Class #785

Kathy Grant Inspired Mat

55 min - Class


Protege to Kathy Grant, Cara Reeser joins Pilates Anytime for the first time with a Mat class full of fun, inspiring moments, and a whole lot of work. The class begins with an explanation of a non-anatomical inner map of the body that is useful from the first exercise. Cara shares her years of experience by detailing each exercise in a way that is sure to have you feeling successful when executing them. You will learn how to "stand on all your limbs (and there are six!)," to "not sink the raft" and how even the simplest exercises can be hard to sing to! Through Cara's teaching, we are all getting a glimpse of what it was like to learn from first-generation teacher Kathy Grant. Thank you, Cara!
What You'll Need: Mat

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All right. Welcome you guys. We're going to do a mat class. So, um, so I, I was a student of Kathy grants. Um, and then I have been a student in many other people's along the way and I'm always borrowing and um, and taking from other sources. So I will try to be clear when I'm offering things that Kathy taught me or, or ideas that came from other lineage holders. Cause it's nice to know sort of where we are in the family of things. Um, Kathy always did that. She would always say, now this is Mr [inaudible] and this is Corolla. Now this is eve and this was Corolla. And this was Mr [inaudible].

And this was what Clara did. So we had a sense. So I'll try to give that to you as much as I can and you're welcome to ask me anything actually. Um, so we're gonna start with sort of a, a way that I work in my studio. That definitely comes from how I learned from Kathy. Um, and I've taken a kind of to a different place. Um, but it's a very helpful little map in the inner body. So I want to give it to you so I can refer to it the whole time. Okay. So go ahead and just have a seat in the front of your mats and, um, we're gonna just sort of locate in our mind's eye, and this is not a particularly, it's non anatomical, it's, it's more a visualization. Okay.

We're gonna visualize 10 sort of circular bands down to our, down our torso. And if you've ever seen me in a class before, you've probably done this. Yeah. So we're going to start in the first band, I'm going to think about as right down above my pubic bone and we're all different. So some of you might need, you know, more bands. You just have to make it up in your own mind. So we have 10, the 10 band is down by the pubic boom, and then the nine band above that, which is usually below the navel, the eight band that comes all the way around. So we're really thinking three-dimensionally navel seven lower ribs floating rib, a, uh, six. Uh, it's hard for me to count.

I can teach a great philosophy is, but I can count five rib cage for right under the bra line or you know, here under the breasts, three on the sternum. Now two and one are very important to me. Two is going to be the very um, lower part of your neck where your cervical spine in your thoracic spine come together. It's he seven. So you can usually feel that, um, protruding joint there. And then up top right, put the fingers on the skull and feel that little, um, what we call the lump of knowledge in my practice. That's your also put and just nod your head. Yeah, this is going to be your number one. Okay. And the reason I say that in, in this tradition that I teach in, um, the lineage of Cathy, we spent a lot of time being very specific about the difference between lifting the head and coming through the rest of the spine. So when you hear me say one to you, I'm truly asking you to lift your head without pulling through your chest wall. So it's a little bit different than sometimes we think of it.

We're going to be really sequencing from head detail. So I always like to think of the body is having six limbs. Yeah. You have your legs. I know. Stunning. You have your arms, you have your head and you have your tail. And at any given time you can choose what to gesture with. So I always say, you know, you should be able to just like, I would go out and reach you to shake your hand.

I should be able to do that same kind of specific gesture with any of my limbs. Right? So you really want to know where are your [inaudible] motivating from. Yeah. So you have lots of range of motion from all edges. Yeah. This is, this is not just me who thinks this way, but this is the way I talk about it. But this is in sort of the, the, the uh, um, functional anonymous conversation through the lineage of, um, Mabel Todd and swipe guard Bernard, et Cetera. So we're going to, that's our main thing is we're going to be really dialing up the sensitivity to head and tail throughout the gesture using this little inner map. It won't be confusing. Come onto all fours.

So in Kathy's work, we did lots of cats and um, we could spend the whole class doing those. I'm to actually teach a cat that I had sort of came up with with my staff at my studio that just going to help you find this articulation. So we're going to start in extension and just start breathing and making sure that your shins are very grounded and go ahead and let your eyes look out on the horizon. So your neck is also an extension, which is just fine. And we're going to start going into flection from the lowers. So we're going to do curling through 10, nine, eight and don't move any of the other ones yet. Seven, six, five, four, three. And here's her head to one.

Now we're going to reverse it from the tail. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three head, two and one. Good. Let's look at that. So again, 10 now press your shins down. What you're going to feel is your hamstrings activating that movement. The pelvis. Yeah, that's right. Good. So it's your own map. It's your own journey through your spine and let your head articulate your accounting [inaudible] and then reverse the direction from your tail.

So 10 let your heads really hang here. Yeah. And nine. Eight, gorgeous everybody. Yes. Perfect. Good. So let's do one reversed. This one's harder. One, two, three, right?

