Class #600

Mat/Barre Fusion

50 min - Class


A dancer's floor barre is nothing new. In fact, this technique has been around for decades. Dancers did floor barre as cross-training to keep their bodies long, lean, and strong. Cecile Bankston, a former professional dancer has created this class which is a unique combination of a dancer's floor barre and traditional Pilates mat work resulting in the ultimate workout that will challenge both your mind and body. Get that dancer's body you have always wanted with this tried and true formula, and experience the class you've been looking for.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Good morning, good morning. I'm so glad to be here, beautiful day. Today, we are doing a class that is a combination of pilates mat work and a dancer's floor bar. A floor bar is something that we used to do in the 70s and 80s as cross-training for dancers. The idea was that lying down you were able to feel more of your alignment and what was going on especially in the spine and the back area while within movement whereas standing at a bar sometimes you're not so aware of that you're so focused, as a dancer, on the patterning of what you're doing, you're not able to really concentrate on your alignment.

So this is a combination, a fusion of both of those things, so I hope you enjoy it. Alright, we're going to start in a diamond position, so the soles of the feet are going to be together, and the knees are comfortably open. I would like -- when I say soles of the feet together, I would really like you to make sure that the entire sole of the foot is together so that you're really -- it's an active diamond, not just kind of hanging out there. You're really pressing those feet together so that the entire leg is active. So we're going to just rest the hands along the knees, along the lower leg, sit up nice and tall.

Take a nice deep breath in and, as you exhale, I'd like you to pull into those abdominals, zip up all the way from the pubic bone, and exhale, and round the spine. And then sit up nice and tall. So, when I'm rounding, I'm not thinking so much of going back as my shoulders are going to stay right over the hips, and I'm just making that abdominal contraction happen, and sit up nice and tall. Dip breath in, exhale, and contract. Good, and back up, inhale, and exhale, contract.

And sit up nice and tall. It's as if somebody -- we're gonna do two or three more -- as if somebody punched you in the stomach. Okay, what would you naturally do if somebody really punched you in the stomach? You would react to that and tighten. And sit up nice and tall, good.

One more, deep breath in, exhale and contract. Beautiful. And sit up nice and tall. Arms are gonna go in front of us now, and we're gonna roll all the way back. Take a deep breath in, exhale, and roll down through the spine all the way and arms are gonna go over the head.

Now, as our arms go overhead, our rib cage shouldn't change. Bring the arms back to the ceiling and back down to the floor. One more time with just the arms raising up to the ceiling. Inhale, exhale, bring the arms overhead without changing the rib cage, bring the arms back down to your sides, good. Shorten your diamond just a little bit, just because I'm trying to be nice to you.

The longer your diamond is, the harder this exercise will be, so you want to kinda shorten it just a little bit to start, and, if you want to be more challenged, you can lengthen it. We're going to stay right where we are first, and we're just gonna lift that diamond up to the ceiling using those low abdominals. Inhale, and exhale, bring it back down. Now if this is too difficult for you, if you're feeling like you're getting tension in your back, you can go up on to your elbows for this, which would make it a little bit easier, okay? Take a nice deep breath in, exhale to get that diamond -- yes, up, that's right, good, good, good, good.

And deep breath in, exhale, go back down, nice. Just two more, deep breath in, just warming up those low abdominals, make it happen from the abs, not from the legs. Deep breath in, exhale it back down. Beautiful, one more. Deep breath in, exhale, good, and deep breath in, go back down to the floor, good.

Now, we're all going to lie down flat. Bring that diamond back up just to the ceiling. Now leave it there, and I want you to try to -- we're going to do just a lift of the seat using the low abdominals to do that. So we're gonna take a nice deep breath in. As we exhale we're going to roll the tail bone up just a little bit, come back down.

You're not gonna get real far if you're not swinging your legs back and forth, and down. Lifting up, beautiful, and you should be feeling your low abs now, and up, and down, good, and up, one more to go, and beautiful, and down, good. Bring that down and back down to the floor. Now we're gonna start back to rolling up. So we're gonna reach our arms forward.

