Class #678

Tension Release Mat

70 min - Class


"Take tension out of your body before you do conditioning." Tom McCook begins his first class with Pilates Anytime by helping us tune in to our "felt experience." Using a Franklin Method inspired warm-up, Tom will have you tapping, brushing, sponging and visualizing as a means of increasing your proprioception and allowing your nervous system an easier and more efficient way to move.
What You'll Need: Mat, Theraband

About This Video

Apr 19, 2012
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Welcome everybody. So we're going to begin. I like you to come onto your mat and take your feet about four to six inches apart and bring them into parallel and look down at your feet and lift and spread your toes nice and wide and lay them down and reaching into all four corners of your feet. Now just do it by. Feel, lift and spread and lay them down. Start to become aware of your posture. Let your arms just be heavy and one more time. Lift spread and lay them down as staying connected to all four corners of your feet. Lean a little forward on your feet and lean back to center. Lean back slightly. Lean back to center. Lean to one side, back to the center. Lean to your second side, back to the center.

Now just sense where the middle is, where the weight's slightly in front of your ankle bones. Bring your head right up over your spine and close your eyes and just bring more of your attention now to your felt experience, your inner body, your posture, and your breathing. Just start to let go of what's happened earlier today. What's going to happen later, and bring your attention to this moment just to center yourself or your practice. Notice where your attention goes. As you bring your attention in. You might notice areas of tension in your body. Notice your breathing and as you're noticing, just start to formulate your own intention for your practice.

If this particular parts of your body like to become more skilled with the qualities you want to develop, more graceful, more fluid, just like to have a good movement. Experience that, that intention. Before we begin and go to the end of your next exhale and just softly open your eyes. Now as you bend your knees, slide the shoulders straight up. As you breathe in on the exhale, lengthen your legs and let the shoulders melt down. And imagine the spine getting a little longer and again, shoulders up, hips down, exhale to length. And as you're lacks the shoulders down. And again, inhale, hips down, shoulders up. Exhale, let a melt down.

Think of your muscles are mostly water, and again, shoulders up, hips down, and let them lengthened. And just one more hips down, shoulders up and let them melt. Bring up your right arm. I want you to tap all sides of your arm. So tapping is a way to increase your proprioception. Proprioception is a big word that means to know where you are in space, but it means more than that. It also means effort level, tension. Position is all this feedback that happens in tapping is stimulating your sense organs. So in between your sense organs, you have your perception and then you have your attention.

If you increase your senses and increase your perception with more attention, you right away move better. How great is that? And it's free. Now from there I want you to brush down your arm and just brush and just imagine any tension or stress from your day is landing in that hole in the floor. And we're going to recycle it for later, letting it go. Now we're going to add a little sponging techniques. You're going to come up to the top of the same left hand.

Take hold of your trapezius. Just let the arm relax. And I just imagine you're holding a sponge and squeeze the sponge and you're squeezing all the water out of the sponge. And as you release the squeeze, you see it filling three-dimensionally and again, squeeze it. Feel the weight of the arm and let it fill. That's it. And again, squeeze. See any tension running out of the muscles, down your down, your arm, down your back. One more time. Squeeze. And now squeeze your deltoid, sponge it, working your way slowly down to your bicep. TRICEP him. Doesn't it feel good to squeeze? We all like to be squeezed to little more often, but then the hand and now last time just brushed down one more time for rush.

See the arm getting longer. Now come back up and just notice the difference. The two, the two arms, bring that arm up. You might notice it's longer. Notice your flexibility on that side. Take the arm overhead and compare it with the side we haven't done yet. So that's the shoulder. The other shoulder is the one we came in with.

This is the one you did just by changing your body meant cause your nervous system is always looking for a better way. If we give it the right information. So let's take the second side. Sue's going to tap. So if you're gonna exercise, it makes a lot of good. It's very important. It makes a lot of sense to take tension out of your body before you do conditioning. Otherwise you get conditioned on top of your tension so you get a little more fit crooked or you get a little more fit with tension, not really optimal. Now take hold of your [inaudible]. You're a upper trapezius at his squeeze.

Now you're squeezing the sponge against, squeeze the sponge, see it filling with warm or cool water as you let it spread and see if you can bring your mind side of what you're doing. The more attention you bring, more imagery, vivid imagery you bring to what you're doing, it has a greater impact on our desired results. So we're looking at releasing tension in the shoulders, preparing for our movement practice, but also releasing tension in the shoulders is something to do good. Just all by itself. And then do your deltoids. Start to work your way down forearm, hand, and then brushed down again. See the arm getting longer, letting go of unnecessary tension.

Come back to center. Let's notice that if there feel a little more, even now, notice how they feel left to right. If you like the way you feel, I recommend you do it often because your nervous system will, it'll change faster if you do it often, especially in the, the key component is bringing your full attention to what you're doing. You don't want to do this and be on the phone or watching TV. Your attention is the most important piece. So let's actually come into some more movement.

So let's take the shoulders forward and draw them back and just notice that your shoulder blades can move away from the spine and can move towards the spine. So nowhere in this movement do we want to take our shoulders north to our ears because then we're fighting gravity. Cause we're going to add the movements to the spine in a movement to this. So take the shoulders forward, bend your knees. Now at your belly button level, take your lower back back, but your tail for to round your lower back now does create a long cc shaped through the spine, but gently lowering your chin. As you inhale. Lengthen the legs throughout the shoulder blades back and lift and open the top of the chest, keeping the neck long. Exhale the curl.

Inhale, lift and open. Exhale to curl. So we begin by warming up all your joints moving in a fluid fashion. Let's see if we can keep the weight even on the front and the back of the feet regardless of your straightening or bending the legs. And one more. That's flection extension. Now we'll go into lateral flection. Xcel to the side. Inhale Center, exhale side. Feel the stretch in the muscles in the lower back.

You're also lubricating your lower back joints. Nice and fluid in how Middle Xcel side, back to the center for rotation. So rotation happens mainly from above. The belly button up Savannah needs a little bit and think of keeping your hips and your knees straight ahead and bring your hands to your shoulders. Now let the shoulder blades fall down your back and just let the arms kind of rest on your pelvis from above your belly button. Start to turn to keep the knees and the hips straight ahead and just turn around that center line. And notice, can I keep my shoulders relaxed all the way through the movement.

