Read Full Transcript
Happy New Year. I was thinking today when I was coming to teach this class and thinking about each New Year’s class and how I always think about what to be grateful for and how the world is so crazy. And every year we think the world is gonna get less crazy, and it didn’t get less crazy. So I think we just get to be grateful for a new year, and we get to make life what it is day by day. Ready?
So we’re just gonna start sitting with the feet hip distance apart, taking the hands behind the thighs, using the arms to encourage the spine to get a little longer and taller. And then I’m gonna invite us to close our eyes. I’m gonna close mine. You can do it as you wish. And I want us to just take a big breath in all together, and as we let that air go, we can release anything that isn’t serving us physically, mentally, whatever.
And another inhale, lifting the spine a little taller. And as we exhale, again releasing what isn’t serving us in this moment and clearing our minds and preparing to move. We can feel the heaviness of the bones of the body on the earth or on the ground or wherever you’re sitting. And one more inhale. And one more exhale.
And as we exhale this time, we open our eyes and we get ready to move. Take another inhale. And as we exhale, we’ll keep the shoulders over the pelvis, but we’ll just take a a spinal bend, round your spine, drawing inwards physically, mentally, and then come back up to straight. Use your arms any amount. I like to use mine a lot, actually.
Inhale and exhale. Allow the spine to round, drawing the abdominals in and back. Allow the head to just follow the shape of the spine, and come back up. One more like that. Inhale, nice and tall, feeling the back extensors, and rounding the spine as we exhale, allowing the gaze to shift slightly lower.
And this time as we lift up, prepare to let go, reach forward and we roll down. So drawing in through the abdominals, making that same round shape. We’ll pause when the low back finds connection to the mat. we’ll come back up. Take the arms with the spine, take the knees out to the side and bend over your legs.
And then articulate up through your spine, bringing the knees back in, rolling back. And rolling up and feel the spine lift up nice and light. Open the knees, take the body forward over the legs. And then feel as you sit back up to tall, you’re reaching up just over the tops of the sitting bones, the hips close and we go back. And up, feeling the body move with ease.
As we lift this time, open the arms out to the side. Take a little bit of spinal extension. And as the body rounds, reach forward, pressing the arms towards one another and go back. And come up. So each shape becomes the next shape like a dance.
Open, extend, reach forward, push the air through space and go back and up. Feeling each time we sit up, we get a little longer, a little more vibrant, a little easier in our movement. Open the arms out to the side. We’re gonna do one more, and round and take the arms forwards. And last time.
Feeling anchored to the ground, to the mat. Reach up, lift the heart, open the arms. And you’re gonna fill yourself up with gratitude there. And then reach forwards and roll all the way down. Once you arrive down on your mat, you can either bring your feet closer to your pelvis or move your pelvis closer to your feet.
And inhale. Press down into the mat with your feet and begin rolling through the spine. So lifting up, coming up into a bridge, creating a straight line from the knees to the shoulders and then roll back down. So elongating through the spine all the way down to the tail. Feel the connection of the feet.
Flatten the spine, articulate up. Feel the arms heavy on the mat underneath you. So you may have heard me say this before, but I’ll say it again. We can use our movement, or within our movement, we can look for ease, again, lift up, and also precision, and also sensation of softening. So just because let’s roll down with the sensation of softening.
Just because we’re moving with that intention doesn’t mean that there’s no muscular activity happening, but it’s just a mental, a mindset rather. A mindset. And inhale. And last one. Exhale, lifting up. Sometimes with that mindset of softening, we might even get better work rather than less work.
Good. We hold at the top. We come back down. We’re gonna lift up and hold at the top this time. Checking in with the arms. Let them be heavy, roll up.
Start to feel the weight of your body aiming towards the right foot. Lift the left leg up and up, and lift up. Pulling from the center of the body to float the leg through space and down, and lift up and down. And as that leg lifts, the other leg presses down actively. And down. And one more.
Lift up and hold, three pelvic curls with one leg in the air. all the way down, and all the way up. Reach the arms forwards. Roll down. Can you land? Navigate your way through the center of your spine, through the center of your pelvis as you find ground.
And lift up. And one more. Rolling down. As we come up this time, we can start thinking about the transition. So as the one leg goes down and we shift the weight, and we float the opposite leg. Can we do that with very little instability, very little shifting from side to side.
And then we take that leg down, and up for five. Down. You can feel the lightness in the leg using the abdominals to pull the weight of the leg against gravity. Three, checking out through the arms, pressing down through the opposite leg. Lots of things to think about all the time.
