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Hello, and welcome to our next class, which will be lower body glute and leg focused, with the option to use a nice little band like I have. So resistance band, I’ve heard them called booty bands, I’m not gonna refer to it as that. This one’s pretty tight, use whatever type of strength works best for you, or you can always do the class without. We’ll start sitting in, seated in the middle of our mat. This band will come over both feet, and all the way up over the thighs.
We’ll be moving it a bit between the thighs, the shins, the feet. So you wanna get it as straight, not curled, as possible. Feet will be about hip width apart. And we’ll start with our half rollback, which we’ve done a bit today, and in this group of classes. Focusing on the posture, seated nice and tall, let’s reach those arms forward, taking a deep breath in.
Pull that band slightly taut, a little wider than hip width, and begin to contract back, keeping the tension in the band to start warming up those outer thighs. Inhale to pull the elbows back towards the ribs, exhale to deepen the belly back as you reach those arms forward. Inhale to bend, and exhale abdominals, reach back arms, reach along. Three more here, warming up through the core, warming up those outer legs for two (inhales). Exhale to lengthen forward, one more time, inhale to bend and exhale to extend, holding it here, pressing outward on that band, deepening the belly back to curl back up to that nice tall seat.
Dropping shoulders down, pressing these apart. Inhale to prepare, exhale to contract and roll back, maybe an inch or two further this time, and a little further out with that band. Pull the elbows back for five (inhales), exhale to lengthen (exhales). Four, belly back, arms reach along, three, and reach. Releasing any tension in the neck or the shoulders, pulling those shoulder blades away from the ears.
Last pull back of those elbows, arms reach long, press out on the legs, take a breath in (inhales). Exhale, belly pulling back, we’re curling back up. Shoulders over the hips, and stacking the spine tall. One more time, press out on that band for the breath in (inhales), and exhale deep in those low abdominals back, thinking across the waistband across where that seatbelt would lie, maybe an inch or two lower, perhaps the elbows tap or hover the mat, belly pulls back, arms reach long for four (inhales) and extend (exhales). And three, and reach.
And two, try and round through the low back. Last one, extend and hold, take a breath in, heels stay firmly planted to the mat. Band pulling taut, and slowly rolling all the way back onto the mat, vertebra by vertebra by vertebra. Arms pressing to the mat by your sides, and walking those heels closer in towards your glutes. Finding a nice position on your mat here.
Fingertips reaching towards the heels, heels in line with the sit bones. Let the knees come together for just a moment to get a little break for those legs, and then tear it apart using your abductors here, those outer thigh muscles, and your outer glute muscles. Take a breath in with that band taut, and then tuck and curl the hips up into a bridge. Think of scooping out the belly as the hips lift up high, squeezing sit bones and butt cheeks together, but still pressing the knees gently apart. Taking a breath here at the top (inhale), and then exhale, ribs knit together, chest pulls away from the chin as we articulate back down vertebra by vertebra, releasing the tail at the bottom.
Keep pressing outward on that band, gently inhaling and exhaling to tuck and curl back up. Warming up through the spine here, finding some articulation through the back, pressing hips high, belly down, tear the band apart, inhale (inhales) and exhale to roll back down vertebra by vertebra, fingertips reaching forward, crown of the head reaching back. And again, inhale at the bottom. Exhale, scoop from the low belly. Really using the core to initiate, squeezing those glutes up high.
We’ll keep the hips lifted. Keep pressing down into the heels and palms. Tear that band a little wider, and then resist back to hip width. Tear it apart on the inhale, and exhale, close the legs, close the ribs. Now, as you tear that band apart, try not to roll outward on your feet onto the little toes.
We wanna keep even pressure into the whole foot here to work those outer glutes for four, (inhales) and resist, (exhales) three, inhale and exhale. Feel that backside activating, low belly pulling down to support the spine. Last one, pull it apart, and back to hip width, keeping gentle tension on the band. Lower the hips and inch or two, squeeze the glutes, boost them right back up. Inhale, lower an inch, exhale, lift an inch or two.
Down, as you lift the hips up, pull the belly and the ribs down, lower, and lift. Chin stays lifted off the chest here. Nice open neck and throat for three (inhales), press down into the heels, lift the hips high. Two (inhales), exhaling up (exhales). Once more, inhale (inhales), and exhale.
