Class #608

Effortless Effort Mat

55 min - Class


The legendary Jennifer Kries joins PA for the first time with a Mat class that encourages us to celebrate our bodies while bringing us back to the origins of the method (with just a hint of yoga included as well). Explore the concepts of opposition and "effortless effort" as Jennifer offers effective exercise variations while skillfully guiding you deeper into your experience of Pilates. You are sure to enjoy Jennifer's commanding yet compassionate way of teaching. We look forward to her return one day. Thanks, Jennifer!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jan 24, 2012
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Welcome to my mat class. I'm happy to have you all here. Thrilled to be here at [inaudible] anytime. Um, what I would love to do is bring everything back to the origins and why Joe Palazzos invented this miraculous method and pay homage to yoga a little bit tonight, just in a little dose or two. Um, and I want tonight's class to be about celebration. I want it to be about celebrating our bodies and really showing gratitude to them and really acknowledging that they help us through life every day. It's something that I don't think we think about. We just think about how well we're doing the teaser and if we can do it in the open leg rocker, but I really like to acknowledge things that kind of live below the surface.

So two principles that I'd like to present for tonight are the principle of opposition, really grounding into the earth and reaching up. So feeling Earth, energy and heaven energy, everything coalesces in the center of the body, really filling the space around you. So not just sort of extending, but really extending that kind of feeling. Um, and also the concept of effortless effort. So a real zen concept that as you are filling the space, you're not straining, but you're coming from your center and you can literally feel and see the difference. Okay? If anyone has an injury, please be mindful of it. Be Very conscious. Something hurts, modify or rest. Okay? So let's start into Dossena. Spread your toes at the front of your mats. And I want you really to route into earth and then smile your hands open, shine your hands open and look and see.

Look across the room at your partners there and see what happens to the shoulders. As you do that, they naturally open, right then shine the heart open and then bring the heels together tighter and flare the toes apart and bring the thumbs behind. And guess what? You have the pilates version of to Dossena tripod. So breathe here. Yup. And then release your arms and really reach down to the floor. So feel that opposition, feel the length in your arms and feel the energy coming out of the fingertips.

And then reach your arms to the side. Stagger if you need to. So feel like you're touching each wall in the room and really reach beyond yourself. And as you do that, really deepen the powerhouse. Zip Up those inner thighs from the heels all the way up, and then flip your palms and really feel the lats. Really feel the back body as you reach the arms up to the ceiling, continuing to breathe, and then using that powerful earth energy, keep your heels together and press up to a relevant. Don't let the heels separate. Relax those shoulders, right. Effortless effort with opposition. And then imperceptively.

Now you're all seven feet tall. Start to lower your heels, but I shouldn't see a change. Keep lifting up out of the crown of the head and the fingertips. Flip your palms and now push 200 pounds of weight down with resistance and lift even taller through the crown of the head. Lift your gaze, breathe nice, and then turn the feet parallel round down bone by bone. So Chin to chest coming into hanging ragdoll so separate your feet a little wider. If they're not hit with already, cross your elbows, drop your head weight. And Bend your knees deeply like you're a skier. So I want your chest and your thighs to connect, but I want your heels to be solid. And over the course of the next five breaths, I want you to start to straighten the legs, really waking up the hamstrings and see if you can maintain the chest on the thighs as you do it. Take your time, go slower than you think you should, and really breathe. So only one knee bend.

And now we're just straightening the legs. So we're working towards a full extended leg. And then once you're satisfied that you feel your hamstrings ignited, that they're really opening. And we're not going to push too hard because we're just warming up. Stretch your fingertips down on the floor in front of you.

So way out in front of you actually. Yup. And I want really active fingertips like a cat that's landed from a jump, super active. All 10 fingers and from here, draw the heels together, toes apart. Take a deep plea. So bend the knees. Inhale. And as you exhale, see if you can get the palms flat on the floor as you draw your head towards your straight leg. So straightening the legs with the head down, bend the knees again in plea a breathe in. Exhale, straighten the legs and really extend the head down into the earth. Good. And one more time. Bend the knees, breathe in. Exhale, straighten the legs. Good. Dropping the headway. And now walk your fingertips out a bit further.

So you're splitting the difference between the heels and the balls of the feet. So just like poured a bra on the chair, you're going to squeeze your inner thighs. And from here, see if you can round up bone by bone through the spine. That's it. And as you lift, you're going to bring the arms up, high overhead, high fifth, like a ballet, fifth arms around it, grow even taller, shoulders down, and then open the arms to the sides, like you're hugging a big ball. And then arms come back down. And one more time round down from here this time and try to hit that same position. So really feel like you're a bit precarious. Like you're over the toes and you're almost gonna fall.

So the weight is not back in your heels. Good. Another play here. Breathe and really feel the bend of the knees. Exhale, straighten the legs. Try to get flat palms on the floor and really activate the legs. Do it again. Bend in, breathe in. And then exhale, straighten the legs. And once again, walk out a tiny bit further. Some of you just a bit.

