Tutorial #1880

Spine Corrector Abdominals

25 min - Tutorial


"Get your song on" in Cara Reeser's tutorial designed to show how her mentor, Kathy Grant, advanced her students using the Spine Corrector. Cara starts by reviewing Kathy's Song and Ball Breathing, which help you start your practice on the inside so you are ready for the tough exercises to come. These exercises include Barrel Sit Ups, Laterals, "Rotisserie Chicken," and more!
What You'll Need: Spine Corrector, Mat, Ankle Weights, Small Tennis Ball, Overball

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Oct 13, 2014
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Hi, my name is Kara Reeser and I'm here with my friend and colleague, Christy Cooper. Um, and what we're going to do is, uh, the third method section for the plot legacy project, the Cathy grant chapters. Okay. So it helps in this particular process. If you look at the two methods prior, um, one is with me and one is with Maria Earl. Um, cause we're sort of adding on, um, as we go. Okay. So the more subtle body work is in the first section that I did and then Maria covered the abs. And then today I'm going to actually add a little bit of the equipment work and um, and we're going to keep that subtle body work and that awareness the whole time.

Okay. So in Kathy's work, as you know, Christie, we're always using Cathy song. Yeah. And so the song is really, doesn't have to be like a lot of work, but it's this idea that I call it like an internal gps. It's this idea that you're always starting your practice on the inside. You know, you're always going on the inside, just calibrating where am I? And you know, our my alignments, where they need to be for me to be successful in this gesture. That's, that's basically what I think it is. So just reminding you, I know you know it as, as you've done some of Kathy's work with me, but just close your eyes and let's just start with, um, get our song on as we say, in, in the lineage of Cathy's work.

So just breathe and just find that sense of alignment, um, your head through your tail and just go ahead and think about that first, um, moment that Kathy talks about, which is zip. So you're zipping up your jeans from the pubic bone to the navel, right? But you don't want to create a lot of extra tension when you zip up your jeans cause then you won't really have that much fun, right? Cause it'd be like all stuffed in your jeans, right? Fancy Zip, right. And then you take the belly button back, right.

And we're going to talk a lot about the belly button back today. And again, it can be so grabby that we can't function, right? Yes. You still have to be able to breathe. Then you put your belt on, which is this feeling of of elevating the rib cage away from the pelvic bowl. Exactly. So it's a high waisted belt. And then you, you put your tape measure and your vest on, which is a feeling of just bringing elegance and a little bit of organization to the ribcage area. And then, you know, Cathy was famous for saying them. Pretend you're Dorothy and you're flying off to us so you have that sense of length through the crown. Okay? So with that said, I want to start with one of my favorite breath patterns she taught, which was the ball breathing. So in the ball breathing, Christy, what you're going to visualize is that you inhale and I'll, I'll stand with, we can kind of play with this together.

So you're going to any out and you're going to pretend you're taking a very heavy ball into your abdominal cavity. And on the exhale phase of the breath, you're going to let the back widen. So you're going to inhale, exhale. Sure. So you inhale, you draw the ball in and you exhale and you let the energy spread and wrap around. And the, the one thing about the ball breathing is that it's always inhale with the belly and exhale with the belly, which feels like you're suffocating right at first. Exactly at first. But eventually if you practice that it will, your chest will open up. So you'll start to move to the chest.

Remember the vast in the tape measure can move. You know, they're not like a straight jacket right there. Fabric. Okay, good. So as we go along, we're going to be using, yeah. So the chest wall has to expand. Let the ball in. Right. And these are great deep breathing practices that bring us closer to meditative mind. I really think so.

We're going to start and we're going to go into all fours now. Okay. And we're going to just warm up, um, with actually an exercise that I think came from you gentry. Okay. Um, cause I love to show that Kathy often taught other people's, um, her, her colleagues material. So are the ankle weights imperative to this part of it? You the ankle weights go on at the beginning and stay on. Um, I think that they, that just how we, that's how we roll. Yeah. So we're going to do thread the needle from, from a, the way Kathy explained it was she learned this from eve.

So I just wanted to do this little rotational warmups or you're going to just inhale, open that left arm and look up and allow your chest wall to rotate. Exhale, breathing through the ball, breathing. Come all the way through Ben, that elbow, and let the back spread. So we're practicing ball breathing here. Inhale, go up, take the ball in, let the rib cage breathe. Exhale. Bring it around. Good. Right.

