be here. And then just slide your arms down by your side.

And I don't want you to think about lifting at this point. My head is hovering about the same distance as as my hands were stocked here. I want you to think more about your shoulders, that idea of really opening through your chest. I'm gonna come over and give you a nice little cue here, Sandy. What I'm looking for here is a little more drawing. Yes.

Little more drawing together of the shoulder blades. And then before you lift, I want you to think of dropping your sternum into the mat without letting your shoulders go forward to hover your head into my hand. There you go. So think about getting a little more. That was it. That was it. A little more movement in this upper part of the spine. Brilliant and lower down. Go against, we're going to go down with the sternum slightly as you lift the head. Beautiful. Beautiful.

So I've got a little bit more upper back extension than I then we started with. Yes, thank you. So the other cue I'm asking for is this idea of the shoulder blades reaching down slightly. A little bit of an external rotation at the arms. Beautiful. And the arms, the hands reaching toward the fee. I love it. Lower the body a little bit. Give me an inhale to lift to that same extension.

Gorgeous. And An exhale to lower the upper body. Keep the legs active if that's okay with you. If it's okay, go ahead and inhale to lift, drawing the belly muscles in and exhale to lower down. I'm not looking for maximum extension. I'm looking for the rassic extension here and gently lower down. And one more time. We're going to lift and we're going to hold dry.

Hang those belly muscles in. Can you take your arms out to a t shape with your body? Can you still keep those shoulder balls kind of pulling away from the floor? Can you take those arms overhead? That's what the palms face forward. Scooped the eye forward or together is what I really meant to say.

Scoop the arms all the way down by your side again and lower your body. You can look in one direction. Nice little rest. [inaudible] [inaudible] one last time we'll add on a little. Okay, so turn your head so it's facing down again, hovering about an inch away from the floor. If you're comfortable with your legs together, I'm a fan of that. So activate those inner thighs, those glutes in the hamstrings and still use your abdominals to support your lower spine. Lower back at this point, open through your chest and shoulders and feel the idea of lengthening out through the crown of your head.

Lift that same upper back extension and then just bend your elbows and place the hands and the elbows down very, very gently. So see if you can stand to get your elbows to go down for me too. That's it. Perfect correction. I want you to draw your shoulder blades in your mind's eye a little bit together and down in toward your back pockets as you pull your body forward. Just a little bit more into extension. Good. I like that a lot.

Now we're going to hold here. Now Sandy, I want you to be mindful of your knees because I'd like for you to bend both knees right now, but if that feels uncomfortable, don't do it. Okay, straighten again. Then both knees, exhale and straight and bending both knees, lots of glutes and and straighten and one last time, then both knees and straighten it out. So tuck your toes under with your hands right underneath you where they were. Gently push yourselves to your hands and knees and then sit back on your feet. Nice. Rest pose or child's pose. [inaudible] and here's where I'd like to shift into using the foam roller with you.

I think you'll really enjoy this for your shoulder. So what we're going to do is place the foam roll in the middle of your Max if you're going to start sitting on it. So I'm going to put yours right about there is probably where you want it to be. Yeah. You're going to sit on the front edge and then we're going to eventually roll back. Okay. So for some people sitting on it, like this is not the most comfortable thing in the world.

One thing that's interesting to know is that sitting like this helps to release some of the musculature that can be bound up down there, like your pelvic floor muscles and whatnot. So it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's like when you ride a bike and you get a little sores, the same type of thing. Right? So I um, I like to encourage people to attempt to sit here a little longer than we might want to at times. Right. Um, making sure we're not leaning back so much on the tailbone, but kind of leaning more forward into the, um, the base of the pelvis or the middle of the pelvis if you will. So then from here, just your legs are nice and wide. Okay. So it's going to be comfortable for you. Ultimately I'm going to ask you to roll back, which is going to require a lot of abdominal control.

I have the utmost faith that you'll be able to do it. Arms are out here. I also have faith. I can do it, I hope dry your belly muscles and we're gonna round through the low part of your back. If you start to feel wobbly, you could just put your hands down to the floor. But we're going to try to rural down fine control one vertebra at a time. Woo. The wobbling is good. Oh Sandy, it was nice. So you'll feel that once you get back, your head's going to be hanging off.

So can you just shimmy down on your foam roll so that your head and your tail are on? I was good. I won't ask you to roll back up. That's almost mean. Put your hands on the floor or the mat for a moment and do me a favor and just bring your feet together one more time once to feel that your, your feet are still aligned. I want to make sure that one fits not forward of the other. The most challenging version would be to keep the feet together here.

So if when you're lying here, you feel totally comfortable with that idea, then feel free to do it. Otherwise we can separate the heels and the toes. So we're separated about hip width distance. It's up to you. Let's see, sandy went hit with, so I'll do that with you. Go ahead and float your hands up to the ceiling for me and just be here for a couple of moments. Okay. What's so nice about the foam roll is it gives you feedback for your entire spine so you can feel your neutral spine. And it's similar to when you're standing against the Pedo pole.