Try not to cheat. I know it's tempting. So from here, really activate the legs and start to squeeze and lift. And if you're really bold, come up onto Relevate. That's it. Good, good effort. Lift up really, really tall. Try to find your balance. Find your powerhouse, even though we haven't really worked on it yet tonight. Ease your way down. Heels together, toes apart, and release your arms down. Beautiful.

So using that same length, cross your legs, Cross your arms, sit down with a great control and grace. Nice. So come to the front of your mat. And I want to start with somebody tonight called Campfire breathing, which is how I teach the a hundred breath. Kapala Bati. It's a nice little tool for you teachers. So wrap your elbows on the sides of the knees and I want you to clasp one wrist or the other and sync. Take a breath.

As you exhale, I want you to use the muscles of the upper body. Find your lats. So we're working on that and you're lifting your chest through your thighs. Feel how tall you are. Two breaths in through the nose, two breaths out through the mouth with me. Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. And as you do it, I really want you to engage the powerhouse and start to open the lungs and get the blood flowing. One more in two. And then we're doing three here we go into three out, two, three into three. Outgrow even taller in, out in, out.

One more in three than we're going to four. Here we go into three, four out to watch those shoulders into three, four out and in even taller. Everybody shoulders down. One more in four and then five out a little slower into three, four, five out, two, three, four, five in again. Each time you do it, really feel like you're pulling the abdominals in. Last one. Deep, full breath in. Nice and smooth. Exhale, beautiful.

Knees together, arms reaching. Long. Inhale here. Exhale, roll down with control onto your backs. Nice, so feet are now hip width apart. The knees are bent. Feel your feet pointing forward like two headlights, dipping the foot in the pool. Breathing in as you exhale, just draw the navel to the spine without moving the hip flexors at all long, long spine. Breathe in again. Exhale and draw the right knee into the chest without moving anything else in the body. Really tune into that. Inhale here. As you exhale, lower that foot back down to the mat and once again, recruiting.

Nothing else. Good. Don't move yet. Breathing in. As you exhale, draw the left knee into the chest, lengthening through those fingertips. Inhale here. As you exhale, lower that foot back down to the mat. See if you can all relax your sternum for a second. Yeah. Get into that upper and middle back. No tension there. Breathing in.

Exhale, draw the right knee into the chest. Very fine. Sophisticated movement and simple to inhale. Don't move yet. Exhale, lower that foot down to the mat. Relax your neck. See if you can lengthen through the head. Inhale here, exhale and draw the left knee into the chest. See if you can start to activate the backs of the arms. Breathing in here.

Exhale and lower that foot down to the mat. And now draw the knees and the ankles to touch. Reach your fingers even longer on that mat and the crown of the head in opposition. Breathing in and as you exhale, drop both knees into the chest. Stretch those legs up to the ceiling. From here, heels together. Toes apart. Turn them parallel. Once again, bend the knees into the chest. Breathing in here. Exhale.

Lower the feet down to the mat. Do not arch your back even a little bit and relax the neck and the shoulders. Let's do that one more time. Breathing in. Exhale. Draw the knees into the chest. Float the legs up to the ceiling. Heels together, toes apart. Now activate the legs even more.

Turn the legs parallel. Squeeze your inner thighs, Bend your knees, breathe in, and exhale. Lower the feet down to the mat. Last time. Inhale here. Exhale. Draw both knees into the chest. Extend both legs up to the ceiling. Heels together, toes apart. Lower down to your point of control. Inhale here.

Exhale. Bring the legs back up to center. Be Mindful of what the shoulders are doing. One more time. Inhale, lower. Exhale, bringing those legs up and last time. Exhale. Now on the way down, curl the upper body off the mat, reaching the arms long and start to pump. Inhale two, three, four, five and exhale. Two, three, four, five. Breathe in and x long length in legs, so no tension in those quads, but you are using them. Feel the toes really reaching away from the crown of the head. So opposition in with the air. Better.

One more set like this. And then advanced breathing in for three and out. Two, three, four, five, six, seven into three out to reach those kangaroos longer into three out. Lower your legs, another three inches in, two more sets. Really stretch those toes. One more. X Two, three. Sure. Hold it. Find those lats. Press the shoulders down. Draw the knees into the head. Release your head weight back, feet flat and arms overhead for the pre roll ups are really flowing through.

Lift your arms six inches off the mat behind you. Pull the shoulders in and draw the ribs together. Breathing in here. Exhale, fingertips come up. Chin to the chest, peeling off the mat with great control. Try not to move your feet. Cheaters. I saw that. Inhale here. Exhale, roll down bone by bone. Inhale, arms overhead. Breathing in. Exhale, fingertips. Chin to chest. Hold on behind the thighs.

