Class #60

Mat Progression Series 2/10

50 min - Class


This is the 2nd class in a series that takes the new student from Basic to intermediate Mat work. A quick review of the fundamentals covered in class #1. Emphasis on correct spinal alignment, how to support the spine with our Powerhouse and how to maintain the Pilates Frame/box throughout the mat work. Review of Basic Pilates Mat Work Exercises. Introduction of Balancing for Rolling Like a Ball, Single Straight Leg, Double Straight Leg and the Crisscross.
What You'll Need: Mat

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All right class. Today we're going to do a quick review of what we learned on the first day. So we're going to start by looking down at our feet and we want to be in a nice Palati stance. So the toes are going to be two to three inches apart, heels together. So a small slice of pizza, okay? And remember that you can either put your, just put your feet in that position or you could actually use your muscles to get there. And that's what [inaudible] is all about is how do we get there? How do we work our body, how do we sculpt our body to get there?

So we're going to review that box where we have a straight line from one shoulder to the other shoulder down to the hip, across to the other hip and up makes this nice frame for our body that we're going to use in absolutely every single exercise. Okay? From the bottom of the box, I always refer to the two front hipbones. And from that point, I want you to imagine those barbershop polls that we had talked about, the red and white stripes are going around and it's turning out your thigh, turning out your knees, that you can envision those muscles turning out like barbershop poles. And that's what eventually is going to turn out your feet into that night's Pilati stance rather than just putting your feet that way. And I want you to think about that whenever we are extending your legs, when we're on the floor and when we're lying down on our back and our legs are up, that's what I'm going to want you to think about is holding your legs by pulling around those muscles and from the wrapping around those thighs and squeezing the back of your inner thighs together, it also allows you to really get your belly to sink into your lower back so you're pulling your navel into your spine. Okay?

So without this Pilati stance, this proper posture, it's very hard to feel the stomach support your back. And that is what our focus is going to be today is how do we tell if our stomach or powerhouse is really working? I actually, when I teach, do not look much at the front of your body. Some people have extra weight that they feel, some people are pregnant like myself, and I wouldn't be able to tell if somebody was pulling in their stomach to the degree that we want to. Of course you can see it pull in, but actually supporting your spine is different. So you can see on my back that I'm just relaxed right now and my stomach is just hanging out or whatever. But I'm in the box and here's my normal shape of my back.

But if I use my powerhouse to really pull in, I'm going to be stretching my back and I'm going to be lengthening my tailbone to the floor. And so now instead of crunching my lower back together, I've actually supported that lower back. I'll turn around this way so you can see it. So here's the relaxed, I'm actually pulling in pregnant and all just supporting that spine. And that's the big that we see. So if I was lying on the floor, you would see your belly, not just by gravity pulling into the mat, but because you're pushing all those back muscles into the mat. So we're going to be really focusing on that today. Okay. So again, you're always leaning your weight a little bit forward so that there's a, you can slide a card underneath your heels really good and try to have your head also up over your spine. Great job, Jon. Nice job. Good, Candice. Okay.

So with that in mind, we're going to go ahead and just sit down and lie down onto your back. So go ahead and take the mat. You want to sit about middle of your mat and then lie down. I put a towel underneath your head, but not everybody needs that. Only if you have a tight back and you feel like you need a little extra support so that you're able to get your back nice and flat.

So I'm going to actually warm you up a little bit here with some kind of [inaudible] work. Maybe not really. Um, something that we generally do, but I think it's really important to build that awareness. I'm going to have you bring your feet in just a little bit because we don't have much range of motion in the pelvis area. So I want you to imagine that your lower box, that line of your hips, okay. And round this area round your powerhouse is like a bowl of soup. And I want you to tip that bowl of soup completely into your chest.

Very nice, Candace. So you're tipping those two bones and I'm going to talk about those two hip bones. Great job, ted, into your chest. Okay. And when you do that, you're obviously pelvic tilting, but you should feel that your lower back is extremely, extremely flat. Now I want you to go ahead and tip that bowl of soup out towards your feet. So all the soup is now dumping out towards your feet and you're arching your lower back and a little mouse could crawl into your back. Okay?

You want to really develop that awareness because a lot of times we want to know when we're starting off [inaudible] what not to do also. Okay, so in Platas, this is a very vulnerable position for your back to have it all your energy going out to your feet like that. And we don't want to do our exercises like that. We want to really make sure we're using our powerhouse like I showed you, standing to press into our back muscles and get our back flat. So let's pull your navel to your spine and see if you can tip that bowl of soup back into your chest. Good. Now in the beginning, I'm gonna allow you to do whatever you want to tip that bowl of soup into your chest, which means you're probably pushing your feet into the mat to help you might be tensing the top of your thighs, your quads to help later on. I want you to be able to just do it by squeezing your glutes or your bottom.