If you ever find your mind wandering, think about what to think about, roll down. What I mean by that is there’s not really a lot of room for a wandering mind in Pilates, roll up. There’s always something to bring the focus to the breath. Roll down. The alignment, the precision of the movement, the intention in the movement.
Number two. Last time. Down and up. Keeping that supporting leg parallel to the hip joint, and up. Take that leg down. Take your arms up and all the way over your head.
And then take the arms out to the side and feel the rotation of the shoulder blades against the mat as they reach side to side. Take that stretch through the chest, roll down through the spine. Deepening, deepening, deepening, deepening, deepening, deepening until you arrive down on your pelvis. And then either place your arms down, or if you’re on a tall mat, you can wrap around the mat. Lift the legs one at a time.
Glue the legs together, spine twist. We take the legs to one side on the inhale. And center. And we take the legs to the other side. So just moving the spine in all directions and center.
And with these most simple movements, there’s a lot of room for concentration. And center. As the knees go across, we pull the abdominals back towards the spine. And then think of pulling from just behind the belly button to come back to center, and then over. So there’s support and then a deepening, a depth of contraction, and over and center, and over last time.
Challenging the range maybe a little bit as an invitation, not a requirement. We can stay safe within our movements or we can push the boundaries just a little bit. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to not be perfect. Oh, look at that a life lesson.
Bring your hands behind your head and lift your head and chest. Coming up into flexion, keeping the head heavy in the hands. And then lay the spine back down, working with control. Squeezing the knees together, lifting the head and chest, drawing in. Trying to keep the pelvis anchored neutral, but also coming up so that the low spine imprints into the mat.
And then lower down and lift up. Let the abdominals pick up the weight of the head. Let the hands support the weight of the head. And down. And two more up.
Elbows are wide. And one more up. Hold here. Take the hands to the knees. Use your arms to just solidify your shape, to deepen into your shape.
And then transfer both hands to the right knee as you hip hinge the left leg down and change. So we’re doing one leg at a time. Boom and boom. And as the hands come to the knee, we can pull the elbows down and wide, and that’ll give us the opportunity, if we so desire, to find a little bit of upper body work, little bit of upper back work. And change.
And four, keeping the stability in the spine. And three and three, don’t be afraid to use your arms. And two and one and one. Take both legs up, take the arms behind the head, and take the body down. And lift your head and chest.
Hip hinge both legs. Bring both legs back up. Bend your knees so your feet come towards your seat. Bring your knees to your nose. Roll your knees down away from your noses.
Lift your shins, take your chest down, and lift up. Hip hinge both legs. You can go any amount. You make sure your back feels supported. Come back up.
Bend your knees. Bring your knees to your nose. It’s like reverse rolling like a ball. Roll down, keep the chest up as you lift your shins, take the spine down. And lift up, and hip hinge.
And back and bend. And reverse curl. Think about the chest following the thighs. lifting up higher as the pelvis comes down. Lift your feet.
And two more. I’m laughing ’cause it’s hard. I don’t know why. It makes me laugh when it’s hard, but it’s real for me. So I’m not going as far as I normally would with my legs, ’cause I have a little injury that I’m looking after.
So that’s okay. But if you can get all the way down to the ground with your feet in that hip hinge, you probably should try. And down and one more. So we just do what works for us in the moment. Take care of ourselves.
Remember that it’s not just about making shapes, but about working with integrity. Put your hands on your knees. Come a little bit more into the shape, into the position. It’s actually really a break, a sneaky little break. Take both hands to your right side and turn and change.
Hands pull, body rotates, hip hinging, alternating from side to side, and turn. As the body’s rotating, we can feel the stability in the pelvis. The pelvis is not moving, the legs are moving, the spine is moving. But there is the grounding element in the pelvis. We’ll do four and four.
And curling up. Three. The arms aren’t there to make it easier, just so you know. They’re there to help you look for more. I lost count. How about two more, sorry.
Counting. I don’t even think I’m gonna make counting a resolution. I’m just gonna let go of the fact that I’ll ever be a good counter. I’m fine with that. Both knees in. Lift a little higher.
Take the hands behind the head. Take one leg to the ground, take the other leg to the ground. Feel that chest lift shape, then reach your arms forwards. Take the arms over your head and then take your body down. Today we will circle the arms out to the side, lifting the head and chest and rolling up through the spine to come up, bringing the shoulders over the pelvis.
And then just like we did in the beginning, we’re gonna lift up tall. We’re gonna open the chest and open the arms. Get a little expansion there. Round the spine, take the arms forward and go down. Take the arms and then the body back.
