Class #5156

Reflective, Alert Mind

35 min - Class


Join Regina Santos on a mindfulness journey in an Intermediate Pilates workout on the Mat! She teaches you to look for a two-way stretch throughout this full-body workout. If an exercise doesn't work for you, please skip it and honor your body. You will feel strong, grounded, and ready to take on your day!
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi, my name is Regina. Welcome to class one of Pilates Bliss: On the Mat, where we begin our mindfulness journey in an intermediate Pilates workout. Let's look for a two-way stretch throughout. And if an exercise doesn't work for you, please skip it and honor your body. Now, I invite you to just stand for a moment on your mat.

Bring your heels together and turn your toes out. Open up the chest and breathe into your body naturally. And as you do that, I want you to just take a map. Visualize your feet grounding. Work your way up through your legs, up through your hips, and in your waist and your center.

When you get to your center, pull the waist in on an exhale. And then work your way up, inhaling, expand your chest. And exhale, cinch your waist in. And work your way up through your shoulders, and now through the top of your head. And release any unnecessary tension in your body, and find presence in yourself right now.

As a meditation instructor, I know the philosophy of yoga, as taught by Deepak Chopra, who says mindfulness is the way your mind recovers from distractions. You are brought back to the present moment. The present is naturally where every cell in your body lives already. It is also where the mind wants to live, if you allow it to. So I invite you to take on a reflective mind, and be alert to your practice in the present moment, and find the two-way stretch throughout.

Let's begin on the mat lying down. Just make you way down, nothing fancy. From here, I'm gonna have you bring your knees into your chest and curl the head and the shoulders up, and pull the belly in. Now, stretch your legs forward to 45 degrees, and pull the stomach in as the legs reach away. Bring the arms by your sides, and then bend the knees back in and then rest back.

We're gonna do that two more times, continuing to focus on our bodies, and finding the two-way stretch. Curl the head and the shoulders up, knees into the chest. To start, stretch your legs out and away from you, and reach your arms down by the sides. Pull the stomach in and up and stretch the legs away, and stretch the fingertips away. Bend the knees and then lay back down on your back.

We're doing this one more time, folks, and we're gonna go right into the Hundred. Lift the head and the shoulders up. Stretch your legs out, pull the belly in, reach your arms long by the sides. This is where we do our Hundred. We pump our arms up and down, inhaling through the nose, and exhaling through the nose.

You can go ahead and count on your own while I talk you through your two-way stretch. So you're stretching your legs so far away from you, and then the energy's also going out through the top of your head. And that opposition is creating a nice connection to our center. Deep breath, inhaling and exhaling (exhales sharply). Feel your body long.

Feel the energies opposing. The two-way stretches throughout the exercise. It's not just front to back but it's also side to side. So we'll be exploring that throughout this workout. Inhale through your nose, exhale through your nose.

Let's take a couple more. Pumping, reaching your arms long, drawing the shoulder blades down. And then go ahead and rest. Raise your arms up. Nice and easy transition.

You can hold onto your legs if you'd like to come up to sit. Now, place your ankles through the strap. Move back so that it's taught in the strap, so you can feel the stretch already in your legs. Holding onto your dowels as wide as your shoulders. Now, you wanna pull against the dowels to find your back.

There's a two-way stretch there. And you roll down one bone at a time, pushing your legs forward. Keeping your belly in as the arms reach overhead. Arms go to the ceiling. Lift and peel one bone at a time off the mat as you stretch forward.

And roll. And again, when you roll up and you come over your legs, I want you to imagine somebody's pulling your waist back as the fingers and the toes are reaching away. So there's that two-way stretch there. The stomach is pulling in, and the limbs are going the other direction. Arms up, inhaling, exhaling.

Make sure you breathe, of course. Waist pulls in away from the fingers and the feet. We'll take one more here. And up and feel the stretch in your back. And then let's roll all the way down on our back.

Place the dowel to the side. Reach overhead for the dowels to the sides of the mat. So pulling the stomach in again, you're gonna lift the legs over the head. So it's the same shape I'm making with my body, but this time the hips are over. So I want you to think pulling the waist in, somebody's pulling you from the waist, going down to the mat as you lower.