And by pulling your navel to your spine, that's going to be the goal. So let's go ahead and tip that bowl of soup out again. Excellent. Good. And now let's think this time about instead of using our feet or our quads, but pull that navel to your spine, squeeze your bottom and use those muscles to flatten your back and to tip that bowl of soup towards you, not lifting your bottom completely off the mat. You should definitely have your waistband down. Maybe your tailbone lifts a little bit, but that's about it. How does that feel?

Do you guys understand that? That's really, really flat. Lower back Ted. I am gonna want you to have that pillow because it's straighten your neck. I want your ribs to be able to relax a little bit more. Okay? All right. So we're going to use those two hipbones in a lot of exercises today and that's really gonna help strengthen your powerhouse. Okay? All right. Now, um, I also want you to remember that when we lift up our head, we reviewed on the first class that it comes from the upper stomach, okay? Which is right below your chest.

And I want you to imagine that there is that seesaw. So as you press down your upper stomach, then your head can come up. You're not going to leave your ribs and upper stomach up here and try to lift up your head. So think about the bottom of your shoulder blades or for ladies, the bottom of your bra strap. And I want you to press that deep into the map to lift up the weight of your head to your shoulders, to your chest. Sorry. So Chin to your Jessica. Come up just a little bit more. Great.

And hold it there for just a moment a little bit more. John, if you can see if you have a bad neck, we're going to keep our head down, but if you don't try to hold it up and feel the burn of your upper stomach. Okay. And realize how many inches you've lifted your shoulders off the mat because we're going to try to keep that relationship throughout a lot of our mat work today. Okay? Instead of rocking back up and down with our shoulders, they're going to stay up that high. Not necessarily curl, hunching them forward, but just pressing this down to get that height yet like a seesaw. Very good. And now go ahead and rest. Hopefully you are feeling it more in your upper stomach.

Your head does weigh about eight to 10 pounds. So if you're just lifting with your poor little neck, then it's going to get really sore that neck. So in the beginning you might feel like it's really sore. Okay, so with those in mind, let's go ahead and tip that bowl of soup towards your chest and bring your right knee into your chest. Great. Give it a hug. Good. Now keep that soup tilted into your chest. Extend the right leg right up to the ceiling.

We always turn it out into that Pilati stance from that hip bone. Good. And you should have opposite energy here. The stomach sinking down in the mat and that leg reaching turned out nice and long. And let's keep reaching those thigh muscles long and lower. The leg turned out again. [inaudible] down to thigh level. So your thighs are even perfect. Good. Now hold it there.

Have you maintained a bowl of soup or did your stomach start pushing out like a loaf of bread rising in an oven? You want to keep pulling in that naval to keep those hipbones towards you so that you can lengthen your leg in the opposite direction. Then lower that leg about mid calf. Keep it straight from me, John. There you go. Hold it there. Even while you're doing this, we also kind of remember we're using our wrapping of our thighs, squeezing of our bottom, and that soup is tilting in the opposite direction. Your back should be absolutely flat. If it's not, don't lower anymore that we in the leg up a little bit.

If it is flat and your stomach can keep it flat, you lower the leg down a little bit more and feel how challenging it gets. The lower your light goes, and now reaching through those long leg muscles. Lift that leg back up to the ceiling, starting from your stomach. Hug the knee into your chest, and let's do the same thing with the left leg. So we're placing the right foot down that stomach pools in your left knee.

Good hugging it, hugging it in, extend the left leg. It's turned out from that hip bone, like those barbershop pull muscles turning out, turning out. Give it a stretch. They're either behind the thigh or the calf and make sure you don't grab behind the knee. Okay. You can put your hands behind your thigh and you probably need a good stretch right there you go. And then place your hands back by your side. The stomach has absolutely scooped in as if I had an ice cream scooper and I scooped it out and lengthen that leg down so that the thighs or even hold it there. And again, your bowl of soup is tipped into your chest.

Your stomach looks like I've scooped it out. And your bottoms working to help hold that leg. And let's go down a little bit lower. Mid Calf. Very good. Hold it there again, if your back has started arching, bring the leg back up to where you keep your back flat. If it stayed still and you can keep pulling in your powerhouse, lower the leg down to where you feel like, Ooh, I might start arching my back.

So you really feel as that leg goes down, how much you are challenged with your Perez. Again, let's turn out those muscles so you don't hold with the quad. Good and pull the like back up to the ceiling. Wonderful. Watch how much you lift your bottom there. John, you want to keep the bottom still on the mat and hug the knee in, but very, very common because we're trying so hard that we also use that stance. The leg that's on the mat and it's pushing in and that's what's lifting the bottom off the mat. So you want to try little by little to relax that leg. Okay, go ahead and put both feet on the mat like Candace. Great. All right, so with that in mind, we are going to do the hundred. So I want you to take a big breath and as you exhale, really scoop that belly and tip that bowl of soup towards you and a big breath and we're going to exhale and bring your right knee into your chest using your powerhouse. Don't just use that thigh.