Pressing down through the legs, arms circle, the head comes up, we look straight ahead, and then roll up. And as the shoulders are coming over the pelvis, the gaze can shift slightly downward following the line of the spine. And then as we sit up, we look forward into the future. Arms reach around, and forwards and down. Taking the arms and the body.
Keep working the legs down there. What I mean by that is press down with your legs and squeeze them together and roll up. And lightly lift the spine. Take up a lot of space as you reach your arms around to the sides. And then reach forward. We’re doing one more.
Go back. Feel the legs reaching forward in opposition to the movement of the spine. And that’ll help us anchor and keep them as still as they can be. Roll up, sit up. Take the spine into extension as you reach out to the side with the arms, sit all the way up with the arms out to the side.
Then lift your arms overhead and put them behind your head, and turn towards one way left, turn left and center. And lift and rotate in the opposite direction, and center. And flexing the feet, we’ll lift and rotate. And center. And lift and rotate, and center.
And lift and rotate, and center. And lift and rotate, and center. Making a change. Rotate. I’m going left here. Take the right elbow towards the outside of the right knee.
Take the spine into a long diagonal as you sit up. And return, rotate the other way. Take the elbow towards the same side. So left elbow, left knee. Doesn’t matter if you’re left or right, it’s just easier to talk about.
Reach out and center and rotate and go down. And elongate out. And center and rotate and go down. And take that spinal extension up on the diagonal as you sit up and return. Let’s do one more to each side.
Rotate, keep the feet still side by side. Lengthen, and center and rotate and go down. If you hear me laughing, you know I’m working hard. Reach out. Come to center, take your arms over your head.
Circle your arms out to the side. Once again, lifting your spine, take your hands behind you. Point your feet. Feel your arms pressing down into the earth. Your chest lifting up almost like you’re trying to get light off your own arms.
And then press down with your legs and lift your pelvis. Trying to bring the bottoms of the feet towards the ground. As the pelvis comes down, push away from the ground with your arm so that the shoulder blades remain stable. And little press down with your legs and lift your pelvis. Creating a straight line with your body.
And then hinging from the hips and lifting the chest. Lightly touch and lift up. Remember everything just becomes the next thing. All the shapes intertwine. And two more.
And down. There’s a life lesson in there somewhere too. Everything just becomes the next thing. Lift up and we do our best. And sit down, separate your feet and sit up.
Reach your arms out in front of you and articulate your spine down. We’re breathing in and light as you sit up all the way, floating above your pelvis with your spine on. Inhale and go down, drawing the abdominals towards backwards. And inhale. And exhale as we float the spine.
Feel the head reaching up like it’s filled with helium. Takes the spine with it and inhale. And exhale reaching forwards. And lifting up and going forward. And this time we take extension, reaching the arms out and up, out and up, out and up.
Find those back extensors. Take it down and up. I’m laughing ’cause my legs are shaking like crazy. And go down. Can you see it? Are yours?
And reach out. Oh, if only we were all perfect, wouldn’t that be great? And go down and come up. There’s some sort of beauty in the imperfections though, in my opinion. Let’s do two more.
Go down and reach out. And not my particular imperfections. Everybody’s. The imperfections of the world. Last time. Still beautiful.
Reach forward, reach up, hold there. Take the left hand into the center of your feet, legs, shins. Take the right arm up and around. Bring the right arm back. Lift the left arm up.
Put the right arm down. Hold yourself there, pull yourself forward. Take that left arm up and around, and back around on both arms up and the left arm goes down. And we pull with the left arm to bring the spine forward as we take our rotation around, reaching behind you. Nothing back there to grab onto, but reach back around.
And that one arm goes down, the right arm. As the back arm goes around we’re not reaching to the back arm, we’re using it to rotate, but we’re going forward, forward, forward. And back around. One more. Left arm.
Is it going further on the mat every time? Maybe. And then around soft. And around, and around. And around. Both arms up.
Sit all the way up. Slide the legs together. Open the chest, reach the arms out to the sides. Flex the spine and round. Go all the way down.
Turn onto your side. Bend your knees, come onto your forearm. Take the arm that’s not on the mat into the air. Push down with your knees. Lift your body straight up so you’re in a straight line.
Take the arm that’s in the air, reach it underneath you. Way, way, way underneath you. Come back and take the pelvis down. So as the pelvis goes down, we work a little harder to lift that side body. And we go again up and under, and back and down and up, and under and back.