If you want an assist much better and then reach out. Breathing in. Exhale, roll down bone by bone and feel free to hold on on the way down to good. Again, breathing in, palms facing up to the ceiling. Fingertips, Chin to chest. Peeling off the angle of the arm should be right about here. Once you're up, breathing in a little lower. Exhale with resistance. Roll down through the spine, bone by bone.

Good. If that was easy for you, I want the legs closer, the feet closer to you. If it was hard, I want the feet further away. So breathing in and we got a horn tip. Exhale, fingertips out. Chin to chest, peeling off, feet together, knees together. Inhale here. Exhale, fingertips are going to go down.

Bone by bone, squeezing the knees together. Nice last time. Inhale. Exhale, floating up. Fingertips Chin to chest, peeling off that mat. Inhale, reaching up. Exhale, rolling down. Feel the resistance as you roll down. Nice, and now stretch the legs out fully underneath you.

Flexing the feet and I want you to really feel like you're squishing your heels into the floor. Really wake up the backs of the legs. Now lift the arms slightly higher. Draw the ribs together. Take a deep breath in with me. Exhale, fingertips come up, Chin to the chest, pressing those heels down as you stretch forward in the c curve, drop your headway. Flex the feet even more deeply. Breathe in here and then exhale, roll back bone by bone. Really keeping the arms at shoulder height. Nice. And again, inhale, arms are overhead. Exhale, fingertips, Chin to chest, peeling off that mat, massaging the spine. Reach forward. Breathe in.

Exhale, float your way back and as you reach and you roll back, I want you to pull the toes back with you. Find Tadasana even on your back. Breathing in. Exhale, float up. Good. Head down. Deep stretch forward. The feet should be flexed and the arms are way above the feet. Breathe in here and the next hill. Roll back bone by bone.

Getting longer each time you do it. Final time breathing in. Exhale, fingertips, Chin to chest. Peeling off that mat. But inhale here. Exhale, roll back. And as you roll back, draw the right man to the chest. Stretch that right leg up to the ceiling and make sure the left leg is down the midline of the body. Create a little basket with your hands so that you're creating resistance and you're going to put it behind the leg. Hold behind the knee or the calf, wherever you are.

And I want the bottom foot really long and the bottom leg really long as well. Good. So breathe in here from here. Low point the foot that's up externally. Rotate the leg in the hip socket. Drop your arms by your sides and circling towards the left. We go down around center. Hold in front of the nose, down around two.

Use your arms on the mat down around three, down around four deep in the abs down around five. Let's reverse around across one must stop at the nose to keep those hips shelf three down around four. One more time. Five stay there. Don't touch anything. Really a length in that bottom leg on the mat and try to touch the ceiling with that toe that's up big toe specially. And now walk up the leg, Chin to the chest, good hanging back, looking at your abdominals and that left leg. It's right down the midline. Now flex both feet for a deeper stretch.

Breathe in and as you exhale, try to keep hold of that leg and pull it towards you like you're doing it upside down. Split breathe, super. Flex the feet and then bend that knee n breeze. Send that like down straight. Find your tripod and then draw the left knee and again other side. Great. So stretch that leg up to the ceiling. Head is down. Everything's relaxed.

The right leg is down the midline to see how long you can reach the right toes underneath you. Push against your hands for resistance. Relax your shoulders. Effortless effort. And now press your palms down by your sides. Stretch that foot even longer. And we circled to the right. We go down around one, down around two, down around, deep in the chest and the belly last time. Reverse it. So really stirrer soup upside down.

Feel like you're moving through something very thick, thick milkshake. Maybe one more time. Hold that. Nobody moved. So shoulders are down. Your sternums relaxed, right? That's the first thing to go. Stretch those legs even longer. And now walk up the leg breathing as you go.

Good hanging back from that leg and flexing both feet for a deeper stretch. Looking at your abs and making sure that as you exhale next time it sinks right before your eyes. Good. Relax those shoulders. Hug that. Sorry. Don't hug it in. Lower your bodies down and feel like you're creating a split on that left side. Breathe. If your muscle shaking all the better.

It's energy releasing. Excellent. Okay. So hug that knee into the chest. Hug both knees into the chest and rock up to sitting. But do not let your feet touch the floor in a balance. Good. And now just place your hands down and scoot to the front of your mat and let's do rolling like a ball wrong. Okay. So we're gonna go with momentum.

Inhale. Exhale. Hang into it several times. Here we go. Inhale back. Exhale. So just this really nice spinal massage and feel also how nice it is that you just let the legs go. Feels good. Yeah. Few more times. Good. And don't be concerned about being neat. Just let the legs go and breathe while you do it. Goodie. Last time, come on up. And then from here I want your hands on your feet.

