Read Full Transcript
Hi, I’m so happy you are here with us in class six of Pilates Bliss on the Mat. My name is Regina. We have arrived at the culmination of this series and are ready to enjoy our joyful and energetic bodies. We’ve nurtured our best selves, found control and surrender in our practice, and have built our mindfulness skills with nimble movement. To me, these skills are what makes Pilates a blissful practice.
We get to experience the joy that is inherently ours through the healing power of movement and connection to our bodymind and higher selves. Let’s not wait any longer to get started, just stand at your mat, you can stand with your feet hip-distance apart, we’re gonna just do a little technique called tapping, so I want you to reach down, bend forward and root down into your foot and feet, I should say, and then just start kind of padding, tapping yourself, covering as much area as possible. These are gentle little love taps, waking up the body, just really building our proprioceptive and kinesthetic awareness of our own body. So I went down one leg, now I’m gonna go down the other, tap, tap, tap, just a little love tap, noticing if there’s any body parts that have been a little bit neglected, and notice if any of your body parts have been working a lot, they tend to talk to you this way, and then come through your abdomen and then feel your center, your powerhouse, right here, if you follow yoga, this is your power source right here, it’s color yellow. And then just tap gently and go back behind your hips, nice and easy right down the ribs, that’s all just really tight, light, light, light, it doesn’t have to be too heavy, just enough so you can kind of feel it and just wake your body up, now just go across one, the chest, go to the back of the arm, cover every surface area as possible, make Joe Pilates proud, he talks about just scrubbing your body all over and leaving no part of the skin neglected as best as you can.
This is what you wanna do in this shower, so take an external shower and then Pilates is also an internal shower where we’re doing pretty much the same thing, cleansing internally as well. And then get to your neck, back of the head, little taps, and then of course, I’m gonna be careful ’cause I wanna make sure my hair stays. You can do as much as you want at home, and then just a little bit on your right face, just waking everything up. (breathing deeply) So I hope you feel that energy, I hope you feel that just energy that you created for yourself. So let’s get started, we’re gonna get down right on the mat right away.
Any way that you like to come down, I’m gonna just come down the traditional way, and I’m keeping my spine long and I’m gonna push back and I’m gonna go right into the Hundred, so let’s go together. Heels together, turn your toes out, arms are down by the sides, you’re gonna slide your arms up and float the legs up at the same time as you float the upper body up, and here we go. In through your nose and exhaling. (exhaling deeply) Feel that power source right in your center, (exhaling deeply) remember your two-way stretch, remember how you’re grounding and pressing your lower back down on the mat, remember how you can keep your spine nice and aligned, it’s getting strong in your center, and then noticing any other body parts. Squeeze those heels together so feel the back of your legs, feel your seat, feel your upper back pumping your arms, big pumps, inhaling and exhaling, feel light in your body and feel strong at the same time, let’s do one more set and exhale.
We’re gonna go through our transitions, we’re gonna flow, so take the arms up and then roll up and reach for your strap, place your ankles underneath the strap, you set yourself up for success with building on all the foundational skills in the prior classes, now just flow with me. Arms up and do your roll up and pause. Deep in the stomach, (exhaling deeply) four more and roll, stretch your back out, be thankful there’s a strap that helps you ground. Let’s do one more (exhaling deeply) and lay down on your back with control. Release your ankles from the straps, reach overhead for your dowels, press into the dowels, take the legs overhead.
Open and flex and roll. (Regina sniffling) You know why I love Pilates too? Is because it works on gut in that center, we’re constantly massaging that gut out giving ourselves that internal shower, let’s do two more going this direction. And right in that same location, we process the same amount of neurotransmitters that are processed in our brains. And if you’ve read up or learned about neurotransmitters, they are responsible for our moods, our moods.
