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Hi, welcome to class four of Pilates Bliss on the mat. My name is Regina, and in this intermediate workout, we will continue to flow and not only build on our practice with spinal alignment, resourcefulness, and self observation, we will now exercise our skills of exploring perspectives. Remember, Pilates is a whole body workout and we wanna look at the exercises from as many angles as we can. So as we move, I want you to keep this inspiring quote by Oprah Winfrey in mind. “There is a wealth that has nothing to do with dollars that comes from the perspective and wisdom of paying attention to your life.” Now let’s get moving and build our wealth.
I’m gonna have you go to the edge of your mat. You’re gonna get ready to stand down. You’re gonna have your feet about hip distance apart. I want you to think about your chest expansion here, ground down into your feet and grow out. Feel your two-way stretch.
Reach your arms back, pull the stomach in, align your spine. Get nice and tall. And then now just start bending your knees. And I want you to lean back and open up the chest as you work your way down to the mat. That’s it.
Okay, just a different way of coming down. We’re gonna go right into the 100 right away. So the legs are stretched out, the arms are down by the sides, you’re opening up the chest. Everything is nice and set up for your success. Slide your hands forward, reach your arms out as your legs lift at the same time.
And you pump inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your nose as best as you can. Now I want you to keep squeezing your heels together so you know with the 100 we think about, yes, pulling the belly in and thinking about the front body. I want you to think about the back body here, the legs, the heels together, feeling the back of your legs engaged and feeling your seat. And you’re pumping your arms down from your back as well. It’s like coordination on the reformer, where you keep reaching your arms long and you really try to get the shoulder blades down your back.
I think we have about like three more sets. In through your nose, out through your nose. Two more sets left for your 100. So again, feel the back body here. Okay, one more set of the 100 in through your nose.
Out through your nose. Stay connected and release your 100. Reach your arms up overhead. Roll up. Place your ankles underneath the strap for your roll up.
Squeeze your heels together. Hold onto your dowels. Now pull against the dowels. Now reach your tailbone forward. Feel the back of the legs lengthening out as you take your roll back.
Arms up, roll up and forward and pulse and roll down. Feeling the whole back body stretch here, up and over. Now if you’re a teacher, you know and you wanna educate your students about how beneficial this kind of work is when they stretch their feet in a flex position, our students get a chance to lengthen, actually just also the back of our legs because there’s connective tissue that goes from the bottom of the feet through the back of the legs. This is why footwork is really important in the reformer. We’re stretching the whole back body via the bottom of the feet.
Okay, we’re adding to that stretch as you’re optimizing that stretch. We’ll take one more roll up here. Deep in the stomach and you roll down. Okay, place the dowel to the side. Take your legs out of the straps, hold onto the dowels behind you, and let’s go for your rollover up open.
Push through the heels or keep your toes flexed. And we’ll do three more of those. Close the legs. Lift up open deep in the stomach. And again, open flex.
Last one up. Open flex. Let’s go the other way, close the legs, open ’em out, lift them up and close. Squeeze your inner thighs together. Connect to the center by squeezing the inner thighs together.
Breathing in and pushing. Two more open out and up and close. And the lower last one here feels so good to open up that back. And you come down with control. Moving on to leg circles.
The one leg goes down, the other stays up, and five times going to the left first with your right leg, breathing in, down and around. Remember you’re pushing off with this bottom leg here to start the movement. And we’ll do one more. Now let’s go the other way. Reaching through the leg, finding that two-way stretch.
Aligning your spine, connecting to your higher self as you’re using the mat to feel how long you can keep your body. Right leg down, left leg up and down and across. Up. Four more. Two more.
You free this leg up by engaging your center. Go the other way. The stronger you get into the center, the more mobile you’ll get your limbs and come down. Come on up for rolling like a ball. Bring your knees up and in, heels together, pressing your knees into your elbows.
And elbows are pulling into your knees for rolling back. One of my favorite stories to tell is about a student. We’re gonna do like five more here. Who told me that she thought she needed to be more flexible. But actually after learning more about what Pilates is, she actually realized she just needed to be stronger to get more mobile, and she felt more flexible.
Let’s take one more here and then release the legs down. Okay. Lie down on your back with control. Right knee in, left leg out. So single leg pull here.
