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Hi, I’m Lesley Logan, and welcome to an advanced thass mat class with me. This class does move with a little bit of zest. You will need a magic circle. Feel free to skip any exercises that are not in your practice today, and repeat it with anything we’ve already done. If it goes a little fast for you, just repeat the one we’re on, and join us on the next exercise, cool.
So we will start with our magic circle just to make sure we’re all on the same page with our thass connection. So placing one ankle on top of the circle. If you’ve done this with me before, then you know where we’re going. If this is your first time, hello, welcome to your thass. You’ll press down into the circle with where your thigh meets your booty, and then lift it back up.
You’re still trying to press into the circle as the circle rises, so it’s not bouncing, right. You’re doing a nice little resistance. And that’s because, as you’re gonna feel in your body with these advanced exercises, there’s many times we don’t have this circle, and so we need to be able to mimic the feeling we’re getting here when we don’t have that, especially when our legs go up and down in space. Three more. And awesome, switch sides, the easiest way is to sit up.
You can try do the fancy way lying down, but usually the circle ends up a little crooked. So press down and up. It took me a really long time to not only find this connection, but then sustain it through an entire workout. So please be kind to yourself if it goes in and out on your body. If it’s our first time together, that’s to be expected.
And even if it’s our 10th time, our body is different every day. Three more of these. Please know you can come back to this anytime. You can use this as a prep or a warmup for any workout you’re doing, especially if your hip flexors like to sing louder than everything else. Remove the circle off to the side.
So we’ll do the a hundred without the circle. You can leave your legs down if that connects your thass more than lifting them up. Take the arms up overhead, squeeze your legs tight to get the heels tight. It doesn’t have to be the toes, but the heels. Feel the heels pressing into the mat like it’s a magic circle.
And then from that connection, float your legs up, pump your arms for your hundred. Remember, your legs can be anywhere they need to be in space, including on the mat, or more towards the ceiling. Where I want you to find them is where you feel the thass connection the most. So maybe that’s up here, or maybe that’s two inches from the floor. All the same rules apply when you’re working with your thass.
You’re still have wide collarbones, you’re still pumping your arms from your back. We’re just focusing on that thass connection today, so that our legs become part of our center, and not taking us out of our center. Two more cycles of breathing. Last one. Lower the legs down.
Go ahead and do a full roll up to grab your prop. So we’ll do the roll up with the circle, and the rollover without. And that’s because I do want you to feel I can connect your thass and your overhead. So pressing your feet out into the circle. Three roll ups, unless you’re skipping the rollover, then you’ll just repeat the roll up.
So flexing your ankles, sit up and over those legs, pressing out on the circle. And the hardest part, pulse three times, and then roll it down. This feeling that you’ve got in your thass, you will be using in your rollover when we open the legs, so that we’re not just doing choreography, we’re using the open of the legs to reconnect to our thass if we lost it on our way up and overhead. So keep doing the roll up, or remove the circle. Roll over, arms can be down by your side, or if you have handles, you can use those.
So look at the ceiling the whole time. It’s tempting to look down. I promise you, your lower half is still there. Take your legs over, as you flex the ankles and open the legs, push out into an imaginary magic circle. Then point the toes.
Roll down as the legs circle together, you find that imaginary magic circle down there. Lift up and over, flex, open into your thass. Point those ankles, roll it down. One more time, over, thass reconnects if you lost it. Point, find that imaginary magic circle at the bottom, and then reverse.
Open, and then squeeze together. Point, and then push those legs down, down, down, down into imaginary circle and lift. I love the down here on the reverse ’cause it’s such a great place to find that thass connection, and prepare you for all the things to come. Yes, you’re doing teaser four. (laughs) Spoiler alert, here we go. Take your legs down, single leg circle.
So arms by your side or up, pinch your handles. You can do the circles you know, or I’m gonna teach where the hip lifts, because you have to keep your thass on to keep it inside of your center, otherwise it’s just gonna be inside of your hip socket, and it’s not gonna feel so good. So watch this, or do it with me, here we go. Lift the hip to take the leg across. Then as your leg comes down, your hip comes down, it opens out to the side, and then again, hip lifts.