So you're spiraling around the center line, warming up your joints. So they say the probably the best therapeutic intervention for your spine is to move your spine through all of its ranges every day. Here's a quick way that you can do that. Back to the center. Back to the first movement. Exhale the curl. Inhale, lift and open. Exhale the curl. Inhale, lift and open and curl.

One more time and curl. Less time up into extension, right into side bending. Xcel side. Inhale, middle and side. Nice and fluid might be noticing that the waistline is becoming more open, a little easier to move with less resistance. One more east side, back to center. Bring the hands through your shoulders. Lower your center of gravity by bending the knees. Hips, stay straight ahead. Turn around the center line.

So you can keep the tops of your shoulders and your neck relaxed as you turn and back to the center. Lankan up. Shake out your limbs. I just going to do a quick review of where the hip joints are. So lucky to touch the front of your hip. Hipbones the sharp edge called your ass. Come just inside that edge into the soft tissue and bend your knees slightly and slide your fingers straight down until you feel the crease, which is basically your England or groove.

And now you were right at that crease where the legs meet the pelvis and straighten your legs. Now your hip joints are directly behind your fingers, the ball and sockets about an inch and a half back. It's that narrow. It's when you lift your leg. Think of a ball rolling back in the socket behind your fingers. And what do you want to notice? Can I keep the standing leg straight? The shape of the spine, the same.

And just imagine a ball rolling back in the socket behind your fingers. So good movement comes from good mechanics. The clearer we are knowing where things are designed to move from, the easier it is to self correct. That's a really important thing for all of us. So that's the first move in option. The second move, an option is moving at the same place.

You're going to let the pelvis roll over the top of the legs that keep the shape of the spine the same and then come back up. So just notice if you're rounding your back, you actually hindering to high to see you're, you're at the bottom of your spine right now is to soften the knees and see if can keep the shape of the spine the same when you hinge and then come back up. That's it. So the neck can stay long, the lower back can stay long. You can image the femur bones are rolling back deep into the socket and then they're rolling forward as you come up. So dynamic stability is your ability to move well from the origin of the movement. Right now, the origin and the movement is your hip joint.

Third Movement is it. Now you're gonna include the knees and the lower legs are going to squat, but the movements happening at the same place and then straight and right from where the legs meet the body. Notice you can keep your neck and shoulders completely relaxed. As you straighten that, we'll do the first movement again. Lift the knee. You can even let your arms hang. Now let's get a clear sense of good alignment.

So Sa seems like simple exercise, but this is the foundation of all your movements. Can I do the simple movements really well before I make it more complicated and now hinge at the hips? They can. Can I keep the neck long? Can I keep the weight even on the front of the back of my feet? And can I keep my attention on what's happening in my body? And then squat. That's a lot to ask for.

Excellent everybody. Now we're going to take that into a spinal roll down so and inhaled. The bend the knees from the top down. Pour the head forward, curl down. Allow the pelvis to roll over the top of the legs and at the bottom, nod your head yes. Rotate it. No. And take a breath.

Now Roll your pelvis back over the top of your legs as you stack the spine, letting the head be the last thing up into line posture. Let's do that two more times. Inhale to bend. Xcel sequence down. Nice fluid motion pelvis rolls over the stable legs. Take a breath of the bottom. Xcel stack the spine, one vertebrae at a time in a fluid way. And one more. In health to band.

Xcel articulate down equal weight on both feet. Smooth breathing, breath at the bottom that Xcel stack, the spine, the heads, the last thing to arrive up in aligned posture. When you come to the top, find your Franklin ball and we're gonna put the ball right underneath the ball of your foot with your heel and floor busts here. So this is the warm up your feet. Now our feet are designed to twist, but because we live on flat surfaces and our feet are stuffed in shoes all the time, they don't get exercise that way. So have your back foot back just a little bit and with the front foot, have the ball, the foot over the ball and leave your heel on the floor.

Now you're going to do is twist your forefoot back and forth over the ball and let it twist. Or a foot is designed to twist every step you take to a smaller degree. This is how you put the spring back in. Your foot feels kind of good too. Yes, really useful thing to do before you do any hiking, running, biking. You'll see in a minute with your experience how that works. Now from there, reaching to the bottom that your foot spread like you have a rolling pin onto your foot. It's let it spread as you reach into it. So the back pain of your leg starts at the bottom of your foot.

Stretch the bottom of your foot, your hamstrings are going to be a little more useful. Now Roll through and let the ball foot come to the floor. Now keep the back heel grounded and keep your knee tracking right over the middle of the foot and relax your arms and just lunge. Now just push away to come back up. So one of the ways you want to improve your balance is keep your center of gravity really low. Try to avoid the tendency of tensing the arms.

It actually doesn't really help our balance as much as we would like it to. Hmm, that's good. One more. Now we're going to extend the hips to extend the hip means to open the front of the hip. What I'm gonna do is squash the ball and step and create a straight line from my ankle to the shoulder and inhale to come back forward.

So XL squash and press the hips forward and fully lengthen that leg that's on the ball. There you go. Now use your breath. Exhale the step and how back. Think of your center of gravity stays low. You're telling yourself, I have amazing balance. Oh my God. If my friends could see me now that's two. Now let the arms just be like pendulum. See, arms are relaxed. Dez, you just use it in good alignment to work on your balance. And one more time and step back. And now stand on both your feet for a moment. Put all the weight on the foot that you just rolled out and bend and straighten your leg a few times and even maybe do a little hop and compare that with the side. We haven't done quite a difference that just from rolling out your feet you increased your balance and your power. That's pretty useful.

So all these little tools are super helpful to keep your body healthy and put less wear and tear on your system. Now leave the heel on the floor and just roll from side to side. Feel the movement in your hip joint, your ankle, your foot. So the way you become a better mover mover, you get really curious about what you're doing with your body. Get really curious. God, this is pretty cool. How's this going to help me?

I'm not sure yet, but I'll figure it out. That's it. And I reached into the ball and let the foot spread and just keep your head up cause think of your foot. Your feet are designed to feel your environment. You can keep your posture up and just feel your foot. Let your foot do it.