Reach the legs away from you. Connect to your center, lift the legs overhead. Open out and stretch and stretch and stretch. Even though the legs are coming apart, you still want your inner thighs to work, so there's a two-way stretch there. Opening out and stretch and stretch and stretch.

Now, let's reverse that. So bring the legs together, open them out, lift them up over the head and close and stretch. So even the hands are stretching away, the stomach is pulling in, the legs are stretching away, creating a little bit of resistance as you roll down. We'll do two more here, up. Close, inner thighs are magnetized together.

And you stretch your back. And we'll take one more here. Open out and lift. So it's a whole body workout. We're really connecting to our whole body.

Okay, good job, now, moving on. Left leg down, right leg stays up for your leg circles. So you see my body really stretching away, right? So I want the hands stretching away, the legs are stretching away. And we take circles here, five times.

You're going across the body (exhales sharply). And your heel is reaching away from your hip, so you're creating that nice stretch in the leg. Now, let's reverse it five times. Out and up, again, the belly is pulling in while the legs reach away. We'll do two more.

And one more. Switch sides. Push the right leg down. Now, the left heel is gonna be reaching away from the left hip. So this is my left leg, okay?

So I started with my right and I'm moving on to the left. Reach the heel away from the hip to create length and stretch. We're gonna do one more. And now, let's go the other way. It's five repetitions, out to the side and lift.

So I tell my students a lot that this is kind of like getting out of your car if you're driving. So stretch the leg away, connect to your center and reach, and step out of the driver's seat of your car. And then take the leg down, take the arms up. Nice, easy transition. If you need to hold onto your legs, feel free to do so.

And then come to sit for Rolling Like a Ball. So here, we're gonna bring your knees into the chest. Lift the feet up off the mat and then feel the stretch. Your stomach is pulling in, your tailbone's going down. We're gonna roll on our upper back several times.

And we roll back and we come up. It's really important here to feel the belly pulling in and up. And I'm gonna talk you through the two-way stretch. The ribs are lifting away from the hips. The stomach is pulling in.

The shoulders are up away from the hips, but your shoulder blades are going down the back as well. So there's a constant opposition in Pilates, where energy is constantly moving. Even with my knees, I'm pushing them apart, but I'm pulling my hands in. We'll get into more of that in the next class, but you feel this two-way stretch throughout. I'll do two more for you.

And we'll take one more. And then go ahead and bring your legs down, and stretched out. Now, roll down on your back with control. Pull both knees in again at the same time, like we did at the beginning of class. Now, take one leg out to 45 degrees, and pull the other knee in for your single-leg pull.

Of course, your belly's pulling in as the leg is reaching out and away. But notice my elbows. They're going out to the side. And they're really actually stretching away from each other. That helps me connect to my back.

This class is really inviting you to be an observer of your practice. How deep can you get into your practice by being present? We've got a few more of these 'cause we're doing 10. Breathing in and stretching away (exhales sharply). And then rest back.

So next exercise is a double leg stretch. So you pull the head and the shoulders up, pull the belly in, hands on top of the shins. Now, the arms are gonna go to the ears, and the legs are stretching away. And you take a big circle, and then you bend your knees back in. This is the ultimate Pilates exercise right here 'cause it really embodies the two-way stretch, as you can see, right?

My belly's pulling in, the legs are reaching away. My fingertips are reaching away. And we're gonna do two more of those. Last one (inhales deeply). And then you rest.

So now we're gonna do the single straight leg stretch. So both legs are up in the air, scissoring one leg towards you as the leg goes to 45. Now, a lot of people like to pull the leg in towards you, which is fine, but you also wanna pull the leg up to the ceiling. That's where your two-way stretch really is, right? So you're deepening the stomach.

And it's kind of the same shape that you've seen in the rollover and the roll up, right? So your waist is pulling in, the limbs are reaching away and you're breathing of course, and you're feeling your back opening up. So again, lift away. So stretch up, up. We're doing 10 of these total.

Ooh, I'm building heat. I hope you are too, feels good. (exhales sharply) Feels so good to move in our body. And then rest here. Now, we're gonna do the double leg stretch, double straight leg stretch, actually.