So your whole thass, all the muscles of thigh and glute are holding this leg in place. So outer hip, right, those are glute muscles too. Circle down and around, three more. So again, that’s a nice twist. If your back doesn’t allow for this, regular single leg circles is completely fine, it’s more than fine.
Once you do five in one direction, you go out, the leg circles down as it comes across, the hip takes it across. So it’s not happening in the inner thigh muscles, the hip is actually directing traffic. So it’s almost like your thass is a nice little driver here. And you’ll feel all of of that working, go ahead and switch legs. So here we go, hip up first, take the leg across, open out to the side, and again.
This was really hard for me in the beginning, so if you feel a little weird and awkward, that’s fine. To be expected when you’re learning something new. And also, if you’re struggling to keep that thass engagement the whole time, it’s gonna feel a little awkward and clunky. Reverse. But what’s nice is if you can keep that thass connected, you really feel like you have more control of your center, and it’s not happening at your foot, or your knee.
All right, rolling like a ball. If you wanna put the circle around your knees to reengage your thass, you totally can. If you’re like, “Lesley, I got it on.” Here we go, grab your ankles, rock back and up three times. And we’re gonna go into our ab series after this. And there’s a little intermission, but not really a break.
So here we go, bring one knee in, one leg out. The leg that’s out, you’re holding it up with your thass connection, yes. The shin that’s in your hands, push into it to engage your thass right there, boom. And then switch, and switch. So finding your thass no matter what, if your knee is bent or straight.
One more time each side, both knees, and heels together, toes apart. As you send your legs out, arms wide, your legs are pressing into an imaginary magic circle. Not that they’re lowering down, but there’s that moment where they feel like there’s a circle there to remind them how to turn on. And then leg straight up, grab one ankle. The other leg lowers only as low as you can keep your thass engaged.
The leg in your hand, you push into it so much from your thass, you could sit up. This is the intermission I told you about. All right, so here’s the deal. Notice the distance between both legs. You wanna keep that, so push your leg into your hands, rock back and up.
So that leg that’s free does not get to fall down ’cause your thass is supporting it in space. One more time. By the way, it’s gonna help you with your control balance. Here we go, other side, you’re welcome. Different theme, different class, but it all works together.
So pushing that leg into your hands. You’re not falling back ’cause of your head, your leg is pushing into your hands from your thass to make this happen. Last time. Okay, so now take what you learned, and single straight leg stretch. Push that leg into your hands, one, two, switch, one, two.
So a nice little thass reminder here. So as you go into your double straight leg stretch, interlace your hands behind your head, lower and lift those legs. It’s not a swing of those legs, they’re actually helping you connect more, and more, and more to your center. It’s gonna make teaser two a lot more pleasant. One knee in, one leg out, crisscross, three times each side.
So you’re sending that leg out. You’re thass is supporting it. If you felt a little hip click happening, it’s just a sign we lost a thass. And that’s okay, endurance is real. It’s fine, search forward.
So if you wanna put the circle here around your feet just to reengage that, you can. All right, arms in front, and round forward pulse. One, two, three, sit up tall, two more. So we are gonna do our open leg rocker. If you are having a little bit of trouble with your thass connection, go ahead and leave the circle around your feet.
I’m gonna do that just so that you don’t feel alone in it, all right. If you’re keeping that thass on, you can get straight legs. I’m not so worried, you can ditch the prop if you want. But it’s tip back, point your feet. Try to grab the front of your ankles, it’s gonna keep you from hanging off of your shoulders.
All right, and then pressing out on the circle, you can do it at your feet or at your ankles. You’ll rock back and up. And if you’re gonna bend anything, it’s the legs. What I don’t want you to bend is the arms. So ’cause that’s gonna make it too easy for you to collapse, and then there’s no thass engagement that’s gonna save your rocker.