Really important as we age to s to keep working on our balance. Now roll through that, bringing the ball, the foot to the floor. Leave the back heel grounded as you lunge. Then push away and again, keep your shoulders and neck soft or notice can you as you move, that's it. Just one more time and now you're going to step as you squash the ball. Extend a straight line ankle to shoulder. Inhale back. Exhale, you use your breath to release the shoulders and neck.

Turn on your hamstrings and glutes. It's nice and smooth. Last two, last one, and release. Nice work. Now find you theraband. We're just going to do a couple thera-band exercises so you can add a little strength to your spinal movements. See this is going to put the thera brown around the middle of your upper back at about mid chest level. That.

Hold it with your hands nice and lightly and have your feet about hip width apart. So the movement, the tendencies, we tend to use too much arms. So you want to think of your arms are just going to be there and you're going to do the movement from your spine. Some homicide view. On the exhale, I'm going to take my spine back into the band like I'm sitting into a hammock. Ah. Then on the inhale, lengthen up and open the elbows to the side. So on the exhale, take, soften the breastbone, round the spine.

Inhale, lift and open. Exhale to curl and all the way through. Notice, can I keep my neck long? My jaw relaxed? Yeah, I feel the movement through the spine. Three more times up. Exhale. Inhale up in one more time. I take the band right below your butt and cross it. Now we're going to add in a little strength for your internal and external rotators of your shoulders. So from here, feel the show, the observer back and slightly down and on the inhale externally rotate from the top of your arm. Roll the arms out.

Now lift the top of your chest and feel like you're turning on the muscles in between your shoulder blades. On the exhale, bend the knees. Now around forward. Inhale, extend in externally, rotate. Exhale the curl. Inhale, extend. Externally rotate. Exhale, curl. Two more times and one more. Now from here, this one's kind of fun.

Take your feet about little wider than shoulder. With Ben, it needs a little bit. Now as you bend your knees, you're gonna lift your elbows and draw the shoulders down. This is a rotary movement from basically going to go like this. And then to the center. I feel like you're rotating around the center line and think of your legs being very springy. You go down into your legs, then you spring out of your legs. That's it. Nice and fluid. This is the warm up your legs, spine, your shoulders cave, a little African dance to the party.

Two more east side, one more. Last side and up. Very nice. So we'll put the bands to the side and you're going to, I'll talk you through a roll down. So we're going to roll down and come onto all fours so you can take your ball out of the way too. You won't need it quite right now. So bring your feet about four inches apart. Bend the knees slightly, roll down through the spine and help yourself on to all fours. No, no fours.

Spread your fingers wide and have your hands directly under your shoulders and see if you can create a straight line from the top of your head to your tail. And think of the top of your head. Is the MD of your spine opposed to dropping your head? So to keep energy out the top, and now just take a few breaths and see if you can start to target the breath into the sides in the lower part of your rib cage. But let the belly relax a little bit. On the inhale on the exhale, start to lift the lower belly away from the floor and go to the end of the exhale. Feeling your waistline get a little smaller.

So we're just doing a breathing abdominal exercise. The shape of the body stays the same. Breathe low and wide. On the exhale. As you start to feel the lower belly turn on. See if you can also feel your lower back muscles, your upper inner thighs, and your pelvic floor all engage with the breath through the exhale so you're turning on your inner unit, your core cylinder, just to become aware of that so you can use it throughout the rest of the exercises. Now keep that alignment. Now we're going to go into a scapular movement. As you inhale, let the show the blades slide in towards the spine.

As the body drops between them, that exhale, float the body up without rounding your back. Just feel like it's a scapula glide, but the shape of the body stays neutral. See if you get a feeling for that. Think of the show. The blades are sliding fluidly on the rib cage and the neck is staying long. One more. Now keep the lift, keep the shoulder blades lifted and down and on the exhale as you feel that belly connection, reach one arm forward to ear height. Yeah, and held the place. Sit Down XL. The second side.

Focus on that connection of abdomen to middle back and just alternate two more times to each side so you can keep the back of the neck long. So your gaze is towards the floor. One more each side. Notice how you, when you stabilize the pelvis, the arm lifting is easier. Now add the opposite leg reaching away from center, but both hipbone stay square to the floor. Inhale down, exhale to reach. Engage. Just before you move, feel that connection of your deep core cylinder. Stay lifted on the weightbearing arm.

Nice and Fluor. Two more each side and reach for length. One more each side and last one. Now on the next, when are you going to reach and hold? And I want you to make a connection to the middle of your back. You low belly and the low glute on the leg that's reaching, we're going to pulse out up eight times with the arm and leg for short exhales. So on the exhale, pulse two more and N and we'll switch sides. Slide the leg out. Connect to the low glute, the middle back, low belly and pulse.

Three, four, three more. Two, three and down. We're going to move right into a cat stretch on the exhale. As you dome the spine, bring your head and tail towards one another around the back. Inhale into an arch, lifting the chest through the arm, Xcel to curl and do two more each direction before we make it a little more different, a little more interesting. Not that this is not that this isn't interesting. One more and curl.

Now the next one I want you to, you going to shift your weight back a little bit towards your heels so you have to use your legs more. So I'll show you as you round. Turn on your low glutes, your belly and inner thighs, and then float the hands off the floor. Now you'll inhale, bring them down and Tuck your toes on the exhale arch. Resist your hands and knees towards one another so you feel the muscles in the middle of Europe. Your back. Inhale, untuck. Exhale, round the back and float in hands. Inhale, hands down. Tuck your toes. Exhale, arch and resist hands and knees towards one another. Two more times. Inhale, untuck. Exhale round.

Inhale down. Tuck toes. Exhale, arch. Resist. One more. Inhale on Tock Xcel round. Float the hands. Inhale, hands down, tuck toes. Exhale, resist. Very nice. Then gently help yourself down onto your back. Nice work. You guys. Set yourself up with your heels in line with your sit bones.

With your legs bent, we're going to begin with, I'm likely to find your green ball too. We're going to put the little green ball right under your sacrum, which is basically right behind your pubic bone, so your ball is on the back of your pelvis. Make sure it's not in the lower back and I have your view. It feels pretty close together about four inches apart in line with your sit bones and let's bring the arms along and just take a few breaths and yourself orient to this position with gravity. Relaxed the front of the shoulders. Relax the neck on the XL phase.