10 times each leg. As I continue telling you story, right, because oftentimes people think that their tightness that they’re experiencing in their body is a need for flexibility. We’ll do three more each leg. One more each leg and then rest here. Double leg lift the head and the shoulders up.
Stretch the arms and the legs away, reaching. Open out and pull in. Again, keep those heels together to connect the back of the legs here. And then again, feel the upper back. Okay.
As your arms stretch away and you find your two way stretch, two more. Last one and then rest. Single straight leg stretch. Continuing 10 times each way. Pulling, lifting up to the ceiling and stretching.
Another way to look at this exercise. The temptation is to get this leg all the way down, right? But that’s fine, as long as we’re connected to the center. What I like to do is really encourage the 45 degree angle first. So you’re really staying connected to the center.
Because when you’re getting a little lower, you get a little bit more hip flexor action and you really want more of the work to stay here. So the legs can go down as long as you’re really fully engaged and you’re using the right muscles to move your body. Structures to move your body. One more each leg. Now keep your legs up.
Bring your hands behind your head. What I want you to do is stay connected. Reach the legs down all the way to the ground if you can, and bounce them off the mat to lift up. Find the back of your legs and scoop. Keep your sacrum down.
Bounce the heel up. Two more and another. And let’s go into crisscross right away. I was just reminded about something. Again, another thing to think about is that if somebody comes to you with neck tension, I hold onto neck tension sometimes myself.
But you wanna remind yourself if you’re a practitioner and also a student or a teacher, that the more you engage your abdominals, the less the neck will work. So the stronger you get in your center, the less the neck will work. So another way to look at things, if you wanna encourage yourself and others to keep going and get stronger. So lifting the spine here. For spine stretch round your spine, I want you to think about the push through on the Cadillac, even though the hands are here between the legs.
In this version that I’m teaching you, I want you to think lifting the ribcage up. And then think about your push through, pushing the bar forward. And if it helps you to bring your hands right at shoulder height, you’ve seen that version before, think about your push through here. So either option is good as long as you find the length in your spine, as long as you find the roundedness and the engagement of your center. I’m gonna do one more with the hands down.
So let’s do that together. Inhaling, lifting the ribcage up and sliding forward and stretching. And then coming up to sit, go ahead and bend both knees. Place both hands on the ankles. Straighten the legs out for your open leg rocker.
We’re gonna do three with the legs open and three with the legs closed. Come with me. Roll back. Hold. One more this way.
Now close the legs, roll back, deepen that connection to your center, find that midline. Squeeze the legs together. Squeezing your thighs together. Now I’m gonna have you hold your teaser here. Hold your teaser now, find your teaser.
Keep your legs up. We’re gonna start learning more about transitions. And lie down on your back, reach your arms up overhead. And lucky for me, the dowels were right there. We’re gonna do our full cork screw.
We’re gonna get those hips up in the air. So you’re gonna take the legs forward and then now lift. Feel the back of the body here to get yourself up. It’s like jack knife, but you’re gonna roll down to one side, come through the middle, and to the other side, and you roll down. Spine stays long and lift.
You gotta really find the back body here to execute this exercise. So connect to the back of your legs, connect to your seat, of course, finding the two-way stretch from your center. Let’s do one more going down to the left. And let’s come on down with control. Now come on up to sit with control.
Separate your feet as wide as the moon boxes. Open your arms out, first of twist, round over. Now I want you to think about reaching the back arm, back, back, back as you pull the left hip down, come up, come center, twist to the other side. Back arm is going back, lifting the rib cage up, reaching for something back behind you, I might have even even talked about this in my reformer series, you wanna reach back with a back arm, like if you’re reaching for something in the backseat of your car, one hands on the steering wheel, the other arm is reaching back. Obviously this is an exaggerated movement of that example, but you’re still finding the two-way stretch and you’re still finding that connection in your center.
And come back. Okay, now we’re gonna come over onto our stomach for your swan. Let’s do that same neck stretch that we did in the previous class. Pressing down into the handles, the dowels, pulling the belly in and adjust my shirt to make sure that I’m good. Now, lifting the spine tall, keep the chest up, reaching through those legs.
Turn your head to one side, make a U with your chin. Come up through the other side. Keep your chest up. Come to center. Now let’s stay up.