You can hug it and bring the left knee into your chest as well. There you go. All right, so both are being held by that powerhouse that's tilted. Now let's lengthen your arms by your side and we're going to keep in mind that Joseph [inaudible] was a strong German man and he had strong arms, not little wimpy little pumps. Okay, so I want you to um, straighten your arms, lift them up about five inches off the mat, and let's start pumping those arms to warm up our body. Inhale, two, three, four, five. As you exhale, really feel your naval pour into your spine. Inhale, two, three, four, five. As you exhale, really feel that your bowl of soup is tipping into your chest. Inhale two, three on this exhale. Press your upper stomach down and lift your head and shoulders. Great.

Inhale and exhale. Come up a little higher. John, if you can. Nice work holding there with the shoulders. Inhaling and accidentally. Now I want you to go ahead and straighten the legs up to the ceiling, remembering a stance. Inhale two, three, four, five. Make sure that stomach is scooping in. I love it.

You really worked at their inhale. Two, three, four, five. If your legs can lower down a little bit while keeping your scoop and your bowl of soup, then do that, but otherwise keep them where they are. Just give me one more big breath and exhale. Skip in just a little bit more. Turn those knees away from each other a little more and hug the knees into your chest. Lower the head down for sure.

Rest if at anytime your neck starts really hurting you during the a hundred just to lower it down and possibly bring the legs up a little bit higher, but keep pumping those arms and keep working that powerhouse. Go ahead and sit up any way you can. Really good job, you guys. All right, so we're going to go into the next exercise. Do you have any questions on the a hundred could you feel your stomach holding those legs up? Very good. Alright, so we're gonna do from rolled back. Okay. And what I want you to do, I've, instead of the roll up next week, we'll probably do the roll up, but I want you to place your hands underneath your knees. Great. And just sit up tall like Christie has right now.

Her whole box shoulders over the hips. Okay. Trying to be right. Nice and tall. We're going to round our back, but what I want you to understand right now is what we're going later on, we're going to balance for rolling like a ball. This is a perfect time to kind of talk about that is I want you to make a really nice big capital letters c with your back so your shoulders are gonna stay right where they are, but your stomach's gonna pull into your back and your head's going to go to your chest. Try to keep your shoulders forward more Christy right where they are. That's it. [inaudible] and you're tipping that bowl of soup towards your chest.

So we were pretty straight here. I want you to pull those hipbones away from your thighs. Can you pull them away from your thighs anymore? There we go. Yet use your upper belly to hold your upper back forward. That's much better. Now you have a great c curve, Ted.

See if you can relax your shoulders a little bit. There you go. In the beginning, we are going to do everything we can, tensing our shoulders, our neck, our quads to do these plys exercises. But later on you're going to be able to relax. Okay? So right now you have really pulled your powerhouse into your lower back and did a really good job on that c curve. But now, so when you did that by pulling your hipbones away from the size, everyone see that? Now I want you to push your hip bones towards your thighs as if you are tipping that bowl of soup out. Okay? That's right. This is again, what we don't want to do.

We're using our back here and we're going to be introducing an rolling like a ball exercise, but just the mainly the balancing part. And you're gonna be tempted each time to come up and hold yourself like this. Well, that doesn't do anything for slimming your waist. So we're going to really pull your belly in and learn how to balance by holding those hip bones away from your thighs and by tipping that bull of soup into your chest when you're balancing. Okay? And we're going to start doing the roll back here like that.

Let's go ahead and bring your head to your chest a little bit more for me, John. Good. And pressing your belly deeper into here. The feet are going to stay right where they are, but let's start rolling back your waistband so your hands stay where they are. And we're going to roll down one vertebrae at a time. Just keeping your hands right there.

See if you can get your waistband down on the Mat by tipping that bowl of soup towards you. Take a breath and now exhale. We're going to come forward trying to keep that bullet suit till two towards. Don't just pop your lower back forward to come up. Great. Let's do that again. We're going to start inhale and to roll back and then exhale the rest of the way down. Going down to at least your waistband. Actually, we're just going to do your waistband. Stay here and exhale all the way forward so you take a quick breath.

Keep those hipbones back. There you go. Only cause I knew she could do that and that's very hard and we're going to start again. We're going to take a breath and exhale. If you feel like you can get the waistband down and articulate going one vertebra at a time and you're in control, add a few more vertebra towards the bottom of your shoulder blades and then take a breath and start coming forward and XL the rest of the way up. Again, keep that waistband down. As long as you can those hip bones away from your thighs, tumor, and inhale to start rolling back. You're always initiating from that pass.

Exhale the whole rest of the way and inhale to start coming forward and exhale to come to rest back. Keep this tilted towards you. Keep that soup. You can do it. Yup. Excellent. One more time. And great job, John, you're really pulling your hipbones and stomach away from your to go back and then keep pulling away as you come forward. Keep pulling back. Yes, that was the little bit more that I needed. Very, very nice and relax. Good. Very strong work. And when I want you to go ahead and we're going to actually work to go into the next exercise because each exercise, I don't know if I'd want to take my basic personally. So in between each exercise we want to work as well.