Let the front of the body fall towards the back of the body. There we go, and now we're going. Just going to do arch and curl. So on the exhale phase. As you draw the belly in, curl the tail towards the knees to lengthen your lower back towards the floor. As you inhale, reach your heel, your tail towards your heels to arch over the ball slightly. Now go back and forth like that and see if you can keep the hip joints relaxed. Use the pelvic floor muscles, the low belly, the low back muscles.

Make sure as you're going into a little bit of an arch, you're still using your lower valleys. You're not just doing it all from your lower back muscles and both sides are working in each direction right now. If you, if your pelvis had a clock face on it facing up, you're moving between 12 and six o'clock, six o'clock being your tail, 12 o'clock being your belly button. Now we're going to take that into a clock and I want you to use the ball on the back of your pelvis as feedback to hit all the numbers on the back of the pelvis. So on the next exhale, curl towards the belly button. As you inhale, lengthen towards one hip bone. And then all the way down into your tail on one side and XL, curl up on the second side and you use the ball for feedback to work through that range of motion. You're inhaling as you're going towards the tail, you're exhaling as you're coming towards the belly button. Take your time, go nice and slow, no rush. The weight of the pelvis is on the ball the entire time.

One more in the direction you're going. And then reverse and notice which numbers you tend to leave out usually between 10 and two o'clock. That seems to be the hard places for most of us. See if you can use your obliques to find that connection. Do One more in that direction. Now come back to the center and take your right knee and draw it into your chest and just hold it with your right hand.

Hold it like the back of the knee or that are the front of the knee. Whatever's comfortable for you. Now the down arm, you're going to keep it on the arm, on the floor for balance. So this is a movement to release your deep hip flexors with your left knee. On the inhale, bring your left knee in towards your chest. Reach it straight up to the ceiling and a long exhale lower towards the floor.

Inhale, bring the knee into the chest, straight up to the ceiling. Long exhale to lower. And as you're lowering relaxed your neck, your breastbone. And imagine the lower back is melting towards the floor. So deep hip flexors go over the pubic bone, connects to the front of the spine that connect to your inner thigh. Now you're using your leg as a weight to stretch those deep muscles on the lowering of the leg. Do that two more times.

Really good idea to do some type of hip flexor release before you do your abdominal work. One more time, especially if you spent a lot of time sitting when you come in. We'll switch sides. Take hold of the back of the left leg, right arm long for balance. Now draw their right knee in and up, long XL, lower towards the floor and use your breath and see if you can avoid any tension in the chest and shoulders. Let the neck melt as the leg is lowering. That's it. Nice tracking directly over the hip joint. The breath is fluid and just two more. Everybody laughed too and one more. As you come down, place both feet on the floor, lift your hips and take the ball away and just take a moment to notice how the lower back feels. Feel more connected to the mat and now we're going to keep your feet in line with your sit bones there. We're going to go right into a bridge that's with the arms long.

Inhale to prepare on the exhale, curl the tail towards the knees in. Peel the spine off the floor, one vertebrae at a time till there's a straight line from your knees to your shoulders staying up in the bridge. Inhale, reach the arms back behind you, top of the chest stays open. Shoulders stay low. XL sequence down away from your fingertips, one vertebrae at a time. Once the tail is all the way down, float the arms to your sides. We'll do that three more times. On the exhale. Curl in bridge front ribs. Stay integrated. You're extending from the bottom base of your hips.

Reach the arms back. Exhale per soften the breastbone traction away from your fingertips. Once you're at the bottom, float the arms to your sides and two more COO articulate. You can be on the way up with equal pressure into both feet. Inhale to reach back, shoulders sliding down the back top of the chest is open.

XL sequence down and float the arms to your side. And one more time on the exhale. Curl and bridge. Inhale to reach XL. Traction down. Breastbone softens spine lengthens. Now the next one, you're going to come up about halfway and we're going to do bridging with marching. So on the exhale, curl the tail. Come up into a bridge about halfway. Now imagine the leg you're about to lift. You're going to empty it. It gets hollow. And on the exhale as you stand into one leg, float the other knee up like you're marching and held the place. Sit down.

Exhale. The second side I noticed, can I lift my knee without the pelvis rotating or rocking? Side to side? Keep the top back of the arms engaged. The middle of your upper back, soft in your throat reached into the ground to float the knee up. So you're working on alignment, fluid motion in your hips, smooth breathing. One more each side and sequence all the way down through the spine. Now this next movement is an abdominal exercise.

So I'd like you to bring your fingertips to the front of your hip bones for a moment. Now with your fingertips on the front of your hip bones, think of the muscles right above your fingers or your obliques. So just draw those hipbones slightly away from your legs. You're going to go into a slight posterior tilt, but you're not doing it from your butt. You're doing it from the muscles right above your fingers so you feel your obliques turn on now from there, press into the balls of your feet and lift your heels off the floor so you feel the back of your legs. Turn on now. Take the arms straight up to the ceiling. On the inhale, take the arms back behind you. Exhale the arms forward.

Let the head follow and curl up with the upper body and take hold of the back of your legs. Now Curl a little higher. Reach the arms up. Stay lifted. Xcel sequence down, and again, inhale, start to bring the arms forward and curl forward. Take hold of the back of your legs. Curl a little higher. Inhale, reach up. Exhale, sequence down. Two more times. Inhale, start forward. Exhale, take hold. Curl a little higher. Shoulders stay low.

Reach with the breath. Exhale down. One more. Inhale, start forward. Take hold. Curl slightly higher. Feel that inner thigh bottom of your bud connection. Reach with the breath. Exhale down. Now the next set, when you come up, you're going to take both of your hands to the outside of your right leg, so you're going to rotate a little bit. So inhale, curl up, take hold the outside of the right XL curl a little higher. Stay lifted. Inhale, reach. Exhale down to the center.

Inhale, reach and curl. Take hold. I'll alternate sides. That's it. Curl a little higher on the exhale. Reach up with the breath. Exhale down to the middle. Two more each side. Inhale, start forward. Take hold, curl a little higher. Reach up with the breath. Exhale down, and one more. Inhale, start forward. Take hold, lift. Reach with the breath.

Exhale down. Beautiful. Now bring your hands behind your head. So now we're going to do so you were just doing a rotation from the upper body, which is your upper obliques. Now we're going to rotate from the pelvis, which is the lower obliques. So let's do the same thing. I'm drawing the front of the hip bones away from your legs so you feel your lower back. I'm a little closer to the floor. Then press your balls of your feet into the mat and lift your heels on the next exhale. Curl up with your upper body. That same upper body position now from your pelvis. Inhale, rotate your pelvis towards me to your right. The knees will move.

