Class #695

Intermediate Mat Flow

45 min - Class


The Next Pilates Anytime Instructor Competition 2011 introduced us to Courtney Miller. She joins us as a result of several of the top ten contestants requesting that we feature her on Pilates Anytime whether she won or not (we would have even without the request!). Well here she is and we think you will be very happy about it. Courtney teaches a level 2 class that flows and challenges but keeps to traditional exercises so at the end of it all you'll feel worked out, well organized and happy for participating. Welcome to Pilates Anytime Courtney!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Apr 29, 2012
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Well let's get started then. Welcome, welcome guys, again my name's Courtney and I'm very excited to be here. Let's begin standing at the back of our mat. Feet are hip distance apart, parallel position, about the space of a fist between the feet. Hands down by the sides and let's just begin by feeling our body weight in our feet, rocking our weight forward to our toes.

Feeling how that transfers our entire body in our forward plane and then rocking our weight back to our heels. And then finding the center between the toes and the heels. And then try rocking your weight to your right foot, notice how that changes your pelvis, your shoulders, your ribcage. And then rocking through center all the way over to your left foot. And then finding the center and thinking of four points of pressure, front, back, left and right.

Inner and outer part of the foot, staying balanced into the ground. Take a deep expansive breath in through the nose as you lift your arms up to the sky. Exhale, reach the arms out to the sides. Lead with your heart full forward. Take the hands down onto the ground and just allow your body to hang here.

Let your head, neck, and shoulders relax. Shake your head no releasing any tension from the neck. If your hands aren't meeting the ground, go ahead and soften the knees so they are and then walk your hands forward into a plank position. It should take you about four steps to get there. Spread your fingers, middle finger points straight ahead.

Good, from here, rock your body weight forward so your weight is over your hands to the pads of your fingertips. And then rock your body weight back so you feel elongating through the calfs and through the feet. Try that again, rock forward, weight to the tips of the fingers. And then rock back. Try pressing your chest up into my hand a little bit higher, there you go.

Rock the weight forward, and then rocking the weight back and then find your body weight centered over the hands and the feet alike. Hips up just a little bit higher. Try lifting the right food one inch off the mat, keeping the pelvis level, and then lowering the right foot back down, and then drawing the abdominals up and in, lifting the left food one inch up and off the mat and then placing it back down. Lift the hips up to the sky in a pike drop the heels down towards the Earth. Begin to feel length through the arms, through the spine, through the backs of the legs.

See if you can tilt your pelvis anteriorly lifting the tail bone and sacrum up to the sky just a little bit more. One more deep breath in through the nose. Exhaling through the mouth. And then lowering down onto the knees coming into a quadruped kneeling position. Good, go ahead and readjust those hands if you need to, spreading the fingers, setting the shoulders, softening the elbows for cat stretches, but these ones are gonna be all about articulation starting from the tail bone.

A breath in to expand, exhale, start to contract the lower fibers of the abdominals tuck the tail bone under, begin to press the sternum up, press the ribs up and drop the head down. Stay in this position for a few breaths. If your spine were a mountain, the peak would be right around the tips of the shoulder blades. On your next exhalation, lengthen back out to neutral starting from the tail bone. So we go tail, mid back slide the scapula down then the head comes up but be sure to keep the shoulder blades flat onto the ribs.

One more time this direction with a little more fluidity. Tucking the tail, contracting the abdominals, lower, middle, than upper, head drops down the peak of the mountain is the mid back, inhale while you're here. And then lengthen the spine from tail bone. Articulating one segment at a time, setting the shoulders, head comes up. Lets reverse the direction.

So nod the chin, begin with the cervical spine, press the ribs up, press the shoulders up, close the space between the ribs and the hips, draw the naval and pelvic floor in. Breathe in while you're here and then begin to elongate from the head first. Set the shoulders. And tail bone is the last to come up, one more time, breathe in to prepare, exhale, start from the chin, good, press up through the ribs, and lets just hold this flexion for a few breaths. Can you feel your body weight centered over your arms and your legs?

You might have to shift forward a little bit. Good, now can you exhale, deepen the scoop, sacrum point under the belly, ribs, and pelvic floor drawing up, good, one last time. Let the head drop down and feel heavy, just let the weight of the world release away from the neck and shoulders. Lengthening back to neutral. From the head, the shoulders, and then the tail bone.

Excellent, sweep the legs around to the sides and come up to a seated position. Now that we're into our body and into our breath. Take a seat so the feet are hip distance apart. Anchor the big toes onto the mat take the hands behind the knees and just give yourself a moment, prop yourself up sitting tall with the shoulders over the pelvis reaching the arms forward and setting them. On an exhalation, roll from the pelvis first, start to roll backwards finding that deep C curve.