Leave your legs in a diamond, take a nice deep breath in, exhale, roll up, now press your feet firmly together. Good, you can use your hands on your thighs if you need to. Stretch the legs out to reach forward. Take a deep breath in, go back to your diamond to roll back. And reach back arms over head, bring the arms, circle them around to roll up.

If you need to, grab on to your thighs, but hopefully not, stretch it out, good, and bring them back to a diamond, yes, and down. One more like that, and then we're going into our traditional roll-up. Reaching forward, really articulating through the spine, reach, deep breath in, exhale, back to that diamond, and roll it back down. Now we're going into the traditional roll-up, so going back to your straight-leg position, rolling forward from the top of the head, rounding, to reach over, and remember you want to keep that nice C-curve in the spine to roll it back down, good. Make sure when you're rolling forward that you're keeping shoulders away from the ears, good, and again reaching forward, beautiful.

Really closing the rib cage, good, reaching away from you with those legs. And forward, deep breath in, exhale. Now really articulate that spine, good, good. Beautiful, good, and stretch the arms overhead. And reach forward, this is the last one, beautiful.

Reaching all the way forward, good. And rolling back, and I didn't tell the truth because we have to roll back up to sitting, and roll it back up, good, all the way to sitting, good. Now we're going into rolling like a ball. So we're going to scoot forward. You can have your legs however you prefer.

Some people like them a little open, some people like them really tight together. Obviously, the tighter together you have your legs, the more difficult it's going to be. You really want to focus on the length of the spine and the forehead reaching up and over those knees so you're really getting that nice curve and feeling those abdominals controlling the movement. Nice deep breath in as we go back, exhale to come up, inhale back, exhale up, remembering that you want -- inhale back -- minimum movement, you don't want those feet going. Inhale back, exhale up, beautiful.

Full control through the abdominals. And coming up, and inhale back, and coming up, one more. Inhale back, and roll it up. Now this time we're going to roll back and stop lying down for our single-leg stretch, so deep breath in, roll it back down and stay there, good. We're going to reach out head, neck, and shoulders forward.

Bring the left leg out, inhale, and exhale. Inhale, and exhale, inhale, and exhale. Inhale, and exhale, one more. Inhale, and exhale, now stay right there. We're going to change the leg.

Whichever leg was going out on the exhale, change that, and inhale, and exhale. Inhale, and exhale, inhale, and exhale. Inhale, and exhale, inhale, and one more, and inhale, and exhale. Bring head, neck, and shoulders down, knees to the chest. Arms are gonna go out to your side, legs are going up to the ceiling.

Now this is our side-leg reach. Our legs are straight up to the ceiling. Everybody's going to take their right leg, deep breath in, and as we exhale, that leg is going to reach over to the side of us, and the left hip is going to go up to the ceiling. That's okay, let that left hit lift up. Good, now, from here, we're going to roll through the spine to get that leg to come back up, using those abdominals, so don't make it a leg movement, make it an abdominal and a spine movement.

Reaching to the left, inhale, and exhale, and let that other leg reach high to the ceiling, let the hip lift, good. Now really articulate, roll -- that's beautiful -- through the spine, you got it, good. And up, doesn't that feel good? Deep breath in, right leg, inhale, and exhale. Beautiful, good, and deep breath in.

Inhale, roll through that spine to bring the leg back. Last one, inhale, and exhale, good. Inhale, and exhale, bring it back, good. Bend the knees into tabletop. Head, neck, and shoulders come forward for our double-leg stretch.

We're going to do a double inhale and one big long exhale for this pattern, okay. So we're going to inhale, inhale, big long exhale. Two inhales, and exhale. Inhale, inhale, exhale. Inhale, inhale, exhale, one more, inhale, inhale, exhale, bring the knees into the chest.

Head, neck, and shoulders go down. Arms go to the side, legs go back up. We're gonna repeat that side-leg reach, and right leg, inhale, and exhale, roll it back to the center, good. Inhale, left leg, and roll through that spine to come back. Beautiful, right, just one more time each leg, and roll it back, good.