Now the exhale from your lower waistline dry everything back to center. Inhale, rotate to your second side as stay curled up with the upper body. That's it. Nice and smooth. So you're doing three to each side. Curl up from here. There you go. On move from upper body is staying relatively still. It's more of a movement of the pelvis and the lower waistline. One more each side. This is one of those exercises.

If you're not feeling it, you're not using it, but I think you guys are feeling it now back to the center and lengthen down. Now we're going to do, now we're going to combine the pelvic rotation with the torso. Rotating opposite. The tendency on this one is to do too much from the arms. Think of the arms. Don't do much of the work, so the rotation is pretty small, so same thing. Draw the front of the hip bones away from your legs. Lift your heels, exhale, curl up with the upper body. Now hold the position as you inhale. Exhale, knees and pelvis one way.

Torso opposite. Inhale, center. Exhale to turn. Minimal work through your arms. Feel the work through your shoulder blades, your waistline. That's it. Two more each side. Nice and fluid. Feel like you're wringing out the towel in the mid line. One more each side. Excellent you guys.

That's it. Back to the center and lengthen down. That's a party. Now draw your knees into your chest. Rock around your lower back for a moment. Now you're going to take one knee and a Chan and we're going to go into some hip circles. So as you inhale, draw the knees towards the chest. Exhale, open them away from each other down and together, and just do five in one direction and see if you can keep the body relatively still as you move the legs in the hip joints. Nice little release. The stretching the muscles right where the legs attached to the pelvis.

And now reverse directions. Inhale down, open up and together. But the breathing, be fluid. Use the sauce was an opportunity to check in with your body. One more. And then from there, rock yourself up to a sitter seating position.

We're going to go into the roll up. So let's start with bent leg. So hold the back of your legs and get up nice and tall and you're welcome to use your hands as much as you need. So we're just gonna roll down to the arms are straight. So on the exhale, curl the tail forward. Pull the waistline back and curl back just to the arm. Straighten. Take a short inhale. Now pull the belly away from the inner thighs and curl up, keeping the shoulders low and again on the exhale, lengthen back. Shoulders stay low. Short breath.

Exhale, curl back up. Stay with that version. Otherwise we're going to go to reaching, grow tall on the inhale. Now curl down. This time we're going to go all the way down. Reach the arms back, keeping the back of the waist close to the mat. Circle the arms to the side and curl all the way back up and we'll do three more like that. On the exhale down. Arms reach overhead circled to the side.

Slide the breastbone. Incur curl back up in a fluid fashion. Great Tall XL back. We have more people that want to join our class that just went by. Circle the arms and curl crow tall at the top. We know they need it. Xcel back, reach for the inhale and curl and arrive at the top. Now at the top, straighten your legs and bring your legs right together to see you can get right up on your sit bones and take the arms forward.

Now widen right at the bottom of the shoulder blades. And as you inhale, press down into your sit bones. Grow a little taller now. Xcel spine. Stretch forward over your legs. Now hold that shape. Take an inhale. Exhale, squeeze your upper inner thighs. Reach through your heels strongly and start to sequence down, keeping your arms low. Keep the arms very low as the arms go back it as long as possible through the torso. On the exhale, arms come forward. Head follows.

You can hold the side of your legs if you need to to get through the sticky area and reach. Hold the reach on the inhale. So squeeze the legs, reach through the heels and sequenced down. You're working to create space, length and strength in the spine. Arms go back, arms come forward. Peel off the floor in a fluid fashion and reach. Just one more time. Take a breath. Exhale. Upper inner thighs. Turn on out. Your heels sequenced down as you get to the bottom. Draw your right knee into your chest.

Hold the back of the thigh and press the back of the down leg into the floor and try to create nice postural alignment. Shoulders, your low the neck. As long as you exhale, press the leg you're holding into your hand and straighten and bend three times. Now hold it long and pointing to flex the ankle five times. Now if you have the right leg up, bring the left hand behind your head. Open up your right arm, like a wing on the floor, and take a breath and exhale.

Curl up with the upper body. Now in print, the back of the waist, we're going to go right into leg circles. Inhale into the midline. Exhale the circle and that outer hand can be on the floor. I just didn't happen to have floor on the, I'm out. I'm on. There you go. Now this, can I keep the pelvis nice and still as I go through the circle. One more in that direction and reverse.

That's it. Nice fluid motion. The back of the down leg is very strong. Yep. Leg is a gesture. One more sequence down. Draw the knee into your chest for a quick stretch and we'll switch sides. Slide that leg long. Hold the back of your left eye. Find your postural alignment. And on the exhale, just press the leg long as you press it into your hands. Inhale to bend. Do that three times and one. Then go into pointing and flexing at the ankle and nice fluid motion.

And then lightly point. Bring the right hand behind your head. Curl up with the upper body and open up the left arm on the floor like a wing back of the waistline is imprinted. Inhale into the midline. Exhale to circle. The movement is the leg moving in the hip joint, but the rest of the body is as still as possible. Fluid motion. One more in that direction and reverse.

Imagine the head is floating up. The breastbone is sliding away from the chin. And one more. Back to center. Draw the knee and then draw both knees in and rock yourself up to a seated position for rolling. So for rolling, we'll start by holding the back of the thighs. Now is you from here?

Sit up as tall as you can. Then just curl a little bit behind your sit bones. And when you lift a leg, let it drop into the hip socket. Then bring up your other leg. Now create some tension. Bird pressing the legs in the arms into one another. Widen and lower your shoulders from the belly. As you inhale, pull the belly away from your legs. Inhale to roll.

Exhale up and balance. And again, inhale back. Now that's gonna keep my neck long all the way through. If you have room to move, bring your hands to your shins and move through there. Let it flow. Hold it like a rocking chair. You're inside of a [inaudible] ball and two more everybody. Also, it helps if you have a little bit of a smile when you do this one.

Just a real small one. Nothing conspicuous. That's the thing. Come up. Bring the balls of the feet to the floor. Hold the back of your thighs and roll through the spine as you come down. Draw your left knee and reach your right leg straight up to the ceiling for single leg stretch. Now the inside right hand is holding onto the knee. The outside hand is low. Now pull the elbows away from each other.

