Gentle Morning Pilates Routine

Hi guys! It's Robin from The Balanced Life and today I'm going to lead you through a Gentle Morning Pilates routine This routine will be perfect as a way to start your day, to warm up your body, to create energy, start breathing, and just start your day on a healthy note

So let's go ahead and get started Go ahead and start in a seated position on your mat, right on your sit bones, feet flat on the floor, knees bent, and just gently grab behind your thighs In the morning we're always a little bit more stiff and so we need to take a little extra time to warm up the body So while we're here we're only going to focus on growing tall in our spine As we've been sleeping all night we just want to find that length in the spine again

So go ahead and close your eyes and begin to draw the abdominals up and in Lengthen through the back of the neck, reach the head towards the sky, and then start to wrap your abdominals from all angles So I want you to think if you had a corset on, it's wrapping around your spine, front to back, side to side, to keep you stable Once you feel stable go ahead and open your eyes and release your arms right in front of you Take a nice big inhale and as you exhale tuck your tailbone, start to round back just about halfway

We'll inhale the arms up, exhale the arms come down as you roll back up Here we go Exhale back, inhale, and exhale Good Rolling back, inhale, exhale, and rolling up to that really tall spine

Roll back, float the arms, down, and up One more here Roll back, float the arms, down, and up Let's open towards me Just starting to wake up the spine

You're not going to feel super mobile first thing in the morning That's okay Our whole point here is just starting to move, so just go to the point that feels good and keep the opposite arm reaching right in front of you as you rotate through your upper spine Good Let's work with our breath here so we're going to inhale as we rotate, exhale come back through center

Inhale, exhale One more each side Inhale, and exhale, inhale, and exhale Good From here let's take both hands behind your right thigh and you're going to roll back just slightly, right? Just behind the sit bones and we're going to extend that right leg and just flex and point

Flex and point Drop the shoulders away from the ears, widen across your back Flex and point Good You could roll up a little bit if you want to feel a little bit more stretch through your hamstring and if you're feeling like working a little bit harder, go ahead and reach the arms forward and hold the leg up

Ooh, I'm not there yet this morning so I'm going to hold Good Let's switch sides here Hand behind the opposite thigh, extend the leg Flex and point

Flex and point, with the option of challenging your abdominals a little bit more as well as your quads Good Let's do two more, and place the foot down Scoot forward just slightly on your mat, arms come forward, let's roll back onto the mat, arms down by your side, walking your feet in just a bit and they're about sit bone distance apart From here take an inhale

As you exhale flatten your back, roll up into a bridge It's the morning so it might not feel like you can get very high yet That's okay We're going to get a little bit more movement every time Rolling down one vertebra at a time

Good Roll up again, nice and easy, just trying to find that articulation, that movement Starting connecting, feet to the ground, pressing both feet equally into your mat, and rolling with control Good Let's do three more

Breathing, waking up the body And this is two Good Last one here, and down Good

Let's take the right leg towards the sky Let's flex, and point Flex, and point Flex, hold on the point Let's just lower to about 45 degrees and flex back up

Point down, flex up Point and flex, point and flex Let's do four more Four, good, maintaining that nice neutral stable pelvis We're starting to connect to the core

Good Hug the knee in towards your chest, and let's do the other side Extend the leg up, flex, and point Flex, and point Can you imagine drawing that thigh bone deeper down into the hip socket? So stay grounded

Good Now let's lower, and flex up Point, and flex, still maintaining your core connection, keep the ribs knitting together, wide across the back of the rib cage Good Four, three, two, and one

Bring it up, hug the knee in Good Let's take both knees to a tabletop position Palms come to the ceiling, arms out to a low vee or a tee position, open across your collarbone, squeeze your thighs together, squeeze your knees together As you inhale let the hips, knees, and feet rotate to one side

Exhale draw back through center A nice little supine spine twist Inhale the other direction, exhale come back through center Inhaling, and exhaling So this is about mobility in your lower back but it's also about core control, and keeping both shoulder blades on the mat as your collarbone stays open

Good If this feels like too much on your lower back in the morning, just bring your toes to the mat and do the same thing You're still engaging deeply in your abdominals to make this movement happen Either way is a great option Good

Let's do one more set So one more to each side Good, and pause in the center, grab behind your thighs, nod your chin towards your chest You're going to press your thighs into your hands to come up into a balanced position Chest lifting, thighs are squeezing together

Good And from here can we just extend, and bend Extend, and bend Watch out for this Drop those shoulders, broaden the shoulders on the back

Extend, and bend Good One more time, and place the feet down Scooting forward on your mat for rolling like a ball We're going to keep the toes of the feet together

You're going to grab just on the outside of your shins Round your back, round your spine, pulling the thighs–I should say pulling your belly button away from your thighs, drop the shoulders, tuck your tailbone to create a curve in your lower back Roll, and balance Oh, I'm on a bumpy part in the sand! Here we go Roll back, just onto your upper back, hold at the top, and try to maintain this rounded shape the whole time

Just like a wheel rolling back and forth Let's do three more Let's breathe Inhale, and exhale This is great for your spine

Good, and release Stretch your legs forward, scoot your hips back Take your legs the width of your mat, sit up nice and tall Arms come forward, spine stretch forward Inhale to prepare, exhale nod your chin, stretch beyond the toes, belly button to spine, stacking up

Inhale, exhale spine stretch forward Good Feels good in the morning Don't worry about getting as far as you can Just go to the point of right at the edge of your stretch

Right where it still feels good but you feel the stretch One more Stack it tall Your head is right over your shoulders Walk your feet together, squeeze your inner thighs

If you need to bend, that's fine, too Bring your hands behind your head, bring your head back into your hands, for spine twist We're going to exhale, exhale, inhale Exhale, exhale, inhale Now imagine I was right next to you teaching you this class and I could come over and I could thread a broomstick through your elbows

So that's what I want you to picture So you couldn't go like this You would be nice and wide across the front of your chest and your elbows would stay in one position The movement is coming from your spine, not from the arms or the neck Good

One more each side Good Arms come out to a tee, palms to the ceiling Same thing Good

One more time each side Good Arms come forward, arms come down Turning towards me, you're done! You completed this quick and effective and energizing morning Pilates routine Feel free to use this on a daily basis or tag it on to a longer workout as a warm-up and let me know how it goes

I'll see you back on your mat very soon! [Music]

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