Go the other way, U with your chin. Come up, come center, and then come down. Now when you do your swan dive, I want you to think going down, okay, you’re gonna go down to lift the legs up. That’s a cue that I learned from one of my teachers and it’s really helped me succeed in this exercise. Take a deep breath, inhaling up.
Do three to five on your with me, I should say. And let’s go. And come back up with control. Arms down, make a fist with your hands pressing through your mat to open up the chest. Pull one heel in twice.
Pull the other heel in twice. This is also a great cue that I like to share, is that you wanna think about your hamstrings doing this exercise as like a bicep curl for your legs. Okay, so curl the heel in. It’s not like a kick, it’s more of a curl. So you wanna make a muscle with those hamstrings pressing down into the mat, reaching your heart forward, keeping that spine long.
Let’s do two more, each leg and then come down with control. Now your double leg kick, you’re gonna place both hands behind your back. Turn your head to one side, close your chest, pull the heels into the seat three times. Now push your feet down. Now get your hands up as high as you can, from there, lift the head and the chest up.
Keep those hands up, up, up, up, up. Come down, turn the other direction. Close your chest, push down, open your chest. Hands go up and you stretch. Bend your elbows, turn the other direction.
Push down, lift the arms up. Lengthen to stretch. Come down, switch hands, other hand on top. Get your hands up even higher if you can to stretch your shoulders, down to lift. I’m asking you to close and open your chest so you get more mobility outta your shoulders.
Let’s do one more on this side, pushing down, lifting up, and then release. Go ahead and give yourself a counter stretch if you need one. And then come up and hold onto your dowel for thigh stretch. Okay, two-way stretch with your hands reaching overhead. Get your inner thighs together as best as you can, and lean back.
Push the shins into the mat. Notice what happens in your body when you do that. You find your seat, you find your glutes. So I want you to push your shins down into the mat as you stand. Let’s do two more, last one and then release.
Neck pull. We’re gonna do a different variation of neck pull today. Ankles are gonna go underneath the strap. You’re gonna pull against a strap from your seat. Hands go behind your head.
This time what I want you to do is come up into an upper back extension and then you roll down one bone at a time and then open up, round forward and come forward. One of my teachers says, this is a time you can maybe get the front ribs to open out a little bit because you’re getting into the upper back. As long as you’re not arching from your lower back and you roll down. Just another great way to move our spine. Keep that spine mobile.
Encourage the youthfulness in our body. Let’s do two more up and over. Get deeper in it, deeper in it, deeper in it, and roll down. And last one and up. Deeper, deeper stretch.
And then we roll down one bone at a time. Okay, we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna do our high scissors into our bicycle. So stay down on the mat, press your arms down, pull the belly in, roll the legs over. Now squeeze his shoulder blades underneath you.
And I’m gonna adjust my mic pack. It kind of flew out, but I’m gonna stay here. From here I’m gonna reach my legs up to the ceiling. Hold it here. Stretch, stretch.
Now you gotta find the back of your body as you take one leg back as far as you can. And then lift it up. Stay connected to your center. Reach the other leg back. Stay connected and lift other leg back reaching, stretching.
And then reach, reach, reach again. Connect to the back of your body. One more each way. Last one on the left. And come up.
Now if you can reach one leg out and then start bending the knee and see if you can reach for the mat. Okay. And then as the other leg goes in, the other leg goes out. As the other leg goes out, the other leg goes in. And I’m gonna adjust ’cause I’m a little slippery here, getting sweaty.
One more each leg stretch and the other. And you bring your legs together. And then let’s roll down one bone at a time. Bend your knees, bring your arms down by the sides. You keep your chest open.
Think about that chest expansion like we started with. Reach your arms back behind you. Lift your hips up, nice shape right at the beginning. We got there at the beginning of class. Now if you can get the shoulder blades underneath you here.
That double leg kick really helped open up the shoulders, so press your hands into the hips, push your knees forward. Now feel your spine even and long. I want you to slide the right leg forward. Keep those hips up. Push down into the left leg to lift the right leg up.
Reach down through the right leg and lower it down. Two more. Push down into the left foot to lift the right leg up. And then right leg comes down. I emphasize that push down to the left leg to lift the right leg up because that action helps the growth of the right leg.