It's hands go behind your head. Again, the elbows are wide so you can connect to your back. Stretch your legs up in the air. Now, the waist pulls in as the legs reach away to 45. And then you bring the legs back up.

(inhales and exhales sharply) The exhale actually helps contract the stomach. The exhale helps contract the waist. So get strong in your waist as the legs reach away, and the ribcage pulls away from the hips. (exhales sharply) I think we've got one more here. And then rest here.

Next exercise is your criss cross. So now, the head and the shoulders come up. You lift the left chest to the right knee and then switch. And guess what, where is the two-way stretch here in my upper body? The two-way stretch is the elbows are trying to really stay apart and open and wide, and helps me connect into my center, and keeps me long in my body (exhales deeply).

And strong, of course. One more each way. And then rest. Grab the back of your legs, come up to sit. Separate your feet as wide as your mat.

Place your hands in between the legs. Now, the two-way stretch, obviously, lifting the ribs away from the hips. And then from here, you round forward, but you keep the ribcage lifting away as you slide your arms forward. And then come back up, right? So we call it collapsing if you're really just folding over in your legs.

You don't wanna do that. You wanna come from your center, and move from your center and work your whole body. And come up. Inhaling, exhaling. My legs are even active, right?

They're not just like there. I'm actively engaging my legs, and I'm feeling them pull and push apart. And then come up, we'll do two more of these. Inhale, can you get even longer in your spine as you strengthen the center? Last one (inhales and exhales deeply).

And then come up to sit. Now, I want you to hold onto one leg behind with the hand and then the other leg with the other hand. Bend your knees, like you're about to do a Rolling Like a Ball but this time, we're gonna stretch one leg up and then bend it. And then stretch the other leg up and bend it. Now, stomach pulls in as the leg reaches away, okay?

Same concept, stomach pulls in as the leg reaches away. Now, let's stay here with this. This is my right leg, keep it up there. And then stay up there with the left leg. Keep it up there.

If it's available to you, slide your hands up to your ankles, like you were doing with your single straight leg stretch. But now we're gonna roll on our back, rolling back. Exhale deep in the stomach, inhaling. Exhale, stretch, so even use your hands, right? Again, we'll do more of that in the next class.

We'll explore the pushes and the pulls deeper. But right now, you wanna feel that two-way stretch, and feel how your hands are helping you. We'll take one more, okay? We had about five repetitions on this one. Hold it, now bring your legs together.

And then lower with control. Come back down on your back now for Corkscrew. Open up your hands. I'm gonna slide down a little bit, and then find my two-way stretch with the Corkscrew. So both legs are gonna go up.

Now, the belly's pulling in. Both legs are gonna circle to one side, and both heels are reaching away from my hip as I circle. And then I go the other way. So you're alternating directions. Okay, we're gonna just do two more alternating sides.

Heels are reaching away from my hip as I make the circle. And we'll do one more here on this side. And then the last one to the left. All right, if you feel pretty good about your body, go ahead and roll up with your legs up. Now, separate your feet as wide as the High Mats now.

Moon Boxes to the side, I should say. These are Moon Boxes, okay? Open your arms out. And then now, rotate. The belly pulls in as you round forward for your Saw, okay?

Up, twisting and twisting. The belly pulls in as you round forward. The legs are engaged. Come back to center. Can you find the two-way stretch in the hands and the arms as well, right?

The arm is reaching back, like in your Reformer, when you do the twisting on the Stomach Massage series. Okay, one more to the right. And stretch, belly pulls in, in, in. And last one to the left. All right, now we're gonna come on our stomach for the preparation for the Swan.

So you're gonna come all the way to your dowel edge. Hands are gonna go on the dowels. We're gonna start first low. I want you to bring your thighs together as much as possible, okay? So push down into the dowels.

Now, reach the legs away as you lift the head and the chest. Keep reaching the legs away, and then lower down with control, okay? We're gonna do that with no hands for the next one, okay? Stomach is pulling in, lift up. Hold it, now reach the legs away as the arms go out.