So in the very beginning, you're trying to keep your stomach in throughout the exercise, but as you advance, you're trying to keep your stomach in through the whole workout. So in between each exercise and in the next exercise, so you really working on stamina and endurance. Okay. So the way we do that is to work during our transitions. So our hands are back under our knees. It's a lot of work. And you're gonna bring your head to your chest and do the exact same exercise, but we're not going to come back up. Instead, we're going to pull those hip bones away from our thighs and roll down your waistband. Good.

And then your middle back had a few more vertebras you can let your hands start sliding down your thighs rolling down your shoulders and finally your head. And we're going to keep those knees bent. Excellent. Very, very good. Okay, we're going to go into single leg circles. So I want you to bring your legs together for me, John. There you go. Bent. Yes. And we're gonna tilt the bowl of soup towards you. Try not to push our feet into the mat or use our quads, but just use that navel to spine and a little bit of a seat.

And we're going to bring that right knee into our chest. Hug It in, extend the right leg up to the ceiling, turning it out, and put your hands behind your thigh. Always first stretch. Okay. If you're really flexible, you can go up all the way behind your calf, but never behind your knee. You've got your box perfectly square on the mat. Your stomach is sinking into the mat because you've pulled it in and you've got those hipbones pulling away from your thigh. Now press your arms into the mat and use that bowl of soup to bring that leg as high up to your nose as you can. So not that quad. Turn out that leg more for me, tad. There you go.

But use your stomach to pull the like up to your nose. Cross it high over to your left shoulder and then let it go down only as low as you can. Keep your back flat and then pull it back up to your nose again. We're going to do one more slow and then it's a very quick tempo. So we're gonna use our belly. Trying hard to pull it up towards our nose. Crossed your left shoulder. You crossed the box. Go down only as low as you can.

Keep your back flat and pull it up. Keeping that in mind. We're going to do five quick tempos up to the nose crus around, up. Cross the round up. Three more. Nice. Trying to keep the hips square on the Mat. Two more nice arms pressing in one more time and hold perverse down.

Cross the body and out. Good. Damn. Crossing it up. Trying to keep the leg turned out the entire time. Try to keep the tail bone down. Yep. One more time. Turn that knee out more. Good and hug your knee into your chest. Good. As you get more flexible, you'll be able to keep your tailbone down and bring that leg up as well.

The your back of your leg or the hamstring might be pulling up your bottom a little bit. Bring that right foot down. Go ahead and try to straighten the back of your neck a little bit more. Very good. You don't want to be looking behind. You ever at least look up at the ceiling, but if you can even look this way a little bit more, that will give us a good stretch. We all need a good stretch cause we do so much computer work nowadays that we end up really needing a good stretch in that neck and upper shoulders.

So we're going to now scoop your belly and again and have that left knee into your chest and an extend the leg remembering it, turned it out into a plotting stance from that hip bone, stretching it towards us. So you might want to think I need this. Always be able to see my inner thigh instead of hiding it. That might be a good cue. And now we're going to do one slow going, pressing your arms down into the mat. I want you to use your powerhouse to pull that leg up to your nose.

Keep it up high as he crossed your right shoulder. Let it go down only as low as you can. Keep your back flat and then pull it right back up. Now to Tempa up to your nose. Cross around, up, cross around, up. Do not let those hips Mambo back and forth. Three more round up. Keep them nice and still. Last one and hold.

Let's reverse. Go down. Cross the roundup. Yes. Good job keeping your stomach scooped in. That bowl of soup is trying to stay in control too. More down around it. Up. One more. A little more inner thigh. Don't hide it. Yes. And Hug your knee into your chest. Very, very good.

Bring that foot down. And now I want you to sit up any way you can later on. We will really work that sit up there, but we're just going to sit up anyway. We can. All right, now your bottoms are about in the middle of the mat, but for the next exercise we're going to end up needing to bring our bottom forward. So put your hands right by your hips. Great. And actually probably Christie could do this transition. So with your bottoms there, I want you to use your strong arms. Try not to lift your shoulders by your ears. Okay, so we're trying not to do this. Keeping the chores. We use our strong arms to lift our bottom to our heels, all the way forward.

There you go. Stay there with your hands on the mat and allow yourself to kind of sink back and use your arms to rest on. Okay? Yes, exactly. And I'm having you do that. So you really see how much distance you have between your hip bones and your thighs. Not popping that lower back forward and supporting yourself with that lower back. Right? We're going to pull that belly in.

I like to imagine right here that not nowadays, but that there is a straight line from one hip bone to the other, right? Well that straight line is an alarm. It's like a laser beam. And if your belly pushes up above that laser beam, it sets off the alarm, the politesse alarm. Okay, so you got to keep your belly scooping in behind. It doesn't go up over to the other hip bone, but really scooping in behind that line. And that's what we're going to be concentrating on right now.