And exhale, good, roll it back to the middle, beautiful. Bend those knees, and let's take the legs back down to the floor. Now for this series, this is one of the parts that comes from the dancer's floor bar. We're gonna cross the right leg over the left leg, rotate it outward. Now, if you have trouble with keeping your lower back on the mat here, you can just go into a bent knee on the opposite leg from the working leg, okay, and that should get you back in place, okay, so either of those is fine.

We're going to rotate both legs, right leg goes in front. Arms can be out to the side or by you, just along your side. So deep breath in, as you inhale, bring the leg just low, just a low lift, flex it back down. Bring it up, flex it down. And three, flex it down, good, four, and now we're going side, keep the rotation, watch that opposite hip, yeah.

And, if you're having trouble, open those arms out to the side, or bend that standing knee. Four, good, now we're going to alternate front and side. Front, and down, and side, and down. Really work on that opposite side. Oblique, side, and down, beautiful, there you go, you got it.

And side, good, good, and front, and down, one more, side, and down. Now we're doing a half circle, front, bring it to the side, and bring it in, we call that a little rond de jambe. Front, and side, and in, good. Front, now your focus should be on the opposite side through all of this, front, beautiful, good, and in reverse that. Let's go side, bring it to the front, and in.

Now keep that opposite leg active. Side, and front, and in, wonderful, watch the rib cage, front, good, and in. Let's change legs, great, other side. So are you feeling your legs now, they're working, yes. (laughs) Really rotate those legs so that you're not getting so much that you're not gonna take it in your quads, okay.

The more rotation you can get, the less you're going to feel your quads working. I point and flex, but if that confuses you, it's fine to just leave it pointed, that's completely fine, okay. Alright, so here we go, left side. Front, flex it down, and front, flex it down, and front, remember no tucking of the pelvis, front, and down, to the side. And in, and side, and in, and again, you can always stretch those arms out to the side if you're having trouble keeping that opposite side alternating.

Front, and in, and side, and in, and front, and in, and side, and in, and front, good, keep breathing, side, one more, front, and side, good. Now our half cirlce, front, side, in. Front, side, in, front, side, one more. And reverse, side, bring it to the front, rotate. Side, really rotate, good, side, you got it, watch that opposite side.

Side, very good, good. Okay, wonderful, y'all are great. Good, okay, let's go to our first leg. Just put your feet in a regular rotated position, both legs on the mat, so not crossed this time. We're going for our leg circle, our big leg circle now.

So we're gonna bring our right leg to the ceiling. If you normally do your leg circle with the other leg bent on the floor, that is absolutely fine. Now, to start off, we're going to take that leg across the body, and we're gonna stop right there, and we're gonna flex and point the foot. Inhale, and exhale, inhale, and exhale. Inhale, and exhale, and inhale, and exhale.

Bring it out to the side. Now here's your challenge, keep that opposite side down. Flex, and point, and flex, and point, and flex, so only go as far as you can without losing that opposite hip, good, and come back to the middle, bend your knee for a second and relax. Now that was your parameters of your circle, okay, so that just defined how big your circle should be. If you can't go further than right here to the side without that opposite hip, then don't do your circle bigger than that, okay?

Alright, here we go, so we're gonna go back up. We're gonna go across the body first. Inhale, big long exhale, and stop. Inhale, exhale, and stop. Inhale, exhale, and stop.

And inhale, exhale, and reverse, to the side, good. And up, and side, bring it up, good. Keeping the opposite side, not hiking the hip, and reach. Good, okay, bend that knee, take it down. Start with the other side, wonderful.

So we start it up. We're gonna take it across the body for a flex and point. Flex, and point, and flex, good, and point. And flex, and point, good, flex, and point. Now, take it out to the side, really anchor that opposite side, flex, and point, good, and point, and flex, and point, keep breathing, flex, and point, and now we go to our full circle across.

Down, around, and up, inhale, big long exhale to bring it up. Three, and up, and four, good, reverse, to the side, and bring it up, and to the side, good. Watch those shoulders, we're keeping shoulders down and back. One more, and up, bend the knee, and take the leg out. Let's roll onto our stomachs.

Very nice, okay. So why doesn't everybody face this way for me, so I can see your faces, good. Okay, so now we're going to go onto our stomach, and we're gonna start with just our elbows by the sides for a second and our heads down. Take a deep breath in. As we exhale, I just want you to press up to the elbows.