Hold at the top, pull that band a little wider and slowly roll back down vertebra by vertebra, releasing the hips at the bottom and releasing the knees back together. Once again, taking a break for those outer thighs, reaching fingertips a little longer and maybe walking the heels in a little closer towards your sit bones. Tear the band apart, take a breath in (inhales), and exhale, we tuck and curl right back up, continuing to warm up that backside, working on one leg, finding balance one at a time, press it down into your right heel. Squeeze that right cheek, and extend the left leg long. Reach that left heel to the other side of the room.
Keeping the thighs parallel, we pull the band outward with that left leg, and resist back just a hip width. Pull it apart on the inhale. Exhale, resist it together. Continue to work your core here, so we stay square through the hips and pelvis, and in once more. Inhale, pull it apart, resist it in.
Lower the hips an inch, exhale lift an inch. Inhale lower, squeeze that right cheek to lift for three (inhales), exhale up (exhales). Keep breathing, two (inhales), and lift, once more, lower an inch, thighs stay parallel. Squeeze that right cheek, lift an inch. Carefully bend your left knee.
Make sure the hips are still square and lifted. As we transfer the weight down into that left heel, knit the ribs together, squeeze that left glute, and extend the right leg long. Inhale, tear it apart. Exhale resist just a little bit, small movement here. So we’re working the whole time versus letting that band control the movement, we’re controlling it, for two (inhales), resist it in, one more.
Apart, resist a hip width, lower an inch, inhale, exhale, lift an inch. Squeeze that left cheek lower (inhales), and lift, press it down into the left heel, down into both palms (exhales). Last two (inhales), exhale up (exhales). Once more, lower, belly pulls down. Hips lift high, bend that right knee, place that foot onto the mat.
Boost both hips up one more inch, feel length through the front of the hips, through the front of the body. Take one more breath here (inhales), and exhale slowly, melt back into that mat vertebra by vertebra. Keep the buns tight, band tight, until you release at the very bottom. Letting those knees come together, and giving them a nice hug in towards your chest. Should feel your legs and your glutes getting warmer.
I feel mine (exhales). From here we’re gonna take the band and slide it down onto our shins. So your thighs get a little break, somewhere that feels somewhat comfortable there, closer to the ankles or the knees, whatever is best for you. We’ll meet with the legs at a table top position, palms pressing down by your sides, open chest and collarbones, working into the core here, keeping the band slightly taut so the knees and hips are in alignment. Slowly lower the toes, maybe they go halfway.
Maybe they hover or tap the mat. Zip up through the low belly to lift those knees right back up over the hips to table top. Inhale to lower down and away (inhales). Think of a corset around the waist, ribs knit together. Exhale, belly pulls deeper to lift for three.
Inhale (inhales), and exhale (exhales), trying to stay relaxed through the shoulders, through the neck, exhaling up (exhales), once more. Inhale to lower, belly pulls deep, legs lift up and in. Keeping them there, arms float up to the ceiling, taking a breath to prepare (inhales) and then curling up upper body, moving lower body, staying stable, tension’s still on that band. Lying head back, arms just up to the ceiling, curling up and over the ribs, right to the tips of those shoulder blades. Inhale to take it back (inhales).
Exhale, belly pulling deeper to the mat to reach up and forward. Option to add the extension of the legs here, as we work a little deeper into those abdominal muscles. One more time, inhale back, finding a position you can maintain for our hundreds exercise. We’ll begin pulsing the arms up and down, breathing in for five (inhales), and on the exhale hold those arms still, tear that band apart for five, four, three, two, one. Inhale, two, three, four, five, exhale, two, three, four, five.
Feel those outer legs working (inhales) and out (exhales). Inhaling curling up a little higher, exhale, two, three, four, five, in (inhales and exhales). Option to flex through your heels. Maybe lower the legs another inch or two. Keep tearing that band taut.
Four more breaths in (inhales) and exhale out (exhales), and three (inhales) and exhale out, two, three, four, five. Last two (inhales). Pull that belly deeper, two, three, four, five, last breath (inhales) and exhale, two, three, four, five. Point through the toes, curl up one more inch. Tear that band taut and hug the knees all the way in to the chest to rest.