Let's hold the position, only going as far as the toes can stay anchored. Now deepen that C curve by gliding the ribs down towards the hips, inhale into the back body expand, exhale deepen your C curve, your abdominal flexion, go over the thighs, drop the head down set the shoulders and on your next inhale, lengthen up from the base of the spine. The same sense of articulation you had in your cat stretch repeating here. So tail bone leads the way we roll backwards opening the space between the femurs and the pelvis take an inhale and we can feel where that goes into the back and sides now before you lift up, deepen, exhale, slide the ribs down towards the pelvis, scoop over the thighs, drop down, set the shoulders see if you can keep your arms parallel to the ground here and then from the base of the spine lengthen all the way back up. Perfect timing (laughs).

Adding on, exhale roll back, scooping, deepening, good, anchoring the feet. Lifting the arms on an inhale the arms go up, the eye line stays forward. Exhale as the arms come down, we deepen and connect. Three more times here. So it's a breath in to lift.

And an exhale to lower. As we move the arms through space we feel the scapula set on the back and as we lower the arms down, we resist and deepen that abdominal connection. Stay where you are keeping the shoulders and elbows level to the ground, rotate to your right. Keep the knees where they are, the feet down. And repeat, inhale, arms up.

Exhale, deepen the scoop as you pull down. Inhale arms overhead, eye line forward. Exhale deep into pull. Good, inhale arms lift but the shoulders stay down. Exhale, last time here.

And exhale. Come through center, make a little pit stop. Find the level, square hips and shoulders then rotate to the other direction. Lifting the arms up. And exhale pulling those arms down with grace.

Again lifting the arms up, and exhale resisting as the arms come down. Two more. Can you deepen that C curve just a little bit. One more. And come through the center, hold the position and resist as you begin to lengthen your spine all the way down onto your back.

Go for that stretch, let the arms reach over head. Extending your legs long, let the front of the body open. Even allowing your thorax to lift and arch off the back of the mat just a little bit if it feels good. Sweeping the arms down to the sides, palms down, reach your fingertips all the way down to your feet. They're not gonna make it, but you will feel your shoulder blades pull down your back.

Bend your knees so your heEls are under your knees, feet are hip distance apart, pelvis is in neutral. Before you begin your bridging, press the ribcage down, draw the deep abdominals in, take an inhale to prepare. And exhale, press through the full foot, the whole foot as the lower back comes down. The middle back begins to peel off and we roll that one segment at a time until we feel our weight pressing down onto our shoulder blades, a place where you feel a lot of tension throughout the day. Now we can press down and we can feel that tension start to release.

Inhale while you're here, and then exhale. Take your time, deep in the abdominals, deep in that posterior tilt scoop as you roll down from the bridge. Be careful with the knees opening too wide here. Keep them parallel like train tracks. Release into your neutral before you continue.

And then exhale, contract the abdominals, press the low back down, begin to roll back up again. At the top we take that breathe in, and we can feel the breathe coming into the back and sides, not into the chest and sternum. And then exhaling as you release and resist as you go down. So we're not sorta coming to gravity, we're not dropping, we're fighting gravity and elongating on the way down. Excellent work everyone, on the next one let's stay up.

Take a breath in, set the shoulders. Activity through the fingers and the toes, exhale as you roll through the spine coming all the way up to the shoulder blades. Let's do a little load trans for exercise. So I want you to consciously shift your weight to your left hip without tilting the pelvis laterally. So maintaining square hips, the right leg peels off of the mat.

So we're creating that anticipation. We know we're gonna feel that support on that left side, so we consciously activate the seat muscles. Place the right foot down toe ball heel, right where it was when you started and try the left leg. Shift your weight to your right, prepare for it, lift the leg up, find a nice table top position. And placing the foot down toe ball heel.

One more of each, so think about the hamstring and the glute on the left side activating. And then, once you have that stability take the right leg off, place the right leg down toe ball heel and left leg comes up. Only once we're prepared, once we have that stability and then placing the foot back down. Before you go down go up, lift an inch from the hips and exhale, release the spine down. Let the back open up and release to pelvis neutral.

Now that we've got that stability, that awareness, let's challenge it more with a little bit of an endurance exercise, exhale as we scoot from the low belly. Roll back into the bridge. Good conscious effort to connect through the seat on the left side, right leg comes into a tabletop position and then activate through the quads as the leg stands up to the sky, make sure that leg stays active. Flex the foot, inhale, the leg goes only as low as the hip can stay stable. Exhale with energy, lift it up a little bit quicker.

We go down and a lift, down and a lift, down and a lift. Flex and a point, two more, down and up. Down and hold, lift the hips a little higher. Now before you lower that leg, hug your left knee in towards the midline a little bit. Bend the knee and place it down with grace and intention.

No break, let's right to the other side. Shift your weight, feel the seat, draw your left leg from tabletop to the extension. First one slow, let's string the body. Flex as we go down, hips stay level. Point, lift from the belly, here's our tempo six times.