Switch right foot down. Stay in your two-way stretch. Reach the left leg up and flex to calm down. Push down into the right foot to lift the left leg up to stay connected to your center. One more, push down to lift and flex and then place that left foot down.
Hopefully you know when your feet are parallel, reach your arms down and then use your mat to find your spine rolling down one bone at a time. Remember exploring the perspectives, looking at things from so many different directions. That is so helpful in life in general, not just in your mat practice, right? Lift up, twist to the right, come center, twist to the left. Think about when you communicate with your family and your friends and your loved ones.
You might kind of talk to them a little differently because everybody’s got a little different language that resonates for them, you might talk to your kids differently than you do your husband or your partner because let’s do one more each way, it’s communication styles, it’s communication. And we wanna be able to communicate with as many different types of people and beings as possible. So we’re gonna do jack knife now, we’re gonna lay down on your back, reach your arms overhead. So the jack knife is like the overhead on the reformer. And you also wanna feel the long spine here in the reformer.
So the legs go over and then you lift up. Feel the long spine, keep your spine nice and long. Reach, reach, reach through those legs and then lower down with control. Again, over and up. Reach, reach, come down with control.
Last one and up reach and come down with control and release. Come lie down on your side for your side kick series. We’re gonna do a few variations here. So hands go, right hand goes behind your head. I’m on my right side.
Spine is aligned with the back edge of the mat. Legs are forward towards your moon box. Bottom leg is pressing down. Five repetitions for front to back. Keep reaching through those legs.
Feel your upper back as you press your hand into your head. Two more this way. Last one. Now bring the leg over the bottom. Two kicks up and down.
One, two, and then one squeeze down here. Get those heels together and squeeze. Keep those hips down away from the ribs. Find that two way stretch. Keep your spine long.
Two more here. Last one. Hold it now take the straight leg back behind you. Five small circles back behind you. The size of a golf ball.
And then go the other way. I’m smizing, I’m smizing, I’m smiling and talking about the sides. Hold reach, now we’re gonna take a big circle forward up and back. Four more that way. Big circle.
Remember, keep your head in line with the rest of your body here. I’m telling you that as I’m telling myself. Okay, two last one. This direction, let’s go five the other way. Up and down.
Pressing down, up. Three more. Two, last one. Now I’m gonna have you do a bicycle. So take the leg, stretch it forward ’cause this is gonna help our high bicycle later.
So bend the knee, push back, and also is gonna help us with other exercises as we progress through into our Pilates bliss stretch. Let’s do one more. Take the leg forward, bend it, push the leg back. Use your hamstrings to take the leg back. Bring the leg back over the bottom.
Pull the leg back here. Now use that hamstring curl. Bicep curl for the leg. Pull the knee in, stretch your leg forward. Two more.
Reach and bicep curl back for the leg. Last one back, curl the heel into the seat. Find the back of your body. Stretch your leg forward, lower it down last bit. Hot potato.
We’re gonna do six repetitions counting down to one. So you’re gonna take one leg up the top, leg up, flex your foot, pulse it forward in front of you six times five, four, three, two. Now kick it up and then pulse it back behind you for six, five, four, three, two. And then you’re gonna bring it back up. Now you’re counting down five here.
Five, four, three, two. Kick it up back behind you. Five, four, three, two, forward for four, two, three, four. Kick it up back for four, forward for three, back and down for three. Ooh, I feel it.
Forward and down for two. Up and back for two and forward for one, up and back for one. Lift it and the lower, that really gets you going over here. Okay Emma, now we’re gonna turn around and we’re gonna do the other side. You gotta know what’s behind you to get going to what’s in front of you.
Kick front to back, one, two, and back. It’s all connected folks. Remember, Pilates is a whole body workout. I can’t say it enough times. Two more this way.
Last one and back. Bring that leg over the bottom, kick it up. One, two and flex. Squeeze your heels together. The back is lined up with the back edge of the mat.
The legs are reaching forward in that two way stretch. Your belly’s pulling in to keep your spine long. Last one on this and down. Now reach that leg back behind you. Small circles the size of a golf ball from your seat.
And then let’s go the other direction. Make sure your upper back is engaged as well. Take the leg forward up, circle it, stop at the bottom. Forward up. And if you stop at the bottom, you’re really making sure you’re not using momentum.