For those of you that have that apparatus here, I want you to feel how your pelvis is heavy on the on the foam roll. I want you to also feel how the back part of your ribs, if you will, the spine. The thoracic spine is kind of heavy on the mat and then the back of the head is heavy, but there is a little space underneath your, your low back and perhaps a little and and definitely a little space underneath your cervical spine. So go ahead and just take your arms gently out to the side for me like we did at the very beginning of our class and then lift them back up. Now what I'm going to ask you to be aware of is first not going too low, take the arms out to the side. That's the inhale. And as you exhale prs back up.

Now the second thing I want you to be mindful of is not hugging the foam roll with your scapula. So as you open your arms, I want you to think of spreading your scapula or your shoulder blades. So find that open position and be there for a moment. I'm opening essentially through my back, but at the same time I want to make sure my arm bone is in my joint. So I'm going to kind of pull my upper arm into my shoulder. So it's a little opposition there. Lift your arms back up open again.

Feel the idea of spreading the Scapula, but drawing the shoulder joint in and gently come back up. What I'm really technically asking you to do is to use your external rotators of your shoulder. The cue I really like to give is slurping your shoulder ball into socket. It's not a favorite of everybody's, but it's mine. Open your arms one last time and hold. So feel here.

If you really reach outward with your, with your hands, through your elbows, you feel a little stretch or perhaps a big stretch through your bicep, through your pex. Let the arms like angels in the snow float up toward your ears and down, back to the t shape. Staying comfortable and connected to your ads the entire time up by your ears. And again, down to the t. So one last time, up by your ears, straight strong elbows and lift the hands to the ceiling. Beautiful. One last time. We're going to make like a circle. Really, it's kind of a triangle.

We go out to the side first up by your ears and then lift those hands to the ceiling. And one last time, open to the side. First up by your ears and lift to the ceiling. Now we're going to work with the movement going straight behind you. So keeping your elbows nice and straight. I'd like you to take your arms back. I want you to kind of let your arms go perhaps a little further than you thought they should, but really keep your shoulder, your elbow straight so you're really getting a nice stretch.

I hope through your lap and lift your arms back up through your pex a little as well. But take your arms back here again. Let them go back just a little more, but keep them straight. Keep your rib cage down and find that stretch. That feels yummy. I hope and lift those arms back up and just one last time, we're going to take those arms back. Mm and sandy, I didn't forget about making you. Use your abs on the foam roll or reach your hands to the ceiling. We're going to now this is a little bit harder than we think.

It's going to be balanced. Why someone asks you to just lift your head and just looking in the direction of your legs. Draw all the belly muscles in your arms. Come down and gently lower down. Nice and again, exhale to lift your head and chest. Get the hand they'll get a handle on how that feels. Drawing those abdominals in and lower down.

Now try bringing your feet all the way together and make sure you feel capable of balancing here. I'm going to work a little bit of balance here and it actually is easier to remove one foot. If your feet are touching, exhale to lift the head and chest. Reach those [inaudible]. Oh, that was the point. If you find yourself losing balance, I was gonna say you can put your hands on the floor to help find it. Glue your legs together. Try lifting your right leg to straight. Whoop.

Now lower your head and chest. Keep your hands low so that you don't feel like you're going to lose balance. Your leg is going to stay straight. Lift your head and chest again. Just try. Oop, switch legs. Oop. Lower down. Lift your head and chest, keep your left leg straight. Good.

Place your foot down and lower your head. Ah, enough of that. Um, so my favorite part about working on the foam roll is getting off if you, it really is. Cause if you just slip yourself to the side and let the film roll roll out from underneath you and lay where you were, just lay there for a moment. It should feel glorious on your back. Doesn't that just feel lovely? So just be there and enjoy that feeling for a moment. You deserve it. Oh, so go ahead and can you find your a sandy is your magic circle nearby.

You over there? It was pretty close, right? So we're going to use it as a prop to stretch with for the last few minutes. So go ahead and lift your right leg up and you're gonna place. I like to use the handle for my foot cause it gives my foot a place to be, which is Kinda Nice. So I'm going to place my foot on that little handle and then I'm just to hold the magic circle with my hands or my fingers.

But mostly what I want is to not feel like I'm going to work too hard to hold the circle here. Right? Ultimately I'd like your leg to be straight and if you [inaudible], you know with a neutral spine head relaxed shoulders, pretty relaxed here. So you can bend the knee on the inhale and with the exhale, straighten the leg all the way. Ben, the need just a little bit and exhale, try really hard to straighten the knee all the way. So you're getting a full straight knee. And one last time just like that, go ahead and straighten the knee all the way and then try to hold the circle where it is.