Down press and lift, resist through the air. Four, three, lift with energy, two, hold it up, one. Hug your right and into the midline. Did it need that adjustment? Bend the knee, place the foot down.

Lift the hips a little higher. Press through the whole foot, reach through your fingers, and exhale with grace, release the spine down, one vertebrae at a time. And then release into that pelvis neutral. On your next exhalation, draw the deep abdominal muscles in. Keep the feet down, nod your chin towards you chest and curl up into abdominal flection.

Hold here, let's keep that same energy through the fingers and through the toes. Press down through the tailbone. Turn the palms in towards the body. Inhale, arms go straight up overhead. So set the shoulders down the back, keep them there.

Scissoring the arms, left down right back, reach and then lift, one more slow reach and lift a little bit quicker. It's a stretch and an up, reach and up, reach and up, as you lengthen, neck is really long here. So be careful, you're not going for that extra inch of arm length, you're going for the neck staying lifted tension free, holding yourself up from your middle, not from you neck flexors. And last time here, let's take both arms up. Circle them around to the sides and scoop up a little bit higher.

And we do that four more times, arms go up. Circle them around to the sides and lift just a little higher, ribs drawing towards the pelvis. Are you getting the energy from the hip flexors? Can you release them a little? Last time, and exhale, lift, and hold.

Remember this, we're gonna come back to it. But let's take a break for a moment. Exhale first, draw the legs into tabletop once you've found your abdominal stabilization. Deep abs drawing in, nod the chin first to protect the neck. Exhale as you curl up into your crunch.

Chest is open, release an inch and exhale, lift higher three times, one, down and inch, exhale higher, two, one more time, three, hold the position. Set your shoulders, feel the connection between your lacks, your obliques, and how that's facilitating the lift. Now just the legs, inhale legs long and low, as low as you can stabilize. Resist, exhale, draw them in, three times. Inhale and hold, now put them together.

Extend the legs out long as you draw your knees towards your chest, scoop just a little higher, reach through the fingers, that's one. Inhale, we go for the length, exhale. It's like we're contracting from both ends, two. Inhale to reach, and exhale three. Let's add the arms, the arms reach overhead where you have the length, exhale, resist, arms down by sides, inhale to reach and exhale.

So you're not going down, you're just coming up higher, hold, hug the inner thighs, hug the arms towards the midline, release the head, neck, and shoulders down. Release the legs down. Allow the knees to fall to one side as you look away. And then to the other. So again, going for strength but flexibility.

Not rigidity, we want to be able to be mobile. Now that the abdominals are warm though let's really challenge them, exhale first. That was just a warm up. Draw the legs into tabletop one at a time. Hug the inner thighs together.

For our hundreds today, two things that we're gonna think about; one is a long breath not a staccato, but a long breath. And the other is abductor connection. Not your chin in, curl up into your abdominal crunch. To challenge the lower abdominals more, feel free to extend the legs but be honest, is it getting into here or can you keep it into the abdominals? One long breath in through the nose and exhale.

In through the nose and exhale, hugging those inner thighs together. In through the nose and exhale drawing up through the front of the thighs, in through the nose. And exhale, good, hugging the inner thighs. Drop tailbone, open the collarbones and press with energy, excellent. Now, like we practiced earlier can you facilitate just a little bit of a deeper scoop on your exhales?

Three more then you're done. Exhale, press all that air out. Open the collarbones just a little wider, good. And exhale, press, last set. If you can lower the legs an inch, do it now.

Inhale, hold everything, as you bend your knees lift up. As you lower your head lower the legs one at a time. Take a stretch, arms can go overhead, legs can go long. Great job, so just feel that length through the body for a second. Stretches always feel better when they're earned.

You're welcome, enter a roll up here. If you know your back's a little bit tight bend your knees now so that you can roll through the spine and not skip a segment. Inhale, arms go up to the ceiling. Before you begin to lift the head, close the ribs. Nod your chin towards your chest.

Look up and exhale, your toes are your goal so begin to roll slowly through the spine. Reach beyond the toes here and just pause for a moment. Set the shoulders down the back and play a little game of tug a war with your body. Belly draws back, heads draws forward. Keep the C curve, begin to roll back.

Inhale, you're halfway back. To challenge your core more arms go up. Exhale, place each vertebrae down one at a time. Don't let the ribs pop, arms should be hovering off the mat. Let's repeat with a little more flow.

Inhale, arms up, head lifts. Exhale, peel, naval draws in as you scoot forward. Set the shoulders, inhale, roll halfway back. Lift the arms up, exhale, roll the rest of the way down. Remember to modify, soften the knees.

Inhale, arms up, nod the chin. Exhale, slide the ribs towards the pelvis as you roll forward, draw the belly back with the shoulders down, roll halfway back. Good, lifting the arms up to challenge more. Exhale the rest of the way down. Just pause for a moment, feel the length.