Find the two-way stretch with your hands. Bend your elbows and then come down. Let's do one more that way with the hands away. Belly in, inhaling up. Push your chest forward, your sternum forward.

Reach the legs away, stretch the arms. Find the two-way stretch everywhere and come down. Now, we're gonna prep and go into our Full Cobra. Stomach pulls in. Now, lift the head and the chest.

Keep reaching the chest forward as the legs reach away. Come down with control. That's all we're doing. I want you to really feel that two-way stretch. Stomach pulls in, inhaling.

Stretch the legs, feel your body in this shape, right? The heart is moving forward, the legs are reaching away, the shoulders are going down. And we lower. We'll take one more, belly in and lift. Find your center through that stretch.

Stay aware of your body. You feel the glutes, you feel everything. You feel your upper back. And you come down with control. All right, next up is our Neck Pull.

So we're gonna turn around again. Bring your ankles through the strap. I love the strap of course, because it helps me find the two-way stretch here. I'm gonna pull my legs apart. When I pull my legs against the strap, I connect to my seat and it helps me connect to my lower core and my lower body.

Hands go behind your head. From here, you're gonna roll back, like you do your short box, right? You round back, keep reaching your legs forward. And then thankfully for the strap, you can come up and roll up with no hands. So come up and over and then round your spine.

Keep the belly pulling in, keep the ribcage lifting up. And get into a tall spine. And then from here, round your spine. And lifting up and over, belly pulls in. Remember, somebody's behind you holding onto your waist as you come forward over the legs.

So really keep that connection to your center. We'll take one more. And come forward. And come up. And then now release the legs out of the strap, stay seated.

We're gonna bring your arms out to the side for another rotation. So lifting the ribs away from the hips. Stretching, twist and center. This is your spine twist. We're finding that two-way stretch with the arms, finding your upper back.

Keep those legs engaged, keeping them together. And lifting the ribs away from the hips, and stretching while we strengthen. All right, now, we're gonna lay down on our back for your Jackknife. So the arms are gonna go into the dowels. Legs are straight.

I like to stretch my arms because my shoulders sometimes get tight. And when I stretch my arms straighter, it helps me connect to my back. So the Jackknife, the legs are gonna go over the head, nice and easy, like you're rollover. And then now I want you to push your toes up, and find the stretch and you roll down. So it's the same shape that your body's making as you do your Hundred, right?

Your head and shoulders are kind of curled. Your legs are long, stretching away. And we'll do one more and lift. And we come down with control. All right, it's time to get on our sides for a side kick series.

You're gonna lie down with the back edge of the mat. One hand is behind your head and then the other, the bottom foot is gonna be on the Moon Box in front of you. And then the top leg is gonna be on top of the bottom leg. One arm is in front of the ribcage. And now you're gonna kick the leg forward twice, and then kick it back twice.

Forward and back. And kick, kick and back. Keep going, find the two-way stretch here. Reaching the heel away from you. You can do five to 10 at home, okay?

I might be doing seven, okay? And back 'cause we've got a couple more things to take care of on this side. And two more for me. Last one, my belly's pulling in, even though the legs are coming in front of me. The leg is coming in front of me, I should say.

Now, keep it over the bottom, now turn it out. Stretch this hip away from the ribcage as you lift the leg up and pulse it. Okay, so stretch. So notice, the hip stays really where it is, right? When you do that, you can feel your glutes.

So no hip hiking here in this class. Keep reaching those heels away, and feel the length of your body, and feel the strength of your center. Now, take the leg back, stretch it out, keep the ribcage in and stretch that leg far away from you. Circling it five times away, two, hold it. Reverse it, just five times.

Now, we're gonna take big circles. So we're gonna take the leg forward, up, reach it away, and circle it and pause at the bottom. Forward, up and, and down. And make sure you're breathing and back. Two more this way.

Last one, stretch it out and up, reverse it. I know it may look a little impressive if the leg's gonna open out and be big. But in this class, we wanna feel the whole body working. We wanna feel the glute working. And that stretch really helps you connect to that lower core.

Okay, one more. Okay, lay down on your stomach. We're gonna turn around and do the other side. You're gonna get a back view of this. So my spine will aim to be staying aligned, and against the back edge of the mat.