Heels together, toes apart. Squeeze your heels to your seat. And I want you to lift your bodies up. And then over the knees. Just like stomach massage on the reformer. Elbows are bent, lats are engaged, headed down. Try to get your head between your knees. Can it go? Their feet are pointed, so you're going to go inhale, rock back. Mind the head. Don't go too far back. Exhale, come up and hold, hold, hold. Nice. Inhale back. Exhale coming up.

So really learning through contrast. Beautiful again. Inhale back. Exhale, coming up. Hold it, hold it, hold it. And one last time. Simple. Exhale coming up and then extend. Extend. Extend right into a little support and teaser. Tuck it in, rock it back. Inhale back. Exhale up and lift lifts.

So heels are together. You guys heels together. Tuck everything in. Inhale back. Exhale coming up and you lift, lift, lift. Good. Tuck it in. Inhale back. Exhale coming up and a full extension. Hold it. You're right there. Let go. You're in a teaser now with great control and opposition. Lower the body down. Lower the left leg, right hand, right ankle, left hand, right knee, elbows wide. Shoot that left leg out. Breathe in. Pulse, pulse.

Inhale, switch. Exhale in. In. Exhale. Try to touch the person who's across from you. That's how much you're using opposition. Nice advanced breathing. Inhale. Inhale. Inhale. Inhale, switch x, switch x, good in n in and last one. Exhale. Exhale. Hug both knees into the chest. Rest your head. Take a breath. Good. So from here, hold on to your ankles.

Make a tiny little v with your knees. So the tops of the ankles actually feet are pointed. Take a breath in and exhale. Curl the head up. Now do not change the head position as you extend the arms to the ears, but don't move the legs yet. Really suspend anticipation. And from here, circle the arms around the body and hug the shins into the chest.

It's a real compression. Inhale, stretch. Hold it. Reach those fingers. Pull the shoulders down. Now. Exhale, circle, pull. Now add the legs. Inhale, stretch, fingertips and toes reaching. Hold it. Exhale, circle, pull. So building stamina. Inhale, stretch. Hold it now look at your abs and pull them down. Exhale, circle Paul. Last one. Plane before beats. Hold, hold.

Ignite the fingers. Exhale, circle Paul. And now with beats, stretch it out. Open your legs and cross. One, two, three, four, five, six on seven. It's heels together. Toes apart. Hold it. Nobody move. Exhale, circle, pole. Inhale, stretch, reach. Hold it. Open the legs and beat one, two, inner thighs, inner thighs. Hold it. Come up higher. Exhale, circle, pole and rest. Nice. Take a deep breath in with me. Exhale, and then stretch the right leg up to the ceiling.

Hold on about mid calf. If you can get there. Left leg. His long eyes are on the belly, scissors, and we go pull, pull, switch, pull, pull. Inhale the nail x. X. Here's where you really feel the opposition. Stretch those legs longer than you ever have tried to stop at 90 it's really hard to do. If you have those open hamstrings and freeze wherever you are, stay there. Stay there, stay there, stay there. So stop at 90 everybody. Really try to feel this so that you engage the rectus right, that primary [inaudible] domino wall, and then shoot the left leg long.

Then switch. No. Get those shoulders down even more. Now try to touch your neighbor right across the pond there. Breathe. Hug both knees into the chest and rest. Okay, good. Interlace your fingers behind the head and the neck. Flex your feet like you're doing a little upside down.

Please breathe in here. So the feet are airborne. You're going to exhale and you're going to lift, lift, lift. And as you do that, curl your upper back off the mat. So it's bend, bend, release, breathe. In. Exhale, press, press, press. And I really want to see you squeezing that silk ribbon between your thighs. Bend. Inhale, exhale, and lift and point. Ben, try to get a straight perpendicular with those legs and up. One more time.

Lift left and stay good to really stretching the toes. And now we go down, down, down, and lift. Hands on, down, down, down. You feel that left? Nice. Squeeze the inner thighs together. More root the tailbone even deeper into the earth. Lift those upper backs. Even higher up.

If you want to touch the floor, I won't be mad last two times and left it really light. One more time. Hold it and rest. Beautiful. Good. So just gently turn your head from side to side. Take a breath like you do it. Interlace your fingers. Again, hands behind the head and the neck. Curl the upper back off the mat.

Draw both knees into your chest. So like an archer, a bow and arrow. You're going to take your right elbow to your left knee, right elbow, left knee, and then shoot the right leg out as far as it will go. Lift the upper body higher and then switch. Inhale X. Nice. Inhale x. Take that bottom leg that's stretching and try to touch the person right across from you. And if you can cross the elbow across the opposite knee.

Switch. Nice little faster. Shoulders down. Last two, last one, a Finito com, center and rest, great feet, flat hip with the part arms down by your sides. Take a deep breath and make sure that everything is on the mat so you feel really rooted. Inhale, and as you exhale, lift your hips up into a lovely stretch. Walk your heels in a little bit closer. If they feel too far away, breathe in here. And as you exhale, ripple down through the spine, really articulate through the spine, bone by bone. And as you do that, really stretch your fingertips underneath you and get the shoulders down to nice. And again, breathing in. Exhale as you press the hips up to the ceiling.

