Class #984

Gentle and Deep Mat

30 min - Class


Distinguished Instructor Deborah Lessen joins Pilates Anytime with a Mat class that starts out very gently yet offers some depth of challenge as the class progresses. Deborah's clear cues offer you a chance to be introspective with your movement, leaving you feeling great in just 30 minutes.This is the perfect class for when you want to exercise but don't want to push yourself too hard.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Ladies. Let's do some mat. So come, come lie down on your backs. We're going to start very gently and this is a mat routine. That's great at the end of a hard day when you want to exercise, but you don't want to push yourself too hard. So let's start sliding your legs down to the mat and we're just going to do some heel rocks. And I want you to imagine that your spine is like a big bowl of Jello.

So you just gonna pump with your feet forward and back very quickly. Yes. And let all of your vertebrae relax. Good. Let your head follow the movement of your spine. And when you feel like you've adequately let go, you can stop and just slide your feet back in so the knees are bent. Good. And if you want, you can let your knees rest against each other for the time being and just make a very small nod with your head just to feel that forward curve and your cervical spine and come back to center and just let the head rock gently to the right and to center and to the left.

And keep going. And imagine your head is like a big bowl of liquid, very heavy at the bottom so that as your head is moving, the muscles of the neck are releasing. Good and come back to center and just slide your legs out and let's everybody roll toward the camera and we're going to come up quadriped pet on the hands and knees. Okay. Now in this position, you want your femurs vertical, your arms vertical, and let's start flat back and on your exhalation scoop under, take the head and the tail down toward each other as if you were finishing a circle with your spine and from the crown of the head and the tail region opposite directions and keep going until you arch all the way up. Both the pelvis and the head are coming toward each other and come back to your starting position and exhale, scoop all the way under. Good.

And imagine that you're showing all of the vertebrae in the back and reach out to flat back and come all the way up. Good. Let your pelvis go into the deepest anterior tilt you can and come to tabletop. One more time. Exhale and scoop under good. Really stretched the low back and reach out and come high up. Reach the tailbone up. Push out of your arms. Good.

Now stay there for a minute and you are going to start taking your head to the left and your hips to the left and you're going to round under coming through center. And now take the head and the right hip to the other side and come high up through your centered arch and scoop under good. So just keep this circle going. Head comes through center and to the opposite side. Good head and hip toward each other. And then scoop under side bend and arch. High Up.

One more time. Scoop side bend. Come high up to your arch and stay. So now you're centered. Head is up, tail is high up. Eyes to the ceiling. Let's start in the opposite direction. So head to the right to the right hip.

Scoop under head and hips to the left and come high up through center head and right hip toward each other. Scoop under side bend, left and high. Up and side bend, right scoop under arch. High Up. One more time and scoop under. Good. Come high up and stay. You're arched up through center. Shift back over your heels. Round your spine.

Let your head go down for your knees and just stretch. Good. Now I want you to stay in this position for a minute and just drop your elbows down to a comfortable position. You're going to stay here and breathe into good your shoulder blades right below your shoulder blades and exhale and drop. And inhale, expand into my hands and exhale, drawing the abdominals back and inhale, expand through the back. Exhale, draw the abdominals back one more time. Inhale, expand and exhale. Draw the abdominals.

Good. And you're going to shift forward and come all the way down on your stomachs and place one palm on top of the other, under your forehead. Let your elbow spread wide and your shoulders dropped down close to the mat. And imagine your legs lengthening way back behind you. Good.

Now you're going to inhale into your upper back and on your exhale, let your sternum drop into the mat. Good. One more time. Inhale and exhale at the sternum. Drop as if your chest was opening. Good again. Inhale. Now as you exhale, send the nose forward. You're going to crawl your eyes up the wall in front of you. Come as high as you can, pressing your arms down into the mat.

Good. Keep your eyes high up and roll down from the bottom of the spine. One Vertebra at a time, and the head is the last to finish. Inhale up no head yet. Let's start again. Inhale, exhale.

Drop the sternum to send the face forward. Inhale, high up. Keep reaching the legs back behind you. Head is high up. Eyes on the ceiling. Now leave the head up there and return from the bottom to the top. Good and take a deep breath. As you finish the head at the bottom. Exhale, drop the sternum head forward.

Inhale and come high up. Really use your arms down into the floor. You starting to warm up your anterior cereus now, and exhale, drop through the sternum. Let the shoulders spread. Let your elbow slide forward if they want to. Now you're going to stay down and keep your hands attached to your forehead.