Last one. All right, sit on up, take the legs a little wider than your mat for your saw. If you still need to use the prop, you’re new to thass, go ahead and put the circle back on like you did in spine stretch forward. But otherwise, have them wider than your mat, even if it means you’re off your mat. And then press down into your heels to find that thass connection, twist and round.
Pulse one, two, three, lift and twist, one, two, three. If your hips are shimming, we have lost your thass, so press down into those heels. Turn your hamstring glute connection on, that’s where we’re working from. That means you’re gonna have to wrap those outer hips in a little bit, last time each side. It may mean you don’t actually get to touch your foot, and that’s okay, there’s no gold stars if you can have the biggest twist and reach here. All right, so what I’ll do with the swan, especially if we turned everything off to do it.
So if you wanna do a swan prep, that’s fine. A little drop catch, go for it. I’m just gonna go run into a swan dive, and we’re gonna do it from our thass. So instead of it being all about the arms, and how straight they can be, I want it to be about your legs. So let’s set up together.
You’ll place your hands underneath your shoulders, and then wider than your mat. So if you have handles, they’ll be on the handles. If you don’t, they’ll just be off your mat. That’s gonna give you more width in your upper back. Then spin your inner thighs up.
Reach the tailbone long, pull the heart across the room. Now, right here, your leg should be down, but they should feel like they’re ready for takeoff, you should feel it in your hamstrings. All right, let’s lower down. And then on the next one we’ll do the dive, three to five. If you wanna do a catch, that’s fine.
You do you, whatever it takes to keep your thass on. And arms can go to the side as you lift your legs. If you wanna take your arms forward, that’s just more difficult. That’s also fine, if you need it today, go for it. And after three to five, sit back, and do a child’s pose or a celebration pose.
All right, let’s come out for our single leg kick. We’re doing three on each side. You’re welcome to do more if you’re gonna skip the double leg kick. So push your fist into the mat, inner thighs nice and up, so your legs are parallel. They can be a little bit of part if you need.
And then as you kick, feel that hamstring curl. If you’re like, “I just feel a sachet happening.” Stick with the single egg kicks instead of going into a double leg, and really focus on keeping your femur in place. Once you’ve done three on each side, hands high up on your back, double leg kick one, two, and three. Push the feet down, lift the chest. And lower, look the other way.
Feet down, and lift. So as you do the kicks, if you feel your booty bouncing, we’ve lost your thass completely. So you almost wanna feel like your knees are levitating to do those kicks. We’ll do one more time each side, allowing your feet to take a moment on the mat to get tons of reach in two directions. It’ll just also keep you from being tempted to use your lower back to hover them.
And then sit back, another celebration pose for us all. And then stand up on your knees for a thigh stretch. So we’re just gonna do three of these. If you can’t be on your knees, you can go into shoulder bridge. Knees down, hugging towards each other, arms up.
As you lower your arms and lean back, press down into your knees, makes it so you don’t hang off of your knees, and allows you to get a lot more out of that thass to support you here. And you’re gonna need it, ’cause we’re doing neck pull. You’re welcome, okay. Oh look, I normally don’t make people do it, but when you have a magic circle, we have to. So here it is, you’re just gonna do three, so no big deal.
You can always go back to the roll up if you need it. But the neck pull is actually more possible if you have a thass connection than if you don’t. So we’re gonna test it, we’re gonna see how ours is doing. Interlace your fingers behind your head, dig those heels down, and then push your legs out into the circle. Not your knees, but your legs.
You should feel like you could almost levitate your booty off the mat, that’s how strong your legs are working. Take an inhale here, exhale up and over those legs, pulse one, two, three. Inhale, sit tall, and then just round back. Go as far as you can without resting on the mat, tap down, and round. I promise you, if you push out into your circle from your legs, not your knees, on the hardest part, which is usually halfway up, it’s more possible.
