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Hi, I’m Maria Leone. And today, we’re doing a beginner-intermediate mat class. Come on your hands and knees. Hands go right under the shoulders, knees right under the hips. We’re beginning with cat cow.
Round your back as fully and completely as you can. Inhale, open the chest, pulling the shoulders out of the ears. Again, rounding the back, pushing the shin bones down. Inhale, opening the chest. And again, rounding the back, really pulling the belly button into the lower spine.
Inhale, opening the chest. And then find yourself into a beautiful straight line, opposite arm-leg reach. So one leg reaches straight back behind you, heel to sit bone relationship. See if you can reach that opposite hand up in front of you and lower everything down. The other leg reaches straight back, the opposite hand, option to lift it up off the mat.
Pull the body long, lower everything down. Let’s repeat again. Remember, you can have just the leg in the air or reach the opposite hand up. Belly pulls into the spine, and lower everything down. And then the other side extends out, abdominal lift, the hand reaches forward.
Take everything to the mat and come into child’s pose. Knees might be slightly apart, pinkies to the edge of the mat, arms straight, and find width between your shoulder blades. Take a deep breath into the back of the lungs and a long slow exhale out through the mouth, and then roll over onto your back. We’re gonna go into some bridging, the feet are hip distance. From here, start with a nice strong tuck of the tail.
Peel yourself up to the top of your bridge, straight line from the knee of the shoulder. Roll yourself right back down through your spine. Inhale here, exhale, tuck, and really feel each vertebra push into the mat before it comes off the mat and then peel yourself down. Let’s add a little breath pattern. Inhale here, exhale, tuck, and peel yourself up.
Inhale, reach the arms to the wall behind you. Exhale, peel down as you reach through the arms. Inhale, hands by the side. Exhale to peel up. Inhale to reach.
Exhale to peel down, hands by the side. Last one, exhale to peel up. Inhale to reach. Exhale to peel down, hands by your side. Reach around and place your hands behind your head.
Pull your abdominals in. And on an exhale, lift the chest up here, keeping the pelvis neutral, and lowering back down. One more time here, inhale and exhale. Feeling the chest come up off the mat. The head is in good line with the upper back and lower it down.
That’s the position we use during hundred. Take the hands to the ceiling. Exhale, lift the chest. This time, reach the fingers towards the edge of the mat. Take a moment to feel the collarbones really wide and lower it down.
Let’s build now. Try taking your legs to tabletop, anchor the lower spine. Inhale here, exhale, lift the chest up. Some of you are gonna stay here, and begin breathing in for five counts and out for five counts. So this is the traditional hundred and the traditional breath pattern.
Some of you are gonna squeeze those legs out and continue with that pumping. The most advanced version of this would find yourself with your legs low at about the same height as your eyeballs. Keep your breath. I can’t do it while I’m talking, but you do it. Pull your knees in, lower the head down, and then turn your head from side to side.
Rock yourself up to the top of your mat cuz we’re gonna start roll up from the top of the shape. Take the hands forward, the height of your shoulders. Dive forward into a giant C shape. Notice the arms are at the same height as the ear. From here, tuck your tailbone under and begin rolling back.
We’re gonna come just about halfway back. Pause, make sure your chest is lifted. From the belly, pull the belly button back and dive right back forward to that top position. Tuck and peel yourself back down again, maybe a little bit lower this time. And then peeling yourself back up, sending the lower back back behind you.
This time, let’s try going all the way down to the mat. Lengthen the hands up over the head. Bring the hands forward and peel yourself back up to that beautiful top position. Tuck and peel down, keep reaching through those legs. Inhale, the hands come forward.
Exhale, peel up. And last time, rolling down and this time leaving your hands by your side. Pull one knee into your chest, give it a stretch, and then extend that leg up to the ceiling, dropping the shoulders, just enjoying the stretch of the hamstring. And let’s do the same thing on the other side, drawing the knee in, pausing here. Really pushing down through that bottom leg as well.
And then extending the leg up. Not forcing the stretch here, guys. Using the breath to access the stretch and lowering the leg down. Moving into leg circle. Go back to your first side, stay here.
Begin to draw a tiny circle on that ceiling, crossing the leg across the midline and up. Over, around, and up. Over, around, and stop. Last time here, let’s reverse, but take your hands away. around and up.
Now, this is a higher level of difficulty. So of course, it’s always fine to keep those hands by your side. Around and up. Last time. Pull the knee into your chest, give it a little stretch, and let’s change sides.
The other leg goes up, relax the shoulders, cross across the body around and up. And then again, the emphasis here really is the stability of your hips. So you might be drawing a pretty small circle or something quite large. Pause, the hands go away, maybe. Open around and up, fighting for that stillness.
Inhale, exhale, up. Inhale, exhale, up. Last time. Pull that knee in, give yourself a little stretch. And then rock yourself up, scoot forward to the front edge of your mat for rolling like a ball.
Grab the ankles, establish your nice round ball shape, and then from here, begin rolling back and up to a balance point, guys. Rolling back and up. Your head, ideally, should not touch the mat. And keeping control. You decide when you’re rolling back and up.