Give yourself a gentle rock side to side, releasing the hips, the back the shoulders, maybe a couple rolls with those knees, and we’ll take the band and slide it even further down to the outsides of your feet, so around the arch of the feet. From there, lower the hands, lower the feet and slowly slide them out here. Finding out how sticky your mat is there, give ’em a little shake. Now toes are reaching to the ceiling, strong flex through the heels. Pull that band a little bit taut here, and float the arms back up to the ceiling.
Take a breath to prepare (inhales), and then exhale to roll all the way up and forward. The band should actually help us here, giving us a little stability, anchoring us to the mat. Take that forward, stretch through the heels, through the fingertips, breathe in through the back (inhales) and then exhale to contract back down vertebra by vertebra, working into the low back, middle back. Keep pulling the band taut, upper back, and release the arms all the way back by your ears. Arms float up, inhale (inhales), exhale, use the breath and belly here to roll up and forward (exhales).
Inhale, feeling a little more length through the spine (inhales) and exhale to contract back. Keep pulling the band taut, feeling outer legs, working here to tear it apart, belly pulling deeper to control that roll down. Twice more, inhale, arms up (inhales), exhale, ribs knit together. Belly pulling back as we reach forward past the toes, feeling full length through the crown of the head, releasing any tension we might feel back there (inhales). Exhale to roll down with control, taking the time here, reaching forward through the heels, back through the belly, back through those arms.
Last time, inhale, arms float up, exhale, chin peels over the chest, belly pulling back and in, stretching one more inch forward with the fingers and heels, back with those abdominals, and slowly rolling all the way back down, vertebra, by vertebra, by vertebra, releasing long at the bottom. From there, we’ll circle the arms and hug the knees back into the chest, keeping the band where it is, keeping it nice and taut, and then bringing the legs back to that tabletop position, shins parallel to the floor. Knees stacked over the hips, and hands coming behind our head, elbows wide. Taking a breath here (inhales), and exhale curling up to the tips of the shoulder blades. Fingertips really pressing into the base of the skull for support, we’ll go into our single leg stretch.
The right foot presses into the band, heel reaching the other ends, and then exhale to pull it back to tabletop. Elbows stay wide, curling up a little higher. Left leg, pressing out in a way, deepen the belly. Keep pulling the band taut as you bend that knee back in so it never goes slack. Inhale to reach, exhale, pull the belly deeper as you draw the knee back in, left leg extends long.
Inhale (inhales), exhale (exhales). One more time each side, reach through the heel, deepening in the belly (exhales) and left, inhale (inhales), and exhale. Pull it in, curl up one more inch. Both legs extend, pull it taut, inhale, deepen the belly, bend back to tabletop. Reach long through the legs.
Pull the band taut, resist as the knees bend back in for two (inhales), and exhale, draw it in, curling up a little higher. Once more, inhale (inhales), exhale, belly pulls deep, bend it in, hold, take a breath in (inhales). Twist over to the left as the right leg extends, opposite elbow to knee. Inhale back to center (inhales). Exhale, left leg extends, twisting to the right (exhales).
Inhale, coming back to center with resistance, up and over. Reach through that heel, pull back in that left elbow so we stay wide across the chest, up and over, engaging into that right oblique, curl over the ribs. And center, one more each side. Inhale (inhales), exhale, lift and twist (exhales). Inhale back to center (inhales), exhale, lift and twist (exhales).
Come back to center, take one more breath here. Inhale (inhales), tear it apart, curl up one more inch. Watch that belly sink deeper to the mat, and hug the knees all the way in to rest. We should feel our core and our legs working a bit there. From here, we’ll take the band and slide it all the way back up to where we started on the thighs, somewhere comfortable (laughs).
Bring your feet down to the mat, and then make your way over onto your right side. So we’ll start working the left leg first. Heels will be in line with the glutes, 90 degree bend of those knees. And I’m gonna take us all the way down today. Head relaxed onto that arm, so we’re released in the neck.
The top hand can press gently onto the mat from here. Hip stay really square. That left knee opens up to the ceiling for our clamshell, squeezing that left glute, and then resisting back down against that band. Inhale to open, squeeze that left cheek, and exhale slowly, resist to lower. Most important here is that these hips stay square.