Now really lengthen through the fingertips more. Step down into the left foot. Draw the right knee into the chest and stretch that right leg up to the ceiling. Good. Do not drop the hips. Flex in. Kick the leg down. Point in left. Kick it down, lift up. Don't rush down and lift higher. Reach further, lift higher. One more time.

Now lower it down to the height of the left bent knee. So kick it out. Kick, kick, kick, kick, flex your foot. Flex, lift the hips. Higher. Breathe. I know it's demanding. And now bend that knee. Plant the foot. Take a deep breath in with me. Find your placement. Exhale, lengthen down through the spine, bone by bone. I'll give you a break in between each side. Why not breathe in again? And then exhale, lift your hips up.

So each side of the body is different. Be Respectful. Press down into your right foot and draw the left knee into your chest. Take your hands off the mat for a minute and press right onto your hips. Or they even shoot that leg up to the ceiling. Really stretched. Can you touch the ceiling from here? As you route your body, your breathing, flex kicked down. Point lift. Your hands can go back.

Flex lift, do not rush. It's hard not to rush on this. Lift. Flex, kick it. Get that leg longer. One more time lifted up and now lower down to the height of that right bent knee and flex kick like you're doing a taekwondo kick. Breathe. Bend that knee. Plant the foot. Find your initial placement. Deep, deep breath in and exhale. Roll down bone by bone. Nicely done. That was great. Okay. Feet together. Knees together. Pick your feet off the mat like an inch, just an inch.

So it's like pre-roll up but with the toes barely getting down there. Yep. Arms are overhead. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale up without moving your legs and feet, come up to sitting. Do not move your legs and feet impossible. You say, keep coming. You can do it and rest. Good spine stretch. Okay, so take your legs forward. Take your hands behind you.

One of my favorite moments in Matt is right now when you've really just don't like this to your abs and you get to stretch, so I really want you to open the shoulder girdle. Okay? Breathe in now. Flex your feet and activate your legs. Now make sure you're not too far back or too far forward. Really try to feel that you're smack in the center and the don't change anything. Come to perfect posture. Breathe in with me as you exhale, scoop the belly head down and reach the head as far as it will go, Ma, while maintaining the c curve and then inhale up, shoulders down, find that wonderful lat connection and then exhale. Feel the opposition of reaching forward as your belly scoops backwards.

Yes, that looks gorgeous. Inhale up, exhale, contract, and reach. See if you can go deeper within that shape. Yes. Inhale up. Exhale, contract, and A. Grab your feet and just give yourself a lovely little stretch. So now that you're warm or really feel the hamstrings opening up and hold onto your feet, everybody, if you're not already, hold onto the outsides of the feet and really draw the body forward and breathe while you're doing it. Drop those elbows and relax the shoulders. Yes, and they're round up through the spine. Okay. Open leg rocker, one of my favorites. So coming into rolling like a ball position. We're going to lift up and we're going to hold. That's a breath in. Open shoulder with, that's a breath out. Exhale. Inhale, come together. Exhale, bend. Now when you're doing all this, your body should not move.

So lifting up open so your torso does not budge. Inhale, come together. Bend. Ooh, that is so different now. Yeah. Inhale up. Beautiful. Exhale, open. Lengthen those toes. The opposition is really cooking through your feet. And now bend your knees one more time. Lifting up open. Come back together.

Are Your shoulders relaxed and now bend your knees. This time you're going to go up, you're going to open, you're going to hold, and you're married to that spot. You're going to rock back. But don't let your head touch. Inhale back. Exhale up and hold. Hold, hold. Yes. Inhale back. Exhale up and hold. Hold, hold. Inhale, back. Exhale up and hold. Stay there. Bring the legs together.

Flex feet. Grab your big toes. Same thing. Inhale back. Exhale up and hold. Hold, hold. You can do it. Believe in yourself. Inhale back. Exhale up and hold. Hold, hold. Do it again. Inhale back. Exhale up and hold nobody.

Move. Let go. Teaser, roll down through your spine. Palms are flat, arms are long. Corkscrew head is down. Now squeeze the inner thighs. Circle around to the right, down through center. Left and hold. Reverse down around and hold. Make it flow. Make it easy. Down around.

Just use your breath. Nice. Go as low as you want and stop at center and really find that turnout. Yes, reverse it. So if you're going for the Gusto and you're really going way down, your shoulders cannot move. They can't tell that anything difficult is going on right?

Reverse it is that beautiful turnout turnout. Reverse it. One more. Hold it. Turn your feet parallel. Flex your feet super hard like you're supporting the ceiling should look easy. Breeze.