So don't push up into four until you get there for [inaudible] five right? And the head keeps curling through. Let your heads drop. Nice tail is under. So as a tail does under the front of the hip starts to open. Correct. Now reverse it from your head, one to bring it through the thoracic. Three, four, five. Nice. And then when you get down there, you really lift the tail up. Wonderful. Go ahead and Tuck your toes under for a second and bring yourself now into a head to tail flat back position.

So dial up those virtual limbs of head and tail and feel. Hold on, you are going to do that though. But first get that tabletop position. So you have to come Kinda in a little, right. That's it. Now let's do floating cat. Just float your knees up and I want you to take three deep breaths and start to dial up that breathing. Now [inaudible] now reach your head and tail. Yeah, and watch that your ribs don't sink towards the Mat.

Now rock on your toes. Forward from your head. There you go. Like a little water, spider and back and feel the reach of head entail here. Yeah, yeah, it's right. You have a full energetic field to reach through. Yes. Lovely. Nice down. Good.

Spin your legs around to the front. So here's where the fun begins. So now we bring those same concepts into doing some sit-ups. Okay? These are traditional Kathy grant sit-ups. They're done in a lot of different ways. Today we're going to be using the counting.

So you're going to be sitting up tall. I'm going to be moving from my pelvis, not from pushing through my back. We're going to start. We're going to count together. Here we go. 10 say it out loud. Nine, eight, seven, six. Beautiful. Five keep talking.

That's right. Headspins one great. Now on the way up, all say one and two. You chime in on number three. So you're going to lift your heads. One, two. Nice. Everybody now started talking. Three. Sing it for five. No dog.

Why six? That's right. Seven a good. Nine and 10. How's that feel? Good. It's hard. Good. Put your legs together. That might help you. I'm not saying good or bad, but it might help you. Here we go.

Let's go back one more time. This time you're going to hum. Take a deep breath in like Bhramari go. Mm, very traditional. Cathy grant, we often ha harmed or sang. Keep the breath moving smoothly. Curl the tail. Amy, Amy, Amy, Amy. Yes. That was it. You see?

It's the same thing we did in the chair and then lift your head and homme on the way up. Healing yourself off. I got you. Right. Good. So now does everybody know where they have their rough spot in there? You know what, number bands, it is great.

We're going to do the green room set up from Kathy's work and then we'll start to go into our flow. So we're warming the spine up. You're going to go down to the spot. I'm just going to show you this pulse, so I'm going to get to about seven on myself and then I'm going to do 30 micro pulses. You see that? So I'm not rocking in my hips, but I'm trying to sort of massage those vertebra open. Okay. All count for you. You go on down and she, she's looking like what? Here? Here we go. Curl that tail under. Find your spot. Get there. Own it. Here we go.

Paul Singh. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Nice. Nine, 10, a little higher too. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, a little lower too. That's it. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. No, come up slowly all the way. Eyes Up. Eyes Up. Chin up. Straight back. Nice and tall. Good. And take your hands behind your head. Here we go. Now if you're going to have wide elbows, I don't want your scapulas squished together like this.

I want you to wide your scapula. Lift your spine. You can bring your elbows narrow if you need. You're going to start to roll back using your numbers in your mind's eye and you're going to stop when you're curled up over number four or five. So you're in your sort of plot, his footwork position. Beautiful. Bring your right knee into your chest. Stay with me.

Bring your left leg into your chest. Curl your Elvis in a little bit more in everybody. Keep thinking of doing an ongoing forward role. Take your legs up to the ceiling. We're gonna do a little variation of foot work right now.

So you're gonna inhale, you're gonna take your right leg down a little bit. Keep your breath in, left leg down. Exhale both legs up. I took this from Yoga class. I love it. Inhale other leg. Good. Right? So what it does is it means keep going as I talk.

How do, how do you do this without dropping your butt down into that mat? Yes. Good one more in each side. Here's the visualization. You're on a raft, you're floating in the Caribbean. You have a nice glass of wine next to you. Don't drop your, your raft into the water. Right? Do One more and feel that image.

Don't push your butt in good hundred. Here we go. Stay with me. Keep curling up. So we're going to think about this wrapped image a lot today because if you actually put yourself on the raft, you're going to realize how often you leverage. Yeah, good for more deep breaths. I know it's burning. Keep curling. Good. Visualize that, that wrapped.

Maybe come out a little bit of that and just play with your hamstrings a little more just for what you worked on today. So there's a little bit more. Yeah. And rest. Good for your knees. And take a moment. Good. Straighten your legs for roll up. So this is gets real tricky. So head tail, right?

Six limbs and you're floating on a raft. Okay. So how do you sit up on a raft and not drop your butt through the thing, right? You got to hold yourself with yourself, right? That's what we're doing. So you're gonna take your arms over your head. You know the exercise. Inhale, curl your chin to your chest, come through all those numbers and reach over your toes. Hey, that was great. Nobody is sunk. Inhale, take your pelvis under and don't push down on that mat surface, but rather float along it, right? Right guys, ladies, wonderful. Beautiful. Three more.

