Mat Workout
Monica Wilson
Class 2387

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Hi Sara! Thank you so much for your questions. When you are starting Pilates, the most important thing is developing your Powerhouse. One of the easiest ways to strengthen it is when you are in a curved position (C-curve). When you have bent knees and are doing the Roll Back, it is asking too much to keep your cheeks on the mat as you spill your soup or tilt your pelvis towards you. Once your Powerhouse is stronger you can start working on developing your hip muscles, stretching your back and stabilizing your pelvis (keeping your cheeks on the mat, possibly reaching away from you) as you Roll your upper body away from your legs. But this can take weeks to years to accomplish! Be patient and congratulate yourself for all the muscles I am sure you are starting to feel and how great your body feels. 
In regards to breathing during Rolling Like a Ball, try to imagine anytime you are trying to deflate something, i.e.: a balloon, air mattress etc. When you are deflating an object you usually are trying to squeeze it into the tiniest form of this case making your body into a tight little ball. Maybe inhaling as you roll back doesn't feel right yet so try concentrating on squeezing all the air out of your lungs, exhaling, as you roll back up. It should give you the momentum and energy needed to return home and with any luck, you will need to take a breadth (inhale) before you can repeat the exercise and exhale again to come back up. Finally, I find the wall exercises the best way to practice and learn inhaling while keeping your powerhouse engaged. Those, I believe, will come later in the series. I hope this helps! And thanks again for your feedback! Monica:)
Sorry to be bombarding you with questions but I am repeating this class until I feel ready to progress, but right now I feel very stuck. Today's issues: I can't breathe! I am spilling my soup A LOT in order to get my back imprinted on the floor. But this is making it hard to breath. Also, when you say to spill your soup to, for example, raise a leg, I am already spilling so much, there is no slack for any more spilling. I would be glad to hear your comments. However, my biggest frustration at the moment is not being able to roll up from lying on my back to a c-position. I am sure you answer to this is simply to keep practicing, but I wonder if I am missing a technique. Lifting my shoulders is fine, for example in the hundreds, but getting the small of my back off the floor is impossible without lifting my feet off the floor. 
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