Okay, two more. Last one. And reverse it. Keep that hip down to reach the leg out and up. Okay, down and up.
Three more, two more. Make sure you’re pushing down into that bottom leg. Last one. Hold here. Bicycle, take the straight leg forward in front of you.
Bend the knee, push the leg back. Now if you wanna think about lifting the foot up, that’ll help you get engagement in the right places in the back of your leg down. Lift the foot up, stretch and down. One more this way and stretch. Let’s bring the leg over the bottom.
Reach the leg back, bend the knee, pull the knee in. Stretch it forward. Two more that way. Out and bend knee in. Last one, open up, bicep curl for the leg.
Pull the knee in, stretch it forward. And bring the leg down over the bottom. Hot potato. Lift the leg up as high as you can. Flex foot to get that stretch in the back of the leg, we pulse down and forward for six, three, two lift it up, pulse it back and down for six, four, three, two.
Lift it up, pulse it down for five, kick it up and back for five up and four up and back. Four. Up down for three, up and back for three, forward for two up and back for two. And then last one each up and bring the leg down. Woo hoo.
That really gets you going in the tushy. So it really helps to get the stabilizer muscles and the hip connected for your teasers. Because teasers are not just a core, it’s not just working this part of your body. Your bottom half right here is also part of your powerhouse. It’s also part of your core and your center.
So you wanna think about that as we go into our teasers as well as your center here. So lift the legs up, keep reaching through the legs, keep squeezing your seat, find your teaser. Roll back and roll up. We’re just gonna do two repetitions of this version because we’re gonna do teaser three to add. And on one more here.
That’s all. Stretch your arms up now lower the legs twice. Lift it twice up. Now hold it. Take everything down.
Can you get your upper back down at the same time with the legs? Now you’re gonna take the arms parallel to the legs for teaser three. Roll up, arms up. Get your upper back down. Squeeze those legs, find your seat.
Let’s just do one more here. Forward parallel to the legs. Reach, reach, reach. Now I want you to just take one arm back, see if you can find the mat. Take the other arm back, find the mat.
Open up the chest, feel the upper back. Hold it, hold it, hold it. And then release the pose. You can bring your legs forward and come to sit. Flip over onto your stomach for your swimming.
Take a deep breath. Inhale and lift the arms and the legs up. And let’s go. 10 counts. Four, three, two.
Hold it hands down on the mat. Flex your toes. Can you pop up on your toes and your plank? Come up, hold this. Now let’s go for the full leg back.
Leg pull back. Take the right leg, lift it up as high as you can. Shift your weight forward. Use your bum, use your seat. Lift the other leg up.
Shift your weight forward and back. Energy’s going out through the top of your head and through your legs. Spine stays aligned. One more each side. Last one.
And come on down. All right, side kicks, kneeling. So the arms are gonna stretch out like your spine twist. Arms are gonna go out, legs are down. Lean down, find the mat.
Push your hip forward. Place the back of the head. Push the back of your head into the left hand. Now lift the leg up. We’re gonna go front to back three times.
That’s all we need. And two, keep pushing your hips forward, like your thigh stretch. Bring the leg over. Now circle three times two. Oh my.
Let’s go the other way three times. All you need hold it, reach and stretch and come back up. Switch other leg out. Lean out. Left hand down, right hand behind the head.
Push your hips forward. Lift the leg up. Go front to back. Spine is lined up and back. One more.
Finding your two-way stretch. Hold it ground to grow. So push down to the left knee to left hand to make your circle and reverse it. Last one, hold it. Come up to your knees and then come have a seat.
We’re gonna do our side bend. Stack your feet if you’d like, or if you wanna stay with me. Stay the feet staggered. Keep the feet staggered right hand down. We’re gonna go for the full side bend here.
So you’re gonna push down into your feet and your hand. You lift up, go all the way over and side bend over. Now dip your hip and look down to your left hand. Lift up and dip your hip. Look to your left hand grounding in your feet.
Grounding out into the right hand. And dip, dip, dip, dip, dip. Get your spine long, keep your hips down and then bend the knees and then switch sides. Top leg is stacked. You’re on the inner edge of that top foot, outer edge of the back foot.