And really let that rib cage stretch. Yeah. One more time on this side. Inhale. And I'm not worried about whether your hips move. I'm worried that you're warming up and using your ball breathing. Great.

And come back to center and we'll go to the other side three times. Inhale. Good acts. So again, spreading. Have you used to say it was like if you spilled red wine on a tablecloth and it would just seep out? Yeah. This is very similar to what Irene down close the visceral ball. Um, I think Kathy really found that intriguing when she learned that. Yeah. And inhale, take it up. Good.

Let your ribs open. Let them spread. Yes. Acts. He'll take it through again. And I'm just going to assist a little rotation there. Yeah. And come back onto all fours and there's sit your bum back onto your heels. Great. And bring your feet around to the front.

Perfect. So, um, Kathy's Matt work we often refer to as before the a hundred, which she, she invented, um, a lot of material on the map. And the idea was that she was skill-building for better success practicing the plug repertoire. Right. So the before the a hundred were these little gems of, of technique that allowed us more range. And one of the exercises Kathy really avoided was the hundred she avoided.

Yeah. She, she felt like a hundred but not a hundred. She, yeah. She liked before the hundred. She didn't, she got to the hundreds. She felt like people were just panicking, you know, they were designed, you know, so she was always trying to calm us down and get us into a better state. Um, before we were practicing. So extra says, having a teacher right now is called the mini breathing and it was sort of her substitute or her pre the 100 exercise. So it again, you're going to be any young with the belly and exhaling with the belly and working your best with the ball breathing. You're going to start on your back. Now, like a lot of Kathy's work, this has a sort of rhythm to it, right?

So there's a pulse two, three or these, this rhythm now, right? So you're going to start and you're going to have your arms down by your side and you're going to be pumping and just, just get that feeling first. You're going to go in. Yeah, the pump, the rhythm is five, six, seven, eight. Do it again. Good. So now I'm going to instruct the breath to go. Inhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Exhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Inhale, you got to slow the inhale down. Five, six, seven. Exhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Last one. Inhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Exhale, lift your head.

Six, seven, eight. Now I go inhale and sh sh t one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, five. And then all the way up, keep that Xcel shut all the way, all the way. Find your [inaudible] great. Take a deep breath in. Hum. On your way back. Mm.

He that breath flowing [inaudible] and arrest. So she would always say, isn't that, doesn't that make you feel like you could get to the hundreds better? You know, because the theme I find it shooting about is bleed to any over that eight full counts. You gotta really stretch through your chest wall and really he to odd. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Okay, great. So, um, we're gonna move to side laterals, so, so come on up to seated. So when Maria taught [inaudible] the last time she did a lot of, you notice when you, when you look at that one, you guys will notice she did a lot of the obliques. Cathy was very fond of including a lot more side body sit-ups.

We did a lot of obliques. So this is the seated laterals, which were part of before the hundred, um, there they're maybe not considered an AV because they're seated, but they're going to use the side body just the same. So you're going to go ahead and take a straddled position basing front. Yeah. And depending on how flexible your person is yet you can go wide. Um, a lot of people will need to sit on a yoga block here or a towel, whatever you have in the studio because their hamstrings aren't long enough.

Put you're fine with us. Okay. So you're going to take your hands behind your head and again, if having your hands behind your head, and I'll show this on the side to you, makes you stick your head forward. It's really nice to also bring your hands to your forehead over like this. Yeah. But I think that you've got plenty of range in the shoulders. So we're gonna again, we're gonna use a little bit of a four count rhythm and we're going to go to the side to the right for a, so you're going to go inhale, one, two, three, four, hold. Exhale, four, three, two, one. Inhale one.

Now go in the direction. Yeah, so there's a little lateral shift in Kathy's work when you're side vending, which I teach across the board so that she gets to go in the direction of hers I've been, and she gets so much more range there. Yeah. And it just more freeing and up. And again, I'm not particularly obsessed with whether or not her hips move, as long as they're not the first thing that move. There you go. Then you need to practice that ball breathing. Yeah. So you're going to keep a sense of breasts and now we're going to add twist. Okay. So you're going to go over two, three, four, rotate. Two, three, four, open, two, three, four, recover. Two, three, four. Over. Inhale, two, three, four, and open for your Ford and your breathing.

