Class #880

Mat Exercise Breakdown 6

10 min - Class


Who doesn't need a little extra help with the Neck Pull? Monica details the levels of this complicated but effective exercise in the 6th part of her Mat Work breakdown series. Learn how to do the most basic version of this exercise first so you build strength and good habits that will help you progress to more advanced versions.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Good. So you're sitting on your heels and we're going to transition to neck pool. So you're just going to flip right on over. Feet stay pointing the same way and lie on down. Great. All right. So there are many different levels of neck pole and it's a hard exercise. And I think after I've been doing plies for, I dunno, 16 something years and after nine years I remember seeing Romana and she was like, Oh, you finally got it. Yay. I was like, Oh really? Just now. Oh Yay. But it is a tough one.

I from me because I'm so athletic that I love to grip in my quads and I love to grip in my hip flexors and my back gets tight, super easy. So those work really hard against you. So I do recommend taking your time on building up to the right level so that you're getting the most out of your body instead of just throwing herself through it. And you definitely can hurt yourself and draw your back in this one. So the legs are hip width apart, meaning these bones, not like our silhouette hip, but just our hip bones and the toes are pulled back, pointing directly to the ceiling. Good. And we want to imagine that there's a long line from the base of our school, which there is all the way down to our heels.

So there's a long line of muscles connected through Fascia as nice back line. Okay. All the way down to your heel. And that's important because we break it through here a lot of times when we come up and instead I need you to keep it on the mat nice and connected. So energy is going out your heels and we're gonna start with your arms by your side. So we're going to put your hands on your hips and we're gonna use our arms as much as we need to or as little as we need to to articulate up.

So we're gonna curl into ourselves. Inhale to look at your belly. And here's the biggest thing. Let's try not to do the biggest pelvic tilt to come up cause we're past that now and we're going to exhale. And we're going to try to curl up good, and then reach all the way to our ankles or our heels. Beautiful. But here's the part where it's hardest is when we sit up tall, we always sit up with our head first, or even our upper back first. But we rarely start with the bottom of our box.

So we're down here and I want you to roll up those hipbones yes. And then roll up the next bone and the next bone, and then your shoulders and the neck and head. Excellent. Squeeze up off your seat and push those heels away with your bottom. And now draw the navel in and just roll down, curl down, keep pushing those heels. Keep pushing. Keep lengthening in that direction. Awesome job.

We're gonna do that one more time in how we look at our belly and check our pelvis. Exhale. Try to keep it reaching away as you curl up and stretch. Start with your hip bones. Inhale, roll up from the bottom of your box, stacking your spine. And now inhale, exhale down. Sorry. Curling, lengthening, lengthening, lengthening. Great job. Good. How'd that feel? Good, good. Next step.

We're going to slide you down just a little bit because in an ideal world, our legs length, our lower back and we'd just stay in place. But yeah, exactly. So we're going to put your hands now one on top of the other, behind your head. Joseph. Claudia's believed in keeping one on top of the other. When you laze, he thought it impeded circulation, so he liked one on top of the other. Okay. Your elbows right now are behind your ears, which is unbelievably difficult. So we're going to do the opposite. We're going to let them come together and kiss. If you want the elbows, we're going to lift our head and look at our belly and now we're going to exhale and try to curl up like that. It's all of a sudden a ton harder.

Again, rolling up from the bottom of your box. Beautiful. Open your elbows just for that nice stretch and then kiss them together and exhale. Squeeze your bottom length in those heels. You got it and damn, we'll do that one more time. Kiss the elbows and then exhale, curl. Good. And Inhale, rolling up. Good. Pull those ribs in and melt it down. Good job and stay there. So ideally if you are in a plotty studio, we have at the end of a mat, a strap that holds those ankles down.

We put it on and that's used for a long time. If you're at home, you don't have a strap, you could stick your feet maybe under a sofa and that can help hold the legs down while you're coming up. Um, so now we're going to do it again with our elbows as wide as we can can. So that'll be the next step. So we're going to press our hips together and try to lengthen this app. Sure. And then we're, if you need it, I will. I'll be your strap and we're going to inhale, lift your head just to look, collect yourself and exhale all the way up. Curling. Good.

Keep trying to reach and kiss your knees. Inhale, lift up from the hips. Good. Keep those ribs in. Good. And we're gonna roll down though. Round down, round stretching away. We're gonna do that one more time cause yes there is two more levels and exhale reaching all the way down. Good. Starting from the bottom of your box, but keep your ribs in this time and exhaling down. Rounding, lengthening those heels away. Great job. Okay, so there's these two bones right underneath your school. They're called your occipital processes, but you just need to feel that there's these two bones that stick out and when you put one hand over the other, you want to cup kind of with your thumbs like right where the thumb and the palm meet right underneath that.

And this is why it's called neck pull because on the way down, not on the way out, very, we are going to pull on our neck to length in our body, okay? On the way up, they're not pulling on that bone, but we're going to start learning. Why is it neck pole? We finally have gotten to this point. Why is the neck pull the mystery of the world? So toes pulled back. Take a breath and look at your belly. And now exhale, curl all the way until you touch your knees.

Starting from your hip bones. Roll Up. Good. And now hands. Exactly. They're a little lower. You're pulling in and up and needs to stay tall and you're pushing your heels away. So we have an opposition. Your heels pulling up on neck. And now if you start with your pelvis, can you go back straight for a little bit? Pulled back your hips. [inaudible] that straight.

Keep pulling back your head and your hips and now bend and roll the rest down. Fabulous. We're going to do that one more time in with the air. And exhale, kiss your knees starting with your hips, but make sure right here you get a little lower on those occipital. Yeah, that's it. And rolling up. Beautiful. And now exhale hinges back from your hip bones. Yes. Length in that spine and curl the rest down. Awesome.

We finally arrived to the very last level of the net pool, which is staying flat and long the entire way down. Okay, so, and I'll be your strap. So we're going to in with the air, look at your belly. Exhale. Keeping the elbows as wide as you can. Kiss your knees, lifting from your lower belly, lift all the way up and pulling up on your neck and now pull back with the power house in. Squeeze your heels away and go and go and long and long and long and long and right back up in with the air. Emptier along Vermont always said, don't fall asleep down there and lift up and squeeze your seat to push your heels away and pulling long and long and long and Voila. You're done with the nice job.


Wow, who knew there were so many details. You rock kristy because I know there is no way I would have survived that!
Ha! Funny... and Thank you! Monica is tough!
Its okay to slightly bend your knees when doing this exercise?
Hi Teresa.....yes it is! I still need to bend my knees from time to time as well. What I try to focus on myself and teach to students is to work with control-----and bend those knees if needed. It's more important to move with control and ease then to forcefully throw yourself into this so if the knees need to bend, they need to bend. Deep lumbar flexion with bent knees may be perfect .... then gradually lengthen the legs.

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

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