So whether we’re sad, we’re happy, anxious, so to me, this is why Pilates is a blissful practice ’cause we’re nurturing that gut, we’re making sure those neurotransmitters are set up to do what they’re supposed to do in an optimal way for our happiness. So right leg up in the air, left leg down, four leg circles, down and around. Every time I’ve practiced, I always feel better, I always feel more aligned, I always feel more centered. Reverse. Two more, last one.
Switch, ground to grow up and across. Keep reaching that heel away from the hip. Feel how light that leg is because you’re so connected to your center, one more this way, let’s reverse it. (exhaling deeply) Feel your upper back anchoring. (breathing out deeply) Last one, release your arms and let’s go into our rolling ball.
It’s rolling back in Contrology, rolling like a ball and we roll and come up, massage your back out, feel the push of your legs and the pull of your hands into your legs. Let’s do two more, and let’s do one more, now hold it. Keep the right knee into your chest and stretch the left leg out to 45 degrees. Now roll down with control. You can press the right foot into the left leg to feel that connection, now keep your head and the shoulders up as you roll back and right into our singles, leg stretch, 10 times each leg.
I want you to look into your stomach and trust that your center is working. Using your center to pull the knees in, your elbows are out wide, so you’re connecting to your back, your upper back. We’ve got three more. One more each. Keep your head and the shoulders up, both knees into the chest.
Reach your arms and the legs out, big circle, pull the knees back in. Four two-way stretch right here. Press your lower back and your mid-back down on the mat, reach and stretch away. Last one, and rest your head back. When you’re ready, curl the head and the shoulders back up, both legs straight up in the air, pull, one, two.
Now remember, if you wanna go lower, you can, just make sure you’re not cheating and using your hip flexes or momentum to raise a leg up. Use your center, use your abdominals. Go straight up, find the two-way stretch going up. Feel so good, I hope you feel your body waking up, last one each. Keep your head and the shoulders up, hands go behind your head, open up the elbows, heels together, reach down as far as you can and lift, and down, strong and free at the same time.
Two more, this is my favorite kind of Pilates, just straight up Contrology, nothing fancy and twist into your crisscross, five times each direction. My teacher has been known to say, we don’t change the work, we let the work change us and that’s what I love about the work. Straighten the legs out, lift the spine tall, inhaling here for spine stretch forward deep in the stomach and then come up to sit. There’s so much creativity that you can explore within the system. (inhaling and exhaling deeply) Lift, it’s like deepening the connection to your own body, it’s really understanding how your body responds to this movement and how your body gets stronger and how you create alignment for yourself within the structure of the work.
And then come up. Now, taking arms up right over the legs, round your spine, get your tailbone forward, find your sacrum, now can you float both legs in your hands? Hold onto them, lightness of being, here we go. Let’s do three with the legs open and breathing through it, last one. Close the legs and go for it.
Two more this way, last one, now hold it, can you find your teaser? Hold your teaser, feel so strong in your teaser. Now lay down with control and keep those legs up. Reach your arms overhead and be thankful that the dowels are right there by the sides, if you need to adjust a little bit, feel free to do so, and any version of corkscrew is yours. You’re welcome to do the high corkscrew with me, the full one where you circle down and roll, come up to the other side and roll.
Rolling down one more each way, now roll down the middle and come up, open your arms out, twist and around and stretch. Pull that shoulder back deep in the stomach, come center, twist the other way, (exhaling deeply) and center, release any unnecessary tension in your body and just find strength in your movement and freedom at the same time. (inhaling and exhaling deeply) Now turn over, let’s do a swan. Let’s give ourselves that really great neck roll to stretch first. Hands on the dowels, practice keeping your inner thighs together and stretching your legs out, and exhaling, hold it here, find that stretch, that feels so good in the front body, turn your head to one side, make a U with your chin, keep the chest up and then come center.