Last time. Roll and up, two feet down. Scoot yourself back to the center of the mat. Bring one knee in, roll down, getting ready for single leg stretch. Opposite hand to knee, outside hand to ankle or two hands on the knee.
And let’s inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale, really reaching the foot, right past the edge of your mat. Keeping that chest lifted. But if this is too much, put the head and shoulders down for five, four, three, two, one, the knees are in. Release your head from side to side.
Into double leg stretch. Hands are on the knees. Lift the chest, that will bring the head up. Pause here. Inhale, shoot everything out.
Exhale, everything in tight. Inhale, everything out. Exhale, everything in. Feeling the belly button drive down into the mat. And inhale.
And exhale. Lower the head down. Turn your head from side to side. Into single straight leg, stretch one leg up. Lift the heart to your leg.
The other leg reaches low and long. And then changing legs and giving a little pull. And a little pull. And if you wanna do a double pulse, knock yourself out. I’m just used to this single tempo here.
And change, and change. Using the breath somehow, maybe in for two counts, maybe out for two counts. The shoulders are dropped. Last time here. Knees in, lower down, and release your head from side to side.
Moving into double straight leg stretch, hands behind the head. Lift the chest back up off the mat, extend the legs up. Let’s turn out the legs slightly. Inhale, lower one leg down. And exhale, up.
And then the other leg goes down. Exhale up. Here comes the double leg. Two legs down, exhale, up. Repeat that or go all to double legs.
Down and up. Down, the back doesn’t move, and up. Lower, and lift, ribs stay tight, knees in, lower down. Into crisscross, lift the chest up off the mat, rotate opposite elbow to knees. Stay here and really set this shape.
And now we go up and over to the other side. Rotate, rotate, rotate. Reach to that bottom leg. And now let’s flow this. Taking a breath in for two counts.
And exhale, one, two. Feeling the rotation from the ribs for me, please. And that leg like a slinky, getting pulled long out of the trunk, two and one. Two and one. Two and one.
Two and one. Two, knees in, lower down. Release your head from side to side. Sit yourself up real quick. The legs are straight.
The feet are flexed, spine stretched forward. Hands at the height of the shoulders. Nod your chin. Peel yourself off an imaginary wall, like you’re going up and over a giant ball. Peel all the way up.
Inhale here. Exhale, nod your chin. Dive forward. Feel the back of your sit bones really glued to the mat. And peel yourself all the way up.
Inhale here. Exhale, nod your chin, and dive forward. And peel all the way up. Lower your arms, scoot yourself forward. Grab your ankles.
We’re gonna do a little open leg rocker. Find your balance here. Take the legs up straight and hold it here. Effortless effort in this shape. So effortless that you can take one hand off and catch, and the other hand comes off and you catch.
And release or you’re just holding the balance the whole time some of you, and up. Legs together. So we’re not gonna do the rolling. I don’t feel like it. Come all the way down onto your back.
Take your legs up. A little modified corkscrew. So we twist to one hip. We circle around. We go to the other side and we come center.
The legs stay stacked around and up. So it looks like a leg circle, but it’s very different. The hips twist. You circle the pelvis to move your legs. And the hips twist and you circle the pelvis to move the legs one more each way and around and up.
And last time over, and around and up. Pull your knees in. Rock yourself back up, back to the spine stretch set up for saw. Arms are east and west. Legs stay solid.
Rotate in one direction. Check in with your legs. Did they move? I hope not. Back to center.
And then the other way, reaching through the arms and back center. Now we add the saw motion. So we twist first and then you saw off that pinky. Use your arms to create rotation all the way up and center. And twist and then sawing forward past the pinky toe, use that back arm all the way up.
Twist and saw forward, use that back arm. Up and forward, twist and dive forward, use the arms all the way up. And now we flip. Onto your belly for me, please. Let’s bring your hands right under your shoulders.
The legs can be all the way together or slightly apart. Pull your abdominals in wherever you’re at. Really lift your belly off the mat. Inhale, drag just the upper back. So just a Mini Swan to start for me and lower down.
And again, the heart moves forward and it’s very small. You’re looking just past the edge of your mat right now. And now let’s take it into full Swan. Pass through that Mini Swan and now you need your arms and your legs to help you get up higher. And lower it back down.
And again, inhale, feel like you’re dragging that mat back. Pull the belly button in. You should feel a stretch in your abdominals. and lower it down. And again, reaching out and up, pubic bone stays on the mat.
Hip bones come off. Come all the way down. Push yourself back into child’s pose. Again, I like pinkies to the edges of the mat. The knees can be together or slightly apart, but shoulder blades wide, please.
And let’s come back onto your mat. Reach your hands behind you and clasp them and turn your head to one side. From here, we’re just doing a piece of double leg kick. Interlace the hands. Inhale, lift everything out and up.
Pull the spine along. Neck is long. And then lower and come down to the other side. And then pull the arms back. Pull the heart forward.
Neck is in line with the upper back. Hug the legs in. And lower down. And again, reach, point the feet, pull the heart forward. Shoulder blades pull together, and lower down.