Stretch your straight legs off the floor. Good. Keep them off. Bring your whole upper body an inch off the floor with arms and hold that position. Now you're going to do little beats with your legs, five to inhale and five to exhale. So we're doing the hundred prone. If you prefer to do a flutter kick, you may.

It's more stable to do the beats, but it's up to you. Good. And of course, if you're not up to holding your upper body off the floor, you may press your arms down and just bring the head up. Good. So going and when you're finished, you'll lower both ends down and just give yourself a little shake out. Little wiggle. Waggle excellent. Good. And now I'd like you to come sitting up and you may face each other. Good. Okay. Bend your knees. So your feet are flat on the floor in front of you. Yes, hold your hands underneath the size. Take a deep breath on your exhalation.

Scoop the pelvis under and let the waist press back so that you open the vertebral spaces in the low back. And Inhale and sit high up. And exhale, lift scooping up in the front and opening in the back. And now roll down just onto the back of the pelvis. Good. Stay back there. Take a deep breath. Exhale, deepen and roll forward. Head toward the knees. Rounding your spine and sit all the way up.

Find your vertical and exhale, scoop deep in the spine and roll back. Good. The tailbone is coming up under you. Off the floor. Stay there, take a deep breath. Exhale, deepen and round back in. And Inhale, rise up. Good. One more time. Exhale, pell. This leads. Let the pelvis inform the movement all the way down.

Come a little lower onto your low back. Good arms by your sides. Palms down. Take your right leg off. Good. Extend the leg, extend the other leg down on the mat and press it down into the mat. Good hundred five beats to inhale. Five to exhale. Good. So keep going.

And I want you to use the leg on the floor to anchor and help you round your pelvis and deepen more on your exhalations. Let your sternum sink down into the mat so you're very low. Just imagine doing the hundred under the bed. Hmm. Good. And switch legs. Good. And keep going til you're finished.

Good. And when you're finished, I want you to take both legs down onto the mat and you're gonna roll up to sitting. Roll forward. Good. And inhale and bring the arms straight up. Good. On Your exhalation. Start from the pelvis and roll back. You may lower the arms as much as you need to. Good all the way down onto the mat and reach your arms behind you.

Bring the arms back up to the ceiling. Exhale deep in the chest and bring the head forward to roll up. The head goes toward the knees and stay for a moment. Now you want to press your waist back to the wall behind you. So you should be on your sit bones and you're free to lift your feet off the floor. Okay. Sit Tall.

High up and exhale, scoop under and roll back down. That's fine. Good. Come all the way down and reach the arms behind you. Arms up to the ceiling. Exhale, soften the chest. Round forward. Reach through your heels and sit tall.

Excellent. We're going to do this one more time. Exhale, round and roll. Good. Bring your arms behind you and stay and just circle your arms down and bring them down by your sides. Good. Okay. Now let's bend both knees into a comfortable parallel position. Everyone bring your right leg straight up to the ceiling. Flex the foot.

Now we're going to take three counts to reach that leg down, but don't touch the floor. So on your exhalation, extend to three point the foot and come up to three flex and extend. Reach through the heel point and reach through the leg and flex and extend to three point and reach to come back up last time. Reach through the heel point and length into come up. Good. Bend the knee, take that leg down. Other leg up. Flex the foot and reach to three point and lengthen. Two, three flex at the top and reach to three point and reach long through the leg.

Flex and lengthen to three point and up to three last time. Exhale, point. And inhale, coming up. Good. Stay. Bend the knee, take the other leg up. Okay, now you're going to start right like up and left leg all the way down. Okay, let me give you your rhythm first.

We're going to do leg circles and I want you to turn and going down and turn out coming up and your rhythm is going to be down. Up. Okay, so let's all start together. Going to the inside first. Ready and down. Up it and down. Up. Good. Turn in at the beginning and down. Up. One more time.

Down. Uphold. Reverse and down. Up. Good down. Catch it with your abdominals. Down, up, down, up, and hold it. Good. Bend the knee. Slide the leg down. Other leg up. Extend inside first and down.

Up, down, up, twice. More. Down, up, down, up. Hold it. Reverse down, up, down, up, down, up. Last time, down, up, and hold. Good. Round your head forward. Take your hand. On the bottom of that FireEye.