Cause if all we're doing is balancing not too hard, but it is hard if you really work on that. So keeping your powerhouse like that, tipping that bullet soup towards you, start getting a little less dependent on your hands and then put your right hand under your knee, just under your knee. Try to hold yourself on your powerhouse and you're gonna bring your left hand under your knee. Good. Very, very good. All right, so we haven't popped that lower back forward at all, right? We're really pulling our belly behind that laser beam and I want you to watch your stomach cause it's the best way to make it work and use your belly as you. Just bring the right foot. Just a tiny bit up, just like Christie. Great. Rest that foot down on the floor. Both feet are on the floor.

Use your belly to bring the left foot up a little bit and rest and get. We're going to try to relax us and put it in your belly and we're going to bring the right foot up a little bit, so, so far, not so hard. Make sure your head is to your chest for me, ted. There you go. But keeping the right foot up. Now we're going to add the left foot also.

I am very impressed. We did not rock our lower back forward and rest the feet down. Let's see if we can do it by. Let's pull in a little deeper for me, John, right through here, and we're going to bring the left foot up versus time hold. And now bring the right foot up as well. Good. Try to relax those feet. Relax your shoulders, have it all in your power house.

Now s keeping this, if you have a healthy back, I want us to try to just rock in this position. Later on we'll get tighter and tighter as a ball, but today we're just gonna rock, so we're going to tip that bowl of soup towards you and that's what initiates you rolling back. Go ahead and roll back and exhale to come up. Good hold. Watch that bound. There you go. Inhale, roll back and exhale when you come forward. Beautiful. I love it. You guys are not using those lower backs. Two more. Inhale, roll back. Exhale Lola.

It's tempting to use your head to roll back, but keep it tucked to your chest. One more time. Use the bullet soup to enroll you back and exhale up and hold. Very good and rest your down. Loving it. Okay. Put your hands behind you so you can lift your bottom back to the middle of the mat. Good.

And we're gonna lie on down for the series of five today. So go ahead and lie down onto your back. We have learned single leg stretch and double leg stretch, but we did have not learned the last three in the series of five. Make sure your knees are bent and your feet are flat on the mat so that it's the easiest to really create that nice flat back. And again, you're going to stretch that neck for me, John. I know I'm going to be on you all day today. Okay, great. So we are going, we didn't go over correct placement of your hands on the first day today.

We need to make sure we do that. So using your powerhouse ring your right knee into your chest and your hands are going to be the right hand on your ankle. Beautiful. And the left arm that's crossing the body, crossing your frame goes to your knee. Good. And pull that knee into your chest. If you have a bad knee, you're wanting your hands underneath your knee and you don't want to pull it in too deep. But if your have a healthy me like I assume you do, we're going to be putting it in like that. Now I want you to lift up your elbows like Christie up, up, up. There you go.

And you have equally strong arms. I hope and I want you to pool in opposite directions with those hands. Okay? Don't let one be stronger than the other. And what that does is even though you're really pulling with both arms, you still keep a straight line from one ankle to the knee to the shoulder. Nice alignment, nice straight line. It's safe for the hip.

It's safe for the need that safe for your back when you pull in that leg for single leg stretched switch hands so that the arm that crossed the body or left hand goes to the ankle and the right arm that's Kinda on the outside. Who's on your knee now? Pool with equally strong arms as Christie's doing, she's pulling out that knee joint. If you do single leg stretch like this, it's really bad for the hip, really bad for the knee. You lose all that alignment because you're pulling like this so you can feel that you can really lock it and secure it when you have the hands the other way. So let's the arm that's on the outside, we're going to switch it back for me, John. There we go. The one that's on the outside does the ankle and the on that crosses the body always goes to the knee. So I'm sure you guys have all that down.

So let's put that right foot down. Bring that left knee in and see if you can translate it. How do your hands go for that left leg and where do they go outside hand on them. No, I really got you going and very good. And that's how we pull in and put that left foot down. Make sure you put the left foot damn sure.

Use your powerhouse when you bring your right knee in. Put your hands where they belong. Great. Candace, that's it. Did we use our powerhouse to bring in that knee or did we use our hip flexors? And then put that foot down and scoop in to bring your left knee in hands correctly. Good. And now I want you to think about that seesaw and use your upper stomach depressed down to lift your head and shoulders up good.

And your stomach is scooping in so much, that bowl of soup that you can really pull that knee deep into your chest with your strong arms. Good. Do not move your shoulders or your hips and extend the left leg right up to the ceiling. I'm sorry. You're right. Like I forgot you had your left. So your right leg right up to the ceiling switch. This knee stays in and this leg just goes up. There Ya go. Alright, and turning it out out. Good. Now use your powerhouse to switch legs. That's it. And knees all the way in and switch. Use that tip, that bowl of soup and switch and switch.

I need more stomach because you're going side to side. That's right. And switch. You got it. And switch. And one more to finish. Evenly since we started on the left and hug both knees in and relax your head down. Relax your feet down on the mat. Go ahead and we're going to go over double leg stretch. One of the hardest exercises.