Inhale and keep playing with it. Exhale all the way through. You can stay. You can stay moving and concentrated. That's a very like, up level skill is to like keep the flow. But stay specific. Don't throw away the image. Inhale. Exhale all the way through. Good. Inhale back, opening the front of the hips.

Now push those feet away. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. That's what we worked on before. Arms down by your side and good. So the next exercise we're going to do, it comes from Kathy's repertory also. It's called spine lift. Um, and I'll show you what I'm, what I'm thinking here. This is like really hard to do on the raft, but it's important so you won't move very much.

So I'm going to try to lift my tail up right and back down. It's very small to start without bringing my legs forward and without pushing down too much on the mat. So you know, I feel like I really want to push here. So you could even take your hands, you know, above here and see if you can find just that little bit of tail lift. That's going to be our preliminary for rollover. Cross your right ankle over your left, arms down by your side.

If you find your bearing down too much, you can pick them up. Inhale, curl that tail, right. Exhale. Good. Now you're pushing your head into your raft too much. There you go. Inhale, curl. That's it. Good. Inhale, switch your ankles. This is nice. So what's your going to feel as the backs of the legs?

Push into me a little. Yes. Yeah, you can push into me more just so you can feel how nice that is. Hamstrings. Yeah, right. To get that lift, Cathy always called that torso to legs, meaning you're not going to do your roll over by throwing your legs. You're going to do it by picking your torso up. Take your legs together, rollover. Now don't throw your legs. You just learn that. Inhale, pick your tail up. There she goes. Lovely. Open your legs, flex your feet and roll down through. Good. Wonderful. So again, curl the tail to move the legs. Gorgeous.

We're going do two in each direction. So I love the arms from down. And that doesn't mean you have to sink your raft. It means you stay, you know, really connected to all six limbs here. So you have two legs, two arms, head reaching, way out, tail, motivating the gesture. One more time. So tail is the gesture. Yeah, spine is following. Wonderful. Good. As you come down and take your right leg down and grab your left leg and go for a deep hamstring stretch on that leg.

And why don't you all flex your bottom foot? I'd like you to pretend you're actually standing on something here. It's very nice to reach through that supporting leg. Uh Huh. It helps open the front of the supporting hip. Yeah. And help keep the energy of the limbs coming through.

So really stepping through. Yeah. Nice, good. So now lower that leg to about 45 degrees. And we're going to do tree. You're going to walk up number one, head two. Yeah, so you get to use that map again so it's very clear all the way. Bring your eyes up as you come. Just my preference. Good. Lifting your chest. Now take your arms out to the side for a second.

I'm sorry. Now let me see. 10 you gonna roll down nine don't fall into number four. Yeah, keep going all the way down. You guys got it. You see that tendency to push back here. Beautiful. Grab the leg. Walk up again. That looks great.

Now I like this bind Cathy used to teach. You're going to take the top. You're going to drop the crown of your head. I'm going to reach through the supporting foot and I'm going to just take a nice gentle rock and float right here at the bottom. Don't touch, just float. Now push the opposite leg in to lift back up. Good. Nice stretch. Yeah, you feel that? Go again. Drop your heads.

Allow the back of your neck to stretch. It's just really, really healthy. Yeah. Lovely. Now push the two legs apart to rise. Terrific. Take your arms out to the side. Everybody lift your chest. And here we go. Down 10, nine. You know the rest sequence. Move the pelvis, move the pelvis, don't sync your raft. Gorgeous.

Pull your knee up to bring your leg up to the ceiling. Pull your opposite knee into your chest. This is a lovely variation of um, single leg circles that Kathy taught us. Yeah. This, this is going to help you keep your pelvis kind of organized. We'll start with the out gesture today. So you're going to go inhale out, exhale around. Inhale out. All right, good. Let's really take it out to everybody. Come wayside. And around, which is what we did, um, with her because we were dancers and we were really seeking that range.

But you feel what that opposite leg had helps you. Yeah, yeah. Nice. And up. Now let's go the other way. Cross a little down, around and up. Inhale, cross down, around and up. Inhale and good. Put that knee, leg down. Straight down and roll up to seated for a moment.

Good. Is that clear? Yeah. So if you felt like you needed to crossover more, um, it's fine to let your hips go a little, but let's really work on that open because what's so lovely is I'll do it on this side. Feeling the way to open without tipping, right? So you're using that bind to help create that. Okay. Let's go down with the other leg that we're about to stretch. So you know your legs and you go here.

There are things called right and left, but I, I don't always like to refer to them cause I'm usually wrong. Okay, here we go. Stretch the hamstrings. Breathe. Yeah. And feel all six limbs. You know, what's your head doing? What's your tail doing? What? What are your legs doing? What are your arms doing? What's your breath doing? Where are you?