And you're going to walk yourself up your leg to sitting. Good. Stay in teaser position so you're slightly behind your sit bones. That's it. And I want you to switch legs right up there. Switch legs, take the other leg down. Good.

And Walk your way all the way back down. Sneaky and walk your way up. Okay, good. Switch legs, deep abdominals. Good. And Walk your way down. Excellent. Okay. And let's everybody lie on their rights side. Okay. And you're going to start with your knees bent.

Good. All the way down. Let your head rest on your arm and your front hand is in front of your mid chest elbow. Open wide and let your fingers point forward. Whatever forward is for your body. That's it. Okay. Now round your spine. Bring your top knee up outside your shoulder and you're going to extend that leg forward. Good.

And you're going to swing it down and back and let your spine extend a little bit and scoop under and bring that straight leg forward. Straight leg forward. That's it. And swing down and back and exhale, scoop leg forward. And down and back and scoop. Straight leg, straight leg, straight leg and down and back and come forward and stay good. Keep your foot where it is.

Bend that top knee outside your shoulder. Bring the foot under your buttock and stretch the leg back. So this is like a big bicycle movement. Swing the leg forward, knee high up, heel under the buttock and stretch the leg back and swing knee high up. Heel under and stretch the leg back. One more time.

Swing. Keep that like parallel knee bend. Heel under and stretch down and back. And stay. Now we're going to reverse it. You're going to bend as you round under and straighten the leg up outside the shoulder and swing down and back. Scoop under bend outside the shoulder and swing down and back and scoop under bend and down and back. One more time.

Scoop under and bend. Extend and down and back and stay. Good. Alright, and let's go to the other side. Yes. Um Oh, stay out of it sort of goes into nose. This one. I want you to think of that arm like a flying buttress so that you keep your sh, your upper body open and square. Yes, right through your shoulder girdle. Yep.

So even when my leg up, I want know your arm stays in your leg, has to go outside your arm. Outside your shoulder. Yes, yes. But keep it in the parallel plane. So when you take your leg up, unique comes outside, but your heel is still in front of you. Sit Bone. Okay. Okay. All right. So let's start both knees bent. Bring the knee up outside the shoulder. Good.

Let the spine round. That's fine. Just close a little. Round your spine and extend that leg forward. Good. Just straight leg. Now down and back and scoop under to bring the leg forward. Okay. And down and back.

Keep this look straight and scoop under and bring it forward. Good. Down and back and scoop under the leg. Comes right outside your shoulder and down and back and scoop under. Good. Now you're gonna bend the knee, high up heel under the sit bone and stretch the leg back. Scoop. Bring the straight leg forward.

Bend heel under the sit bone and stretch twice more. Scoop knee higher heel under the sit bone and stretch back and scoop. Knee high up under the sit bone. Stretch back and stay. Now we reverse scoop to bring the knee up. Extend the leg and the long leg down and back.

Scoop under, round your back. Extend the leg and swing down and back. Good and scoop under extend and swing down and back. Last time scoop under extend. Swing down and back and stay good and rest and come on up and we're going to do rolling like a ball.

Okay, so let's start on the toes holding on outside the legs. Okay, pull your arms in towards your legs and press your legs out into your arms. Really Scoop and deep in the abdominals back and you're going to inhale to roll back and exhale up. Good. And inhale back and exhale up. Two more. Inhale back. Exhale.

Inhale back. Exhale. Now as you go back, extend the legs, toes to the floor and inhale back. Extend the legs, that's it. And come back in. The legs are going to be open hip with the part. And inhale, don't let go. Keep your hands on your legs and come back in. Excellent. Good. Two more. And inhale, reach through your legs and exhale back in.

And inhale back. Now keep your legs straight as you come up. Exhale up twice with open legs. Keep your legs open and inhale back. Exhale up and inhale back. Exhale up and stay. Bend the knees, slide your legs in front of you, head to the knees, and just stretch all the way down. Good. Stay for a minute.

Stay down, but scoop your abdominals under length and through the back of the neck. Stay down there. Flex the feet. So you want to send the heels forward and scoop the abdominals back. Good. And Inhale and see. Tall.

Good. And let's have you face each other and you're going to be on your forearms in a tripod with your leg straight back behind you. Now this is a very small movement, but it's a deep movement and a good movement. Alright, so I want you to press your arms down into the mat. Think of your sternum coming high up vertical and look straight ahead. That's fine.