The lowering of the pelvis is not a resting shape, it’s a working shape. Two more. Up, buoyant, and around further. And back and down and up. And under and back And reach that hand behind your head and straighten your knee.
Flexing through your foot, take your leg front and back, and front and back. Working within a range that helps you stay stable through your torso, and back. And two and back and one and hold. Go down, go up, bend, touch front. And go up.
Bend, touch back, and keep that orientation of the body as you come around and around. Lifting, pressing with that bottom arm around. Heavy and then light, and two. Where is the head position? I’ve got to cue to remind myself to stay in line.
Stay in line, Meredith. That’s something my husband says. Another life lesson that I don’t want. Lift the leg up, bring it around the front of the body. Push yourself up and come into a stretch.
He’ll never know I said that because he doesn’t do Pilates or watch Pilates videos, so it’s our secret. Bring the leg that you’re holding onto out to the side. Stay in line, Meredith. Nah. Go over, put your arm down, take a rotation. Use the arms on the mat to pull back, send the chest forward.
Push them mat forward as you round your spine. Unwind, come up. This arm comes up, this arm comes down and side bend. And then the arms come out, and we hinge, and lightly land, and rotate, and lift the chest. Pressing the shin, not the shin, the knee.
The knee against the foot. You can use those two parts of your body for opposition. And open and up. And can you go further maybe. And one more out.
Soft landing, rotation. Take what you need from this movement. Let it be imperfect. Let it feel good. And open and up. And can we go further still?
I can. Can you? And then up. And then let’s just bring the legs around to the opposite side of the mat and go down all the way. And once you arrive down, you can turn over. You can bend your knees and come up onto your forearm.
Take a minute, organize your body, get nice and straight. Push down on your knees and lift your pelvis up. Take the arm in the air and reach underneath you. Unwind. Remember, the pelvis going down is a working shape, not a resting shape.
It’s a light touch. And then we go up and then we go under, watching where we’re going. And we go back, and we go down, and we go up. Each shape weaves its way into the next shape. And back and down.
Can you find a feeling of flow flowing in your movement? And down and up. Last one. And under and back. And we go down. The body is in a straight line.
The top leg reaches out. I put my hand behind my head. We go forward with the leg and back. And forward, holding the body. Relatively still, pretty still, trying to keep that spine nice and stable.
And back and forward and back. And two, I think, counting down to five, or counting from five to one. One of the reasons I do short reps like five is because that’s how high I can count. Go down, go up, and touch. And up and back.
So suspend and allow heaviness and up and back. And three, holding the body still, counting out loud to keep track, and back. And keep lifting the bottom ribs as the leg comes up and over. And lifting the bottom ribs as the leg goes over the back into the back. Over the top into the back, last one.
And back. And bring the leg in. Sit up. Losing my clothing. Bring your knee into your body.
Drop the hip down towards the mat, ground, earth. Lift your spine. Are you holding your breath? I was. Sometimes, take the leg around.
I feel like, especially in movement, but maybe sometimes all the time. The times where we wanna hold our breath is exactly the time we need to not. Here we go. Hinge and rotate. And take the chest forward. Remember, you have the invitation to make these shapes suit you.
Round, open and up. This arm comes up. Gonna get a little heavier in that sitting bone as we reach up, up, up, up, up and over. And then float and hinge and soft landing and rotation. And take the spine into extension.
I like to push my foot into my thigh and my thigh into my foot and use that as an anchor. And around and open, and up. And can you go further? And last time. Take it out and on and around, and extend, letting the pelvis rock back and forth.
And round, and open. And up and over, over, over, over. Lean in. Lean in. And up. And turn onto your hands and knees.
Step the right foot behind you. Step your left foot behind you. Coming into a front support, pushing back through the heels. Lift your pelvis, press down through your feet. Articulate up through your feet, so stretch the feet.
Roll forward, point the left foot and lift that leg up and down and up and down, and up and down and up and down, and up, and put it in. And two pushups. And lift your pelvis. Two Pushups, you say? That’s not enough. Well, there’s more.
Lift, roll forwards, find your shape. Point the right foot and up and down and up and down and up and down. And two and down. And one and put it down. And two pushups, or more, you decide.
And lift your hips, press down through your heels. And lift your heels and come forwards and lift the left foot. And bring the left knee to the right elbow and back to the right elbow. And back to the right elbow. I’m not rounding too much, but I am rotating.
Two and back. One and back. Two pushups. And lift, breathing. Articulating through the feet.
Articulating through the spine. Take the right foot, cross it across and back. Cross across and back and across and back. And two and back. And one. And put it down.