Not easier, maybe not pleasant, but possible. Okay, I am gonna do high scissors, high bicycle because you do have a thass connection here. And it’s key, if you have it, you’ll love it. If you don’t, you won’t, it’s that simple. So if you’re not into high scissor, high bicycle, repeat anything we did that made you feel your thass the most, okay?
Otherwise, here we go. Elbows are into your side. You will look at the ceiling the whole time. I know it’s tempting to look at your legs, I promise you they’re still there, they didn’t go anywhere. So look at your ceiling, hands, elbows into the mat, palms facing you.
Lift your hips, and place your hands up into your sacrum, right, so higher than your lower back, more on your butt. Now, your feet are over your hips, not your eyes, your hips. And so it should feel like you’re getting ready for a jack knife, but also should just feel like you have those hundred legs working to thass is on. Then you reach one leg forward, and it’s pressing into an imaginary magic circle. Bring it back, other leg.
I am not having you bring one foot over your face, you’re just reaching it up from your thass connection. So it’s gonna keep, the more you reach it up, the less weight you feel in your wrists, or your elbows. And then you tip your pelvis over your hands like it’s a spine corrector, and you go into your high bicycle. And you should feel the thass connection from your single leg kick. After three in one direction, reverse.
So you dig down into that thass connection. If you fall out of it, no big deal. Just a sign that you are losing your head and chest on the mat. After three, lift both legs up here, here’s where the thigh stretch we just did comes into play. Bend your knees, turn your hands to the side, and then you thigh stretch over your hands, and you land in your shoulder bridge.
Go ahead and rest for a second, shake your wrists out. If you’ve ever done a high jump, I know that’s when maybe most of you are like, “Never.” But look at how high jumper is, it’s the same thing, you’re just stretching your hips. So arms down by your side, or you can have your hands underneath your pelvis for your shoulder bridge. If you are using your hands here, direct your pelvis so that you have the most thass engagement you could have here. Stand at all four corners of your feet.
Really stand on the left one until you’re standing in that thass so much the right leg comes out with a pointed foot, you flex and lower it down. Point up and flex, point up, flex, slide it down. The other leg comes out, point up and flex. So that flex down we know is just a moment to gather up our thass to help support our leg on the up. Put the foot down, arms down, roll it down, sit all the way up for a little spine twist, and twist to one side, one, two, three, and twist to the other side.
So your thass is holding you up, right, you’re not hanging out down here. Squeeze those legs together. If you need to do it in turnout to get outta those hip flexors, that’s fine with me. Just know that the goal someday is to work yourself into a thass connection in parallel. All right, we can’t skip jackknife, just can’t.
So as we do our jackknife, when your legs are going up and coming down, I want you to think of everything we did with two legs, reaching into that thass connection, including your swan, right, same thing. So arms are down by your side, or if you have handles, you’ll use those. Slide the legs out, or you can start with them up to the sky. Whichever helps you get to your thass the most. Then take the legs over parallel, lift your legs up.
Stay looking at the ceiling. Now, as your spine roles away from you, reach your thass up to the sky to levitate those hips as long as possible. Stretch the legs away, you don’t fall down, the thass lowers those legs. And then you go over, up, and roll it down. Pushing down into an imaginary magic circle.
Over, up, and roll it down. With your legs down on the ground, arms reach up overhead. It’s the teaser train, so I did tell you we’re doing four. We’re doing those hip circles. What we’re not gonna do is go all the way into hip circles, you will have a beat.
So just don’t hold out on me, okay? If you wanna stick with teaser one, you can. If you wanna do all three teasers with me, that’s fine. It’s a teaser train, that means you can get off at any time. Ready, arms over, squeeze the legs together.
Float up into your teaser, make sure you smile, it’s nicer. Your thass is holding your legs up, yeah. So they’re not gonna be way up here, they’re gonna be a little lower, and that’s gonna be kind of mean. Lift your arms up, roll your upper body up and down three times. Arms lift, so your thass is just holding those legs in space, they’re just suspended.