Press the leg you're holding into your hand to imprint the back of the waistline and lower back. Exhale, curl up with the upper body and reach the leg low. Now draw the lower belly away from the inner thighs with an XL switch and switch. Nice and smooth. These are tracking right over your hips. The breadth is fluid. Two more each side, one more each side back to center. As you come down, hold both knees and just roll your head from side to side. Let go of any neck tension. Now we're going to go into double leg stretch.

So in the double leg stretch, see if you can hold the upper body shape as the arms and leg reach so you don't drop the upper body at all. And think of the breath is suspending the position to take a breath and exhale. Curl up to the upper body. Now looking towards your belly lower and widen your shoulder blades. Turn on your inner thighs on a slow inhale.

Reach the arms and legs away from each other. Hold that hammock shape. Circle the arms, draw the knees in. Inhale, reach, exhale, circle. And in just three more times, reach with the breath. Think of the breath is what's creating the shape. Add two more and one more. Last one, everybody rock yourself right up to a seated position. Take your legs out in front of you and together for spine twist.

So if you need to bend the knees, think of your, your sit bones are like a canoe. You want to make sure you're not in the back of the canoes to get right up in the middle. Even if you've got to bend the legs a little bit, reach your arms to the side and grow tall. Now inhale the grow tall and the XL. Turn to your left. Inhale Center. Exhale to turn. Inhale, center. Exhale the turn inner thighs are nice and toned.

XL the turn. Grow tall to the middle. Inhale, center. Exhale, the turn and health center. Exhale, turn. I sit strong and turn one more. Each direction. Arms are like airplane wings. The body's what's turning [inaudible] back to center. Opening your legs. Show the width for spine. Stretch forward. Grow Tall. Float the arms to show their height and again, grow tall for space. On the inhale, activate your legs by pushing down and curl over a beach ball. Inhale the stack the spine from the bottom up right up against a wall.

XCL active legs. Pull forward at your fingertips, top of your head, your heels. Inhale the stack it up tall and again on the exhale. Forward. Shoulders are moving in the other direction of your head and hell. Stack it up two more times. Exhale.

Inhale, lengthen up. You're creating space, length and alignment each time. And one more. Exhale forward and health the stack. Now from there we're going to go right into side bend or spine stretch side. So take your right, your left arm up and on the Xcel side. Bend to your right, but keep your left hip heavy. Inhale, lengthen up, switch arms. Exhale over. Inhale up tall. Exhale. Inhale, lengthen up. Even keep your head back in line with the spine. As you side bend, there's a tendency to drop it forward. Exhale, inhale up. Exhale over. Inhale up.

Last time. Exhale over. Lengthen up. We're going to go right into open leg rocker, so I'd like you to take hold of the back of your knees. So we from here, just roll back a little bit and bring your legs into a tabletop position. Now think of the connection points in the bottom of your shoulder blades and your legs by pressing into your arms to the shape of the of the leg to body stays the same. Now from your belly, inhale to roll. Exhale up and find that balance point so you can keep the top of the chest open the whole time. You're just rounding the lower back.

That's it. Breathe through smile. You're having a good time. Look amazing. Now if you want to go further, slide your hands a little lower and straighten the legs, but make sure that doesn't pull your shoulders north and see if you can start to feel the opposition as your reach into your legs. Pull the lower back away so you can control the movement. Feel that opposition and three more. That's it. Fluid connection. Good you guys. Two more.

Add One more and we come up. Lower the legs with control. We'll go right into the saw. Open the arms to the side, spiral to your right. Exhale, pull back through the waistline and re inhale, center, exhale and reach. See if you can feel the leg you're turning away from. You're absorbing that leg into your pelvis. Inhale, center.

Exhale, reach your reach, right? Your absorbed is your reach left. You're absorbing the right leg. That's it. Feel that connection. She how that opposition happening in your body each time. Exhale, reach and fluid and reach one more each side, strong and fluid and one more as you come to center. Cross your legs and help yourself forward onto your stomach. Take your arms out in front of you a little wider than shoulder width for mini swan and have your palms facing each other.

So you're bouncing on your pinkie side of your hand. Now just reach long through your legs. Lift your nose about an inch or two off the floor and anchor the front of the hips towards the floor with the energy out your legs. Now just plug the arms into the back and on the exhale just get a sense of activating your upper inner thighs, your lower glutes and your low belly. Now see if you can keep that. And as you inhale, breathe out the top of your head like you're lengthening and start to lift the upper chest forward and up as the hands slide towards your slightly XL length and back down. And again, inhale forward and up. You're targeting mainly your mid, upper back, trying to keep the lower back long as you come up. And again, exhale down as you come up. Let the, show the blades slide in a little bit and take the chest through the arms.

That's it. Beautiful, nice and smooth. The thoracic spine as it comes up is just basically straightening. It doesn't bend the other way. So if you're lifting high, the tendency is to do a lot of that just from the lower back. Do that two more times and one more everybody. Now we're going to take that same movement you just did to get you into the next [inaudible] exercise. So on the next one, inhale up the same way.

[inaudible] now anchor the pelvis into the floor and float the feet off the floor and bend the elbows out to the side slightly. But hold that shape for single leg kicks. Now widened below the shoulder blades and have energy out the top of your head. And on the exhale, two pulses of the heel towards one button. Inhale to lengthen. That's even keep the feet off the ground the whole time.

Show the blades are wide and low back of the neck is long. That's it. Feel that connection in the bottom of your glutes and your mid back all the way through the exercise to more each side and one more each side. Back to center. Bring your arms in closer, elbows in tight to the body. Hands are under your shoulders.

Now it feels like you're pulling your shoulder blades towards your back and you're reaching long through your legs. On the inhale, start to slide the upper chest forward as you reach out of your head. Now keeping the shoulders down. Come up into swan and then lead with the spine to length and back down and make a nice and fluid. Feel the shoulder blades pulled down. Inhale to lengthen the spine. Then let the back of the arms come into play. A little more facets. Feel that nice sequencing of movement all the way through so you're protecting and lengthening in the lower back and giving it muscular support.