Make sure you're hollowing out the stomach, pulling into those abs even though you're going into an arch, good, and then come back down, inhale, and exhale, good. Legs can be apart if you have any issue with your lower back, deep breath in, exhale, press it up. So the further apart your legs are, the easier it's going to be on your lower back, and come back down, wonderful, because you are going into extension, but what you don't want is to get into a position where you're compromising that back. Take that stomach up, press up one more time. Really pull into those abs, good, and back down, okay.

Now we're going to slide those hands slightly forward because we're going all the way up to straight arms, okay? Once again, if you need to open those legs out wide, please do so, pressing up onto the hands this time. Good, and come back down, nice. Just one more pressing up, and we're gonna stay there, so make sure you're pulled up into those abdominals. Good, very nice, beautiful.

We're gonna stay right there, and I want you to bend your right arm and look around to the left side, and come up. Bend the left arm, look around to the butt, good. And come all the way down, we're gonna repeat that just one more time, pressing up. That's the surfer, we're gonna press the right hand, bend the elbow, and look back to the left. And up, and the other hand, press it down, you got it, and come back up, and relax, good.

Let's sit back onto the heels for just a second to stretch back, reaching out long just to stretch that back out. Take a nice deep breath in, and exhale, good, let's go back onto the stomach, and we're just gonna rest our forehead on our hands. Now, we're going to repeat the series we just did lying on our back, we're gonna do the same thing now, so we're gonna cross right leg over left leg, and this one is considerably harder, yeah. Okay, rotate those legs. You're gonna lift, and if flexing and pointing confuses you, do not even worry about that, just do pointed foot.

Okay, we're gonna lift right leg up, bring it down. And up, you've got to rotate it or you're not going to have a lot of room, and down, and up, and to the side, and reach. This one's hard. Remember you want to think of keeping a lemon or something underneath those abs, four, alternate, back. And up, really press those hips into the mat.

And back, and in, and side, you're not going high. And back, good, in, and side, really hollow out those abs. One more time, good, and side, and in. Little circle, back, side, and in. Back, side, and in.

Back, you should be feeling your glutes. And back, side, reverse. And side, back, and in, side, back, and in. Side, back, and in, and side, very nice, other side. I always hated this because it was so humiliating because you thought you were so turned out when you were standing up, and then you got on your stomach and you had no turn now, okay, so same thing, lifting back and in, to the back, and in.

And back, and in, and back, to the side, and reach, very nice, and side, and in, and side, and in, and side, good, little circle. Back, side, and in, oh we didn't alternate, sorry. Back, and in, and side, and in, and back, you got it. And side, and in, and back, and in. Really reach through that foot, lengthen the leg.

Really control it, side. Now our circle, back, side, and in. Back, side, and in, back side, and in, one more. To the back, reverse, to the side, back, very nice. Keep that rotation, really, really rotate, and back, side, wonderful, one more, back, side, and in, good, how are we?

We're going to lift both legs in a little small V together, not high, we're gonna do our tiny Vs. And you can point and flex, or not. Point, two, three, four, and flex, two, three, four. And point, two, keeping the stomach out, flex, two, three, four, and point, two, three, four, and flex, two, three, four, and point, two, three, four, and flex, two, three, four, good, wonderful. Bend the knees, and put the hands behind the back for our double-leg kick.

So head goes to one side, we inhale as we kick. Inhale, inhale, big long exhale to extend the back, good. And other side, inhale, inhale, exhale. And inhale, inhale, exhale. One more, inhale, inhale, you got it, good.

Okay, let's come on to our heels one last time to stretch the spine out. And come up, nice deep breath in, good. Let's go into our spine stretch position. We're gonna start out small, and then we're going to go into a wider position, so we're going to start with feet flexed about as wide as your mat. Take a nice deep breath and really grow as tall as you can, scoop out those abs, and round forward.

Remember, your shoulders do not get involved, and come back up, stacking one vertebrae on top of the other, and again, rounding forward. And coming back up, good, one more like that. Reaching forward, beautiful, and come back up. Now I want you to open the legs out as wide as you can. So we can stagger, yes, good.