Are you on your mat or you're on your raft? Good. Bring the leg down. Tree. Walk Up. Hand over hand. One through 10. Yeah, you have the leg a little lower. It helps you. Yeah, keep the leg really straight. Reach it out. It's gorgeous. And take your arms off. Great. And go down 10. It's nice.

So you'll feel which area you tend to want to fall in. You've got to pick up, pick up the, yeah, you good for you. Great. Good. Walk up again. Good. Nice everybody. Nobody's sinking into the sea here. Bind. Drop your head. Flex your foot.

Now go ahead and tip all the way forward. I really float there for a moment, right? Breathe and let your head fall. Now push your two legs away from each other to rise. Yeah, that's going to help your teaser later, right? Because you have to know how to do that for teaser to be successful. Take it down again. Really standing through all limbs.

Standing ass. Yes. Heads. Very good. Standing on lift. It's wonderful. Good. Take your arms out please. So hold yourself with yourself as you move down through your tail, right? You don't let yourself get dragged around. You. Decide what's going to go when and where. Good. Take the leg up. Take the other knee in for these circles again. So again, this comes from Cathy going wide. First inhale, exhale, home. Inhale, exhale, home. Inhale. Lovely. Go for more range.

Right? Perfect. Good. And other side. Other way. Sorry. Good inhale. Exhale. Good. Let that inner thigh really stretch. Oh, Aha. That's better. One more. You can go for it. You're stable with this knee in. Good.

And take that leg down to the mat. Roll up to seated. Yeah. Then the question is if you're not in that bind, can you go that wide and not lose it? So it's, it's a learning. Let's do rolling like a ball. I'm going to give you this a little bit of, uh, a new option for the arms that we've been playing with at the studio. So I'm going to ask you to hold your arms like this. [inaudible] so pick your feet up and get your position.

Now take your arms like this. Palms facing each other. 90, 90. So 90 degree angles. Yeah. Putting your elbows in the front of your thigh bones. You're going to make fifths and you're going to push your shin, your thighs, into your elbows and push your elbows into your thighs. So right away you feel what's going on there. Right? So now to do this exercise, keep this bind, lift your feet, push the knees into the elbows to roll back.

Push the elbows into the thigh bones to come up, right? And that'll tell you all the places you've been cheating. Otherwise, inhale, go. Good acts, hail. Lovely. You guys are so great, right? So your, your thigh bones, move your elbows back and then your elbows move your thigh bones forward. One more. How's that? Feels hard. Good. Stop at the top. Feet down. Sit up tall. Good.

So you can feel where it wants to come apart. And then what do you need? You know, and the thing that's true about this is that that little skill we just did with the, the spine lift, that's the same thing that takes you back and rolling like a ball, right? It's not momentum. We don't want it to be, oh, I'm going to go backwards. We want it to be a, I'm going to go, oh, you know, so it's from the tail, which is very animated. That's good. Bring your right knee into your chest. That's all the break you get. So how do you do this without sinking your raft?

I'm not sure. I've never been 100% successful yet, but I'm trying. Lift your lower leg please. Flex your feet. Yeah, so going back 10 I know, sorry. Nine. Yeah, just try. There's going to be a little kerplunk maybe, but you're just trying not yet reaching through that trait. The more you stand through this foot, the less nice. Hey, very lovely in here we go. Ab series. Inhale one and two. Exhale. So just take this as a flow now. Yeah. So one thing about these exercises, you have to be doing an ongoing forward roll the whole time or gravity is going to take you back. Both knees in, please. Inhale.

Now don't drop your booty into the rafts. Stretch it out. Inhale. Oh yes, XL home. Good. Ongoing forward roll. Inhale. That's right. One and two are reaching for 10 and nine they're having a little kiss up here in the sky. Gorgeous scissors. Same thing. Go pull, pull, switch, pull, pull, switch, pull, pull, switch. Now don't rock the boat. Nice. Yes. And stop hands behind your head.

Now we did another version of this with single legs. Now we have two legs, so everybody probably has to pick up two grams of weight off their booty side right now before where they start or they're going to get sunk. Right. You know what I'm saying? In hell over the legs with me. One, two, three, coming back. Three, two, one, one. Grandma. Wait up. Yes. Good. Keep the breath flowing. Please. Let me hear it. I can't. Yeah, I keep that forward role. Keep that forward. Roll with your head, right. Good. I'm sorry. Elbow to knee. Let's go towards the C. Inhale. Nice.

Wonderful. Now this is a really hard one, not to rock the wrap, so you have to think how to spin around your central axis. Perfect. And rest. Lie Back, stretch all of your limbs out. Take a moment. That was seriously difficult. Yeah, it was. That was great. Yeah. That's why your guys' hair looks so good here. Take your left knee into your chest. Let's be honest.

Roll up to sitting and let's do spine stretch seated with Kathy grant laterals. So this will, I guess I'll face this way. There'll be a little bit more clear. So we'll start with spine search and then I'll take you through the laterals. So inhale, starting from the crown of the head.