And then stay up, and then you push the legs down into an imaginary circle, and lift up three times. And then teaser three, no break, ready, go down and up. If you rest at the bottom, that’s mean to yourself. You have to gather everything back up, lift it up, reach, and rest. Okay, so hip circles.
Do me a favor, even if you love to do on your forearms, try this with me. Take your hands back and onto your fingertips, back and wide. So notice how that could be as low as this if I take ’em back and wide enough. But I want you to get used to reaching from your upper back, not resting, cool. Send your legs out, this could be your hip circle just here.
Or we sweep the legs around and up. Three times each direction. Slow does not mean controlled, it just means miserable. So as you circle those legs, you’re pushing through an imaginary magic circle. And when you’ve done three in each direction, take a moment, rest, if you hate those, it’s fine.
Something that keeps me going is that we’ll never actually get hip circles. They’re just a barometer for how well we’ve connected to our thass. So there you go, now you know for today only. Flip onto your stomach, that’s right, you could do ’em better tomorrow. Swimming, here it is.
Take your legs out behind you, are doing two cycles of breathing. Reach your tailbone long, lift everything up, and then swim those inner thighs up. Swim your arms up, and breathe two cycles of breathing, and rest. Sit back, head towards your knees, lift your waist. All right, stand on the balls of your feet back here.
Reach your arms out in front of you. Come up into your leg pulls. So if you wanna be on all fours, and do a little arm and leg option, you can, or on your forearms, that’s fine. But if you can stand on your arms and your feet, even better. Then when you lift one leg up, it’s from the thass.
It’s not from the hips lifting. So one leg lifts, you rock back and up. The flex and point is actually testing the thass connection of the other leg. So there’s no break for your thass. All right, if you wanna do the fancy transition with me, here we go.
You’ll take your left hand towards the center of your mat, and your left foot underneath your right foot. Stand on your left hand and your left foot. Reach your arm up and around, and pivot. If you’re like, “What did she just do?” Just flip over, we can do it again another day. Especially if you got shoulder stuff, that can be tricky.
So here we are, pull the other way. Hands back here, fingers facing you. First, let’s just try to stand up onto our heels, and make sure we’re on our thass here. If you feel that in your knees, you’re in your knees, so do table for me. Okay, I want you to just focus on strengthening that muscle.
Here we go, the hips lift, and lower. And lift, and lower. So now we’re gonna lift and hold. Before we do our kicks, I want you to press so much into your right thass heel that your left leg is light. Then press so much into your left thass and heel, your right leg is light.
Then switch to the right, and the left. So if anyone’s walking by, they don’t see anything. But in your body, it feels like you’re kind of sacheting with your thass, just inside, and rest, shake it out. That is awesome, you can do that. Especially if you’re someone who feels it in your knees, I’d rather you just imagine the leg lifting, than lifting it and dipping into your knee, and not staying in your thass.
All right, here we go. Take your hands, soften your elbows so you don’t stand in your wrists. Lift those hips, either do the right leg to the left leg without lifting anything, or float it up. So you stand in your thass so the other leg can reach out and away. Out and away, out and away, last one, rest.
All right, you’re not getting outta here without some sidekicks. (chuckles) So kneeling sidekicks, this is not my favorite, but it is so good at opening the front of our hips, strengthening our thass connection. And we’ll do a little prep together, you can stick with that, or you can do the whole thing with me. Ready, hands behind your head, and tip over. Land shoulder over wrist, hip over knee. So if you landed back here, we have lost your thass.
Come all the way up, and tip, and all the way up, and tip. And you’re just going back and forth. Your goal is not to fall down, but to lower yourself down from your thass and obliques, right? On the next one, stay there. Woo, all right, so just do a little double check.
Shoulder over wrist, wrist in line with knee, hip over knee. Holding this might be where you are. Otherwise we go to the front, and to the back. And to the front, and back. Ooh, front and back one more time.
And then circles, as big as you can make these without doing it with your bottom shoulder or hip. After three, reverse direction, and then hold it. For three, you can do it for two, one. Alley-oop, other side. So shoulder over wrist, hip over knee.