As you open the knee up, you don’t wanna rock back. Imagine your back is up against a wall, your abdominals pulling back towards it. Pelvis stays square as that knee opens, and resist the band to close. Four more times, inhale to open, squeezing that left glute and exhale to close (exhales). Using the breath, open tight (inhales), exhale to resisting, really lift in the low waistline.
Once more inhale to open (inhales), and exhale to close (exhales). Knees and thighs stay down, shins and ankles lift. Heel bones, still squeezing tight together, from here we maybe open a little wider, finding a diamond shape, and then resist against the band to close. Same idea, hip stay totally square. If you need a reminder, you can keep your hand here.
Belly stays lifted, inhale open (inhales), exhale, resist the band to stay closed, releasing any tension in those shoulders, putting it all into those glutes for four, and resist. And three, squeeze against that band. Feel that outer left glute working, for two, trying to keep those ankles and shins really lifted here. If they’ve fallen back down, lift them back up. Last time, hold it up (inhales) and lower it all the way down.
Bringing the feet and the shins back, we’ll work our way up onto our right forearm. Shoulder, nicely stacked over the elbow here, palm or fist planted into the mat. Draw the knees a little closer, and then we’ll lift our hips up and forward. Working onto that clamshell in a little modified forearm plank here, if you can, bring that top hand to the hip, shoulders pulling down and back. Left knee opens up on the inhale, exhale resist to close, working a little more on that right side here.
As we work our left glute, inhale to open (inhales), exhale to close, belly button pulling back towards the spine, ribs knitting together, really pressing out of this right shoulder. Inhale, squeeze the left glute open, exhale resist to close it down. Last four, inhale (inhales), and exhale, are we breathing, and three, lift and close. Last two, open wide, and resist to lower. Once more, inhale, open (inhales), exhale, close.
Slowly lower those hips with control, and we’ll press ourself all the way up for a little mermaid stretch here. So holding onto the ankle or shin with the left hand, right arm up by the ear, band keeps our legs nice and tight, like our mermaid tail, and then exhale to reach up and over, taking that beautiful side stretch. Feel your shoulders pulling away from your ears here. Really sinking into it, whatever feels nice. Inhale back up to vertical (inhales), and exhale up and over a little further (exhales).
And then coming all the way back up. And but before we go to our second side, we’re gonna meet on all fours. So separate your knees about hip width apart, which means that band is tight, shoulders and wrists in alignment as well here. And then we’ll meet with our nice Black Cat shape just to release the head and the neck for a moment, and then work our way into our cow, dropping the belly, pulling the heart forward, shoulders back. Inhaling there (inhales), and then exhaling to contract and round up and in (exhales).
One more time, inhale to pull the chest forward, shoulders back (inhales), and exhale to contract and round through the spine. Now keep your back nicely rounded here, and tuck the toes underneath you. Maybe give a little rock forward, back, side to side, so you really feel pressure into the balls of those feet. Make sure you’re still contracted gazing back at your thighs at that band, which you’re learning to love so much. Take a breath here, round your spine even more, lift so much in that belly that those knees hover, just an inch or two off the mat.
Shoulder blades stay pulled away from the ears, nice and open, head stays released down so we’re not tensing in the neck. Take a breath in (inhales), stay for the exhale. Pull the belly button up a little higher (exhales). Option to stay here or add on, we tear that band apart a little bit, and resist it back together. Think of your knee stretches, hovering those knees, using those glutes, and resist to close back to hip width.
Inhale, pull the band taut with both legs, exhale to resist. Three more, inhale (inhales), exhale (exhales). You can watch your knees here. Make sure they’re working evenly. Last two, inhale, pull it wide, exhale, bring it back in, right in line with the middle toe.
Once more, pull it wide (inhales), bring it back to center. Hold (inhales), deepen the belly, lift in your abs (exhales) and gently lower those knees down, untucking the toes and taking a little child’s pose here just to release in the hips, roll out the wrists, taking a breath in (inhales), and exhale, letting it go (exhales). And then we’ll come all the way up and make our way onto our second side, band staying on the thighs, heels in alignment with those sit bones, lying all the way flat, ear to bicep here. Belly stays lifted, shoulders stay relaxed. We start with our simple clam, heels squeeze together, right knee opens up, hip stays square.