Exhale. Now you can keep reaching the whole time. You can hold your breath at the bottom a little and then inhale, stack it back up. Good. Consider your head and tail. Exhale forward. Good.

Now I want to see energy coming out of your heads right now. Tale grounds down to bring you back up. So it goes right through the floor and it picks the head up to the sky. Do you guys feel that connection? Good. And once you get that, you don't have to hold your ribs up so much, right? They can just be there. Here we go. Cause sometimes we really pull those ribs around too much. Yeah, that rib cage and it, it likes to just have its own, its own, uh, time on the spine so you don't have to pull, relax your rib cage a little bit. Exactly. Now, hands behind your head.

Let's widen your legs a little. Um, these are the sitting laterals from Kathy's work. Um, very, very important. When we're in these positions, sometimes we take our hands behind our head and our shoulders are tight. So we go like this to get out of the way of our tight shoulders. So if you feel like that's your sort of compensatory pathway, I'd like you to bring your hands here. This was always an option. Yeah. So then the shoulder girdle can be, you know what I'm saying? Okay. So here we're going to go, I'm going to bring my, you're going to twist a little right side.

Inhale over to the side, right? Opening the ribs, exhale, recover. So whatever is your right side, let's try that again. So right side, you're going to the right. Yeah, I guess that was my bad. And exhale and inhale center. Yeah. You're just bringing the left elbow towards the left knee. So I'm just twisting because my legs are so wide. Not very much for me. Right. But if your legs are more narrow, you might have to make that. Yeah.

So in then all the way over on that inhale, open the ribs and exhale. Okay, good. So my right elbow and your right elbow are going to go to our right knees. Here we go. Inhale. You got it. Good. Now I want you to visualize that you're between two panes of glass or something. Keep going, breathing, time talking. You're working and twist.

It's a little twist. Other side, other side. Sorry. Alternating sides. Good. We're going to make sure we get this right. Take a deep breath in. As you go to the next side. I won't say which that is cause I don't know. Exhale in good, deep breath in to the next side. Gorgeous. Everybody acts. Exhaling. Great.

Let's bring your legs in front of you. Shake them out for a second and let's go to open like rocker. So we'll start with rocker balance. So you'll hold the front of your legs. Now again, we're going to do teaser. We're going to have fun version in a little while. So if I'm up parked here, I call this the park and ride.

I might balance for the picture, but I'm not really working with the balance between my head and tail. So find those hamstrings. Find that length through your spine and find your teaser in open lake rocker. Cause that's exactly what it is. Now don't go back. Pick your tail up like you did on rollover to go. Inhale, exhale, recover. That's it. That's it.

Nobody fell off the raft. Inhale for more acts, Hilary cover. That's really good. Inhale. Good. Exhale. Put your legs together. Two more. That's up leveling it. Yeah. It's a little harder to not fall through the bra line when you have the legs together, but you just try. It's not about being perfect.

It's about trying, playing really last. Oh good. There's good. You guys really stayed. It was pretty aggressive. I know that was the end of the count. Venn your knees, plant your feet and roll back onto your backs. So our version of corkscrew today is tic talk. And it's um, the hardest thing to stay on my raft for me. I don't know, but one side of my body really wants to go take your legs up. Okay. We're going to go towards the sea. You're going to take both legs, keeping them equal. So pretend you flex your feet right now.

Guys stay. Come back to center. Pretend you have a tray a up. Kathy actually used to put trays on her feet here. Pretend you have a tea tray here. And as you come over, keep that tea tray at equal. Inhaling. That's right. So your hips don't cheer. Exhale back to center. Gorgeous. Right? So you're checking it out. You're going, oh, I'm pushing on my raf too much.

Right? That means you have too much tension. The only reason I don't want you to push on your raft is I don't want you to have tension that's not relevant. Yeah, that's great. One more time. Irrelevant tension is not helpful. So yeah. Wonderful. One more on each side. Yeah, that's right. So feel where that extra tension is. Let it go and let the gesture be tail.

This is tail end legs moving tail and legs and come back. Gorgeous. Bring your knees into your chest. Roll a straight up to seated. Open your legs. First off, we'll go towards the sea again. We'll take a deep breath in, twisting and exhale a little finger to little toe. Reach your back. Palm Up. Good.

Now I'd like everybody to actually come out of that flection position a little bit. And let's twist a little more than flat. Yeah, there's a lot of variations, but I think we haven't twisted that much and then stack it back up. Good twist. So I'm trying to bring my chest all the way through. You can even look over that back shoulder a little. Let your cervical spine rotate a bit. Ah Huh. There we go.

And back up to center. One morning. Each side. Yeah, there you go. And up, breathing, feeling rotating. Great. Push up into me. Aha. They're all the way. Gorgeous. Everybody legs together. Swivel around and come on to all fours with your head facing each other.