Okay. On Your exhalation, round your pelvis under, it's very small and just let your spine follow your pelvis. And now inhale, sternum forward and up and let the head come up. And exhale, scoop under. Try to open up the spaces between the vertebrae and your low back. Let the head come deep, deep, deep, deep, deep.

And as you inhale, think of pulling forward and high up out of your arms. Again. Exhale, scoop under duress, arms into the mat. And inhale, reach forward and up and exhale, scoop under and reach forward and up. Scoop under one more time and stay. Tuck your toes under. You're going to come up into plank position. If you need to adjust, you may. Okay, now I want you to motivate with your arms and do a small rocking motion forward and back. So this really helps strengthen the whole shoulder girdle. Bring your head up just a little bit. That's it. Motivate with the arms, not with the feet.

Good and come center and stay and lift the right leg off and reach and come together of your leg. Reach and together and reach and together and reach. And one more set. Reach and together and reach and stay. Chest forward. Hips toward the floor had high up.

If your hips can touch, great. Stretch the toes behind you and roll all the way down. Stretch your arms over your head. Good and just big full body stretch. Good. Now I want you to imagine you are mountain climbing.

You're on a rock face. You have big suction cups on your hands, in the tops of your feet. Open the legs a little bit so you're in a little bit of an x. That's it. Okay, so press your hands and your feet down and let the head come off the floor. Good. So you can at least see your partner's fingers in front of you. That's it.

Now you're going to press your right hand and your left foot down and let the other two reach away and come down and switch. Press down and come down and switch and come down and really press into the floor so you feel your abdominals coming up and faster and switch and switch and switch and faster and faster and faster. And take all fours off the floor. Good. Had high up right from here. Just a tiny rock forward and back. That's it. Good, good, good, good.

And come down and shake out. Excellent. Back up onto the knees and let's come back to child's pose and stretch your back. Good. Tuck the toes under. Okay. Now you can take weight on your hands.

Stretch your legs. So we're going to rise up to standing straight in the legs. Walk your way back towards your feet. Good. Let your arms hang and roll up from the bottom to the top.

Good. Don't get too excited because we're going to go back down. Exhale, start from the crown of the head and rolled down. You may walk your way down if you'd like. Hands onto the mat and just come halfway out so that you're flat on your hands and your feet. That's it.

What your chest drops slightly toward your thighs. Good. Now stay there and press up through the heels. That's it. And lower the heels back down. And as you come up, think of keeping your weight even on your first and fifth metatarsal cells and lower back down. Good. And put stress up and lower back down. Last time, progress up and lower back down.

Walk your hands back towards your feet. Walk up to the top. Good. I want you to take your hands behind your head. Resist your head as you lift your focus up toward the ceiling. Center the head. Take the arms up.

Okay. Exhale. Arms all the way down. Keep the shoulders over the hips and inhale high up. And exhale deep chest, shoulders over the hips. And inhale high up.

Turn the chest to the right. Let the arms open and come back up to center to the left. Keep the hip center. Let the chest turn and rise up. Once more side to side. Lift and open and rise up.

Lift and open and rise up. Center the head and let the arms open. And ladies, thank you.


2 people like this.
Thanks Deborah. I did this class on day three of an acute SIJ flare up, my first effort to reconnect into my body. I made it to about minute 21! Lovely and gentle and just what I needed.
1 person likes this.
Always love your cueing Deb great to see you on Pilates Anytime can't wait to get back to Soho to visit you x
Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Great class! I am hoping a reformer or cadillac class is on the horizon!
JoAnn we have a great Foot and Leg Alignment class, a Mat class and a discussion with Deborah on the horizon. Oh, and she's invited to come back for that Reformer class!
2 people like this.
Love Deborah's work, it has stayed with me since my first class with her in 2000
2 people like this.
What a lovely surprise to see Deborah on Pilates Anytime :) And what a lovely class full of body wisdom :) Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Hi Deborah, I've just rejoined Pilates Anytime after taking a break, and yours was the first class I took since rejoining. It was wonderful! Nice stretches and your cueing is so easy to follow! Kristi, can you recommend another class for good leg and hip work? I have really tight hamstrings and do a lot of sitting/computer work during the day. Any class you can recommend would be so appreciated. Thank you!
2 people like this.
Such a wonderful class!! The cueing is fab =)) Thank you
2 people like this.
Being Pregnant and sick has left me no energy but wanted to try. I felt so good after! Thank you.
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