We've got three more to do, but think about this, try not over mobilize through cervical spine. Let's try create mobility where we're tightest, in our thoracic spine, our middle back, and our lumbar spine. Arms up, inhale, nod the chin, lift the head. Now that's the end of the cervical spine. Exhale, fold through the body, fold through the middle.

As you reach forward I could still fit a peach between your chin and your chest. Now the cervical spine, thoracic spine stays. You roll back from the pelvis first. Lift the arms up, exhale as you roll down and then the chin draws away from the chest. Good, two more, inhale, arms, chin, exhale.

Glide the ribs towards the hips. Good, belly back arms forward, but set the shoulders. Anchor them, roll halfway back, arms up. Exhale, control the rest of the way down. Excellent, one last time here.

And let's stay up on this one. Inhale, arms up, nod the chin. Exhale in the abdominals, fold scoop, fold scoop. Keep the feet heavy, hold, relax the hands down by the thighs, set the shoulders down the back and breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, on more time. Start to let those hamstrings open up.

In through the nose and out through the mouth. From the base of the spine, rebuilt, head will be the last thing to come up. Shoulders directly over hips. Separate the legs about the width of the mat, perhaps little bit wider. Flex the feet, ensure that you're sitting right on top of your tailbone here, taking the arms out to the sides, slightly wider than the thighs.

Set the shoulders, inhale as you grow tall, rotate towards your right and just pause for a moment. Begin now to play a game of tug a war with your arms, reaching opposite hand away from each other. You'll have to learn forward just a little bit as you press your left hip down. Now nod your chin towards your chest and exhale. Articulate on a diagonal over your right thigh reaching right hand to baby toe.

Pause for a moment, left tip down belly back. Inhale as you lengthen all the way back up and exhale as you come back through center. Let's do the other side slow. Lift up, rotate, nod your chin, exhale as you roll forward. You're not just folding in half, you're starting from the crown of the head, roll up, you're starting from the tail.

Arms are still in place, and then you come back through center. Now that we've got it, let's flow. Inhale to lengthen, nod the chin, exhale to stretch, slowing off the baby toe. Inhale to roll up and exhale back to center. Are we parallel or vertical, right over our pelvis.

Reach, lengthen, and come back through center. Inhale to rotate, nod your chin, exhale to reach. Good, as you lengthen back up, think about the spine right up against a wall. Rotate back through center. Inhale to rotate, exhale to reach.

Good, as you come back up rebuild the spine one vertebrae at a time. Excellent, and back through center. Lengthen an inch, open the chest and release the whole shakedown. Draw the legs in, shake them out a little bit, releasing any tension from the front of the thighs. Let's roll that out.

Move forward on your mat a little bit so you've got room to roll backwards. Hugging the knees together, begin tall and then start from the pelvis as we did with our half rollback. Scoop and hollow out the abdomen, set the shoulders. One at a time the legs come up so that we can maintain that deep abdominal connection. Let the feet drop just a little bit and a very light grip here on the hands.

Keeping that peach toward the chin and the chest. Inhale as we roll back to the shoulder blades, exhale as we roll up and balance at the top. Inhale rolling back to the shoulder blades and exhale up to balance. Good, you guys keep going here. Allow movement, allow flow.

So not stoppy starty, but just rolling like a ball would roll down a hill. Notice if there's any flat spots. Notice if there's any spots of tension. Are you rolling off to one side? Are you still where you started in the center of your mat?

Two more, the shape of the body stays the same. Good, on the next one stay up and balance. Hold the scoop, begin to lengthen through the thoracic spine. If it's available to you begin to extend the legs long. Again, be honest, is it coming from the hip flexors or is it coming from center?

One at a time reaching the arms long. If it's available, lower the legs a few inches, lift the arms a few inches, balance. Chest open but tail tucked under. Draw the shape back up. Two more times, the legs go down as the arms lift up.

Chest is open and lift back up. Last time, and lift. From here allow the legs to go down, the spine to come forward, take the hands onto the mat halfway down the femurs, press into the hands, lift the hips up, hold and breathe, breathe and hold, walk the hand a little further forward. It should remind you of your tendon stretch on your reformer, lift an inch, hold and breathe, breathe and hold, and lower the hips down. Excellent work guys, shake out the wrists if you need a little release.

Roll onto your tummy, let's work you back the other way. So lying onto our abdomen, let's separate the legs about hip distance, little bit of external rotation and before we begin to extend the spine let's feel the pelvis on the mat. So pressing down through our hip bones, pressing down through the pubic bone, begin to stretch and really reach through your legs. Take your hands down palms down, elbows are softened to the sides and nose down onto the mat so the cervical spine is long. Simply begin by inhaling to roll the shoulders down the back and pressing down into your elbows, creating an anchor.