Imagine you have a skewer through your hips, anchoring you all the way into the mat. Inhale to open, exhale to resist. One side may feel more challenging than the other, totally common, we wanna work both evenly, inhale and exhale. Keep those heels squeezing together as the knee opens, and resist against the band to close. Externally rotating from the hip, squeezing in that backside and resist, inhale (inhales) and exhale staying relaxed through your shoulders.
Last three, inhaling up, and exhale to close. Last two, you’d feel this even without the band if you’re really working those muscles correctly. Last one, open (inhales), and close (exhales). We begin lifting the ankles, the shins, squeezing those heels a little tighter together here to keep ’em high, and then open right knee up, making that beautiful diamond shape and resist it back down. Feel that rotation, that wrap from the backside.
Deepen the belly back as the leg lowers. Inhale to open, and exhale to close. Keep breathing up (inhales), hips stay square, belly stays engaged, and open right from that hip and close, last three. Inhale (inhales) and exhale. Make sure those heels stay tight and lifted, two.
And lower (exhales), once more. Inhale (inhales), and exhale, resist, lower the feet. Walk your elbow underneath your shoulder here. Make sure you have nice alignment. Maybe a little further back so when we press up, we’re right over it.
Walk those legs in, take a breath in (inhales), and then lift the hips up and forward. So you’re as pressed forward here and straight and flat as you can be in that upper half, hand come to the hip, shoulder blades pulling down into the back, heels pressed together. Knee opens, inhaling (inhales), exhale, resist to lower. Think of lifting from that left oblique, out of that left shoulder blade. So we’re working in that left waistline as we work this right glute.
Inhale to open, exhale, resist the band to close. And open it wide to the ceiling, and lower. Keep those hips lifted the whole time so they’re not dropping, last four. Up, and resist, and three. Shoulder blades staying away from the ears, ribs knitting together, always thinking about the whole body, two (inhales and exhales).
Last one, up (inhales) and lower (exhales). Carefully lower the hips from here. Bring those shins in a little closer, holding on with the right hand, we have our mermaid stretch. Shoulder blades down, lift out of the waist. Take a breath in (inhales), and lengthen up and over (exhales).
This stretch is so important to move laterally here, the side body lengthening, something we don’t get to do in our daily lives that often. Take one more stretch, one more breath (inhales) and come all the way back up (exhales). We’ll swing those legs around, and carefully take the band and move it back to those shins. Working a little more on our core here, and some balance, often when we’re tearing the band apart, we are working evenly in the legs, which helps us roll evenly on the spine. So press your legs into your hands, hands into your legs, and begin to float the legs up to tabletop here, pulling chest forward, heart forward, shoulders back and down.
Pull the band gently apart, extending those legs up. Inhale (inhales), deepen the belly, bend them back in with resistance. Inhale to extend maybe halfway, maybe all the way, deepen the belly and resist, two more times. Inhale to lengthen (inhales), deepen the belly to resist and bend. Once more, inhale, reach up long, and resist to bend.
Starting with those knees bent, if you feel solid here, reach those arms forward, and we find a balance. Take a breath in at the top, and slowly lower the upper body down vertebra by vertebra, without moving those legs, keeping the band taut, releasing head back, and arms back. Curling right back up, arms to the ceiling. Inhale, chin peels over the chest, belly pulling back and in, curling up, finding that balance. Option to extend the legs straight, keeping them still, slowly lowering upper body down.
Can you tear that band a little more apart, and see if it helps roll evenly on your spine? Inhale arms back up, exhale, chin over the chest, ribs knit together, lifting all the way towards the toes. Take a breath in (inhales). This time lowering everything down, tear it apart. Eyes and toes aiming to be at the same level, hovering everything off the mat, tear it apart, and release it down and back.
One more time, lifting everything up and down. Inhale arms to the ceiling, exhale chin over the chest. Start to hover the legs, tear that band wide. Pull the belly deep and fight to lift everything up using your body versus the momentum. Hold it here, lift one more inch, and slowly lower in four (exhales), in three (inhales), hovering two, and releasing down and back on one.