And you can even look down, make sure, kick to the front, and to the back, and the front. So for me, there was a time for three months, I would just get into position, and I would picture myself doing this entire routine. Circle. And I would think about the front, reverse. And think about the back, I’d think about the circles, think about the bicycle.
We’re skipping that, you’re welcome. Hold for three, just picture your bicycle, one in each direction too. All right, let’s do a quick little side bend on each side, because the side bend does happen from your thass, not your shoulder. And so ideal is feet stacked, I’m not that ideal. So I’m gonna unstack my feet so the top foot’s forward.
And then hand and feet are in line with each other. All right, we’re gonna lift up, and stand in your bottom foot a lot. So not necessarily that the foot is pointing down, but on the blade side, and lift your bottom hip up, up, up, up, up. And then bend and come down. Tap, and lift your bottom hip up.
So keeping the arm disconnected to the back, and moving from that bottom thass. And then you can kick your legs over the other side. Here we go, and up. And you will notice which thass is a little smarter than the other when it comes to your side bend. Last one.
All right, so we are gonna go into rocking. If that is a big extension for you, feel free to do any of the things on our stomach we’ve already done. So you wanna flip onto your stomach, bend your knees, try to grab both ankles at the same time. If you have to do one at a time, that’s fine, just make sure you switch it up each time. So rocking, I tend to see it in the head, but if you can use your thass, you can actually rock yourself back and forth.
So what I want you to do is push your feet into your hands to lift your legs first. Then push your feet back to lift your chest. Try that one more time. So instead of chest first, push the feet into the hands, lift the thighs, and then push your shins back to lift your chest. And you can just hold it here, or lift your thighs, and lift your thighs.
Your head should stay in the exact same spot, you’re not ever letting it fall down and kick back. Last one, rest. Sit back, head towards your knees, reach back for your feet. Okay, I have a fun finale for you. And we all know what fun means to a Pilates teacher.
So I believe that it’s so important that we realize that our entire body works with everything, but we, especially my ladies watching, we need to use our thass more in a lot of things that still an arm, body exercise. So your pushups, if you use your thass, I promise you you can do this. So tuck your toes, all right, roll your shoulders back, hands underneath your shoulders. And then the first thing we’re gonna do is think about hovering, or you might actually hover. So you’re not gonna lift with your butt, but I want you to feel your tailbone reach for your heels.
Can even hug your heels together if that helps. I want you to stand on your feet, that means your thighs are already levitating. So you should feel your hamstrings, your glutes already working here. And then take an inhale, on the exhale, think about it or hover two inches off your mat, and lower. So the first time someone told me to do that, it was impossible.
So it was the second time, and 10 weeks later, I think I got some air, so please be kind to yourself. I’m gonna do it one more time. Ready, shoulders back, and stand in your feet. Hug your outer hips in so your thass lift to the sky, and then the whole body hovers. So remember when I say thass to the sky, that’s not butt, it’s where your thigh meets your butt.
Okay, on this next one, you are going to try to push all the way up. Not like a slinky, but strong as a board, light is a feather, here we go, ready? And ah, thass on, head in. Walk your hands back to meet your feet. Lift it up, and just because, I mean, we can’t just do one pushup.
Take your hands down, walk it out. One, two, three, four. I’m not gonna make you all the way to the ground, but three elbow bends. So hug your outer hips in, spin your inner thighs up. Three pushups using your legs.
Get that thass on to hold you up. Head in, walk your hands back to meet your feet. Lift yourself up, pat yourself on your back. If you wanna thank your thass, you can. Thank you for letting me teach you.
I know that any advanced workout can have a lot of zest, a lot of pace to it. But I want you to know that you can get faster over time. And look at this cardio workout we just had. Also, your thass gets stronger, and the connection stays on over time. So be kind to yourself, celebrate what you did do.
Thank you for letting me teach you, and I’ll see you next time.