Now keeping the elbows heavy, press down through the arms and start to lift the chest up. Just pause here, think about turtle peeking it's neck out of it's shell, so really going for length. Set the shoulders down the back, inhale to hold. And then exhale as we release down and as we go down we get longer each time. Try that again, just inhale to set the shoulders, roll them open, then press into the elbows, forearms, and hands to lift off.

The goal's not height, it's length. Keep the legs heavy, inhale to hold. And then lengthen, you get longer every time you come down. Let the shoulders release so that you can reset them up each time, creating a better neuromuscular pattern. Roll the shoulders open, now we feel what it's like to have those shoulders set.

Press down into the elbows, lift up. This time let's stay up. Draw the naval up and in, legs heavy. Left arm comes off, reaches forward. Take it back in, set it up, make that conscious awareness.

Find the muscles, right arm. Reaches up, and bring it back in. One more of each, heavy in the hips, lengthen, stretch. And bring it in, last time, neck is still long and bring it in, just hold for a moment. Find your center and releasing the whole shape down.

Excellent, from here the hands will hover. Take them a little bit wider, roll your shoulders open. Press the hips and pubic bone down. Lift the chest, lift the hands, roll the shoulders open all in your inhalation. Now stretch the arms forward and hold.

Length, length reaches a little bit more. As you exhale begin to circle the arms around to the sides, lifting the chest up, hugging the arms in towards the thighs, hold. Bending the elbows, coming back to the hover. Reaching the arms forward, this is your inhale, let's flow. Exhale as you circle, lift, inhale as you stretch to reach.

Exhale as you circle, lift, inhale as you stretch to reach. So reaching forward on the breath in, exhaling, arms going long and out to the sides. Very good, three more here. Find your focal point downwards at your mat. Good, inhale to the superman, exhale to swim.

Last time, hold the position, hug the arms in towards the body, turning the palms in. Press the pubic bone down, stretch the legs long. It's okay if they come apart. Find a little bit more length through the cervical spine, lift an inch and take the whole thing all the way down. Let the head turn to one side to rest.

Very good, allow your shoulders just to roll forward. Three deep breaths here, feeling that breath come into the back and sides of the body. So we feel energy, we feel heat into the back. That's circulation, that's healing. Pressing back into a child's pose position or shell stretch position.

So now that we've got all that energy and awareness in the front of the body, our abdominal connection, and in the back of the body, all the muscles along the spine let's go back into a plank series and see if we can unite them together. This time on the elbows and forearms though. So walk you hands forward on your mat. Take your elbows down so your elbows are underneath your shoulders. Take your hands together, either in a prayer position or make a fist with one hand and wrap the other hand around.

Of if there's a modification you prefer more, than go ahead and adapt that. Curl you toes underneath you. Lift your knees up off the mat and hold the position. Your hips are parallel to the ground here, level to the ground, shoulders are in line with the hips anchored down through your elbows and set your shoulders. Feet hip distance apart, scoop the tailbone under a little bit, contracting and shortening through your oblique muscles.

Head up and align with the spine. Hold and breathe and if you need to take a break go ahead and take one. Rock your body weight forward onto you elbows and forearms like you did in the beginning of class today. And then rock you body weight back, and the purpose here to go back is to stretch, so really reach for those heels. Coming forward on your inhales and back on your exhales.

Nicely done, keep going here. I want you to visualize the letter X on your back. As you set your scapula and start to feel your lats, that's the top part of your X, as you scoop your tail and create a little bit of life in your glutes, that's the bottom part of you X, and as you connect opposite shoulder to hip on both sides, it creates the support, this brace on the back body that holds you up during the plank. Center your body, hold it, scoop the belly, visualize that X and lower the knees down to rest. Press back into child's pose.

Excellent planks, we've been practicing. Those are great guys, excellent. Sweeping the legs back around the front when you're ready. So sitting right up onto our bottoms. So we've done a lot of linear work so far.

Let's think about our obliques next. Anchoring the feet, keeping the feet hip distance apart, sit up tall, shoulders over hips. Begin your roll down with your hands behind your knees. Roll from your pelvis, scoop out the belly, roll back. Take your arms forward, this time palms are down, set the shoulders, legs don't move.

Pelvis stays pretty stable, feet are anchored. On an inhale sweep, your left arm down. Look at it, watch it go back behind you. Pause, go for that stretch, that opposition. And then exhale, come back through center.

Let's stay on the same side, so left hand inhale as we stretch reach, and exhale scoop back through center. Inhale as we stretch reach, and exhale as we go back through center. Drawing a circle same side, inhale stretch reach. Lift the arm up by the ear and over to the center as you come back and in. Inhale stretch and reach, and exhale up and over to come back and in.