If you’re staggered, I should say, if you’re stacked or you’re welcome to do that. But we’re gonna do that in other classes later. Okay, so arms down by the sides. Just feel everything connected here. Lift up and stretch.
Stretch, stretch. Dip your hip, look to the right arm and come up and dip your hip. Last one and dip, dip, dip. Lower the knees, lower the legs. Swivel around.
We’re gonna do a different version of boomerang today. You cross one leg over the other. You’re gonna bring your hands to your hips. We’re gonna bring the legs over. Open close.
Now as the legs come down, cross your hands and float the arms up, pulsing forward. Reach your arms forward like you’re doing you’re rowing on the reformer. And then come back up. Hands to the hips. Okay, so lift the legs over and up.
Float the legs up. Now catch your hands here and then come down with control. Take the arms in front of you and then come up. You’ve probably seen this version before too, but again, it’s always good to explore the different versions and see how all the work is connected together. Arms over and up.
Rolling up and back. Cross. Keep your hips up. Keep those legs up and stretch. Hold it and come up.
Lift the ribs away from the hips. Find that two-way stretch. This is our last boomerang. And come up and over. Keep those legs up and pulse.
And finish it up. Come on up, let’s do our seal. Take the arms underneath and through the legs. Hold here. Open close three times and back.
Come up. You’re opening and closing from the hip, not the leg. Roll back. Last one each way. And come up.
Let’s do our rocking. Lay down on your stomach. Hold here. Find your center, find the two-way stretch. Deep breath inhale, reach the arms and the legs away.
Open up, find the upper back. Bend the knees, find your hamstrings. Then come down with control. Pull the heels into the seat. Push down, lift the chest, find the back of the body.
Come down, push up. Keep those in our thighs together as best as you can. And come down one more. And then release. Sit back into your hips for a little counter stretch.
All right, now we’ve got two more exercises left. I’m gonna have you lie down on your back and lower. We’re beginning the exercise called balance control. We will progress you from here, but I want you to get it right and aligned in your body first. So the legs are gonna go over And squeeze your shoulder blades together ’cause it helps you lift up from here.
Now I want you to reach the right arm from your back and hold on to one ankle. Now hold it there. Can you stay here and balance and hold on to that same ankle with the left hand. Okay, this left leg is kind of hovering, but I’m just finding this control. You can even use your mat to push off.
Okay, release left arm down, right leg, arm down, and then bring both legs together. Now left leg down. Hold it. Can you reach the left ankle for or the left hand for the right left ankle, it’s hard to talk and be in this position at the same time. But you know what I’m going for here.
Other side, hold it. Feel the upper back anchoring down. And feel yourself stabilize from your center. Keep reaching with both legs. Take the right arm down and take the left arm down.
And then bring your legs together. And then we roll down one bone at a time. Bend your knees, cross your legs. Come up to sit or stand. And then we are gonna do our full set of pushups, heels together, turn your toes out.
So we’re gonna go from one, two, and three pushups. And then we’re gonna do one leg at a time. So arms down by the sides, round your spine, walk forward, four counts. Now take another count, fifth count to shift forward. Bend your elbows and walk back.
Roll up, open out again. Pushups are whole body workout. It’s not just an upper body workout, it’s a whole body workout. Keep your spine long, keep your head in line with the rest of your body. Ground down to grow up.
Three repetitions of our pushups, rounding. And we roll. Now I want you to take the right leg back. Reach that right leg far back, find the back of your body, round down to balance. Walk forward.
If you need to come to the knee, you can to do the pushup, you can do one. We’re gonna do three. So you can do one on the knees, maybe two on the knees if you want to try the last one on your toes. But what I want you to do now is keep reaching that back leg back behind you as you come up. And keep it lifted as you roll up, you gotta ground down into that standing leg to come up with control.
Last side, reach back, come down with control. You can come to the knee, do the first two on the knee, and then flip your toes. Do the last one on your toes, and then walk back. Now keep reaching that leg back, ground down into the right leg. And you’re gonna come up to stand with control.
You know it’s real right when you see us working too, to get connected to our center. Stand up, reach your arms down. I hope you feel connected to your whole body in 360 degrees today, and you’ve explored many different perspectives in your work. Thanks so much for working out with me. I’ll see you in class five with the lightness of being.
Once again, my name is Regina. Thanks for joining me and we’ll see you next time.