Exhale and hug your knees into your chest. Good feet flat. Arms overhead. Take a deep, deep breath in and exhale. Float up to sit for saw. Beautiful work everybody. It's great. Okay, so, so let's stagger. So the legs, I can't really show it here too easily, but why not a virtual mat so they're not so wide the legs and saw, they're only slightly wider than spine. Stretch.

Take the arms so that the arms are within your periphery. Flex your feet and remember that this is a breathing exercise. It's about cleansing the lungs. Inhale deeply. Grow Taller, hold the breath as you twist to the right and then exhale, contract saw off the baby toe. Drop your head. Wait, don't move. Flex your left foot deeper. Anchor that hip. Yes. Inhale up gross, super tall. So center, twist, left. Exhale, contracts off the left baby toe.

Flex the right foot deeper. And as you do that, feel the hip anchoring itself. Yes. Inhale up, come straight up to center. So it's a slightly different variation than what you're used to. Twist. Exhale, contract and reach. Reach, reach. Inhale up, come right up, twist, exhale, contract and lengthen. Lengthen length and no one movement coming up. Inhale, twist. Exhale. Stay there a little bit longer this time. Then inhale up. One more. Exhale, contract, reach, reach, reach, reach. And now lift up.

Arms and legs come together. And let's flip onto the belly. So everyone faced into the middle of the room. Let's take a mini break by doing the pillow exercise. So I want your hands like this with your head down. Really Nice to go back to basics. When you're this advanced, which a lot of you are clearly. So heels are together, toes are up, heart.

Feel that. And then let the feet just flop in or out, whatever you want. Yep. And feel the body weight just sinking into the floor. So take a deep breath in here and as you exhale, just let everything go into the floor. Let it sink. So a bit of a respite. Take another breath in and exhale, let everything sink. And then very simply, without really activating the inner thighs or glutes, just draw the heels together for placement.

Take another breath in here. And as you exhale, draw the navel off of the floor like you're pulling the belly away from a tight waistband, tight pair of jeans. Hold it up and then let it go. Do not move the glutes or the feet. Everything else is still breathing in. And as you exhale, just scoop the belly off that mat so I can see a shaft of light light underneath you. Hold it, hold it, hold it and let it go. And one last time, breathing in [inaudible] exhale and scoop the belly up. Really cinched that waistband. That's it. Nice. Hold it now as you breathe in.

So you're continuing to hold it and hold it as you exhale again and let it go. Nice. And that from here, prop your body up. And we're going to do a little stretch for the abdominals here. So you're going to open your legs wider than hip with. Take your hands in front like two, like a goalpost, and you're going to lift your eyes, Chin and chest. Inhale as you go.

And as you do that, I want you to lift your gaze and really feel you can kind of wiggle from side to side. I don't mind if you do it. Really feel like you're stretching those abs, which you just worked so hard on. Keep your gaze high and as you exhale, I want you to articulate through the spine kind of in reverse and drop your head weight without touching it. And then again, inhale left eyes, Chin and chest. And this time I want you to activate your glutes and press your legs into the mat and draw those shoulders back. And now almost feel like you're pulling yourself on the mat. Breathing in, feel the stretch. Really get in there deep into the PSOAS and then exhale, roll down bone by bone and press back into child's pose. And just stay there for a breath or two and really enjoy the feeling of breathing into your back body here as well.

See if you can actually feel the skin on your back expanding. Try not to anticipate what comes next. I know that's hard. Good. One more breath. And then as you exhale, roll up through the spine. Come back onto the belly for single leg kick. So elbows and fests. And so one of the things that we forget is that this is an upper body exercise too. So I want the elbows right underneath the shoulders.

The fists are wide, they're not joined in this variation. And I want you to feel like you're pulling yourself forward and for a minute, open your hands and literally feel like you're dragging your body. That's it. So I want the chest to open. Good. Now go back to fists. Squeeze your legs together, squeeze your heels together, kick, kick the right heel to the right cheek. Just the right stay there and squeeze your knees together and push the floor away. There's opposition. Stretch it out. And now left leg kick, kick.

And here we go, right, right. Breathe. Then left, left. Breathe out in n x, x, we those legs in in x, x. So you have to imagine that I'm coming around to each one of you and placing my hand right between your knees. Lift taller kick. Okay. Okay. Okay, nice. And in x, x, open the chest and drag the body forward. That looks better. One more set. And that's the now good.

So really seamlessly take your right two fingers, clasped them behind your mid-back and turn your cheek to face. Right? So you're looking right? Yep. Okay. So we're going to go a little slower than usual on this exercise. What I want you all to do is take a minute to place your hands a little higher on your back. And now see if you can get your elbow points to touch. Cause that's really the purpose of this.