Last time, inhale, just pause for a moment deep in your C curve, arm goes up, resist it down, deepen an inch, lengthen all the way up. Just a moment of rest and scoop back as we do the other side. Taking the right arm, sweep it back. Level arms to the ground and then resist as you pull back in. The head goes with the arms, so watch the fingers and scoop.

Last time like this, reach lengthen and scoop. Since our movements are evolving and getting better we can go down a little deeper. We can scoop a little more, add the circle. Inhale, take the arm up and overhead. Resist as it comes back through center.

Inhale like you're paddling through water. The arm goes up and over, last time, inhale. And exhale, arm up and over. Pause for a moment, deepen the scoop, don't go up, go down, roll back, roll back. Sweep those arms behind your head.

You're still inflection, draw the legs into tabletop one at a time, the obliques are still alive, let's activate them by rotating towards one direction. Opposite leg goes straight, draw the elbow towards the knee. Chest open, back through center. Other side, just hold it for a moment. Find that X in the front of the body now.

And back through center, here's your tempo. It's a rotate and rotate, and twist, and twist. Good, going right through center. Good, level pelvis, elbows open. Let's start to feel the body as longer and taller.

So instead of thinking toes and knees moving, try to move a little bit more through the center of the body. As you rotate feel the length through the oblique on the opposing side. Good, shoulders down, we've got three more. And twist, two more, and twist, stay with me. One more, and twist, find your center.

Lift an inch and release it down. Hug the knees in towards you. The head drop down, turn the knees from side to side, releasing any tension from the neck, excellent. Not done with that muscle group yet. Taking the arms, reaching them back behind you.

Drawing the legs all the way up towards the ceiling. If this bothers your back in any way go back to a soft knee or all the way to a tabletop position. Inhale, the arms come overhead not the chin. Exhale as you just roll up reaching towards the toes. Little rotation through the torso as you reach toward the baby toe on one foot.

And then back through center. And then just a small rotation as you reach to the baby toe on the other side and back through center. So it's an exhale reach to lift and take it down. Exhale reach to lift and take it down. It's like you're climbing, each time getting just a little bit higher.

And lift, now watch your feet as you lift and reach towards them, are they changing length? If so you need to stabilize the pelvis just a little bit more. Up and over, up and over, exhale twist to reach. One more each side. Now we've felt how our obliques mobilize.

Let's pause here, hold on to the calf on the right leg. Lower the left, let's feel how the obliques stabilize. It's a pulse, pulse, switch. Reach, reach, switch, reach, reach, switch. Good, so as we scissor the legs through air be sure to keep those hips, pelvis, shoulders, ribs, everything strong and stable.

Reach, reach, reach, reach, go for the length all the way through the toenails. Reach, reach, one more each side. Good, hold it here, bring the legs up and take it all the way down. Arms and legs can stretch long again. Good, deep breath in through the nose, out through the mouth, flex and point the toes.

Now let's give the abs a little bit of a break. Roll over onto your side so you're facing towards me. Great job guys, how we feelin? It feels good. Excellent, okay, so let's begin with the legs long.

One long line in the body. Go ahead and take the elbow so it's directly underneath your shoulder, insuring that the shoulder's not rolling forward here, but instead it's rolling open and down. Take your opposite hand onto your hip. Stacking your feet if it's available, lifting up. Oh, I said we're resting the obliques, oh oh.

We're not exactly resting them. Taking your top leg up, just a few inches is plenty. Point the toe and resist it down. Hips up just a little higher. Good, flex to lift and point to lower.

Flex to lift and point to lower. Two more, we can do this. Flex to lift and point to lower. Last time, head in line with the spine. Hold, lift the hips up an inch, now lower the hips with ease.

Keep the work through the obliques, point the toe on the top leg, lift it up. Little circles, we go up and around. Up and around, lift, lift, keep the length through the body as if you were still in that plank. Reverse, take it up and around, up and around, lift, lift, touch the sides of the room with your toes. Hold it here, flex the foot, lower, point to lift.

Resist and up, stay lifted through that side. We might be going back into a side plank. And lift, release, lift, release, down and up, good. Now hold it up, flex the foot, hand comes in front of the naval. Lift a little bit more through the obliques, sweep the leg forward, point the toe as you bring the leg back.

Now as the leg comes back, hips stay open, obliques stay active. We go forward and back, forward and back. Less is more here. It's as if we're moving through water. Forward, really resist, forward, really resist.

Feeling that underneath side, right? Forward and resist, let's do two more. Pelvis level, hold it, we'll finish with medial rotation. Bend the knee in, flex the foot, push up and back. It's an in and a press, articulate through the foot.

Flex as you press and bend in, press. I'm getting half smiles and half it's burning. And press, the more you resist the more it's gonna burn. Press and in, push and in, let's do three more. Move from your center, abs in, two, and hold one.