Turn the other way, make a U with your chin and center. Lower down with control, deep breath. Any version of swan, let’s do the full one if you’re ready for it, come with me, and here we go. Press up, take a deep breath, any version of swan, you’re welcome to do the full one with me, here we go. Inhale and go down to lift up and press down lifting the chest, opening up your heart and right heel and left heel and right and left and press.
We’ve all got our things to work on, right? So swan isn’t my favorite exercise because it’s the one that I need to work on. So that just tells you that it’s real. Even teachers, for as long as we’ve been practicing, there’s stuff that we have to work on. And that’s why I go to my teachers still after 20 odd years.
Two more each leg and then another. Come down on your stomach, double leg. So getting your hands up as high as you can on your back, pull the heels into the seat three times, push your feet down, stretch your arms up, to lift the head and the chest, find that two-way stretch. It’s that same teacher who taught me about our practice, that don’t worry about perfection, we would just wanna make progress, not perfection, so that’s what we’re after here. Take one hand on top of the other, push your feet down, stretch to lift, feet down, stomach in and up.
(breathing in loudly) And we’ll have one more on this side together, and release. Sit back into your hips, if you need the counter stretch, take your dowel for thigh stretch. Try to keep your inner thighs together as much as possible, remember you’re pulling from your back. So the arms are pulling, finding that two-way stretch here, and we lean back, and we come up with control. Let’s do two more together.
(breathing in and out deeply) Keep the spine aligned here. Head right down through the torso into the knees to ground, and then bring your dowel back down for neck pull. Ankles underneath the strap, pull against the strap from your seat, place your hands behind your head and roll. I’m just gonna do the Contrology version as I know it, where you come forward down, and then lift, finding your back as you slide your shoulder blades down in your back pocket, up and down and over. Lift and you roll, and if you want one with the back extension ’cause you feel so happy and joyful, why not?
Look up to the ceiling or the sky, celebrate your highest self and you roll down with control. Let’s get those high scissors and those high bicycles and suppress the arms down by your sides, bring the legs overhead, scoot your shoulders underneath you if you need to, hands go to the hips, push down into your upper back to lift up, now right leg reaches away, stomach is pulling in and come back up. Left leg is reaching away, this right leg is reaching to the ceiling or the sky and you feel the glute, the back of your powerhouse getting this leg down. So it’s your tush, your seat that’s working to get the leg away from you, and you’re staying controlled from the center of your body. This is the last one on this leg, and then come up, now if you wanna do that other version, let’s do it.
So we pause and we keep control. We’re not just throwing our limbs around, we’re controlling the movement from the center. Bring your legs up for bicycle. So stretching one leg out as the other leg is bending, finding the back of the leg that’s bending, see if you can reach for the mat and touch the floor. Let’s reverse that reach and stretch, remember if there are any of these exercises that you need to refresh and progress or regress, just go back to the other previous classes where we break them down.
If you’ve gotten to us here by now, I’ve trusted that you’ve seen those other classes. So now let’s transition. Take one leg out, find the mat, take the other leg out and then find the mat, keep your hips up for your shoulder bridge. Now press your hands into your hips if you need that stability, and slide one leg forward. Lift, pressing down into that left foot to free the right leg to let it grow out and up.
Take the right foot down, bend it, slide the left leg forward and lower. Find your center, it’s the center that moves the leg. Last one on this side, come down and release your hips, roll your spine down one bone at a time. Come back up to sit for spine twists. Open up your heart, open up the chest, reach through the crown of your head to the highest self, twist to the right.
After all that lying down and flipping around and now I’m sitting upright, I hope you feel the same, like you feel your body alive, you feel energized, you feel so happy and free and strong. I can’t say that enough. So you’re gonna come down on your back for your jackknife now. Hands overhead, legs together, I just wanna make sure that I’m aligned for you, so take the legs over and then push your legs up in the air, reach through those toes, feel the lightness of your being as you bring the legs down and over and up ’cause you’re connected to your center, (exhaling deeply) one more jacknife for us, up and stretch, stretch, stretch and come down with control. Turn over on your side for your sidekicks.