Okay, so let's float the cat again, but do a little bit of simultaneous head to tail. So it's like one in 10. Yeah. So you're just getting a little bit friendly with your extension. We go down to swan. So float your cat and then bring one in, 10 towards each other and flection. And the same thing in extension. Yeah. Gorgeous. Now don't fall down.

So I want you to all imagine the raft is under your chest now and as you wrote, exactly. Don't push into the surface or into what I call negative space. Terrific. Now come to a flat back or a tabletop, sometimes hard to tell what that is. Floating your cat. Take your right leg out. You're going into plank, left leg out, legs together. You're in a plank. Now where's your head to tail, right?

Rock your plank forward and back a little and really, really ride that center line. I call this flossing the line. Great. Get to your center, bend your elbows and lower yourself down to your nipples. Touch the mat first. Woo. Nice. Everybody. Uh, all right, that's right. He came out for a workout, right? All right, here we go.

Swan. So before we do this one, Kathy taught this lovely pre extension exercise for the hips called Baby Bot. So we'll take a little rest and we'll go in here. You're going to go up with the booty. Exhale without any tension. You're just opening the front of the hips to the mat. It's really nice way of finding that. Inhale, booty goes way up.

Just enjoy it. It's not an exercise. It's a movement. Yes. Inhale, stick the bud away out. Just like a baby would do. She'd say, yeah. Exhale front of the hips. Now put the hands under your armpits or where you'd like them for your swan and do one more baby. But so it comes up. And on that exhale coming down, Start Your Swan and let the front of the hips open into the mat. As you sequence up into your swan, let your eyes lift up everybody. Yeah, I like the eyes up here. Yeah. Beautiful. And lower back down.

Good. And do two more swans. I'm going to take you out of external rotation cause I met you earlier and go up. You know what I mean? Now I know I'm not against it but I'm against it. If it's your only way you do it. Yeah.

So squeeze those elbows in side. Okay. So let's, let's have fun with this cause you guys are so awesome. Come up again and get up all the way cause everybody can. So we do when we can because it's so wonderful. And Bend your knees and open the front of your hips even more and enjoy the possibility of moving into rocking horse here. You don't have to, but you know what I mean? Like you're opening the front of the quad now bend your knees even you've got it. Now lay the whole thing out together and just be so proud of yourself.

Cause that was extremely difficult. Yeah, really difficult. We're going to skip single leg kick, but we will do a version of AA kick or my language is sometimes different cause we had some different names that they original studio. So triple kicks or whatever you call it. Bring your hands down here. I'm gonna ask you to interlace your fingers and we're going to actually use the yoga position for boat like this. I just like this bind. Um, right now. So you're gonna bend your knee, you're going to turn your head and we're going to exhale traditional breathing. Exhale one, two, three. And then inhale, pull through.

Now bring your palms together. Yeah. That's why I like it. Cause you get that chest stretch and then turn your head and go. One, two, three. Now stretch, reach and go. One, two, three, stretch January and one, two, three, stretch and reach. And last one and good. Now you got one more. Don't you? Did I? Yeah. You know, you know, do one more on that other side. Stay even of and down. Good.

Okay. So here's one of my favorite things to do cause I can hardly do it. I always like things that I can hardly do cause I'm going to figure it out. Okay. So I'm going to do this on camera. I mean cut this if I can't do this. All right, push up into your plank right from there. Good. I'm very pleased with that.

Now I want you to push back into downward facing dog from the yoga tradition or something like that. Good. And why don't we, um, take a breath or two, walk your feet forward through your hands is what we'll do. And the tradition will come in. I mean, the transition we'll come into here is we're going to roll all the way up, arms out. So a wonderful Cathy grant thing we did very often, which is squatting. So we'll come squatting down. Yeah. And then you'll help yourself down. Transition to neck pull, roll it back. So it's fun to just make up little ways to kind of get to the next thing. Yeah, we were, a lot of us are choreographers first. So here we go. Rolling up, inhale and stack the spine up. That's right. That's your exhale. And then here you go.

You're trying to tip back on the flat, but you're still going to articulate it through 10 when you have two. Right? So you're going at but don't fall. Yeah, yeah. Good. Let's do three of these. This today in Ham. Oh yeah. I tell Ya, if your raft doesn't feel like sink and booty side here, I dunno, you might be miracle. So you just gotta keep kind of, you know, generating ideas around how not to leverage. It's not supposed to be perfect. God, you know, that's right. Last time coming up.

Great. And last time going down. It's possible if you, if you stood through your feet more, so put them on my shins. You could put them against the wall at home, you know, and then it's possible that that push you got hit. See but that helped you not, yeah. Bend your knees. Plant your feet for shoulder bridge. Um, I think its practitioners choice. How close you want the heels to your sitz bones.

I really like them nice and tight in cause I get to open my hip more. You know, so you're going to curl through 10 and you're going to stand through one. So that's what's so fun about being six limbed is that you can pick up the standing limb is having like a Suction Cup out there in space to make it longer. It's all sort of a cartoon image here for me. And then roll it down. Breastbone away from your Chin is what Kathy told us. Rib Cage waistline.