And last time, and lift. Breathe into the front of the lungs. Everything releases. Push yourself back into child’s pose. Round that back for me, please.
Shoulder blades are wide. And come back onto your belly. We’re gonna move into a little bit of swimming. Reach the arms back behind you, abdominals are in. Lift the whole shape up and off the mat.
Stay here. Feel really symmetrical from the crown of the head to the heels. And begin to do these little flutter kicks. And now, the breath pattern here. I’d like it to be in for five and out for five, just like you did during a hundred.
Make it vigorous. Keep pulling the spine long. Now, within this shape, float the arms open to a T. Keep your swim. Keep your breath.
I know you can’t hear mine cuz I’m talking. Slowly, reach the arms up over the head. Get longer. Here’s the hardest point. Take the arms all the way back, lower everything down, and back into your child’s pose.
Shoulder blades are wide. Take a deep breath into the back of the lungs and a long slow exhale. Setting up for sidekicks. So lay right across the back edge of your mat. I prefer the head just down and then take your two feet forward to that front edge.
We’re gonna start pretty simple. So just straight up and then taking it down but hovering. Back up, two, and lower. Back up, three, and lower. Take a look at this waistline here, right?
So it’s not shortening. I’m keeping the length on both sides of the spine. Two more here and hover. Last time, point the toe in five vigorous circles, two, one. And reverse it, five, four, fight to be still, two, one, and pause.
Into the kicks, we go forward for one, two. We go back for one, two. And forward one, two. And back for two, the hips are absolutely still for me. Back for two, the leg is on one level.
And back for two. I like to flex forward and point back. Last time, flex forward, point back, stay here, catch your foot. Take a nice quad stretch here. And a deep breath in and a long slow exhale.
Stay facing me. Transition for your other side. Kind of ugly transition, but I don’t have time to make it pretty. Feet forward, the head is down. And let’s take this leg straight up and hover.
And two and hover. Pay attention to this bottom waist too. So ideally, it’s up off the mat the whole time. And lower and lift, reaching out through that leg, making sure the top waistline is also staying long. Stay here.
Point your toe five rigorous circles for a five, four, three, two… It’s a real circle. Reverse it. Five, four, hitting every point on the circle, two, one and hover into sidekick. Forward for two and back for one, two.
And I use a sniffing breath here. Whenever anything has a little staccato rhythm to it so it would sound like this. Sniff, sniff. Shh, shh. Sniff, sniff.
Shh, shh. It’s kind of nice, isn’t it? It becomes the soundtrack for what we’re doing. And now, keep that leg back behind you. Catch the foot, and take a nice quad stretch here.
Deep breath in. And a long slow exhale. Sit yourself all the way up. Come to this edge of your mat. We’re just gonna talk about teaser position a little bit.
I like to teach it, just the position in and of itself. So bring one leg up, grab behind the thigh, take the other leg up and grab behind the thigh and just lengthen the spine. From here, see if you can release your hands. And if not, keep your hands there supporting. Keep reaching, reaching, reaching.
Cross your legs, take a quick stretch forward. Enjoy that stretch in the back of the hips. And let’s come back up. And let’s come back up to that same place. Maybe you stay here.
Maybe the legs go straight. Option to keep the hands off or try releasing the hands, the legs just float forever and ever and ever. Keep reaching. Keep breathing. Cross your legs and take a stretch back forward.
Come on up, turn around, face the other direction. Be on your hands and knees. stretch one leg back behind you. You’d be ruining your pedicure if you had just had one. from here, that leg kicks up, one, two down.
One, two down. The hips are still, the head is in line with the upper back. Last time, and let’s change legs. The other leg goes back. The neck is long and we kick, one, two, and we tap.
We kick one, two, we tap. We kick one, two, we tap. Last time, one, two. And coming out. So you can repeat that just like that.
Or take yourself into a full plank, hands under the shoulders, feet together. Nice straight plum line. And from here, we do one, two. And now we alternate, one, two. But you can always repeat that other exercise.
The hips don’t move. The hips don’t lie. This is what Shakira tells me. One, two. Spin your biceps forward.
Last time. From here, use your hands. Walk yourself into your feet. Drop your head, even soften your knees if you need to a little bit. Walk yourself back out to your plank position.
Many of you are gonna modify and come down to your knees. So either from the knees or full stance, let’s do a little set of pushups. Inhale down, exhale up. Doesn’t matter how big it is. It doesn’t matter how low you go.
Focus on what’s happening with your shoulder blades. Make sure it doesn’t look like you’re smelling the floor. Last one, walk your hands back into your feet. Soften your knees. Grab opposite elbows.
Let the weight of your head traction your spine. Release your hands. Keep a softness in the knee. Very slowly, peel yourself up through your spine. The shoulder blade slide down the back.
The head is gonna be the very last thing to come up. Inhale, lift the arms up, pull the belly button in, lift the chest, and then press the arms down by your side. And we are done for today. Thank you so much for joining me for that traditional Pilates mat. See you soon.