I'm feeling the muscles on the sides of the body work and just one more time on the inhale. Go for length and then exhale into it and lengthen all the way down. Rest of your forehead on the back of your hands for a moment and just shake out your lower back for a moment, side to side. Now just take a few breaths and let your belly relax. Breathe your belly into the floor.

Notice any tension you might've built up saving. Just let it go just with your awareness, especially around the neck and the tops of the shoulders. Yeah, we're going to do the final extension exercise here. We're going to take it into breaststroke. So for breaststroke you're going to have your hands right by your shoulders, with your palms facing each other.

And I'll just demonstrate one so you can see it. So on the exhale, shoulders are down. You're going to reach the arms overhead. On the inhale you open an extent and you'll come through an exhale to reach. So I'll talk you through that. So inhale to prepare XFL your belly and blades first. Then reach the arms overhead.

Inhale open and extend with the long neck. Exhale to reach and help to open. That's it. Fall on tour and a couple more. Nice and smooth. You guys. Xcel to reach. Inhale to open.

Feel that connection down into your mid back the next days, long all the way through. Just two more and open. And one more. As you arrived with your hands under your shoulders, press yourself back to a child's pose. Stretch back, let your body become foldable. Take a few breaths and relax the belly, relaxed the back [inaudible] and just one more fluid breath. Everybody. Now for a nice counter stretch from the child's pose. Your forearms on the floor in front of you.

Now lift your hips off of your heels and as you press into your shins, in your forearms, round your back and telling the belly to stretch the back chain. Just expose what might've gotten tight and take a few breaths in that rounded active position at the back of the neck. Be Very relaxed. One more breath, and then slowly release and come onto your side. Facing my direction for side leg work. So I recommend you can either cradle your head with the bottom arm or you can leave the arm long, whatever you prefer.

Just make sure you keep your Chin back because the tendency is to drop our chin to our chest. Now put your top on your top hip and take your feet about six inches forward of the body, injuring of the hip joint. Now see even create a little space under your bottom waist by lifting it away from the floor. And then you can just put the top hand on the floor in front of the chest. The first movement is a double leg lift, so lightly points your feet.

Squeeze the inner thighs and XL. Lift both. Inhale, flex the feet, exhale the point. Inhale to lower with control and again, lift, flex point and lower. Three more times. Exhale, lift, flex points and lower. Feel that center line and again left flex points and lower one more left. Flex point and lower. Now just lift the top leg up a few inches. For sidekicks with the flex foot kick to the front where the pulse XL pointing reach to the back.

See if all the way through you can keep your hips and shoulders stacked as you go through. Reach through that top sit bone so the top waist stays long on the going forward. That's it. Nice and smooth. Three more fluid breaststroke. The femur heads rolling back in the socket. Is the Lego's forward rolling back or rolling forward as it goes back. And one more on this next movement is he'd take the leg to the back, hold it to the back. Now from the knee down on the exhale, bring the heel to your butt needed chest leg launch to the front.

Moving into bicycle. That's it. Feel that clear motion of you're working your hip extensors with your abdomen fluid motion. Two more in the direction you're going and one more. And on the next one. Reached back and take hold of your ankle for quad stretch and bend the down the for a little more stability. Now see if you can create a straight line from your knee or shoulder. Draw up on the front rim of your pelvis. Engage your low glute Nav.

You still have room to move. Bring the heel a little closer to your butt. I take one more breath there. There you go. And slowly release. Now Bend your bottom leg like you're sitting in a chair. Now reach the top leg straight out. See of a straight line from your top ankle to your shoulder and now lift the leg up a few inches. Now imagine your have a figure eight.

You're going to draw in the middle of the figure eight. It's straight off your body and you're just going to start to trace a figure eight using your outer hip muscles and your lower belly. Now start to let the leg internally and externally rotate as you go through the figure eight. That's it, and challenge yourself to work the range a little behind the plane of your body. That's the place where we all tend to be weak. That's where you're going to really feel some fire on that back out or gluten.

And now reverse directions. Keep the hips stack work that back range as best you can. Just twenty-five more. No, three more everybody and back to the center. Roll yourself right onto your belly. Great. If you could put your forehead on the back of your hands again. Now go into, turn out with both legs and reach the legs away and lift the lower belly away from the floor and floats your feet off the ground.

Now widen and lower your shoulder blades. Now let's do heel beats. Five beats in on the inhale and five on the exhale for five breaths. Work the top rep, inner thighs, the low glutes, the low belly with a quiet soft neck. Two more breaths and one more breath as you slowly release. Turn onto your second side. Uh, why don't we face to face? We'll face out. That's fine.

You just roll onto the side of your mat. That's an our first thing. Put Your [inaudible] on your top hip. Now keep the hip stack, but take your feet about six inches in front of you. Bring your head back in line with the spine that take that top hand on the floor in front of you and see even create a little lift on the bottom waist. Now lightly point both feet and on the exhale from your upper inner thighs. Lift both legs. Inhale, flex the feet. Exhale, point the feet. Inhale lower with control. From your center and again, XL lift, flex point and lower all the way through that flexing and pointing.

You're keeping the connection to your pelvis with supple ankle joints. And again, lift flex points and lower two more times. Lift flex points and lower. One more. Lift. Flex and lower. Now float top leg up a few inches with a flex foot for sidekicks.

Inhale pulse to the front XL point and reach to the back. Use the breath to connect to your core. Yeah, just kind of keep the leg kick fluid in both directions. Hips stacked in both directions. Fluid motion. Two more before we move into bicycle.

And one more this time. Hold it to the back. Now draw the heel to the but need a chest leg long to the front. Feel each stage of the movements you're keeping the hips stack. You're getting that opening in the front of your thigh as you bend the lower leg. Clear hinge in the hip as the knee comes forward.

Three more times. Breathe through. Keep the breath fluid all the way through. One more. Now. The next one is you bring the leg to the back. Take hold of the ankle for quad stretch. Try the knee down. Draw the tail down so you create a straight line. Need a shoulder.

Now engaging the low glute. If you can see if you can give you a little help here. There you go. If you can, bring the heel closer to the butt. That okay. And when you're ready, slowly release. From there we're going to go into, what did we do last? Oh, the uh, bend your bottom leg.