One hand behind your head, so the other arm is in front of you or behind your head, your choice, it’s your practice, just move responsibly. Bottom leg is down, and then now you’re gonna kick the top leg front to back five times. Back, I’ve got some glisten going on so I’m kinda sticking on the mat a little bit, which is a good thing actually. That’s how you know we’re working. One more, and then now bring the heel over the bottom, two kicks and down.
Two more, breathe with it, keep reaching through those heels, and then now take the top leg back and stretch. Open up the front of your body, use your seat, reverse it, we’re just doing five repetitions each, take big circles, forward, up and stop at the bottom. Four and down, three… (breathing out deeply) For my runners or my people who love to ride bikes, these exercises are so good to stabilize your hips, so that you cannot feel any lower back pain or not feel any knee pain, so Pilates really is for everybody. Two more.
Last one. Come down on your stomach, let’s turn around to the other side. Make sure your back is lined up with the back edge of the mat, top leg is forward in front of the mat, head is aligned with the rest of the spine, kick front to back, (breathing deeply) open up the chest, feel connected to your upper back here too, feel your left elbow grounding down into the mat so that you can feel your upper back. Using those resources, using the resources of the mat, and then bring the leg down over the bottom, kick it up and push and up, up and push. Remember, there’s always a push and then a pull.
You push leg up and you pull the legs together. One more here, now take that same leg back behind you, open up, feel your swan dive, keep the front ribs down, but keep your spine long, keep those hips reaching away from the ribs, reverse it. (breathing deeply) Now reverse, sorry, we’re gonna go the other way now for the big circles, that’s what I meant, and then down, (breathing deeply) and three more this way, (exhaling deeply) one more, feel your breath fueling your movement, two more, (exhaling deeply) last one, and come up to sit for your teasers. Bring your legs together, bring your arms down by the sides, and let’s lift the legs up for teaser, we’re just gonna do two repetitions of each. So arms and legs out, roll back, keep those legs up, roll up, (breathing deeply) arms up and roll down, keep the legs up here, hold it.
Now reach your arms up, lower lift the legs twice down and up. Keep reaching for the ceiling, hold it, now, get the upper back down with the lower body, and take the arms in front of you to parallel legs and you roll up, and you roll down, last one and we’re just gonna do a little bit of a hold here, arms up, hold, can you open up your hands and find your mat to just feel that nice long spine, feel strong and free, and then release down with control. Turn over on your stomach for swimming. We’re gonna count to 10, take a deep breath, collect yourself if you need to, find your center, get your two-way stretch and let’s go for it. Lifting up and down, pressing, freeing your body.
(breathing fast) And three, two, last one, hands down by the shoulders. Flex your toes, you’re gonna pop up into your plank position, stomach is pulling in. Reach the right leg up, hold it, shift your weight forward from your stomach, right leg down. Left leg up, hold it, shift your weight forward. Just two more each leg, up, breathing, feeling aligned.
One more each, light, last one here, come down to your knees. Sidekicks, kneeling, left leg out to the side, arms are reaching out, feel your higher self here, feel really aligned and long. Reach down, take the left hand behind your head, push your hip forward. Lift the leg up with control, go front to back. (breathing deeply) Circles three times.
(breathing deeply) Reverse it. (breathing deeply) Bicycles three times. (breathing deeply) I’m breathing a lot because this is a very challenging segment for me, so I want you to breathe with me as we get through it. One more, (breathing deeply) and come up, switch, right leg out, reach. Remember, when you get to this point in your practice, you’re getting that cardio in too, and float the leg up front to back.
(breathing deeply) Push your bottom hip forward more than you think you need to, circle, reverse it. (breathing deeply) Bicycle, (breathing deeply) last direction. (breathing deeply) And come up and come down to sit. We’re gonna do our side bend, you’re welcome to stagger your feet or stack them, whatever version is speaking to you today in your practice. I’m gonna go for this stacked feet, I’m gonna bring my shoulders down, collect myself a little bit, and then now we’re gonna breathe, lifting up, (breathing deeply) side bend, get those hips up, feel both sides of the waist long and then look down and dip.