Alright, so sitting up, once again, stacking as tall as you can, and now reaching forward. Now, here, pretend you're sitting on something -- if I was standing behind you and you were sitting on a towel I don't want to pull that towel out from under you, right? Come back up, meaning that, you don't want to roll forward off of those hips, and again, even though it feels good to do that, beautiful, and come back up, and one more, reaching forward, and coming back up, good. Sitting nice and tall, we're going to bend over to the side, the other hand comes across our body. Let's go to the right, we're going to put our left hand down and we're gonna reach and bend that elbow as we do it.

Keep that opposite hip sitting. And come up, and again, reaching over, lengthen that spine, sit on the opposite hip, and come up, two more, reach it over, really, really, really reach, keep the shoulder down, and sit up tall, and again, reach, and come up, doesn't that feel good, sit up tall. Now, we're going to flex the feet and bend the knees, point and stretch them out, so flex and press, and bend, and stretch, and bend, and stretch, two more, bend, and stretch, wonderful, last one, good. Bring those legs back into your small V for our saw. We're going to sit up nice and tall, reach those arms out, and we're going to reach around and across to the right side and stretch past that little toe, good, ear towards your knee, and we're gonna do a -- sit up nice and tall, let's go to the other side.

Good, reach, now really watch the hip. Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach, good. And sit up nice and tall. Now this side I want to do a little pulse, okay. It's not a bounce, right, it's just a little pulsing movement, it's a controlled movement, so I'm just stretching further when I do it here.

Not that, right, which I know none of you are gonna do. Alright, we're going to reach across, and we're going to pulse, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, come up nice and tall. Now when you're doing this, your breathing should be inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Cross to the other side, and inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, wonderful, inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, great, good. Staying right there, we're going to do some little arm presses back, so put your palms to face the floor, and it's like a little karate chop backwards.

Reach back, two, three, same breath, inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Inhale, inhale, exhale, you got it, sit up nice and tall. I want to see that breast bone to the ceiling, good. Little circles, two, three, four, five, six, seven, reverse. One, two, three, stretch those fingers out long, six, seven, and eight, bring them front and back.

Are you feeling your arms now? And back, and front, good, back, and front, and back, and front, reach it back, good, front, and back, and front, wonderful, last one, front, and back, great. Let's go into our open leg rocker. So what I'd like to start with is a little preparation. So we're going to just start, and I like for the preparation to hold on on the inside of the foot, and then, when I get to the actual rocker, I go to the front of the foot, the traditional way, so whatever you want to do.

From here, we're going to sit up nice and tall, we're going to start with just the right leg, inhale, and exhale, and bring it back in. And then we go left, stretch, and bring it back in, good. One more each side, and bring it back in, other side, reach. And let's try both legs, reach up, and stretch, and bring it back in, and get a little wider, stretch, get it back in, get as wide as you can, and bring it way out, get it back in, good. Okay, now, for our traditional rocker, we don't want to go quite that wide, okay, about shoulder distance apart, inhale and exhale, yeah, okay good, deep breath in, exhale from the abdominals.

Inhale, exhale, and up, and again. Inhale, exhale, not very nice to do rocking this early in the morning, but anyway, here we go, inhale, and exhale, good, last one, and reach. And let's do one more because it's so beautiful, reach and come back up, good. Bring those legs up, let go, and bring them down, wonderful, good, let's lie down onto our backs one more time. Okay, we were doing little small lifts.

Now we're going to a little bit bigger movement, okay. So the first movement we're going to do, we're going to bend our leg to get it up to the ceiling. Remember, if you have any trouble keeping the back on the mat, you can always bend that opposite leg. You're going to start with a little developpe. You're going to bring your knee up, bring it to the ceiling, I like to flex it to go down, but you can leave it pointed, down.

So we bend, take it up, flex it down. Bend, now still working on the opposite side. And bend, up, and down. Now, no bend, just kick it straight up, grand batma is what we used to call this in ballet. And three, good, and four, let's do one more, and five.