Like you're sitting in a chair for the figure eights and I reached long off the hip. Lift the leg to hip height and have energy out the head out the leg. Now start to trace the figure eight front to back work that challenging area to the back line of the body. Now see if you can start to include an internal and external rotation of the leg. Notice if you can do it from the top of the thigh, opposed to doing it from the foot. Feel the rotations happening right at the pelvis. Two, two more in the direction that you're going.

And then reverse last three and back to the center. Help yourself onto all fours. Now we're going to do a simple movement to stretch your hips on all fours. So keeping you back like a tabletop. Just hinge in your hip joints, forward and back a few times without rounding the backs. Even. Just get a clear hinge.

And now as you come forward, go to your left. But imagine your tabletop stays flat to the floor. Go to your left and then go back on the left. Go right and forward on the right and just feel the stretch on the outer hips. As you do that, you'll get a sense of that.

So your back is like a table top and you're going side to side like the, the limbs are traveling, the tabletop, but you're not spilling all the food that's on the table. And now reverse. And one more. I'll come back to the center. Turn your hands in on a 45 degree angle. Tuck your toes under, widen and lower your shoulder blades and feel like you're pulling the body away from the floor as you reach into the floor.

Now we're going to do an interesting variation of a pushup like this, so you want to keep the middle back open. I'll show you one. You'll float your knees. Now without your back collapse. You're going to inhale to bend, exhale to straight, and keeping the upper back open. Let's try those out. So float the knees when you're ready. Inhale to bend. Exhale, straighten. Okay, how CV and keep the back open.

I'll push this up into my hand and straighten your arms. Now keep this lifted as you bend your elbows. That's better. Now straight. That's it. Feel those muscles. That's it. That makes it a whole lot more interesting. That's three. One more.

Turn your hands straight ahead. Step your right leg goes back into a plank. Then your left for leg pull back. Now first, turn on your low glutes. On the exhale, you're gonna lift your right leg and then reach back through your right, your left heel. Inhale forward and lower. Exhale, lift and reach. You'll alternate yet. Alternate three on each side. Keep the pelvis low, show the blades open and down.

One more each side. Last one. Float the knees down. Help yourself back onto your back. Now from that line down position, take your right leg straight up to the ceiling. Reach your arms up towards the leg and take a breath and exhale.

Curl up and take hold of the lower leg. Now reached the other leg long and look towards your belly. Now turn on your low glutes lower and widen the show. The blades. Pull the lower belly away from your inner thighs with an exhale. Switch and switch and fluid. That's it. Shoulders are low. Breath is smooth.

Two more re SIJ. Last one, back to the center. Bend your knees to table top and bring your hands behind your head. Interlace. Take a breath and exhale. Curl up in the upper body for Chris Cross. Now widen and lower the shoulder blades.

Slowly turn to your right as you lengthen your left leg. Inhale Center. Exhale to switch. Take it slow. Just two, five each side. Work on leg alignment and reach into your limbs. Feel that wrap from the back to the front. Beautiful you guys. Two more each side.

One more each side. Back to center. Rock yourself up to a seated position. Take a cross legged position nice and tall. Now take your right hand to the floor next to you and your left arm up overhead. Now leave your left hip heavy and on the exhale side bend right now. On the inhale from your waistline, rotate open and look up. Exhale, reach out over your right knee.

Reach forward over the knee and circle to the left. Now bring up your left, your right arm, Xcel side. Bend the other way. Inhale, open. Exhale, reach, and circle. One more reached way left arm up. Exhale over. Inhale, open up. Exhale, reach and circle. Last time, right arm up. Exhale over. Inhale, open. Exhale, reach, and circle. Help yourself up to a standing position and come to the back end of your mat for pushup. So little prep for your pushup.

Bring your elbows in close for a moment. Now turn on your lower glutes and your inner thighs. So when you bend your arms, then in only to the degree that you can keep the shoulder blades open and down and then straight. And even if it's just this much that's better than doing this. Let's see if we can work on it. Doesn't matter how far you bend, just work on that body alignment. So we'll take the arms up. Exhale, curl down and walk out to a plank. Now hold your plank strong.

Feel that opening blade just like when you were on the kneeling pushup position. Feel that connection. Inhale to lower. Exhale the straight and just three times strong body. One more. Press back to downward dog. Hold you downward dog for a couple of breaths.

You can walk it in a little bit to get a little more stretch. Relax the back of your neck. Now rise up on the balls of your feet. Bend the knees slightly and traction your hips away. Lift your sit bones away. Now start to slowly straighten the legs and reach the heels down towards the floor. Take one or two more fluid breaths there.

Start to walk your hands back into your feet. On the next exhale, slowly roll up through the spine. Come back into the front of your mat, forwards. We can all finish together. Come into a small v position at turn on the back of your legs and zip up from your heels to your sit bones. And as you press into your four foot, just lift your heels a few inches, but you still connected to the back chain. Take your arms up the middle overhead.

Grow Taller as you open them to the side and it slowed the heels down. And one more time lifts, reach open, lower. Turn your feedback to parallel. Close your eyes. Come back to your intention for yourself, for your practice today that acknowledge yourself for all your hard work. You guys, nice to be with you. Thank you.


4 people like this.
Tom has such a soothing and calming voice. I woke up this morning really tight and now I feel invigorated and ready for the day. Terrific cuing and visualization throughout the entire workout. The instructors on PA are AMAZING!!!
3 people like this.
Wow, wow, wow! I was just going to do the warm up to relax before bed, but couldn't stop...reminded me of some lovely things I haven't done in quite awhile. Great class!...just one problem, it's now 1:00 am and I'm wide awake.
Great class.thank you :)
Great class. I felt I stretched every muscle in my body. Going to add this class to my favorites. Have repeated your class several times already.
2 people like this.
Love this class! Can't wait to do it again! I would love to have more of Tom's classes! Thanks Tom!
1 person likes this.
Fantastic class, working deeply but with a calm and relaxed approach. Many thanks.........
1 person likes this.
I am not big on commenting but just have to do so for this class - fabulous!! Can we have more of Tom - pretty please :o)
Love the introduction of the Franklin method and then incorporating into pilates. Great class!
2 people like this.
Superbe !
Paola Maruca
I was honored to meet Tom Mccook on Pilates on Tour last December in Rome and I must say I felt the same this time...the sensation of 'floating' throughout the class...he is amazing and I really hope to see him again in the future....thanks PA once again for bringing us the best of the best...
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