All breathing every time. One more time. You Go. Inhale, two, three, four. Exhale, two, three, four. Inhale, two, three, four. Exhale, two, three and rest. Beautiful. Right? And you can pick any rhythm you want. And I pick four. I don't know, probably cause I was a dancer and everything was forced or eights. I can only count to eight actually. So as many of you know, we have our balls here. Kathy grant was used a lot of balls to work with alignment and placement and most of us who come from her lineage follow suit.

So I have a few here I thought I might need, now I'm going to put the sticky pad. It's really important actually that you have a little tractions exercise is super hard and this vinyl slippery. So you're gonna put your butt bomb as we say in England up on the top there. Yeah. All right. And we're gonna put this ball between your knees and she has ankle weights on.

Now this is where the ankle weights really, because these next two exercises, they become really um, helpful. Um, I think you're wearing about a three pound weight. I had two pounds, three pounds, four pounds, the studio. Um, so this is called the barrel set up. Okay. And this was one of my warmups. You went into the studio. I was to do my barrel sit up every time. The thing I love about this sit up is that it's going to [inaudible] speak to a longer, um, lever. Sit Up. Not so much flection but long spine set up. Okay.

This is something I, we we did also more of. Um, so you're gonna take your arms like this and a classic Catholic grant hold here was kind of pushed out on your elbows like this. Put your belt on right? And your, what you're going to be aware of is there's this smooth humpback here and your sacrum with your ball breathing is eventually gonna reach that Hump. Okay. But what's so difficult about this exercise, and I think I'll climb on and give you a little hand. I'll show the assist on this. I'm at a kind of traction you this way. Now you're going to go back long back, but you are going to rotate it.

10, nine, eight set pelvis is going to rope. Keep going until you find that barrel. But get your chest wall up yet. Get your chest wall up, get your chest wall up, get your chest wall up and she's short and take a back bend. Good big. I got, say it over and over again, so don't, don't feel bad. Bring yourself up your head. Yeah. And then sure.

I'm so now what I want to see here is that she's going to come just to the level her tro cantor. So she's going to pick her chest wall up a little bit and she has to there. And then she's going to float flat back. Straight up. Hinge at the hips. Nice. Okay, let's do that again. You have to breathe. Oh yeah. So ball breathing calms you down.

Ball breathing brings you inside so that when things are tough, you can get through them with these tough exercises. Needs soothing breathing. Yeah. So you're going to start to tip back. That's right. You're going to use that ball. Use this ball and your ball breathing. [inaudible] get your lumbar spine to the cushion. Gorgeous. Take it back. Bend.

Inhale and exhale. [inaudible] exactly. Now she's, she understands where her body is. So a lot of people, this will be hard, but you know, lift up just to the level of this trope, canter come on up a little higher, a little higher, a little higher, a little higher, floating off that barrel and then all the way up, up, up. Good. So it's nice you get to go full extension, not a lot of flection. Right. And I'm really kind of pulling, teasing out this, this area of, of a movement right now, less load deflection. So, um, let's just go over that one more time. I can't tell you how good this is for people with lumbar spine issues. Here she goes, who she knows now, where she's headed. I'm just giving her a little traction. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Babs. That's it.

She knows now. Yeah. And it should be interesting. Not, not. Yeah. You don't have to worry. Yeah. And then you, she comes and then she's gonna lift, put that belt on and up. She goes up. Nice job. Nice. Beautiful. You're welcome. So I, my understanding is this might be a setup that Mr Plod, he's taught Kathy. It was, um, she'd never described this as hers.

Did she normally describe things as yes. Yeah. If they were hers, she, she was quite clear about them. So I don't really know. Maybe maybe one of our friends out there knows. Okay. So now we're going to do those side laterals on the barrel. Let's face the front. You're going to have, yeah, exactly. We can take the sticky pad out now and you're gonna straighten your bottom. Aha.

Exactly. And take yourself over the barrel. This is my favorite lateral of all. It has this nice little choreographic seat sequence in it, which I also think is really fun. So Maria taught the side laterals, uh, sit ups on the table, which she actually called. I Dunno, it doesn't matter. But anyway, and this is them on the barrel. So your, your top arm is up. Let your head rest for a minute. So one of the most common things that Kathy would say to us at the beginning and she'd say, you know, take the shape of the equipment, right?