Good, okay, other side, developpe first, so we bend, stretch it up, and flex it down. Bend, and up, nice, and remember, as you get it up to the ceiling, you want to lengthen through the hip on the opposite side, so you're not tucking, one more, bend, stretch it up, wonderful, grand batma, up, and down, and up, and down, and up, beautiful, and up, and down, good. Let's bend both knees just in, and take them to the ceiling straight up, good. We're going to work on our inner thigh movement now, so we're going to rotate the legs, and yes, you may want to stagger if you're going to kick somebody because we are going to open to the side. Okay, sorry, just thought about that.

Okay, that looks good. We're going to rotate the legs, and we're going to open to the side, flex to bring them together, and inhale, and exhale, and inhale, and exhale, and inhale, and exhale, two more. Inhale, and exhale, and inhale, wonderful, good. Now, from here, I'd like to do little beats traveling down towards the floor, okay. We only go as far as we can with the abs pulled in and up.

We're going to cross right over left and beat and beat and beat, now travel to the floor. Five, six, seven, bring it up, two, three. Really cross the thighs, not just the ankle. Travel down, you got it, there you go. Five, six, seven, eight, and up, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, wonderful.

Okay, let's go onto our sides, beautiful. Okay, remember that movement we just did, that little developpe where we bent the knee to go up? We're going to do that on the side, and I'm sure many of you have done this with leg springs before, okay. The point here is that we are not -- we're trying to not move through our trunk here, as we're taking those legs up and down. Your positioning can be just as you always do for your side kick series.

You can be on the elbow, you can be on the arm completely, or if you want a real challenge you can be sort of lifted, you can have both hands behind, whatever feels good to you. The main thing is that nothing is moving. We're rotating both legs, we're gonna bring the knee up. We're going to the side first, just because it's easier, and we're gonna flex down. Now make sure that you're really lengthening through here, which probably means for some of us, we can't get as high as we think we want to, okay.

And down, and four, (breathes) and up, and flex down, and six, hips stack right on top of the other, yes, and last one. And down, now we're going front. This is considerably harder. Now keep your rotation, flex it in, so bend it, rotate it, and flex it in. Bend it, rotate, flex it in, that's it.

And in, bend, you guys look great, and in, bend, and out, pull it, and keep that rotation in the thigh. Yes, keep breathing, inhale, and big long exhales. Good, one more, stretch, and good, let's go to the back. Now this isn't going to be very high because you can't get real high to the back without losing your positioning of your back. Bend, stretch it low, and rotate, and in, bend, and rotate, and in.

Good, and stretch, and in, four more. Bend, beautiful, in, six, to stretch pull into those abs, and bend, and stretch, and last one, bend, and stretch, and here comes the hard part, rond de jambe. So we're going to bring it front, side, and back. Might not get very far back, front, to the side, and back. Wonderful, front, you guys are better than me at that.

Good, and front, just four, good. And I'm not gonna make you reverse that. (laughs) So now the next one, we're gonna cross the foot in front and bend that knee and lift it towards the ceiling. Now I really want you to focus on this hip staying on top of the other one, and all we're going to do is a little pulse backward. Back, three, four, and you should really be feeling that in those glutes, seven, eight, and one, two, three, same breath, inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, seven, eight. Now on top of the leg, same thing.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, to the back. This one's not fun, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, no movement in the trunk. Three, you got it, five, six, seven, and eight. Beautiful, good, okay, let's sit all the way up into a position, we call it seated forth, so the knee and the hip are in alignment here. So we're not pulled in real tight, we want that openness here, and then the same thing here, we want hip and knee in alignment there.

Okay, and then knee and foot in alignment. Your positioning can be here, here, or here would be the easiest, okay. We're going to lift that leg up and down, use those abs, yes we may have to go down some of us. It's really hard, don't feel bad if you have to go down. And four, and down, and five, keep breathing.

And I want that knee to stay in line with the hip. Don't bring it up here, good, and eight. Good, now the next one we go lift, stretch, bend, to lower. Lift, stretch, bend, and lower. Lift, you've got it, good, bend, and lower.