And I kick front to back. Five to 10 times for you at home (exhales sharply). And reaching. The inner thighs are still kind of pulling together here. And I'm actually feeling the two-way stretch also in my shoulders, right?

I'm got my back engaged, got my chest open. (exhales sharply) And the waist is pulling in (exhales sharply). Last one for me here (exhales sharply). Now, bring the leg over the bottom. Two kicks up and flex.

Really pull that hip down, okay? Up, up and down, so keep reaching. Ooh, you can feel that right here in the cheek. Okay, two more, up, up. Last one for me.

Now, bring the leg back behind you. Open up the body but keep engaged. Stay present in your body and stretch. Where can you find the stretch. Okay, lengthening the legs, keeping the chest open.

Big circles now, five times one way, front to back. Up and reach the heel away. And three (exhales sharply). Two more, last one this way. And we will reverse it for the last set.

Up and forward. Keep reaching the heel away from your glute and your hip. Three more, (exhales sharply). Two more. Remember, getting out of the back seat of your car.

This, you can actually use as you mount your bicycle. You know, these are just really great exercises that support you in your daily life. I know they help me a lot. So, Teaser time. I know we've all been waiting for that one, right?

So we're gonna do two Teasers, Teasers one and two. The first Teaser, we just move the upper body. Second Teaser, we move the lower body. So place your hands by your hips. Pulling the belly in to lift the legs up, to stretch the legs up and away.

Arms parallel with the legs. We roll down on our back. Bring your arms parallel to the legs and then roll up. That's it, okay, reach the arms overhead, and then roll down (exhales sharply). And again, parallel to the legs.

Arms up overhead, arms forward and then you roll down. Now, we're gonna stay up with the arms, the upper body. Hold it here, just lower and lift the legs. (exhales sharply) And hold it up. And now everything goes down with control.

Turn over on your stomach, we're gonna swim it out. Stomach is in, lifting from the center of your body. Upper body and lower body reach away. And let's swim, alternating arms and legs. (exhales sharply) Count to 10.

And then come on down. Place your hands by your shoulders. Come to your knees and come up into a plank position. Now, if it's been available to you to come into your plank, go ahead and come into your full plank. Otherwise, you can stay on your knees.

Now, all I want you to practice is stretching forward, like you're pumping your arms in your Hundred. And then coming back and you feel, you see my heels going forward a little bit? 'Cause I'm really coming forward from my center, and that's moving me forward. So the stretch is happening throughout the top of my head, and then out through my heels as well. It helps me connect to my center.

All right, building on more of that later. Now, we're gonna do side kicks, actually. So come to the knee. And you wanna feel the stretch of that outer leg away from your hip. So take the arms out to the side.

Find the two-way stretch, like you did with your spine twist here. Now, side bend to one side. Okay, keep reaching that leg away from you. Take the top hand behind your head. Stomach is pulling in.

The right hand is right underneath the shoulder. Now, all I want you to do is feel the reach. Stretch the leg so much that it lifts away from you, and from the mat. And again, stretch the leg away so it lifts away from the mat. We'll just do one more here, okay?

From the center, stretch and stretch and stretch. Lower the leg down, come back up and switch sides. Other knee is down, other leg is out. Reach your arms out and away in that spine stretch forward twist, right? Spine twist, I should say.

Leaning out to the side and come down. Hands go behind the head. Keep pushing your hips forward to stretch one leg up and then lower. We're just doing this two more times. Reaching out and away.

Last one, keep pushing your hips forward and down. And then come back up and then come to the knees. All right, last little bit here. Boomerang, crossing one leg over the other. We've built on what we've done.

Now, we're gonna roll and get those legs long. Roll back on your back with control. Open, close the legs. Roll up, come forward. And pulse three and two.

Hands to the hips, roll over. Open, close and roll up and over and pulse. Stomach is pulling away from the legs as you round forward. Open out and close and pulse. This is kind of like what we do on the Reformer in your Back Rowing series.

This is the last one for me here. Open, close and we pulse, three and two. Okay, next is Seal. Bring your arms through the legs now. You're gonna bend the knees, balancing on your sacrum.