We're going to use that seesaw to press down your upper stomach and lift your head to your chest. Great. Again, we're thinking a little, even a little bit more. Yes, we're thinking about how high our shoulders off the mat right now and we don't want to lower them at all. Okay. Keeping your shoulders that high. I want you to lift your arms up to the ceiling and without moving your shoulders and head. Exhale sir. Going back by your hips. Inhale up to the ceiling, holding with your upper stomach. Exhale, circle back to your hips. Good. One more time. Notice that you haven't lied down on the Mat with your head and shoulders, right and exhale. You kept up, up, up, John Up. Oh yeah, there we go. And now go ahead and rest down. It's very important that you understand that the upper body stays just like that in this exercise.

Now tip that bowl of soup towards you and bring your right knee into your chest and give it a hug. And the same thing with the left. So we're using that powerhouse hands this time. Slide down to our ankles if you can, and really using your powerhouse to bring those thighs deep into our chest. You're going to keep your head down and I want you to just think about that Pilati stance and you're gonna let go of your ankles. As you extend into a Palladia stance, a straight legs go extending a bit, little higher. Turned out those barbershop polls work in, squeezing that seat stomach scooping and bend the knees back in.

Keep your head down for just one more time. Knees are into your chest for me all the way. Your powerhouse is what brought it in, right? And you're going to extend the legs, turning those thighs out, squeezing your seat, and pull that bowl of soup towards you to bring them back in. Knees into your chest. There you go. Let's put our hands on our ankles.

Let's use that upper stomach to pull that head and shoulders up. Head and children lifting. Good. We're going to keep our shoulders at that height the whole time. We're just putting those two things together so your arms are going to go up to the ceiling and your legs are going to extend to plotty stance. How's that bowl soup? Look at it.

Scoop it in and pull yourself together using your powerhouse. Inhale, reach and exhale. We do not move our head and shoulders, right. Inhale up to the ceiling. We'll keep your shoulders up. Yes and exhale and three more. Inhale, reaching plotty stance x two months in hell. Really holding that nice scoop and exhale in last time. Looking good in how reach. Just relax those toes a little bit and exhale, pull in. Rest your heads down. Very, very good. Alright, we're going to single straight leg, double straight leg and Chris Cross, so we're gonna hug those knees into your chest.

I'm assuming by now that each time you bring your knees into your chest, you're doing it by using your powerhouse and tipping that bowl of soup. Right. Okay. We are again, extend the leg straight up to the ceiling. Good. You can hold onto them. Help pull them towards you. Good. And now use that upper stomach to lift your head and shoulders. Good. Again. You're not going to lower your head and shoulders.

Bend your elbows to lift your shoulders more. Good. Very good. And now put both hands behind your right thigh and crawl up your right side. Bringing that right leg as close to you as you can. Keep it straight. Can you bring it up behind your calf? I bet you can, ted. There you go. Yeah. Okay. And that left leg is going to go down a little bit, not too far.

You've got to make sure your back stays flat, long legs. And we're going to scoop in that belly and switch legs. Good. And switch legs. Good. Do not ban. Do you want to keep long legs switch? Good. Scooping the belly and switch. So every time we switch you think about tipping that ball towards you.

Switch tipping that ball towards you. Switch again, same thing. And now we're going to pick it up. The pace. Here we go. Right, left, right, left, right, left, right and left and bend both knees in. Relax your head. That exercise is another one that's very important that the tempos quick like single leg circles because otherwise the top of your thighs, your quad, start tensing and doing the exercise for you, but you want to keep the legs light long loose like dancers, legs flying through the air. Okay. Now we're going to do the double version of that. Bringing your knees into your chest with your powerhouse. We're, I'm sorry.

Actually we're gonna start with the feet on the mat. For this one we've talked a lot about our spine so that powerhouse is keeping our lower back flat on the mat. Okay. Now I want you to place your hands one over the other behind your head. Yep. Underneath your head I should say. There we go. Okay. We don't lace our fingers. Employees.

Joseph flies believed that that interfered with the circulation, so he liked one hand over the other and your elbows are nice and wide on the mat. There you go. Go ahead. Now, most of us have pretty stiff upper backs and so it is a little difficult to keep our elbows wide right now, but I want you to try to keep that lower belly pulling in and up and I want you to take a big breath and XL. Try to press down the bottom of your shoulder blades with your ribs. Try to press down on your upper back. Awesome Christi taking a big breath and as you exhale we kind of went over breathing in the first class. I want you to drop the chest bone a little bit more and just feel the bottom of your shoulder blades going on. That is really good. Do that one more time.

Big Breath so that the upper back doesn't look like a drawbridge. Instead exhale, you really pressed it nice and straight on the mat. Now keep that energy there. Feel that upper back on the mat and you're pressing it down. Press your neck down into the mat and press the back of your head into your hands.

That's a really big stretch and we like having that stretch right now. Your elbows are right in line with your ears, which is fabulous, but very hard to do in the beginning. You're going to use, your elbows are going to come forward and they're going to try to help you and that is fine, but as you advance, we're going to work hard to keep them back in alignment with our ears. Okay, so I want you to use that upper stomach to keep your elbows wide and lift your head and shoulders up off the mat. Wonderful. Keep coming up, coming up, coming up. Great. Again, you're not going to be lowering and lifting your upper body, right? It's going to stay right there. Use your powerhouse.