Finish with a lift, finish with a point, one more. And take it all the way down and rest, good. Sweep the legs over to the other side, well done. Begin by stacking the feet. Take the elbow right underneath the shoulder, chest open, hand on hip, let's find our awareness first, lift up.

This side doesn't seem so hard, we had a rest. So keeping that sense of an hour glass shape, lifting through the bottom obliques, square the hips, top leg up, find it, good, point the toes, lower, flex and lift, lower, flex and lift, lower, flex and lift, lower, flex and lift, let's do two more. Neck long, hold it up, hold it, lift it, one more inch. And resist the whole shape down. Keep the lift, keep the obliques working.

Point the toe lifted up, here are your circles, up and around, up and around, lift. Circles are as big and quick as you can stabilize the pelvis. Try four more, three, neck is long, two, and reverse. Up and around, lift, up and around, lift. Hand to the hips so you can feel if you're wiggling.

Four more, four, three, two, hold one. Flex the foot, fan the toes, lower. Point, stretch and lift, lower and lift. As we lower the leg and flex the foot, it's the sense of retracting the femur into the hip socket. As we point the toe and reach it's like we're pushing the foot away.

Think of your feet and straps on the reformer, the straps don't hold you up. Good, hold at the top, flex the foot. Take your time, leg goes forward, leg goes back. Leg goes forward and then really we point it back. Flex to stretch, point to reach, flex to stretch, point to reach.

We've got four more, chest is open. Three, press and back, two, one, hold it here. Bend the knee down and in, flex the foot, push up and back, down and in, and up and back, down and in and up and press, resist through the air as you push back. As you press back draw those deep abs up and in. Lets do four more, in, turn our rotation, press, three, excellent, two, and last time, press one, lift an inch, and take the whole thing all the way down to rest, excellent guys.

Onto the tummies. Taking the fingertips underneath the forehead, palms down. Good, rest the forehead onto the fingertips. Legs are separated hip distance, parallel here. Let's find the position with the hips first.

So pubic bone down, hips down, creating that triangle of pressure. Now draw the naval up and in. This is your break so enjoy. Reach through your toes, set the shoulders. Leave your upper body down.

Begin to lift your legs up, length is more important than height. Hold the legs in this position. So it's the whole shape of the leg that's coming up. We're not flexing at the ankles or the knees, it's a lift from the back of a hip. Keeping the legs in a lifted lengthened position, try lifting the right leg up a little higher than the left.

Then reverse, left leg a little higher than the right. Then reverse, and then reverse. Now pick up the tempo a little. It's a switch, switch, switch, switch, up, up, climb a little higher, you lift, lift, lift, lift, up, up, lift and hold. Level the legs, lift them an inch if it's available.

And release the whole shape down, just take a rest. You can continue with that variation, focusing just on the lower half of the body and stabilizing through the lower back or to increase the challenge we can add the upper body and we'll start with a slow swimming and the go to tempo. Arms extend long in front of the body, pinkies are gonna be down for this one. Press into the floor, set your shoulders, inhale to prepared, exhale, naval in, arms and legs lift up together. Good, just pause, eye line down, back of the neck long.

Lift the right leg and the left arm. Pause for a second, switch to the other side. Pause for a moment, switch to the other side. Feel that X on the back like we did in the plank? Switch to the other side.

And now here's your tempo. It's up, up, up, up, up, up, up, not down. Lift, lift, lift, lift, lift, little longer. Fingers from the toenails, stretch and find your length. Final four, three, two, hold one.

Everything comes up, leave the legs. Circle the arms around behind you. Interlace the fingers, open the chest, thighs up, chest up, lift, lift, lift, and release all the way down. Turn the cheek to one side, let the upper body rest. Three deep breaths here, excellent work.

Great work for the tush, pressing back to a child's pose position and enjoying that stretch. Three deep breaths, even in child's pose those deep abdominal muscles drawing up and in. Excellent, back to the quadruped kneeling position. So almost coming full circle in this workout. Onto the hands and knees with a renewed sense of awareness of all of our muscles, especially our bottom right now, right?

Hands are right underneath the shoulders, elbows are soft. So finding the neutral first, extending the right leg back behind you, good, then the right arm long. Keep the fingers and the toes on the mat for now. So less of a lift more of a length. Start to walk the fingers forward, reach for the toes and then once you can't lengthen anymore, that's when we go ahead for the lift.

Just pause here, any shoulder tension you can play with the rotation of the arm. Palm in might help. Let's lift the whole shape up an inch, down an inch. Up an inch, down an inch, lift it up, lift it down. Three more, up and down, head stays lifted.

Up and down, now hold it up, really go for the length. Flexing the foot, start to open the leg out to the side as the arm comes to the side. This is called a windmill. And then resist as you scoop the leg back behind you. So it's an inhale, the arm and the leg stay level, open to the side, and exhale as you scoop the arm and the leg.