And two pushups. Grateful for those two pushups now. And lift them. And now we’re gonna lift the heels, and around. And two pushups.
I think that makes 10. I don’t know. Put your knees down, sit all the way back. Roll through your spine, take the pelvis down and lower yourself to the mat. Letting the forearms settle on the mat next to the sides of the body.
Do a backward dragging action with your arms. So feel the shoulder blades depress. Start sending the chest up and forward. Just small and down. So paying attention to the first backward movement of the shoulder blades.
Then the chest reaching forward in opposition to the backward dragging action of the elbows. Are your legs energized? They could be. And down. One more like that. Backward gliding, spine reaching forwards.
Reaching in the opposite direction with the legs. Like you’re pulling your body in two directions at once. And down. And now we make a bigger shape. So you can stay small.
Find that same start. Push with your elbows. Start taking your chest more forward. When you can, if you want, lift your elbows, look where you’re going. Continue to look forward as your elbows come down.
And then take your body down. Moving a little bit so my feet are on the mat. And slide the shoulder blades down. Push with the elbows, start taking the eyes in front. Let the elbows lift off the mat.
Take the sternum forward as you’re lifting your spine up. Bend your elbows, keep lifting your chest. And then take the spine down. And again, one more head and chest first, elbows dragging back, pressing with the elbows to lift a little higher. Don’t leave your eyes behind.
Lead with your eyes. Look where you’re going. And bend and take the eyes down. As the spine comes down, push with your forearms and slide your knees in and sit back towards your feet. And come once again onto your hands and knees.
So my mat’s narrow. If I had a wider space, I would take my hands outside of the mat. So if you’ve got room for that, do that. Instead, I’m just gonna hold a wide grip on the edges of the mat. We’re gonna take the left leg back.
So can you feel the energy through the back of the leg, through the back of the spine? Now I want us to lift that leg into the air, bend the elbows and come up. So it’s like a kneeling swan dive in my imagination. Lift the leg, bend the arms, hover and up. And lift the leg and bend.
And three. And start with the leg and then take the arms. And back. And start with the leg and then take the arms. And bring the knee in.
You’re welcome, take the right leg out. Feel the energy, the back body. Lift the leg, little bend to the arms. Nice and low, elbows point to the sides, and up. And bend the arms and reach that leg like you’re gonna touch the sky.
And back and bend. When the arms straighten and the body comes up, that doesn’t mean that leg stops working. It’s active. Last two. And back.
One more, bend and back. Bring the knee in. Bring your hands back into that four point kneeling place. And then take the left arm underneath, bending the right arm, allowing the back of the left shoulder to rest on the mat. Use the arm that’s still on the mat to help you maximize the rotation in your spine there if you wish.
And then we lift up off that arm. The other one comes down and we bend the elbow. Reaching the opposite arm through, using the arm that’s on the mat to help increase the rotation of the spine. And then push up. Cross your feet behind you, roll over your feet.
And come to a diamond shape. So I’m gonna choose to take my diamond shape towards you. You can do as you wish for yourself. Oh, that feels good, hold your shins and lift. And then take the arms out to the sides.
So we’re gonna lean to the right. We’re gonna take the left arm over, bend to the right arm and side bend in that direction. Use the leg. That’s not the leg. The hand. The hand that’s a arm. Push up, float.
And then take the left hand down, bend the left arm, and reach the spine in that direction. You can use the arm, the one you’re balancing on, to push so you suspend, and we go over, back over to the right. This time, take the body into rotation. Reaching out through the arm. My arms are shaking, for your information.
Fun fact. And then back. Happy New Year. And up and over. And round.
And back. And up. Take the arms over the legs. Let the knees reach heavy down towards the ground, towards the mat. Lift the spine up.
Remember the sensation of floating suspension. Take the arms out to the side, lift the chest, and forward, flowing from one thing to the next. There’s no push here. Well, no necessary pushing needed. Arms, chest. Soft.
Last one, sit up, take the arms. Open the arms, round the spine. Come up, take the hands together, palms of the hands together, eyes forwards. Soft eyes or closed eyes as you lift your arms up over your head, pressing the palms of your hands into one another that feels sticky in your shoulders. Let the hands get softer.
Reach up, let the arms pull the spine. And then press the arms, the hands as you can, as it feels good into one another as you take your hands and cross your eyes across your face towards your chest. And inhale. And exhale. Full circle. Two more breaths.
Inhale. And exhale, softening the body. And inhale. And exhale. Happy New Year.