Bring one knee into your chest, use your power offspring, the other one in and extend both legs as straight as you can into a plotty stance to the ceiling. Now tip that bowl of soup to bring those straight legs a little closer to you closer and then let them stretch a little bit away. And if you can keep your back flat and then pull them towards you and keep them a little bent is fine and then pull them towards you. But I want you to feel how your stomach pools those legs towards you, keeps your back flat as well as legs go down a little bit, pulls them towards you. If your back arches, you've gone too low poem towards you. One more, stretching down a little bit and pull them towards you at that powerhouse and bend the knees in and rest very good ahead and rest your feet down on the mat as well. Great. So that's double leg stretch. In the beginning you're being tempted to bring those legs towards you again only with your thighs. You can rest your hands by your side if you want, but then you're going to want to really work just from your stomach. Okay.

The last one of this series of five. Any questions though? So far on single leg stretch, double leg stretch signature. Now we're doing okay. Okay. So Chris Cross is really a little bit more intermediate, but I like introducing it now because I want you to be able to have the full series and really develop good strong abdominal exercises. Okay? So it's a more of an intermediate exercise because we are twisting in this exercise and we like to use our lower back instead of our powerhouse.

When we twist, go ahead and bring your arms down by your side for me, Ted [inaudible]. Um, thank you. So we're going to try not to do that. We're going to tip that bowl of soup towards you to bring your right knee into your chest and just keep your hands down on the mat yet the one time, right? So the reason I want you to really do this for the hundred time today is because by the time you get to this exercise, you're going to be bringing that thigh in only with that thigh muscle. And what happens is, is about a right angle is about as close to your chest as you're going to be able to bring that knee into your chest.

If you're using your hip flexor or your quad only to bring that knee in, but if you're truly using your stomach and tipping that bowl of soup, you're able to pull that knee all the way into here for that crisscross. Okay? But we get tired by this point, so the knee needs to come in this far and I'm warning and lights are flickering. Okay? We're going to bring that foot down for a second, so that's very important. Okay. The other important thing is we're going to not move this line as we do the Chris Cross, but we're going to be twisting the top of our box, which is our shoulders, okay?

So when I say bring your opposite shoulder to your knee, you're going to try to avoid bringing gesture elbow because you're going to really lead from that shoulder to bring it up to the knee. And when you do that, you're also going to have to pull back this elbow so it's not hanging off the mat, but that it's pulled back onto the mat again. When you're twisting, it's really easy to just keep twisting those hips and that's why it's a harder exercise. You got to use that powerhouse to hold those hips there while you twist just your upper body. Alright, so using, put your hands behind your head, one on top of the other. Use your powerhouse to bring your right knee into your chest and the left knee as well. Use your upper stomach to lift your head and shoulders up. Good little bit more you.

You're using your stomach so much you could almost touch your knees to your ears. Pull them in really, really tight. There you go. Keep your right knee in that tight and extend your left leg towards the ceiling. It can be a little lower if you want. Now, don't move the line of your hips as you take your left shoulder to that right knee and look at that right shoulder elbow. Is it on the mat? Can you pull it back any further? And let's switch legs. Use your powerhouse to bring in the left leg, taking the right shoulder up to make. See that right angle.

I need you to use your powerhouse to go. Oh yeah. Now we're talking and switch. That's it. This light can go down. But remember this knee has to come in. [inaudible] freezing our stomach. There we go. And last time switch. Now I want you to pull that elbow back and lead more with your shoulder.

Get your shoulder. Aha. There we go. Hug your knees into your chest. Excellent. Very good. You're feeling that difference. Okay, we're gonna go ahead and stay there for a second. Feet down on the mat. Feet down. Okay. So since you guys had no questions on that, all those five exercises, it's very important to actually go through to tempo. So we're going to go one after the next. So quick review.

Its single leg stretch is just stretching one leg in up time and your hands are correctly placing the double leg stretch where imagining both my knees are into my chest and we reach up and we circle back. Okay, so inhale and exhale. Single straight legs. We're pulling one leg towards us and we switch very quickly flying through the air. Double straight leg. We start with the hands go behind her head, they stay there for this exercise. And the next one as both legs dropped down just a tiny bit, but come up towards you using your powerhouse, not your quads. And finally we bend one Ian and we cross over to it and we keep working on our twist slowly and we switched to the other side. Okay, so even if you don't remember any of them, it's really nice to just keep practicing because practice makes perfect and then that's how you're going to get it. So let's start off by using your powerhouse to bring your right knee into your chest and put your right hand on your ankle, left hand on your knee and bring the weight of your head up.