Lower those arms towards the mat, and then we’re gonna make our way over towards our right side. We have some more sideline work here. So the band stays around the shins. The toes can come to the front edge of your mat. And I like to shift my hips back towards the back edge.
Once again we’ll lie all the way down ear to bicep, relax through the shoulders. Top hand, gently pressing for support onto the floor. Let’s flex the feet. Really reach out through those heels, and then tear the band apart by lifting that top leg up, and then resist to lower it back down. Working that abductor once again, tear it apart, and resist.
Hip stays square, abdominals stay engaged, tear it apart, and resist to lower. Once more, tear it apart, and hold it there. Both legs lift up. Keep the band taut, only the bottom leg taps or hovers the mat, lift and lower. Try not to tense in this left shoulder, your obliques, your outer legs are doing the work here for two, (inhales) inhale up, exhale down.
One more, inhale, lift, exhale, lower (exhales), releasing for a moment. We’re gonna add our upper body to this. Lots of obliques and a little left tricep. First tear the band apart, then lift upper and lower body together on the inhale, deepen the belly, bottom leg and upper half lower. Inhale to lift up, and exhale to lower.
Keep that band taut the whole time. Three more, inhale to lift. Keep that left shoulder blade pulling away from the ear. Slow and controlled, inhale on the way up (inhales). Exhale deep in the belly on the way down, working both directions, last time.
Inhale, lift, and exhale to lower (exhales). Let that top leg release, and flip all the way over onto the belly. Just let the legs relax for a second. Forehead can come to the hands here, give those hips a little wiggle, and then pull the band taut, feeling those outer glutes and legs working. We’ll keep the upper half down, reach back through the toes and begin to hover the legs off.
Feel the glutes and the hamstrings lift, pelvis stays down, but the belly stays lifted and engaged, and then lower the legs. Lift the legs out and up, inhale (inhales) and exhale to lower (exhales). Three more times, inhale to lift, head stays down, shoulders stay relaxed, reach out and back with those toes like someone’s pulling them in the opposite direction. Last one, lift and hold, pull that band taut, and lower them all the way back down. We’ll transition over to our other side.
I’m gonna flip away, toes towards the front edge of the mat, left ear to left bicep here, staying relaxed through the shoulders and the upper half, and then flexing and reaching through those heels. Belly stays lifted, hip stays square. Top hand pressing gently into the front of the mat. Tear that band wide, lifting up from that right outer thigh and then resist to lower it back down. Inhale to lift up (inhales), exhale to lower (exhales), staying relaxed to the shoulders, inhale lift, belly button pulling back to the spine.
And two, and lower with control. Once more inhale, lifting straight up, keeping it engaged, keeping that band taut, lift both legs, and lower both legs. Inhale to lift both legs, pull that belly button back and in, lower just that bottom leg to hover or tap the mat for three, and lower (exhales), and two (inhales) and lower (exhales). One more, lift, and lower, letting it release for a moment, making sure that right palm is right in front of your sternum, shoulder blades pulling away from the ears, we tear the band taut, and then upper and lower body lift together, engage that right oblique, right tricep. Exhale to lower, zipping up through the waist, band stays taut, inhale lift for four (inhales) and exhale to lower with control (exhales).
And three, and lower (exhales). Last two, out and up, and lower (exhales). Once more, inhale to lift (inhales) and exhale to lower and release. Should feel that outer leg, nicely worked. Flipping back over onto the belly here.
Once again, hand stacked. If you can remember opposite hand on top, and forehead releasing to that top hand. Tearing the band taut, this time we lift bottom and upper half together. Legs lift as they did before, as the hovering of the chest and forehead happen. Elbows pulling wide, deepen the belly to lower back down.
Inhale to lengthen and lift, tear that band taut (inhales). Exhale, resist, abs stay lifted to lower. Three more times here, lengthen and lift, inhale (inhales). And exhale, belly pulls up as body lowers down, and two. Lengthen and lift, squeeze those buns tight, abs lift to lower.
Last time, inhale, lift and hold. Pull that band taut for five, four, pulse outward, three, two, hold it on one, lift everything up one more inch and lower it down to rest. Sitting all the way back for another nice relaxing Child’s Pose here, keeping that band where it is, and sinking your hips back towards your heels. You may not be able to open those knees as wide as before, but it should feel like a nice reprieve on the back, the hips, the legs, take a breath here (inhales) and exhale (exhales). From here we’ll come back up onto all fours, tuck those toes underneath us and meet in a Downward Dog shape.