Opening and closing the legs three times at the top, then you clap once in the back. Clap once 'cause I want you to find the two-way stretch when you're upside down like that, okay? So, stretch tailbone away from the shoulders. Come up, three, two, one. Continuing to keep the ribcage away from the hips.

Up and one more round for us, so you can get it right at home. Nice work, now, come on your stomach for rocking. Okay, like you're swimming, lifting the arms and the legs up. Now, reach one arm back to get one ankle. And then reach the other arm back to get the other ankle.

That two-way stretch really helped me connect here. Now, I'm gonna lay down on my stomach for a pause to realign. Pulling my heels into the seat three times. Pushing my ankles into my hands and then I lift the chest. And I lift the thighs.

And you feel the thigh stretch reaching away. And you come down and you pull. Lifting the chest, lifting the knees. Stretching, two-way stretch. Staying engaged in your center.

Last one. And up and release. All right, almost done. I hope you're staying present, and I hope you're feeling groovy like I am. I've got that Pilates glow, I can feel it.

All right, we're gonna do a little preparation for a shoulder bridge. Excuse me, the High Scissors is what we're preparing for. It's an intermediate exercise, and I want everybody to get it. So the arms are down by the sides. And you're gonna take the legs over the head, like you're doing your rollover.

Now, I want you to get the shoulder blades underneath you here and keep the belly pulling in as the legs reach away. Place one hand on your hip at a time. Now, from here, it's a little hard for me to talk 'cause I'm inverted. But what I want you to do is stretch one leg up to the ceiling. Up, up, up, up, up, keep reaching.

And then lower that leg down. And then stretch the other leg up to the ceiling. Keep reaching, reaching, reaching. And then lower, like your Jackknife, but we're getting in there without the handles, and we're using our own body weight, and our own body to support us. We'll take one more.

And let's see if we can get both legs up. So now, take one leg up, hold and stretch to the ceiling, to the sky, wherever you're working out. And then take the other leg up. Hold and reach and reach and stretch. Keep that two-way stretch, okay?

This is gonna be important for your success in progressing this exercise. So reach and stretch and stretch. And then go ahead and bring both legs down. Bring your arms down by the sides, and then roll down with control. Go ahead and come up to stand.

We're gonna end standing. We're just gonna practice our pushups, okay? So what I want you to do is round down, place your hands in front of your feet, and then just walk forward in a pushup position. So you're taking about four steps forward, actually. This is that kind of plank that we started with earlier.

From here, you wanna shift your weight forward, and you're gonna bend your elbows and you come up, okay? So if you wanna come to your knees to do that, you're welcome to do that too. But I want you to be forward in front of your hands, okay? I'm gonna finish up. I'm gonna do maybe two more here, okay?

Down and up, one more. Stretching, two-way stretch from the top of my head through my heels and throughout my body. Walk your hands back to your feet. And then now, roll up one bone at a time. Ah, being alert in your body and being present.

I hope you enjoyed that workout. Thank you so much for working out with me. I'll see you in class two, where we'll use the Magic Circle to find grounding in your growth. Once again, my name is Regina and I'll see you next time.


1 person likes this.
Awesome class Regina, thank you!! Strong and motivating, and very invigorating.  
1 person likes this.
Thank you - brilliant directions - looking forward to next class.
Enjoyed the class. Excellent instructions on the stretching and strengthening of the pilates’ movements.
Thanks Regina

Julie L thank you so much for working out with me! I hope you like the following ones! 

Annie R Thank you so much for working out with me! I hope you like the next class :) 
Velma Davis-Wheeler Thank you for working out with me! I love the mat work which makes sharing it easy :) I hope you like the following ones! 
1 person likes this.
Great cueing. I like quotes. It sets the intention for the class. I've really appreciated having to focus on the 2-way stretch in each exercise. It's like a meditation in motion. Thank you!
Lina S It is my pleasure.  I'm so happy so much of it resonated for you, thank you for joining me  :) I hope to hear from you again! 
1 person likes this.
Wonderful cueing!
Ashtyn C Thank you for joining me! Hope to hear from you again! 
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