Yep, inhale as you open the windmill, exhale as you close it. Two more, inhale as you open the windmill and exhale as you close it. Last time, inhale as you open, and exhale, close it. Hold, draw your ribs up, lift through your middle, scoop your abs in, and take the whole thing down. Other side, extend the leg back.

Good, and the arms, so it's left leg right arm. Opposite arm to leg. Before you lift, go for the length. And when you can't lift anymore, that's when we start to come up and just pause here. Feel the back of your head in line with the rest of the spine, the hips level and square.

Stabilizing the spine, lift the shapes up. Arms and legs lift and lower, arms and legs lift and lower. Really feeling that connection between the shoulder and the hip on the stabilizing side. As the arms and legs draw up, so do the abdominals and ribs to stabilize you against the movement. Two more, now you've established your height, you've established your floor and it doesn't go any lower from there.

Sweeping the arms and legs out to the sides, press and reach, exhale, resist it back into your center. Inhale, out to the sides, and exhale resist. You guys are doing a great job keeping your head in line with the spine. Soften the elbow a little bit on that stabilizing arm, bend a little more, bend a little more. Good, set it down the back.

There's that little shake, good. Two more, resist it back in. Feel those abductors working, last time. Hold, reach, lengthen, and take the whole shape all the way down, good. Pressing back for a moment, rolling out the wrists.

Excellent work everybody. Truly finishing how we started, coming to a full plank position. Spreading the fingers, middle finger points straight ahead. Extending the legs back behind you. Curling those toes under, setting the shoulders on the back.

Pulling the abs up and in. Little bit of a scoop with the pelvis here in a posterior direction. Shift your body weight forward to the pads of your fingertips. And the back again, go for that stretch. Forward and back, forward and back, keeping the head lifted in line with the rest of the spine.

Forward and back, forward and back. Last time, forward and back, find your center. Lift your right leg one inch off the mat. Good, think about all the muscles, all the life you have now. Lower the leg back down, take the other leg one inch off the mat.

You've done so much work to recruit these stabilizers. Try one more time each leg, lift up, elbows are soft, lower down, last time, looks great guys. Lower down, lift the hips up, downward facing dog. Breathe, let the heels feel heavy as the hips lift up. Spread the fingers, lengthen the spine.

Great opportunity to decompress. Walk your hands with grace back to your toes. Just hang here for a few moments. Let gravity do what it does best. Shake the head no or yes, soften your knees.

Begin to slowly rebuild the spine. Now that we have our new bodies, fatigued but aware, muscles warm with circulation and blood flow. Take the arms up and overhead, see if we can get just a little bit taller. Take the arms down by the sides. One more time, feeling that length.

And exhale, chest is open. As we did when we started, shift the weight forward to your toes. And shift the weight back to your heels. Find your center, shift your weight over to the right. Just be aware of your body.

And over to the left. And back through center, bending the knees, feel the knees track right over the midfoot, pressing out, releve. Notice how all these muscles we worked so hard to recruit are now eager, active. Take the whole thing down, let's finish with one final deep breath in. Good oxygen in the lungs, and exhale, arms are down.

Excellent work today, guys. (applauding) You did great, you worked hard, yay, good work, awesome. Thank you. You're welcome, thanks guys.


5 people like this.
Congratulations Courtney !!
Thank You for a Wonderful Class & look forward to more
~ Really loved your cueing; With Grace and Intention
felt very challenged this beautiful Sunday morning :D
5 people like this.
I was thrilled to see Courtney being featured here for a class. Courtney this workout was wonderful - expressive movement and flow - loved it!! Also congrats on making it to the top 10 - you were actually my favorite to win!! Hope PA features you again!!
1 person likes this.
Bellissimo !
I really liked this class.Thank you!
6 people like this.
Wow! a Stott class!! Definately a lot of long holds and flexion but liked the sequencing. How about a reformer class ?
1 person likes this.
Great session...def my pick for competition! Loved the image of X of back body. Thank you - hope there are more sessions from CM...ESP some Reformer! Thanks PA...& Courtney
1 person likes this.
Pele ~ come back on Wednesday for a Reformer class by Courtney :)
1 person likes this.
Wow, Wow & Wow,., my abs are gonna be so sore tomorrow.. ty Courtney.. I voted for u too.. I really admire your flow and wonderful cues.. i honestly rarely looked at the screen. I am looking forward to a reformer class.
1 person likes this.
This teacher and class was a breath of freshness. I was having a great time sweating to a solid and creative class!
1 person likes this.
Thank you for an exquisite challenging and flowing class! Cant wait for the reformer session :)
Hello Everyone! Thank you for all the feedback! I am beyond thrilled to be a part of Pilates Anytime!! Thank you so much for your comments and if you have any questions at all please let me know! Have an amazing day!! Courtney
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