Pressing heels to the mat, getting a nice stretch for the back of those hamstrings, calves, glutes, that we worked so much on. Inhaling here (inhales), dropping the chest further towards the thighs, feeling an openness across the chest, releasing through the head and neck and taking one more breath to feel this stretch, inhaling (inhales) and exhaling (exhales). We’ll take one more deep breath here, inhaling through the nose (inhales), exhaling, dropping the chest towards the thighs, heels to the floor, feeling all the length drop down through those heel bones, that work we’ve done for the back of those legs. And then walk the hands back towards the toes. Just a couple hand steps here, softening through the knees, and slowly rolling up through the spine, taking our time here, stacking evenly bone by bone, and we’re not quite finished.
We’ll add a little standing work to this series, so wobble your way into the middle of your mat. Or if you prefer to do this off the mat, that’s also an option. Make sure those feet are at least hip width apart. Maybe heel toe, slightly wider. Hands can stay on the hips, or perhaps in prayer in front of you.
We’re gonna go into a little Plie Squat series here. Shoot the hips back, knees track right over the middle toes, taking a breath in (inhales), and then exhale, standing up, zipping up through the low belly, squeezing those glutes forward, tailbone tucked underneath you. Four more times, inhale to take it down, exhale to lift through the chest and the waist. And again, for three, watching our alignment here, working on pressing the band outward with that outer leg muscle and glute, and lift. Once more, inhaling (inhales) and exhaling (exhales).
This time we’ll take it down and stay there. Starting with the right leg, press that knee outward over towards the middle toe, and then bring it right back in. So we’re working that outer glute, outer leg line, not rolling out on the foot, but really pressing out from that outer leg. And in four more, inhale, tear it apart, exhale resist it in. And three, resist, left leg stays totally square and stable.
Last one, bring it in and hold left side, pressing wide, resist back in, feel that outer glute slightly externally rotating out, and resist, shoulders stay soft, belly stays lifted here for four (inhales) and resist. And three, even pressure into all 10 toes. Two (inhales), and resist, once more, inhale and exhale. Keep those hips low, both knees apart, and resist in. Feel those outer glute and leg muscles working.
Ribs stay connected, belly stays lifted. Inhale, tear it a little wider, sit a little lower for four. Resist, and three, and in. Last two, inhale (inhales) and exhale once more, bring it in, and stand all the way up. Glutes squeeze under, belly lifts up, and then squat it back down.
We’ll stay low here. Step the right foot out a few inches, and then resist it back in. Now keep this left hip and left knee in alignment for three, ribs connect as the leg resists against that band to pull back in one more time, right leg out, right leg in. Slight shift of weight, pressing down into that right heel, left leg stepping out for five. Resist it in gently, four, barely putting pressure onto it as you press out, step down, and in.
Last two, think of both legs working the whole time here, right to stay stable, left to tear it apart. Coming back to center, and standing all the way up. Keeping our legs straight, or maybe gently bent, depending on what feels best for your knees, slight transfer the weight into that left heel, and then our right leg tears apart here for five. Resist it in for four, keep that lift in the waist. Three (inhales), keep breathing, two, one more.
Slight transfer of the weight onto that right heel. Left leg begins to hover, tear it wide for five, and four, working that abductor, three, and balance and stability. Two, and in, one more, out and in. Both feet right underneath us here, still tearing that band apart. We end with a heel raise, heels begin to lift and lower.
Start to reach those arms up as the heels lift, and lower. Inhale a little higher with the heels, higher with the arms, and lower. Three more times to take it all the way up (exhales), zipping up through the waist, heels lift high. Two (inhales), and lower, once more. Arms by the ears, heels high, hold, squeeze those glutes together, lifting the knees, reach everything up a little higher to the ceiling.
Challenge that balance, and slowly lower in four (exhales), in three, in two, and release heels and arms on one. You can let those legs come together. Shake that band off, should feel good to take it off your legs, and have a great rest of your day or week with those nicely extended and worked leg muscles. I’ll see you for the next class.