I'd like you to use the muscles of your calf to push into the handle, to try to point your foot and then actively flex your ankle deeper. Feel that stretch. It should have intensified. Push into the circle, trying to point your foot using your calf. Beautiful. And then flex your foot and get a deeper stretch. Actively. Beautiful. And just one more time like that, please push into the circle.

Oh and [inaudible] relax your foot. Now hold that flexed foot and don't make it too forceful. Understand that this last part that I want to do can be kind of intense. Slide the other leg straight on the floor first, and then just let the right leg, the one you're holding onto, just sort of ease your way across your body until you feel it. And you kind of know what it is when you get it right and gently come back in to where you came from.

What you're getting at here is many of us have a lot of tightness in the outer hamstring in the it band and the calf. There's a lot of things going on here. So when I say it, I say that purposefully because everybody feels this a little bit differently quite frankly. So coming across the body one last time, you might feel your calf more, you might feel like the outer part of your ankle almost. You might feel it all the way down into your hip joint. So any way anywhere along the outside of the body is going to make me happy. Gently come back to where you came from. Release your foot from the circle.

Let your let you can let your hands rest down for a moment to let your foot rest and perhaps shake your hip out a little bit. Oh, that feels nice. And then we'll uh, let the right knee be bent first and then lift the other leg up so that we can stretch the other hamstring. So once again, I liked my foot to be on the handle and I really like it that I'm not holding this circle too much, but I'm just kind of keeping it there, if you will, with my upper body. So how to bend the knee first and exhale to straighten all the way and really work to get to a straight knee joint. It's so funny because so often we don't realize that we're not straightening. Go ahead and bend again and straighten.

And one of the best ways to see if you're straightening your knee all the way is to look at it. It sounds so silly, but look at it. Is it straight? Yes it is. Hold your knees straight and then I'm going to ask you to hold this circle still with your upper body, your hands, and push into the circle with your calf muscle and then actively flex your ankle. Intensifying that stretch. Oh yeah. And again, push into the circle using your calf muscle. You're trying not to actually, you're trying to stretch the circle, right?

And then flex your foot here and one last time we push and we fall s and then slide your other leg straight. So I've got two straight legs. And then just gently take that leg across your body until you feel some a new stretch. That's probably the best way to explain it without calling it it. Come back to neutral position or the place you started and then move across the body. Use your breath, please. Exhale.

Ah, you can stay there a little longer if you need it. And then come back to neutral. And on the next one, let's stay for a couple of breaths just to kind of let the stretch be, let it happen a little deeper. And ultimately here, my friends, you want to make sure that your pelvis isn't shifting, this is actually movement in the hip joint. And then gently bring that leg back to neutral or where it came from, from remove the circle. Place it by your side. Might want to shake your hip out a little bit.

Mm. Feel like I always like to end my sessions with some sort of rotation. So I would like to do a little hip, a little spine twist here. So draw your right leg into your chest. You could put your foot on your other thigh that's more comfortable, or you can just work with the leg coming close to you.

Move the leg across your body just a bit. For those of you less comfortable with this a little more. If you're quite comfortable with rotation, you can outstretch the OPP. We'll actually, it's the same arm so your right arm would be long out to the side. As your right leg goes across your body.

If that suits you by keeping the arm long, you actually get a nice release through the peck here as well, which is a good bonus. Mm, and we'll gently release that. I always like to take just a moment to shift back to what feels comfortable and then shift sides. So I'm going to hug my left leg into my chest and then take the leg across the body. Again, you may connect the foot to the thigh. A lot of people prefer that. Feel safer.

I kinda like to hold my leg with my other arm and then reach out with my left arm here long. Let your breath become saw. Complete a little less shaped right now and then gently dry your left leg into your chest. Let me go ahead and bring your other leg up to join. Give your body a little hug and ease yourself onto your side.

May want to take a moment there. Ease yourself up to a sitting position when it makes sense to you. And I thank you for playing. I thank you for playing.


1 person likes this.
This was a great class for me right now,I have been a little tight and this was a bit of workout and stretching Perfect Thank You!!!!!
Hi Linda, So happy to hear you enjoyed the class!
1 person likes this.
What a lovely intro class, flows really well and your tone is very nice , so well cu'ed and explained too.
Tx Linda. will definately use some of those explanations in my beginner classes..
1 person likes this.
Wow, yet another gem on PA! I didn't feel like moving today and after this class I feel like a whole new woman. Thank you Sarah
Jess H
1 person likes this.
Absolutely brilliant class. Your cues are so clear and I was able to do the moves as precisely as my body would let me. I feel strengthened and also relaxed which is just what I needed today. Thanks so much :)
Hi Jess H,  Your comment provoked me to revisit this class. It felt perfect today.  Thank you!!

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