One more, bend, actually not one more. Let's do four more, that was only four, and we did eight of the other one, good. Two more, and lift, and stretch, and bend, last one, lift, and stretch, and bend. Now I want you to use that same breathing pattern. We're gonna lift it up then inhale, inhale, exhale, just pulsing to the back wall.

Inhale, exhale, exhale, inhale, inhale, exhale, one more set, inhale, inhale, beautiful, good, and lift it up, and bring it down. Everything on the other side. Wonderful, okay, so we're lying on the side, and we started with our developpe series, so we're rotating those legs, we're stacking one hip on top of the other, we're in whatever position you are comfortable with for this. Your hand can be in front or not, and we're going to bend the knee, take the leg up to the ceiling, and flex it down. Bend, lift, flex it down, and three, lift, beautiful, remember the length here.

And down, yes, bend, and lift, and good, three more, bend, lift, yes! Keeping the hip reaching down, and keep the bottom leg active, good. To the front, this one's the hard one. Bend, rotate it to bring it front, and in. Bend, rotate to bring it in, so we're bending, rotate, and in, and bend, rotate, and in, bend. You've got it, good, and keep that rotation, six, two more to go, seven, yes, good, last one, eight.

Beautiful, now we're going to the back, and remember that's not real high, so we lift, take it back to flex it down, bend, take it to the back, and down, bend, take it back, and down, four, and reach, and down, five, beautiful, down, six, good, keep breathing, inhale, and exhale, good, reach, and down, good. Now we're gonna bring it front, side, take it back. Front, side, and no movement in the hips. Front, side, and back, last one. Front, side, and beautiful, good.

Cross that foot and put it in the front in that little posse position, so we're right in front there, and we're gonna do those little presses, inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Inhale, inhale, exhale, I did a million, didn't I? Exhale, exhale, up to the top. Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, good.

And exhale, exhale, inhale, inhale, just that, good. To the back, and inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, good. And you should really be feeling those glutes working, and exhale, good, your form is good, and exhale, exhale, yes, good. Okay, let's sit up to our seated fourth position, so we want to get that alignment. As I said, the real thing to watch for is that you're not sort of bringing this knee forward as you lift because, if that happens, you're not really gonna feel it where you should.

If you're back here, what you should be feeling is your obliques, and you should feel all along the outside of the leg, okay, so really, really keep that alignment so you can get the full benefit of the exercise. Okay, lifting up, and down, and up, very nice. Lift, keep breathing, down, and lift, and down, and five, good, six, you got it, and seven, and eight. Now we're gonna do the lift, stretch, bend, and lower. Two, lift, stretch, beautiful, bend, and lower.

Three, stretch, bend, and lower, and four, stretch, good, bend, and lower, five, two, stretch, bend, good, six, keep breathing, nice, seven, exhale, inhale, and exhale, one more, inhale, exhale, good, little pulses. We're going to lift it up, pulse to the back wall. Two, exhale, exhale, inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, wonderful, good. Let's go on to our backs for our teaser. You're almost done, I promise.

Alright, you're doing beautifully. So we're going on to our back. Now, for the teaser, for today, what I'd like to do is focus on the evenness of the movement should happen, the legs and the upper body should grow at the same pace. Sometimes we get so caught up in the end position that we lose the process, okay. So it's not about the picture at the end.

It's about controlling the movement and really articulating through that spine. So when we start, what I want you to do is just reach the head, neck, and shoulders forward. Now, from here, lift those legs. That's your strongest position right there, your 100 position, so, from here, now we grow evenly, keep going, good. Beautiful, and all the way up, wonderful.

And roll it back down. Good, and again, deep breath in, and exhale, roll it up. Grow evenly, nice, and back down, you guys are great, and really focus right here. Those legs should be going down at the same pace as the upper body, and two more to go. Roll it up, now I want to see that 100 position first, and then grow from there, so that you really feel the control in the spine, good, and the articulation, good, and go back down.

Nice, and remember in your teaser, last one, you don't really ever want to get to a point where you're balancing on that tail bone, right. Growing up, you want to get just shy of that so that you're really able to control those abdominals. Nice, cause anybody can balance on their tail bone, that's not hard, and come back down. Okay, I lied, we have to do one more. We're gonna go back up, last one, I promise.