To open up the shoulder girdle and the thoracic spine breathing the breathing. Ah, get the lat connection going on. Yup. And as squeeze your heels together with toes slightly apart. Now Bend the knees like a mermaid tail and squeeze your glutes and get those knees together and get the hip points into the mat. Okay. Now keep this perfect picture and you're going to go spanking your bottom. One, two, three. That's a breath in. Now exhale, stretch the legs, stretch the arms. Come up to a beautiful swan. Anchor those feet, they're on the mat. Switched to the other cheek. Take a minute.

We're going to go slow here to get the elbow points down. Bend the knees and squeeze the glutes while you do it. And now go one, two, three. Stretch the leg, stretch the arms and open the chest. And now a nice rhythm and we go one and two and three and left. Left, left and switch to three and left and switch one and two and three and really lengthen up and switch to get those elbows down lifted up in the hole that don't move on. Hook the hands, reach forward with the palms up to the ceiling. Legs are now off the floor and beat the heels. One, two together.

Together. Yup. Two, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Look down a little bit, but try to touch the person in front of you. Try to touch their hands. Opposition, hold it, grow taller and rest. Child's pose. Really Nice. Deep breath. Good. So really breathe into the small of the back.

If you can from here, Tuck your toes underneath you and come into a pretty casual downward facing dog. Everyone kind of knows down dog in this part of the world and if they don't in TV land, they will now. Okay, so really pressing your shoulders away from your ears. I want you to point your right toes off the floor behind you, so just about an inch and you're going to feel this really intense. Stretch up that left hamstring. You'll feel that. Then you're going to stretch that right leg up into down dog split.

Then you're going to go as high as you want. You're going to breathe in and then as you exhale you're going to ripple through the body and you're going to come into a plank, but you are not going to touch the foot to the floor, pelvis tucked under everything, beautifully aligned and then lift it up. Inhale, feel like it's weightless, and then exhale, contract pulling the pubic bone under long, strong arms. Push the floor away. Inhale up. Exhale, lower down. One more time. Inhale up. [inaudible].

Exhale down. Lower that foot down. Come back to downward facing dog. Breathe and really engage your quads here. Good. Now point the left toes slightly off the floor, just an inch, literally an inch, and I want you to try to get that right heel flat on the floor. Breathe through this and now stretch that left leg all the way up to the ceiling. Really left goes to keeping the hips well-aligned, keeping the upper body well aligned.

You're going to go from there and you're going to ripple through into plank. Pull that pubic bone under and push the floor away. Inhale up. Exhale coming forward. Beautiful form again. Inhale up. Looks great you guys. Yes, coming forward last time. Inhale up, exhale forward. Let's bring it up one last time.

Really open it up and then lower that leg. Flex deeply through both heels. Walk your feet forward to meet your hands. Reach your arms in front of you and squat and have a seat. I'd lie down. Nice. Okay. Teaser.

I really wanted to do side series, but you know, time is a wasting. So from here, hug your knees into your chest. Stretch your arms overhead. Now shoot your legs and I'm using that word very specifically. Shoot your legs to the ceiling. Anchor your tailbone.

Now lift those arms off. Z Mat off. And now lower your legs a few inches down. Heels together, toes apart. Now try to touch the back wall with your fingertips, but not your shoulders. Touch that place on the ceiling with your toes. Breathe in. Exhale, float up. Fingertips Chin to chest. Peeling off, no high. Yeah, all seem less right and nail here.

Now you're here. Exhale, roll down. Do not move those legs. Do not move the legs. Inhale, arms go overhead. Someone is supporting your feet. Don't move. Inhale. Exhale, fingertips. Chin to chest. Peeling off like one of those gorgeous gymnasts you see in the Olympics, right? Breathing in. Don't touch me. Exhale, roll down through the spine. Get stronger on this. Third one more energy. Breathe in. Exhale, float, float, really craft your teas are you guys really crafted?

Arms Two ears for fun. Keep those legs up. Exhale, roll down bone by bone. Hug the knees into the chest. Take a breath. So recharge your batteries and we're going to go again. Take your arms overhead. Breathe. Take your legs up to the ceiling. Heels together, toes apart. Lower down to your point of control. Breathing in. Exhale, floating up, up, up.

Now make it easy. No big deal. It's easy. Arms to ears. Hold it. Exhale, roll down bone by bone. Inhale, you're there. Exhale, you're coming up, up, up, up, reach, arms, two ears. Breathe. Get the heels together, toes apart. Lift the legs. Exhale, roll down through the spine. And one last time. Inhale and exhale, floating up. Lift arms to ears. And if you're really brave, roll down into the open flower. So roll down into the fold up. Arms go overhead. Legs go down to the mat and rest.

Flip onto your valleys. I must've had Jen sing for lunch. Flip onto your bellies, facing with your arms into the middle. Good. Really stretch your fingertips in front of you. Stretch your legs behind you. Good. Now lift your gaze and lift your right arm up and your left leg up at the same time.