Say crumb tail. Good up again. You guys are doing great. Take your right leg up to the ceiling. We're just going to stand on the ceiling. We're not going to kick right now.

We're just going to take a couple of deep breaths. Flex your foot, push up through it. So yes, you see how that got you. Wow. Look at that range. All right. And switch. So you, that's right. You're doing great. Nobody sunk. Yeah, that's great. So that opposite set of hamstrings are screaming, right?

That's cause you're doing it well Ben, your knee roll it down. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's the cramp. Now, cramping is not desirable. I'm not saying that, but I, it's, it means you're in the right spot. Great. So this is an uplevel class. Um, but this exercise that I'm going to teach right now is only if you're interested in going this far with your bridging. Okay. It comes from Kathy's. See, I'm not sure if it comes from Cathy or if Cathy said that Mr Plod, he's taught a tour. I'd have to look back on my notes, but it came from the studio. It's your walkover. Okay.

So you already did a lot of nice extension. You can only, you can just do parts of it, but I'll demonstrate where I'm going with this. So you're going to get here. You guys all know, you know, bicycle and scissors. So it's in that family you're going to bring, turn with your fingers out, bring your hip down, reach, kick and switch. Reach. See my hamstrings. Really break the fall there. So you guys all can do that. If you can't go that far, check it out.

You just, you do something just really fun and lovely. It doesn't matter how far you go. Yeah, take it up. Yeah, that's right. I'm gonna fix my thing here. Take your hands that you have to turn your fingertips out so you don't break your face. Now Curl your tail more like a lot more like this. Use that. Yes. Now take a leg down.

Yes. Gorgeous Christie. Look at that. And then as you kick switches, or that's a perfect amount of range for you right now. You know, it doesn't matter guys. It never matters. Nobody's taken a picture. Just kidding. Usually just play with a couple more. Hey, you got to curl your tear. They're gorgeous in the green shirt. So when that light comes down, Alison know Aaron Curl. Okay, that's it. And roll down slowly. Is that okay?

And happy for everyone? Yeah, that's, I'm wonderful looking roll up to seated please. How is that? I found that very, I find that challenging as well. But the reason she would say that as she thought that if you lost yourself you might snap back on your fingers. So she was very cautious. Um, Kathy, I'm speaking of but opposite of what [inaudible] spices that would be in the pelvic, right. Sometimes the scissors and bicycle is taught yes. In this, in my version, in my world of scissors and bicycle, we're actually always remaining curled because we're always trying to get to this next exercise. So the end expression is the walkover. You can't do the walkover with the pelvis. Yeah, yeah.

Cause you would really be in your Lobo. Yeah. You got it. You know what I'm saying? So it depends on where you're headed. I think, you know, the end expression of the thing. Okay. Let's do, um, teaser. We're going to do rowing into teaser from Kathy grant. It's my favorite among many. I should, uh, I know. Um, but, but the thing that's so beautiful about it is it's going to help us not get to that, that park and ride position that I like to joke about a lot when I teach. Because you know, when you get there you're just like, okay. You know, but there's nothing really happening in the relationship between the head and tail. So we're going to start with, I'll show you, I'll demonstrate this out once you can get the concept. I'm, I'm going to curl through my, my tail. Now see, I'm not gonna fall here.

I'm gonna bring ten nine eight sequencing down. I'm going to come to about number four. Kathy would say you come to the place where your legs naturally float up. I found that everybody doesn't have that spot, but I'm going to open my arms now. I'm gonna start with my legs and then just let myself float.

I don't care how high your teaser is, it's up to you what you enjoy. Knees to the Nipples, thumbs to the Nipples, and then float the legs out to start again. So if the exercise starts with 10, start with 10, keep 10 and you'll never flip over. Let's try it. Don't be perfect. By all means.

Go on back. Ken, your pumps are out. So traditionally in the old school, I'll just tell you this history, that regional machines that we played on, that Mr [inaudible] built this handles. We're kind of like old school bucket handles like a real old school bucket handle with a metal pale and a little wooden dow rub on a metal thing. So they were real small, really different. So we held our hands like this. Um, and our thumbs were always out. They didn't even really fit in that thing.

Yeah. So curling back. Watch that your head. Stay on your spine. Exactly. Thank you. Open the arms. Now lift those legs. Float them. Rise up to your legs. It's okay. Wonderful. Bring your knees to your nipples and don't fall back.

Put your feet down. That was wonderful. And sit up. Good. Three more. Now try to breathe and have a little more fun. Kathy used to say, when we would start touring, you know, we would finally get out to the PMA or whatever, and she'd say, why do they all look so serious? I'd say, well, they're trying to impress you. There you go. Yeah. Knees to nipples. I love this part. You know, I mean, who's really strong enough to do that? You guys are, but that's hard and rollback. [inaudible] really lovely.