All the way up, good, now we're gonna stay right there, and I want you to try to beat, one, two, three, four, and flex, two, three, four, and point, two, three, four, and flex, two, three, four, point. And flex, keep breathing, last set, point. Beautiful, and flex, relax, good. Oh, that was wonderful, good. Last thing, let's go on to our hands and knees.

We're going to do -- we're going to do a control balance, and then we're going into an Arabesque from there, so let me show you, I'm not gonna get on this table to do that, we're gonna start right here, and we're gonna go into our regular control balance that you all know how to do. You can point or flex on this if you want to. And then, from here, we're going to go to a little bit more separated position. We're gonna go into a cat, and then heels down, and then, from here, we're gonna lift a leg up. And we're gonna flex and point, and flex and point about a million times.

We're gonna come back down, and we're gonna go there, and come down, okay, alright, here we are in our hands and knees. First, the knees are closer together because we're doing our control balance. We're gonna slide right leg out, left leg out, really pull into those abdominals, get into that plank position. Now lift right leg up, flex, and point, and down. Left, reach, up, good, and right, reach, up, and down, left, and down, two more, and last one, good, now come back to your knees.

Good, bring your knees a little further apart if they weren't already there. Now we really want to try to get our weight as much off of our hands as possible here, so from here you're preparation is going to be a cat, just like on the reformer, nice. Now, from there, we go back. Stay there, and I want you to flex and point your feet, releve, go back down, releve, and down, one more, releve, beautiful. Now lift your right leg up, and flex and point.

You can do either, turn down or parallel, good question. And flex, and point, one more, flex, and point. Back down, other leg, lift it up. To flex, beautiful, point, you can turn it out, or go parallel, flex, and point, and flex, and point, come back down. Go back into that cat position, really hover, pull into those knees, those abs, and then go on to your knees, okay, nice.

Rest for one second, we're gonna repeat that one more time. When you're in Arabesque, the question was asked if we should be rotated or not; you can do either. If you rotate, what you have to be careful of is that, in that rotation, if you're rotated, that you're not like this, okay, that you're truly on both arms still, and you're off your arms, okay. Alright, so, here we go, yes? Just in the -- yes, mainly in the leg itself, not from the entire body because that's -- it feels good to rotate the whole body, and it's a prettier picture sometimes, we think, but it's just not really what the position should be.

Alright, so, back into our hands and knees, good. Now, from here, get that nice cat position, really round, beautiful. Go back into your heels, good, stay off your arms. Releve, and down, releve, keep your weight off your arms as much as possible, and down, one more, and this time I want you to stay in releve if you want an extra challenge. If you don't, go back on to your heels.

Lift the right leg up, and, instead of flexing and pointing, let's pulse to the ceiling, two, three, four, five, six, you guys look great, and eight, come back down. Left leg, lift it up and pulse, still off your arms, four, five, six, seven, and eight, come back down. Before we finish, we're going to pull into those abs and hover, and go back to your quadruped position on all fours, and beautiful, very nice. Thank you very much, you guys were great. (clapping) Good job, that was great.


3 people like this.
I LOVED it! Great, fun Class! Thanks for sharing! It's going straight to "My Favorites"!
Ok, I LOVE HER! I am so jealous of her flexabliity and the way she makes everything seem so easy. This class was great. So many great modifications and terrific new challenges! I always love the guest instructors... She is a keeper for sure!!!
1 person likes this.
Fabulous !!!!!! Please, please, please, more classes like this one.
1 person likes this.
Loved it! Now I know what all they hype is about here in B.R. So excellent :)
Thanks guys, it is truly an honor to be a part of Pilates Anytime and to share whatever I have with you. I have been doing this workout for years and I still love it!
Such a fun class! More like this please! =)
As a ballet dancer this was wonderful. More like this pls!
Okay Cecile... I know you know you're invited back, but, sounds like people are demanding it now! Say the word and we'll get you on the calendar. Thank you for your effort to get to us and for your immeasurable talent!
love this, is there a way to incorporate cardio?
Great class! As a dancer, it is right in my comfort zone. Love, love, loved it. Hope to see more of the lovely Cecile!
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