So when you're first resting, you will take nomina flex your foot for you. Yeah. Cause I like yoga feet, you know. You don't have to go crazy though. There you go. All right, so now what she's going to do is she's going to bring her head to the level of the breastbone. That's how we talk about it. Right? Which means she's coming into her alignments. Now I'm going to ask her to pick up that lower arm and put the ball in her top hand. Yeah. So she's breathing her ball, breathing still, and then she's going to switch the ball and then she's going to present herself to center. Now she gets to choose.

She's going to take this ball and put it in this hand. You can have this hand up here. You could have it down here. It's up to you. And then she's going to make that transfer. So she's going to come on out, up. But you can't move this arm when she said it. There you go. So if it's here, you got to make it to here. So you might want to start with it here. Yeah. Okay. There you go. So you get it. Yeah. You, this side of you moves. Oh, you'll get it. And then you take the shape of the very you and have it.

So it's putting you on the diagonal. Yeah. So here she goes. She takes the ball up right at the top. She comes port of Broth. Second, we call this right what of our second, and then go on over and you're taking your right side over to your left side. Transfer the ball without falling down and lie down. Good. One more time. Inhale. Take it up.

Exhale. Ball breathing out of the bat. Shit in him. Make the transfer. Gorgeous Christi. Hell beautiful. Nice job. Okay. So from here, I want to go right to rotisserie chicken.

Okay. So come up to seated for a second and face me. So you'll remember in Maria's methods, um, she, she had to stand. Yeah. And then you guys had to come out and rotisserie chickens. Impossible. So for me, I find myself not teaching it because I like people to be successful and they're really never successful in that exercise. Um, so I w I t and moved it to the barrels so that it would be a little bit more possible. Okay. Okay. So, um, go ahead and lock face the side with both knees to the side. Yeah, exactly. And then twist your spine in light over the back of the barrel. Yep, exactly. You don't need the ball. No, I'll put it over here and you gotta take your hands behind your head. Yeah.

And that's right. And so then what you're going to do, so as you remember it, the rotisserie chicken goes nose down. So first thing we'll do is come up. Yeah, good. And then you'll rotate. Nice. And then you'll come back around and of course you're breathing and then you can luxuriate. Yes. So you see how this is? Yeah. You got to get your booty back side. That's right. So again, no beauty butts as Maria talked about. Right. So you don't have, you're, you're, yeah. You're not sticking it out. Nope. No leverage there. That's right.

Here she comes. She floats it up. Now she calms down. She ball-bearings right? Yeah. She thinks about the lovely beach as she rotates. Yes. Super Nice. Christie. Try not to hyperflex here and then come back. Aha. Back around and rest. Right. And pause. Good. So what, I should've had the towel under your back so it could slide a little.

So you're having a hard time coming back around cause I can hear you sticking to the, the on vinyl. So you want to put a pack a towel under your upper back so it's a little more Slippy. Okay. Okay, great. And so, um, and then of course in a real lesson we would then do the other side. Um, but you guys can do that on your own. So, so what we did is, um, these were often ways that again, we, I mean they were, they were exercises we did, but they were chosen for us. Uh, they the students. So this is stuff I learned in the studio. Um, I, I learned most things in the studio. Um, so we have our, our, our ball breathing as the main theme here today with this, this can we actually learn, can we actually learn to practice with integrity of breath? Um, and I think it was a huge theme for Kathy and she spent a lot of time making up different breath techniques. It's a huge theme in Yoga. It was a huge theme for the others. And, um, so yeah, so that's what we did today. So again, so this is the third section of methods for the [inaudible] legacy project. Kathy grant chapters. Thanks so much, Christie.

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Wonderful, love watching this series!
Great review Cara! Thank You!
Great reminders of using breath with this work. Kathy would be so happy.
This is wonderful!!
I always wanted to work with Kathy now I have a little more insight into her thinking. I'm going to have trouble ball breathing but I'll give it a try (I try to relax by letting my stomach move out as my diaphragm moves down on a inhale). Thanks Cara
thank you Cara!
The 'ball' cue is fantastic ! Thank you so much for sharing !
2 people like this.
Cara, YOU ARE SO DELIGHTFUL!! It is so impressive to see and hear you teach! Thanks PA for giving us inspiriting tutorials like this, - I feel blessed!
why the humming on the way back down?
The vocalization has to do with diaphragmatic and breath control. It could be humming or singing or talking it all works the same to help control the mechanics of breathing. I hope this helps.
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