We're using your upper stomach, stomach and extend that left leg up to the ceiling, maybe down a little bit, just down a little bit. Good. And using that power house, go ahead and switch left and right and left and right. Tipping up all towards you and right and left. And one more set right and left. Let's keep up our head and hands. Go on your ankles right into the double leg stretch. Inhale, reach your arms and legs up. Exhale, pull them together. Crate. Inhale, reach. Exhale, pulling that bowl of soup towards you.

Inhale three Palati stance. Exhale, pulling it in. Inhale, two. Great job keeping your shoulders up. Exhale in one more time. Inhale, reach. Keep your shoulders up. Then exhale, pull it, rest your head. Keep your hugging your knees into your chest. Good. All right, that was just tiny break. Let's go ahead and use the upper stomach to live back up. The bowl of the soup is pulling those thighs into your chest. Extend the legs up to the ceiling.

Crawl up just your right leg as high as you can. Both hands are behind your right leg and the left leg lowers only two where you can keep your back flat. Let's switch. Left, right, left, right, left straight legs reaching like giant scissors through the air. Bring that head up to your powerhouse and quicker here. Candace, switch and switch and switch. Last one and both legs go up. Hands are behind the head. Elbows wide. And how does that apply your stance? Looking great.

Use that bowl of soup to pull those straight likes towards you a little and stretched down and quickly and stretch and up. They can only go as low as you can. Keep your back flat. Pull them more towards you to pulling them in. One more. Use your breath to exhale to bring them in and bend your knees and rest for just a second. Just like John does, you're going to put your feet on the mat for a second cause I don't want you to get too tired and fatigue that you use out lower back for Chris Cross. So let's bring your knees into your chest.

Hands are behind your head. Watch those flex feet cause those hip flexors. We'll start working. Use upper summit to bring your head up, head and shoulders. Elbows are wide, right and right here. Let's really tip that bowl of soup to bring those knees in. Excellent. Keep your right leg. There is a left leg, extends forward and twist your left shoulder to your right knee.

Opposite for me. There we go. Up over this way over this way. To the knee and switch. That's it. And switch. It's like right here. I'm pulling in. Let's get that back. Elbow on the mat, and one more set. Pulling up that shoulder and last one over here and hug both knees into your chest. Great. Hug them in. Good. All right everyone.

Let's sit on up front. Last exercise spine, stretch forward. Okay. Straighten those legs. Open your heels just a little bit wider than the mat, so they're going to be off the mat. Those heels, if it is hard to sit up tall, for most of us it is. At this point, I want you to bend your knees a little bit. Yes, that takes tension out of your leg. Now you can sit up tall, sitting up as if you're against one of these walls. I want you to have your arms up at shoulder height. Good. And pull your powerhouse into your back.

Remember how I showed you to really press into those back muscles and bring just your head to your chest and exhale down one more vertebra and the next one and the next one. Trying to touch the crown of your head. Ted to the floor. So you're stretching forward. Good. Exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. And then when you inhale back up, roll up, starting with your navel to your spine. Then roll up the next bone onto my leg and the next bone. Don't bring the head quite up yet, cause you've got all of this to get onto my leg before your head does.

Imagine me, my legs, that wall there. Yoga. Take an extra breath here and exhale. Willing off, starting with your head. Exhaling forward. Good stretching, stretching, stretching. Arms. Get a little bit closer. Good. They're just aligned with your shoulders. And Inhale, rolling it back up. One Vertebrae at a time. Nice. Nice. Nice, nice and tall.

Very good. And one more time. Lifting off that bottom. He can't. And exhale forward. Exhale, head to your chest. Pull it in. Really. Let me see your stomach. Press into your back. Excellent. And Inhale, rolling Baca. And exhale right here. Relax. Relax your arms.

Relax your legs, everyone. You guys did a fantastic job. Good work. Nice job.


great classs, thanks
1 person likes this.
Another great class from Monica! Excellent cues & pace. Her explanations were so helpful in solidifying my technique and practice. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Great !!!!
4 people like this.
Hi Monica,
Thank you so much for your clear, gentle classes. I've done yoga forever but now need to develop more strength. My doctor told me I was too flexible and not strong enough, hence the back problems. After just two classes I am more aware of my body, the muscles, how I move and how I stand than I have been since I began yoga all those years ago. It's great to find my physical self again and I feel better already! Your online classes are perfect for me as I live and work in Germany and my German isn't quite good enough yet for a class.
Liebe Grüße (lovely greetings)
Kathy in Berlin
Great distinctions are made, these are incredibly helpful even for a seasoned student .
The way you describe some of the movements are right on with how I learn. I'm really enjoying this series as I get back in touch with my core after having my 2nd baby! Can't wait to finish it.

Love hearing that! I have 3 post partum classes you might enjoy as well!
2 people like this.
I have trouble hugging my knees to my chest both because I have fairly short arms and a longer torso and also because my fat gets in the way. Especially during the single leg stretch, do you have any advice on how to hold?
loved it!
Beautiful class! I enjoyed watching it first entirely before doing it and that was amazingly helpful! And thanks for the bowl of soup image: it works!
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