Good nose you do that really pressed the opposite side of the body down to the mat. Breathe. Exhale. Lower those sides down. And now left arm. Right leg really breeds lower those down. Then go back to the original side. Lift everything off the mat. Look at your friend across from you and go. Inhale. Exhale swimming in an x and in an accident. If you feel good about this, try to lift your whole body off the mat like this.

Beautiful Swan. Lifting off. Two more sets. Grow even taller. X shoot energy through the toes. Hold it. Lift everything up threes and exhale, release pulled back to child's pose. Take a nice deep breath here just to stretch out the spine and come forward for the seal. So at the front of your mat, well-deserved dessert.

You're gonna take prayer position, you're gonna dive between the feet and you're going to wrap your hands around the ankles. Now, the funky part of this exercise is that the toes are still separated, the elbows are almost straight, and you're squeezing everything in without activating the shoulders. So it's a tap to three rock backwards, tap two, three and coming up tap two, three. Good. One more time before I say something, come on up and rest. So you know that Joe [inaudible] invented this based on his observation of animals, right? So this is a seal begging for its dinner. So when you go back, it's tap two, three.

You have to hang back there long enough to tap three times. And there is opposition there. So you feel like a human wishbone, your tailbone is going that way and your feet pull and it stretches your back in the most incredible way. So try it as a stretch tonight as opposed to just going through the motions, right? So it's an abdominal exercise, but it's this gorgeous stretch. And after all the insane things, we just dead. You need it. Okay. So you're going to go tap two, three, breathe, exhale, roll back. Stay in there.

One, two, three. Better. Come up and hold two, three. That's it. Go back and pull in opposition. Yes. Coming up. Yeah, and back. Okay. And coming up. And two more times.

And on this last one, if you know how to stand up without using your hands, I would love for you to do it on the next one. We didn't rehearse. It's okay. Coming up. Nice. Okay. So come back to heels together, toes apart. Open your hands to begin with. So this is a really cool trick that you can do on your own body or for your clients if you're teaching breeze and really shine your heart open as you do it now, zip up the inner thighs.

Really feel that and bring the Pinky side of the hands closer to your thighs. Good. And then draw the arms behind you. Thumbs looped and you're pulling down and back. Now as you do that, some subtle cues, take your ribs and draw them in, but don't squish them in. Let your ribs be your ribs, right? Take a deep breath in and exhale and route the feet even more.

Find the powerhouse supporting everything good. Then release the arms. Don't change a thing. Turn your feet parallel. Good. And see if you can find this beautiful sense of ease while you're standing this tall and see if he can get even taller. Grow from within. Grow from inside, and lift your Chin a little bit higher. Look above the horizon line.

Look at the person in front of you like they're your mirror. Good. And this really is your optimal posture. And it's why we do all this work is to bring it from off the mat and into our lives. Thank you everybody. [inaudible].


3 people like this.
Been a fan for years! Your work continues to fuse wonderful movement principles. Loved the beginning of class so much...finding our pilates tadasana!! Thank you Jennifer for sharing! (wouldn't say it was effortless ;)
1 person likes this.
Really great cues all throughout. In particular, I enjoyed the whole stomach series.
Kirsty H
1 person likes this.
Grow from within - lovely expression and lovely feeling. Thank you Jennifer.
2 people like this.
Absolutely amazing! Wow Jennifer your cueing is so deep, loved it! Thank you thank you!
3 people like this.
Very your phrases - as simple as headweight or be mindful of your injury or gratitude to your body or the conclusion regarding posture. Good reminders! thank you!
Angel, Yoly, Kirsty, Joanne and Jennifer, thank you so much for your wonderful comments! So glad that you enjoyed the class! Thank you also for citing the different components that inspired you. I always love to receive feedback like yours, and will confide to all of you that one of my favorite things about teaching is how it simultaneously gives you the gift of being a forever student. It brings to mind Joseph Joubert's quote, "To teach is to learn twice." Thank you all once again for your support and enthusiasm, and I look forward to sharing more with you, here at Pilates Anytime!
1 person likes this.
Being a retired dancer...I have always LOVED Jennifer's work. Pilates has been a huge lifesaver for me after retiring from a wonderful dance career! Thank you for bring back the origins of his true work...! LOVED IT!
Lynsey, thank you for your compliments- much appreciated and thrilled that you loved the class! As dancers, moving our bodies in ways that satisfy that passion is so important, and I'm glad the work has provided that kind of inspiration and fulfillment for you- I feel you!
And paying homage to the origins of Joe's phenomenal method is something I can't help but do- we always need to return to our roots, our foundations to be able to reference where we are today and give thanks for WHY we are where we are! Thank you for appreciating this- now more than ever as we experience such rapid advancements in our technologies and capabilities, I feel we need to show respect to our predecessors! Amen. :)
1 person likes this.
Love love love! Loved the precision of your cueing Jennifer. Feel amazing. Thank you!
1-10 of 63

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin