Read Full Transcript
Hi, welcome to class. My name’s Christy Cooper and we’re gonna play, the blue ball always means we’re gonna play. So grab that or probably a small, but semi firm pillow will work just fine as well. So let’s use it right now a little bit higher than our ankles, maybe mid calf range. Our feet are parallel, we’re grounded into the floor.
Feel your feet, wiggle around, be glad you’re taking the time for yourself, it won’t take too long to feel really good I hope. So here we are. The thing about the ball and a lot of the cases today is we’re not really trying to squeeze the ball, at least in this exercise. We’re trying to squeeze everything above the ball. And by squeeze, I mean that relatively lightly, it’s as if we’re trying to draw the ball upwards so that you feel some semblance of tension in the trunk, the arms are long, they’re heavy, we just inhale.
(inhales slowly) And as you exhale, just pay attention to a little bit around the ball, but just above it and further. Take the arms out, turn ’em out, push some air, some energy, some tension away, (instructor exhales) and then exhale for a little more space and freedom. And again, I’d like to turn those arm booth out, inhale, pick up whatever you need for class and exhale whatever you wanna let go of for the next 25, 30 minutes. Inhale, lift, (instructor inhales) and exhale. From here, we’ll just stay in this position, but we’re gonna rise up on the heel or the toes.
So a subtle shift forward, keeping the hip points ever so slightly back, with control, we take an exhaling, rise up. You don’t have to go all the way to the top. Just trying to find out where we are today, and then lower back down. I’m a bit wobbly usually on the first few. So I now know what I have to kind of hang onto a little bit more, exhale, rise up.
And keep the control going down. Trying to stay kind of in the same, maybe it’s a subtle lean the whole time, rather than forward and back. And again, just noticing yourself, it’s sort of an important thing to do. Self-awareness, it’s good. It allows us to adjust.
Up and down. Another tip while we do just a few more is to maybe pick a space three or four feet out in front of you and focus on it. If you look around, ah, your body tends to follow you, which is good in some cases, I suppose. Up and down, one more time. Getting all the pops out, hopefully now.
Okay, same position, we’re just gonna roll from the top of the head down. We inhale, and on the exhale, try not to shift back too much, your head goes forward. We start to feel this like conveyor belt, the front side a little tighter so the back side can release, hanging your head. Inhale, you’re still holding that ball. Exhale to roll back up.
Landing hips over knees, ribs over hips, shoulders over ribs. Inhale, exhale, head goes, allow it to pull you forward, but not just to collapse of course, but to support yourself. Your arms are heavy, your collarbones are wide. That means your arms aren’t just hanging off your back. Inhale, hold, a subtle squeeze of the ball might connect you right into the deeper belly and roll up.
And just one more, inhale, exhale, down. (instructor exhales) Ooh. It’s funny how a little prop can really assist some exercises and really make something just that much more potent. We roll ourselves back up, keep rolling up, when your head finally gets to the top, let’s take the arms forward and up. And then once you’re here, reach a little higher, start to look up, but lift from the chest, look up, turn the palms to the front.
You’re gonna bring your arms down like goal posts, I’m gonna turn sideway just for effect here. And you’re squeezing those shoulder blades. Not trying to arch the back, but really opening up that chest. Just let the arms drop. Let’s do one more.
Inhale, arms straight up in front, start to bring them down like the goalpost, but squeezing those shoulder blades together. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And good. Let’s take ourselves to the mat. And for today, for now, I’m gonna sit in a diamond position, soles of the feet together.
And just place the ball, it’s not right wedged up against the sacrum, pretty close, ’cause it’ll probably try to move away from you a little bit. So you may have to hold it until you get used to it. But what I’m trying to do is have it right behind my, right about the waistline really. And then when I, I’ll hold it until I get there, now I’ve got some pressure on it. I bring the feet in a little bit.
And from here, I’m holding on my knees. All I’m trying to do is press back into the ball. So on an exhale, see if you could theoretically pop the ball with your breath, exhale and push into the ball. You probably won’t go anywhere, that’s fine. Inhale, we’re just tapping into what we get to use for the rest of class.
Exhale. And inhale and exhale, you probably don’t need your arms, but you can use ’em. (instructor exhales) Press into it. And press into it. Now, same thing, but with a slightly different intention, press into the ball and start to get up off it, but don’t.
Fall back a little, inhale, press into the ball and think you’re gonna get up, but don’t roll up high enough that you actually lose the ball. Fall back on it. We’re still in a subtle round position at the back, inhale, press into the ball and it almost, can you feel how it almost propels you forward? The action of pushing back moves you forward. One more, so you feel that hopefully.
And exhale. (instructor exhales) Okay. From here, come back and press into the ball. We’re not gonna, we’re yeah, kind of almost lift up. Lift one arm up.
Exhale, deepen your contraction into the ball. Other arm goes up, inhale, exhale down. Both arms go up, inhale, take ’em back, take ’em back, but keep your body where it is, circle the arms around, exhale, we’re back to the start. If you can remember which arm started first, switch it, one arm up, inhale. Exhale, deepen into the ball.
The rest of you is light, and down, here comes both arms. Imagine you’re gonna get up, you’re not, but you could if you wanna do, circle the arms around, oh, I’m starting to feel it now. One arm up, inhale. Imagine the air was a thick solid as you bring that arm back down, you don’t have to tighten the arm to do it. Other arm up, press into the ball, the breath will do it for you.
(instructor exhales) Come on, tell me you feel it, if you don’t try to feel it, look for it. Both arms up, get ’em back there behind you, stretch out those shoulders, circle ’em around and you may come all the way up. Hold your knees, sit up tall on the sit bones. And now as you press the shoulders down, the chest up, you can look up, kind of like that position we did a minute ago in the goal post arms. And from here, we are just gonna move the ball back, and by back, what do I mean?
Back, I mean, it’s about midback because we’re gonna arc extend over it. It’s a lovely way to kind of tap into a little higher up in the trunk. So take your arms behind your head, allow yourself to go back. Oh, isn’t that a nice opening? Now you do have to kind of be centered on your ball, so work that out for yourself.
Here we go, it’s the same idea. You’re gonna press into the ball on an exhale. And that is the very thing that’s going to lift you up. Exhale, push down on the ball, down on the ball, down on the ball. It’s really not about range, but it is about this curve.
This curve it’s like the hinge coming right from the chest. Inhale, take it back. And again, if you have to adjust to this, I think I do. I’m off center, either that or that’s just me. Exhale, curl up.
It’s not leading with the head so much as it normally is, it’s really pressing down into the ball. Feels kind of easy at first, doesn’t it? Inhale back. Gotta love that little stretch. (instructor exhales) Exhale into the ball, into the ball, into the ball, into the ball, and back.
Your head is basically resting in your hands, following the curve of the spine. And again. (instructor exhales) This time stay up in that curve, you’re pressing into the ball. The hips aren’t doing much, but just make sure you haven’t arched your back. I don’t think you would’ve by now.
Let’s pulse it for 10. You press it down. It’s small. (instructor exhales) Two. If anything, it’s like, I’m getting up.
No, I’m not. I’m getting up, no, I’m not. I’m getting up, I’ll stop saying that. Somebody’s counting, I’m gonna do about five more. And two, three, put your focus right where you want it.
And then we get to stretch back. Enjoy it, enjoy it. If your elbows can reach the mat or the floor, so let it, enjoy that. Okay, we’re gonna do something very similar. I am freeing up the hand closest to the front here, or let’s just say the left hand.
That is just resting by my side, it’s gonna stay straight and travel along the floor as I curl up and rotate. Okay, so it’s nothing fancy, it looks like this. You do the same thing on the diagonal. You start to press into the ball, rotate it, the rotate it. The hand is just gliding along the floor.
Just for balance really. And come down. You could keep your hand back behind you. And exhale, same side, curl up, but it’s really the push backwards to go forward. Isn’t it like life sometimes?
You go backwards first. And here it is, push down, you know the direction you’re going and look for it. Look that way even, twist a little more and back. Imagine maybe that you had a ball under your elbow or upper arm and you’re gently pressing on it as well as you rotate. And again. (instructor exhales)
So one more here. We’ll stay up and do a few pulses up there. So get yourself in a good position, your hips are pretty equal, right? Okay, there you are. We’ll do our 10.
(instructor exhales) And again, it’s not off the ball, it’s back into the ball. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, oh, small but mighty, isn’t it? And ten, put your hand back behind your head, come to the center, arch back. Ooh, gotta love a little burn. Other hand comes down, and maybe your whole arm doesn’t come down, right?
So don’t bend the elbow, it’s just straight. Here we go. Exhale, start pushing into the ball. You’re gonna rotate over and the arm just glides. Inhale back.
Couple slow, couple five, slow, into the ball first, that lifts you up. I think it could be tempting to just keep looking at the ceiling. Don’t do that, let your head be part of the spine. Like a bloated vertebra, part of it. Two more.
Can you twist anymore? You can move the arm out if you need to balance. Ooh, that was good. One more. Sorry, one more after that.
To stay up, here it is. Here it is. Twist more, move your arm if you need to. And we go 10, nine, eight, seven. Do you feel it?
Six, five, four. If you don’t, lighten up elsewhere, like your legs. Hmm, two one, I’m gonna say a slow one just in case. Hand goes back. Arch yourself over.
Just when you thought it was over, we curl straight back up in the middle, we allow the arms to reach forward. First, push back into the ball, continue all the way up. Hands to the knees, sit up tall, leave the ball there for the moment. Take your hands behind your head. And from here, we’re gonna rotate towards the front, so you can see.
Rotate, you’re sitting tall, sitting tall. Release the hand that’s in the back, put it to the knee or thigh, gently press down and a subtle pull to rotate you further. Now, when you come out of this, you’re not gonna spring out of it, you’re gonna stay right where you are, you put your hand back and come to center. Inhale, rotate to the back. Opposite hand comes to the knee, gently press and pull to grow taller in that rotation.
Stay right there as you let go of the hand and put it behind your head and come back. We go, inhale to rotate. Exhale to grow taller and twist more. Look where you want to go, your spine will follow you. Return the hand behind your head and come back to center.
Rotate. Inhale, inhale really facilitates that nice lift. Hand comes down, push and ever so slightly pull, be gentle with your spine. Return the hand and back. Again, one more each way, pushing down, feel good.
Ooh. Hand goes back and you’re centered, this is it to the back. Rotate, rotate, push down, lift up. Hand returns and to the center. Okay, taking the ball in between the knees, separate your feet so they’re about (indistinct) bones distance, roll yourself down for a few pelvic curls, plus a few other little gems.
Arms are down by your side, you get to work with them. Feel your feet flat and here we go. We inhale. On your exhale, scoop the belly, roll yourself up, make sure you can hold onto that ball. And then take a moment.
Are you as high as you can be? Maybe, maybe not. But what I’d would check first is are you in that posterior tuck pubic bone towards sternum, low back is long? Then step on your feet, feel your hamstrings and glutes and of course, just hang onto the ball. Inhale, hold, exhale, melt it down.
We’ll just do four. Inhale. Kind of supple with the abdominals. There’s no bracing needed. Just know where the direction is and your body will do it, you don’t have to think too much.
And roll it down. Inhale, two to go. (instructor exhales) You do kind of have to keep checking where your arms end up. ‘Cause sometimes the shoulders will creep up naturally. That’s okay, just put ’em back.
This will be the fourth one, we’ll stay up on it. And from here, we’re gonna inhale. Exhale, extend your right leg. Just press it out. Bring it down, that same leg will go up again without changing anything else, two, feel that left hamstring?
Maybe, three. Put it down. Change the legs. Check yourself, check yourself and switch out and bring it back. Switch out and bring it back.
Ooh, switch out and bring it back. Right, inhale (instructor inhales) exhale. We roll our lovely spines down. Bring the knees up, hold onto the knees. And I’m sorry, hold onto the, yeah, the shins.
Still holding that ball, right? Squeeze a little, press your shins into your hands and your hands into your shins, curl your head, neck and shoulders up. You might need to kick this on this first one, but really what we’re trying to do is tuck the pelvis and now keep the shape of the circle or a ball. And we start rocking for four, three, two, come on up on this one. Boom.
Can you bring the ball any closer or the legs closer to you? Can you put your forehead on the ball? Don’t you wish you had a bigger ball now? Huh, there’s a phrase. All right, elbows out wide.
Just do what you can, where you start, you stay is the real trick. Here we go, roll back. Inhale, come up and hold. Exhale to get there. You’ll get used to it now.
It’s just different ’cause the ball is there. Inhale back. Exhale up. Hold. Try not to break the circle.
And if you can spread it out, but just keep it like that, right? (instructor exhales) Ooh. Getting better at it, so now my feet are hitting, I gotta control my breath with it. Trying not to wobble back and forth on that tailbone. Let’s do two more, one, (instructor exhales) and two.
(instructor exhales) Right, stay up. Cool. Now then, slide back enough that you can straighten your legs. And just for now, put the ball on your ankles and stretch forward. As you do though, sort of like the beginning as you roll the ball forward, easily, you pull in opposition the belly back.
Okay. Once you’ve done that, pick up the ball, your hands are on either side and we’re gonna roll the whole body back to bring the ball with you. Bone by bone, take the arms up overhead. And then the arms come up above your chest, let your head lift, roll back into that sort of like sideways u position. Stay somewhat lifted this time though, not so close to the feet.
Inner thighs are glued and exhale, (instructor exhales) roll down. Inhale, lift, exhale, roll up. The breath helps so much on this so that you don’t have to toss yourself. If you are tossing yourself and the breath isn’t helping you enough, what you can do is bend your knees a little bit as you come up. So somewhere right around here.
(instructor exhales) And then straighten it back out as you get to the top. Same thing as you go down, inhale, exhale down. (instructor exhales) And back and up. (instructor exhales) Okay. From there, let’s take the ball and place it under your left leg.
So like the ankle, and then just roll back down. You’ll probably have to adjust it once we get down, your arms down by your side, take your right knee to your chest, hug it in real close. And in this position, can you gently press down on your ankle and it does have to be gentle because otherwise you’ll start wobbling all around. Here we go. We’re going to extend the leg that you’re holding.
Arms go to the floor. You could keep a soft point or a flex, I’ll go soft point, slightly turned out today. We are crossing the leg over, bring it back, cross it over, bring it back, cross it over, bring it back. Now we add the circle. It’s inhale, cross over, circle down around, come right back to the start, stop it there.
Again, same direction, inhale, exhale around. Boom. Inhale, weight into the ball. Just two more this direction. (instructor exhales) One more.
Go the other way, all the way into the circle. Inhale down around, up, hold, inhale down around, up, hold. Try to roll the ball away from you. It’s just a thought, not a real action. Oh, one more.
And up, good, hug the knee in. Press the knee into the hands, curl your head neck and shoulders up, rock yourself up and switch it so the leg is on the ball, you know what I mean? Switch. All right, roll yourself down. Adjust if you need to, so it’s Achilles’s tendon-ish or maybe a little higher than that.
Hug that other knee to your chest. And what I meant earlier about, it’s the sense that you’re gonna roll the ball away. That from that point, it’s a subtle press down so you’re active in the back of the leg. Okay, extend the leg up. Hip is down.
We did three, just crosses. Cross over, come back. And that’s just for you to test that ball below you. One more time. Here we go, five circles, inhale over, down, around and up.
Oh, I’m a little squirrely on this side. Inhale, cross down around and up. Again, number three. Down around, up, four. Last time in this direction, you know what to do.
Switch it out around up, boom. Stop on a dime, point to the ceiling. Three, four. I need to pretend I’m rolling that ball around more. Okay, there we go, bend the knee, hug it in close.
Start to push the knee into the hands, it’ll help yourself up in that way. Grab the ball. Here we go, back down, bring the knees up. You’re in a curled up position, we go for double leg stretch. We inhale, just reach back, exhale, curl up. (instructor exhales)
So the body doesn’t move. We’re just extending ourselves away from it. All right, let’s make it more fun. Ball is in the right arm, you’re gonna circle it around, grab it in the left, let go of it with the right and come back. Go the same direction.
Inhale, grab, (instructor exhales) exhale, bring it home. Grab it, exhale, bring it home. One more. Grab it, switch, go with the left arm around, grab with the right. Oh wow, that was weirdly hard.
So I’m gonna quit talking, do two more. (instructor exhales) And, (instructor exhales) good rest your head, neck and shoulders. Good times, good times. All right, for now, put the ball down. We’re just gonna do a single leg stretch.
Probably roll it away from you or just to the side. Hands on your knees, curl yourself up. Let’s just go hand over knee. You could do the ankle, left hand on the right knee, right hand on the right ankle. Or just hold up the knee, either way.
Let’s go, switch and switch and switch. (instructor exhales) Now, can you imagine that you had a ball, a little ball right under your shoulder blades at the top of those shoulder blades, and push into it, and push into it. (instructor exhales) Again and again and again. And both these, and head goes down. That’s good, so don’t step on your ball, just scoot it so it’s outta your way.
Arms out to a T position, roll your knees to one side. Look the other way. Draw yourself up. Switch it. Lovely.
And back, let’s just do a couple more abs. I’m not doing the whole series of five. You’re welcome. But I am going to reach the arms up, curl my head, neck and shoulders up like I’m looking through my arms. Pull the knees up, extend the right leg up to touch the ball.
Oh, I’m not quite there, am I? Instead of bringing my arms to the leg, I’m just gonna work harder to bring my leg to my arms so that’s my job today. Other leg to the floor, let’s kick, kick, switch, kick, kick, kick, kick, stay up there, kick, kick, kick, kick. Just alternate now, it’s swing, swing, swing, swing, swing. Both legs up, put the ball between the ankles, arms go down, we are rolling over.
Inhale, (instructor inhales) exhale, squeeze above the ball, exhale over. Flex your feet. Think upper inner thigh and just roll right back down. When you find your tailbone, you can let the legs drift away if you like. Inhale to about 90, exhale over, inhale flex, if you want to lower the legs, do it now and drag those legs across your trunk until you’re back home again.
Inhale in 90, exhale over. Your arms can be used. Use them, not so much your hands. One more time (instructor exhales) Down. Bend your knees, hold on, rock yourself up.
Okay, I said we were playing, are you having fun yet? So we’ll change directions now. And the start, the ball’s gonna be more or less an assist or reminder, we are doing some side leg kicks. So coming down onto your elbow. Elbow basically under your shoulder, maybe a little further out, but the sense of getting this space of triangle is there, you’re lifted.
The ball is just gonna be there to remind you to lift off it. So this time, not a lot of pressure. The lower leg, maybe 90/90 here, the top leg is stretching long. You can do whatever you want with the front hand. I usually just rest it, lift the leg up.
We kick forward twice and swing it to the back. Let’s go kick, kick, and swing back. Kick, kick, and swing back. Kick, kick, and swing back. Ah, it’s nice.
You’re not rolling the ball around are you? We’re doing four more, go for it, go for it. Way up and swing back. Use the glutes back there, two more. Da-da, da-da, one more.
Da-da, da-da, stay there, stay there, stay there. Now you’re pushing the thigh back. I actually think of the back of the thigh back. Top arm, free arm reaches diagonally. You can roll on that ball a little bit as you continue to press the thigh back.
(instructor exhales) Okay, let’s get up, change sides. Setting the arm almost first. You wanna protect that shoulder, right? So reminding ourselves of that lifted position, lower leg at 90, top leg is all lined up with your body, kneecap in front of the foot, face front, lift it. Here we go, kick forward.
Flex forward point back. Kick, kick, and back. (instructor exhales) I’m doing sort of a double inhale and an exhale to the back, it’s up to you. And press, press. I would look back at your leg sometimes because you can feel the hamstring, but not realize you’re actually bending your knee.
Don’t bend your knee, two more. And here we go. Hold it to the back, back back. Now this is where you can kind of roll the ball, so you put tiny bit of pressure, roll the ball so you could press your leg back more, reach your arm and find that lovely stretch. Ah, okay.
Coming up and we’ll just do a couple more things. Come to kneeling. And this one, again, the ball is gonna be just to remind you, we do a lot of side bending in Pilates, and I’m having you put the ball pretty close to your armpit, hold it with your upper arm. Hand goes behind your head. And all we’re doing is side bending, but we’re not gonna lean.
So the idea is that you’re lifting one side as the other side contracts to get the stretch on the side that doesn’t appear to be working. Here we go, lifting up, going, pressing the ball into your rib cage to go down, down, down. I’m trying not to lean away from the ball, just straight down and up. We’re just gonna do three. I just want you to get that sense.
So we press in, back is long, the neck is long. And we’re going up to go over. You hear that cue and this is one of them you can get in the side work here, last one. And up and then just change sides. So maybe think about that next time you do a side bend or side overs on a box and you’re going over.
Here we are, we’re lifted, standing tall, up and over, up and over, up and over. If the ball were to roll, it’d be rolling almost up and back. Probably not technically, but image wise. Squeeze and up. Squeeze that up or I’m a little more for this last one.
Okay. We must do some back extension. So come down onto your abdominals. Now the ball might be a little too small for this, so you can do it without the ball, and just have your hands wide. I’m gonna try it with the ball, which is to say, I am placing my wrists on its side by side.
Head is down, body is long, belly is up. You know the rules, here it comes. We draw the shoulder blades downwards as we look forward, not much pressure on the ball as we try to lift our spine just with our back muscles. When we’ve come as high as we can, stay there, straight arms still, make sure you’re sternum is down or drop it down a little. Then you can push into the ball and rise up.
Keep reaching the legs. It’ll save your low back and then come on back down. Okay, you can stretch the shoulders up too, that feels good. Here we go, the shoulders go first, start looking forward. You let your back rise simply with the back muscles, not the arms, not the arms.
You can almost take your arms off. Then we’ve gone as far as you can, you can put some downward pressure, roll the ball towards you. Lift up, take your whole spine with you and come on down. Couple more at least, here we go, shoulders. And again, if you need to take your arms off, it looks like this, they’re just wider and that’s probably the case for a lot of us.
Look forward. Our shoulders can be real tight, right? But you just gotta be light on your arms to drag them. Light on your arms to drag them. And down.
One more time. It’s all you, it’s all you, it’s not the ball. It’s not the ball yet. It doesn’t have to be the ball at all, but play with it. Downward pressure.
Up we come, up we come. Down we go. Woo. Help yourself to hands and knees. Place the ball behind your knees and stretch into a child’s pose or a rest position.
Hmm. Actually push in to the ground so your hips get closer to the heels. If you like, you can reach back and grab onto your heels, letting your forehead be on the ground. Taking a couple of deep breaths to really move the rib cage in the back maybe, feel some expansion that you deserve. Take up more space even in this shape and hopefully starting to feel some relief for knowing that you did some self care today.
When you’re ready, just let your hands come to help you for support. Roll up, sit up, stand up, however you like. Give yourself a big pat on the back and thanks for coming. Come again. Thanks a lot, have a good day.