Yeah, it's great. [inaudible] up. You go lift those legs the whole round. You've got it. Just your funny spot. Love your spiny spots. That's what I say. Nice nipples. Legs down. Good. And take a forward bend straight over your legs. We're almost done. No, she says, wow.

She's an animal. All right. Um, we're gonna finish with squat. Uh Oh, we're going to do crab. You like crab. Okay. We're going to do, and if you don't [inaudible] we have lots of different levels of this, but I like to think of things and where they go. So when I play with crab, I say, Oh crap goes to a headstand. So this is again, a real up level, but you can do it in and they're looking like this. You can do it in moderation. Yeah. And I don't know if you can do it with this thing on, but this, I'm gonna find out right now. So you're going to go back, you're going to crisscross, you're going to come up. We'll do several of these where you just find that nice balance point. Okay. Now you see how I didn't fall, right? I didn't go.

That would not be a fun headstand. Right. But you can see that the next place I'm going to go, so after about three, I'm going to ask you to go to this bind and I'm going to ask you just to practice what I called Car Jack, which is just a practice lifting your booty up and down. And then if you wanted to, you know, get your party started that way you could try that or do any small variation of that that you felt curious about? I think so. I think I made it up. I don't know where. I think rail does it too, so we'd have to fight it out, but yeah. Good. All right. Here we go. Yeah. Three regular crabs.

Yeah. Yup. Oh, sorry. Inhale and exhale. My bad. Okay. Your head should be on your mat, please. Okay. I have a special something to tell you. I'll sit up please.

One of the reasons this exercise is harassing you is because you're crossing too far only to this way you can't get over your legs is very painful. Just cross your feet. Don't, don't pull so much because then it's like, oh, ouch. Right, so see if that helps. Go again. Inhale acts. Hell yes. Much better. See Aaron better, good and back and exhale. Yes. You can not have the Bret and the top of the head for this exercise. Good.

Christie, get scooped back before you go to the next part. Here we go. We're going to try that car jack thing on this one, so now you're going to get all the way over and just take a nice triangle. Bind the crown of your head down. This is exactly the way you bind for your head stance, you know, and then just practice lifting your tail up to the ceiling. You do not have to go all the way. Thank you. And then tail backed out.

Isn't that beautiful? Curl the tail up. Sometimes we don't know how awesome we are until we try something. Just that looks a little radical and back down. And one more time. And if you have a headstand practice, you can go. That's, that's great. I've got ya. Yes you do today.

You do gorgeous. Let's do legs more. Use your hamstrings. You got it. No you aren't. I got you. Bend your knees. Okay, and down you go. Woo. Yeah. That's how Kalani should feel. You should get done and be like, I'm [inaudible]. Otherwise life is too hard. Let's do rocking to standing. To finish it.

You're going to, you're going to start rocking, squatting up all the way down. Inhale, exhale, home. Good. Let's go together. Now. Get our choreography on. So we'll wait for them. Here we go. Down you go. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Curl the towel. Exhale up.

Oh, nice. Nice. Use your arms. Inhale, you can't get your brought up. Use your arms and stop. Bring your arms down. Good. Shut your eyes. Breathe. Come back to center. Feel how much you changed. You know, in one hour your nervous system, your muscle tissue, your blood flow, your oxygen, your attitude.

Yeah. Open your eyes and congratulations.


Wow! Fabulous teacher! Great knowledge, cueing, energy, enthusiasm, humor, voice....amazing.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Cara for sharing your love for movement, wit, charm, "tricks of the trade" and your lessons/influences from Kathy Grant. Your classes never fail to challenge our curiousity and effort. You should expect to sweat a little during Cara's class or it is possible you are falling off your raft!!
2 people like this.
o boy, did I chanqe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stellar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1 person likes this.
It´s a great and wonderful class!. ¿Quién dijo qué hacer Pilates era fácil?. Hasta lo más sencillo bien hecho es difícil y costoso. Estoy encantada de aprender todos los días. Muchas gracias a todos los profesores.
Wonderful class! Thank you
1 person likes this.
Cara, I regret that I was not able to do the rest of the workshop you gave at InsideOut Body therapies in Durham, NC several years ago! This was my chance to experience what an awesome teacher you are. Knowing that you were a fabulous dancer too who knows her 'stuff ' on the movement scale also is inspirational!
1 person likes this.
Cara is another 'real deal' teacher for sure!!
great class!!! going to look for more from her! love the visual queues...the raft etc really worked for me
Cara, thank you for your teaching skills. Not just your fabulous cues and expert knowledge but your sincere and joyful enthusiasm for this movement called Pilates !!! More please !!!!
So now it is confirmed. I DO cheat on rolling like a ball. I've been playing with different arm as well as bent knee positions (sometimes tighter ball sometimes wider knees) for a few weeks looking for an intermediate position where I don't "buckle". Any other suggestions to remediate my problem and keep me honest?
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