Lift and look down and dip, and up, remember, the wobbling is part of the process. So it’s okay because when you wobble, you find your center. That’s our body telling us that we’re looking for our center and we’re finding it. Flex your feet, other hand is down and lift up, (breathing deeply) and dip and lift. I might have said this during one of the former classes, that we pass through balance because we are moving objects.
We’re objects that are moving in space, we’re on the earth, the earth travels around the sun, so we’re in constant motion, we just pass through balance. So that’s our goal here, is passing through balance as often as we can. Let’s get to that boomerang. One leg crosses over the other, and hands go to the hips and you roll back. Open, close, come up, the arms go back, the body goes forward.
Hands to the hips. (Regina sniffling) This is why this kind of practice, builds your self-confidence in handling anything that comes your way in life because you trust the process and you trust the fact that you can get back to your balance because you know how to get strong by finding your center. Let’s take one more each because I was talking and it just feels good to do boomerang right now, and come up. Let’s do our seal. Bring your arms through the legs, like I just did, place your hands on top of your ankles.
Open and close the legs three times and roll back. Three claps, come up, three claps, roll back, three claps, come up, three claps, roll back, three claps, come up, cross your legs, flip over onto your stomach. And from your center, lift the arms and the legs up as high as you can, bend your knees and reach back for your ankles, open up the chest, come down with control, pull the heels into the seat three times, push your feet into your hands, lift the chest, and then come down, heels in the seat three times. (inhaling deeply) Open up, one more and you’re gonna stay up there, (breathing in and out deeply) and feel the breath, and then release. If you need the counter stretch, go for it, but we’re gonna do a real counter stretch with a control balance on your back, or balance control actually, I should say.
So from here you’re gonna pretend to do your high scissors, but now, get your shoulders underneath you. If it’s available to you, take both hands out, hold onto one ankle and lift the other leg up. Switch, feel the lightness of your being here, and switch. Ground down into your upper back to get that other leg up. (breathing deeply) Let’s roll out of it, now roll and stand.
(breathing in and out deeply) Come up with control, it feels so good. So we’re gonna finish with some pushups and standing. Heels together, turn your toes out, feel light, feel aligned, feel strong. Let’s do our pushups. Round your spine, take four steps, take a fifth step with your body, bend your elbows.
Four steps back right in front of your feet and roll up taking the arms with you. Open up, round down, hands right in front of the feet, four steps, another step with your body, two, (breathing deeply) walk back, roll up, round down, three repetitions. You can do it, come with me. Stay strong, stay light, push the floor away. One leg back, keep reaching it back.
Four steps, keep that leg up high, do three repetitions here. Keep your spine long, keep that leg reaching back, ground to grow in that bottom leg, other leg back. Opening up, feeling strong, three repetitions, walk back, keep that leg up, ground to grow, open up, let’s do one last stretch together. Bring your heels together, turn your toes out, take your arms by your side, reach one arm up, just give a good side bend, both sides of the waist nice and long, wrap that arm around your head if you’d like, switch, reconnect to your center, reconnect to your breath, and let’s do one more breath together, reaching your arms up overhead. I like to end with the chest up, keeping your heart open, opening up and standing up as your highest self, feeling aligned and feeling light, and I really love how Pilates has me feeling strong and light at the same time.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this process as much as I have throughout the series, and I hope to hear from you about how you’ve connected to your own Pilates Bliss here with me. And I’m gonna leave you with this fun reminder from the great Dolly Parton, the magic is inside you, there ain’t no crystal ball. So keep looking inside of yourself for that magic, and in the meantime, I’ll see you next time. My name is Regina, thanks for being with me.